when you haven’t had an internet connection for several days

we got our internet at the new house today.  i can’t believe i’m actually online on the computer!

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i have so much to say.  so many blog posts keep coming to mind.  i’ve thought about pulling up wordpress on my phone, but that would be so much work.  i don’t know how i’d ever type everything out that way.  and with 7 kids?

i’m hoping to find some time over the next few days to sit down and write.  won’t be easy with those 7 kids.

when your friend cleans your new house

she wanted to help out with the new house situation.  she offered to watch the kids-some of them, all of them, here, there, somewhere else.  i told her, and this is good but also kind of annoying, that anyone who watches the kids has to be approved by our foster care/adoption agency.  there wouldn’t be enough time to get her approved before we were moving.

she asked if she could clean the house.  um, no.  thank you, but no.  i couldn’t let her do that.  and besides, it’s all brand new.  new floors, new appliances, new bathrooms.  no one has used any of it.  well, our kids have used the toilets, but other than that.

i told josh she offered.  josh didn’t hesitate to say we should let her.

i told her i would swallow my pride.

we were finishing up our time there after just getting the keys.  she came over and brought her oldest daughter with her.  i greeted her outside and introduced her to our friend bryan.  when we stepped inside the front door, i told her he’s the one who bought the house.  her eyes filled with tears.  no words.

i gave her a quick tour of the house.  she had been to our current house.  she knew the need for more space.  she just kept smiling.

she was eager to get started cleaning.  both she and her daughter were visibly happy to be there.

we were getting ready to leave.  as she was cleaning the kitchen counters i told her i felt so strange, letting her clean my house while i left.  she told me to go, to take care of my family.  she said she was going to continue to wipe things down and she was going to pray over it all.  now my eyes were filled with tears.

thank you megan, and your sweet girl.

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when your friends give you the keys to your new house

saturday morning around 9, our friend bryan came over.  he stepped into the smallness and the chaos for the first time.  he helped us load up our van with kiddos and some random things.  he put a set of shelves in his trunk.  he followed us over to the new house.

we got out of the van.  we started to unbuckle kids.  he handed us the keys.  the keys to our new house.

i froze.  i told josh to take them because i just couldn’t.  i couldn’t because i can’t wrap my mind around this.  there will never be enough words to express my gratitude for this gift.  there will never be enough ways to say thank you.

we filed into the house.  and there we stood.  the place that will be our home.  the place where we will finish raising our three children.  the place where we’ll continue to care for the four littles.  and if they stay, the place where we will raise them.  and if they leave, the place where we’ll care for more littles God sends our way.

a piano was left behind.  none of us play, but maybe one of us will learn one day.

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after seeing the house several times, i finally noticed this gem in the basement.  i think it may have been covered over by artwork.  to me, it is artwork.  who has an actual no smoking plaque in their house?  oh, me.

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i put up my first decoration.

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a declaration.

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this house.

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it is a gift, from the heart of our Father, through the hands of our friends.

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all of the wonder and awe and praise belongs to Him.

what i didn’t get to do for the other six

there are so many things i get to do for the baby that i didn’t get to do for the other six children that live in my home.  but this one thing, oh my heart.

this one thing, rocking this baby to sleep.   when our eyes lock.  when he reaches up to touch my face.  when i’m studying his features, trying to sear them into my memory.  when i’m wondering how long he’ll be with me.  i can feel my heart swelling with love and joy.  i can feel my heart starting to break.

this is a love that is making me die to myself.  this is a love that is giving life.

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when your friends buy you a house

we’ve been praying for more space, for a bigger house.  we’ve believed that if God was calling us to have a large family, He’d provide a larger home.  we didn’t know how He’d do it, but we knew He would.

i’ve spent months calling out loud, “Lord Jesus, i need more space.  i can’t function here with 7 children.  i know You have a house.  i know You have a plan.  i know You have a time.”

i’ve called out so many times from this space, on my hands and knees between our buffet and our table, picking up food our almost two year old has thrown from his high chair.  and i’ve hit my head and my elbows.  and i’ve gotten carpet burn on my knees.

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and this all takes place in this room, our dining room, which is also where our kids do their homework and color and play board games. and where we change the baby’s diaper in the middle of the night and where we keep his diaper bag and his diapers and the burp cloths.  and where the kids keep their school bags and their gym bags.  and where i daily claim i’m losing my mind.

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and this all takes place in this house.

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built in 1928, 1,275 square feet, 4 bedrooms (3 of them very small and one of them with 3 children in it), one bathroom.  yes, 9 people and 1 toilet.

josh and a friend of ours got together in august and our friend said, “tell me about your house.”  josh described it to him and told him how difficult it’s been to function well with so many people in such a small amount of space.

our friend asked josh to describe our ideal house.  our ideal anything flew out the window years ago, i think when we found out we were infertile.  but, josh could describe what it seemed like our family would need.  he told him 5-6 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a finished basement space where kids could play, enough space to be able to invite people over to visit (because honestly who wants to invite a couple and their 7 children over to visit?).

our friend told josh that he had been thinking for a while that God maybe wanted he and his wife to buy us a house.  he didn’t want an answer that night as to whether or not that’s something we’d be open to, he wanted us to think about it and pray about it.

when josh came home and told me, i was completely shocked.  could this be God’s answer to my cries for more space, a larger home?  our friends buying us a house?  crazy!

fast forward a few months and our friends are closing on a house for us this week.  we could have the keys by saturday.

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this is all crazy.  we’ve looked at lots of houses over the years and i can’t believe this particular house is going to be our house.  we went through it a year ago and loved it.  it was very dated, but still decorated very well.  we scheduled to take josh’s parents to see it and that day an investor came in with a cash offer and the sellers took it.  we were disappointed, but believed God closed that door for a reason.

in april of this year, the house was relisted and everything that was dated had been replaced.  new wood floors, new windows, new carpet, new kitchen counters, new appliances, new bathrooms.

it has 5 bedrooms, all on the second floor, which is unusual.  it has 2 full bathrooms and 1 half bath.  it has a huge finished basement space and a huge storage area.  the yard is huge, perfect for 7 children.

and we are going to live there.  what?!?!?!

we are going to basically renting the house from our friends so we can eventually own it.  do you know what this means?  this means they have a mortgage for their house and they are willing to carry a second mortgage so we can have a larger home.  who carries two mortgages?  one for their house and one for the their friends?  crazy!

we got a pod delivered yesterday.

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josh started loading it this morning.  and the kids have had a blast playing in it!

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we are going to be so busy the next couple of weeks-packing and moving.  and then we’ll be really busy finishing up our current house so we can put it on the market.  we have several projects to finish up, including adding a bathroom in the basement, but we haven’t been able to get much work done since there are 7 children here pretty much all of the time.

we can’t believe this is all happening!  we can hardly believe God’s answer for our space and house prayers is to have our friends buy us a house.  we can hardly believe our friends are willing to do this.  they are even excited about it!

i’m looking forward to posting about our adventures of moving to and living in our new house!