Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Blessings She Brings Us

Meron has this magical ability to attract blessings to us left and right. We've definitely reaped the fringe benefits of having a Meron in our lives. The latest blessings to rain down on us involved trampolines, horses and one of the coolest families we've ever met.

Meron's 2-year old Sunday school class was taught by this incredibly neat family of 4. All of them served God through teaching and they showered Meron with lotsa love - and she fell in love with them. When she moved up to the 3-year old class we were sad to leave them but we still saw them around the halls.

Recently - they asked if Meron would like a trampoline as they were looking to give theirs away. HECK YEAH! was the answer. So last weekend we went over to pick it up and these guys just poured out love on our girl.

They let her brush their horse Good 'Nuff...

Then they let her ride him!

She was having a BLAST with Mister Michael out there...

She got to walk Good 'Nuff to eat some grass...

And then lead him back to his stall!

She helped feed all of the horses in the barn...

And even managed to get some play time in on their playground!

Every now and then in life ya get to meet some people who just radiate kindness. This family is a glowing example of that...

Meron's face says it all - we love this family and are blessed to have had them come into our lives!

Thanks guys for being super cool, super kind and an awesome model of what a family should be!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What Would Brian Boitano Do?

He'd be pretty impressed - that's what. Meron had another first this past week - ice skating with the fam at an outdoor rink in downtown Little Rock!

Dad wasn't so hot at this - but lucky for Meron she had mom there too. Not only did Laura used to figure skate competitively - she also taught kids how to skate.

When I wasn't trying to stop myself from killing unsuspecting skaters (or myself) - I had a blast watching these two together.

We all survived to skate another day!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

All Together Now

Thanks to a friendly chap at the park today we managed to get a picture with all of us in it! Thank you friendly chap!

And thanks Stacy, James, Ansley and Will for a wonderful time and yet again reminding us that we wished we lived closer!

Friday, November 26, 2010

With a Corn Cob Pipe and a Button Nose...

Meron watched the old-school Frosty the snowman tonight for the first time. She loved it - and it brought out the BIG EYES.

She even got her cousin Ansley in on it and the magic hat of Frosty seemed to have the same effect on her.

I LOVE sharing these moments with her...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

We have a LOT to be thankful for. A LOT.

Today Laura had us cruise around the table and tell what we were thankful for. I could have gone on for days.

Meron? She said:

"I am thankful for my mommy. And my daddy. And my family who is in my heart."
LOVE this girl's heart.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Let The Thanks Begin!


She is back in the house with some of her favorite peeps and she can't stop smiling.

Looking forward to a fun few days.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Birthday LH3!

Today our little girl in Ethiopia turned 2! And though our hearts are heavy because we couldn't celebrate with her - we praise God for where she is, for her health and for His timelines (not ours).

We do have some super dope friends who decided to throw a little birthday party for LH3 this past weekend. It was the best!

There were candles and singing...

There was Ethiopian-colored cupcake eating...

Mommy even got in on this one!

Miss Angela made some cool goody bags for everybody...

And a lot of fun was had by all!

Only one thing was missing - the guest of honor. You wait til next year baby girl - you just wait til next year!

Huge THANKS to Mark, Rebecca, Jay, Angela and all the crazies for loving us like you guys do - we are blessed to have you in our lives!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mug Shot Meron

What happens when you jump on the trampoline for 30 minutes with daddy and then come inside to find out mommy needs a "passport-style" photo for your N-600 application?

Your Certificate of Citizenship application ends up looking like a mug shot - thats what!

Wanna know the funniest part of this? Wal-Greens wasn't going to let me buy the prints I uploaded because they "looked too professional with a professional background."


I gently told the guy "Really, I am flattered, but the photographer was me and the background was a six-panel door in my basement."

I don't think he believed me but he relented and let me buy them.


P.S. - first time in over 2 years we missed our daily post! Thanks Comcast for the internet outage all night!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Daniel and the Lion's Den

Today at church Meron's class was studying the story of Daniel and the Lion's Den.

This is the slightly wild lion we picked up after class.

Afterwards she walked through Target growling at people. Sweet.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Operation Christmas Child

We LOVE Operation Christmas Child. We also love to give. And we really love to give to Operation Christmas Child. With Meron getting older we want her to see giving and serving others as a very normal part of life early on.

Lucky for us we are blessed with a dope set of friends who feel the same way. So Friday night we all got together to pack up some boxes for kids across the globe.

We spent time sorting and organizing the goods...

We taste-tested some of the goods - I think they all passed the test!

Nothing sweeter in the world than watching this group of people I love pray over these boxes. Miss Angela opened up and Meron closed the prayer. Most. Precious. Thing. Ever.

Then all the kids made cool hand-print cards to go with the boxes to give them a personal touch.

God - we are always blessed by these opportunities to give and serve others - we ask that you bless the heck outta the kids who receive these boxes - wherever they are...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pooped Out...

Great Friends + Late Night + Lots Playing = Sleepy Meron (and us too)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Awww - Come On!

Seriously - the camera again?

Yeah - it is. Sorry Meron! We got a blog that needs pics!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Then He Went Home With His Animals

We do a lot singing in our house. I mean a LOT. Everything is a song, a poem, a rhyme or a rap. It's fun.

Tonight on the way home from school Meron was telling me the story of Moses. When she was done I asked her to tell me another one - how about Noah?

"Is there a song?" she asked? "I don't know - is there?" was my reply.

Then she slapped me with this little ditty:

"Noah... oh Nooooaaaaahhhh....
He built an arrrrrrrrk.
And then he went hoooommmmmme....
With his animals."
I believe that sums it up. Nicely done Meron.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I Wish You Could See Her

Man - I wish I could show you our new daughter. Legally I can't though. So all I can do is tell you about her.

She is gorgeous. She has the biggest, most inquisitive eyes - eyes that look right in to you. She is healthy. And she is already impacting people where God has her now.

Some people have said she looks a lot like our girl Meron up there... how cool is that? It'd be just like God to do something like that - grow our family with a girl who looks like Meron.

I wish I could show you our new daughter. She is gorgeous.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Never-Ending Birthday

Meron had another gift waiting for her to open when she got home today. I swear - this girl is going to think birthdays last 2 weeks...

She got an extra crazy stupid fresh puzzle from her good friends Kelli and Scott.

Daddy LOVES Dr. Seuss so we dove right in and put it together...

I am pretty sure she enjoyed modeling with the puzzle as much as she did putting it together! Good times!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ponies and Skirts

Meron was looking extra cute this morning for church.

For starters mommy hooked her up with some fresh pony tails - or as Meron likes to call them - "Ponies."

Then there was the skirt that Meron picked out by herself - she LOVES this skirt...

The cute-o-meter was pushing 10 around here today!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Running For Brighton - Race #19

5:00 a.m. alarm clock on a Saturday meant it was time for another Run For Brighton race. When Laura and I sign up for races and run them we do them in honor of our son. It's been a while so I was more than excited to get back out there.

This time we headed down to a really cool community a little south of Atlanta called Serenbe for a 15K trail run. It was great!

Big thaks to our friends Kerry and Cindy for running with us and Cindy also for having us back to her house right there in Serenbe for a kick-butt brunch.

On these runs I often pray for something to remind me of the suffering these kids like Brighton deal with. There was no shortage here - the course was pretty tough and pushing 55+ pounds of stroller and Meron made it that much tougher.

Then Laura's stomach decided to not wanna work with her and she struggled out the last 4 miles or so. She was a trooper - but it really impressed on my mind that as much as we may suffer during things like this - its always temporary and typically is gone as quick as it came. That's not the case for the millions and millions of orphans around the globe.

Meron was awesome in the B.O.B. - 9.3 miles of pretty rough off-road terrain and she was still dropping smiles like this... (ok - that smile looks a little strained - but seriously - she was a super-trooper!)

You wanna help out an orphan or two (or a million)? It's real easy - just ask us about ways to get involved 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.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sir Clayton Nathaniel Baker Hoffman

This is Sir Clayton Nathaniel Baker Hoffman - better known around our house as "Clay" or "Clay-bear."

And Meron absolutely ADORES him. She loves him to death.

Lately Clay-bear has been showing a little of his age - he turns 11 here soon. We actually had to go do the "geriatric panel" at the vet recently.

We're praying for plenty more time with our house buddy - he's a trusty guardian of all things Hoffman and he's taught us a lot about forgiveness (he was a rescue from an abusive home) and love.

We don't even wanna think about Camp Hoffman without him...

Hang in there Clayker!!