Thursday, July 31, 2014

My Whole Entire Heart


Kinda weird to see your whole entire heart laying in the bed. But there it was.

Well... almost.

Brighton.

My heart does a constant tug-of-war around this. I am 100% sure that God knew exactly what He was doing with Brighton.

But man... a complete family picture would be really cool.

Getting one made in Heaven at some point...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Rap Olympics


This morning I texted Laura from work and said "Tell the girls I want a show tonight - tell them to practice it today and get it ready.."

They were pumped.

After dinner - we headed to the basement and I was assigned lighting duty. On their cue - I flicked them on to these two copping these B-Girl stances...


IT WAS ON!

The show they had put together for me? Oh you know - just an old fashioned RAP BATTLE!

I was STOKED.


It got pretty intense too... with some in-your-face bravado...


Some wild hand and arm motions...


Some "Oh no you didn't!" responses...


Some "Bring it on, girl!" attitude...


and one of my favorite rhymes - that meron dropped.

After looking Mebbie up and down she said:

"Look at you... and what you're wearin'
You look just like a little Meron..."
DANG!!!


It didn't stop Mebbie from dancing it out though!

It was like 8 Mile popped off in our basement... I LOVED IT.

We have a house rule when it comes to battle rapping though... it goes like this:

battle it out hard - to the very end,
but walk away sisters - and more importantly - friends.


And that they did...


Best show I've seen in a long time!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Hey Lady!


Tonight - I was invited to watch a skit that had been developed by Mebski Love and Z-Dogg.

It started with Mebbie on one side of the room - and as she walked towards Zechie - who was leaning against the couch - he would look up at her and say:

"Hey Lady!"
He would keep a pretty straight face (or try to at least)


As Mebbie walked by - she would gently reach out and lightly tap his forehead...

At which point Z-Dogg would fall over flat out on the couch.


They did this maybe 30 or 40 times.

Same skit. Every. Single. Time.

My kids own the patent on "weird."

Monday, July 28, 2014

Dear Swimming Pool...



THANK YOU!

'Nuff said...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

How We Roll


After being gone for 9 days - Meron was ITCHING for some family time.

She petitioned hard all day long and finally got us all at Uncle Buck's for some evening bowling!


Everybody was pretty excited...


Even if mommy appeared to fall asleep while helping Z-Dogg!


Meron was pretty stoked to be here...


and she showed us that it didn't matter how ya got that ball down the lane...


while mommy showed off some of her yesteryear bowling league skills!


But let's be honest... we all know that BEARDED BOYS BOWL BETTER.

I mean seriously... look at that leg extension. And be jealous.


Zechie found the hand-cooler-air-blowing-thingie to be of great amusement as he used it to style his hair in between turns...


while Meron was almost eaten by a shark.


Overall - we had a BLAST!

Thanks Meron for pushing for some much needed family time!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Schizophrenic Weather


The girls all headed out to the pool today while I chilled at home with a napping Z-Dogg. It was hot, sunny - perfect weather for the pool...

About 17 minutes later I was bombarded with some serious pounding on the front door and greeted with this when i opened it up!

As it can do here - the weather had flipped its lid on them!

Howling winds, 20 degree temperature drop, lightning and rain that felt like hail...

These guys jumped right out of the water and sprinted home!

Meron still had her goggles on when I opened the door!


Hang in there guys - tomorrow's a new day!

We'll be back pool... we'll be back!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Best Buds


Forever.

It's tough living in the shadow of a leader like Meron... but these two do it with grace and beauty.

I absolutely LOVE their love for each other...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Universe Has Been Restored


Around 7:00 PM tonight my world got set right side up again...

MY CREW IS HOME!

And after a total of 3500+ miles driven BY HERSELF - Laura was looking a little like this:


But I didn't care - I was just happy to have them home!

God - thanks for going with them, protecting them and bringing them home safely!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

24 Hours Til Goofy...


I'm super glad Laura and the kids got to go on this crazy, whirlwind of an adventure.

But this house has just been too quiet...


But that's all about to change...


Cuz in 24 hours or less...

I get my goofy back!

I can't wait...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Missing The Crazy


Doing a little throwback to three years ago!

Missing the crazy around here tonight...

Monday, July 21, 2014

These Boots Were Made For...


Not this Z-Dogg... those boots were NOT made for this!

Okay Zechie - i hear ya loud and clear - I will get you some motorcycle boots...

Goofiest kid around.

We Are The Champions


The house was too quiet with the goofball gang all gone - so we figured out how to fix that.

Have 12 guys come crash at the house and bring home the gold medal in the Rocky Mountain State Games!

I played with an incredible flag football team back in Atlanta - and a few months back I sent an email to one of my best friends back there - kinda just joking - saying "hey - you guys should come out here for this flag tournament..."

Don't challenge these guys with flag football. Because 10 of them booked flights immediately and said "We're there."


And ya know what was better than bringing home the gold medals?

Playing with this incredible group of classy guys.

In a sport that watches teams unravel, fight, scream and yell - this team always stays calm, executes and well... wins.

But then - after every game - we invited the other team (who were typically kinda mad at us) to meet at the 50 yard line and pray with us.

And a lot of them did.

Just classy.

Thanks guys - for a great weekend - looking forward to snowboarding with you all soon... we can name our board team "Peaches" too.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hard Work!


It can be tough visiting family, swimming and playing with your sisters...

It's HARD work but somebody has to do it!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Granny Time!


Camp Hoffman has landed in North Carolina.

I think Granny is happy...

Friday, July 18, 2014

Family That Matters


In spite of what it may seem at times - we really do have some family that matters.

Family that is important to us. Family that has invested in us and loves us and cares about and for us.

And we love those guys back. With all of our hearts.

Super thankful that this year - with all of our travels and visits - we will end up seeing pretty much all of them!

Mathii - you guys bring smiles to our faces and our hearts.

Thanks for being who you are!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thank You, Janus and Niklas!


Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström created Skype... and tonight I am super thankful for them.

Because their creation just allowed me to see these guys and pray with them before bed - from 1,000 miles away.

And that helped me miss them just a teeny, tiny bit less...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Annndddd.... They're Off!


This morning - before the sun came up - this sleepy crew (save for an alert, well-rested Mommy) hopped in he van and headed off on an adventure.

They are cruising cross country to do some family visiting while they can before school kicks back in.

I'm bummed cuz I'm here all alone. With not enough vacation built up - I had to stay back and hold down the fort. And it's already way too quiet and I miss this goofball gang like crazy.

Just found out they made it to their first destination - over 13 hours of driving for Mommy - but they are in good hands with our family in Arkansas to rest and recover for the next 48 hours.

Guys... this house isn't a home without you all here.

Daddy misses ya FIERCELY but praying for fun times and good visits!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Staring Champions


Staring contests are the new fun go-to game around these parts.

And I ain't gonna lie... these two are pretty darn good at it!


Meron's stoic approach is lethal.

You can see it here throwing Z-Dogg off his game as the smile starts to creep in to his cheeks...


But Zechie ain't no staring slacker either.

He went the "facial contortion" route and almost reversed the smile hold...


In the end - with neither blinking and facial extensions getting all outta hand...

We had to call it a draw.

Way to go guys... re-match coming soon!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Not Peace... But A Sword


I used to have a really hard time with this piece of scripture. Not because I thought Jesus was getting violent with a sword like some folks take this to mean (it doesn't) - but more so because I couldn't comprehend Jesus saying His presence could break up a family. Not when the bible spends so many words saying how important family is. I just couldn't see it.

Until I lived it.

See - what Jesus was doing here was not declaring His intention of breaking up families - but rather He was dropping a little foreshadowing on us and letting us know what one of the costs of following Him could be. Really embracing true Christianity and following Him could be all it takes for you to be misunderstood and ostracized by your family.

No way though... right?

On December 23, 2011 I wrote a blog post called "Early Christmas Present." It was all about how my younger sister had gotten involved in church and her life was feeling "much fuller." That's worth celebrating in my book. So I did celebrate it - and in doing so mentioned our upbringing that was pretty much lacking a Christ-centered focus.


ENTER THE SWORD.

What's that thing Jesus said about setting a "man against his father...?" That's the offensive power of the gospel - that's what it is. And I was about to feel it full on. Shortly after that blog post was published my family was confronted with one very angry person - namely my earthly father.

He took serious issue with what I had said about the way we were raised and he let me know it. He proceeded to say things like:

"I definitely won't dive into any type of analysis of your self-righteous bulls$#@. That would only spark your desire to throw more mythical Christ bulls$#@ at me. I have had much more than you of that crap."
and
"you are strictly nothing but a piece of garbage to me. "
Then he proceeded to write things about my children and myself that I can't even repeat in writing.

Was I offended? You bet.

Was I angry? Unbelievably so.

Was I hurt? More than I care to admit.

Was I vengeful? Well - here is where that sword slices in and separates me from this man who'd call himself my father. Ten years ago I would have already had the plan hatched to retaliate. To get him back. To make him pay.

But that was all before Jesus and His sword came into my life.

Now... well now I just felt sorry for this dude. Why would somebody be so angry? So sad? So hurt and lonely and mean? The only thing I really thought was "Man - I need to pray for him."

And listen - full truth here folks - those prayers for him were HARD! But I prayed. My kids have prayed. I didn't pray for resolution and peace between us - I prayed for a healed heart for him. Because what I was seeing wasn't just a man who didn't know God - I was seeing a man who actually HATED God and was running precariously close to sealing his eternal fate.

So I prayed. Confused, hurt and angry... I prayed.

And in the midst of that confusion is where God led me to Matthew 10:34. And suddenly... I got it.

The sword had separated this family.


My belief in God - my family's love for Jesus - it offended this guy. Deeply. So much so that he now spends the vast majority of his time writing things online like this:
"10 Reasons You Should Never Have Religion"
or:
"I am totally against churches. Really, I am against the very spirit of a missionary."
or:
"A missionary is more concerned with you, with your changes. A poet is more concerned with himself, with his own expression. I have to behave not like a missionary but like a poet."
Or even more personal things like this:
"Poverty Will Never End and Africa will Never Develop!"
(wonder who that was directed at)

or this list of pretty much nonsense:
Christian Hypocrisy #1
You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history – but still call yourself a Christian.

Christian Hypocrisy #2
You define 0.01% as a “high success rate” when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.

Christian Hypocrisy #3
While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in “tongues” may be all the evidence you need to “prove” Christianity.

Christian Hypocrisy #4
You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs — though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most “tolerant” and “loving.”

Christian Hypocrisy #5
You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.

Christian Hypocrisy #6
You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.

Christian Hypocrisy #7
Your face turns purple when you hear of the “atrocities” attributed to Allah, but you don’t even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in “Exodus” and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in “Joshua” including women, children, and trees!

Christian Hypocrisy #8
You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.

Christian Hypocrisy #9
You feel insulted and “dehumanized” when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.

Christian Hypocrisy #10
You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.

He has even attacked Christian organizations and called my current employer out by name before changing it where he posts it.

This is more than the musings of somebody who doesn't believe in God. This is somebody who has disdain for God. Anger... hate for Him.

So why the hateful, mean, targeted and angry diatribe online?

I think Matthew 10:34 tells us exactly why... the sword came and separated families.

Yeah... it's a pretty big sword. An offensive, gospel of a sword.

And truthfully - I am not sure I would have even ever wrapped my head around that verse if God hadn't allowed me to live it. And now I see it...

One article I read when researching it said this:

"From my experience, it seems that in a non-Christian family, the older generation is usually more resistant to the message of the cross than the younger generation. It is more often the younger people who come under the opposition of their parents when they come to the Lord."

If that isn't the truth I have seen played out before my own eyes then I don't know what is.


I guess the next logical question is, "Why share this, Tymm?" I've thought about that. A lot. I've prayed about it. A lot. Praying right now as I type this actually. For me - there's a couple reasons.

One - I am not the only person on the planet who has experienced this. And if one other person reads it and says "Yeah man - I get that! That's whats been going on around here too!" then sharing it is way worth it. Understanding that Jesus KNEW this was coming well before you or I graced this earth is comforting in a way. He knew. He still knows.

Two - our identity is in our Father not our father. And people need to know this. I need to know this. My kids need to know this. Their daddy will fail a LOT - it doesn't make them failures.

Three - this buck stops here. I have made a ton of decisions to make generational change in our family - and by throwing this stake in the ground and declaring it out loud - I am making myself responsible and accountable for it. I know that I never can know what the future holds - but I will do everything in my power to equip this family with what it needs to build a trusting, loving relationship with the only Father they ever need to worry about - God. And modeling that love as best as I can is one of the most effective ways I can think of to do that.

So back to this guy who I once called "dad." What about him? Well - we still pray for him. My kids aren't dumb - they have asked about him. And we're pretty much straight shooters around here - so we've told them like it is.

And while there is no chance they will ever, ever meet him - my prayer is that one day I will find the strength to remember some shred of goodness and share that with them instead of the truths I have to share as to why he isn't known by us.

Camp Hoffman - you guys are my rocks - and I am asking you to hold me to this - that I ALWAYS lead you to Him, that I ALWAYS seek Him and that in all I do - I give HIM the glory.


We're putting the swords away - no love of Christ is going to separate around here - it will only bring us together!