Friday, September 13, 2019

Hair Do or Hair Don't?

That's the face of a mommy who will do whatever for her girls!

Mebbie LOVES to do hair - and she loves trying out new and crazy things to see if it ends up being a...

Hair DO or a DON'T!

This one here may be a little more on the "don't" side of things!

But no matter which category the style ends up being in - one thing is for sure - these two have fun hanging out with each other!

Keep doing the 'dos Mebbie!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

One of My Biggest Fans

This girl here has no idea how her loves fuels me... she is easily one of my biggest fans on the planet!

And the coolest part is - it's not something that she sets out to do - it's just who she is and how she loves!

She calls me often - in the morning before anybody else is up and I'm at the gym - just to check on me and say "Hi, daddy!"

Her love is not lost on me.

Quite the contrary... it's cherished by me.

It makes me want to be better at just about everything - but mostly at loving others.

Thank you, Meron... for loving me the way you do!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Super Dooper Sister Skills

Z-Dogg absolutely adores his big sis Mebbie...

And why wouldn't he?

The girl has some seriously Super Dooper Sister Skills and she doesn't shy away from using them!

Oh - hear me - he knows how to drive her nuts and does it sometimes - but typically - these two are playing together, laughing together, goofing around and being the best of friends.

I see you Mebbie... and so does Zechie!

We all do!

Mebski Love doing "big sister" right!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Rising Above

Middle School... what happened to reading, writing and arithmetic?

It all seems to have been replaced by gossip, lies, mean girls, betrayal, friends as currency and hurting others for sport!

Today was a particularly challenging day for my little Daddy's Girl... and I knew she was hurting - even if her tough girl persona didn't show it.

And I hate seeing my little girl hurt by others.

Especially because she is a GOOD GOOD human...

The girl manages to take the high road so often... and honestly - I learn a ton from her.

One post-volleyball mid parking lot hug and some flowers to cheer her up and remind her Who she belongs to and where her identity is...

And she was back to her smiling self.

Middle school is vicious - make it shine brighter, Meron!

Monday, September 9, 2019

This Little Piggie Went to Market

Sometimes I forget and maybe even take for granted some of the cool stuff that goes down right here in our neighborhood.

Like the annual "Pig Roast" that one of the main builders puts on every year in the park right across the street from us.

It's free lunch like literally 40 steps away!

And while Laura would tell ya "It ain't no North Carolina BBQ..."

It was still pretty darn good!

We snuck off to the Ranch House to eat away from the sun and I snapped a quick picture while Meron was thanking God for our food!

I love that nobody in this crew is hesitant or shy about praising Him and thanking Him!

Grateful for this crew...

Sunday, September 8, 2019

A Twisted and Painful Beginning...

Mebbie's competitive soccer league season kicked off this weekend - with a double header against a local middle school team!

And she was STOKED!

And when that first game started - she was on the move!

She was hustling like a maniac and ALMOST scored within the first few minutes...

But then...

She decided to try and catch a super hard kick with her teeth as she took a ball to the head!

It dropped her SUPER HARD and she rolled her ankle on the way down.

It took a lot of willpower to stay seated on the sidelines and let her team tend to her... but I did it!

A quick run to the convenience store by me and Meron later and our girl was chilling in the tent on the sidelines with her foot on ice...

Needless to say - she missed the rest of that game and the second one too... and she was bummed.

She's already up and moving on it - and she's gonna be fine.

Next week they have a bye so she has even more time to recoup.

Injuries.. they're just part of the game.

Hang in there, Mebski Love - you'll come back even stronger!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

6 Years of the Z-Dogg!

It seems like yesterday that I was in a transition home in Ethiopia trying to win over a shy little dude - and at the same time - it feels like he's been in my life forever!

Either way - today we celebrated Zechie Day in a big way because it was...

6 Years of the Z-Dogg being a huge part of our family!

I always share this picture because it really might be my very favorite family picture of us ever.

It's the first time our entire family was all together!

And - you know the drill - here's Z-Dogg's homecoming video - that we watch every year and shed happy tears over our little family all coming together!

Zechie... your name's meaning is real - and you are the proof that God DOES remember - and He remembered our heart's desires for a boy - and He gifted us with YOU!

You've brought so much love, joy, happiness and humor to our lives Z-dogg! We love you more than you'll ever know!

Happy Zechie Day, homie!!

Friday, September 6, 2019

Spidey Face

Somebody headed off to the Fall Festival at school tonight and came home with a Spiderman paint job on his face!

And he was loving it!

He begged for us to let him sleep in it... and he won!

We'll see how it looks after a nighttime of Z-Dogg sleeping on it!

Keep slinging those webs, Spidey-Z!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Beast All Day

"Beast All Day"

It sums this dude up perfectly!

He's a beast alright!

And it is ALL DAY and EVERY DAY!

But good grief... tell me he can't switch from "beast mode" to "smile mode" in a heartbeat!

Stay beastly, Z-Dogg!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Calvin and Hobbes

I cannot even begin to tell you how much joy this brings me!

Watching Mebbie dive into one of my all-time favorite comic strips has been the best thing ever!

As a kid - I lived vicariously through Calvin and his antics with his stuffed buddy Hobbes... and now Mebbie is doing it too - and cracking up at him - running into my office to read strips to me and just laughing and laughing and laughing...

It's the best!

As a kid - I also LOVED to draw Calvin... i drew him everywhere - even drew him like 4x life size on my bedroom wall and painted him!

And Mebbie has gotten Z-Dogg into the drawing of him too!

And he's killing it!

She has moved on to book #2 and has me on Amazon looking for ALL of the volumes!

And I couldn't be happier to spend money!

Keep reading and keep smiling Mebbie... it's important!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Let The Games Begin

Somebody worked her butt off over the summer (constantly bumping and setting, bumping and setting, bumping and setting...)

Then she managed her nerves leading up to tryouts and she made the volleyball team!

I was super proud of her efforts!

And she was super excited!

Because tonight was her squad's first game!

She was a little bit nervous this morning before school... and I get it.

I've done my share of team sports and I know the nerves of the first game of a season - complete with walking into THEIR gym and playing on THEIR turf...

But these girls killed it tonight!

I am loving watching Meron learn to be part of a team - to take coaching - to encourage and lift up her teammates...

And to have fun while doing it!

Keep learning, keep growing, keep lifting up your team and most importantly... keep having fun!

Daddy is super proud of ya, Meron!

Monday, September 2, 2019

Summer's Last Splash Down

I realize we have a couple weeks before the OFFICIAL end of summer - but when your neighborhood pool closes down for the season... it can seem more official than the official date.

So today - before the gates closed at 6:00 PM - the goofballs hit up one of the neighborhood pools one last time for the season!

And they almost had it all to themselves - it was pretty empty!

This girl here has been a TOTAL FISH this year - spending day after day after day at the pool - putting in laps and loving it!

Same goes for these two - who LOVE being in the water!

Don't worry guys - we'll find water through the fall and winter somewhere!

Don't go, Summer... DON'T GO!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Friday Night Lights

If Laura is gonna go hang out with friends on a Friday night - I can't think of anybody else I'd rather be hanging with than this trio!

They accompanied me to the field - and you know me - that meant the camera accompanied us as well!

These guys shine bright - and they gave me my favorite kind of Friday Night Lights!

Keep shining your light bright and all around, guys!

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Off the Leash

We hit the streets tonight for a little evening exercise with ALL the animals from Camp Hoffman!

Some are better off the leash than others... HA HA HA!

Way to keep the poo off the neighbor's lawns guys!

Friday, August 30, 2019

My Workout Crew

My tough guy crew came to the field with me tonight to squeeze in an impromptu field workout before it got too dark...

We stretched - we did fun warm up drills - we sprinted 100 yards at a time 10+ times - we crunched - we pushed up...

And these little machines KILLED IT!

We're getting stronger and healthier by the day and I love that we are doing it together!

When we were leaving they said:

"Daddy... that was awesome! We had so much fun!"
And I count that as a win!

And maybe... just maybe... there was a treat of some sort as a reward!

Thanks for the company tonight guys... you KILLED it!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Good and The Bad

Good and bad days... we all have some of both... no doubt!

Z-Dogg has had his share of rough ones this past week - and he's dealt with the fallout of that...

But today... today he NAILED IT!

He had all fours on his behavior chart from school... and he said:

"With each number four she wrote down on my chart - my smile got bigger and bigger!"
He really modeled "getting back up after getting knocked down" this week.

Super dooper proud of him.

Hang in there Z-Dogg... you're doing something right!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019


This trio right here, man... they are a gang of world changers!

They have already influenced the world so much in their short time of being here!

Every morning before we school - we do our little call and response.

I yell: "Go be a bright light for...?"

And they respond with:


And they are doing it.

Oh they stumble... just like we all do... but they get back up and keep on trucking - and more times than not they are honoring Him and glorifying Him with their words and their actions.

And really - that's all we can ask for!

Go forth and influence the world, guys!