Sunday, September 30, 2012

Best Family Rwanda

One of the reasons we continue to volunteer to help take people to Africa is to watch the hearts that we've been praying for get broken and then to watch as broken people take that heart break and turn it into action. Honestly - theres nothing we love more...

Two years ago I had the blessing of going to Rwanda and meeting Jean Claude. He's one heck of a dude. I fell in love with his spirit, his love for God, his care for others. He's an all-around great guy with a flat-out incredible story. I have been praying for somebody to have some heartbreak for this guy for a while!

This year on our trip we wouldn't have time to work with him but I begged V.O. to allow us to at least get a dinner with him. I wanted him to share his personal testimony with our whole team - and that's just what happened our first night on the ground in Africa... lots of tears, lots of prayers and lots of hugs...

Fast forward about a month after we've been home and I get a voicemail from a team member asking me to call her. I did and in a nutshell she proceeds to tell me her heart has been busted for Jean Claude and what he is trying to do in Rwanda with his ministry, Best Family Rwanda. I wish you could have seen my smile. Ridiculously big and goofy. I told her she should connect with a few others who I knew were feeling a tug towards his ministry and then I backed outta the way (I need to do that more often - just get outta the way)...

Well, lo and behold, these guys have been going nuts! They got a website, they're selling shirts, they're promoting BFR and the stories behind it - and to top it all off - they are bringing Jean Claude to the states for a mini tour of the south to share his story with like minded folks and open hearts in hopes that they can get some steam behind his ministry.

I mean.... really... can I get an AMEN?

Check out what these guys are doing - we stuck a perma-link on the site up there (follow the big white arrow in the top pic). Feel moved by what Jean Claude has experienced and what he is trying to accomplish? Get involved, buy a shirt, tell your network, make some noise.

We all have something we can offer somewhere to somebody. Jean Claude and BFR may just be it for you!

Let's get nutty with it!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Flying Elephants

We were blessed to score some free admission tix to the North Georgia State Fair (thanks! you know who you are!)

So tonight... we decided to show the girls what a state fair in the south is all about.

First - it started off with flying elephants...

Which were AWESOME by Meron's eye standards...

Then it was a spaceship...

Followed closely by a break for funnel cakes and homemade lemonade...

After our snack break we recouped enough to have the girls hit a motorcycle ride...

They rode together on the same bike and I am pretty sure Meron was sold on the idea that she was actually driving it...

We bailed kinda early but the girls were more than happy - they loved it! Me and mommy - our people watching eyes were full - and we were happy to give them a break until next year!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Camping & Movie Night

Tonight we decided to do a big 'ole combo of some stuff for the girls - so we put on our first Friday Camping and Movie Night fiasco.

After a dinner of hot dogs (camping food) - we had to bust out the ingredients for some s'mores...

Meron was COMPLETELY stoked...

Thank God for the microwave at our "camp spot" because 30 seconds later both girls were face deep in some melted chocolate and marshmallows!

Even mommy got in on the action!

Next it was off to get in to our makeshift living room "tent."

And we capped it off by drifting off to sleep with a little "Rainbow Brite" circa 1985!

No bug bites, no bear attacks and a comfy sleeping spot. We can't wait to go camping again!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Little Drummer Girl

Loving the drums... is this a glimpse into our future?

Might be noisy 'round these parts!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Guard Dog

Sometimes I wish ClayBear was a muscular German Shepherd that the girls took EVERYWHERE with them and who was a warrior for Jesus and could protect them against the evils of this fallen, fallen world...

But alas... he's a geriatric Golden Retriever. He's a lover, not a fighter. And he's just OLD.

So for now... I'll be their guard dog. I got your back girls...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Saying Grace

This month's service project with our church's Orphan Care ministry was called "Say Grace." It went like this:

Everybody had a bag full of prayer requests related to orphan care, advocacy, fostering, adoption, etc. Enough for the whole month. Every night, we would pull one out and pray our heads off for that request...

I LOVE it!

And so did these two! They were straight up prayer WARRIORS and it blessed my heart every time I heard them open their mouths and pray from their hearts about these needs...

Afterwards - we tucked them in our bible to remind us to keep on praying!

Awesome project and easy to do - so thankful for girls who want to pour out their prayers and prayers for others to Him...

Monday, September 24, 2012

New Do

I came home from my flag football game tonight to find Mebrate rocking a new hair-do...

Mommy had put in some SERIOUS time (2 hours) and braided up her head!

Ya think she was loving it? The girl wouldn't stop cheesin' for the camera...

Big sis had to hop in for some blog time too. LOVE these two girls together...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Christmas in September

The girls are blessed to have a granny with a seriously huge heart for giving and serving. I love it.

She showed up for a weekend visit armed with 10 empty Operation Christmas Child boxes that needed some filling.

One $100 trip to the store later and the girls were sorting and packing and drawing cards for each box and then praying over each box. It was awesome.

Wanna do the same thing? Go visit Operation Christmas Child to get materials and due dates.

Thanks Granny for reinforcing things that we think are super important and letting our girls have a blast doing it!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Agent of Change

Meron ~

Tonight mommy and I had the rare chance to go out on a "date" while you and Mebbie stayed home with Granny. Our date involved good dinner and great conversation as we mapped out what we were going to share about Brighton Their World next week with some cool people who have really stood strong with us.

As usual, we got to the part of our story where you came in. And as usual, your big, wimpy daddy couldn't hold back the tears. I dunno why girl - but it makes me weep everytime I think of how God used you... little tiny you... little tiny 8-month old you... to heal a hurt in a couple of broken hearts that was so deep they thought they would never see healing. Yep - you were an agent of change in our lives.

That's how much God loves your mommy and me - He wanted us to heal. But think about how highly He thinks of you Meron! Yes - He wanted our hearts to heal - and what did He choose to do it with? His love poured out into our lives through you.

We got home tonight and you were asleep on the couch with Granny. Snoring. I smiled as I watched mommy and me somewhat compete for who got to grab you. Mommy won and she cuddled you in her arms - I don't think you ever woke up. Then she let me carry you to bed. And again - as I tucked you in - my heart did what it does every single night. It fluttered a little and I thanked God for you. Again.

Meron - I hope you never, ever, ever struggle with self-worth in your life. I hope you will one day understand that your creator - the God who made you and me and mommy and Brighton and Mebbie... He assigned a worth to you before you were even born that has made LIFE-SAVING difference in the lives of us.

Thank you, girl. I love you so much...


Friday, September 21, 2012

The Goat Whisperer

Apparently, Mebrate has a little goat whisperer in her - an uncanny ability to tame the little beasts...

Now just to convince mommy to let her have one in the backyard and I may never have to mow it again...

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Ugh. That sums it up. Both Meron and I are struggling through some early fall allergies. And UGH! is about all I got.

Is it grass? Leaves? Trees? I heard maybe ragweed? I call it SUCKWEED cuz it sucks...

All we can do is hug it out and suffer through it together.

Hang in there Meron - we'll beat it!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pretty Purple Porch Picnic Place

Earlier this year I got some plans from a friend for a pretty cool little picnic table for the girls. 5 months and about $15 later I got this little gem finally done!

I told Meron she could pick the color and though I was really herding her towards a red to match the house (shutters, doors) - it wasn't in the cards. Nope. Purple was the color of choice. So purple it is!

We got it up on the deck tonight and you would have thought it was a magical table related to Justin Bieber. They were loving it!

I am seeing a bunch of cool fall evenings eating dinner out here with the crazy crew.

Totally looking forward to it!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

With The Greatest of Ease

I LOVE this pic of our girl flying through the air with the greatest of ease...

It really just captures everything about her - happiness, joy, free-spirit, bravery, laughter, smiles... MERON.

I am blessed to be her daddy...

Monday, September 17, 2012


We got our own little Zoolander around here. I guess she's a MebLander...

If you pick a camera up and even hint like you're pointing it near her... BOOM! - POSE!

She's even got the wave down pat!

Ethiopian model in her future maybe???

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Couple Of Good Apples

Today after church we piled in the car and headed an hour north to Ellijay to do something we've done for the last 4 years with a cool group of friends... PICK APPLES!

This group is growing like crazy - so much it took two pics to wrangle everybody into it! It's crazy to look back here and here and see just how much these crazies have grown...

We got busy right off the bat milking ButterCup. ButterCup... I feel for ya lady - you show such grace as kids, uh... "milk" you all day long... We got the obligatory stickers to prove it too!

Then it was time to sport our friend's hat and look super cute...

Before bouncing around with each other...

And then hitting the track for a little tractor racing action!

Oh - wait - we did actually get a little apple picking in too!

And of course we had to show off our finds...

Before it was all over we made time to hit the slides...

And even got a little booty shaking action in with the King of the Booty Shake himself...

Before all was said and done we had ice cream, a funnel cake and a couple of good apples asleep in the car for the ride home...

One of our friends declared it "Officially Fall!" and we are seconding it!

Thanks guys for always making this time special and fun and all of that! It would never be the same without our crew there...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Earning Yogli

Ever since Laura turned me on to My Fitness Pal and stole the joy from eating - we find ourselves having to earn our little treats in life...

So on a Saturday that was screaming "YOGLI MOGLI!" at us - we only had one option...

Find some friends, hit the trails and go earn us some calories.

And that's exactly what we did!

Two hot, sweaty, fun and tiring miles later we were sitting pretty with a chunk of calories that had "Frozen Yogurt" written all over 'em.

Thanks girls - for putting up with your nutty parents all for the sake of treats!