so i turned 38

yesterday was my birthday.

i turned 38.

the past few days have been a whirlwind of craziness and by the grace of God we made it through.

and i woke up yesterday morning at the beach.



and i had breakfast on the upper deck with my girl.


and this cute guy had an awesome sleep!  till 10am!


and we left for a day out.

we went to see how to train your dragon 2.



our cute little guy’s hand is always in that same spot.  always.


we did a little window shopping after the movie and then had a late lunch/early dinner at red robin.



everybody with their food.  well, this is josh’s.


and this is mine.  avocado bacon burger.


spaghetti and salad because this poor child had a tooth stuck way up in her gums so it’s in the process of being moved down by the orthodontist and so she wanted something soft to eat.  she gave the croutons to her brother.


who added them to his salad and cheeseburger.


and this guy had pizza and fruit.  he always chooses the fruit.


we took a trip to sam’s club to buy another beach umbrella.  we stopped at walmart to get a few random things, like  a frying pan so josh can make eggs every morning because the pan here is not so great.  and i, well, i got a special seat cushion for our new van which i will totally write about tomorrow because i’m still so exhausted from the crazy whirlwind we just lived through.


and then we had a night walk on the beach where my pictures didn’t turn out so well because it was night time, on the beach.


our dwelling for the week.


little toes, and big ones too, got hosed off.


we had walmart carrot cake to celebrate my birthday.  it’s wasn’t terrible.


i blew out my candles, in one breath.


and yesterday we got the news that kiddo #7 was born.  can you believe that?  i mean, i can believe it, but my mind can hardly begin to comprehend it.  that God, author of everything, would have ordained, before time began, to have that child born on the same day as me 38 years later.  why, O Lord, why?

may 18th of last year, josh and i took cpr and first aid training. we chose the brown babies, because, well, our children are brown.  we had no idea what was coming.  april 17th of this year, josh sent me an email with pictures of us with those babies.  subject line: foreshadowing?  we had no idea what was coming.  i think he was right.



so, 38 will be a hard one to beat!  i’m at the beach, i arrived in a new van, and the 7th child to be a part of our family was born.

i’m a little afraid of all that lies ahead for this year, but all glory and honor to You Jesus, in whatever You do with my life.




donny + jennifer + wayne dawson + fox 8 news + the word church = shocked and humbled josh & kirsten

from donny, on monday sept 16th:

“good morning!  jennifer and i have a pretty big surprise God is allowing us to give you.  the thing is we have to give it to you this thursday at around 11:30.  would you two PLEASE be able to be home then?  i know it’s A LOT to ask especially this week with so much going on.  but i do promise if you could please trust us and do this for us you will not be disappointed.”

we had our fire inspection that tuesday and our final homestudy visit that thursday night.  we were busy and exhausted.  but, we’ve been friends with donny and jennifer for 12 years.  we know them.  they know us.  when they send a text like that, there’s no hesitation to follow through with their request.  there is no hesitation, but there is wonder.  there are nerves.

at 11:30 last thursday morning, josh and i sat anxiously in our living room.  then i saw a news camera coming up our front walkway.  then i saw a news guy on our front porch.  what in the world was happening?  we were in complete shock.

turns out a local news station, fox 8, hosts a segment called pay it forward where their anchor wayne dawson partners with the word church to pay it forward to “unsung heroes”.  donny and jennifer wanted to pay it forward to us for reasons i’m still not totally sure about.

so there we were, on our front porch with donny and jennifer and the camera lady and wayne dawson.  i’m pretty sure i looked like this most of the time because i was in shock.


i don’t actually know what all was said and done while all this was going on.  did i mention i was in shock?  because, i was in shock.  i do remember donny saying something very meaningful and wonderful to us,but i don’t remember exactly what he said.

i do remember jennifer asking me to hold out my hands so she could pay it forward to us.  i also remember telling her i have a hard time receiving things.  i wonder if that will be aired!

i do remember wayne asking us why we do what we do re: adoption and foster care.  i do remember josh answering with something about the Lord.  and something about commands in scripture to care for widows and orphans and that at this point in our lives it’s orphans.  and something about being obedient.

i do remember filming some in the bedroom we’ve been preparing for our 2nd adoption.  they wanted us on camera preparing the room for our newest little ones.

i do remember my mother and father in law arriving and hearing my mother in law’s excitement as she realized what was going on.  her joy for us said so much.

i do remember wondering what exactly was going on.

and i do remember feeling extremely grateful.  and i still do.

our segment of pay it forward airs for the first time tomorrow night at 6:30. it airs again friday at 6:30am.  it airs again sometime on saturday and sometime on Sunday. and it airs once again on monday the 30th(also josh’s birthday!) at noon.

i am excited to watch it so i can see what was actually happening and actually being said.  and i am excited that the Lord will be proclaimed by my husband on the news!


here we are!  jennifer, donny, wayne dawson, josh, and myself.

here’s another one with josh’s parents, todd and candy.


we hope you can tune in and watch.  know i’m slightly nervous because i bet i did look completely shocked the whole time.  and know that squirrels like to chew on our front porch columns.  and know that we know that our siding needs power washed.

most importantly know that we are shocked and humbled and grateful.

hi, i’m josh and this is my wife kirsten


last night started with some announcements~the cancellation policy, if you miss a class how to make it up at another location, don’t forget to sign in when you get here, etc.  then boom, intros.  “josh, tell us about yourself!”

we were in the front row (yes, we are those people) so it was easy to call on us to get things started.  “hi, i’m josh and this is my wife kirsten. we adopted a sibling group of three, six years ago, and we’re here to adopt again.”  there were a few gasps at the mention of a sibling group of three. we’re used to that, we get it often.  there was a thanks from the trainer and then on to the next couple.  “hi, i’m josh and this my wife kristen.”  kristen.  no joke.  everyone laughed.  we could hardly believe it!



it’s a two letter switch-a-roo.

busy day ahead so more to come later!

i can do a hamstand

wilbur has been busy trying to perfect the handstand.  he’s pretty good at it too.

he and josh were just talking about the time josh was trying to do a handstand outside in the front yard.

wilbur~remember that one time out in the front yard when you were trying to do a handstand?

josh~i can’t do a handstand, but i can do a hamstand.

wilbur~no, a handstand.

josh~no, i can do a hamstand.  i can get a piece of ham and stand on it.  ta-da!  a hamstand.

wilbur doesn’t really get it, but i am cracking up.  this man, he’s still making me laugh, everyday.

and in the midst of my laughter, he continues.

josh~i had a hamstand when i was a kid.  people would pull up and ask me why i had a hamstand and i’d tell them it’s because i didn’t have any lemonade.


my first day of 36

i’m up first.  i like that.

i just planted a hydrangea.  bonus~in the pot it looked like one, when i went to plant it, it split into two!

i’m back inside for a bit to address a thank you note to a dear friend and to address a congratulations card to an amazing, following hard after God couple.

my kiddos are all still asleep, it’s 8:58am.  this brings me great joy.  the sleeping in, and the fact that i have kiddos.

i just made a cup of chai in my favorite mug from one of my dearest friends.

kiddos are waking up.  first one at 9, second at 9:15, third i went to check on at 10:11 and he had just started waking up.  this child loves his bed.  loves.

josh asked what i wanted for breakfast.  i’m not much of a breakfast person, usually just grabbing a bowl of cereal or a granola bar, but today a maple creme stick sounded good.  he’s off to the donut shop!

i decide that today i’d like just a bit of time to be by myself.  i’m going to head to hobby lobby.  before i do, i jump online to see if a check i deposited yesterday into our savings account has posted.  it has. in my IRA account.  oops!  looks like i’m heading to the bank before i head to hobby lobby!

the kiddos are a bit excited that i’m leaving.  they have surprises they want to work on.  complete with a musical number i’m informed will be performed at 7pm, in the driveway.  our little guy wants to wear a ‘handsome’ shirt(a button~down) for practice while i’m gone.  i suggest he might be too hot so he settles for a polo, tucked into his underwear so it looks extra nice for me, on my special day.

off i go.  i stop at the post office first, to mail the thank you card and the congratulations card to italy.  oh, and i need to mail soccer registrations for the boys.  thankfully they extended the registration deadline to tuesday because i missed it yesterday.

i’m at the bank.  thankfully my deposit mistake isn’t entirely my own.  the young lad who handled the deposit shouldn’t have allowed me to deposit into my IRA with a savings account deposit slip.  i’m glad i’m not alone in messing this up!  a phone call is made and the bank can transfer my money without assessing me any fees.  and the IRA department, since they don’t work on the weekends, should be able to make it look like the deposit never happened when they get into the office monday.  we’re hoping no fees are assessed by the IRS.  while i’m sitting at the bankers desk, waiting for all of this to get worked out, i notice my husband’s handiwork is all around me.  he’s the marketing dept.  for our bank so all of the bank literature has been designed by him.  i’m grateful for the talent the Lord has given him and the job the Lord has provided.  finally, i’m off to hobby lobby.

i love hobby lobby.  i know where everything is.  i know almost every song played.  i can leisurely stroll the aisles and hum and sing along for at least two hours.  and it’s a joy to be here alone, soaking it all in.  i find some great deals~some items i can share with others as gifts.  i love to give.

i’m home.  i am told all of the surprises are complete.  but, oops, they forgot to practice for the musical number.  they’ll practice later they say.  josh says he needs to run out for one more thing.  he says he’s taking the kids.  i tell him they can stay home with me.  he tells me he’s taking them.  i think he’s trying to give me a bit of a parenting break.  though it’s not entirely possible, someone needs to start the laundry while everyone is gone, i appreciate being in the house alone.

i hear the garage opening.  they’re home.  our middle asks if he can wash his hands and then use hand sanitizer.  i tell him you don’t need to use hand sanitizer if you wash your hands.  and you usually use hand sanitizer if you can’t wash your hands.  and you can wash your hands so please go wash your hands.  and then there’s the arguing.  sis says middle’s feet are dirty on the bottom, so he sticks them on her.  and then they argue about it.  and there are dirty feet on one another and someone kicks and then ‘i get to go first’, ‘no, i get to go first!’

we plan for an early dinner, but then the kids tell me all they just ate while they were out.  a cookie, a sample of sausage, a chicken nugget~they must have gone to sam’s club.  instead of leaving for dinner at 4:30, i think we’ll leave at 5.

dinner is good.  fazoli’s.  the kids and i like it here, josh not so much.  but, it’s my birthday so he’s okay with it.

we are home.  the kids playing outside.  josh has asked if i’d like to watch a movie after the kids go to bed.  i tell him i’d really like to watch the first video of the beth moore james study so i start it up.  we can’t hear it very well over the kids playing basketball, kickball, and badminton, so we decide to actually wait until they go to bed.  this is hard for me.  i don’t want to wait!

the kids are in.  we open gifts.  handmade cards from the kiddos, all with construction paper birds.  my brilliant husband printed bird parts out on construction paper and the kids cut the parts out and assembled them.  i feel so loved.  chai.  a new mug, with a little bird on the handle of course.  bird salt and pepper shakers.  perfume~design, my favorite.  and a piece of floor tile.  yes, a piece of floor tile.  josh informs me he’s taking a couple of days off work soon so he can install a new kitchen floor.  i am beyond thrilled!

cake time!  well, actually pie. dutch apple.  sis informs me daddy was having a hard time finding ‘dutched’ apple pie, but she noticed it right away.  dutched.  i love that!

the kiddos are off to bed.  it’s 8:54pm and josh and i settle in for some time with beth moore.  oh how i am moved by this teaching on the book of james.  the brother of Jesus, whom Jesus appears to after His resurrection.  and He restores their relationship.  and it’s beautiful.  and my eyes are full of tears.

today was good.  i’m blessed to be alive.  i’m blessed to have been given life, to have been created, to have been purposed.  i’m blessed to know Jesus and believe in His death and resurrection.  this very thing, and only this, gives me life.

may my 36th year of life be pleasing to You, O Lord.