Monthly Archives: February 2012

Daddy Daughter Date


We tried to find a father/daughter dance here in MN, like the one in MP that Daniel and Claire went to last year, but no luck.  I think there was one in like November or something, but I wasn’t looking then.  I assumed that there would be one in February for Valentine’s day.  I probably just couldn’t find it.  SOOOO….we made up our own date.  It is kinda nice to live an a big city where they have stuff like children’s theater!  Daniel got tickets for he and Claire to see Harold and the Purple Crayon.  Of course she had to have a new dress and necklace from Daddy.  He also wrote her a sweet note.  She has been so excited about her date.  And, like all girls, when the time came and she was all dressed up and Daddy was all dressed up, she got super shy and excited.  It was adorable to see her blush and bloom under the praise of her daddy.  What a beautiful spiritual picture!  When we can come to our father pure, because of Christ,  and hear his praise over us and then be drawn into fellowship with Him and into His arms.  It really is wonderful to see Claire with her Daddy and know that Daniel is making such a huge impression on her.  How she sees him will be a big part of how she sees Christ. I took pictures, so you guys can see, too.

One more sweet story.  We went to a restaurant with the kids the other day and after Josiah had eaten his food he asked to sit in my lap.  I usually don’t let them, because then everyone wants out of their seats and to sit in my lap.  But the other two were still into their food pretty good, so I let him.  He climbed up and gave me a huge kiss and said, “Momma, I can’t stop loving you!”  Awwwww!!!  I melted. I don’t even know where he heard that. It is moments like these that make all the craziness totally and 100% worth it.   It is very true that little boys love their mommies.  Aaron will come find me all on his own and hug my leg and say, “I wuv you, Mommy”.  I don’t know how long that will last, but I will cherish every single “I love you” while I have them! 🙂  Here are some pics for your reward for reading! 🙂


a messy kitchen drawer is just the place to hide your secret weapon!!

silly cousin time. this was from christmas. miss my fam.

sibling train

Claire before her date with daddy. Aaron photo bombed her. brothers. 🙂

Claire with her handsome date!!


love those two. like a lot.


A Sermon


Don’t worry, I’m not going to preach you one. hehe!  But, I want you to listen to one. It was preached this past weekend at Bethlehem by a BCS professor. This one is short when measured by John Piper standards, but is so amazing.  Some of you know what Amanda and Hayden have been going through with her latest pregnancy, and if you don’t you can read about it here. Daniel and I have been fasting and praying for Mary’s healing and we are not done doing so yet.  However, I have struggled so much with the question of prayer and the sovereignty of God.  Why pray if He isn’t going to answer the way I want?  Why pray if He already knows the outcome and I can’t change it?  I’m sure many of you have felt helpless in prayer just as I have.  My words seem so insignificant to impact such a significant situation. And yet, I know that somehow prayers do change things, and somehow God does hear me.  This sermon addresses many of the issues I have struggled with over the last several months.  I have never prayed for something that has seemed so unimpactable (is that a word?)  by my prayers. After I listened to this sermon, though, I was encouraged and it reminded me to just participate in what God is already doing.  I cannot tell you what watching my sister handle her trial with such grace and love and joy has done to my heart already.  I pray you, any of you, who read this post will join me in praying for Amanda and Hayden and Mary.  Let’s participate and see what God will do!!!  Here is the sermon, just click on the MP3 button. I pray you are just as encouraged as I was.

Some Thoughts and an IV


So…I have always said I wanted to have my kids close together, and I am glad I did, but I think I should have spent some time with kids before we went all in. I am being stretched to a whole new level.  Intrestingly enough it isn’t really Annaleigh that is so difficult.  She is a super baby in my book.  She eats great, sleeps great and even gets IVs great.  It’s just all those things, the eating, the putting to sleep, the IV getting that makes life a little more than crazy. It’s the when the already chaotic “witching hour” (between 5 and 6 in the pm); you know, when you’re trying to finish dinner, the kids are starving and one of them is pulling on your pants as you try to not spill the boiling water on anybody…that it’s time to nurse the baby.  So poor Annaleigh gets to scream until I get everybody’s plates ready and then get to sit and nurse her.  Sometimes it depends on how hungry I am, because I can nurse and eat at the same time.  I know, talented. Not really.  If I could have my hair fixed, make-up on, and real clothes on and still nurse and eat- that would be talent. But I usually look beyond frightening and a little like a raveged wolf who hasn’t seen food in days, and I’m nursing. Boy, super sexy, I know.  And tonight was one of those nights.  But, as I was cleaning the table I had an epiphany.  Isn’t that when you usually have those?

God did amazing things in mine and Daniel’s life to get us to MN.  It was such a wonderful mountain top experience.  We felt so chosen, so priveleged, so near God, that  it was easy to move here.  As the newness has worn off and we have climbed back down the mountain the land has leveled out and you can’t see the end of it like you could from the top of the mountain.  Then I realized that it will always be this way.  We keep waiting to have arrived at the end of glory.  You reach the top of the mountain and all things at the bottom of it, the laundry, the dishes, the spanking the babes, the getting dressed, the showering, the drying the stinking hair, the picking up of the toys, looks so much easier.  But, here I am and it isn’t any easier than before the mountain.  And, truthfully, maybe a little harder with no Gran and Pop to make a random stop to take one kid for the day.  So, no matter what experience we have with the Lord, and right now I am thinking of the next step after seminary, there will still be the mundane.  I am totally cool with this.  It was a revelation to me. I’m sure you people already knew this, but every once in a while God takes what I know with my head and puts it in my heart.  This happened to me tonight.

As I was voicing this to Daniel, he was washing the dishes, he said exactly what I needed to hear.  He said, that is why we have to press into God daily. For example, if God calls us to the mission field, I can imagine what a spritual ride that will be.  All that He would have to stir in our hearts, the pressing in to God to hear clearly, the affirmation from friends and family, the planning, the preparing, and then all of the sudden you are there. In another country. And there is still the laundry, and cooking, and cleaning and the spanking of the babes. 🙂 But God is still just as glorious, still as mystifying, and still as desirable in the midst of all that.  And my wonderful husband is right.  That is why we have to go to God’s word daily, listen to music that makes us remember the mountain, talk to friends who point you to Christ by the way they live their lives and whatever else helps you love God through the mundane. Amen and amen!  I needed a good reminder of how important daily time with God is.  Thank you, Jesus.

Now for a quick recap of the week.  Annaleigh was in the hospital for two nights this week.  Thankfully we have a Children’s hospital just down the street, but how I missed my Dr. Stagg!!  Serioulsy, missed him so much. She had RSV.  While I was there I learned that by 1 year old 80% of kids have had RSV and by 2 100% of kids have had RSV.  It was our first time to actually be diagnosed with it, though.  And she was my smallest to ever be that sick. I guess when you have three other kids coughing and sneezing on you, you can’t help but get sick.  Anyway… I took her last weekend to the ER, because it was the weekend (regular clinic closed) and she was coughing so much that she was vomiting. They just sent us home, though.  Then on Tuesday she turned blue on me for like 10 seconds.  So I took her to regular clinic and they sent me back to the ER.  She was admitted, and we spent that night and Wednesday night in the hospital on O2.  Thankfully, that was all she needed.  We are back home and doing great.  She is back to smiling all the time and being so stinkin’ cute.  Here are a few pictures!  Lvoe you guys! Thanks for all the prayers!

first smile on camera, and before rsv hit

finally got iv in after 5 tries! poor baby, she just passed right out!

i can swaddle even with an iv!

our last morning there.  her smile is coming back! and check out that crazy fro! haha!!

Thanks for reading guys!  Have a blessed week!  Let’s rejoice in God even in the mundane! May our children see His worth because of it!



We have been back in MN for a month now, and I am just now finding time to post.  Hopefully, that will give you a hint of what life with four looks like, for me, that is.  But in spite of the business life is amazingly good. Having an infant has rekindled my love for motherhood and helped me cherish each one of my little babies.  It could be just because I am deliriously tired. 🙂  Just kidding! I think part of it comes from the fact that I AM NOT PREGNANT ANYMORE!  Some people, like my sister handle pregnancy with such grace and ease.  Not me.  I get fat and tired and my guts seem to be falling out all the time.  So. literally, once that baby comes out, I feel soooo much better.

This delivery and recovery has been just as easy as Claire’s.  It was so great. During the drive to Texas Daniel and I counted contractions and planned hospital stops, but I never went into labor!  Praise the Lord!  Once in Texas the “false” labor continued.   I was up counting hard contractions, but never going into labor. So annoying!  But my wonderful Doctor let me induce!  I have always been against inducing, because my recovery with Josiah was so much harder than with Claire.  But, by my fourth, I was way over that.  And it was almost Christmas.  I really wanted her to come before then. So Daniel and I got up early the morning of the 22nd, went to the hospital, got some pitocin, read some books, got an epidural (this part was just me), pushed three times (again, just me) and in a total of four hours had a baby.  We weren’t even in the hospital 24 hours.  My body was REJOICING to be holding Annaleigh in my arms instead of my belly!

We made it home in time for all the festivities. Dude, I left the hospital, and went to get a birthday pedicure!!  Haha!  For real, y’all!  My mom had made me an appointment and forgot to cancel it.  She called me while we were discharging and asked if I felt like going.  I’m never one to turn down a gifted pedicure, so, yeah, I went!  I think my pedicurist was a little more than taken aback.  I actually cut off my hospital bracelets in her chair.  From there I went to my mom’s and had a killer birthday dinner and party, complete with fireworks!  My sister’s made sure to remember that I was turning 30, despite me trying hard to fly that one under the radar.  Kelsey even made me listen to 80’s music, since that was when I was born!  Haha!  The next day we had our Christmas Eve party and opened presents with my family.  And on Christmas Day we even got to go to Clarksville and have Christmas with my grandparents!  Needless to say, we hit the ground running.  It was wonderful to be home with my mom who cooked and cleaned and washed our clothes relentlessly.  In no time it was time to leave.  On the 31st we packed it all up and went to a Souza family reunion in Dallas and then headed home the next day.  Our neighbors came over, turned on our heat and had pizza waiting for us when we got home!  Then my wonderful MN friends brought me dinner for two and half weeks!!!!!  I cannot say enough how well taken care of we have been since coming home.  God has been so gracious to us by sending us loving friends and yummy food!  Thanks again to all who took time, money and energy to help us get readjusted to being on our “own”.  It’s crazy how six weeks of life can fit in a teeny tiny paragraph!

So, yep, we have a 6 week old, now.   All the other kids love her so much but especially Josiah.  He told me the week she was born that he loved her best of all.  I had to tell him that we love each other the same in this family.  He took it well and has since been loving all of us almost as much as he loves her. 🙂

One more story and then I will post some pictures.  This may be too much information for some people, so if you don’t want to hear a story of true nature and child-rearing scroll down to the pictures.  I have had to separate the girls at bathtime from the boys.  There just isn’t room for all of them in the same bathtub anymore.  As a side note, it takes me a full hour to get all the kids bathed now. But, I have been teaching Josiah and Aaron how to wash themselves.  When we came home to MN Annaleigh had to go in for a two-week checkup and I took Josiah with me for his four-year shots and well-visit.  While we were there, the pediatrician had to check his boy parts to make sure he was developing well. She told him she needed to check and make sure both of his little balls were where they were supposed to be.  I had never even mentioned he had them before, so he looked really surprised to know that he had balls down there.  I think he was thinking soccer balls. But ever since then during bath time he has been so excited to wash them. He told me one day when I told him that that was enough he had washed them good enough.  He said, I’ve got to make sure they are still there!  But tonight was the funniest so far.  As he was washing, he asked me, “Momma, will my balls hatch?”  So funny!  I love my kids!

I haven’t taken many pictures and none with a real camera.  So here are a few from my phone. And as usual, you guys can play the “guess who” game. I will post a newborn picture of all four and let you guess who is who.  🙂  Thanks for reading!


Claire and my mom.  It was so nice to be able to play outside without snow boots and jackets!


 Look at all that crazy hair!


 Very awesome big brother!!

 My cutie in a silly hat.


 Aaron in his hat he got in his stocking from Gran.  The boy takes his naps in it! He loves it!

Claire on her third birthday!  What a way to spend it, right? 17 hours in the car!


OK, Guess Who:



In order from the top: Claire, Annaleigh, Josiah, and Aaron.  And, I think Annaleigh will have blue eyes!