Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The countdown is on....

 The countdown is on... only 36 days till we set foot back on Ugandan soil (God willing)

The plans for our meals for missions fundraiser are underway... Which meals the chaos of the next 2 weeks has begun... I think we have about 53 people signed up which means we will make about 530 meals that day... We are hoping for about 70 to sign up... So we will see... We know God will provide...



One of the highlights of last year was seeing the tremendous growth of my boys compared to the trip we had taken the year before... Our leader stretches the kids to get out of their comfort zone, share from their hearts, and even take a leadership role at times...

He sees the kids as an intricate part of the team and gives us a huge range of experiences.  He does not shy away from hard work, hard things to see, the harsh reality of living in the slums of a 3rd world country.

 I wouldn't trade that for anything... A precious life experience for myself and my boys...



Can you see the fly on the little girls lip that I am holding?   Sweet baby girls watching the boys play soccer in the slums of Kampala...

Louis and his special friend getting water from the water hole... We are praising God that these kids no longer drink from that stagnant unhealthy water hole, but from a well dug right on their property... 


Those eyes...


Those feet, having been chewed on by rats while he slept... 
Can you even imagine???


This little guy ate the rest of my nutella and peanut butter sandwich... He hid behind this tree so he could have the last few bites to himself... Isn't he beyond precious???


I know this trip will be different in many ways... We are thrilled to be able to spend some of our time serving at The Gem Foundation, a special needs orphanage that our 21 year old friend Emma opened this past summer.  

I have to be honest, I know that the Lord is going to use this place especially, to grow me... Sadly, I haven't had a great  deal of experience working with kids or people with special needs...Sadly, It isn't really within my comfort zone... I am embarrassed to admit that... 

I am not scared... maybe more intimidated is the word...I am just not sure what to do, what is safe and appropriate when handling them... But I can not wait to love on and care for these precious kids that the Lord created and loves.  And I know that with some direction and leading the Lord is going to grow my heart, my love for them, and my understanding of how to care for them... He is so good like that... And I am so looking forward to it... 

Already our hearts are praying... "Lord, break out hearts for what breaks yours..." That is our hearts cry... That we might be able to catch a glimpse of how God sees things, us, the orphans, the homeless, and that our hearts will be moved  and be motivated to GO and DO all because we love our Savior and want others to know and love HIM too...

So the countdown is on... Lord willing, 36 days and our feet will hit the ground running on the red dirt soil of Uganda... 

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.