Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Unique Kind of Baby Shower

God has been doing some CRAZY work in the area of Brighton Their World lately and He doesn't seem ready to let up just yet either...

Today we attended a "baby shower" for Brighton Their World thrown by friend and mega-supporter Jennifer Rinko. It was cool...


They had this AWESOME cake...


And tons of info on our organization as people dropped by throughout the day...


These awesome ladies...


and these awesome ladies...


coupled with these awesome ladies...


managed to send us home with cash donations and 40+ cans of formula!


And what about Meron you ask? Well... she came in like a lion...


and went out like a lamb!

So thankful for people like Jennifer and all of her friends who continue to enable us to do what we do!

A Little Back Story...


We had the cool chance to shoot this short promo video for Brighton Their World when we partnered with ECHO - the college ministry at our church.

Kinda gives a look into why we do what we do...

Friday, April 29, 2011

Chutes and Ladders


While waiting to kick off prayer night tonight mommy and Meron decided to bust out a quick game of Chutes and Ladders...


Meron was the little white-skinned game piece and mommy was the little brown-skinned one...

We like to mix it up a bit around here!


Not much I love more than watching my girls play a board game and giggle and learn and have fun.

Just can't wait til there's a third player in there...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Itty Bitty Teeny Tiny Steps


What's Meron showing ya? Oh, that's just the size of the step we took today towards bringing LH3 home.

Itty bitty teeny tiny... but heck - at this point - we're celebrating ANY KIND OF MOVEMENT. And today we heard some stuff that we kinda thought was happening and had it confirmed when our agency sent out an official email about it. And since our agency is SUPER-CRAZY-CONSERVATIVE we know when they announce something to us - it's happening.

SO WE CELEBRATE.

But I'll tell ya what - if things don't speed up we may just have to release crazy 'ole big eyes on ya. So do what is best people...


WE'RE READY FOR OUR GIRL TO BE HOME!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dinner With Family

If you know us - you know we don't believe that blood has anything to do with family... and tonight we got the opportunity to have dinner and some hang out time with somebody who just feels like part of the fam...


We met Carla and her husband Evan when I went to IDEAfarm not even a year ago. Since that time Carla has gone to Africa with me, has stepped out on faith in the area of adoption and is coming back to Africa with me this winter!

And it feels like we've known her and Evan forever! We feel blessed to be praying with them and walking with them on their journey right now.


Meron made quick friends with Carla and was by her side most of the night...


Until she got behind the camera...


And decided to get artistic on us!

Carla and Evan - we love you guys! We're praying for you and can't wait to see how God works in your lives!

Looking forward to hanging out again in July!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Don't Worry, Be Happy...

Meron busted out an interpretive dance to "Don't Worry, Be Happy" tonight for us. The girl loves to get down...



This is kinda the place we are living in right now - a state of "Don't worry.... be happy..." So much is out of our control - it's pointless to worry.

Matthew 6:25-27 and 34 spells it out for us:

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"

and

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

I think Meron nailed it at the end of that video too. She said "Don't worry, you'll be happy!"

And we will...

Monday, April 25, 2011

New Running Gear


Thanks so much Aunt Stacy, Unka James, Will and Ansley for the awesome Easter bag for Meron - she LOVED everything (candy was probably tops)...

We broke her new running gear in properly today - bouncing on the trampoline in the rain! Good times!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

At the Resurrection We All Cheered...

Happy Easter.

We say it with little or no meaning behind it most of the time. I think this year may be the first year that the reality of this celebration really smacked me in the forehead. Every single thing we we do... every single thing... we do it because He died for us. Died, people.

Like... bloody on a cross, broken, torn, shattered... died.

I can't even really put it in to words.

But this video does an OUTSTANDING job of it.



I think may favorite lines are the part about defending a lion and then this:

"Payment. Yes, Payment. Wrote a check with his life but at the resurrection we all cheered because that means the check cleared..."
Good stuff.

I know ya probably came here expecting some cute pics of Meron in her best Easter Sunday dress - but we just didn't do it this year. Instead - we just soaked in the knowledge of what He did for us and spent a lot of time worshiping Him and praising Him and thanking Him.

We went to church Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday morning. A 4 day event that at any other time in my life would have felt like cruel and unusual punishment was some of the best time we have spent as a family yet.

Don't get us wrong - we didn't cut out the sugary fun stuff. The Easter Bunny showed up and Meron had a great time at the church on Saturday with friends jumping and eating and playing. We just slacked and got hardly any pictures!


HAPPY EASTER EVERYBODY!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hippity Hoppity...


Meron's school got a visit from the Easter Bunny this week....


Surprisingly - Meron was super cool with sitting on his lap for some pictures...


We also had a visit from Granny this week. And Granny may or may not be in these pictures but all I'm saying is this... Meron got a little extra hugging from that Bunny!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Crushed For Our Iniquities

Today is Good Friday.

If you follow Jesus... this Friday - Saturday - Sunday is what it's all about.

"But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed."

Isaiah 53:5
This is the verse that kinda did it in for me. It all became so clear... so painfully, sorrowfully clear. What HE did for ME. But it was covered in a HOPE that I had never ever felt or understood.

Tonight we hit the church to do some celebrating, some worshiping, and some boasting in the cross as a family.


Some of us couldn't make it through it. But that's okay.

Sunday is coming...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bath-tized


Why is Meron looking so sleepy and still up when the clock says 10:22? Well - tonight she got to stay up late so she could come and be part of my baptism. Or as she says - "Daddy got bath-tized."

What an incredible experience to be baptized tonight by Laura and my best friend Chad. These two have been HUGE in my life and have really showed me what it looks like to have real faith in God. I am super blessed to call them both friend and family.

I volunteer at our church's college ministry called ECHO - they routinely bring in close to 1,000 kids on a weekday night and it is just a great experience. When I felt the nudge to get baptized - ECHO just seemed like the logical spot to do it.

Big huge thanks to everybody who came out to support me - that meant a ton! I might have been the only guy getting dunked who had a bunch of kids there rooting me on! I wouldn't have it any other way!


I think my favorite comment of the day came this morning while I was driving Meron to school. She had asked me why I was getting "bath-tized" and I told her to let people know that I love Jesus and that my plan is to try to live my life as much like He did as I can. She thought about it in silence for a good minute or so and then said:

"Daddy - I'm happy you're doing that."
I am rich, richly, richly blessed.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mommy Loves Her Girl


Mommy loves her girl... A LOT.


So much so that she sits patiently by while this takes place...


The Final Product! Looking good mommy!


"Hey! I didn't know you come here...."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Opening Day...

When I picked Meron up today from school it was hot. It was humid. It was sticky. It was sunny. Yep - seemed like a perfect opening day of SPRINKLER SEASON!


She was patient (barely) as we fed the dogs, had a LIGHTNING FAST snack and then headed outside. She helped me set up...


And then it was GAME ON!


I am not sure which was more excited about - the sprinklers or the fact that her buddies from across the street came to do opening day with her!


Cooper and Reece definitely added to the excitement...


Though a little timid at first - she was eventually having a blast out there... whipping her hair back and forth...


having watered down conversations with her pals...


and dancing all over the place.


I think Sprinkler Season Opening Day went off without a hitch! Looking forward to a long season!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Making New Friends


We have been super blessed lately to meet a whole bunch of new friends - today mommy and Meron continued the trend when they met up with the entire Teabo Tribe!

Friendships were forged over ice cream (a sure way to Meron's heart!) and word on the street was these guys are really funny! I am sure Meron was loving it. I didn't know their whole family was going to be there so I went running before my game - bummed out!


Let's do it again soon guys! (and get pictures of everybody next time!)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

It's Sinking In...


We talk a lot about Brighton around here. I mean a lot. We are determined to never let his legacy diminish and to keep on letting his 76 days brighten the lives of others.

So Meron is well aware of his name - and she calls him her brother - but we've never gotten in to death and all of that with her. Nope - don't wanna cross that innocence-stripping bridge just yet. So at times she'll act like he is still coming home or she'll make a reference to his clothes drawer in her dresser that we can't bring ourselves to clean out.

But I think the actuality of it has been planted in her heart somehow. I mean - we pray all the time for the Holy Spirit to work on her heart and this is an area I am hoping the Holy Spirit will just take ownership of for us cuz God knows I am unqualified for it!

Last night right before prayer, in the dim light of her nightlight, all tucked in with me and Laura beside her... Meron said this:

"I can't go with Mommy to go get Brighton. Because He is in Heaven.... but I can go with mommy to go get sister!"
I cried my way through a prayer, kissed and hugged her and headed out.

Thank you God - for placing childlike understanding in the heart of our girl. Cuz I have no idea how to explain it...

Shelves of Life


Today was a much needed "catch up" day for Brighton Their World.


We counted, sorted, added up and logged all of our recent donations. We had a TON of formula!


Oh... and blankets too!


Yes, Meron - we felt about the same way!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mrs. Clean, Mrs. Clean


I love that Meron is getting to the age where she is doing all sorts of things on her own. Don't get me wrong - I still LOVE giving her a bath. That's just fun...


But it's cool to be able to ask her to go get ready for bed and to see her knock it out on her own. She's a clean little bugger (just ask the pump soap bottle)...


And she even washes her belly... what what what?

Here's to staying clean, girl!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Her New Pal Zambi


Meron got a super duper surprise in the mail this week. After tearing into the "big sister" box sent to her from her Aunt Wendy she came face to face with her new pal... Zambi!


Zambi the baby elephant is a Special Edition FURREAL FRIENDS baby African elephant that was created to help children who have been orphaned by AIDS in Africa. Some of these children even helped by creating the artwork for ZAMBI's ears, feet and bracelet.

Hasbro has committed to donate a minimum of $500,000 from worldwide sales of ZAMBI THE BABY ELEPHANT to the Project Zambi Fund. WAY COOL!


Zambi blows kisses, curls his trunk around your finger, trumpets, wiggles his ears, chews, giggles and more. Meron also does all of the above (except for the trunk part).

And get this - Aunt Wendy also sent one for LH3! How cool! Meron will be taking care of that Zambi until her sister is home with us.


Thank you so much Aunt Wendy for your kindness and thoughtfulness. You had one happy little niece down here in the ATL!