Saturday, March 31, 2012

Here I Am To Worship

Meron, Mebrate and I were on the way back from Lowes tonight when Meron just busted out singing this tune. It wasn't on the radio or anything - but it was clearly playing in her heart and mind. She sang it for like 15 minutes straight... it was precious.

I got her to do a "recreate" for me later that evening - she was way sleepy but it was beautiful nonetheless...

Holy Spirit - continue to take her heart and thoughts captive...

Friday, March 30, 2012

Talking Vegetables

Tonight Mommy surprised the girls with a trip to see the Veggie Tales with some friends of Laura's from work. I was supposed to go... but this STINKING GEORGIA POLLEN has me down and out. So I got to stay home, medicated and missing them...

They were mesmerized by the show and then went back to hang out with friends for dinner...

Needless to say - after school, a doctor visit and shot for Mebrate, no naps, Veggies in "real life Daddy, not on the screen!" and hanging out with friends and playing...

They were POOPED!

Thanks Judy for a great night of fun for the girls!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Family Photo Plus One

Zoiks. Who's the big dude creeping in our picture?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

All Buttery

Caught ya with your shea butter showing... still beautiful!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Prayers of The Heart

We're doing a new series with our community group on "parenting" - and man we are learning some good stuff and literally coming right home and trying to put it in practice.

This week we were talking about praying with our girls and one of the things brought up was having them really think about what's on their heart and mind - and to talk to God about that. We loved the idea - we think it is NEVER too early to get your kids talking to God in an honest, open way.

So tonight we kicked it off with Meron and just said "Think about what is in your heart and your mind and just talk to God about that..." She paused for a moment and then said:

"God. Thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. And thank you for him raising from the tomb..."
Then there was a slightly longer pause than expected and she said:
"And God... please lower the gas prices. In Jesus' name... amen."
Huh? Laura and I were like "Where on earth did you hear that?"

I mean - yeah - we'd love to see lower gas prices but I am pretty sure we haven't prayed for them any time recently.

She just giggled and giggled like the little giggle-box she is.

So there ya have it God. One of the little children - coming to ya. She's thanking ya for what Jesus did for her... and if it's your will, asking for lower gas prices!

Awesome stuff to thank God for Meron! And not too bad of a request for him either!

Monday, March 26, 2012

No Sister Left Out

Look who got flowers too...

Well - a single flower...

I bought Meron flowers the other day intentionally for just her - we're working with the girls to help them understand that they both don't always have to have what the other has - that special treats are just that... SPECIAL.

Mebrate was fine with it. Meron apparently wasn't.

She took one of her flowers and carried it into Mebrate's room so she could have flowers too.

I love the way she loves her little sister...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Captain Huggy Face

Meron getting her "Huggy Face" on with the Captain...

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Her eyes get me every time. Big. Deep. Stunning.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Just Because...

Wanna watch your girl beam with happiness? It's easy really...

Just show up at school to pick her up with some flowers for her. Just because.

We stopped at Chick Fil-A on the way home and she told anybody who would listen:

"You know what my daddy brought me? FLOWERS!!"
Best $3.99 I have spent in a long time...

She has stopped to stare at them several times from their perch on her bookshelf. I love that something so simple brings such incredible joy.

It's the little things really...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Few Of My Favorite Things...

Honestly - this group of goofballs right here is made up of some of my favorite people alive. I love every single one of them.

It's nonstop goofiness when they get together - thankful for their friendships!

Happy Birthday Claire!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Prayers Of An Orphan (No More)

Laura called me this morning after dropping the girls off. Almost in tears. The good kind of tears though. She wanted to tell me about the prayers the girls said before going in to class this morning.

Meron had a pretty tough day yesterday at school - some serious punishment (for her at least) and she had struggled through the night dealing with it - she wears her emotions on her sleeve and punishment really weighs heavy on her. So this morning - she prayed this:

"God... please help mommy and daddy have a great day at work. And please help me have a better day today and help me remember to say 'sorry' to Ms. Tikuru for my behavior."
Ahhhh. I love that girl's heart and spirit. Love it to death.

Then it was her little sister's turn. And this is the one that got me. The next time you are considering the baggage you're carrying around, or the laundry list of requests ya have for God - think about this totally unprovoked, un-coached, impromptu prayer straight from the heart of an "orphan-no-more."
"God... thank you for mommy and she loves me.
Thank you for Meron and she loves me.
Thank you for Clay and she loves me.
Thank you for Daddy and she loves me.
And I just want to thank you for giving me a family.
In Jesus name."
I tear up right now typing this. Our little girl - the one who's room I just came out of after praying over her and just staring at her (I do it every night, I can't help it) - our little girl who should just be a simple, silly 3 year old (and who is MOST of the time) has thanks in her tiny little heart for God "giving her a family."

I got no issues man. ZERO. Ever. My baggage is lightweight in comparison.

In a perfect world - this little, incredible creation of God would never, ever have to say that prayer. But the world ain't perfect. And there are orphans in it. But not this one. Not any more. Yet that orphan spirit is something we will have to walk with her daily to try and shake. And we will do it. We let her know at every turn - she has a family that loves her no matter what and isn't going anywhere.

Today - in an innocent, heartfelt prayer - she let us know that she gets it.

Thank you Mebrate - for perspective.

Now... if you'll excuse me - I am going back to stare and pray...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Best Medicine

Quite possibly the most delightful sound my ears have ever heard...

Yeah... I said "delightful." Cuz it is...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Their Lives

I know it's blurry. But so are their lives. Fast. Furious. Fleeting. Nonstop.

Yeah... I know it's blurry. But the joy can't be hidden by the blur!

Somedays - I simply wish I could go back to that moment right there. ENJOY IT MERON!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Stop It! Just Stop It!

I've threatened time out.

I've threatened to eat Yogli Mogli in front of her daily and never offer her any.

I've threatened to sing all day as punishment.

But no matter what I threaten her with - she won't stop growing up.

Make. It. Stop.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

At The Car Wash... The Car Wash.

The girls put in some mad work today. All 3 of them...

They also had some mad fun with the water.

And we had a sparkly, shiny Xterra when they were done.

But then something that's blooming puked pollen all over our car. And us. And my nose. And eyes.

Car looks great girls - great job. But Georgia SUCKS this time of year...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Reason #4,628

Reason #4,628 that I LOVE my family...

This is totally normal around here...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bright Bright Light!

We feel ya girls!

It seems like we have skipped right to HOT, BRIGHT, SUNNY summer here in GA. No mild and friendly spring at all.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How I'm Comfiest...

Dear Meron...

Tonight - when I got home from the store - you were already in bed with Mommy - prayers said, bible read and even an extra story book read aloud. I hopped on the bed and read Dr. Seuss's "Tadd and Todd" to ya. Then I whispered to ya - "Want me to lay with you for a minute?"

Your eyes lit up as you all but yelled:

"Mommy! Did you hear that? Daddy is going to lay with me for a minute!"
On the way out mommy shut off the light and we lay there under the stars projected on your ceiling. You told me about your day, about the new kid in your class, about the scripture you were learning...

We played a few rounds of "Guess Who's On Your Head" - you easily won. You clearly know the weight of your stuffed animals way better than I do.

Then you started getting situated for the night and you asked me to stay longer. You also said,
"Move your arm up Daddy... like this, above your head..."
I raised my left arm and you snuggled in so tight. I smiled and kept my arm straight up in the air. "Are you good?" I asked. "I just want you to be comfy."

That's when you grabbed my arm, pulled it down tight around you and said,
"Put your arm like this - tight right here. That's how I'm comfiest."
You'd be proud of your daddy Meron - I held back the tears even though those 4 little words were some of the most precious things I have ever heard.

See - I have had a weird week Meron. Daddy has let people... yeah - silly, fallen humans - get the best of him. And it has been weighing on me and wearing me down. But tonight. In one sleepy sentence - you took that all away.

You probably won't even remember this night Meron. I'll probably never forget it.

I love you girl. More than you could possibly imagine.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Then To Now...

This was our girl a little over 6 months ago. Scared. Confused. Sad. But look at her now - happy, confident, bright.

We're not naive enough to think time heals all wounds. But love, nutrition and family do a lot to help.

You'd never know this was the same girl we visited around a year ago.

God's been busy in her life...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rings On Her Fingers...

Rings on her fingers...

... and... weird, poppable, bead necklace things on her toes...

100% goofball. No doubt about it. Oh - and - 100% Hoffman on top of that...

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Meron and Laura went on a "Mommy-Meron" date today. It included Target, painted toenails and of course... Starbucks.

It also included Meron's first Starbucks drink that was anything other than water.

She made it clear when she got home - in no uncertain terms - that she "finished it all - the whole thing."


We may have created a monster.

A caffeine and coffee free monster (it was strawberries and cream) - but a monster nonetheless!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

How We Pray

We're pretty regular with the prayer around here... oh heck - let's be honest - we pray all the freaking time. Meal time. Bedtime. Before going into school. When we see an ambulance. When we have a big decision. For each other. For the world.

We try to take it dead serious. You mess around during prayer time here - there's likely to be a time out (that includes mommy and daddy).

Sometimes that means asking Mebrate not to pray for the ceiling fan. Or really making sure afterwards that their heart was right as they prayed for Justin Bieber.

But overall - we're trying to get back to the prayer lesson He provided for us. His will. Daily bread. Full glory to Him.

Are we "too much too early" with the girls? I don't think so. We have no idea when He is coming back. It's on me to help my girls get their prayer life right so if He comes back tomorrow He can scoop them up and say "I heard you last night..."

Our girls? They are some for-real prayer warriors. Honestly - I go to them first for prayer almost all the time.

We fail. A lot. But we're trying God...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Same Mold

They were born 12 months and who knows how many miles apart.

Strike that... God knows. He knew exactly what the plan was for them...

Cuz these two here - they were cut from exactly the same mold.

Constantly in awe of His plans...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Now You Know About Hippos

We've got some friends across the street that the girls LOVE to hang with. Tonight - while hanging out and playing - we learned Cooper had written a paper on hippos that was being entered in a contest. We were WAY impressed.

Lucky us - Cooper decided to bless us with a little "spoken word" reading of his paper... Good luck Cooper!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

So Many Reasons

There are soooo many reasons I love this girl. So many.

Her heart trumps them all.

Thank you God for a blessing I do not deserve...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Egg Head Lightning Bolt Nose

She's a proud artist. We're proud parents.

Egg Head Lightning Bolt Nose, indeed. Artwork worth a million...

Monday, March 5, 2012

New Fish In The Tank

Mebrate finally joined the club with her big sis... she had her first swimming lesson tonight. I was getting ready to go run before she left and you could see the excitement written all over her face. She was PUMPED!

Laura texted me a little later with this message:

"Our girls are fearless!"
I was about as happy as Mebrate was to hear that. One thing we try really hard to do is instill confidence in these two - to help them know and understand they were built in God's Image - and they can do ANYTHING.

And with a big sister like Meron - this girls is bound to try any and everything.

Had to have our "through-the-glass first day of class" blurry shot!

Way to go Mebrate! We're proud of ya girl!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Gets No Better

Outside... Playground... Snacks.

For these two - it gets no better!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Meron Moment - Bedtime Chat

Meron gave us some worship, some scripture and a look into her future occupational desires...

Who said "princess" wasn't a career choice?

Friday, March 2, 2012

What's In The Water?

I thought it was just Meron. I was wrong. Whatever is in the water is affecting them both...

Stop growing up so fast!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Granny Snuggle

Granny had to head back home - but not before Meron pulled this night time crash a couple times

Keep the spot warm Granny - we'll see ya soon!