Sunday, May 31, 2015

He Funds What He Favors

The last 2 days they had been talking about it.

Their "Lemonade and Cookie" stand to raise funds for their mission trip to Ethiopia this fall. And today was the first day.

They were pumped. Kindly yelling out "Lemonade and cookies!" to most anybody who would listen.

True to most fundraising quests for His work - satan attacked early when two boys yelled "Shut up! Stop saying that!"

Daddy intervened on that one - with beard, sunglasses and camo boonie hat in place. They didn't say anything else to us...

I had warned the girls that even if NOBODY showed up - their hearts and spirits had impressed daddy so much. When on earth will I learn to trust Him?

After a slight rain delay - we had some visits from some incredibly generous friends who by simply showing up encouraged our little fundraisers more than they'll ever know.

By the time they had packed it up to call it quits - they were looking at $125 in the bucket!

Once inside - Laura and I heard some shuffling and some noises and then the girls came out and tossed this on the table:

They had taken the rest of their own money they could find and Meron said:

"We just want to go on the trip so bad... so here's all of our money we have - we put it all together."
And this brought the day's grand total to $158.91

Girls - that ain't bad at all for a first day of fundraising with some rain delays and little advertizing!

Keep up the amazing work and no matter what comes of it - know this - your mommy and daddy are SO PROUD OF YOU!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Temperature Doesn't Matter

This was Laura at the pool today. All bundled up and looking like the "Una-Mommer"

I wasn't very far off with a jacket and hat.

But the kids?

Oh - that was a whole different story...

Temperature seems to become irrelevant on pool days...

The draw of the fun trumps the struggle with the temperature!

And cold or not - these goofballs are always all smiles!

Looking forward to some sunnier, warmer days next week!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Two Big Sisters

It's tiring work... the job of "big sister."

I can't even express how much I love this. I want the goofballs to grow up knowing the love of a Golden...

And they're doing it!

Get your rest big sisters - you're back on the job in the morning!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Lunch Hour Fun

It was that time of year again - where Compassion has a family picnic over lunch hour so we can all watch the Thunderbirds do their air show and fly over as the Air Force Academy cadets graduate!

I love this so much - one of the coolest shows you'll ever see...

And against the mountains as a backdrop? Come on... it doesn't get much better!

But wait... it does actually (for me at least).

I love the planes and the show... but THIS right here - this is what made my lunch hour the best...

Guys - thanks for brightening my day - lunches are always better with you around!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

We Got A Floater!

We got ourselves a floater...

And a bobber...

And a creeper.

Yay for after school swims!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Let The Fish Season Begin!

Laura posted this on Facebook already - but I had to capture it here too...

Their faces... pure joy. These two LOVE to swim.

Pretty sure even 3 feet of snow couldn't have kept them out of this heated pool today.

Girls - here's to another fun season of swimming, jumping, splashing and having a wet blast!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Granny Time!

What do ya do when Granny rolls in to town carrying rolls of quarters for everybody?

Well... ya hit the penny arcade that's what!

For some rides...

and fun!

(and maybe a funnel cake or two...)

And if you're feeling crazy - ya might even let this little maniacal looking dude take the reins of your buggy...

Pretty sure Meron was questioning everything about this!

But everyone survived!

Thanks so much Granny for bringing the fun!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Love Of Friends

Look - consider yourself warned...

If you don't wanna be loved in a BIG way - then I would suggest trying NOT to become friends with Z-Dogg...

This little afro-d dude is a friend loving machine!

He adores his friends. He admires them.

He speaks of them often and almost always greets them with a gigantic bear hug.

He is SOOO Ethiopian in that sense. So relational. So loving.

Bottom line... HE LOVES HIS FRIENDS.

Your daddy has learned a lot from you Z... keep loving big!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Summer 'Do

3 more days of school and summer break will be upon us.

With summer break comes the pool - and with the pool comes a LOT of time spent on hair.

Laura is being proactive this year - so all the girls left the house at 9:00 AM this morning and didn't return until round 1:30...


A lady in the neighborhood does hair for an incredibly reasonable price... so we are all hooked up now!

Both girls were looking so different with their hair back and away from heir faces...

Had to warn Meron not whip her hair back and forth too - that could be seen as a weapon!

Looking good girls - now as soon as the Prodigal SUN returns and the snow goes away - go enjoy that pool!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Her Journal Entry: My Famlee

Laura messaged me at work and said "Come home... I gotta show you something..."

Curious and kinda worried - I was out the door quick. I got home and she met me in the hallway carrying that journal up there.

As school is coming up to an end - the kids are getting to bring stuff home. And that is Meron's journal that she had been writing in for the whole year.

Talk about a blessing... great stories written by Meron. I love it.

And with tears in her eyes - Laura turns to the second entry and hands it to me...

Early in the year she was struggling with spacing - so let me translate this one for ya:

"My Family

The Hoffman's Story. A little boy named Brighton, he had died. Then we made a ministry called Brighton Their World. It is a fun ministry.

We can feed babies all around the world. Our family is Christian and this is a true story. It's an emotional story. I know because I was in it.

I miss him sooooooooooo much. He was what made our family cool. He was the most loving boy on the earth.

Love Meron. To Brighton."
And - well now my eyes were filled with tears. A lot of them.

I called Meron in there and tried to talk to her... I barely got anything out.

It just showed us man... stuff we talk about. Stuff we care about. Stuff our family is all about. It is in there... in her heart. Our prayers for their hearts to be made like His are working.

Outside of our influence - on her own - she was thinking about Brighton.

Meron - this is SO MUCH MORE than a journal entry. This is a gift that mommy and daddy will cherish forever and ever...

Thank you, sweet girl. Thank you...

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Do Something Bigger Than Yourself

We came home yesterday to find a box from our friends at Ekubo Ministries.

It had some awesome shirts and some really cool bracelets and earrings for the girls!

There was an incredibly encouraging note inside that was way too kind.

They even sent shirts for the big kids!

And I absolutely LOVE the saying on the front:

Do Something Bigger Than Yourself!

I mean... yes! We should all be doing that!

Of course the goofball gang had to get a little nutty with it all...

And even bust out some b-boy poses.

That's just how we roll people.

Seriously though - thank you guys so much. Your giving hearts made our day.

Wanna learn a bit more about what these guys are up to? Go check 'em out at Ekubo Ministries and see how you can do something bigger than yourself!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Queen of the Bomb

I didn't even see her slide in there.

Z-Dogg had absolutely no clue she was like a millimeter behind his 'fro.

The girl is - without a doubt - the Queen of the Photo Bombs.

On another note - I love that the backgrounds of our millions of pictures we take will start including random dog behinds and stuff again... just feels right.

The house is back in order.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Flock Of Seagulls

"Thanks mommy for the work on the hair..."

"Wait... why is daddy giggling?"

"What'd you do up there?"

"Oh man... did you do Flock of Seagulls again...???"

Looking fantabulous Z-Dogg! Don't change a thing...

Monday, May 18, 2015

Joy All Over

A certain somebody 'round here had been lobbying for some canine companionship for a LONG TIME...

The last two days - she has been ECSTATIC! ALIVE! BEAMING!

There's a whole lotta joy bursting outta this girl...

And it's contagious!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Come And Get It!

The addition of two dogs has brought out the crazy side of Z-Dogg...

Oh wait... never mind. That's ALWAYS BEEN THERE.

Stay crazy Z-Dogg. Stay crazy.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Introducing Autumn and Cider

It all started with this picture on Facebook.

Let me rewind a second. Anybody who knows us knows how crushed we were when Clay Bear passed away last year.

It was the first time I was without a Golden Retriever in my life in almost 17 years. And we're a dog family - so we knew we'd get another one at some point - but we really wanted to allow God to bring the dog to us that He wanted in our family.

So we tried... HARD... to be still and wait. Oh we did things like go through the rescue adoption paperwork and homestudy and all that. But mostly... we waited.

Like 10 months of waiting. But for some reason - God seems to hand us the more difficult things - even in something as simple as acquiring a new dog for our family.

So fast-forward to this past Monday - I came home from work to find Laura and the kids gathered around a computer looking at those two pictures up there.

See - it seems these two awesome dogs who had an incredibly awesome family were up against a tough wall. One of the kids in the family had developed some pretty rough allergies... to the dogs. And they were looking to find a family for them before they moved out of state next month with the military.

A whole bunch of people had posted with varying degrees of interest - and Laura threw our name in the pot. The girls actually had a track meet that night and it was out near them. We asked if we could stop by and meet the dogs (and their family too!).

We had a great visit with a great family and two incredible dogs.

Come to find out they were Christians too and they were really just being super picky about where their dogs ended up - who would blame them? We would be the same way!

We left that night with no promises but Camp Hoffman really felt like God was up to something here.

All week long I couldn't shake this family from my thoughts and prayers. I just knew how devastatingly hard it had to be to let go of their dogs - Goldens at that! Anybody who has owned a dog knows they are far more than some furry four legged creature. THEY ARE FAMILY.

So we prayed for these guys and their hearts a LOT. Then - yesterday - we found out that they had chosen us and today around 4:00 our new family members showed up!

Introducing Cider... an almost one year old and her bigger sister...

Autumn - who is a little over 2. Both from the same parents on a ranch in southern Colorado. No puppy mill, no breeders - just a ranch that has Goldens who mate naturally.

After they got settled in - we all hit the backyard for some playing...

some wrestling...

and some ball chasing!

Their extended family (and previous owners) told us they loved to ride in the car. So after a walk through the neighborhood on their leashes - we we all hopped in the van and headed out to pick up a pizza.

When we got back - we decided to try out some of their amazing training we had seen in action with these girls. We had the food on the table and Laura simply walked them over to the edge of the carpet and said "Stay here..."

Would you believe those two didn't even try to come in to the kitchen or under the table while we ate?

Pretty amazing.

Finally - the day was catching up with them (and us too!)

Autumn found a spot behind the couch to crash out...

And Cider snuggled her way in to the goofball gang's movie night.... and there were no objections from that crew!

Before this awesome family left tonight - Laura looked at me and whispered "Pray for them..."

I told her there was absolutely no way I could keep it together to do that... so Laura proceeded to pray for this family making a super hard decision. Through some tears she asked for God to give them peace and to fill them with joy when they feel the void of these two incredible friends and family members they were losing.

Guys - thank you so much for trusting us with something so incredibly special. We know your hearts are hurting and grieving tonight - and we won't stop praying for that to be healed.

And thank you for filling up our hearts and home with some much needed puppy love!