Wednesday, November 19, 2014

And... oh were they patient... well sort of:)


Last Sunday we attempted to get a new family picture for the Christmas card... 
It was freezing...
There a fair amount of moans and groans... and really not from the ones that I was expecting to get them from... (Hello big people... buck up and put the big boy panties on:)

I think Hopie girl had hers on and as you can see above... she was happy to be posing and getting a little bit of camera time... Oh my goodness... That is SO HER!!!  We were all cracking up afterwards when we saw her expressions...


It was so chilly, the wind was blowing and all in all they were great sports!  We ran around the church property and got a few nice ones...  There are so many great spots right here on campus.  With all the historic buildings there are a lot of cool back grounds and hidden little spots...

We are so blessed to live here:)




I am overwhelmed by the Lord's goodness in the faces of each of the people in this picture... 

I am so thankful to be on the other side of such deep sorrow filled days... 
I am so thankful that I am filled with so much more joy as I remember Samuel than I ever have felt before... don't get me wrong, He is still so missed and loved every single day, but my heart is healing and not so burdened continually with the loss...

I am so thankful to be able to enjoy these precious gifts from God...
Don't get me wrong... Are there moments of frustration as a mom when attitudes are sour or the bodies of many just want to relax and not pitch in?  FOR SURE!  

But that is all a part of the journey and I am guilty of the same as well... We are not a perfect family, living perfect days... but we are perfectly made for each other by a very gracious and loving God! 

 And I am thankful for every minute I am blessed to live with each and every one of them... 


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Another partner hitting the pavement...



Besides my sweet little Anna...
I finally have an older jogging partner too... 

It is freezing here all week... but chatting with this fella while we run has warmed my heart and kept this body moving... it is hard keeping up with him... but I wouldn't trade it for anything:)

He has changed so very much and is such a joy to have at home...

He is ...
So hard working (working at church at least 20 hours a week up at church)...
So self motivated to get his school work done...
Tries so hard to make the little kids special by spending special time with them....
Ready to try travel soccer for the first time:)...
Quite a matchmaker for his big brother...
Quite a neat freak taking organization to a new level around here... (which can be a blessing but also at times quite frustrating for him)
Huge helper in the packing department when we head out of town...
Super excited to be heading back to serve the orphans of Uganda...

Caleb August, you are a gift to my heart... I love watching God grow you into the young man He desires...  



Friday, November 14, 2014

Gleaning at the apple orchard...



Seriously, could he get any cuter?


Could Isaiah's smile get any funnier?  Oh my goodness... These kids were cracking me up:)


A few weeks ago we were blessed this year again to go to Royal Oaks Orchard to glean apples for the church food bank... It was really nice to have some company to come with us, the Bahn crew:)  

I am not sure if the kids had more fun picking up the apples off the ground (since it is gleaning you couldn't pick from the tree, but you had to pick up from the ground), eating loads of apples, or throwing the rotten apples at various targets... 

It was a beautiful day, over 70 degrees and absolutely awesome... We were soaking it up since we already are hearing it will be a worse winter than last year.... What a delightful day:) 

But those days are a distant memory with current temps in the 20's... 

I am so thankful that this orchard is so kind to let you come and collect all that you want for free... I am praying it will be a blessing to many families that visit our church food bank...

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Build it up!!

The falls colds are upon us... 

This is my sure fire way of cutting the colds short... But there aren't too many in my family that will go for it... Jojo and Anna were feeling a cold coming on, along with myself and Down the hatch the garlic goes... 

Smelly, really strong, but really took away the cold before any of us felt bad.. I did lose my voice a few days later, but felt fine... 

Crush a couple of cloves of garlic...
Cover generously with honey...
Put it in the back of your mouth and swallow it like a pill with loads of water...



Does not taste great, but the honey does help...

I will take a quick not so yummy  mouthful to a week long nasty cold any day:). 

On top of the immune builder tincture we take, essential oils, and homeopathic meds... We usually stay fairly healthy...

We thank God for being the great physician!! 




Monday, November 3, 2014

Letting go... it's not easy...

So Friday, I dropped off the older boys at the airport in horrendous wind... like the kind that planes shouldn't take off in  (in my humble opinion) to head out to Arizona to surprise a friend for his birthday:) He didn't know they were coming till they showed up cheering him on at his last football game of the season...



Louis, loving on the youngest kiddo in the Thompson crew...

Sweet friends that have served on the mission field in Uganda and have forged quite the bond in the last year...

I am so proud of them all...


Letting go... It definitely doesn't come naturally to me..

I am so thankful for every second that I have been able to be with them while growing up... even now thankful for every second of torturous chemistry that we share together.  But in all truthfulness, I would not change it for anything... and it has flown by... all too quickly...

In my head, it seems like truthfully Louis should be about 10 and Caleb 8... where have the last 7 years gone?  

My boys are not boys at all anymore... they are young men... That age from 12-14... they morph into manhood right before your very eyes... 

Long before that, the letting go begins... and bit by bit you give more length to those apron strings...
It is hard, even painful at times... (or at least it is for me... it just doesn't come naturally)

But I am seeing more and more that there are times that they need to be referred to dad for discussions for that training in man hood... I couldn't do it if I tried... and he will do a WAY better job! 

I am seeing more and more our conversations changing as they consider more important decisions, more important ideas and dreams... 

It is terrifying... It is beautiful... all wrapped up into one...

I pray every step of the way that God will guide them, His holy spirit will convict them when needed and that they will passionately serve their Savior with reckless abandon... That really is all that matters... 

And whether that means here in my back yard working for the church or taking care of orphans on the other side of the world... slowly but surely I will keep loosening up those strings till they aren't attached at all anymore... Till those boys turned men will soar into the plans the Lord had for them all along... 

And... their dad and I... and 5 other little people will be cheering them on every step of the way!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Special memories...

It was a beautiful day to send up messages to our little man...



The little guys totally got into releasing balloons this year... The 3 littles chased them all the way across the field as they lifted off... It was really sweet!

What a special day we had yesterday celebrating Samuel's precious life... We all went and saw Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No good, Very Bad Day.   (our tradition each year to go see a family movie) 

Oh my goodness did we all laugh... It was really cute:) We had the theatre all to ourselves except for one gentleman in the back with his phone out the whole time... We joked that maybe he was pirating the movie... That part was kind of weird.... But we had a great time...


This year as we decorated Samuel's cake I was so thankful to the Lord for the growth of the older kids... Of course from the little kids, we got lots of precious or funny things that they were thankful for... But for the older kids, I am amazed at how insightful and thoughtful they were...
Evidence that God really has used Samuel's sweet life in their lives...

My prayer has always been that somehow the Lord would use all that my kids went through (losing their brother Samuel, the stillbirth of Joel that we were going to adopt just 8 mos later, a miscarriage, and an iffy adoption) in those early years of our losses to make them more compassionate, tenderhearted, and bold to reach out to others especially when someone else experiences a loss of some kind... Thank God He is answering those prayers... I see them do or say things often, that never would have been said had it not been for the Lord working through these hard things to refine and grow them all... I am so thankful for that!

Here is what my sweet Louis posted on facebook yesterday... It warms my heart to see and hear how he feels about his brother Samuel in Heaven... 

6 years... 72 months... 2,191 days... 52,584 hours... 3,155,040 seconds... Since I've seen your precious face, since I've held your tiny hands, since we've been together. It seems so long yet so short at the same time. I miss you so much and think of you all the time. I wish you could be here so I could teach you how to play soccer. I wish you could be here so I could take pictures of your cute chubby face. I wish lots of things, but they aren't things for this life. God had a different plan for our lives! I know one day I'll see you again, and boy oh boy will that be a glorious day! I love and miss you so so so much lil bro! Until that beautiful day when I see you again! Samuel Mark Hintz 10/30/08
 — with Caleb Hintz and 2 others.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

There were those... thank God for those....

With any anniversary comes strong memories... especially when it comes to spending the one and only day with the little one that you carried for close to 10 months...

I seem to do a lot of thinking while I run... This week that thinking has been on my boy... my sweet Samuel...

So with the running and the memories inevitably come the tears... boy that can get ugly... at least for any passersby... it kind of makes me laugh just to think of how it all must look...

Of course there are the precious memories of that day... taking in every single little bit of him that I could absorb in my mind... How I wish I could have multiplied that time with him by 1,000... It was painful and so beautiful all at the same time...

Yesterday Anna hit the nail on the head when in her writing journal she wrote, "I kept trying to take him away from my mom because I wanted to keep holding him."  She did!  Boy was it hard to balance letting everyone have a chance with their brother and me just wanting him the whole time in my arms...

My biggest regret... not have the wear with all in my mind to stay at the hospital till my mom got there to see and hold him... Why I thought it was a good idea to say our goodbyes and hand him over and then drive to the airport to pick her up is still beyond me... Why someone didn't say, "She will want to see him."  Heck, why we didn't turn around and go back to the hospital for her to see him... His body was there in the refrigerator just waiting for the funeral home... I honestly, can't beat myself up over it... You do the best you can in the shock of what you are experiencing, but it still makes me sad and angry...

Of course a million things run through my mind as I was running this week...

The incredible pain of the loneliness I felt that first year... on top of my grief...
The struggle to get through the days with my living kiddos...
The many times insensitive things were said, or done (for example the sweet grandma who just couldn't contain herself my first night back at church less than 2 weeks later and had to gush and show me all the pictures of her new grand baby... knife to the heart!)  Truly, she is more than forgiven... :)



(My sweet Anna, so tenderhearted...)


(One of my all time favorite pictures... no fear of death...  no uncomfortableness... only true, deep love for her little brother... and she wanted to show it!)

 I was going to write out some of those hard hard things that daily made my life hard, really made Sundays the hardest day of the week for me...

Instead I wanted to share with you the beautiful precious things and people who made such a difference in the early days of my sorrow and loss... Their actions, stepping out of their comfort zones to do what must have been hard is so remembered by me... I know I will forget many and my intention isn't to make anyone ever feel bad... These are just the things that have popped into my head today as I remember my son...


(Inspecting every detail of my little guy)




There are those...

There were those nurses who prayed over me during labor when I couldn't go on... Thank you Lord for the bible belt... they were the two sweetest nurses ever...

There are those friends who put their boots on with their umbrella in hand, to stand with me in the falling rain of the early storms of sorrow... (you know who you are!)

There is the friend who barely knew me who asked, "Do you want to talk about him or would you rather not?"  You gave me the chance to share him with others... I SOOOOO needed to do that... I wanted his precious life shared...

There are those family members who drove hours arriving late into the night to share their love and gifts of music at His memorial service... Then driving through the night home... your sacrifice was precious to me... His service was exactly as I would have wanted it!

There are those total strangers to me who at my brothers church laid hands on me and prayed for the healing of my heart... That hadn't happened at our church and oh how I had needed that from day one and they supplied a need abundantly... Thank you Jesus!

There is the family member who said to me, "Take as long as you need!" and he meant it... healing nonjudgmental words from his heart... Never to be forgotten!"

There is the friend, who after noticing the kids and I weren't at our home church for two months, just took it upon herself to drive over, sit at the computer and pour over pictures of Samuel with me... I will NEVER forget it... she cared, she went out of her way to be Jesus in the flesh to me... I don't know when I might have returned without her...

There is the friend who consistently prayed for the rain of God's healing to flood my soul and stood with me in God's perfect plan for our family... Boy this friend got the "crazy" calls from me... and again and again reassured me that "I would be ok... she would feel the same way... and what I was feeling and thinking was normal"... What would I have done with out you sweet Nebraska friend???

There were the packages sent by dear family of my favorite fruit, pomegranates, and my favorite cookies just to make sure I felt loved and I did...

There was the sweet older lady who become our Oklahoma grandma to our kids... she too had lost a daughter... the conversations are precious to my heart that we shared...

There were those new "baby loss mamas" that became dear friends who lent so much support as we walked this new road together...

There were prayers offered hand in hand by sweet out of town friends when they would visit... Just what my heart needed at that time...

There was the calls from a few friends, truly that I didn't know super well from out of town, that made a point to call me... I didn't have the energy or strength to make many phone calls myself, but I so needed someone to talk to on the days she called... God knew...

There was the sweet elderly couple who called to bring dessert, we invited to dinner, and stayed asking to see what he looked like...They stayed for hours...  My heart was so touched... a special bond was shared...

There were those that drove to us to spend special weekends and holidays with us knowing we were alone and needed company that loved and knew us...

There was the friend, I hadn't talked to in years that upon hearing the news called me right away to let me know how much she cared and how sad she was...

There were those at MEND who lovingly remembered honored and valued our sons life with us... And gave me hope that I would heal in time...

There were those who even meeting the first time shed tears over our story of loss... I knew I had just found a dear friend right in that moment... Thank you Jesus!

There were those that celebrated his first birthday in Heaven with us... lovingly knowing we may cancel at any minute, but were game to share memories, tears and love...

There was the friends that God sent to care for our kids while we delivered Samuel.  The wife was the one and only person we knew to see my Samuel and shares such a special piece of my heart knowing that at least someone else we know and loved held that precious boy in their arms... God knew and ordained mighty plans to place us in the same city...




(Brothers then... today... forever!)

Truly, being in a new place made my grief so hard and lonely but I know God had big plans he laid in my heart to even in that loneliness weave a compassion in my heart for people to not have to grieve alone...

To focus on all the beautiful things people did for us... those friends near by and mostly those who made a point to do it from afar brings my heart great joy today...

It is a beautiful thing to see the body of Christ be the body... especially when it takes great effort from a distance...

They had to make even more of an effort and it didn't go unnoticed... Their love for Jesus and our family stretched across the miles to my broken heart and showed me our family was worth the effort to love, support and care for in our hardest days...


Beautiful ruby red lips of our Samuel Mark... Forever loved... Forever missed...