Thursday, March 31, 2016

Rub-A-Dub-Dub


Who knows when the expiration date on this will run out...

But for now? They LOVE bath time together.

Their chatter, laughing, splashing and joking in there is one of my favorite things to hear...

Clinging to it before it disappears!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Super Dooper Brother Man


This little man right here... I just love him.

He daily gets in trouble for everything you'd expect.

Talking back.

Being defiant.

Antagonizing his sisters.

Terrorizing the dogs

Not listening to anybody.

But ya know what? He's being refined.

He's growing in to the kind of dude who's gonna be a SUPER DOOPER BROTHER MAN to his two sisters.

And refining can take time. And involve pain and growth.

And timeout.

I got so much faith in this guy - cuz I see his heart as much as I see his craziness.

His love for Jesus.

His desire to be a great brother and to love his mommy.

He is growing up to be the champion that God built him to be.

And I am SO blessed to get to watch it go down.

I love you, Z-Dogg. Daddy's got your back forever!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Can't Get Enough


These two right here man..

I just can't get enough of 'em!

Daddy loves ya girls!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Fight Song - The "Show" Edition


So... pretty regularly I get this question:

"Daddy - can we do a show for you?"
And honestly - I love each and every one of them!

Lately - Meron has been working on a routine to one of her favorite songs - "Fight Song" - so I told her if she got it all locked down we'd do a little 2 camera shoot and edit together her performance.

She taught the moves to Mebbie and the two of them got busy with it!

Check out the finished performance below!



Way to go girls!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

These Kids...


I was blessed to be able to spend my ENTIRE Easter Day with these amazing goofballs.

We had some cool conversation about what this day means - questions like:

"Which one is more important daddy, Easter or Christmas?"
And just all around love, fun and celebrating a savior that looked death in the eye and conquered it.

Honestly - wish I had more days just like this...

And the night before - Meron started a new series we may continue - called "Dear Jesus..."



I just love her heart.

HAPPY EASTER EVERYBODY!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

My Girls (and then some...)


These three girls right here... they keep my heart beating.

I love 'em more than I can describe.

But behind every group of adorable girls...


Stands a maniac minion keeping ya on your toes!

It's a nutty crew... and I love every last nutty one of 'em!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Jeeps, God and Phife...


Okay... that image right there is one I think will be burned in to my memory for a second... cuz Wednesday was a flat out crazy day and this was a big part of it...

But let me rewind and start from the beginning.

We knew a storm was supposed to be coming through but it didn't seem like it was going to be too bad.

I woke up Wednesday morning - did what I usually do - walk in the office and peek out the front window - saw no snow anywhere on road and the lightest dusting on the grass.

"Cool..." I thought, and I sat down at my computer.


That's when the Interwebs started yelling at me that Phife from a Tribe Called Quest had passed away.

"NO WAY!" is what ran through my head and I immediately thought it was some Internet hoax thing.

A few of my close friends had recently been doing a bunch of work with Phife and I had even had the privilege to do some real minor graphic work for a video he was workng on... so I buzzed Tony to see if this was possibly true (knowing in my head it couldn't be...)

Tony indeed confirmed it. Phife Dawg... dead at 45. He died in his sleep due to complications from some health battles he had been fighting for a while.

DAMN.

That's about all I had for that. I was super bummed. 3 years older than me and gone. His words had built a soundtrack to a huge portion of my life - and this hit me kinda hard.

Staring out the window now - I see the wind is picking up and snow is kinda falling sideways out there. Time for me to get to the office - several of the team had already messaged me and said they were heading home to work - but I kissed the fam, jumped in the Jeep and headed out.


Literally - about 25 minutes after I got to work - we got this email here.

They were closing down the Global Ministry Center due to weather.

Well - poop. If only I had waited a bit longer at home.

But i was there - so I figured "Why not do a little work?"

I said "bye" to the last few folks around me who were heading out and then I hung around for another hour and a half or so... until I looked out the window and saw about 7 inches of snow on the picnic table and it hit me that I better get on the road.

Walking to the car - I almost got blown off the sidewalk - and when I jumped in the Jeep and saw I was completely soaked from that 1 minute walk in the weather - I started thinking things might be a little funky.

10 minutes on the road - and I KNEW that was the case.


So back to that first picture up there... this is an actual photo of the visibility on the way home - and this is BEFORE it got bad!

Easily some of the scariest stuff I have ever driven in... but I was going super slow - like 10 miles per hour and I was feeling good about things.

As I turned on to the last main road before home - I saw a pick up truck FLYING past me and fish tailing around. I slowed back a bit - didn't wanna be near the crazy man if he lost control in visibility that looked like about 10 feet.

Cresting a hill about 3 miles from home - things were going good when all of a sudden:

BAM!

A SUV appeared right in front of me at a complete stop. I had zero time to react - visibility was no joke like 10 feet. In a matter of seconds I slammed on the brakes - felt like the Jeep sped up - I braced for impact and smashed directly into the SUV in front of me.


It looked like this (pic from next day - couldn't see it at all when I hit it).

Both of my airbags deployed, smashing my windshield.

I was sitting there - kinda assessing myself when...

SMASH!

I was hit from the rear... I jumped out to check on the car in front of me and they were nowhere to be seen. I heard two other crashes but couldn't see anything.

They guy who hit me and his passenger were okay... so - being soaking wet and realizing that since I couldn't see anything - cars coming my way couldn't either - so I got back in the Jeep - soaked from head to toe and shivering cold.


I called Laura and told her what was going on - and being that we know where to go first - she immediately posted to ask for prayer.

My phone started blowing up with people from all over praying, asking how they could help, etc.

And I just gotta pause and say "THANK YOU!" to every person who said a prayer, reached out, offered to come get me, etc. Totally humbled by you guys for real...

I sat in the Jeep with no heat - freezing - for close to an hour and a half I think. EMS folks were checking on us - and then they wrapped our cars in yellow tape and one opened my door and said (through the howling wind):

"Okay - we have an exit plan - we're gonna pull the fire truck up here tight to block the wind - you get what you need and jump int he truck with us... we're getting you guys out of here...""
Wait... huh? This whole thing was turning in to some kind of post-apocalyptic-feeling search and rescue mission...


They did what they said they were going to do - ad so I did what they told me to and jumped in. They busted a u-turn and took everybody they had picked up back the other direction to a nearby Wal-Mart and dropped us off there where we'd be safe.

All roads around us had been closed and now - here I was - stuck at Wal-Mart with an absolutely dead battery on my phone and no way to get home.


After exchanging some info with the other folks in the wreck - I headed back to the electronics section to begrudgingly buy a charger so I could at least find an outlet and charge my phone to start figuring out how to get home.

I must have looked ticked or confused or something - because this young Wal-Mart employee named Joshua came over and said "You finding everything sir?"

I told him I was good - and when he asked how the weather was outside - I couldn't help it. I gave him the 30 second run down of the last few hours for me and showed him my busted up phone from the wreck...


He then told me I didn't have to buy a new charger and led me over to a charging station they had and let me use it. He told me he'd be praying for me - which totally wasn't lost on me but I was so distracted I didn't do anything but thank him...

Once my phone came back on - I called Laura - actually told her about this super kind employee Joshua and we started trying to figure out how I could get home. I didn't want her going out in the crazy weather with the goofballs and plsu all the roads were closed anyway.

I finally told her I'd try to think up something while my clothes were drying and I'd call her back.

Wen I hung up - Joshua was back - offering me coffee?!?!

What on earth? I thought I was in Wal-Mart?? He kept engaging me in conversation and finally he said something to the tune of "I came to Colorado Springs because I heard there were a lot of believers here..."

That stopped me in my tracks - and the next ten minutes were spent talking about God, Jesus, His love for us, His death for us and How it all adds up to His grace redeeming us.

We chatted prosperity gospel (we both despise it) and I invited him to church and finally he looked at me and said "Hey - can we pray?"

Man... you don't have to ask me twice. Especially after the day I was having. So right there in Wal-Mart's Electronic department - with some customers and some of Joshua's co-workers looking on - we busted out a pretty loud and pretty thankful prayer. Nuts...!!

This whole time Joshua and I were talking I had been getting all kinds of texts and messages offering help - i kept turning everybody down cuz - well - I'm fiercely independent and for most of these kind folks - i was WAY out of their way...

And then I had this text exchange:


5 minutes later - with list in hand - I was cruising around Wal-Mart trying to find all the list items.

Adam showed up like a snow angel and battled traffic for what felt like WAY TOO LONG and got me back to my house.

When he was entering my neighborhood - El Paso County Search and Rescue was there unloading a gigantic SnowCat... this day couldn't get any nuttier.

The wind almost got me again as I tried to get in the house... and finally... at 4:30 - i was home.

So much thanks are due to our amazing neighbors, our friends, everybody praying, texting, etc... I am aware the outcome could have been much, much different.

When I came in the house - the goofballs heard my voice and I heard a:
"Daddy's Home!"
and I got bumrushed by them as they scampered upstairs to give me hugs.


Totaled Jeeps didn't matter at that point. Just hugs from my number one crew.

This was absolutely a day I don't think I'll forget for a while...

I'm a thankful dude right now...

Thursday, March 24, 2016

It's Just Who She Is...


I was in a little bit of a car wreck yesterday...

It left my Jeep looking funky and stranded roadside in a blizzard.

And it left me sore from the airbags - but grateful to be alive. The outcome could have been so different (full story coming soon).

When we were putting the goofballs to bed, Mebbie asked me:

"Daddy - have you checked your closet yet? I made you something..."
I told her I hadn't but I would - we prayed with them, kissed heads goodnight and headed out...


When I got to my closet - there was this card for me.

Complete with a drawing of cars (about to wreck I think!)


Inside it said:
"I know that God is with you all times..."
And then - on the next page - it read...


"Daddy... I am sorry that you got in a car wreck.

I know God was with you in the car wreck.

I hope it doesn't happen again - but if it does, I hope it is me instead of you.

Jesus is with you."
Uh... whoa. I mean... wow.

I read it to Laura and our jaws dropped at our little 7 year old girl's heart.

Not done for show. Not done for her glory.

Nope... this card? This is simply who she is...


I went STRAIGHT back to her room - barged in, kissed her head and hugged her with all I had.

I told her I was floored by what she had written - but that I would NEVER EVER swap spots with her in a car wreck.

Mebbie - I promise you girl that you show me Jesus almost every single day in how you choose to live your life.

So thankful to be your daddy, girl...

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Beats, Rhymes and Life...


Today was an insane day... still processing it and finding God all over it.

But it started off with this... Phife Dawg of the Tribe Called Quest died in his sleep last night - peacefully finishing his race on this earth.

Sad, sad day for me.

A lot went down today. But THIS is what I think I'll remember.

This guy spit the rhymes that formed a soundtrack to a good portion of my life.

Rest in peace, Phife. You are fully healed...

More to come on this nutty day... but I'm tired and sore. So it's gotta wait...

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

You Did It!


That's right... YOU.

Yeah - you over there with the big generous heart...


YOU DID IT!

Because of so many sacrificial givers and so much ceaseless prayer... we have hit our building goal of this fundraising phase!

That's right... YOU JUST BUILT A SCHOOL!


And it is coming together pretty incredibly!


Guys... our hearts are full. We're in awe.

We're humbled. Honored.

And beyond grateful.

Thank you for partnering with us in this wild dream of giving kids an education they deserve... now - who is coming over with us to visit and serve?

Monday, March 21, 2016

Good Looking Out


Meron came home from a couple hours of open gym time - STRAIGHT WORN OUT!

She crashed hard on the couch...


And somebody else decided it was best to crash with her and just look out for her homie!


I love these two girls so much!


Autumn girl - thanks for the way ya love our little Hoffmans - we love you the same way girl!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

My Buddy and Me


Mommy and the girls went to see a movie this afternoon - so when Z-Dogg woke up form napping - we got to do some hanging!


This little dude keeps me smiling!


I mean... that hair! That crazy face!


That cool as ice demeanor and swagger...


Yep... he's one cool kitty for sure!


Z-Dogg... thanks for being such a fun dude to hang with!

Daddy loves ya homie!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

My Favorite Crew


To quote the legendary rapper D.O.C. ...

"No one can do it better."

Love these guys to death...

Friday, March 18, 2016

Cats and Dogs


Sometimes, they can go at each other like cats and dogs...

But then... I'll see them like this and I'm reminded that:

Underneath it all... there's so much love for each other.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Big Hairy Purple Foot


This guy right here...

Never NOT a nutcase.

Z... I love ya for so many reasons man! Your zaniness is high on the list!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Double Donation Nuttiness!


The last 4 weeks have left us all feeling and looking like this!

You GENEROUS, GENEROUS givers have blown us away time and time again - and humbled us to the core - as you stepped up t help build a school in Ethiopia.

Now... a gigantic-hearted friend has come to us and said "I'll match every dollar of the next $2,000 raise..."

Again - tears flow as I am simply floored by people.

Wanna help us maximize the incredible generosity of this friend? it's easy to partner up:

FILL A SEAT: www.fillaseat.org

GENERAL DONATION: www.brightontheirworld.org/donate


From the bottom of our very grateful and very humbled hearts... THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I Just Wanna Know Where The Gold's At...!!!


These two leprechaun hunters were on a mission tonight!

They built themselves a solid little trap - complete with fake gold to entice his little leprechaun butt in there...


Meron is dead set on catching one...

But me? I just wanna know where the gold's at....

Monday, March 14, 2016

Us!


Check this out!

Laura and I are hardly EVER together on the blog...

But our little paparazzi Meron caught us yesterday out on a hike!

Oh heck... it wouldn't be a real blog post without the goofballs too...


There we go!

All together now...

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Daddy... What Do We Have?


As we were pulling out of a popular local hiking area, I saw them sitting on the ground... a man and a woman holding a sign - not up and out - but kinda down, eyes avoiding people - looking ashamed and hurt...

About that same time Meron saw them too...

"Daddy!! Right there, right there daddy!"
She was feverishly pointing to them and practically standing up already in the van...
"Daddy... what do we have? How much do we have for them?"
This girl has been breaking my heart for those in need for as long as I can remember...

We pulled the van over and scrounged up $10. She and I hopped out when I heard a little noise from the far backseat:
"Daddy - can I come too?"
It was Mebbie.

She has watched her sister do this countless times and now she wanted in on it. And I wanted her in on it too...

The three of us went over to the couple and handed the man the money. He was OVER THE TOP thankful and the woman was just weeping.

We didn't make a show of it - just exchanged some "God Bless Yous!" and hopped back in the van...

About a half a mile down the road - in a busy intersection we passed another man with a sign that simply said "No Fingers..."

He was tough to get to from where we were and the light changed and we sped on through.

I glanced in the rear-view mirror and Meron was staring right at me as if to say "You know what you gotta do, daddy..."

I sighed... and I did it.

After we busted a u-turn and found some safe parking nearby - me and my two HUGE-hearted girls jumped out and played Frogger through some traffic out to the middle of the CRAZY intersection where the man was standing.

We handed him another $10 that mommy had discovered (and his sign was right - he had absolutely no fingers) - and this time we asked his name so we could pray for him. He said:
"My name is Nathan and this is my lucky day! This $10 is a lucky $10 and it's gonna be the start of something good for me!"
He then asked our names and said he'd be praying for us as well.

We told him to be safe out there and Frogger-ed our way back to the car.


Tonight - before bed - these two said some of the most precious prayers for Nathan - for his life, for his safety, for his well-being.

And then - their little brother - desperately trying to follow in the shoes of his big sisters - said the same kind of prayer.

And their daddy - listening so intently nearby - had to almost physically work to keep his heart in his chest.

Girls - in the midst of raising funds for the school in Ethiopia - it'd be so easy to be blind to the needs right beside us.

Thank you for being such amazing witnesses of the love of Jesus - to that couple, to Nathan... and to your old daddy too!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Big Sis School Pic


This girl right here...

I just can't believe how grown up she is.

But her heart... now THAT is where it's at.

She loves with a passion rarely seen, she lives life all the way on and she has taught this old dog right here a lot of new tricks with her outlook on life.


Meron... you're a princess in His kingdom and you wear the role well!

Daddy loves you big girl!