Friday, November 30, 2012

House Elves


A few days ago I was super worried that our main man Clay Bear wasn't gonna make it through the night.

I mean he's old. He has cancer. And he was SICK.

But look at him tonight. Rocking an elf hat and kickin' it with his two favorite girls! He's been eating again, sleeping, drinking - almost back to norm...

Glad to have ya back to your normal self Clay Bear!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I Got The Monsters...


Dear Meron ~

You look so grown up in this picture - it floors me how fast you're growing! You're so quick to want to do everything on your own (and good at it too) that sometimes I start to feel a little sad about you not needing this goofy old dad to help ya out any more...

And then nights like last night happen. You cried out across your monitor at 2:48 AM so I came to see what was wrong. I found you sleepy but silently crying. I crawled on the bed to hold you and you wrapped your arms TIGHT around my neck and said through your sleepy state of half awareness :

"It was a dream... a bad dream. About monsters..."
I held you tight for about 15 minutes until your grip loosened and your breathing was heavy. I kissed ya on the forehead and whispered in your ear, "You okay baby?" as I rolled ya out and off of my arm. I didn't expect it - but I heard a barely audible:
"I think so daddy. Yes... I think so..."
Ya know what Meron? Yo go for it on those things ya wanna do! Get your own water. Brush your own teeth. Help set the table and clear it after dinner. Get dressed all alone. Feed Clay Bear. Take a shower. You can do all that stuff...

But I got the monsters. Always.

I love you baby girl.

Love, Daddy

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

No. 41


So - I keep getting lucky and having the coolest opportunities to do some work with some of the bravest, most faithful folks around out there doing incredible stuff for the Kingdom...

No. 41 is no different. I'll be honest - I feel like I've known Tara (she started No. 41) forever and I can't even remember when I met her. But this past July our team got to work with her a bit in Rwanda and she fed us (well!) on several days and I got the opportunity to chat it up with her about God, church, orphans, Rwanda, adoption... just about everything.

And I realized - man - she's just like us here at Camp Hoffman. We clicked on just about every level of things. That doesn't happen often so you remember it when it does...


But I won't ruin it all by telling ya all about her right here - go read her own blog here or visit No. 41 to see just what she is up to...

I'll give ya a hint... it's awesome. It's life-changing. It's altering the very future for some who not too long ago didn't have much hope to hang on to. And that's worth a read if ya ask me...


So go check 'em out. Tell her we sent ya. That won't get ya anything but ya should still tell her we said "hi!"

And get involved! They are smack dab in the middle of a gigantic fundraiser and could use all the help they could get...

That part of the world is under some serious turmoil right now - and I have some friends there. Proud to call Tara one of them.

Keep up the incredible work! You're inspiring a ton of us...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I'd Pick Her...


If I could pick a girl for the girls to model their lives after - to walk in her steps and make decisions like she has and treat others like she has and love God like she has...

Well I'd pick this girl right here... my niece Ansley...


The girls absolutely adore her. And she loves them with such unconditional, tolerant love as they clamor to be with her and follow her and hang out with her...


And she fits RIGHT in... ya think?


Yep... if my girls end up just like her - I'd be thrilled.

Ansley... thank you for who you are and how you love. The world could use a whole lot more of you...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Helmet Heads


It's a struggle at times to get all the hair under there...

Love these two helmet heads.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Skyping Cousins

We got some great cousins scattered about the country. Tonight I gotta brag on two of 'em...


My Skype "dinged" today with this message from my 15 year old cousin. He was taking it upon himself to stay in touch with us - not letting miles keep us out of each other's lives. LOVE IT!

I told the girls about it and they were pumped. They ALWAYS have stuff to share, show and laugh about with their cousins.


So at 8:00 pm sharp we dialed them up and let the goofiness begin! And there sat my 15 year old nephew and my 18 year old niece - on a Sunday night - with their parents GONE - and they are choosing to take time out of their lives to pour into OUR lives.

I love these guys.


Meron was loving it too. She adores her cousins. Mebbie does too but didn't still long enough for a photo!


Ya think she enjoyed it? I do.

Thanks a ton Will and Ansley - we can't wait for next week!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Oh! Happy Day!


Yesterday - while we spent the majority of the time on the road in a car - Mebbie turned 4!

So today we celebrated! We did a movie early this morning in the theater. Then it was dinner out (Italian - her choice - scabetti) and then she chose frozen yogurt over cake.

Now - it's off to put together the big girl bike she is gonna wake up to.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIG GIRL!

Can't imagine Camp Hoffman without ya!

Friday, November 23, 2012

I'm Just So Excited!


We came home from a long road trip tonight to this guy in our mailbox. It's kind of a big deal cuz of how fast it happened. We went for fingerprints last Wednesday. There was a weekend and a holiday in there. And we got our approval in the mail today.

I like it when God confirms decisions for ya. We weren't questioning our choices - but this process is long and we'll take all the encouragement we can get!


The girls were super excited when we explained what the paper meant. It was after midnight, cold, in the driveway and Mebbie asked us if she could pray about it. And she did. And afterwards she said:

"I'm just so excited!
Us too sweet girl! Us too!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful


Today... I am thankful for a TON but especially thankful for cousins who love our girls unconditionally and big. Thanks a ton guys!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Moo Moos and Cousins


A couple weeks ago Meron got a really cool card in the mail. One of our friends had heard about her sacrificing presents for her birthday and asking for formula instead. He was touched by it and sent her the sweetest card ever with $20 and a note to "maybe buy some ice cream for your family."

Her immediate response when I read it to her?

"I am buying my cousins some ice cream!"
And tonight - that's exactly what she did...


After filling up our cups with the good cold stuff...


We topped it off with some terribly bad for your waist toppings...


Next - the Meronator proudly paid for 7 people to enjoy some frozen yogurt!


After thanking God for Him being Him and the gift of this money for ice cream...


We all dug in! We had some pretty happy cousins (and some happy big kids too!)

Thanks Meron - for paying it forward with your super generous heart!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Party On Girls


And the month of celebrating continues...


This time - some of the cousins got in on the mix...

It ain't over yet! GOOD TIMES!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Smile - Part II


it's what she likes to do... too!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Smile


it's what she likes to do...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Kids


Here are our kids - the 4 year old, the 5 year old and the 91 year old...


Man do they love the 91 year old (13 in human years)!

You are the man Clay Bear!

Friday, November 16, 2012

International Day


Today was International Day at the girls' school. I think Meron thought it was International Rock Star Day...

But actually - it was a day where the kids got to pick a country and share all about it. It didn't take us long to choose which country we were talking about...


Mommy helped the girls get going and shared a whole bunch of facts about the country our household loves...


While Meron did an excellent job showing every single student the flag of Ethiopia...


And Mebbie got busy showing her drawings and helping mommy with facts...

But the best, most authentic thing we brought in to share from our favorite spot on the planet?

That'd be Mebbie and Meron - two real-live Ethiopian princesses!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Nightly Mer-Hugs


Meron simply WILL NOT go to bed at night without dropping a massive bear hug on little Mebbie. She needs it.

She scoops her up in her arms and kinda bounces her around. And then she goes in for the kiss...


Then... and only then... is it cool for them to go to sleep.

I'm in love with the way they love each other...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mini-Pizza Night


Tonight was mini-pizza night. The girls LOVE it cuz they get to help build the pizzas and be totally involved...


I love it cuz I get to eat 'em - and those things are delicious.

Long live mini-pizza night!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I Missed 'Em


Today was one of those crazy days. Up and out before the sun, girls were still sleeping (I did see a super-sleepy Meron in the hallway), and then running, gym time for mommy and me having church - they were sleeping hard by the time I got home.

And I just missed them. All day.

A quick visit to hug on them in the dead of their sleep gave me my M&M fix... tomorrow will be a better one.

Dads... hug and love your kids.

But better yet... miss 'em when you're not with 'em!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Prayer Warriors


Man... our girls can pray. Call me crazy for sneaking and hitting record during prayer time - but I NEVER wanna forget the way their young hearts talk to God.

Thanks girls for being rock solid little prayer warriors and incredible examples for your old daddy!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Party Like a Gymnast


Tonight the girls had their joint birthday celebration at a local gym where they got to do gymnastics for an hour before devouring some cake...


They had a blast!

(more pictures soon!)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hoffman Family - 10 Years In


I LOVE this pic of our family... we hardly ever get the chance to get photographed together - and Granny snapped a good one for us...


This is the one we'll probably blow up and frame though...

Friday, November 9, 2012

Our Birthiversary

Man - we know how to pack a month full - that's for sure. In november alone we have Meron's birthday, Mebbie's birthday, my birthday and our anniversary! Oh yeah - there's Thanksgiving too!

Check out Mebbie and Meron breaking it down spoken word style for us on our "birthiversary" (we got married on my birthday)...



This year was our 10th Anniversary! A big milestone - especially in this day and age where we have made marriage disposable. Super proud to be married to my wife. She is a rockstar superhero - and I got rhymes to prove it!

10 YEARS WITH MY SUPERHERO
12 years ago, I was pretty much a wreck,
With no balance or checks I was like "what the heck!"

Didn't care about much except me and well... me,
Then this girl crashed my world and she changed how I see;

2 years after that on the day of my birth,
I stood saying "I do" to an angel on earth;

And man! That first year we had bumps, we had trials,
But love? Oh man - love - we had piles and miles;

And then came year two, and there was no way to know,
That this love that we had would just grow and just grow;

But it did and I loved it it, thats right - I loved love,
Cuz our lives intertwined and they fit like a glove;

And about the same time that we came on year three,
Some changes were happening - yeah mostly to me;

And I fought it at first I was like "Man, who needs this?"
But she stayed by my side and she led me to Jesus;

And the timing was perfect, His clocks always right,
Cuz year 4 was a year that we faced a tough fight;

See we wanted a family and we trusted Him fully,
But infertility can be worse than a big schoolyard bully;

So in hindsight I'm thankful so much for year three,
Cuz year four may have killed us without Him in me;

But we beat it - together - we stood there and took it,
Cuz this recipe of our life, no one but God dare to cook it;

There was pain, there was death, and lets not discount money,
And oh so much suffering that at times it seemed funny;

But right in that suffering, in the sixth year of our union,
God drew us in closer with His Holy Communion;

And in the midst of our pain He gave us both a huge gift,
That would permanently and forever change the way that we lived;

Our 7th year was crazy as that gift kept on growing!
And our hearts kept on breaking from the seeds He was sowing;

Our focus got sharper, things that once mattered - died,
As we tried to remove things like worldliness and pride;

Our 8th year was nuts too - that's just how we do it,
We heard Him and listened and who would have knew it;

That His plan for the Hoffmans would involve some more pain,
Like waiting and crying - but from that pain came much gain;

Cuz in our 9th year - I thought surprises were at zero,
My wife did this thing that proved she's a super hero;

Our youngest was held hostage by a faulty government system,
And these days of her life just zoomed by while we missed them;

But unbeknownst to me a big plot was taking shape,
Cuz under her clothes Laura wears tights and a cape!

With no hesitation or fear but some righteous indignation,
She booked a plane ticket - and not for a vacation;

She went by herself and she fought tooth and claw,
To bring our girl home - and i STILL stand in awe;

And this 10th year - while uncertain - with some change in our life,
Has truly been a blast - man I scored the BEST wife!

So today - on my birthday - theres not a thing that can be bought,
That can top these 10 years - the best gift I ever got!

Thanks so much for 10 amazing years Laura! Looking forward to what the next decade brings us!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

No Words









Sometimes... no words are needed.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Paper, Rock, Scissors

With two girls just 12 months apart - we are always wondering who is going first for bath or praying first or doing this or doing that... We needed a resolution to this dilemma. We found it...

in the good old fashioned game of Paper, Rock or Scissors.


The girls have it all figured out and - surprisingly - there are very little arguments around the outcomes. They seem to understand it as LAW and respect it that way. Weird...


But I'll take it!

Anything to keep these two smiling! (and mommy and me sane!)