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!


Long Time, No Post


So, yes, it has been two years since my last blog. That is a more than a little ridiculous. In my defense, baby number three was a shock to my/our system.  Not because Aaron was a difficult baby, by any means, but three three and under was. And we have moved two times in those two years.  One of those moves, was quite devastating to my little Texas soul. 🙂 Thus, the Blog name change.

I have been wanting to blog for a while, but am just now getting to it.  Maybe all the studying Daniel is doing for his first round of finals is getting to me. I have made all the crafty things I can think of, watched my entire collection of Anne of Green Gables, and read a book. I could be doing laundry, but this is so much more fun!

So, a quick update.  Most of you who will be reading this already know the details of our life. So I will make this brief.  After Aaron was born we moved into what was going to be my dream house. And it was a glorious 11 months!  However, after having been there only 4 months, the Lord began to work in Daniel’s heart and mine, and called Daniel to seminary in Minneapolis, MN! This is quite an amazing story of the Lord’s work in our lives.  But, I think I should’ve blogged about that a long time ago. Through some incredible acts of God, we sold our “dream” house, and by June 1, 2011 were moved into our rent house in MN.

During this time of grieving because of leaving our family and overwhelming excitement about our new adventure with the Lord, we found out baby number 4 was on their way!  This one was planned.  🙂  As a quick sidenote, I was hoping to be due in September, before Daniel started his first semester in school.  But God, in his infinite wisdom, decided my due date should be in December.  And, I cannot tell you how perfect this has been.  Hopefully, we will get to have Annaleigh (that’s her name), in Texas surrounded by family.  Plus, Daniel will be on Christmas break for an entire month.  How gracious of the Lord to think ahead and to know better than me.  I wish I could remember these acts of kindness from Him more often.  Especially on days like today, when I had small pity party because of my huge belly, the snow and cold, and missing my family.  How ungrateful I am most of the time. That turned out to be a long sidenote, huh?  Well, Daniel kicked off the summer with a nice shocking round of a year of Greek in just a month and half.  He did amazing.  Can I just say, my husband is really very smart? He is.  Plus, i think he is super cute. Ok, moving on… Now, we are in his first semester’s finals.  And, boy am I glad.  I knew this was going to be an adjustment, but whew.  Much harder than I thought.  Not living here, that has actually been really cool, until recently. 🙂  But, just having Daniel be stretched so thin and be so busy.  I have heard that each year it is supposed to get easier and easier, but who knows.  Not if we keep adding babies, right?

I could make this an incredibly long blog, I’m afraid.  I guess that is what happens when you haven’t blogged in two years and a lot of life happens. I should probably tell you guys, that I love commas.  I’m pretty sure I over use them, too.  Sorry, if they bother you.  (mostly sorry to Kelsey, who is probably cringing at my declining grammar skills.)  I have been doing a pre-K reading program with Josiah to test my hand at home-schooling.  So, right now I am brushing up on my phonics skills.  I imagine in a few years, we will get to commas and my blogging will drastically improve! Ha!  In, the, mean, time,,,,,,,

Here are a few pictures of the babes.

Claire on her second birthday

Aaron on his first birthday. And unlike me, he prefers his thumb to his cupcake!

a little photo project to say, "Happy Father's Day". check out the amazing flowers in the back yard. MN summers are awesome! also, isn't it crazy how much she grew in 8 months?!

my jo. i love this little boy.

Aaon is hard to get to sit still.

silly kids

Josiah turned four this summer. It was Spiderman overload. This face of enthusiasm continues still. Boys.

and.....summer is over. just like that, people.

see, it is already snowing. this is the best picture i got of our first snow. i wasn't willing to go outside. eek!

Ok, so that’s it for the update.  We plan to head back to TX in a week or two.  Hopefully, Annaleigh will stay put till we make it home.  🙂  I will try to get one more blog in before we go.  And then I will probably wait until we get back to post pics of our new, sweet baby girl!  Josiah has been praying for her to have green eyes!  He thought of that all by himself. I pray the Lord will answer his prayer to build his faith in the God of details.  What an amazing God we serve!

Aaron is HERE!!!


Hey guys, just wanted to tell you all that Aaron is here!!  He is a wonderful baby so far!  He was 7.5 and 19 inches long.  Delivery went great, although very different from my other two.  I guess what Aslan says is true, “Things never happen the same way twice, Dear One.”  The best thing about this delivery, besides the fact that it brought us Aaron, was that I went into labor on my own!  I was supposed to have had to induce on Monday morning, but the grace and mercy of God saw to it that my body and Aaron were ready on their own!!  Praise the Lord.  He is amazingly faithful and so so so Good.   Here are some pictures of Aaron and a few from Christmas.  Thank you all for praying for me and the baby!  God has heard your prayers!!


 I look pretty terrible, but it was the best one of me and Aaron together so far.Aaron      Josiah 

In the car seat about to come home.

My sweet baby girl.  She is so wonderful.  I love having a girl.

Claire with my Uncle Brian.  This is the problem with girl clothes, every time you pick them up in a dress you show every one their undies. 🙂

I think I mentioned she is walking now?  She is such a big girl!  I thought she was so little, until Aaron came.  Now she seems so big.  She turns one on the 2nd!!!  Happy Birthday to Claire!!

Blessed Be the Name of the Lord


Thank you all so much for all the praying and texting and encouraging you all have done for our family and Josiah over the last two weeks.   I cannot tell you how much we have felt lifted up and surrounded by love and sympathy.  Daniel and I have been truly moved by so many of you that called and emailed and texted and brought food and gifts.  Such an ordeal would not have been as bearable without all of your support.   You guys truly were the body of Christ for us.  We love you all and are so grateful for each of you. 

I wanted to post a couple of pictures from the hospital and give you guys an update on Josiah.  As of today, he is doing SOOOOO much better.  He still has some joint pain affecting his gait and some seriously cracked lips, but his attitude is much improved.   He is sleeping much better and would be making it through the night if we didn’t have to wake him up to make him take his aspirin.  We should only have a couple of more nights of that.  He has his first cardiologist appointment next friday.   We are fully expecting a good report.  I will post and let you all know how it goes.

Daniel and I both agree this has been the hardest thing we have ever gone through.  It was very scary and we felt extremely helpless to spare our child from such a painful disease.  Even though we knew this disease was completely curable with modern medicine, we still felt very much at the mercy of Christ for Josiah’s healing.   We are so grateful that God has heard our cry for help and healing and answered us with mercy and grace.  Our faith has been grown in a way it never has been before.  And just like the bible tells us that all trials are painful while you are going through them, but produces deeper faith and  love of God when over.  This has been true for us.   This trial has definitely left a mark on our souls.   Thank you, Jesus, for being near us and for healing our son. 

Here are some pictures from the hospital stay and some of my beautiful baby girl. 🙂

This was taken day one at the hospital.  It’s hard to believe that he actually looked worse than this at times.

I know this is a sad picture, but the red you see on his face was all over his body.  His forearms, hands and legs were the worst. 

This was taken day 4 at the hospital.  One small bright spot for the day.  He just found out we were going home.

As cute as you can be in a hospital gown. 🙂

My sweet sissy girl.  She is trying her best to walk.  She can walk about two or three feet all by herself.  She just still prefers to crawl at this point.  I think her brother scares her from walking.  He is unpredictable and not very helpful when it comes to her walking.   She sits down as soon as she sees him coming!!
Oh, and she is 11 months old!!  She is growing so fast!



This past week has made me truly thankful for my family.  I am so thankful for my kids and my incredible husband.  I am truly blessed beyond measure by the grace of God.  Thank you, Lord, for my salvation and the beautiful gifts you have given me. 

Cousin time.  They play really great together!009

Big bows!  A friend made them for Claire.  So cute!!010

My boys watching the storm and drinking hot tea.  Only, Josiah’s was not hot. 🙂024


Thanks Laura for the hat!  She is wearing her brothers shirt, because at Wal-Mart the only sweat shirts for girls had silly glitter and puff paint all over them.  I figured robots were better.054

Trying to walk.  She is getting close!  My guess is by Dec. 1st.  Daniel says Nov.29th.  We shall see…056

Sweet daddy time.  She is really falling in love with him these days.  It’s so adorable!065

I LOVE them!!!!069

A New Post


Creative, huh?  Daniel is out-of-town and I am doing laundry and I’m bored so I am going to do a quick blog while Josiah plays peacefully by himself  and Claire is taking a nap.  We went to the fair a couple of weeks ago and Josiah rode rides for the first time, ate funnel cake and petted a lama.  He had a blast.  I think he could have ridden rides all night long.  He was too short to ride by himself, so Daniel had to ride with him on everyone.  So cute, to see my two boys on the Dragon Wagon!  Daniel was a trooper!  He said Josiah was soooooo excited the whole time.  Claire and I watched from the sidelines, waved and ate yummy food.  It will be fun to watch them ride together one day.

Speaking of sibling love, I walked in the living room last night after I finished washing dishes and Josiah was on the couch and Claire was standing by him and he was leaning over with his arms around her neck giving her kisses.  When I walked in the room, they both turned and looked at me with HUGE smiles on their faces!  I am trying to store memories like that in my mind, so that when I am overwhelmed with the other side of sibling love, the hitting side, I won’t totally lose hope. 🙂  I pray so often for them to truly love each other and encourage each other and be to each other what my sisters are for me.  I know God will honor that prayer, and I can’t wait to see those things take place.  In the meantime, I will have to keep disciplining and training in that area. 

There has been some drama while Daniel has been gone…  I only work one half day a week and the day I had to work this week is when all the drama takes place.  Seriously.  Isn’t it funny how it all seems to happen at once?  Josiah always helps me cook breakfast in the mornings.  He sits on the counter by me and stirs stuff, and cracks eggs and usually does awesome.  Well, yesterday he helped me scramble some eggs.  Daniel called to check in and say good morning right as the eggs were done, so I took the eggs off the burner, turned it off, went to get a plate (while talking on the phone) and I look back at Josiah sitting on the counter… and he reaches out his tiny hand and puts it right on the burner that I had just turned off!!!!  Because he helps me cook all the time, I have told me him a HUNDRED times not to touch the burners, and I have even let him get close to touching it to demonstrate just how hot it really is.  Well, he got to experience it first hand. He scorched his second, third and fourth fingers pretty bad.  I put them under running cold water until the screaming stopped, gave him some Tylenol, and got some ice for him to hold. There were no open n wounds just HUGE blisters. We put some Dermoplast on the burns and turned on a movie.   My mom thankfully, came to babysit that morning and she did AWESOME with him.  She held him and got a glass of ice water for him to put his hand in.  I am not sure how, but Claire slept through the whole thing!!  I finish getting ready for work, go to my car  to leave, in the pouring rain, and my battery is dead.   ARGH!  I left the door open a bit and the light was on for like a day and a half.  So I had to drive my mom’s car to work, which is a stick!!  EEK!  I haven’t had to drive one of those since I was 16!!  But it turned out pretty good, I only died twice on the way to work and none at all on the way home!!  Needless to say, it was a crazy day!!  I have a good pic of Josiah’s hand to show you guys.  It is doing really great now.  The blisters are still huge, but the pain is WAAAYY down, Thank You, Jesus! 

Here are some pictures for you guys…

Playing outside and eating dirt before the rain set in.  Her eye is watery because of allergies.  Poor girl.  This isn’t the prettiest picture of her ever, but I just wanted to share how dirty they get while playing outside!!008

To the fair we go.  Like our new/used double stroller?016

Petting goats, sort of.  I don’t think he wanted to touch them really.020

On a ride.  Josiah was too small and Daniel was too big.  Haha!  So cute!029

Blisters.  Poor baby. 


 This was taken this morning (10.17.09)  10.17

Pictures for Jamie


Hey guys!   Well, there is really nothing new going on here.  We are all trying to avoid the swine flu.  The kids and I have had a cold the last 12 days or so.  I think it is all over, now.  Claire is about to have a mouth full of teeth.  Which is making it a little hard to tell if she is still fighting a cold or if her runny nose if from teething.  Time will tell!  She’ll get it over it one way or the other, though, right?   

Well, a few weeks ago, my cousin Jillian took some pictures of us.  She is starting a photography business and needed some people to practice on.   She did a rocking job!  She was so full of energy and made us feel super comfortable and did great with Josiah.  Sadly, though, Claire was horrible.  She is never horrible, but for pictures, she was.   She wouldn’t sit still, she cried the whole time, and she wouldn’t even take a nap!  So I had to take some of her later myself and I sent them to Jillian to edit for me.   I hope you will like them as much as I do! 

Oh!  and we decided to call him Aaron Mann!  We ordered our Christmas cards already and had his name printed on them, so we are committed.  I really like it.  I got him some new baby clothes for winter, and I have been imagining him.  I think Aaron will fit him perfectly. 

I don’t think we have any other news right now, so enjoy the pictures!!!

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Didn’t they turn out so good!!?  She is awesome!  This is her website if you guys want to see more of her work.