Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Angels


They're just kids. Two silly, goofy, temperamental, selfish (at times), fun-loving, care-free kids. Kids - like every other kid. They like to snack. They hate to nap. They love TV. And playing outside. They whine. They pout. They toot. They laugh at their toots. They smile and giggle... a lot.

But they're so much more. I pray pretty regularly that one day God will help me convey to them and they will start to see and understand the insane, huge, deep, monumental, glorious story God has been writing with their lives.

That they will see the impact they have made - that they will see just how important they are and how much they matter to... God.

Meron and Mebbie - you keep shining for Him. Never, ever, ever stop...

Monday, April 29, 2013

Still Fits


The girls busted out their chapel gear for the first time in like 6 months this past week - and headed over to their old school to do some praise and worship with their friends (and teachers!)...

They were both super excited to see their friends and do some singing with them... AND they brought cookies to share with everybody! It was a big hit...


Thankful today for a school that let us come back to visit and praise God with them - and also for a girl who rocks those socks and sneakers to church!

Don't stop rockin' girls!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Halt!


These two beautiful girls are growing like weeds. Like WEEDS!!


Laura and I went out of town for a few days and I told them both "Don't you dare grow while I am gone. Not one bit..."

I threatened them with timeout if they did - we'll see how that worked...

Halt the growing!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

These Two...


If my heart just had two chambers - I am pretty sure they'd look like this...


Never stop being the radiant, little expressions of God you are girls!

Mommy and Daddy love ya!

Friday, April 26, 2013

You Rock 'Em


I know everybody's kids have the cute things they mispronounce - we've had tons. Recently we got tuned in to one of Mebbie's mispronunciations... if you tell our girl "Thank You!" - she quickly responds with:

"You rock 'em!"
And us being the big sticklers for proper use of the english language - we sat her down and talked to her about it. We said:
"Mebbie - don't you ever, EVER stop saying it that way! We love it!"
And it's true. It's probably one of my favorite things she says - I'll randomly tell her "Thank You!" just to hear her say it...

We captured it on video JUST in case she decides to get proper on us at some point.


Thank you Mebbie! Thank you very much!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Spiky Tails and Mean Eyes


We had this dude squatting in our attic for a while. Him and 3 other family members. And a few of their feathered friends to boot...

I snapped this picture and showed Meron what he looked like and this was her reaction:


She literally held that look for like a minute. She couldn't stop staring. I couldn't stop laughing!

I asked her why she was so freaked out and she said:

"I didn't know he'd look like that... his eyes are all... mean and his tail is all spiky!"
Accurate description Meron... very accurate description.

We won't be missing him now that he's gone!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Quiet On The Set!


I took the girls with me to scout a location for an indie film I am helping out a little bit on... they were loving it!


Meron especially liked being the "director." Go figure - barking orders at everybody, snapping clappers - she was in heaven.


I love involving them with every little thing i get myself in to... and I love it even more that they wanna be there!


It wasn't long before their true selves came out and they had us all cracking up!

Thanks girls for always bringing the goofy - no matter where we are!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Some Days


Some days... just feel kinda like this - don't they?

Thanks for the visual Meron!

Monday, April 22, 2013

We Believe


Adoption is hard. I mean - even at its smoothest - it's HARD. Satan hates it to the core and will do everything he can to thwart it. To stop it. To make it fail.

Don't believe me? Just look around... the world questions everything about it. The world doubts it. The world belittles it, marking it as plan B. The world writes books claiming to know the deep dark secrets about it. The world works hard at refusing to see it for what it is - a rugged but mirrored image of the Gospel - redemption at its fullest.

You'd think after going down this road a few times we'd be ready for whatever. We're not. We never really are... And today we ran smack into our first hurdle in trying to get Zechariah home. It came out of left field and caught us off-guard... even knocking the wind out of us for a minute.

But we got our breath back. I handed the girls those signs tonight and they asked what they said - when I told them what they said - Mebbie asked: "But what do we believe?"

Well Mebbie - tonight, we are believing:

  • That God is in absolute control
  • That this adoption is supposed to happen
  • That our emotions are okay - we're humans - and sometimes stuff sucks
  • That prayer works and He always answers
  • That we are NOT in control and will stop trying to be
  • That God loves us - even in our imperfect and impatient state
  • That our entire family will be under one roof in God's timing - and IT WILL BE GOOD.
When it was time to pray tonight - we went round our family circle (Meron passed out on my chest) and were almost done when Mebbie whispered: "I have one more."

We nodded her the go-ahead and she said:
"God - thank you for this day - and I ask that you are with Zechariah's birthmom. Thank you that she is safe. And that she is healthy. And thank you that Jesus takes care of her and that she gets to where she needs to be. in Jesus name. Amen."
And she said it with such Holy Confidence. No surprise though because that seemed to be the theme of the evening.

Earlier tonight, Laura was emptying the dryer and she had been praying when she just opened her mouth and said those two little words: "Holy Confidence." No prompting, no reason. She just said them.

As she came back upstairs she realized a text message had just come in while she was down there. It was from a close friend and prayer warrior - and she just wanted to encourage Laura today about our adoption and she said she has just had this incredible peace about it all and then she she said she had a "Holy Confidence" about it. She had typed those words just about the same time Laura had muttered them downstairs.

The Holy Spirit is here for us - God has entrusted it to us - and He shows Himself through it to us so often.


So tonight - among all the other things we are believing in - we are choosing to believe in the Holy Confidence we have in Jesus Christ.

Without that - nothing else matters...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

PNO Lottery Winners


Earlier this week I got an email that looked like this one here. Totally looks like spam, right? I almost deleted it. For some reason I didn't and boy am I glad I clicked it - cuz apparently we had won the Parents Night Out lottery at our local YMCA.

What's that mean? Oh nothing but 4 hours of kid-free time for a measly $5 while the girls have a blast at the Y with all the other kids. Uh - yes please! For penny-pinching, in-the-middle-of-another-adoption folks - this was a GOD SEND!


Laura and I hadn't been on a date since our anniversary... in freaking November! So what did we do? Well, we hit the trails for a run of course! Running, the woods, Laura... 3 of my most favorite things. It was GREAT.

We were fast so we still had time to hit Taco Mac for some dinner - I absolutely love just hanging out with Laura. I actually forgot what it was like to be able to complete a sentence with no 5-year old interruptions...

Eventually it was time to go get the girls - truth be told - we were both ready to see em!


We got 'em home, jammied 'em up and got to hear all about their night. Games, snacks, playing, running, dancing... they had a blast. They're so awesome too - they immediately asked us how our parents night out was...

This morning, Meron said "Parents Night Out was so much fun. I can't wait to do it again!"

Neither can we Meron... neither can we!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Weirdo


Man - we've got squirrels in our attic and what's this?


A cornered Mebbie in our living room!


Watch out! They can attack!

Man listen... we got some of the weirdest kids on the planet. Wouldn't trade it for ANYTHING!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Breakfast For Dinner


What does one do when mommy has a night out with friends and it's just me and the girls? Well - set up a table in the living room for dinner of course...

I told the girls to get their jammies on and when they came out the table was set in the living room with burning candle and all. They were pumped!


I think it also helped that "breakfast for dinner" was on the menu for the evening (one of their personal favorites!)...


Oh yeah... not to mention that it was a "Dinner and a Movie" experience as well! They raised their glasses of OJ for a toast and then chowed down!


All in all - I think I had two pretty happy campers on my hands!


One of them was so happy it knocked her right out on the couch...

Girls - it was a pleasure and a privilege to serve you guys tonight! can't wait to do it again!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Brothers in Africa


What do all these little homies have in common? They all have a little brother in Africa they are praying for!

Great time tonight hanging out with some friends who are neck deep in the paper-chase on their first adoption. Love the encouragement and love that the adoption community offers!

Thanks guys for your kindness, generosity and most of all - your hearts for His children!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

God Is Enough


The "Dancing Duo" busted out a routine to Lecrae's "God Is Enough" tune tonight. Meron INSISTED on it being recorded.

I'm not sure what I am more mesmerized by - Meron's aggressive choreography or Mebbie's animated background dancing...

Don't stop dancing girls. Don't ever stop dancing.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Praying For Brother


Tomorrow is Zechariah's first court date. We are praying like crazy for all of those involved.

It's nutty how bad satan hates adoption - he tried HARD to knock us off our game today so we wouldn't be focused on praying for our son. Thankfully God helped us see it for what it was and we have been praying relentlessly...

The girls are as pumped about it as any of us - and their prayers for their brother and this tough, painful court date are nothing short of precious...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Three Foot Tornado


On Sundays we have "rest time." The girls go to their rooms and it's their choice to read or play or sleep. Meron usually does a little bit of all of it. Mebbie on the other hand - is literally a three foot tall tornado...

You can hear her through the monitors just playing up a storm - talking to her dolls and anything that else that will pretend to listen. When we went to wake her up this past Sunday - this is what we saw...

The girl can destroy a room! The cool thing though? She cleans it up just as well!

Keep on playing Mebbie!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Hairy Transformation


Laura is a magical genius when it comes to the girls' hair... I mean seriously - tonight - she took this (see above) and turned it into this (see below)...


I am jealous of her SuperHair-o skills!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sandals and Bright Colors


Spring must be here. Cuz all I am hearing is "flip flops!" and "sandals" and all I am seeing are bright, spring colors...

They do Spring well!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Daddy Daughter Friday


I was one rich man this evening... I had the privilege of taking these two cuties out on a date for some Daddy-Daughter time!


We went and saw this - The Croods - and lemmee tell ya... if you're the dad of daughters - take them to see this! What an awesome love story about a dad's undying, protective love for his daughter. And it's really funny...

At one point one of the characters says to Grug (the dad), something along the lines of "That's what dads do! They protect their daughters!" - and Mebbie yells out - and I mean YELLS out in the theater:

"That's what you do daddy! You keep me and Meron safe!"
Sweetest thing ever... super loud and probably annoying to those around us... but WHO CARES?

We had a great time - went during the cheap hour, shared some popcorn and were home in time for dinner... seriously my best Friday in a LONG time.


I absolutely adore any minute I get to spend with these girls. Cuz... ya know... birds of a feather... flock together!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Four Year Flashback


i can't even believe this... she is growing up so fast!

She still fell asleep on my chest during prayer time tonight and drooled all over me.

Wouldn't trade it for the world. i love that girl so much...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pollen, Parks and Friends


The girls braved the RIDICULOUS pollen that was coating the earth today to spend the better part of the day hanging with this dude...


I love that we have a friendship with these guys that can withstand time apart and distance and stuff. So cool to see them just fall back in line and play like they do it every day!

Thanks Milo for being such a cool friend! (and having GREAT taste in baseball teams!)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Six Little Words


We were sitting in Zaxby's about to dig in to some chicken fingers when she said it. Laura had gone running straight from church and I took the girls for lunch. We paid, prayed and were about to start munching when Meron looked me in the eyes and said:

"Daddy... thank you for adopting me."
I ain't gonna lie - it caught me off guard. My heart skipped a little and if the pollen wasn't so bad and my allergic eyes weren't already watering - you might have seen a tear or two.

I pulled it together and said:
"Baby girl - you don't EVER have to thank me for adopting you. Before there was a you and before there was a me - God was putting our lives together and this is where we are. So don't thank me... thank God!"
She was munching chicken fingers at this point and eye-balling the dessert that came with it but she said:
"Well - I am still happy you did adopt me and I wanted to say thank you..."
She never ceases to amaze me. Matter of fact - kids in general amaze me regularly. I sometimes think - with as much emphasis as the Bible places on the importance of children to Jesus - that they are really just angels on this earth - teaching us hardened older kids how to behave and how to love God.

And that is EXACTLY what she did to me on Sunday. She drove home the Gospel, prayer and what our worship and praise of our heavenly Father should look like in SIX SIMPLE WORDS:
"Daddy... thank you for adopting me."
And so in turn... I say... "God (daddy) - thank you for adopting me."

And even more - thank you for caring so much about my heart and soul and place in eternity that you gave me the incredible blessing of being daddy to two little girls that encompass so much of what it means to love.

Lord - give me the wisdom to never miss what you have placed right before my eyes.

Thanks once again Meron - for teaching, guiding and modeling love for your old, slow-to-learn daddy!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Africa Friends


There's something extra special about visiting with friends who love Africa like we do!

Thanks Nate for hanging with us tonight!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Big Kid Buddies


We had some good friends who were in town for the Final Four games crash with us - and the girls were LOVING it!

These girls jump at ANY chance to hang with the big kids.

Thanks Jesse(s) for being so good with our girls and loving 'em like that!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Running in Mud is TOUGH


Running in thick, gooey, fresh mud is pretty tough. I guess that's why they call it the Tough Mudder. Today we hit that course with a 4-man team and came out alive.


We leaped off of things into gigantic muddy ponds of water. Cold water. We jumped fire, got shocked by electricity and even endured a little something known as the ARCTIC ENEMA.


Some of us even face planted HARD in some very muddy areas...


But in the end - we survived and made it to receive our coveted orange headband.


I got some serious fans at home now. here is future mudder #1...


And here's future mudder #2...


Meron even wanted to shoot this little video (all her idea) to warn the mudder about her arrival in 13 years!

I can't wait to do this with ya girl!

Friday, April 5, 2013

She's Hairy Crazy


Yep. That's her hair - pulled out the sides of her princess hat and twisted beneath her chin to form the best of sideburns and beard...


I literally could NOT stop laughing! The girl is crazy nuts...


And we got pictures to prove it.

Never, ever, ever lose your sense of humor Meron!