Friday, January 22, 2010


Yes, we are unexpectedly expecting Baby #4 September 4th. I am 8 weeks along. Wow! If you are wondering how we are going to manage this -- four children 4 and under -- well, the answer is:
1. Not very gracefully
2. And that we are already over our heads BUT GOD is day by day holding us up through this. So it feels like He is just pressing us into Him -- No other way to navigate through all the horrible wonderfulness of all of this tiny mob of children.

1. I am thankful that I do not have intestinal cancer (as I previously wondered -- I had just begun going to a GI specialist to find out why I have been so sick...).
2. And I am thankful that our kids will be in one big jolly clump.
3. And I am thankful to be pregnant alongside my dear friends Leah Miller, Anne Golliher, and Sarah Deems and even with my faraway friend Lisa McCowen.
4. AND Leah told me this week that children conceived while using birth control have a greater probability of being girls because "female" sperm are stronger swimmers. [Yes! to all you dear nose-y people out there (-: We were rockstar solid about our condom use -- every single stinkin' time -- HUZZAH to Brad's mighty rocket sperm!]
5. I am thankful for having absolutely no trouble with fertility -- my heart hurts for some of my close friends who have had such a difficult path to become pregnant, to stay pregnant, to become a mother and father. We are so aware and grateful that we have it very very good and easy in this area -- not something to mock, joke about, or take lightly.
6. And, truly, when I saw that "I'm Pregnant" stick sitting there on the sink, I didn't think a single coherent thought -- I just saw the three beautiful, strange-newborny little faces of Atticus, Dietrich, and Lincoln and I was very very very happy. I knew it would be better than okay (even if it might not feel or look like it all of the time, or for a few years (-:).
7. And, lastly, I am thankful for our families and friends and church family being so kind and encouraging and festive in their congratulations so that we were able to freely rejoice in this and not hang our heads sheepishly as if we were some pair of naughty teenagers or, worse, completely irresponsible grown-ups.

Man plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps (Proverbs 16:9) and this is definitely His good, sovereign, humorous hand.

This morning I saw "her" tiny little heart beating and her arm and leg buds waving. My heart seems to already be growing toward this new child -- I think it is because I have these three little boys who are so tangled up deliciously in my heart, and I can't but be excited to learn to know another tiny soul. Thank you, God, for this hard and scary and wonderful privilege.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Christmas at Tom & Nancy's

Christmas Morning! We read the Christmas story, sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and led the boys out to the living room. There in front of the tree was the wooden castle we had set up for them the night before. Atticus couldn't even talk, he just stood there with his hands in his pocket repeating "It's...It's...Oh...It's...." We asked him, "What is it?!" He just looked stood there..."I can't think..."
I gently said, "It's your castle -- for you and Dietrich!" And he finally yelped and broke out into a huge grin. Brad and I were so happy --- hooray for lavishing good gifts on your children -- so just like God our perfect for celebrating Jesus' birthday!!!!

After this photo my camera died and would not recharge. I thought I was going to lose all the photos on the camera (Dietrich's birthday) as well as getting no Christmas pictures, but Tom amazingly untangled the whole mess and the old photos were saved and a couple days after Christmas I was able to take pictures again. So no pictures of the Johannsen Clan Christmas Eve party or actual Christmas day...Sorry!!!!

Atticus, couisn Max, and Dietrich making uproarious, jolly mayhem!

Atticus digs his Uncle Brian!

Great-Grandma Trellis visits

Atticus enamoured with his new electronic "tag" book reader
Thank you, Grandma Nancy & Uncle Tom!

Reading with Grandma Nancy

Sweet Lincoln with his Grandma

New Year's at My Folks: Part 1

Well, I got these posts out of order -- These next two posts are from our visit to my folks for New Year's after leaving Brad's folks in Des Moines where we spent a week at Christmastime. The trip to my folks was full of surprises -- I was bed-ridden sick with some kind of flu-cold for two days and Lincoln would not sleep for three days in a row -- my mom, brad, and I working to get him to sleep -- to no avail. We ended up taking him to the local doctor's office where the doctor said he had an ear infection an put him on antibiotics. Strangely, when we returned to Minneapolis and had him checked by our pediatrician (not doubting the Lancaster doctor, but because it was Lincoln's 9-month regular check-up), the doctor said the antibiotic dosage was a tiny fraction of what they usually prescribe and probably had done nothing for the infection. Furthermore there was not a tiny bit of any evidence of infection only 3 days after beginning the antibiotic. Strange. Also none of my children have ever had an ear infection and always mravel doctors with their inner ear health, so more strange. Anyway, what with the lack of sleep and Lincoln and I ill and being at the end of a week and a half away from home, I was nearly done in. But I was very glad to meet our second brand new niece, Felicity, Jonathan & Robyn's little girl (Clark's sister). And my Aunt Donna & Uncle Danny drove over from Illinois -- hurray!!!

My dad watching gifts being opened....

My brother Jon with his daughter Felicity

Clark with Dietrich's box of cars from his birthday...

Uncle Danny with Felicity

The wooden Castle Brad & I gave the boys for Christmas!

Atticus making brownies with Grandma Susan

My mom & dad enjoying Lincoln

Watching a movie together...

Atticus the Dragon Monster