Thursday, November 15, 2018

Got Coffee?

Okay... so you love coffee, right?


You REALLY love coffee from Ethiopia, right?

And on top of that - you LOVE helping kids eat a nutritious holiday celebration meal... right?

Well guess what... YOU'RE IN LUCK!

We can help you do both!

Brighton Their World is kicking off their annual Christmas meal fundraiser this week... and as usual - nerves kicked in - we even tossed around not doing it - the mouths at the school have doubled since our last meal... but what's that say about my faith in our God?

So - we're all the way in and we're believing it's gonna get fully funded. We are doubling the number of people we are feeding - up to 1100 students, staff and family members!

The meal costs $4 per head and will be served in January to all Brighton Academy families and staff... so between now and then we need to raise $4,400!


I know... right? Here ya go... for every $100 donation we will send you a bag of this fantastic Ethiopian coffee we got from a roaster in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Who knows - we may toss a few other things in there too...

Wanna partner up with us? It's super easy!

Just go to our Brighton Their World PayPal page and enter your donation amount. In the notes to seller type "Christmas".
And that's it! For every $100 we'll get a bag of these incredible Ethiopian Coffee beans out the door to you ASAP.

Even "Sleepy Z-Dogg" got in on the action!

So don't wonder where you're getting your coffee from this month - cuz we've got your back!
Just go to our Brighton Their World PayPal page and enter your donation amount. In the notes to seller type "Christmas".
Let's drink coffee and feed some kids and their families!

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

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Homework... Library Style!

Our crew has always been pretty darn good at doing their homework... with as much as they got going on - they kinda have to!

But today Laura decided to try a new tactic - and right after picking them up at school they drove straight to our local library to camp out and do their homework.

And they LOVED it!

Z-Dogg pointed at his head and then tapped his temple while saying:

"It was so much easier to concentrate there..."
They all got all their work done and had time to walk around and each pick out a book to check out!

And Laura even checked out this massive reading program for Zechie.. a literal suitcase full of reading help!

Guys... Aunt Wendy the Librarian would be super proud!

We gotta remember this great resource exists right down the road from us!

Local library for the win!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

He Makes Beautiful Things...

Our God knows how to make some incredibly beautiful things...

there is no doubt about it!

And those mountain are pretty nice looking too!

Meron - you are a BEAUTIFUL daughter of THE King!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Me and My Homie

God is so sovereign... so in control.

When He breathed life into me 45 years ago this past Friday... and then - 38 years later - ON THE SAME DAY - decided to breathe life into Z-Dogg...

He knew exactly what He was doing!

And what an amazing gift He gave me.

We both LOVE the fact that we share the same birthday - that God had foreseen our lives together and gave us this day to share.

I love this little dude with every fiber of my being... and I am so thankful for the gift of his life and the gift that he is to me.

Being a daddy to Z-Dogg is one of my truest joys in life!

Lord... hold him close and keep him safe so that we can celebrate a bunch more birthdays together!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Smiley Faces, Hearts and World Adoption Day

I know I'm a hair late to this - but I had to process it a bit.

World Adoption Day was this past Friday (November 9th) - a day set aside to celebrate family and raise awareness for adoption.

And anybody who knows me knows I am ALL about that!

But the movement calls for folks to rally on social media with a smiley face drawn on their hand and to spread awareness through that and a hash tag.

And that had me feeling some sort of way...

Because if I'm honest - the smiley face is just a piece of the bigger picture.

In reality... it kinda starts right here.

Adoption starts with loss. With trauma. With pain.

With tears. With lost identity and hard questions.

It starts with separation...

It starts with HEARTBREAK.

And as much as we like to romanticize it and make it seem like love fixes it all... the fact is - it doesn't always work that way.

Matter of fact...

It rarely works that way.

What comes next is definitely loving...

And talking. And sharing. And crying.

And praying. And understanding. And listening. And trusting.

And learning. And unlearning. And growing. And strengthening.

And eventually... maybe... some HEALING.

And then... THEN comes some smiley faces!

And laughter. And joy. And hugging.

And loving. And continual learning. And more trusting.

And answers. And comfort. And found identities.

And SMILEY FACES galore!

See... I KNOW my kids' stories.

I know them well... and they're not ALL smiles.

And I have far too many friends who said "Okay, God..." and jumped in only to find themselves walking really hard, really painful, really challenging paths for me to be able to reduce the awareness and celebration to a single SMILEY FACE.

Nope - I think it is ALL THREE things that make up the awareness we need to be pushing.

The brokenness, the healing and the eventual redemption that can lead to smiles.

I've always said - from day one - that God intended for us to be with our original families - but a fallen world full of fallen circumstances often gets in the way of that... and that's where God steps in with His solution.

Adoption to me is God's Holy and Redeeming Solution to a fallen world's problematic transgressions.

I know this much for sure... it hasn't always been easy around here - it certainly hasn't always been smiles... but to know He is smack in the middle of it with us has been nothing short of amazing and He has grown us ALL in the process.

ADOPTION... hard, painful, overwhelming at times... but SO SO worth it!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Pop, Pop Goes The Ankle... The Ankle

I was about two thirds of the way up the Incline (a steep set of steps I like to scoot up)... when my phone rang.

"Laura Hoffman Is Calling"

She never calls when I'm on the Incline... we text a lot but she never calls... kinda freaked me out!

A quick phone call later and then she sends me this picture up there of Meron looking pitiful!

She had been at a Gymnastics Birthday Party and had jacked up ankle pretty bad and even heard a "Pop!"

Now they were at an urgent care and that sucker was looking pretty swollen and they were going to X-Ray it to rule out any breaks or fractures (we hoped!)

About 2 hours after arriving she headed out with a professionally wrapped, slightly sprained ankle with NO BREAKS!

Woo Hoo!

So now we elevate, rest, miss one week of P.E. at school and start bearing weight on it tomorrow to get her back in the game!

She had to miss a church event tonight where she was supposed to be working the Family Movie Night - and she was bummed - but we're all pretty grateful right now for no breaks!

So tonight - she chills in the guest room to avoid the steps as we all say some prayers of praise and thanks for things like "sprains only!"

Heal up quick big girl!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Seven and Sixteen

Super busy day and I may have caught a little of what Meron was wrestling with - but I couldn't let the day end without wishing a SUPER HAPPY BIRTHDAY to this guy!

Happy 7th Birthday, Z-Dogg!

And it's not just Z-Dogg's birthday today... it's also our anniversary!

Sixteen years of putting up with me!

Laura deserves some sort of award for that!

More to come on all that God decided to pack into November 9th - but for now... I go sleep!

Thankful for both of these blessings in my life!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

And... She's Back!

The Meronator has been under the weather the last few days.

Fever, dizziness, chills, body aches...

But a couple days of straight sleeping... and she is almost all the way back!

The house just isn't the same when Meron isn't feeling great... so welcome back to the land of the living girl!

Rock on with your goofy, healthy self, Meron!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Always In Her Corner...

This girl right here man...

She's one of the strongest humans I know!

She's had some interactions with a classmate who has chosen to reference the "N-Word" among some other things... and we told her to just stay away from him.

So what's she do?

She jumps in and stands up for one of her friends when the same kid starts mocking her friend for her religion.

Mebbie just can't handle standing idly by and watching people be hurt by others.

I love that about her!

And one thing she knows for sure is that her daddy is crazy!

... crazy about his love for her!

... crazy about standing up for what's right!

... crazy about always having his girls' backs!

And she knows I am ALWAYS gonna be in her corner!

No matter what...

These are tough times in our country... there's no doubt about it.

And it's given us all kinds of opportunities to RISE ABOVE the wack, ignorant, stupid, weak, cowardly folks around us and turn what they meant to harm us into strength instead!

We are stronger than so much that gets thrown at us... and we're stronger than racism for sure!

Mebbie - keep on standing for what's right girl - daddy will ALWAYS have your back!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Things We Do...

It was 2.5 hours of baking... another 2 hours of making and squeezing cream cheese icing out of a piping bag...

But I had committed to a "surprise cake" for her birthday - so surprise cake she was gonna get!

And when she saw it for the first time - her face said it all...

The things we do are worth it!

She was so excited to know what it was... and the giant puppy paw with the teal trim fit her to a T!

Did I lose sleep over it? Sure...

Did I give myself carpal tunnel squeezing the icing out? Almost...

Was it worth it? Man... I'd do it again 500x over to see her smile like she was!

Later on - when out of earshot of her "cool friends" - she pulled me aside and said "Daddy - thank you so much for making me this cake!"

And my heart melted and she locked in a custom cake for next year too!

Always do the things for them because trust me... they are ALWAYS worth it!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Our Friend Viv...

We've had some poopy people interactions in our move to Colorado.

Some real poopy ones.

But I wanna tell you about a not-so-poopy one. I wanna tell ya about an awesome one.

I wanna tell ya about our friend Viv who we met here at Starbucks.

That's Viv right there...

At first - she was simply making our coffee for us. And let's be honest - Whole30 has destroyed fancy schmancy sugary coffee for us - so Viv was basically pouring us our Venti Iced Coffees, black with no sweetener - and serving 'em up with a smile.

But quickly it became more than a smile. It became:

"Hey Tymm!" or "Hi there Laura!" when we walked in the door.

It became questions about the kids and simple talks about simple things in life.

It became handwritten notes on our cups encouraging us to have a great day.

It became our order waiting for us at the register cuz she knew us well.

It turned in to Viv and Laura grabbing coffee (the irony is not lost here) to talk about life.

It looked like the "dad of daughters" in me feeling compelled to lean across the counter one day and tell her "Hey... our family loves you and if you ever need ANYTHING from us - we're right here!"

And then... this past Saturday night - it looked like this:

Laura got that text message from Viv the night before Baptism Sunday was gonna happen!


And so after crawling down in that baptismal with me to dunk our Z-Dogg in His name... Laura stayed down there...

She grabbed Viv in a hug and spoke real, true words over her about His love for her...

About Him moving in her...

About Him having incredible plans for her life and how He was already using her...

About how she she was glorifying Him...

And then she dunked her!

Woo Hoo!

And man - what an awesome, holy and special thing to be invited to be part of!

Later that night - we went by Starbucks because we knew Viv was working and we just wanted to share our excitement and happiness for her again!

And we needed a new "family picture" with her cuz we voted and we all agreed - she's an honorary member of Camp Hoffman now people!

Viv - our family is thankful for your life and super grateful that God saw it fit for our paths to cross!

And we're super thankful that you see your position at Starbucks as way more than just pouring a coffee! Your ministry is obvious and it's big!

Keep on being the YOU that you are!

Everybody needs a Viv...

Sunday, November 4, 2018

My Son, My Brother...

He walked into that tub of warm water already knowing he had been saved and redeemed by Jesus - that was for sure!

But now he was ready to tell the world about it!

And I couldn't be more proud of his spirit and soul and willingness to be used so that others may know Him better!

I couldn't keep the tears back as he stared into my eyes...

I told him how loved he was, how special he was, how made in HIS image he was...

And then I asked him:

"Z-Dogg... do you believe that Jesus died for your sins and do you believe in Him as your Lord and Savior?"
It was a quick "yes" from my little man...

And then I dunked him!

And while he knows very well that this water wasn't magical and didn't do anything but make him wet - he did take his first step in being bold and courageous in his faith - something we as a family ALWAYS want to do as we strive to honor and glorify Him with all we say and do.

I was explaining to him later that back when he had chosen to be a disciple of Jesus - he went from being just my son, to also being my brother in Christ - and he had just told a big room of people about that... he loved that!!

Way to be bold Zechie... and way to honor his name!!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Pass It To Mebbie!

Somebody had her first basketball game of the season today...

And she was LOVING it!

She didn't play last season so I wasn't too sure what to expect...

But after attending her last two practices - I could tell something had clicked with her and this game.

She seemed to REALLY be getting it.

She was dribbling well - with both hands and while running.

She was aware of the rules and not violating any of them.

She was transitioning quickly from offense to defense and had a great grasp on zone vs. man defense.

She was shooting - AND HITTING - shots on a 10-foot goal!

And she was hustling her face off!

And I wasn't the only one who noticed it either.

I caught her coach looking to her for a whole lot throughout the entire game...

He had her center court for jump ball (she nailed it)...

He had her in almost the entire game...

He had appointed somebody else as point guard - but about 3 minutes in - it became "throw it in to Mebbie - Mebbie YOU bring it down the court!"

And she shocked me how well she read the court - waved people to positions and then hit them with passes.

Eventually - the coaching started sounding like this:

Pass it to Mebbie!

I'm not saying she was perfect - we got a lot to work on - but she SHOCKED me for not having played in a long time.

And the number one thing - the thing we ALWAYS focus on in all of their sports - was this:

Make sure you're smiling and make sure you're having fun!

And she did both of those things - and more!

She's so humble in her sports - never seeking glory - and she was the first person high-fiving ANYBODY ELSE who made a shot or did something great.

That attitude matters the most... and this daddy couldn't possibly be any more proud of her today!

Anxious to see where she goes with this sport!

Way to hoop, Mebbie - WAY TO HOOP!