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There I was, up early after a fitful night sleep. Getting ready to face a day that would have one of the most significant impacts on my life. Wondering if I was ready not only to face the day but to accept the consequences of my decision. Was I ready for this? I was about to change my life in ways that just even a year earlier I never even dreamed was possible. I was about to take a step into the unknown, venturing in to areas that one can never really prepare for until they actually experience it. Was this going to be the worst decision I ever made? Can I handle the commitment I was about to make?

There were so many unknowns! Even the process getting to this point in my life was not the smoothest. I was fortunate; regardless of the direction this would take I would not be alone and be surrounded by friends.

Later, after a day that both dragged on eternally and passed in a blur. After so many faces passed before me, so many people making demands of me, and so many hours of waiting; I found myself standing before a great crowd of witnesses. They all were watching me, observing, and waiting for what would come next. I scanned the crowd nervously searching, shaking, sweating, and going over and over in my head: Did I forget something? Do I even know what I am doing here?

But then I saw her, the beautiful glowing angel appeared. Her garment elegantly flowing behind her. She locked eyes with me and then came closer. She stood before me and said those 2 words that would change my life in more wonderful ways than I could have ever dreamed or imagined: “I do”.

Today (This weekend) I celebrate the 16th anniversary of the day I married Jennifer. My life has been so much richer since that day. What a blessing it is to have my best friend with me day after day, bringing love and joy into my life. Bearing with me during the hard times and rejoicing with me in the good times. Building a life together that I would never have had without her.

Many of you readers were there. Do you remember? We have all changed since that day 16 years ago. Still even with all the things that have happened over the years, my love for Jennifer just keeps growing.

Thank you Jennifer for all these wonderful years. I look forward to many wonderful years to come.

In my life I have had several heroes growing up, but none quite a special as my dad. He was a loving husband, a wonderful father. He had his own wonderful idiosyncrasies, he taught us kids many lesions, and we had many memorable experiences. I will pick a few and share them with you.

My dad on the right with his brother Carl. Taken 1992 near Virginia City, Nevada.

My dad worked for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and spent a lot of time in the woods and driving on logging roads. During our family vacations he would often say “Let’s take a new and exciting way” This would elicit groans from my sister and occasional nervousness from my Mother as invariably involve some of the logging roads, unpaved, on the side of a mountain. At least once there was a time where you can stick your hand out one window and touch the ground on the up-slope and your head out the other side and not be able to see to road.

On these outings, my dad was also fond of singing camp songs involving skunks, greasy grimy gopher guts, worms in corpses, and other wonderful images totally suited to us young kids.
He also had some code words and phrases that I occasionally still use today:

  • KFC : He called Kentucky Fried Chicken this before the restaurant chain called it’s self this.
  • Frozen Sweetened Cow : Code for Ice Cream
  • Culinary Iguana : This takes a little explanation. My mom is an excellent cook. So my dad, in the way his mind worked came up with this saying. It comes from “Culinary Wizard”, wizard sounds like lizard, an Iguana is a type of lizard, hence “Culinary Iguana”
  • He also liked to occasionally use big words, so when the occasion warrants it: “If my fluent language is to copious for your diminutive comprehension I will strive to elucidate myself more explicitly.”

My dad tough me several lesson in life. He and my mom instilled in me a love of nature. He would know all names of the trees, he loved rocks and minerals, and even so he was out in nature all day for work, he would plan family camping trips each year so the rest of the family could also experience nature. (as well as those harrowing unpaved back roads)
My dad taught me craftsmanship. If something is worth doing, it is worth doing well. My dad was a wood worker, enjoyed lapidary, constructed most of the building on the property I grew up on, etc. When he built or fixed something, he did not go for the quick and easy, he went for the sturdy finished product that looked really good and lasted a LONG time. He of course involved us kids in these construction projects in ways in according to our abilities. From handing him tools and holding lights, to poring cement and getting up there on the roof and nailing shingles down. He had a shop with all the tools and encouraged us kids to get in there and work on our own projects.
We had many wonderful shared experiences. He got me into Boy Scouts (he was an eagle scout himself), we took family camping/road trips every year . We lived on a farm so he got me and us kids involved in all the farm tasks such as: building a barn and other structures, re-roofing our house, raising and butchering animals, clearing fields, putting up fences, whopping wood, etc. He and my mom even took me to Puerto-Vallarta as a graduation present.
My dad died 19 years ago from cancer. Today is September 15th is his birthday. He never met my wife or kids but through me they know him better than they realize.

There are many great memories. I imitate many of my dad’s idiosyncrasies, because he did them, I love him, and it helps me to remember him.
I try to instill in my children a love and appreciation for the world around them, people, and the things that are important in life because that is what my dad did, and it worked out well for me.
I try to find adventures including my children as well as involving them in what I do so that we can have the shared experiences that they can remember later in life.
I encourage you dear reader to look back upon your life for a hero. If they are still with us, let them know what you appreciate about them. If they are not, then share with someone else about them. It will enrich both you and the people around you.

Bird fest

When I went to the bird fest I did not know if I would like it.

I knew that it was at A different part of the  building that it was in last time, so I thought they would not have the same amount of people  at booths as they did the last few times  I had been there.

My predictions were true, though.

    But, we had a great time and I thought I would tell you a few things we have learned, like owls have great eye sight due their abnormally large pear shaped eyes, and the difference between pileated wood pecker calls and northern flicker calls.

We also went on A few walks with  birders.  


Today is sunny with A high of 86 and A low of 55.

Tomorrow could possibly be cloudy with A high of 78 and A low of 54.

This forecast may not apply to everywhere

Hello, I am Gabriel Johnson. on Monday January 16 we had about two inches of snow accumulating over the past couple days; and we liked/loved it (about ½ of loving it and about ½ liking it.) Monday’s nightly temperature was about 31-34 degrees Fahrenheit and it was mostly cloudy except during the morning, at-least where I live, we have had Altocumulus clouds during Monday morning (and it was pretty; you could see the sun rising behind the trees [we have a green belt behind our yard]) and I think we have had Nimbostratus clouds during the day… I hope you liked this post and I hope you can find this part of the blog and more than all I hope you comeback to the Johnson clan blog! 🙂 —

(this is snow)

I wake up next morning and it is snowing outside. My sister urges me to come play with her. I go with her and obviously the cloud type is Nimbostratus. It has snowed about 1 and ½ inches and counting. there doesn’t seem to be any wind but we know there will be some tonight. the current temperature is varying between 34 degrees and 27 degrees. However Seattle will be sheltered from the cold front moving in because of the Olympic mountains on the peninsula.
Snohomish county is exposed to the cold front however.

One of the things I want to work on this year is being more creative and expressing it in different ways. The kids and I recently have started playing around with  stop motion animation using Lego and here is our first collaborative work!

Crowd test

Gabriel has had a clay animation class in the past and has had some practice, I have read about how this is done and have paid attention to details of other peoples animations, Annika is pretty enthusiastic and loves being involved in what is going on. With that you may be able to start picking out which of us animated which characters.

Gabriel’s has what I think are the more creative ones, Annika’s have the most action, and I only have a couple but they are reasonably smooth. We all need more practice.

We each have also created at least one independent work. Here is Annika’s first movie. I helped with a few of the technical details, but the design decisions were hers.

Annika’s New Movie

And here is Gabriel’s independent work of art. Again I helped with the creation of the video but he picked music and told me what the credits etc. should say.

Gabriel’s Movie Part 1

It seemed successful enough, I think we can expect more (and better) in the future.

Welcome to the Johnson-clan blog. This site probably has posts that will mostly interest family and friends. It will be about things that me and my family are doing and interested in. Regardless of if you know us or not, you are welcome to visit and comment.