Monday, April 30, 2018

Smiles and Empathy

Lately - we've been talking a lot with the goofballs about "empathy" and why it's important.

Honestly - I personally think it's a RARE TRAIT to be found just there and already perfected in most kids.

I think it takes practice and understanding and trying and trying and trying to really pull it off well...

And then there's THIS girl!

She comes along and totally blows my theory to pieces as she naturally displays her full on understanding and embracing of empathy - and she does it with a smile that lights up any room!

Let me give ya an example...

Last weekend Laura was having one of THOSE weekends...

You know - the kind where a certain unnamed oldest child and a certain unnamed youngest child were going AT IT like it was their job.

Laura was exhausted, saddened, hurt and generally - OVER IT.

And that's when Mebbie approached her with THIS.

It was some artwork Mebbie had made her that said this:

"I know that you are hurt and sad.

I hope you know how much I love you.

Also, I am praying for you.

Things to cheer you up:

You are smart and kind and you are always working so I am giving you these coupons..."
When you lifted the attached "Tickets" there were coupons for "hair days" and "nail days" and "hugs."

This girl doesn't need parental conversations about empathy... she oozes it at every opportunity and she does it with a smile and unimaginable amounts of love.

No - there's little we can teach her on this subject - but there is PLENTY we can learn from her!

Mebbie... hear me when I tell you girl... God made you special. He made you unique. He made you in HIS image to show the world what empathy and compassion and love looks like.

And you do it OH SO WELL sweet girl!

Thank you for modeling His love and nature so well!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Mister Weirdo

I was out of town for a few days - and that's all it takes to realize how much ya miss your weirdos!

This guy is the Chief Weirdo too...

It's good to be back!

Stay weird, Z-Dogg!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Heart in Her Art

It's never a surprise when Mebbie comes up and hands ya some art she has been working on...

The girl LOVES her some art!

But what never ceases to amaze and surprise me is just how much love she continues to pour out in and through her art!

This particular drawing for me was no exception!


Mebbie... never lose the passion that drives your awesome artwork, girl!!

Friday, April 27, 2018


After two days out from school this week - this girl got a surprise when she went back...

A letter alerting her that she was a candidate for and being invited to become part of the National Elementary Honor Society!

What,what, what?!?!?!

While she's not in yet - and she has some work to do ahead of her...

We couldn't be more proud!

Way to let your light shine, Meron!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

That's My Brother... Brighton!

Z-Dogg came home from school the other day with a little artwork he had made!

He held it up proudly and I asked him, "What is it?"

He smiled and said:

"That's my brother... Brighton!"
His brother is never far from his mind...

I love that God has connected them in this special way!

I love the artwork, Zechie!

And I bet your brother, Brighton, does too!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Racism Sucks

I told her to make her "hardest, toughest" face she could!

This is where we started...

This is where we started heading..

Because she can't wear a TOUGH FACE even if she tries!

Finally - the smile burst forth!

But ya know what? Smile or not... she believes in what the shirt says!

We all do!

Our friend Tasha runs this business in Atlanta and it is starting conversations and stating truth all over the place!

Go check out Yep Racism Sucks for some great gear and stickers to help you proclaim this simple truth... because...

Racism DOES Suck!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Back In The Saddle

It started late Saturday night...

Aches, restlessness, headache...

We put her in "Granny's room" cuz that's kinda like the Camp Hoffman Infirmary when Granny isn't here.

By Sunday afternoon she was running a super low-grade fever and had slept pretty much ALL day.

But sometimes - that's what the body needs!

Monday wasn't much better - so she stayed outta school and slept all day and today looked the same...

But Laura said progressively throughout the day she was turning back into her normal self!

And when I got this picture texted to me later in the day - of her up and dressed and cheesing with her best friend Cider - I knew she was back!

I love how fast kids recover... and this one was actually long!

Truth be told - she probably could have muscled through school today - but every now and then ya just need some time with mommy to feel better!

Multiple times - as I drew her a bath, got her a cold washcloth for her head, some Ginger Ale or cracker... she looked up and said:

"Daddy... thank you so much for taking care of me..."
Girl... stop it.

Caring for you is a gift and a privilege and a joy and I am beyond blessed by it.

At bedtime tonight she was back in her room (with a very excited Mebbie - who had missed her) - and they even played a bed/pajama swap on us and got us good!

Laughter went on forever... cuz she's back!

Glad you're back in the saddle, Meron!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Run Like A Girl!

Tonight was Mebbie's first Land Sharks track meet of the season.

This girl LOVES to run!

And I love to watch her!

She ran the 50m to start with and got second in her heat. In her words:

"It's okay... I'm not a sprinter! It was good practice for my kick though!"
Yes it was... and it worked!

Here she was in her second race - the 800m - all mixed up with the boys... right where Mebbie likes to be - showing that girls can do anything just as well!

She's fierce like that!

Right after I snapped this pic - that girl jumped out past Mebbie with about 100 meters to go...

I screamed "Kick Mebbie!" (in a non-psycho-track-dad kind of way)

And her kick has historically been her weak spot... but not today!

She bolted and put about 20 meters between the two of them as she cruised across the finish line as the first girl at something like 3:28 and I think top 10 overall in her age group!

Mebbie - daddy couldn't be more proud of you, girl!

i love that you love to run... never stop enjoying it and smiling while ya do it!

Run like a girl, indeed!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Thank You, Thank You, THANK YOU!

Ok... couldn't let the sun go down on this day without screaming


Every year we post it - Easter Dinners, Christmas Dinners, sponsorship needs, expansions, and so on...

And every year you guys come through big and strong - giving generously and passionately and sacrificially so these kids and staff and families can have moments of celebration that they deserve!

And this Easter Dinner was no different - you guys did it!

It was YOUR amazing generosity - raising $1,605.00 in like 4 days - that allowed our staff at Brighton Academy to do what our staff does so well... SERVE OTHERS!

Because we intentionally pushed the celebration meal back a little bit - fasting was complete and everybody could have some delicious meals with some nutritious meat in there!

Friends were hanging out with each other - breaking bread and chugging sodas!

And families came together over a meal designed to honor and celebrate His Resurrection!

And none of it could have happened without the generosity of the Brighton Their World family... supporters who never cease to amaze us and always keep us humbled by their love and selfless dedication.

Brighton Their World has THE BEST family of any family around!

We'll be putting ALL of the pictures up in an album on Facebook - so watch for more to come. But for now we wanted to make sure and let you know how grateful we are for all of you.

Thank you... from the bottom of our hearts... THANK YOU!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

My Late Night Posse

I'mma be honest here - there just isn't a really super-enforced bedtime 'round these parts on the weekend!

That's why ya could find us all hunkered down on the couch at 10:30 PM getting ready to start watching "Lost in Space" together!

This girl wasn't feeling the greatest tonight - but she was determined to stay awake!

This girl is beaming smiles no matter if it's 8:00 AM or 10:30 PM.

All smiles - all the time!

And this little homie was just SUPER STOKED to not being going to bed before everybody else!

I love impromptu family time - doesn't even matter what we're doing - as long as we're all doing it!

Danger, Will Robinson... DANGER!

Good times, Guys!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Secret Church 2018

We just wrapped up Secret Church 2018 and got home...

Some great stuff on "Cults and Counterfeit Gospels" - Lord knows we've been around enough of that over the past 2 years to really spot it when we see it!

Platt was his usual bold self in his teaching - as he took on many topics that some folks wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole!

"If you add anything to the Gospel - you lose everything in the Gospel."
Good, good stuff!

But the real troopers were these goofballs right here!

Thanks little homies for letting us muscle through 6 hours of pretty intense teaching!

We won't do it again for a year - I promise!

Now go get some sleep!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

A Police Officer

Zechie had to go to school today and do a mini-oral report where he got up and said what he wanted to be when he grew up.

He used to want to be a football.

Not a football player... but an actual football.

But this time... complete with Laura's grandfather's official issue police hat to wear as a prop - he told about how he wanted to be a police officer when he grew up.

And he was going to be a REALLY GOOD one too!

That's what he claims!

When asked why he wanted to be that when he grew up - his answer was simple...

"So I can help keep people safe and change the world!"


His real answer was "So I can ride a motorcycle..."

Goals baby. Goals.

Keep your eyes on the prize, Zechie!

You can be WHATEVER you wanna be, Z-Dogg!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Just Because...

Sometimes... ya gotta bring a little something home for your special girls for absolutely no reason at all...

Just Because!

On the way home from work today I felt compelled to stop off and buy some flowers for two of my favorite little ladies on the planet!

I called each of them over separately to give them to them...

"But why daddy - what are these for?" asked Meron...

I just smiled and said "Cuz I love ya so much and you should know that!"

Mebbie was just beaming from ear to ear as she grabbed them and smelled them...

"They're beautiful and they smell great daddy... thank you so much!"

Big, wide beaming smiles.

They didn't do anything different today than yesterday... but today... they got the flowers they deserved!

Truth be told... they deserve 'em EVERY day.

Daddy loves you girls... JUST BECAUSE!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Better Than the Movie!

Let's be honest... this HAS to be better than the movie!

Cuz that won't be hard to do...

Meron - just a few dozen pages in - already said:

"Daddy... this is nothing like the movie - it's already better!"
Been trying to tell her - her mind's eye is WAY MORE CREATIVE than any director and his or her camera!

Keep reading - keep imagining!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Cosmic Bowling

This one here - she is ALWAYS full of plans.

Need something to do? Let her know and she'll be MORE than happy to plan out your day... your week... your month... your year even!

This Sunday's plan?

Straight from the church parking lot to the bowling alley, people!

With the lasers and fog machines kicking - it was time to get our bowl on!

The goofballs joined the "kids bowl free" program for the summer that allows them to bowl for free and only pay for shoes... and they LOVE it!

And the dude at the counter let mom and dad bowl for free too and only charged us kids rates for the shoes...

So it was an hour of rolling heavy balls down the lane...

But no matter the score or how many pins we knocked down (or didn't knock down)...

We all had a blast!

Any time spent with this crew - no matter where - is my idea of fun!

Way to bowl, Camp Hoffman!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

His Name is "Frank"

"Daddy... there's a surprise on your desk!" he said...

And sure enough... indeed there was!

A green man with crazy eyes!

Z-Dogg was pretty stoked about his creation he made in art class at school...

"His name is Frank, Daddy..." he declared.

"I even labeled him for you."

And there it was - bold and plain under his own name...


I love that my desk has been the repository for artwork and creativity ever since Meron was a little munchkin and it has just kept on keeping on!

Z-Dogg... I absolutely LOVE Frank in all his green and splendid glory!

Never stop creating, homie!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

More Than Sisters

Laura and I were tag-teaming dinner prep and we looked in and saw these two watching a little TV just like this...


They couldn't be more different when it comes to how God made 'em - but each one of them needs the other in a whole slew of special ways.

I love that they are WAY more than sisters.

They're best friends, partners, defenders, homies... the list goes on and on and on.

I am so thankful that they have each other... so thankful.

Never let this change, girls!

Friday, April 13, 2018

She Does the Right Thing Because It's the Right Thing To Do

Just when ya think you're totally screwing up this whole parenting thing - ya get an invitation to an assembly at school because your big girl is winning an "Integrity Award"

What, what, what?

That's right - the Meronator won a character award at school with an emphasis on "integrity."

I couldn't be more proud of this big girl... she's a born leader and while parenting that can be downright terrifying... she is turning out pretty darn good!

Her teacher wrote some pretty amazing things about her - and it is ALWAYS awesome to know the characteristics you know exist in your kids are being seen by others around them!

Way to go Meron!

Keep shining bright for HIM!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Her Therapy Human

This dog right here... she is a TRIP.

Easily the most neurotic dog I have ever met!

We love her to death but she's a weirdo...

The precious little thing is freaked out by just about everything... open doors, boxes, the wind, lack of wind, noises, lack of noises...

You name it - she's probably kinda freaked out by it.

But ya know what calms her down?

Like... ALL the way down?


She's her therapy human.

If I'm being completely honest though... Cider provides Meron the same kind of peace!

I love that they have each other and I love their relationship... it's the best!

Meron and Cider Forever!