Friday, April 30, 2010

Dinner and Dice

Tonight we had the opportunity to hook up with Brigitte and Tony, some great friends of ours who it feels like we don't see enough of (completely our fault). We love these guys... they are always so supportive of us in everything we try to do from supporting us financially to praying their minds out for us. Great friends...!!

It was great to just hang out and watch Meron get introduced to Farkle... it's a pretty cool dice/counting game that Daddy is no good at (but mommy walked away from the game a winner tonight!). Good thing I am not a gambler...

Thanks Tony and Brigitte for a fun night with great food and games - but mostly thanks for your friendship! You guys are the bomb and we're blessed to know ya!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Top Shelf

Meron calls this "top shelf" - and she LOVES IT.

Daddy calls this "pain in the neck" (literally) - but the fact is - he loves it too! Especially when she bends her head down to look at me and then kisses my face.

I'd carry her anywhere on there after that!

P.S. yes, I know... my glasses are ridiculous. no - you can't have them...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Beautiful Beads

Check out these beads... beautiful aren't they? Their story makes them even more so. Check back in a few days as we share the story and give away some - just in time for Mother's Day!

Can't wait for that or don't wanna risk the try on the freebie? Visit 147 Million Orphans to put in an order for some - but hurry - they're going fast!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

3 Months and Counting...

Today marks 3 months we've been waiting in line for our referral. And though we've been kinda quiet about on here - not a single day goes by that we don't talk about, think about, pray for and long for LH3 (Little Hoffman #3).

Meron will randomly tell people "my baby sister is in Africa..." and God will place her on our hearts at the most random and awesome times.

It's a different process this time - God has grown us so much and our faith and trust is exponentially more at play - but the excitement, desire and love is the exact same.

We love you LH3 and can't wait to bring you into this crazy place we call Camp Hoffman!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Running For Brighton - Race #18

An alarm going off at 3:50 AM in a hotel room could only mean one thing - another Run for Brighton race! This one was a pretty special one because our good friend Mark and I would be rocking our 147 Million Orphans running shirts in a city known for it's awesome support of orphans.

We stopped by Gwen's house (she runs 147 Million Orphans) to grab my running shirt (cuz I procrastinate like a maniac) and then we headed to drop off a few cases of formula from Brighton Their World that would be heading to Haiti the next day with another cool organization based in Nashville (told ya this city shows some serious love to orphans!).

Back to the race... I thought Atlanta was bad... I forgot my Garmin (my crutch, right Mark?), my socks, my iPod, my calf muscles, my mindset... ugh...

But ya know what? At the end of the day - none of it matters - because I run these races for another reason - to remember the suffering that orphans all over the globe experience. And remember I did. All along the course we got shouts about our shirts and I was really excited to be in a place that has a passion for the least of His.

And once Mark left me in the dust (he is a machine - his legs aren't even real) I had plenty of time with just me and my mind to reflect on what it is God is doing with our broken hearts here at Camp Hoffman. This race was a great opportunity for me to do some thinking, some praying and some hanging out with God.

I ended up finishing so-so. Not my best - not my worst. I'll blame it on the tornado watch we were under - or maybe the fact that I didn't train at all. But either way - I crossed the line again thinking about Brighton and all the orphans around the world who need somebody to speak up for them.

You wanna help out an orphan or two (or a million)? It's real easy - just ask us.
Go support 147 Million Orphans with a shirt purchase or donation. or connect with us at "Brighton Their World" as we try to bring new and exciting opportunities for EVERYBODY to help brighten the world of orphans around the globe.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

His Faith in Me

Sometimes - I'll look at Meron - formerly one of God's least and now living under our roof with us - and just be floored by the whole thing. The fact that God would care enough to send this angel to our lives to bless us is one thing.

The fact that He chose us to be her parents is quite another. And that's when it hits me...

He has an enormous amount of faith in me.
He chose me to be the father of this amazing little girl. He knows my whole life, my ups and downs, my good and bads. And He still found me qualified to raise one of His children.

God - thank you for trusting me! Let my faith in You grow to match the amount of faith You have in me...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Shoe Line Up

Thank You Granny!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

God, a Balloon and Meron's Brother

Meron and I hit Chick-Fil-A last night for a little daddy-daughter time at Christian Chicken. As usual Meron turned on her charm factor and had those guys eating out of her hand - that translates into multiple table visits, waves, hellos, balloons and in this case some free ice cream. Her prized possession last night was the bright blue helium-filled balloon.

After dinner - at her request - we headed to Target. We stuck the prized blue balloon in the Xterra and headed in. When we came back out - with her in my arms and Target bag and keys - well - that blue balloon filled with helium slipped right out the door and - well - you know what helium does.

I tried to grab it. I really did. Meron watched it for about .0347 seconds before breaking into an ear-shattering wail.

"My balloon! My blue balloon! I want my blue balloon!"
Me too girl, me too. Trust me. I want nothing more than your blue balloon right now - that's what I was thinking.

But she wasn't letting up. The wails got louder. So there in the dusk in Target's parking lot with Meron sitting on the hood of the Xterra with giant tear drops rolling down her cheeks I let her in on what a cool thing just happened.
"Meron - you know what you just did? You know what just happened?"
The wails grew louder - she didn't seem to care. I was still trying...
"Meron - you just gave your blue balloon to God to enjoy! God and Brighton can enjoy your balloon now! That was so awesome!"
She started to calm down a little. I dunno if it was sinking in or what - I assured her that her brother and God were so happy to see that balloon. This story and a few M&M's calmed her down and we headed home.

She was real quiet in the car and about 15 minutes later she said:
"Daddy! Daddy! God gonna give me a balloon back."
I said "He is?" The tears were all gone at this point and she seemed real happy. She said:
"Yes! God gonna give me a balloon back!"
I didn't know what to say - I said something like "God is so cool, isn't He?" (I know, I know - but what do ya say?)

So fast forward to today. I picked Meron up and we had to run to grab a few things for dinner. We are walking through Publix quickly grabbing what we need. We're in the produce department and a smiling employee came over - he had an accent - it sounded African but who knows. We go to this Publix a lot but I had never seen him. He smiled at me but was really focused on Meron. Real soft-spoken he said to her:
"You want a balloon?"
She lit up! He came back 2 minutes later with an orange balloon and totally made her day. And he blew my mind.

Like I said we have been to this Publix a million times. We always get in to conversations, get cookies, etc. But 2 things are certain - I have never seen that employee and we have never, ever been given a balloon there.
"Daddy! Daddy! God gonna give me a balloon back."
I believe He did just that Meron.
(she was so happy she had to take it in to the tub with her!)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Small Group Leader

Meron has started leading a small group with some of her (stuffed) buddies.

She hasn't mentioned it yet - but we're pretty sure they are reading "Crazy Love." What - with the passed out monkey and pig having to be carted off afterwards - definitely seems like a Francis Chan discussion took place!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Push It

Saturday, April 17, 2010

First Trip to the Zoo

Meron and mommy hooked up with her buddy Milo and his mommy for her very first trip to the zoo! She had a blast and couldn't stop talking about it when she got home.

Thanks Milo for being such a good buddy and giving Meron a fun time!

Friday, April 16, 2010

How Ya Like Me Now?

Meron decided she wanted to get dressed for a quick picture to "show daddy." T-shirt, no pants, magic princess hat and boots. All her choices...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

He Just Looking at Me

I know we've said it before, but Meron LOVES our dogs. I mean she really loves them. Especially Clay.

This past Sunday, she was all dressed up for church and decided to go lay with Clay for a while. I said, "Meron, what's going on?"

Her response:

"He Just Looking At Me."
I am so happy she has a Clay to hang out and just look at...