Monday, December 24, 2007

Baby Bump watch

Here's baby #4, now 32 weeks along. He's letting me keep wearing my regular pants, but delivers quite a powerful kick to the ribs!

Fearfully and wonderfully made

A few weeks ago we learned that our little Ammo has very little hearing in both ears. The reasons are still unclear, and we're in the midst of seeing specialists to try to restore her hearing. We are so thankful to know why she has had so much trouble learning to walk (she hasn't taken her first step yet) or talk (she hasn't said her first word yet), and hopeful that we'll be able to help her.

Now that we've plunged into the world of hearing loss, we've had reason to study up on the ear. "Fearfully and wonderfully made" takes on new meaning when one looks closely at any aspect of creation, and especially at the human body. And Ammo's ears are no exception: they are made to function exactly as her Creator intended.

One of our explicit desires for our children, toward which we pray and train and educate, is that their lives will be maximally effective in building God's Kingdom. The other, more important prayer, is that God would be preparing their souls for heaven. We trust that Ammo's ears are part of His plan to answer both of these prayers!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Blizzard watching

Who needs a TV when you have big windows in Kansas?

Yes, that is a swimsuit Miss B is wearing, as if to taunt Old Man Winter. Believe it or not, there was lightning and thunder in the midst of this blizzard which dumped 5-6 inches of snow, transforming our bleak December day into a winter wonderland.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Blame it on the rain...

Freezing rain, that is. An ice storm knocked out our network and it took a while for our friends in India to help us get back online... so sorry for the extended absence!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Baby, it's cold outside!

But that didn't stop us from participating in an Emporia tradition... the annual Christmas parade! Bundling up in five layers of our warmest clothes, we braved the cold to watch as half the city paraded through downtown and the other half lined the streets. Everyone from preschool tots to rest home residents took part, walking, marching, or riding in various floats and cars, and even a motorized armchair! Nathan has a new set of heroes and now switches off being a fireman, tractor man, or marching band drummer (oatmeal cartons and tinker toys make great drums!). Julia felt very special because all those people were waving right at her. It was a fun night, and despite requiring 24 hours to thaw out afterwards, I'd do it all again.

An interesting trend

This post, by Al Mohler, is well worth taking a few minutes to read, and a few more to ponder the implications... My #1 rule in Christmas shopping this year was "it cannot require batteries," and I was amazed how many kid gift options were immediately ruled out!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Here's the Ringmaster at 3... and today he's 33! In honor of his big day, I thought I'd jot down 33 reasons why I love my sweetie...

1. He loves the Lord with all his heart, mind, soul and strength.
2. He loves his Jayhawks and talks about their coaching, talent, stats, like it's REALLY TRULY IMPORTANT.
3. He puts his own dirty clothes in the laundry bin.
4. He looks great in a suit.
5. He's amazingly self-disciplined and hard working...
6. but never too busy to stop and hold me.
7. He loves to wrestle on the floor with the kids.
8. He fears God and will stand unswervingly for truth, no matter the cost.
9. He keeps up on current events and politics so he can talk to me about the things I'm interested in.
10. He is deeply concerned for those who don't know Christ and loves sharing the gospel more than anyone I know.
11. He likes working around the house and keeps his "honey-do" list short!
12. He has beautiful blue eyes which he has passed on to two of our children so far.
13. He sets aside time every single day, no matter the obstacles, to spend time in the Word and prayer.
14. He is true-blue loyal to his friends.

15. When I think about what I'd like my boys to be like in the future, I just think of their father--if my boys grow to be like him, I'll be one happy mother.
16. He remembers not only our wedding anniversary, but also our first date anniversary, our engagement anniversary, and my birthday every single year!
17. He reads aloud to the kids.
18. He cries at the end of sports movies.
19. He romances me and loves to take me out.
20. He gets as excited about playing with Nay-nay's new toys as Nathan does himself.
21. He really appreciates good food and thanks me for every single meal, however simple, that I place in front of him.
22. He lives with me in an understanding way. Considering that I've had 4 babies in 4 1/2 years, this has at times been no easy task!
23. He makes me laugh until my sides hurt, and fills our home with joy and mirth.
24. He makes me a better wife, mother, and child of God than I'd ever have been without him.
25. He gets up in the middle of the night with sick or scared kids.
26. He instructs his family in the Word--from the pulpit, around the dinner table, in the car, at bedtime, while playing in the living room.
27. He loves God's people and never tires of being with them.
28. He helps with the dishes.
29. He is a reader and loves to learn.
30. He is far more godly now than he was when we met, and growing ever more so day by day.
31. He loves and respects his parents.
32. Thinking about growing old with him makes me unimaginably happy.
33. Somehow, amazingly, he picked me to be his bride.

I love you sweetie! Happy Birthday!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Our first snow!

With Bado, Grandpa, Uncle Paul and Auntie Lisa visiting from California, God graced us with a dusting of snow this morning! What a joy to wake up to a sparkling, changed world!

After shoveling down their oatmeal, the kiddos bundled up and ran outside to play in the quickly melting powder. Snowball fights, flavorless snowcones, trike tracks... it doesn't get much better than this!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Psalm 100

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Only in Kansas...

Yesterday's high: about 80 degrees. Today's high: 37, with snow flurries! Yesterday we were running around outside in shorts and t-shirts. Today I bundled the kids up in coats, scarves, mittens and hats just to get to and from the van! Wierd.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

You know you're behind on laundry when...

Your laundry room looks like this.

And instead of sorting "darks" and "lights," your categories are "pinks," "brighter pinks," "light greens," "navy," "denim," "light blue," and "lighter blue". And they're all full loads. This should serve as an encouragement to any readers who have ever been behind in housework. Okay, all of us.

In my defense, the three kids and I have all been taking turns being sick. But with guests coming for the holidays (Yeay!! Hooray!! Only two more days!!), it's definitely time to tackle the piles...

Well, a dozen loads and a tired back later, my laundry room now looks like this:

All you who are still climbing out from under your piles, try not to be jealous.

Friday, November 16, 2007

What is the Trinity?

"The Father, the Sun, and the Holy moon," says Miss B. Okay, so we have some work yet to do...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Miss B, practicing for her American Idol debut

With the current writer's strike, we think there's a good chance it will still be running when she comes of age!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The politics of pile-on

Hintz style.

` And yes, my front door is pink.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Amberly's first trip to the salon...

Before (a bit shaggy) ...

And After!

Not bad for a kitchen salon, eh?

Fall is...

A great time to be in Kansas!

Growing up in sunny Southern California, summer has always been my favorite season--long days, warm evenings, no school, no allergies, spending as much time outside as possible every day.

Now that we've moved to Kansas, autumn has supplanted summer as my favorite time of year. The air cools and loses its mugginess. We wake up to clear, crisp mornings, gorgeous colors everywhere we look, and NO BUGS!!! We've already adjusted to the cooler temperatures, and somehow a high of 52 doesn't seem so bad-- just throw on a sweater and enjoy the brisk air! (This rapid adjustment may be helped somewhat by the fact that my body is currently doubling as an incubator.) And now that the starlings have migrated south and peace has returned to our neighborhood, we can spend as much time outside as we'd like, without worrying about being showered by the "white rain." Yes, autumn is a great time to be in Kansas.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Look who's THREE!!

Where did the time go?? Suddenly my screaming, kicking baby boy is outgrowing all his pants and talking about teaching HIS little brother how to sword fight and play with trucks!! And what a joy he is to all of us. He still gives great hugs, plays with his mama's hair, and loves making everyone laugh; but now our big three-year-old is also the family bug-killer who explores the neighborhood on his own, says he's "big like Daddy," and "protects" his sisters. Wow.

For his special day, we went to the local zoo, had some friends over for the traditional chocolate-chocolate-chocolate cake with THREE airplanes, and just enjoyed our big guy!

A day at the pumpkin patch

With Grandma Idaho and Papa visiting, we went to a nearby pumpkin patch, where we learned and experienced a number of new things:

1) If you don't dress for the cold in Kansas, you WILL regret it.

2) Wind is the least pleasant of the elements.

3) Exploring the pumpkins on the vine with a 4-year-old leads to lots of discussions about the meaning of such terms as "rotting" and "decaying."

4) Pumpkins are actually a fruit. To the children's dismay, so are many of their VeggieTale friends. Yes, 'tis true: Larry, Bob, and the gourd friends are not real veggies at all! Childhood trust destroyed...

5) We watched a pumpkin get launched from a cannon and fly about a half mile in the air (Amberly looks rightly confused by this one). This was a big favorite among all the dads at the patch, sort of their reward for being patient with the other stuff.
6) Kansas wind is no good for corn mazes. They end up looking more like corn dominoes after someone's tipped them over.
7) Safety regulations are a bit more lax once you leave the litigious land of Southern California. In our case, that meant way more fun for the kids--toboggan runs through tunnels in the hills, train rides with no track and no seatbelts, climbing up and jumping down haystacks with hay slipping down all over...
8) The crowning moment: we saw the Prairie Chicken Capital of the World. Now how many of you all can say you've done THAT?!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Current faves

Here's Nae-nae with his current favorite toy, a new dump truck Aunt Kori gave him for his upcoming birthday. Note: he's actually sound asleep in this picture, taken sometime around 11pm.

And here's Miss B, all dressed up in her new favorite outfit with matching baby (currently named Alia). She wears this at some point every day, along with about 7 other outfits. Once I taught her to fold her own clothes and put them away, I stopped caring how many clothes she goes through each day!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Here it is folks, in all its glory...

More testosterone in the Hintz home! Nathan has an ally! An enemy combatant for sword-fighting! An equalizing of genders! The bedroom arrangement will work! And yes, I promise this will be the last time I post photos of my son's whoo-hoo in the public domain.

And for those of us interested in other things, he's a thumb-sucker, all systems are go, and he's giving mama's ribs a thrashing as he hones his kickboxing skills.

What does lightning look like?

"What does lightning look like?" asked Grandpa, as Miss B was regaling him with stories of camping out during a thunderstorm.

"Like a wrinkle in the sky. A big yellow wrinkle."

Well said.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

On missing dear ones...

“Friendship is a golden thing only if it be kept free from undisciplined attachment.
We are not here to enjoy each other. We are here to do the will of God.”
~Amy Carmichael

Escape to the Farm

For the Trainer's birthday we decided to get away from it all (oh wait, we already are away from it all) and go to the Wernli family farm! A mere 45 minute drive took us to a comfortable, beautiful farmhouse where the kids had a swingset outside, a river for rock-throwing, four wheelers and tractors to ride, barns to explore, equipment to examine... kid paradise! It took me a while to get used to the small birds that kept flying into me as I walked (actually grasshoppers, I later learned) and spiders so big it seemed more appropriate to shoot than to squish them, but the delights of being away outweighed all of that. To top it all off, the Ringmaster had the joy of watching his Jayhawks demolish the Wildcats in football! And when Daddy's team wins, everybody wins! =)

Climbing up and sliding down the feed pile--a "don't tell Mama" moment!

In the tractor with Mr. David after a ride around the property (Miss B: "this is a like a gift--it's just like Christmas!)

And my little bundle of delight herself.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Yes, we do get lots of attention...

Everywhere we go!

But just one question... Where did she get those lips???

Our first visit to the park

After pressing our noses to the grindstone all day Friday and conquering some new-homeowner tasks, we made Saturday a family fun day and went to a local park for a picnic! After ditching the shoes, the kids were off to discover slides, sand, trees to climb, tire swings, frisbee golf courses, fields of wildflowers, ponds, lakes, and birds like we've never seen before! We had a wonderfully relaxing day, and took great naps!

Friday, September 28, 2007

A Night on the (Small) Town

Tonight we joined another family from church to watch the high school Homecoming Parade. Now to call it a parade might be a bit of a stretch--though technically I think that's what it was. The kids had a great time watching the two bands, the strutting athletes, the cars carrying nervous, dolled-up court nominees. I'm sure Miss B was envisioning the day when she, too, might ride in one of those cars, and Nae-Nae the day he might strut down the middle of the street like those supercool 15 year olds. Afterwards we went to Braum's for dinner and ice cream.

For those who care to keep up with such things, here's the bulging belly update. Looks like the insurance situation is getting cleared up, so hopefully we'll get in for an appointment and be posting an ultrasound of the little kickboxer soon. Notice that in this picture I'm standing in front of a Chocolate Cafe. I didn't even walk inside. Honest. I've never practiced such self-control in my entire pregnant life. For my efforts I promptly rewarded myself with a shake at Braum's.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

An Excursion to the Flint Hills

This one's for all those who say Kansas isn't pretty! A friend took us to see the Flint Hills not long ago, about a 30-minute drive from our house. The kids found frogs, turtles, minnows, crawdads (sp?), tons of bugs (it is the Midwest, after all), cows grazing lazily, and lots more. The one thing we did not see was another human! We had a blast and can't wait to go back!

Monday, September 24, 2007

A boy's dream come true!

No joke: from the moment he found out we were moving to Kansas, Nae-nae began talking about mowing the lawn with Daddy. And the Ringmaster began looking at lawn mowers in every home improvement store he could find. Now bear in mind that while living in California, we had never owned a lawn, mowed our own lawn, nor known anyone who did so. Yet father and son longed for the day when they could work the fields together. Well, folks, for both of these boys, a dream came true this week: They finally. mowed. their. own. lawn. Ah, the sense of accomplishment. Ah, the sweat from this Kansas heat! Some overly kind and indulgent friends from church bought the Ringmaster the Lexus of lawnmowers, and boy did he enjoy using it! On his back is our little Ammo, not sure what to make of it all. Miss B watched from a distance in full princess apparel. Far be it from her to soil her robes with such common labor! And the neighbors watched with open astonishment these wacky Californians taking way too much pleasure in what is for them just another weekly hassle. Afterwards, the Trainer rewarded them with homemade cinnamon rolls, their reward for a job well (if weirdly) done. Then she promptly sent them off to the shower.