Thursday, April 17, 2014

Stellar Speller

Meron brought this home today... way to go girl!

As she told me:

"I am now a stellar speller!"
She even got her name in the class newsletter for nailing all the words!

Man - I am super proud of this girl. She's worked so hard these past few weeks on this - and seeing it pay off was good for her.

She's like a regular alphabet ninja - complete with aggressive face and stance.

And you know - around here - nothing is sacred. Not even celebratory spelling test pictures.

We wouldn't have it any other way.

Way to go M-E-R-O-N! Keep up the G-O-O-D W-O-R-K!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Two Pieces of Wood

Man... this week has me reflecting a LOT on a LOT of different things.

During chapel at work today (yeah - we get to go to chapel during work) - I could not get the thought of the cross out of my mind. it was just gnawing at me...

So I had to write it outta my mind...

two pieces of wood, on the top of a hill,
on the darkest of days, while the world stood still;

two pieces of wood, that's all it would take,
unbroken wood - yet His body would break;

two pieces of wood, simple by design,
that held up all of sin, all of yours, all of mine;

two pieces of wood, they played a big part,
a stake in the ground, tied right to God's heart;

two pieces of wood, the last thing to hold Him,
He did not want to be there but He did what God told Him;

two pieces of wood, when He took his last breath,
they were there when He did it - when He saved us from death;

two pieces of wood, the unmentioned partner,
right there by His side for His earthly departure;

two pieces of wood, they stand for so much,
required by us - we all needed a crutch;

two pieces of wood, a silent killing machine,
in death it means life, by it all were made clean;

two pieces of wood, on the top of a hill,
on the darkest of days, while for us He was killed.

And here's a little video of Meron reading my poem for me - I dunno why - but the sound of kids reading stuff that has to do with Jesus just sounds SO PRECIOUS to me. So there ya go...

Here at our camp - this week - and always - we are striving to remember what happened on those two pieces of wood - and to keep our focus on the One who it happened to.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sweet Treats

After walking almost 3 miles roundtrip to a friend's baseball game tonight - these guys earned themselves a treat!

It was a cup of whip cream for this dude - and he was STOKED!

Meron - forever the big girl - wanted to sit in the comfy chairs (near a group of older girls of course...)

While Mebski Love made the loudest slurping sounds ever - not missing a sip of anything in that cup.

But what none of them realized is this...

The biggest treat of all was mine - getting to spend some time with these guys!

Best moments of the day - hands down...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Beaten Like a Criminal - But Smelling Like a King

So - my new favorite story is about "Spikenard."

After you say it a few times and use it totally outta context ("dude - don't be a spikenard!") - go Google it.

In short - it's a flowering plant used in the manufacture of an intensely aromatic amber-colored essential oil. The oil has, since ancient times, been used as a perfume, as a medicine and in religious contexts, particularly in connection with historical Judaism.

Apparently this stuff is INTENSE - it ain't no watered down Justin Bieber perfume from Target. Nope - this stuff has some staying power.

It also has an anesthetic effect to it as well as being aromatically strong. And it was most often associated with Roman royalty.

Here is where things get really neat and God's eye for detail can be overwhelming. The Gospels tell us that Jesus was anointed with this stuff from the alabaster jar - literally poured over His head and washed over His feet - a few days before being taken captive and beaten by the Roman soldiers.

Imagine that scene - or smell it - if you will. If that spikenard is as strong as research says it is - it is doing two things in that moment. One - its anesthetic properties are relaxing and reducing pain in the skin and muscles of our Savior. Somehow - some way - that provides a fleeting bit of comfort to a mind that cringes when I think of what He endured for me (and you and you and you over there...)

But here - here is the real kicker - and just one of the bazillion reasons I love our God and His insane eye and mind for details. As those soldiers were beating Jesus and treating Him like the criminal He had been charged as - laughing as their spiked whips tore His flesh apart - they smelled something. His skin was giving off an odor.

The smell of ROYALTY.

Beaten like a criminal... but smelling like the KING He is.

Spikenard. I love this word.

And I love our God. A God who knew exactly what He was doing from the get go... and never faltered on His mission.

Happy Holy week people - let's make this weekend all about HIM.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Meron's Life Line Project

So this project came home in Meron's backpack last week. With words like "baby book" and "baby pictures" in there it set off all kinds of alarms in my protective daddy persona.

After praying it over a bit - I emailed her teacher and was just honest...

"How is this going to be presented?"

"Are her peers going to be allowed to ask anything they want?"

And so on and so forth. I ended it with:

"I hope you see where we're coming from. Meron's life - every second of it - is something that is precious. And it's not at all our intention to keep it hidden - however we also feel that it being played out on a "large piece of white paper" in front of the class isn't the best approach for her either. "
Her teacher was awesome - she immediately reached back out to us, called Laura and really put us at ease. And then she said something that just brings me to tears to even think about. She said:
"I'm not worried about Meron. She is fiercely proud of her story, of her life. And she has made it very clear that she knows that God put her right where she was supposed to be."
Relief rushed over me.

It was as if God patted me on the back and said "Slow down daddy - she's okay..."

So this weekend - she and I had a great time piecing this thing together.

She was WAY into it and not hesitant at all to include the unique parts of her story.

At first I felt myself trying to push her towards life things like riding a bike or going to the beach...

And she did include those...

But she also included her Hoffman beginning. Cuz it's important to her...

Her lifeline included:
- I came home to Georgia.
- My M&M Party!
- We went to Disney!

- I went to the beach.
- I rode my bike!
- I moved to Colorado.

Lesson learned? Ease up Dad.

All those prayers I prayed about her heart and God's protection and what not... He heard 'em.

Meron - your life line is BEAUTIFUL and I am so blessed to have been a small part of it all!

Can't wait to see what all comes next...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Taxing Day

If you've read this blog for any length of time than you know I have lucked out and picked the long straw in just about every area of life - scored an amazing wife and best friend, blessed beyond belief to be the daddy to my kids - and that luck didn't stop today...

Laura said:

"I need some quiet time to do taxes. Why don't you and the kids go get breakfast and do something for about 3 hours to give me time..."
Uhhh... okay! I didn't hesitate on that one.

So we packed up early and headed up to this cool little mountain town called Woodland Park. The place should be a postcard...

We quickly found us a park and just hung out...

And hung on...

And just flat out hung!

We climbed chains...

We jumped...

and scary smiled too!

Then we headed to a cool little shop where we pigged out on ice cream...


and more ice cream!

After walking around for a while - it was time to head back down the mountain and see mommy again - we didn't wanna do ALL the fun stuff here without her...

Laura - you love spreadsheets and numbers and taxes - and I LOVE you for that (among a million other things)!

Guys - it was a taxing day - but one I'll be happy to repeat every year come mid April!

Friday, April 11, 2014

In a Robe, On a Porch

Before dinner tonight Meron insisted on getting in to her "comfies" and her robe and sitting on the front porch...

The weather has been GORGEOUS and apparently she just wanted to enjoy it a little...

She cracks me up...

She is SOOO not afraid to be herself.

Keep on being YOU Meron!

P.S. - keep trying Z-Dogg... you'll make it out there one of these days!