Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween (Troy or Treat!)

Halloween is a big deal at Camp Hoffman - we love the fun of it. The past few years we have done the same thing with the same group of friends and we love it. Here's to many more years of it!



We usually kick off with some good eats and good company. Hanging out. Chilling. Having fun.



Pretty soon though, it's time to let down our hair and get into costume!



We had them all this year... A Princess ballerina, a monkey, a green fairy, Troy Polamalu, a purple fairy and a pumpkin on her way out!



Meron was pumped and ready to hit the streets...



She was putting on her game face...



Slowed down by the obligatory family photo - she got us back by refusing to look...



There was some spontaneous rivalries going on (don't worry Laura - we know who's best!)



And light sticks furnished by Mister Mark!



Finally... the action kicked in!



And from there on out - all we saw was a Mini-Troy on the run...



and running...



and running...



She only checked back in with us when her bag got so heavy she needed some help carrying it... SCORE!



I am pretty sure she was happy with the final tally!



And even happier to hang with mommy...



... and daddy!



All in all? It was another GREAT night!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYBODY!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My Inspiration



I spent the day in Nashville with some of the best orphan advocates around. Loved talking orphan care with these guys...

Every time I do that my mind can't help but wander to Brighton, to Meron, to LH3.

And then all I want to do is see them! I didn't make it home before bedtime so it'll have to wait until morning.

These guys are my inspiration. Orphans no more...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Breakfast With My Chicken



One of my favorite days at Camp Hoffman is Saturday - its basically family day and whatever we end up doing that day we do it together. Knowing I was going to be out of town for some mission trip training I decided to do breakfast with Meron this morning before school.

She's been itching to go to Waffle House - so Waffle House it was!



She was pretty pumped up about it and was talking everybody's ears off.



She loved it. Don't believe the face (that looks like I am sure a lot of people feel after Waffle House) - this is her new "smile."

After a quick wardrobe change - I dropped her off at school for today's parade. She was even more pumped up about that!



There isn't a single thing in the world that beats a morning like this - only thing missing was mommy. Next time - we all go!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Just One of the Girls



Laney: "No daddy - it's like this..."

Sophia: "This guys lost it - I am outta here!"

Meron: "It's like a train wreck - I can't look away!"

Meron loves her some Mister Jay. Heck we all do. Thanks Jay for being one of the coolest dads we know!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Excuse Me While I Kiss The Sky...


Totally her request - "Daddy... throw me up in the air!"

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Uncharted Territory

I think parenting itself is pretty much an unknown - we somehow manage to learn as we go with it and so far so good. We haven't broken her yet!

But as Meron starts to get older we're beginning to dip our toes into some real uncharted territory - talks about adoption, orphans and the incredible way God brought our family together.



Don't get me wrong - we've talked about it a LOT with her for a LONG time. The difference is now she is totally understanding and processing what we're saying.

Just the other day - completely on her own - she pointed at Ethiopia (not just Africa - directly at Ethiopia) on a map and said:

"Mommy and you flew all the way here to bring me home."
She gets it. She really gets it.

And we are so thankful for things like that book up there - it's so awesome and cool to have something like a book about it to help make it part of our "normal."



I know things can't be all peaches and cream all the time. But is it bad for me to want it to be for my girls?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Power of a Sucker



One of Meron's favorite teachers hooked her up with a sucker the other day at school. She gave it to her in the morning and she had to keep it in her cubby... all day long.

I can just imagine her little mind all day - fixating on that sucker. When we got to the car and she finally got to dive in - it appeared to have some sort of weird powers over her...

I was just a little bit concerned (don't worry - we survived the sucker...)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Celebrating With Friends

Today we hit the park for a little celebration with our friends. In a week Meron turns 3 and the weather and schedules were perfect today... so celebrate we did!



There was playing on the slides...



Pizza and juice boxes...



More playing with great friends...





Even Claire got in on the pizza action!



Daddy made Meron a cake of one of her favorite characters...



She sang right along with everybody else during "Happy Birthday..."



... And blew the candles out in one swift BLOW! about .02 seconds after the song was over!



I think she liked it!



Then we wrangled all the kids together for another shot at a group pic - the actual process is always more fun the final product - ya never get them all looking! We'll keep doing this though cuz it's fun to watch!



Little baby Avery even came out and represented for the non-walkers in the group!

2 years ago we celebrated at this same spot - man what a difference those 2 years have made!

Thanks so much for taking time to come celebrate another year of life with Meron!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Where'd Our Little Girl Go?



She's growing up WAY TOO FAST!

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's In Her Blood

Meron has always been into running - asking us things like:

"How many miles did you do mommy?"

"How was your run daddy?"

"Did you see any deer on your run?"
Plus... uh... she's Ethiopian. Say. No. More.

So seeing her dig in to one of our favorite mags doesn't surprise us...



But judging from her expression below - something surprised her. I am guessing she just caught a glimpse of a marathon workout... I know the look!



P.S. Hard to believe - but this isn't a staged pic or anything - she was staying up late with us to watch the Yankees and she grabbed a magazine and started leafing through it... TOO FUNNY!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Check Out My Wheels


Actually - they're our neighbor's wheels. Thanks guys for always sharing with us!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Family In Motion

Guess what Meron is dead on staring at down there? You got it - we got some video of LH3 today! Two 30+ second videos that changed our day completely!

THANK YOU SO MUCH RENAE!



Laura called today and had that same voice thing going on - I heard the tears and all she said was "I'm watching videos of our girl!"

I was all over it - we watched them together on the phone and then we dove back in to the reality of work. A few hours later, this popped up on my screen...



I totally understood her feelings...

Man - we are so blessed. Adoption is so cool. A family over there for their court date took the time out to go video our girl. They got recordings of the nannies pronouncing her name, they loved on her, they took pictures. Did I mention how blessed we are?

We WILL be offering to do this for as many people as we can when we travel. It's such a huge gift. SO huge...



I am pretty sure Meron was totally captivated. She kept on waving to her and wanted to know "who are all those kids with my sister?".

She watched it about 50x and kept saying "More" and "I want to watch it big."



Motion makes it feel so real!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Seriously...



"You're killing me guys... killing me..."

The look says it all Meron. The look says it all.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Some Light Bedtime Reading...



Good call Meron. Ya can't go wrong with the Doctor...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Apple Hats



Apples. Funny hats. Granny. Food. Fun. Animals. Slides. Hugs. Pictures.
It all points to one thing - a trip to pick some apples with our pals.

Yep. Saturday was another one of our annual visits to the apple orchard with some of our favorite people! The kids and the numbers have grown since last year. And this year we had Granny and her silly hats with us - we loved it!

And when I think about who will be with us next year - I can't help but smile!