Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Our Vision


So... it feels like the vision dragons attacked our crew all at once - as Laura, Z-Dogg and myself have all visited the eye doctor in the last 48 hours and each walked out with a prescription for some vision corrections!

And Laura lucked out and got hers first (just needed for close up computer work)!


Seriously though...

How freaking adorable is she?

She is rocking those glasses in the cutest way possible!


I can assure you that Z-Dogg will bring the cuteness, but I will not be able to rock them with the awesome confidence they do!

Mine come with years of bitter memories of wearing glasses that were at least 2.5 feet thick.

I will certainly be exploring other options here soon... but for now - we rock the spectacles 'round here!

Here's to looking super cute (and hot!) while being able to see!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Head Mistress


I love days like today when Laura is neck deep in photo updates for our amazing, incredible sponsors at Brighton Academy.

This is her sweet spot and where she she was made to be!

She came across that picture up there from her last trip and I love it!

It's fitting too, because...


That's this girl for sure!

She pours so much time, energy and love into the school - both for the students and staff in country - and for our sponsors, donors and supporters here in the states!

I am blessed to have a seat on the sidelines watching her do her thing!


Of course - none of it would be possible without this guy here!

When the two of them aren't destroying a bag of gummie worms - they are spending all their time trying to serve Brighton Academy and bring God honor and glory through it!

I'm super duper thankful for the both of them!

When you've been doing this almost decade - people will come in and out of your life - and with God's discernment and wisdom in our hearts - we've been able to know who to keep around and who to let go of.

These two here are Brighton Academy keepers forever!

Best dynamic duo around!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Anatomy of a Yawn


It starts out creeping in on ya... edges of mouth twitching... unable to fight it...


You're mid-game and ya wanna fight it...

But ya can't!

It quickly transitions to the face-take-over phase...


Eventually the shoulders lurch backwards as the body goes into a full-on YAWN RELEASE mode...

There's precious little you can do to fight it or look normal...


And as quickly as it comes on... IT'S GONE!

And you do your very best to pull of a "Hey man... nothing happening here!" look...

Way to OWN THE YAWN, Meron!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

P.S. I Was Also Born in Ethiopia


Lazy Sunday afternoon... knocking out chores, singing songs, hitting Starbucks, playing outside for a bit... and

Writing letters to our sponsored child through Compassion International!

Meron wrote to "Little Meron" (our sponsor child is named Meron too) a while back on the app - so this letter was ALL Mebbie!


And when she learned she could draw her a picture too - she was STOKED!

She said: "You know I gotta draw my flying heart, right Daddy?"

Oh - I figured as much girl!

I love that she wrote across the top:

"P.S. I was also born in Ethiopia!"

I love how much pride she has for her beautiful homeland and birth country!


And how awesome is her picture?

She drew herself and she drew little Meron in the heart!

Sponsorship works folks... but these letters are where the real relationship and transformation happens!

Thanks for writing Mebbie!!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

No Mercy Pictionary


Well... it happened again. Another evening of:

No Mercy Pictionary!

Kids versus adults... as usual!


The goofballs came out swinging - as Meron had to draw a "paddle" and then Mebbie scored a tough one...


The clue was "It Starts with S"...


...and even though Mebski Love drew a pretty great rendition of "STORK" - Meron could only guess "Send the baby away" before time ran out!


And then there was Mommy... known for her amazing animal drawings - she SWEARS her "badger" picture was spot on (I did NOT guess "badger")...


Mommy and I stepped away as two time winners... AGAIN.

These guys know not to expect any gimmees from us!


But none of us care about who wins - we had a BLAST just being goofy as a crew!

These are my people... and I love 'em more than I can even describe.

Stay crazy, Camp Hoffman!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Intentional With Her Words


I think the increased running mileage this week caught up with me - and I dozed off after dinner for a bit.

When I woke up there was this handmade card on the bed beside me.

I know it could only have come from one person!


When I flipped it over there were these two beautiful messages written on it:

"Mommy... you are pretty, kind, caring and amazing!"

"Daddy... you are awesome, nice, cool and loving!"
Nothing like waking up to some written down love from your very own Mebski Love!


My life has taught me the power of words... both used for good AND bad.

And I have worked hard to convey that lesson to our goofballs... that we have a VERY STRONG tool in our mouth and/or pen and we can use it for good or for bad... which are we gonna do?

This girl has been working so hard lately to be intentional with the words she chooses to use.

Be it a birthday card or a note to her family or some other written note she is working on - she has spent time really choosing the words she uses - and almost always going out of her way to pick descriptive words that lift people up.

I think we all could stand to learn a little lesson from this girl and her heart for picking the wright words!

You're bringing joy through your words, Mebbie! Never stop!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Furry Love


I love this girl...

SO MUCH!


And she loves this dog...

SO MUCH!


Cider brings out a joy in Meron that few others do...

The two of them together paint a picture of "Happy Place" every time I see it!

Your love for dogs speaks volumes about ya Meron!

Never stop loving the furry kids, Meron!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Love of a Father


Even with the sun strategically flaring right over my homies face... this little dude makes me smile so much!


And even though he can be a holy handful at times - especially when he's being a holy handful actually - I try to make him know - by words and actions - just how much his Daddy loves him.

I think he gets it.

I really, really do.


And then - while showing him how much his earthly daddy loves him - it's my aim and goal to help him understand just how much MORE his Heavenly Father loves him.

I want so bad for him to know this at a young and tender age.

It matters.


It took me a long, long time... and the addition of kids ot my life - to really personally understand the "love of a Father."

I couldn't refer to God as "Father" for a LONG time.

I do not want that at all for my little man.

He has a GREAT heart and spirit - and he is growing every single day into the man God made him to be.

I cannot wait to see how God chooses to use him in his life!

You are loved Zechie... BIG MUCH!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

My Own Lil' J Dilla


I was holed up in a Starbucks knocking out some work yesterday when I got this text message from Meron...

The girl had me smiling big and I could't wait to get home!


Come to find out she had found an app for her (unconnected) "cellphone" that was a little beat-maker - a sequencer loaded up with different sounds that would allow her to make her own beats!


And girl was putting in WORK!

She had programmed her own little beat...


And then turned around and wrote an entire song to it!

COME ON MAN!

Daddy was beaming from ear to ear!

And for those wondering what the heck the title of this post means:

James Dewitt Yancey (February 7, 1974 – February 10, 2006),better known by the stage names J Dilla and Jay Dee, was an American record producer and rapper who emerged from the mid-1990s underground hip hop scene in Detroit, Michigan as one third of the acclaimed music group Slum Village. His obituary at NPR stated that he "was one of the music industry's most influential hip-hop artists", working with notable acts including A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Busta Rhymes, Erykah Badu, The Roots, The Pharcyde and Common.
There ya have it... my own little J Dilla!


Meron... I LOVE that you LOVE to sing, write songs and be creative!

You encourage and inspire me more than you'll ever know!

Never ever stop releasing what He put in your heart, girl!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Highly Eccentric Path


Ya ever get asked to be part of something ya feel totally unqualified for? And then ya bounced around from fear of letting people in too far to outright feelings of humility for the undeserved ask?

Can't be just me.

A couple weeks ago I got an email from our friend Rebecca. She has a blog where she does serious writing - like high quality level writing designed to encourage and inspire... and she was inviting me to be a part of a series she was gonna write about "creative people."

Humbled to the core.

She knows a lot of creative folks - she certainly didn't have to reach out to me - but she did.

And I was honored by her request.

She compared me to a comet - for several reasons... did you know one definition involves the phrase "highly eccentric path?"

Me either... but I kinda like it! Wanna know the other comparisons?

Go check out her article: Profile in Creativity: Tymm, The Comet

And while you're there - read the rest of her profiles too - she has some super creative friends! Creativity attracts creativity I think...


While I don't call myself "a creative" (I touch on the "why" in her interview too) - I am certainly surrounded by creativity and I do love to find ways to have creative outlets that keep me sane!

Rebecca - I am honored and humbled that you'd include me in such a skilled, talented group on your blog. Thanks so much for recognizing stuff that i often thinks disappears into the black hole of the internet - and thanks for challenging me to really think about it too!

Whats YOUR creative outlet?

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Her Inner Artist


Today was a GORGEOUS day here in Colorado Springs!

Like sunny, almost 60, a little breezy - but felt AWESOME outside... so we tried to spend as much time out there as we could (cuz we KNOW the cold ain't gone yet!)...

At one point - I looked down towards the end of the driveway - and there was Mebbie - posted up on the brick wall.. sketch pad in hand busy drawing away!

I just LOVE watching this girl take chances with creativity!

She's willing to jump into just about anything... and I LOVE it!


I snuck down behind her to see what she was up to - and she was busy sketching out the beauty of the mountains in the front range that we can see from the front porch!

Her heart and passion for art and creating is an inspiration to me OFTEN!

Never stop flexing the muscles of the gifts He gave you Mebbie!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

First Things First... FroYo!


Because we're doing a stricter Whole30 during the week - I promised the goofballs we'd hit a frozen yogurt spot this weekend (our weekends are a free for all!)...


And sometimes ya just gotta flip it and have dessert first... BEFORE dinner!

So that's what we did!

And it was a hit!


Even Z-Dogg - with his earache - was able to find some joy in it before downing his meds and calling it a night!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for... FROZEN YOGURT!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Scratchy and Poppy


It was a few days ago when he first said:

"My ear is scratchy and poppy and it hurts sometimes when I swallow..."
We kept a close eye on him...


With no fever and no noticeable redness in there - we got some over the counter drops and some allergy meds to dry up anything...


But when we found him crying in his bed this morning... we knew it was doctor time!


The doc said he had the "very early beginnings of an ear infection" - so early that if we had come in yesterday he said he likely would have seen nothing.

He prescribed some meds but said "give it a few days... he may just beat it on his own."

So that's what we're gonna try!

Stay goofy Z-Dogg... but heal up, brother!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Do You Has a Cat?


A friend of Z-Dogg's gave him this cute little card that she made for him this week at school

Cute drawing of what we assume is her and Z-Dogg on the front...


But when you open it up - she got straight to the point...


In no uncertain terms - she laid out her reason for the card:

"Do you has a cat?"

That was her question.

Complete with a box and the choice of an "X" or a check-mark.

Zechie was deadset on checking that "X" in there and getting this back to her tomorrow.


When I asked him why he thought she gave him that card, he said:

"I don't know! Why would anybody ask somebody that?"
We don't know either, Z-dogg... we don't know either!

But I DO know this...

We do NOT has a cat!