Family Pictures | in our own backyard

We did family pictures in our own backyard this year.  Both girls were sick, it was cold outside and it just didn’t seem worth the effort to load everyone in the car to drive to a pretty park when our own backyard had a few colorful leaves and our favorite spots to sit.  As I was picking my favorite ones I realized we didn’t any of just the girls together and we didn’t get any of just me and Forest.  But the ones we did get are precious and I can’t wait to get some printed for our walls and add them to our Christmas card.

These are a few of my favorites.  And if you scroll far enough you’ll get to see a few outtakes!



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All the FALL things

We had such a fun time picking apples and pumpkins this year.  When we find a place we like we tend to stick with them year after year so it’s no surprise that we decided on Battleview Orchards in Freehold, NJ for our apples and Cheesequake Farms in Old Bridge, NJ for our pumpkins.

Peyton had so much fun picking apples this year.  She was running up and down the rows of trees and begging for another bite of apple.  She wasn’t the biggest fan of picking the apples herself but she most definitely enjoyed eating them!  Sloane fell asleep facing forward in the carrier just as we were paying, I couldn’t believe it but I guess when you’re tired, you’re tired! Forest made homemade apple cider later in the week with the apples we picked and it was absolutely delicious.  He did a great job!

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Thoughts on Thursday on Friday – 10.21.2016

Well here’s another week that got away from me!  I’m finding it harder to stay consistent with blogging now that I’m staying home.  I’m officially making it a goal to be better at blogging again!

We had friends visiting from Indiana at the beginning of the week.  Peyton had her first trip into NYC, we went to the beach TWO times (because the weather was too fabulous not to!),  and enjoyed a double date night to a Knicks basketball game.

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Thoughts on Thursday – 9.22.2016

Happy fall!  Officially!  I just finished decorating and I’m attempting to find some fall candles.  I could have sworn we still had some from last year.

Check out a few pictures from a beautiful evening last week.

Gossip that I’m sure you’ve already heard – Brad and Angelina are splitting.

I made a pot of coffee yesterday morning (we have the tiniest coffee pot so it made a total of 2 cups) but it was absolutely terrible.  I admit that I haven’t made coffee in several months but making coffee isn’t rocket science.  Or at least I didn’t think it was!

Tomorrow will mark one whole week home of being home with Peyton!  We have had so much fun – counting, ABC’s, reading, story time at the library, a trip to the park, visiting my old office (yes, not even a week after my last day we went to visit the ladies I worked with!).

I’ve been making my way through the house, piling items into a few boxes (and mentally making note of bigger items) for a yard sale we plan to have in a few weeks.

And speaking of boxes, I packed up all of Peyton’s 12 month clothes and added it to the mountain of totes in the basement.  She could still fit into a few shirts, dresses, and pants (even at almost 16 months) but for the most part she’s outgrown all of them so I cleared out her dresser!

I just learned about Swagbucks.  Have you heard of it?  Is it worth it to join?  Let me know in the comments below!

We plan on going to a BBQ Showdown Sunday afternoon.  Forest has the huge flyer posted on our refrigerator so we don’t forget!

Until next time – Cindy

2015 Family Pictures [that I never shared]

So way back at the end of October we headed out on a beautiful Saturday afternoon to take a few family pictures [with just a tripod and the timer] for our Christmas card.

We got several good pictures!

I ordered our Christmas cards with those good pictures and I mailed them out as quickly as I could.

And I was just thinking that I never shared our pictures!  So, for my memory, here are our 2015 family pictures!

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pumpkins & apples & costumes – oh my!

Our weekends this October have been jam-packed with all things fall this year!  And I’ve been a terrible blogger so instead of individual posts y’all get one big post with all of our fall activities!  Ready?!


Forest and I have gone to the same pumpkin patch – Cheesequake Farms – the past few years so we decided we’d keep up the tradition and take Peyton for her first trip.  We stopped by after church at the beginning of the month and it was a beautiful afternoon.  Peyton was awake for the hayride back to the pumpkin patch but I was wearing her in the carrier (which has magic powers that make her sleepy) and she fell asleep soon after we started walking around.  I found a cute pumpkin just a couple minutes in.  Forest found a good sized pumpkin not too long after but he’s notorious for changing his mind so he put it next to a headstone so he could come back for it if he didn’t find another one he liked better.  We traipsed through all the vines and pumpkins big and small we found a cute one the perfect size for Peyton.  Forest contemplated a handful of pumpkins but in the end settled on the one he hid earlier.

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Next on our agenda – APPLE PICKING!

This was sort of an impromptu trip on a chilly but gorgeous Saturday afternoon.  We’ve never gone apple picking but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for the longest time so I Googled some nearby (picked the one that was closest and had the nicest website) and we headed out.  We ended up going to Battleview Orchards and had a great time!  It was definitely chilly – we were all bundled up and we threw a blanket over Peyton to keep the wind out of her face – but we took our time strolling down the rows of red delicious and golden delicious.  We hadn’t heard of the other apples that were available for picking so we stuck to what we knew and we weren’t disappointed!  There were so many apples on the trees (even more on the ground under most of the golden delicious trees) and most of them were really big.  We saw other people eating apples as they were leaving so Forest and I each grabbed a red delicious to try – yummy!!! – and we split a golden delicious while we walked to the end of the rows.  We picked more apples than we knew we could eat but justified it by deciding to make applesauce with the ones we didn’t eat.  (Forest made the applesauce just last week and he did wonderful.)  Peyton slept during most of our time in the orchard since I was wearing her in the (magical) carrier.  Battleview Orchards has a store just down the road with apple everything plus more so we obviously bought more than we needed but enjoyed it all – apple cider doughnuts, apple cider, apple pie, apple butter and a caramel apple.

Apple picking 2015

Apple picking 2015

Apple picking 2015

Apple picking 2015

Apple picking 2015

Apple picking 2015

Apple picking 2015

Apple picking 2015

Apple picking 2015

Apple picking 2015

Apple picking 2015

Apple picking 2015


Just last weekend we carved our pumpkins.  We usually have no idea what we want to carve but always end up with something really cool and this year we did it again! :)  I wanted to Peyton’s hand print or foot print on her pumpkin but she’s just so squirmy that we decided doing a “P” would be easier.  I drew the outline on the pumpkin and Forest carved it out while Peyton and I watched.  Forest found the Gru + minion carving online and tackled it with near-perfection.  I only heard him say ‘oops’ a handful of times as he cut too far or sliced his pumpkin as he was carving.  I couldn’t decide what to do but I’ve been on a woodland creature kick since that’s the theme of Peyton’s nursery and I ended up finding the fox outline to do for mine.  Indie enjoyed eating the pumpkin guts and little carvings that didn’t make it into the trash.

pumpking carving 2015 (1)

pumpking carving 2015 (3)

pumpking carving 2015 (5)

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Peyton’s school had a costume parade this afternoon.  I left Peyton’s costume (a colts cheerleader!) when I dropped her off this morning and the teacher’s changed all the kids just before the parade started at 3.  I got to the school just before 3 and waited in the parking lot with the other parents and grandparents.  A little while later, the Director came out to tell us to make a big circle in the parking lot because the kids were getting ready to come out and would do a few laps around so everyone could see.  Obviously Peyton and most of the kids in her class can’t walk so they were all in strollers.  She looked like such a grump when they first came outside (the teacher later told me they had to wake her up from her nap and she wasn’t a happy camper – can you blame her?!) but I swooped in and she snuggled in my arms while we hung out for a little while.  They had a DJ in the side yard so all of the older kids were gettin’ their groove on and we watched out of the window in her classroom.


And that concludes The Johnson’s 2015 Fall activities recap!  Halloween is tomorrow so we’ll be dressing Peyton up to help us pass out candy!

Until next time — Cindy

*all images are original to a view from the shore