Saturday, September 3, 2011

Disappearing Stuff and the Secret Ways of Teenage Girls

Recently, I read about the experience of one of my wife’s cousins who postulated that when you have children, in order to be able to have at least one pair of scissors in the drawer when you need them, you would need to buy more than 18 pairs of scissors. That’s an interesting theory. It follows right in line with another theory I posted here a couple of years ago: The Law of Diminishing Utensils.

In order to understand how this law works, let me explain first Johnson's Law of Excessive Utensil Usage which states: A child will use utensils in direct proportion to the number of utensils owned, multiplied by 5. The Law of Diminishing Utensils further states: The amount of utensils owned will decrease at a rate in direct correlation to the number of children living in the home. We have 4. That means that on any given day, we will lose 13 pieces of utensils.

For example, on that day I had loaded the dishwasher with nearly 20 forks. After they were clean, I put them back into the drawer. All 20 of them (remember that number). A few hours later I wanted a fork, opened the drawer and found but two forks. Just two. I looked in the sink. No forks. I looked in the dishwasher. No forks. I asked my 4 children, "Have you guys used any forks?" This is what they said:
Josh: "Parker used some."
Parker: "No I didn't! You did!"
Josh: "No I didn't Parker, you used one to stab ants."
Parker "That was Alex!"
Alex: "It was not, it was a beetle."
Josh: "Well Parker still used some"
Parker: "Yeah, to eat chicken nuggets"
Marcus: "I like forks! Can I have some skittles?"

This law also applies to food, socks, hidden candy, and money. Basically if you have children everything will disappear along with any knowledge they might have had about where it went.

Speaking of kids and theories, there is another theory out there that suggests that having a dog is more desirable than having a child. What are they thinking!?! I saw a website where someone had listed 45 reasons why having a dog is more desirable than having a child. Among their reasons were:
- They eat less
- Don’t want to wear your clothes
- They don’t mind when you pass gas
- They don’t grab everything in the grocery store

Kids are way better than dogs! People think that kids embarrass you in public. Do you know what dogs do in public? I mean, besides sniff other dogs' butts? They're disgusting! But to reply to the woefully misinformed souls out there who still think that a dog is better than a kid I offer my rebuttal to the argument listed above:

- Dogs eat less? Really? Have they ever tried to feed a 2 year old?
- Dogs don’t wear your clothes because they eat them. (This is probably the reason they eat less dog food).
- Kids also don’t mind if you pass gas. In fact they will join you! (Unless Mom shows up, then its every man for himself).
- They don't grab everything in stores because they are too busy sniffing butts.
And finally...
Dogs eat poop. Argument over, kids win.

I suppose I should get down to business and explain today’s title. As a marriage and family therapist I am continually fascinated by how relationships work, how attraction happens, and how people interact. I am always searching for new insights to help me understand relational dynamics better. Once my Brother-in-Law sent me a book titled, “Capt. Kirks Guide to Women”.
While that gem hasn't stood up under the scrutiny of empirically-based research or the APA, I believe the Space Cowboy was on to something. Recently, however Neisha overheard Josh and Parker discussing the latest research on garnering the affections of women. What follows is top secret and should only be used with great caution!

They started out by talking about how girls are too emotional and they cry a lot. Then Josh said that could actually be to your advantage. This is pretty much how it went:
Josh: "If you go up to a girl who is sad and ask her what is wrong and talk to her she likes it. She may even give you a hug if you help her to feel better."
Parker was very interested in this tidbit of knowledge. “Really! What do you say?”
Josh: “Yep. You just say stuff to make them feel better.”
Parker: “Will she give you a kiss on the cheek?”
Josh: ”Sometimes.”
Parker: "Sweet!"

I can't wait to hear how that one pans out. Sheesh. Well, in the interest of time that's all the news that's fit to print so until next time hide the forks!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Father's Day Edition

Father's Day, belt lore, and why women wear high heels-

Today is Father's Day. What a day. Maybe for some dads it isn't a big deal. But at my house it's a national holiday! My wonderful boys have been saving up money for weeks in order to get me what they called "the perfect gift". I was intrigued. Even Marcus, my precocious 5 year old has been seen scavenging the couch cushions for pennies, nickels, and dimes. My waiting has finally paid off! Today after church the boys brought in a bunch of presents and in the middle of them sat a huge one. The big one. The present that they'd been saving weeks for. The present that was so big it towered over all the other presents. The big kahuna. And there they all were, pointing to it with big grins on their faces. I never would have guessed, but ladies and gentlemen I am now the proud owner of a giant jar of cheese balls. It's huge! There has to be 9,000,000 cheese balls in there! I could make a garland out of them! Needless to say I was totally excited. Among my other cool gifts were matching hot wheels cars, 3 secret boxes, some nifty markers and pens, a birdhouse (built by Alex), an EFY DVD from Josh and. . .wait for it. . .a trebuchet. Alex built one at scout day camp. I discovered that the trebuchet can launch a cheese ball about 20 ft. So later we all went outside and I launched cheeseballs at them while they jumped on the trampoline. Life is good. Neish got me a way cool (and desperately needed) grill cover. Our grill takes a beating in the Arizona heat and she found the perfect one.

In other news Josh just back from EFY. he hasn't stopped talking about it yet. He spent a week with 700 other 14-18 year olds. He made a lot of new friends, met a lot of girls, and came home a better person. He even bore his testimony in front of all of them! It's amazing what a camp like that does for a teen. I see teens all the time who do nothing but play video games, have no goals, no dreams, and are not even planning on graduating from high school. What a contrast to see so many youth, heads held high, knowing who they are, knowing where they are headed in life. Very inspiring.

And now for the tidbits...
In Marcus news, I watched him learn the art of putting on a belt. He kept trying to stick it through backwards or kept trying to find the loop in the back. This wouldn't have been so funny except he kept turning around in circles like a dog. Finally dad came to the rescue. When I showed him where to start he chuckled and said, "oh I never knew."

Alex and Marcus have become entrpenures by way of the ever popular "Home Store" which is basically a table filled with um, stuff. Usually it's toys that the kids don't want anymore or something they made out of macaroni. But these two have taken Home Store-ing to a new level: they are selling all the stuff they had to pick up around the house! See, they get charged for stuff they leave laying around so I guess they figured that they would charge us for it before we had a chance to charge them! Not bad business I think.

And finally, a lesson in why women wear high heels-
We recently went to a concert and there was a bassist who looked like a boy and I thought he was a boy until I saw she was wearing high heels. I didn't think much of it after that. Well a few minutes later Alex leans over and whispers, "That guy is wearing high heels!" I just smiled knowing at least we were on the same page. A few minutes later I leaned over to him and asked why he thought that guy was wearing high heels. Without losing a beat he pointed to the bass and replied, "So he can reach the top of that thing."

I guess that's all the news that's fit to print so until next time, forget the ladder and get yourself some pumps.

The Johnsons

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Updates and a night with Mr. Manners

A chilly November greetings to you all!

Yesterday was a fantastic day. It was a balmy 63 degrees and Parker's last football game. I've included a couple pictures below. One is of him diving just before he snagged the flag of his opponent. The next one is of his QB (also his best friend) giving him a hand off:

And speaking of Parker, he finally received his Arrow of Light award in scouts. It was a great night, he was really proud. Now it's on to boy scouts, camp outs, and four more years of me enjoying sleeping outside in the cold. Bring it! He also got to go up in a hot air balloon which is a first for anyone in our family.

In Alex news, he was the 3rd person in his entire grade at school to make it into the "Sun" which is a big deal. You have to pass off math fact timed tests on addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, and mixed facts. All the tests are over 100 problems long and you have to get 100%. He is a study in contrasts. On the one hand, he gets straight A's. On the other, he is the class clown. He'd probably get in trouble more except the teacher is laughing as much as the students. He always gets picked to do class reading because he hams it up so much. Definitely a Johnson trait. :)

Josh is almost done with his required merit badges for his eagle and still loving scouts. He is also loving being a big brother and tormenting his little brothers. Let me give you an example: Parker and Alex wanted to make a password for their profile on the computer and Josh kept guessing their passwords. This was quite a feat given that Alex was the one creating them. Here's how it went:
Alex: Okay mom I have my password!
Josh: is it "cheese"?
Alex: Dang it! (type type type type) Ok, I have another one.
Josh: is it "george"?
Alex: Ah! Stop it! (typetypetypetypetype) Ok, you won't guess this one!
Josh: Um, how about "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"
Alex: Josh! Sheesh. (typetypetypetypetypetype) Ok try and guess this one
Josh: Is it "Josh sucks"?
Alex: Yep! You sure do!
All in all I think Alex had the last laugh but boy Josh was making some good guesses.

A couple other Joshisms...
Last week Neish took the young women and young men to St. George, and a bunch of the young women wanted to ride with her. Then Josh decided to ride with someone else. Without another word, three of the girls who were going to ride with Neish amazingly ended up riding in the same car as him. Apparently he didn't notice this strange migration. There have been several other strange changes that come over girls when Josh is around. We are hoping he remains blissfully ignorant. For another 10 years. One other tidbit about Josh. While in St. George he attended a free-running competition and spent some time watching lots of really good people compete. One of the best guys in the world was there putting on demonstrations and clinics all day. He was teaching the kids how to do wall running backflips and how to do all kinds of crazy tricks and flips over boxes and up walls. And when I finally talked to him last night and asked how it went, his reply was "good." That was it. I guess my son is finally a teenager.

And now to explain the remainder of our title. Tonight we were playing "the Manners game" which is a game my wife invented to try and teach our boys some culture. You see, dinner is a strange and sometimes terrifying event at our house. I've decided that boys do not naturally come pre-wired to use utencils, chew with their mouth closed, or even sit in their chair in the normal "human" way. So as I said, Neisha made up this game to try and instill basic table manners. It goes like this: The boys go outside and ring the doorbell. Neisha or I then answer the door and they are supposed to ask politely to come in. We then invite them to eat dinner and they are supposed to graciously accept, sit down, eat the right way, say "please" and "thank you" and "may I?" Well tonight was kind of a flop. For starters it is only 40 degrees outside and blowing. I answered the door and Alex, Parker, and Marcus, all said through chattering teeth, "It's about time man! We're freezing!" Score: 0. On our way to the table, Alex politely asks, "Can I use your bathroom?" This sends Marcus into fits of laughter and he asks (politely) if we can turn the lights off while Alex is in there. Once at the table, Alex asked what we were having and I said, "Green bean casserole."
"My, that's disgusting" replied Alex. Score: -2. Meanwhile Josh is squatting on his chair and using a serving spoon to eat. It was about here that I figured out that my kids were doing all this on purpose and that they were trying to be as non-mannered as possible. And just as I was about to say something about it, Parker, who had been thinking of something polite to say blurted out "Dad, you're hot." That did it. Everyone started laughing and we gave up the manners game. Sigh. At least they all cleaned their plates up and said thanks for dinner.

That's about it from the ranch so until next time remember it's not polite to sing with your mouth full.

Love, the Johnsons

Friday, October 1, 2010

Batman Crying meets the Underwear King

Greetings Bonehead fans! - that would be both of you.

There has been a a lot going on here at the desert oasis and I figure it's time to update the old blog.

In soccer news, all four boys are playing and somehow, dad got bamboozled into coaching three of them. So pretty much I live at the soccer field during the week. This is josh's last year in the rec league and it's pretty neat to see the effect being on a competition team has had on him. He usually plays striker or goalie and has a real aggressive edge now. In one game he started as a striker and had scored two goals in less than 90 seconds! Parker and Alex aren't a whit behind him in their team. Parker is turning out to be a fantastic goalie and is one of the fastest on the team and Alex is an absolute rock as the center midfielder. He frequently charges in to a group of older boys, only to pop out a moment later still with the ball! What's really fun is that he's still shorter than most household insects. Go Sharkbait!

To explain today's title, let me just remind our readers that many years ago my family was cursed by a gypsy and ever since weirdness has shadowed my home like a storm cloud.

Alex is a complete ham when he gets an audience and gets never-ending amusement from his own jokes. Oftentimes I have found him in the bathroom making faces or singing, or once standing on the toilet seat with nothing but a towell wrapped around his head like a big yellow turban. Not sure about terrorist material but it was certainly terrifying to walk in on. I digress. The other night he came out to tell us goodnight wearing a pair of transformer pajamas and every pair of underwear he owns. On the outside of his pajamas. Ridiculous doesn't even BEGIN to capture it. What's more, he pretended like everything was normal. So I told him that with that much padding he wouldn't even feel it if he got kicked in the, well, the area usually protected by underwear. Josh, being the exemplar older brother volunteered to test the theory with his overly large nerf axe. Alex challenged him and stood there, arms crossed, legs spread in defiance. It didn't quite work as well as I thought it would. So while he is rolling around on the floor in pain Marcus snuck up behind Josh wearing his batman mask. That didn't turn out so well for batman. So today Batman tried a new weapon, the rubber snake bat-whip. It worked great until he whapped himself in the head with it. I should have taken a picture because it's not often you see Batman cry, especially after he hurts himself using his own weapons.

In other news, Marcus has become the official treasurer of the Johnson household. He accomplishes this by taking things that he believes are valuable and hiding them in his "secret spots" located all over the house. The other day I couldn't find my ipod and looked everywhere for it. Sure enough Marcus had taken it "to keep it safe Daddy" and hidden it in a spot between the couch cushions that I didn't even know existed.

Other than that, everything is going great. We're excited for Halloween and will begin celebrating this weekend! Woohoo!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Cheaper by the Dozen

Greeting Boneheads! As always, it's been too long since I wrote in this and I have no excuses. At least none that fit real well. Life has been great though and everyone is happy, healthy, and nuts. So let's talk about today's title. Now, if you’re talking about the latest sale at Walmart on soda, or Dunkin Donuts, then yes the above statement is true. But if you happen to be talking about how many boys are going to sleep over at your home then no, it is not true. In the slightest. Here’s the equation: 1boy x 1birthday = 8 boys. Further, 8 boys + 3 left out brothers = 2 more sleepovers. To any of you who have children you will understand this equation immediately. For those of you who do not yet have kids, I pity you. To truly understand the equation though, you must understand the Law of Chaos/Catastrophe which states: The number of catastrophes and the amount of chaos generated by one boy multiplies by 20 when that boy comes within proximity of other boys. Throw some sugar in the mix and yeh’ve got yerself a real hootenanny! Speaking of a herd of boys, I wonder if there is an actual name for a group of boys. A gaggle? A peck? A murder? A pride? Hmmm. How about A catastrophe of boys. Yes, that works well.

So far, the party has only been in full swing for about 30 minutes and already we had our first catastrophe. Let me explain. We have a trampoline in our backyard which we sank into the ground (for safety). Well, I went to see what the Catastrophe of boys were up to and arrived in time to see 8 of them all standing around the outside of the trampoline. Then someone yelled “Jump!” I thought, “how fun, this should be good” until I saw the huge pile of gravel they had piled in the center of the mat. At that moment my life went into slow motion as I watched, helplessly as thousands of tiny rocks exploded into the air and then … into the lawn only to be found the next time I mow it. Sigh. So in a moment of rare control I asked Alex if the next time he had a really cool idea like that if he would tell me BEFORE he did it. Double sigh.

Other than that, we just returned from a 2 week road trip to Indiana, and you can expect a photo essay on that experience. Suffice it to say that we are already planning another one!