Saturday, August 18, 2018

There She Goes Again...

An old classic hip-hop group that I was a big fan of back in the day was called Pharcyde and they had a hit called "Passin' Me By"

I love that tune.

One of the lines that I have always sung to the girls is:

"There she goes again, the dopest Ethiopian..."
They just smile and think their daddy si nutty cuz... well... if the shoe fits wear it, ya know?

But today Laura found this head wrap laying around and slapped it on Mebbie - and GOOD LORD - she was looking all kinds of beautiful!

Dopest Ethiopian for sure... and I couldn't stop singing it to her!

Mebbie - you represent the beauty of your country so well girl - He made you gorgeous!

Friday, August 17, 2018

Childhood Firsts!

Man... childhood and the simple joys... I love watching 'em play out!

Tonight - Mebski Love is having her very first sleepover at our house with one of her awesome friends.

Mommy grilled out - they ate - played outside - drew everywhere with chalk - bounced basketballs around - and now they're downstairs snuggled up watching a movie with a snack.

That's JOY right there!

The simple, simple fun things of childhood!

And Mebbie was SOOOO excited about it. Her face has been radiating all night long!

Cling to the joy ya find guys - childhood is FULL of it!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Teacher Love

We realize the school year basically JUST started - but once again - we're feeling like God went before us and we landed some super duper dope teachers AGAIN!

Need some proof?

Check out this little envelope that came home in Z-Dogg's backpack yesterday.

It was the most precious little gift from his 1st grade teacher!

She wrote the nicest note - telling us about Zechie's first week and highlighting his achievements and personality!

I mean... REALLY?

She impressed the heck out of Laura and me with this - this would be no small undertaking to do this for her whole class!

And she even sent home a printed photo of Z-Dogg from his first day.

I mean... talk about intentional!

I know she is young and early in her career - but she is setting herself up to be one heck of a teacher - that's for sure!

I love teachers. I love their dedication, their love for our kids and what they represent... the FUTURE.

Here's to being committed to praying for ALL of them this year as they do this work for next to nothing... but full of passion.

Thank you so much teachers - for all you do!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

He Writes the Best Stories

Our God writes the absolute best stories... believe that.

And sometimes - they're so incredible that they're almost impossible to believe.

Well - check this one out.

You guys remember Z-Dogg when he was living at the orphanage in Ethiopia... right?

There was an older girl who lived there too - she was maybe 15 or 16 at the time.

Her name was Feven.

Feven LOVED her some Zechariah - and she cared for him and loved on him a LOT!

We have a bunch of pictures of her carrying him around and just really making him think he was the king of the world!

Then - in 2013 - Z-Dogg came home... you guys know this crazy man now!

Well - around that same time - Feven was adopted and made her way to the States.

She stayed in touch via social media - checking in on Zechie and seeing how he was doing from time to time.

Pretty freaking cool and small world-ish, huh?

Wait... it gets better.

Feven recently reached out to us to ask us a question...

"What would it take for me to sponsor a student at Brighton Academy for a year?" she asked.

What, what, what?

If God ain't all about some full-circle redemption stories - I dunno who is!

Feven... your heart for kids, for your country and for God has just FLOORED us.

We are so humbled you would choose to be part of what God is doing at Brighton Academy... and you - more than most - probably recognize the impact you are having on a student!

Wanna partner with Brighton Academy like Feven did and help send a student to school?

It's EASY - just fill out this form letting us know or reach out to Tymm or Laura and we'll fill ya in!

And remember - it just takes a LITTLE to change a LOT!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Celebrating 7 Years of Mebski Love!

7 years ago today I stood amidst a crowd at the top of the escalators in the ATL airport.

I was holding the hand of a little 3 year old big sister Meron who was dying to hug her little sister - and I was the owner of a daddy heart longing to see his family all under one roof.

Then - in the middle of a bunch of other arriving passengers - Laura and Mebrate appeared coming towards us.


You can check that video out below - we love to watch it every single "Mebbie Day" and cry and laugh and just give God thanks for bringing us all together.

If you know us or have been following along on these crazy journeys - you know we celebrate these days BIG TIME!

And the kids LOVE IT!

So tonight we found ourselves at Mebbie's choice of Olive Garden to celebrate seven years of our beautiful girl being home with us!

One thing we always do is go around the table and everybody shares something they love about the person we're celebrating.

Mommy said she had so many things but that she loved watching Mebbie with her friends - that she loved her friends so well and was such a good friend to them.

Z-Dogg shared that he loved how nice Mebbie was always was to him and how she played with him.

Meron shared an awesome one... she said, "I love that she is almost always smiling - and has a really pretty smile!"

Then it was my turn... and I thought I had it - but as I always do when I feel the Holy Spirit lingering around - I got choked up.

This girl's life, her heart, her story... there is SO MUCH JESUS tied up in it.

It can be overwhelming!

I finally pulled it together and said that like mommy - there were a billion things I loved about Mebbie - but one thing that stood way out was how much empathy she has for others.

Her God-given ability to really feel the feelings of others and be there for them... it's remarkable to watch.

Mebbie... know this girl...

You are an absolute gift to this family!

And not just this family girl... but the entire world!

Your story is hard and painful at times - but you wear it, tell it and share it well girl!

You bring honor and glory to God in the way you choose to live your life - and you bring joy to your family by just being here.

Happy Mebbie Day sweet girl - here's to many, many more celebrations of it!

Monday, August 13, 2018

This Weirdo

Browsing through my SD card tonight and I came across this goofy picture of a goofball!

I don't even remember taking this - and i have no idea what she was doing but i know this - it gave me a good chuckle!

Always embrace your inner weirdo, girl!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Great Things Come in Small Packages...

He may drive his sisters nuts.

He may challenge his mommy and daddy and everything they thought they knew about parenting.

He may pull perfectly fine teeth out of his head to use as currency.

He may do a lot of crazy stuff... but this I know:

He was built for GREATNESS!

I have been thinking and praying so much lately about the potential God breathed into each of our goofball's lives - and the huge burden (and privilege) of parenting them towards that.

I believe with every fiber in my being that Z-Dogg - just like both of his sisters - is destined for greatness.

His love... his heart for others... his sensitive side... his creativity... his sense of humor...

They're all ingredients that God put in him when He made him!

Zechie... you just focus on keeping it chill, flexing those muscles and talents He gave you and pointing yourself straight towards Him.

And if you keep doing that... the world will find out soon enough that:

Some of the best things ever come in small packages!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Can't Stop Her

The shirt says it all, baby girl!

And your daddy believes that 100%!

Just like your big sister - God has put in you something super special for His purposes and His will in this world!

You have a deep, deep empathy for others - a strong connection to Jesus and the Holy Spirit - a heart that desires peace and love and an unmatched ability to draw everybody - kids and adults alike - into your place of joyfulness.

Your love for Jesus and desire to bring Him honor and glory every day inspires me regularly.

God wasn't at all random when He decided to place your beautiful soul and spirit in our family.

He has charged me with being daddy to one of His most beautiful creations - and it's not a task I take lightly!

Girl... I have your back always and forever in whatever endeavors He decides to send you on.

Rise and Shine for HIM, Mebbie!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Change Agent

Meron... today mommy and I went and saw a new movie.

It was about an ordinary guy who did some pretty extraordinary stuff.

God put something in Ron Stallworth that screamed "Racism sucks and so does the KKK!" and led him to do some pretty cool infiltration of a major hate group.

And it got me thinking.

I think God built you to be a change agent too.

When he built the "Meron-Mold" He added a healthy dose of confidence, tossed in copious amounts of boldness and coated it all with a layer of desire for justice.

And out came you, girl!

I left that theater with the Holy Spirit really impressing on me that we need to embrace that in you - that something bigger than any of us exists there.

That God put you right here - with us - for something He has planned for you.

And I promise to keep focused on this Meron - to help you grow in to whatever it is He has planned for you.

And to always have your back.

I love what Ron Stallworth says in the foreword to his book:

"If one black man, aided by a bevy of good, decent, dedicated, open- and liberal-minded white folks can succeed in prevailing over a group of white racists by making them look like the ignorant fools they truly are, then imagine what a nation of like-minded individuals can accomplish!"
You'll always have me and mommy in your corner girl... and remember - God built ya for something amazing!

Go change the world, Meron!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

These Eyes...

"These eyes, are crying,
These eyes have seen a lot of loves
But they're never gonna see another one like I had with you..."

These eyes have also seen three days of school and whole30!

We're dazed and spent - but we know Tiger's Blood is coming!

We got this guys... we GOT THIS!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

D%#! You, Day Two!

Day two is in the books!

Day two of school.

Day two of family Whole30.

Add in an hour of post-school swimming and here's what ya get:


We kicked off another family Whole30 to coincide with the first day of school cuz we spent the summer like Humpty Hump... "Eating What We Like!"

And the first few days of cold turkey sugar removal ALWAYS kick your butt but the payoff is so worth it!

Hang in there homies... it only gets better!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Oh - Back to School - Back to School

While I feel like it was WAY TOO EARLY - there was nothing I could do to slow it down - and the goofballs headed out the door this morning for their first day of school!

First up... the new 5th Grader!

She was super stoked to be in the "big grade on campus" and I know she is gonna go have an awesome year like she has every year!

Then there was our 4th grader!

She was so excited to go love on her new teacher and meet new people - I can't wait to see how she spreads her light around this year!

And finally... we have ourselves a FIRST GRADER!

My man was super stoked to be out of kindergarten and making his way up the elementary ladder!

Of course we had to have a little fun and stage me and mommy laughing at 'em as they headed off leaving summer behind!

But in all honesty - these guys were super excited to be headed back and I can't wait to watch 'em go stretch and grow and shine!

Here's to an awesome new school year, goofballs!

Monday, August 6, 2018

'Twas the Day Before First Day...

Dear Goofballs ~

After we met all your teachers and dropped all your supplies off and made sure everything was squared away for your first day of school tomorrow - I spent some time in prayer for all three of you throughout the rest of the day.

I prayed that God would continue to pull you guys close - and really impress upon you that yes - math and social studies are important. That of course - reading and English and science are things we should learn about. That spelling matters and penmanship is important too.

But more than all of that - He cares so much more about WHO you are and HOW you reflect Him than WHAT it is that you know.

Math can always be learned (well... that common core has me questioning that...). Spelling can be memorized and reading can be exercised.

But really developing the YOU that He made you to be is something that doesn't happen in a classroom with a whiteboard and textbooks.

It happens by trusting the Holy Spirit He put in you and leaning on it - at all times - even while you're learning long division, spelling complex words and reading big chapter books.

And especially while you're interacting with your teachers, the school administration and your classmates.

Go be that bright light for Him guys - SHINE SUPER BRIGHT!

And know this... your daddy has your back ALWAYS in everything you guys do - and I will be praying for you guys regularly this whole year!

You are a gift to me and mommy... a gift we have been sharing with the world for years and won't stop sharing now.

Keep shining guys!

Love always,

Sunday, August 5, 2018

The Last Sunday

They say you only get like 18 good summers of time and influence with your kids... something crazy like that.

And today marked the last Sunday before school comes roaring back to life on Tuesday.

Another Summer down and gone - in the blink of an eye!

And what better way to say "Goodbye Summer Sundays!" than with some frozen yogurt!

We piled the toppings on thick and heavy too - cuz "Family Whole30" starts Tuesday too!

And to really make sure we were getting our "summer money's worth" - we tacked on some hula hooping...

And some goofy faces to tie it all up in a bow!

Man... I hope and pray we are using these "influential Summers" in the way God wants us to.

And if things go well - we'll have WAY more than 18 of them- because my prayer is our crew just WANTS to hang out with us way later in life than 18!

In the meantime goofballs - your daddy is praying his face off for all three of you as you enter a new school season next week - and you go shine that light super bright for Jesus!

So long Summer 2018... we had a BLAST!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Him Too

When Z-Dogg learned his sisters had a little Humpty Hump fake nose and glasses photo shoot one night after he went to bed...

He wasn't having it!

He all but demanded a second photo shoot...

and little man brought wardrobe changes and props with him!

He wasn't about just doing it...

He was doing it RIGHT!

Zechie... you're a wild man with a flair for the crazy...

Always do what ya like, homie!

Friday, August 3, 2018

One of the Good Guys

Z-Dogg and I were out front tonight taking silly pictures when we got a special surprise visit...

Our homie Noah rolled up on his bike!

Noah used to live directly across the circle but his family moved away maybe a year or so ago.

I love this little dude!

He is always so kind, so friendly, so mature, so nice and so loving to the goofballs - especially Zechie!

He was always quick to come out and play with them - and MAN do we miss him!

He is definitely one of the good guys!

Zechie said:

"I miss you, Noah! I miss our lightsaber battles in the front yard!"
What an awesome surprise visit!

Noah - you really blessed us tonight with your bike ride stop here!

And dude... you're growing up WAY too fast!

We're praying for an awesome school year for ya... and please come back to visit and play!

You're welcome here ANY TIME!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

He Loves Them

This little dude here man...

He may drive them absolutely crazy - but I'll tell ya this much...

He certainly looks up to his sisters!

And not just because he's a short little minion, either!!

Z-Dogg... ya got two great role models to follow after...

Heads up girls... little eyes are watching!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

I'm Spunky. I Like My Oatmeal Lumpy...

I dunno if we were tired or what - but who would have thought that a simple pair of glasses with a plastic nose would give us so much laughter!

"Stop whatcha doin'
'Cause I'm about to ruin
the image and the style that ya used to..."

They fit Mebbie a little TOO perfectly!

"Ya stare, ya glare, ya constantly try to compare me
But ya can't get near me..."

Meron wasn't even close to being able to keep it together!

"Help yourself to a cracker,
with a spread of cheddar cheese,
Have a neck bone, you don't have to say please..."

But Mebbie? She was OWNING it!

"Now, red, white, black, tan, yellow, or brown,
It really doesn't matter, we can all get down,
And doowhatwelike, yeah, and doowhatwelike.
From a pink-skinned yankee, to a blue black southerner,
Ditch digger or a governor,Just doowutchyalike... "

Watching her laugh had me DYING!

"I get stoopid, I shoot an arrow like Cupid
I use a word that don't mean nothin', like looptid..."

We ended it with Mebbie rocking her "Princess Humpty Hump" look!

And she still looked like it was made for her!

Man... I love spontaneous moments with these guys and I love how quick they are to let their GOOFINESS take over!

Stay crazy ladies... and if anybody points a finger like a chump...

"Tell 'em step off, I'm doin' the Hump"