Meet Our Family
Located on a 40-acre farm in beautiful Central Oregon, the Johnson Family includes Dwight and Marilee as well as their seven boys and two girls. In addition to enjoying all of the outdoor activities that this area has to offer, they enjoy horseback riding, fiddle playing, tomahawk throwing, target shooting, bike riding, hiking, swimming in the pond, growing hay, raising goats, and making all of the products that people know and love Bend Soap Company for. They are having so much fun in this venture!
Dwight and Marilee
What's better than running the world's greatest business? How about true love and raising seven super studs and two darling little girls for starters!
Long before meeting Marilee, Dwight was a first-class martial artist, used to jump out of airplanes, scuba dived in exotic locations around the world, and was always looking for his next big adrenaline fix! But, he’s always been driven by a strong entrepreneurial push, too.
In business, Dwight helped manage his family's 3rd generation glass-decorating company near Los Angeles, California. He then traveled the West Coast making and selling pine furniture and weathervanes at craft shows until his health was shot. After relocating to beautiful central Oregon, his health returned when he was introduced to a global nutrition company that gave him his life back. His passion for health and nutrition continued to grow as he pursued a career with the nutrition company and began helping others as well.
After getting married, he and Marilee "settled down" by starting a family, building homes, and starting two more businesses including a local window-washing business. Today Dwight is able to spend every day with his beautiful, adoring wife and nine amazing kids as they live life to the fullest.
Marilee grew up on a hobby fish farm in upstate New York and then moved to California for college where she received a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting. She had a crush on Dwight for ten years before the two crossed paths in Oregon, bonded over their mutual love for the Lord, family, and business, and got married. She loves working alongside Dwight in all his creative ventures and ideas, often being the implementer and administrator.
She enjoys the creativity involved in raising a large family (like, how do you feed 9 kids and your husband breakfast? By cooking 40 eggs and a huge pot of oatmeal, that's how!). Her other hobbies include taking pictures of her photogenic subjects, blogging, playing the piano, and listening to Dwight's ideas. She's always enjoyed parties and says that she's been blessed because "the Lord gave me a party of my very own!"
Living a healthy lifestyle is something that’s important to the Johnson family. They’ve raised their own beef, pork, and chickens for meat and eggs, ground their own wheat to make bread, use non-toxic cleaners, and try to be aware of what they’re putting in and on their bodies. In 2007, Dwight and Marilee welcomed their very first goats to their 40-acre farm in Central Oregon and began their journey with Bend Soap Company. Learn more about their personal story for how Bend Soap Company came about here.
The leader of the pack, Burnell loves to teach, is inspirational to his little brothers, and rocks at the piano. He loves music and is constantly putting something on for us all to listen to, or for him to pick out on the piano. He's also fascinated with projects and equipment. He often boasts that he can run almost every piece of machinery on the property, which is true: tractors, bobcats, mowers, etc. He's a stud!
Burnell has recently transferred his "Head Goat-Milker" title to his younger brother, Orin, so that he can work in the soap house a bit more. Burnell's latest adventures include building his own business, creating videos, and buying his first truck.
Orin has recently begun to take on more responsibility on the farm with goat-milking being his "cup of tea." He leads a crew of younger brothers and is learning leadership skills including inspiration and patience. Orin also loves to read and likes how easy Math is for him (where did we get this guy??!) He also enjoys doing backflips everywhere regardless of whether he's on the trampoline or in the middle of the grocery store. Orin finds beat-boxing fascinating and is a pro at entertaining the little guys with his gift for making them laugh.
Chance is one of the oldest trio of boys and is also the leader of Pack 2 which consists of himself and his sidekick, Ty, who follows him everywhere. Chance is very creative and is always coming up with fun games to play, so who could blame him? In his free time, you'll find him making up some random game, making laps around the hayfield (for exercise), or acting and singing with his big brothers. Occasionally, you'll hear him serenading the goats! We've nicknamed him, "The Goat Whisperer," since he has such a way with the goats; he's patient and calm and they seem to just love him.
Chance still holds the record for being able to build soap-boxes the fastest. He's a machine! Although he may have some competition from Orin, Quint, and Royal in the future. They're the competitive ones!
Ty is constantly making us laugh at his funny antics and hilarious comments. He loves a good grapple and is always punching and showing how tough he is. He has to keep up with his 4 older brothers! I wouldn't mess with Ty. Although, for all his toughness, he‘s also a little sweetheart, always telling Mama how pretty she is and wanting to take her on dates often. Ty is kind-hearted and a real servant as well, giving foot massages to Mama and back rubs to Daddy regularly. If you need anything, Ty is your man.
During the summers you can find Ty poring over the garden plants with Quint, or spending countless hours in the pond with his brothers. It's a rough life, man!
Quint's personality is as laid back as they come, with that sly mischievousness. We find him quite the entertainer. He's built like a brick and was given the nickname “Quintus Cerilius Maximus” because of his stout physique. He's become an avid gardener - buying seeds and plants and working the soil alongside Mama. He's also our water maintenance man, always helping turn on sprinklers, wheel lines, pumps, etc., especially when Dad is gone. We see a landscaper in the making!
Quint is also the leader of the third pack which consists of himself and Wyatt. These two can be found in the garden, moving irrigation hoses, exploring up at the goats, or any number of places on the property. Quint is always in project mode and is quite the accomplisher.
Wyatt is our little crazy man these days! He has been really developing his fun, happy, and often goofy side. He always has a good attitude and is a big helper to Mama in the kitchen. Last spring, he "graduated" from dishwasher-unloader to goat milker and has his special goat, Goldy, that he milks. He and Vienna are two peas in a pod; he's a very patient big brother and helps her with rights and wrongs.
Vienna Rose Cheri is our little flower. If you were to ask her what it's like to have 6 protective, doting, older brothers she would tell you she loves it! You'll often hear her say "Where are my boys?" as she seeks them out. She's bright and cheery and all go, chasing her big brothers and trying to do what they do. She mastered the "bounce" on the trampoline at a record age and regularly climbed out of her bed starting at 9 months, so you know she's a go-getter. Now she has a little sister, too, and has simply adored having another bundle to "mother."
Our 8th child (7th BOY!)! What a little charmer he is, cute to the bone, sweet and content. Royal adds so much life and joy to our crew. Vienna is a fabulous little "mother" to her buddy. He's also developing a little commanding spirit, in which he goes around taking care of "business" like feeding goats, helping with trash chores... Anything that needs to be done! He'll be a force to reckon with! You can often hear him singing out in a loud voice as well. He’s a musical one for sure!
Born in March 2017, Holly Victoria Eileen is our newest little angel. Holly is number 9 and our second girl! Though just a baby, Holly is an absolute blessing.The Lord knew we needed a sweet, well-tempered, quiet baby who sleeps like a champ! Holly has THE most engaging eyes and the brightest smile and is as happy as can be. Scooting around, being carried by everyone, and now even packed by Daddy to help with chores, Holly is always the trooper. She’s a content and happy baby that’s constantly got a smile on her face!