Tuesday, March 26, 2013

till we meet again

My cousin Colby <3

I have debated heavily about writing this post, a part of me doesn't want to remember because it hurts. I've tried to explain to a few people who've asked, why this has been so hard...I don't think I've been able to articulate "why" effectively. I'm going to attempt to do so now, mostly because I want to be able to heal, but I feel it needs to known why the death of this young man has hurt so much.

Irene Swapp Johnson
Sterling Lloyd Johnson

The top picture is my Grandma Johnson holding Seth and the bottom is my Grandpa Johnson (and me with the dark hair and my sister Cara the blonde one). My grandparents were the best people, kind, giving, nonjudgmental, quick witted and loving. I am the oldest grandchild in the Johnson clan and have so many fond memories of spending time with them in Kanab and at the ranch in Sink Valley. I miss them both to this day.

When Grandpa passed away, I was 18 and was preparing to graduate from high school. He had been sick for quite some time, suffering with emphysema and severe asthma, and he knew his time on earth was almost over. We were the apple of Grandpa's eye and he asked that each of his grandchildren be brought to him so he could say good-bye to us each individually. I can't remember everything that he said, but I remember being devastated. All those memories of Grandpa filling our pockets with pennies and sending us to the corner store, of stopping at the rock shop in Rockville because he was a rock hound and loved rocks, of making sure Grandma bought us caffeine-free Pepsi at the store, of always calling Ramen noodles "noosle soup", would be just that, memories. By the way, I remember asking Grandpa when I was older why he called Ramen noodles, "noosle soup" and he told me it was because that what I called it when I was little. I still think of that when I eat it to this day.

My little brother Sterling (my Grandpa's namesake) was the first grandson born to the Johnson's and my Grandpa could not be prouder! 2 years after Sterling my cousin James (Julie and Jim B.) was born and 2 years after that Colby was born. Colby was the first child born to my Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Sabrina, Jimmy being the oldest sibling, my Dad being in the middle and Aunt Julie being the youngest. Colby was Grandma and Grandpa's boy, hands-down. Jimmy and Sabrina lived in Kanab and were able to spend a lot of time with my/our grandparents. Growing up, Colby spent his time helping them tend their garden and accompanying them to the ranch.

I mentioned I was 18 when my Grandpa Johnson passed away, my cousin Colby was 7. Colby made sure my Grandma was being taken care of. "Grandma you're lonely, come and get me so I can spend the night with you", he'd tell her. He made sure her lawn was mowed and that she didn't get lonely. He came over and ate lunch with her even in high school.

Grandma Johnson passed away in 2004, I was an adult at the time going through a divorce and Colby was 15. Grandma passing away was rough on everyone, especially Colby and his family. This was a dark period for the family for several years following Grandma's departure from this life. Many things contributed to this dark spot, trouble with the law, a couple of accidents, divorce, drug abuse, and mental illness. Colby went to live with his uncle for a time and was able to help get his life turned around and get educated. He came back to Kanab and started a business and kept his nose clean and was able to get his life turned around.

Colby left this earth and was received into the arms of our beloved Grandparents and our dear Heavenly Father. He is doing what he was unable to do on earth, serving a mission and sharing the gospel on the other side. Out of everyone in the Johnson family from his dad on down (and even on his mom's side of the family too), Colby was the first to pass away.

Maybe this hit a little too close to home for me or maybe I can still see him running through my grandparents backyard with his mop of white blonde hair. He picked up the hose and toddled behind my grandma and sprayed her as she shrieked and he laughed so hard.

"Jessica, your kids make me feel old", he told me this summer at the Swapp reunion in Sink Valley. I laughed and told him they made me feel old too and then I looked at him a laughed, "It's you that makes me feel old, I changed your diapers." Now I just feel old because he died first.

Colby, know that you were so very loved here on earth and missed by us all. Please hug my Grandparents for me, I still miss them everyday.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Me amo mi familia

Tell this boy to quite getting so big!
Silly hillbilly grin! ;)
He won best in show at the Pinewood Derby this year!
That mustache makes me grin! :{)
I love this fuzzy little face! :)
Silly hipster! ;)
I was looking back at the pictures I've taken so far this year and found one for every family member so far! We've been busy as always and try to spend every spare minute we have together. I love them all so much!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Catching up.....2012 in review

As this post title promises, I intend to catch up everyone on the happenings (that tend to happen whether I blog about it or not) of our little family. 2012 started out a little rocky, but turned out to be a decent year and 2013 is only looking better! :)


J. Lamb 2012
This little fuzzy family member left us this month. Puppy was about 19 years old and was a faithful and long-serving companion to Lee and beloved by the kids and I as well. He was so very old in doggy years and even though we knew his time was coming up, it was very hard to lose him. RIP Puppy dog.


J. Lamb 2012

J. Lamb 2012

Lee and I headed off to my hometown for a little "off season" adventure in celebration of my 34th birthday. I loved this so much! He and I don't often get a lot of time to spend together and this was just what I needed. We did silly tourist things that I haven't been able to do for years and just enjoyed each other.
J. Lamb 2012

Also this month (after some significant cajoling on Adree's part), we added a fuzzy new family member. Boo-boo is a miniature chihuahua that Lee adopted from a couple who had placed a Craigslist ad describing him as a "tiny little lover boy". That he definitely is. Boo-boo has to be one of the most well-mannered chihuahuas I've ever seen. He loves to be cuddled and spoiled and isn't snappy at strangers at all. Boo-boo, you have won our hearts. <3


This month welcomed some warmer weather and the start of soccer season for both Adree and Seth. The kids enjoyed Spring Break with their dad and step-mom (who came to visit) and we introduced Boo-boo to the joys of hiking in Pioneer Park (one of our favorite pastimes).


During this month we decided to take advantage of the decent weather and travel northward to spend some time with my sister and her family. We visited and awesome new park in their town and also went to the dinosaur museum! The kids had a blast and I enjoyed spending some time with my sissy, yay! :)

It's hard to believe it, but DrakeE turned 13 this month too! Wow, where does the time go?! We celebrated with both sets of Grandparents eating pizza at the Pizza Factory and breaking a pinata. I know, I know...but, that was all he asked for and we obliged. ;)


This month we celebrated this boy's 35th (in reverse) birthday in typical fashion, with a jam session party @The Rock on Main Medley. It was rocking good time (as you can see) and also the final hoorah for the "Rock". After months of not doing much, save for storing someone's music gear, Lee pulled the plug. Chalk it up to the bad economy, the complacency of our fellow townsfolk, or what-have-you, but it was an honest effort and if you're interested you can visit the wood-fired pizza joint that is currently leasing the space. (I've heard it's really good)
J. Lamb 2012
I also celebrated Mother's Day by enjoying my kids and taking pictures (you know I loved that!). They are great kids, if I do say so myself. ;)

We witnessed a solar eclipse and Drake officially graduated from Intermediate school.

We took a day trip to Kanab for Memorial Day weekend. It had been a couple of years since I had been able to do this and I enjoy teaching my kids respect for those that have moved on before us and remember how much I dearly love and miss my grandparents. We had a good time and I love getting to enjoy these small moments and create memories. :)


Hooray for swimming pools on hot days! This summer marked the summer that we got to enjoy our pool for the first time! The kids (and adults too) begged for pool time daily and we were happy to oblige :)

Silly Boo-boo enjoys the swimming pool too :)

We celebrated Father's Day too with a trip to Vegas for a little shopping too!


J. Lamb 2012
The kids and I traveled to Logan this month and they spent 2 whole weeks with their cousins and Aunt Shaunah. They had a blast, came home totally filthy, and had a ton of crazy stories for the ride home! I'd like to tell you that we had fun while they were gone, but no, Lee and I worked the entire time. :P Eh, such is life.
We also attended the Swapp meet reunion for 2012. I love to go and see relatives I don't get to see that often and hear stories and enjoy the quiet, picturesque scenery in Sink Valley.


J. Lamb 2012

August was an insanely busy month! We started out with a little vacation in Oceanside (our favorite beach destination) with a visit to Legoland in nearby Carlsbad and lots of fun family time. This was our first vacation in 2 years and it was greatly enjoyed by the entire family (as you can see)!

The kids went back to school in 3 different schools this year (oh, lucky me). Drake is an 8th grader in Middle School. Adree is a 7th grader in Intermediate School. Seth is a 4th grader in Elementary School. Actually, it's not that bad...just busy. Adree rides her bike to and from school everyday so that's easy. Drake gets a ride from Lee and either walks home or gets a ride when he can. Seth rides the bus to and from school now (hooray!!) and gets a ride to the stop in the morning, but walks a couple blocks home almost daily.

Our little diva turned 12 this month too! We celebrated by eating at Red Robin with Grandma Jan and Grandpa Lloyd and taking her and a friend to see a movie. Adree, we love you! <3


J. Lamb 2012
 This month we spent a day with Grandma Jan and Grandpa Lloyd hiking and picnicking by Coal Creek. We love that they live so close by and we get to see them so much. The kids love to hike and we had a great time!

 Grandpa is a huge tease and was amusing himself by throwing rocks and splashing Seth!
Adree and her friend spent several days camped at a busy corner in our neighborhood selling soda to raise money for victims of a flood in our area. These two also rode their bikes to the area and helped in the clean-up efforts with volunteer work as well!


J. Lamb 2012

J. Lamb 2012

J. Lamb 2012
 October was super busy as well. We took a trip to Cedar Mountain to enjoy the changing colors and did a little bit of wandering around Navajo Lake. Haha, well at least we did until we got tired of being bitten by dear flies!

J. Lamb 2012
Seth earned his "Wolf" in scouts and we hiked a little more while the weather was still warm enough to do so.

J. Lamb 2012
We rounded up my niece Ainsley and made our annual trek to Lagoon for Frightmares!! BOO! :)

We had lots of fun for Halloween too! Haha and this was despite the insane urge I had to make everyone's costumes this year! :o


J. Lamb 2012

We were busy with concerts for the kids (orchestra for Drake, band for Adree and choir for Seth), busy with work for Mom and Lee, busy in general! We enjoyed Thanksgiving with Grandma Jan and Grandpa Lloyd and on the Saturday afterwords...

Drake was baptized! My sister and her family came and both sets of grandparents and 2 of my cousins (1 from each side) and my aunt were all able to attend and support Drake and his decision. Drake took the missionary discussions and was ready and we couldn't be more proud! :)



In December we of course had Christmas and all the busy-ness that entails. I made several things, spent a lot of time at work and I think we all had a pretty good and laid-back Christmas. I personally cut out most things that stress me out and you know what? I think I enjoyed it all much more this year! :)

Also in December, our little monkey Sethee turned 10! I can't believe my baby is so big! We had originally planned to take the kids swimming and then go the Grandma's for dinner, but as you can see they had so much snow we just had to go sledding instead! We had soooo much fun too! :)

Looking back the year I can't believe how big Drake has gotten (he grew almost 6 inches this year!) and I can't believe how grown up Adree looks either! Even Seth (who hasn't grown much) looks less and less like a little kid! Yep, all in all 2012 wasn't a bad year at all! :)