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A New Life Begins Together

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It was Linda and my joy to witness the marriage of our daughter Jenna and the love of her heart Mike Owens this past weekend at St. Mary Church in Mt. Vernon Il. What a wonderful ceremony. Fr. John gave a very special homily that still has everyone quoting marriage’s “special words”. Even us old “married forever” folks. 🙂

The newlyweds honeymooned in New England, and I understand it was a very special time for them both.

Congratulations Jenna, Mike, and Sam!! We are so happy for each of you. May your marriage and life together be as beautiful as the love that brought you together!

Rachael Kreid from Nashville, IL was the wedding photographer, and she did just a wonderful job!
Click here to see some of Jenna and Mike’s wedding pictures.

Retirement – Let the Party Begin!!

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This whole retirement thing is wayyyyy too much work!

My plan had always been that when I got to retirement age I would just sort of slip into it. Not much fanfare or anything. Just sort of slip away…. Hah!!

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So anyway Todd and Jenna came over to help celebrate my birthday and we’re just sitting on the deck enjoying just a gorgeous day.

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Linda pops her head out the door and asks me to step inside for a minute. Dutifully I get up walk inside to the kitchen and there is a boat load of people in there yelling SURPRISE!! Family – Friends – Neighbors – they were all there cramming into our kitchen while I was outside with my feet up totally unaware of the world. Somehow Linda pulled off a surprise combination birthday / retirement party and I had been totally clueless!! It was a great party and apparently Linda had sent out the word that there would be no gifts but somehow a theme had started and if it wasn’t a bottle of my favorite brand of wine it was a bottle of very nice single malt scotch.

My birthday even started with breakfast in bed! Sam brought in a tray with my breakfast on it that he had made all by himself. Sliced Banana, toast with apple butter, sausage egg and cheese biscuit, with a cup of steaming hot coffee. What a kid.

And then she did it again the next day!! Two days in a row!!

While we were at church yesterday morning, 25+ people sneaked into our house!!

I unlocked the back door, walked into the kitchen and “SURPRISE” – AGAIN!! I don’t really think they should be doing things like that to an old retired guy with conditions. Suffice it to say – I was clueless again and had no idea.

This time it was old Measurex and Honeywell folks yelling their heads off. The party took on a “Measurex” sort of personality (that Jenna just loved), and once again vast quantities of adult beverages were consumed.

Linda put together a picture album that spanned from “the beginning” to “the end”. It was really quite touching. Guys wrote letters that she included and of course I did have to endure a good bit of “roasting” as well.

By the end of the party, Madi had a 55+ year old Marketing Manager doing no-hands somersaults in our hallway. Scary but definitely a party to remember.

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Thank you so much everyone!!

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DSCN4698 (640x480)My birthday and Retirement day were certainly days to remember.  From the Louisiana Jambalaya to a birthday cake that could have fed 100, I couldn’t have asked for a better celebration.

And to the most special lady ever….

Thank you, Linda!! You are the love of my life!

How you were able to put this all together and keep it a secret was truly amazing.

I’ve actually been retired now a few days and I’m finding that the learning curve for this new job of mine isn’t very steep at all.  I think I’ll be able to get the hang of this real soon so I can finally find my way back out to the deck, put my feet up, and start this retirement opportunity of mine properly – at least before cold weather sets in!! 🙂

 

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Happy New Year – 2013!!

The Johnson Chronicles of 2012.

And Happy Birthday Linda! Great Gramma Bev came for Christmas this year and was able to stay long enough to help celibrate Linda’s birthday. A great time at the Cheese Cake Factory!

And Sam taught Grandpa how to fold a proper paper airplane

And to start off the summer there was PuttPutt Golf and of course the St. Max Festival!

And – Wow! the festival just wore us out! So Grandma and Grandpa decided to take a break and headed to Nashville and the Grand’Ole Opry for their anniversary!

                                                                                    We even saw Carrie Underwood in concert!

And the Corvette Museum!

In September we made a road trip back to Cherokee where Great Gramma Bev and I celebrated our birthdays!

And Madi added a new member to their family – Shadow the Rat!

And on Halloween, Out came the spooks as well

as Todd the Jack-O-Lantern sculpter!

                 and here we all are – a family pile!

And Madi is now playing the violin in the school orchestra. We had the pleasure of attending her Christmas concert this year and it was fantastic!! Thanks sweetheart!

Not only did Madi make her grandparents proud in concert, she also took first place on the balance beam in her latest gymnastic meet. Way To Go Madi !!

Our Christmas was at Jenna’s this year and it was a great time – well at least for most. The packages were opened, Christmas dinner had been prepared and eaten, and then poor Linda managed to catch the flu. She was very sad, and infact she is just now starting to recover a week later. A VERY nasty bug!

It was a good year for the Johnsons thanks to all the love from family and friends. Thanks to everyone for being a part of our lives in 2012, and we wish everyone a very happy, healthy, and prosperous new year in 2013.

Scary Obituary

Even if you have seen this before, reading it again serves as a stark reminder of where we are headed.

IN GOD WE TRUST

Scary Obituary

In 1887 Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the
University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the
Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior: “A democracy is always
temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent
form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until
the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous
gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority
always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from
the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally
collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a
dictatorship.”

“The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the
beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200
years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.”

The Obituary follows:

Born 1776, Died 2012

It doesn’t hurt to read this several times.
Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law in
St. Paul, Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning
the last Presidential election:

Number of States won by: Obama: 19 McCain: 29
Square miles of land won by: Obama: 580,000 McCain: 2,427,000
Population of counties won by: Obama: 127 million McCain: 143 million
Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Obama: 13.2 McCain: 2.1

Professor Olson adds: “In aggregate, the map of the territory
McCain won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens
of the country.

Obama territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in low
income tenements and living off various forms of government
welfare…”

Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the
“complacency and apathy” phase of Professor Tyler’s definition of
democracy, with some forty percent of the nation’s population
already having reached the “governmental dependency” phase.

If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million
criminal invaders called illegal’s – and they vote – then we can say
goodbye to the USA in fewer than five years.

[…] apathy is the greatest danger to our freedom..

This is truly scary

Dishonorable Disclosures

I received a link to this YouTube video from an old Navy friend that I have recently reconnected with after some 30+ years.

This is a lengthy video (22 minutes) but it’s worthwhile.

In my opinion, it is one of the most important reasons to make sure that this present administration does not have another four years to keep on doing the same thing to our military, intelligence community and national security.

Please register and make your presence felt on election day – Tuesday November 6, 2012.

Intelligence and Special Operations forces are furious and frustrated at how President Obama and those in positions of authority have exploited their service for political advantage. Countless leaks, interviews and decisions by the Obama Administration and other government officials have undermined the success of our Intelligence and Special Operations forces and put future missions and personnel at risk.

The unwarranted and dangerous public disclosure of Special Forces Operations is so serious — that for the first time ever — former operators have agreed to risk their reputations and go ‘on the record’ in a special documentary titled “Dishonorable Disclosures.” Its goal is to educate America about serious breaches of security and prevent them from ever happening again.

Psalm 2012

I wish I knew the original author, but sadly I do not. Linda passed this anonymous posting along to me this afternoon.

Memorial Day – 2012

Whew!! It was a Hot One this year, wasn’t it? 90+ degrees and Linda thought it was the perfect time to trim the bushes! Definately a 2-Beer task!

Anyway… Todd, Shelly, and Madi are making a road trip back to Iowa over this Memorial Day for a little family time with Great Gramma Bev, as well as Uncle Jim, Aunt Gayle, and the wee and not so wee cousins.

So since Jenna needed a bit’o down time and the Johnsons weren’t leaving until Sunday, we were able to snag both grand children on Saturday for a round of PuttPutt Golf! It was a great time – albeit a Hot one.

Madi’s hang’n with Great Grandma, and Sam got to stay with us for a couple of days. Thanks for hanging out with us, Buddy. It was a great time.