Friday, March 6, 2015

A city excursion...



Last Saturday the kids and I hit the big city to visit the Field Museum... It was the last free for all Illinois residents and who knew the entire city would turn out???  

The traffic was crazy, Chicago drivers even a bit crazier... but we had a great time:) We were only able to spend a few hours there and could spend days upon days there if we had time... Now that we know our way there... we will have to go back sometime during the week when it is less crowded:)


The crew in front of Sue... the T-Rex!


Jojo and Lou in front of another dinosaur exhibit.  I think that was the little guys favorite exhibit by far.   Levi won't stop talking about the dinosaurs he saw.  

It was a crazy day, but really again made us realize what a fun place to visit Chicago is... We need to make more of a point to watch for free days (during the week:) at the Museums, or spend some more days exploring the city this coming summer.  

It has been so cold... but we are expecting a heat wave this weekend... It may reach close to 50 degrees!   A part of me can't wait to see green again... while another part of me loves the beautiful snow.  

The kids aren't sick of it yet... Today was a big sledding day for Anna, jojo and Levi:)  They are trying to
 get every last bit of sledding and snow fort building in while they can:)  

It will be melted before too long:)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Time away with the utmost importance...


How can this cheesey grinned little girl almost be a teenager?


She has a zest for life, spunk, and is the best babysitter and mommy's helper ever:)


This weekend this goof ball and I will go away (actually we are only going next door). Our neighbors are heading out of town and graciously letting us use their home.  


We are going away to do The Family Life Passport to Purity!  (Greg did it with the big boys years ago)  I have been looking forward to doing this with Anna for the last couple of years... And now seems like just the right time... My sweet little girl is growing into a beautiful young lady...


I keep telling Greg in all honesty... He better get the bat and guns out when the boys start calling��!  

I am so thankful that she and I talk openly... I wouldn't want it any other way... I want her to be fully equipped as she goes though the hard teenage years... 

I know there will be bumps along the way... Maybe even mountains, but I want to continue to lay that foundation of love communication, and ultimately a foundation that continually points her back to Jesus and His best plans for her...

I don't want her to settle for less... 
Will she make mistakes like I have??  Probably, but hopefully spending time having these hard conversations now will save her some heartache down the road...


I know it may not be the popular thing to be modest, wait to date, or save yourself for the one you will marry but this will just be the tip of the iceberg as far as discussions go this weekend... There may be slightly awkward moments but...

SHE IS SO WORTH IT!!! Every bit of it!! 

So with a joyful really excited heart, I can not wait to get time alone with my girl... 

She is one of my greatest treasures from The Lord in this life... And I consider it a total priviledge to get to talk about these things with her... 

And then hopefully when the storms of the teenage years start to blow, she will KNOW that she can always come to me...



How about you??? Did you have an organized plan on addressing these issues with your teen or preteen? I would love to hear what other Christian parents did:)








Friday, February 20, 2015

Does she know???


Does she know how much her big sister longed for a little sister to call her own???   


Does she know how much The Lord healed my heart the day we finally knew we would really be keeping you and you would officially become a forever Hintz???

Does she know God used her to start a small fire burning in my heart to love those little ones who have no one, and need a family to call their own ??


Does she know that her spunk and sass sometimes take things to a whole new level and yet have driven me down to my knees so many more times than I can count... 


Does she know that God used that cold December day we met to crack open and explode my knowledge of the character of God??? Just as we would welcome her home and into the family, so He loved and adopted me as His child...


Does she know that when I think of all of my greatest treasures in this life, my heart is amazed and blown away that we can call her our own??? 

Happy 6th birthday Hopie girl!  That cold December day changed me and the make up of our family... 

We woke up not even knowing you existed and went to bed with you sleeping soundly right next to my bed...

You are a gift from God, lovingly created by Him for a great purpose... May you grow to know Him and His love for you more each day!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

I was in stitches... Precious moments!!

Personally I can't really deal with selfies:):)
Find the whole idea rather odd...

Only really liked taking them when we had our international selfie day each month after our first Uganda trip... 

Hilarious selfies from around the world:):). A way to stay connected to fellow missiontrips team members:)

But a few nights ago this happened...


Honestly, that hair really does look like it could be Jo's:)  We were cracking up:)  

Our week has been crazy... I think that is life with 7 kids....
And it probably won't slow down anytime soon... 

Last week I spent Sunday passing a LARGE kidney stone... ouch!! That was really fun!  NOT!  Then I cooked a batch of chili and headed over to the chili cookoff:)  Nothing like tying all of that into a morning while getting all the littles ready for church!

And all week I have felt like  I have another one on the move... so off to the kidney doctor I will go:)  

Greg and I have been doing loads and loads of paperwork... the mountain is almost complete... Thank you Jesus for that!  It was a huge job, but really not too bad when you look back at what you got completed!  Thankful to have it behind us!:)

We have been amazed by God's goodness this week... We had precious friends get scammed by a birth mom whose baby was to be due any day now... She ended up delivering that baby a few weeks ago and didn't place it with either of the 2 families that she had chosen and received money from... Big Bummer!

Well, miraculously, our friends flew home from out of state yesterday with 2 kids in tow, a 1 year old and a 6 week old... siblings... Yay for God moving mountains to get his children in a forever family!  

They are precious and we are so thankful and excited for our friends who just grew by 2 kids in a matter of a few days... What a sweet and wild surprise:)  I love how God can just knock our socks off especially when we are sort of in the dark and not at all understanding His will or plan and then BOOM He goes and does above or beyond anything we could have imagined or thought possible!  He is a God of second chances that is for sure!  

Now to Him who is able to do immeasureably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.   To Him be the glory in the church throughout all generations forever and ever )  Ephesians 3:20-21

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Let the snow play begin....



We have been waiting for a dumping of snow like this all winter... The  Chicago Super Bowl blizzard delivered it BIG Time!!!

We bundled up and explored the church property... Who knew playgrounds in the deep snow is so much fun???

Being launched off the slide into the powder was so great!

Caleb finally had a break to play in it versus just shovel it... Over 18 inches of snow fell from Saturday evening to Monday morning...

He and louis are so blessed to work on campus... But when the snow falls... Especially for 30+hours that means you are blessed with an able body to shovel it and get it cleared:)

And when it keeps falling and falling and falling some more and the church has 3 services plus other groups that use the campus... 
You keep shoveling... Go back out a few hours later and keep shoveling again...

It was like a winter wonderland on campus with tons of great hills for playing king of the mountain.
There was also loads of snow ice cream to be eaten by all:)



I am so very thankful for the gentle reminder that just like this lily white snowfall blankets the park earth...  Jesus' grace and forgiveness covers all of our sin... making us freely forgiven,.. again and again

The BIG boys stand in for dad at the daddy daughter dance...

With Greg being gone in Haiti still, the boys said that they would be happy to take Anna and Hope to the daddy daugther dance up at our churches school.

The boys  were really sweet about it... They even expressed that they had wanted to bring them flowers ahead of time if they get to go again next year... And as you can tell from Hope's facial she was pretty jazzed about it as well!

This is TOTALLY a typical expression for our Hopie girl... Apparently, she really had the moves on the dance floor! I don't doubt that for one second:)

Can not believe out grown up my Anna is looking... My years with them are passing by far too quickly!


I am so thankful for big brothers who are willing to put their little sisters first...
I am so thankful for big brothers who really didn't mind being their sister's dates...
I am so thankful for little sisters who look up to their big brothers...
I am so thankful for the love of family...
I am so thankful to Jesus who makes this all possible...


Saturday, January 31, 2015

Life...

This is how we have been spending our days... 
Loving on babies...


Keeping the littles busy while we work hard on school!! 
What fun... But what a mess!! :)

Being silly together!!
 

Loads if time sledding and playing in the snow!!  I don't think any other child I know loves the snow as much as Levi!
He has been over the moon this week!

What a joy filled little man!

The daddy of the house is off to Haiti tomorrow for a week...

We are totally praying for protection and that The Lord leads the team to the exact places and people that St. Peter can connect and serve in the future!  Exciting stuff!

What a blessing and gift it will be for both pastors to go and solidify part of the mission vision for our church together!  

God has blessed us with a wonderful head pastor that is real, mission minded (here and abroad), loves people, loves God more, works hard, has great integrity, and one that we deeply respect!  What a blessing!  I am excited for What God will show them in the coming week!