Life in the Fishbowl

Living by the Todd Family Motto: "It behooves us to live."

Life in the Fishbowl - Living by the Todd Family Motto: "It behooves us to live."

Then I watched God move a mountain. Again.

A “moved mountain” in Durame, Ethiopia

This adoption journey has been quite an emotional roller coaster with many unforeseen twists and turns. There might have even been a corkscrew or two thrown in there for good measure.

And it ain’t over yet.

But that’s OK. It’s kind of par for the course when it comes to international adoption. I’d imagine domestic adoption is a similar roller coaster ride.

Christy finally met “W” face-to-face. It’s been great for the soul and I hope that it will continue to warm his heart after she returns to the States.

Jeremiah 29:11. I’m sorry you had to wait so long…but I am so thankful God blessed us with you.

A photo posted by Christy Ooley Todd (@ooleytodd) on

Two more trips are required before he comes home with us. Sometime in the Fall, I hope to be able to meet “W” for the first time. During my stay in Ethiopia, I will appear before a judge and declare that yes, he is the child we’ve been trying to adopt. If all goes according to plan, “W” will then be declared our son in the eyes of the Ethiopian government. Then I’ll return home shortly after that court date. A few weeks later, we should have an appointment with the US Embassy in Addis. Christy and I will fly to Ethiopia, meet with the Embassy, and bring “W” home after that. Hopefully that will happen before Christmas of this year.

That’s the way things are supposed to happen. That’s the way the timeline generally goes. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s how it happens for us. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t happen that way, either. Because here’s what we’ve learned during this journey: God is writing this story. We are not. And the Author is going to weave this story together in whatever way He sees fit.

In high school, I wanted to do something “big” for God. I never knew exactly what it was, but I was going to shock the world with the gospel. So I kept searching for that big thing I could “do” for Jesus. I don’t think I was wrong in my desire. I might have been a little misguided in my approach. But hey, I was a teenager. I think we all were a little misguided as teenagers, weren’t we?

For I know the plans I have for you bracelets

This desire to “do” something big for God continued into my preaching years more than a decade later. I firmly believe that God can work miracles. I’ve seen them happen. It was my hope and prayer that I could somehow put God on stage and allow the congregation to see what God had done. It was almost as if I was expecting Him to perform some great act so I could shine the spotlight on Him.

Again, not a bad desire. But maybe the wrong approach. After all, God is God. He doesn’t have to perform a miracle in order for us to shine the spotlight on Him. He is worthy of worship because He Is who He Is. And that’s enough.

Then we saw God move a mountain.

God orchestrated things in such a way that He provided for Mihret’s adoption in exactly the right way at exactly the right time.

So when we started pursuing “W,” I kind of expected things to work out in a similar way. I mean, that was a pretty cool story the way everything was woven together so perfectly.

But that organization didn’t award us a grant this time. No worries, I thought. There are other opportunities. So we applied for more grants. And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

We had the yard sale that was hugely successful. But it wasn’t enough to cover the rest of the fees.

So we waited some more.

And waited.

And waited.

Then things started to get a little…oh, what’s the word?….tense…around here. If Christy was really going to make this trip before the courts closed in Addis and school started here, we were going to have to figure out a way to cover the rest of the fees and travel costs. Maybe we were going to have to make this thing work on our own.

Then it happened. God moved mountains.

Not only did God move the mountains, He obliterated them. He caused them to melt like wax.

The mountains melt like wax before the Lord Psalm 975

We were confident that God was going to use the matching grant from Hand in Hand to make a big dent in the need. But we didn’t know how much was actually going to be donated. There was still a lot of uncertainty. And maybe some doubt.

But the donations that were contributed to the matching grant were over the amount necessary.

Then we started getting notifications of approval for grants that I had totally forgotten about. And I’d definitely forgotten that we’d applied for their assistance. But they started sending in money.

And the next thing I knew, everything was paid for. The agency fees. Christy’s plane ticket. Even the in-country travel fees. Everything was covered within a matter of days.

Yes, God is in the mountain moving business.

As I sat and watched the whole thing unfold, I started to realize something. Sometimes “doing” something big for God simply means being obedient and stepping out in faith. You do what you’re supposed to, planting seeds as you go along the way. But in the end, you sit back and watch God do what you couldn’t even possibly imagine what would be done.

All week, I’ve been humming this song. It makes sense when you look back on the events of the last few weeks.

God is writing a story, friends. And it is bigger than any of us even realize.

If you get a sense that God is calling you to “do” something, then go do it. By all means, do.it. But if you think God is calling you to go and watch and listen, then do that. Watch how He works. He’ll let you know when it’s time for you to do your part. Because He’s already at work. He’s already telling the story.

 

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7 must-have apps for international travel

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #Tips4Trips #CollectiveBias

7 Must-Have Apps for International Travel #Tips4Trips #ad #cbias

As mentioned earlier, a lot of moving pieces finally came together at just the right time in just the right way in order for Christy to be able to meet “W,” the teenage boy we are in the process of adopting. Late Sunday night/early Monday morning, I drove Christy to the airport. Nearly 18 hours later, she landed in Ethiopia. There were times where I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to pull the whole thing together. With my full time job, Christy’s responsibilities at her school, and taxiing the kids to and from sports practices, church activities, and camp, it just felt like too daunting of a task to get together all of her necessities plus a bag full of donations in less than two weeks’ time. I honestly don’t think we could have done it without our unlimited talk, text, and data/web from Walmart Family Mobile.

Ethiopia or Bust #Tips4Trips

If you’re looking for the lowest priced unlimited plans with access to a network that covers over 280 people, Walmart Family Mobile is the place you should look first. Their Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data service plan starts at $29.88 a month for the first line. In addition to unlimited talking and texting, you also get access to up to 1G of 4G LTE data per month. Plus, they have a variety of phones available at some pretty incredible prices, including the Alcatel One Touch Pop Astro for only  $64.88.

Disclaimer: All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please refer to this link or your local Walmart for current pricing.

#Tips4Trips Store Collage at Walmart

While we’ve taken several vacations in the States, I think it’s safe to say that we’re no world travelers. And we definitely haven’t made a habit of jet-setting around the globe. So when it was finally decided that Christy was going to make this trip by herself, life became a bit more hectic. And life was already hectic with the kids’ activity schedules.

We had travel agents to call. And social workers to call. And our adoption agency to call. We had to make sure my work schedule was arranged in such a way that I could be home as much as possible. We had doctors to call. We had family to contact. We had to collect items – diapers, wipes, educational supplies, DVDs – that we were going to donate to the Care Center. The to-do lists kept piling up, adding more and more chaos to this whirlwind.

You know what we didn’t need during this mad rush to get everything done and ready for Christy to get on a plane? A phone service that dropped all of my calls. Or a phone that was so slow that it would be easier to send documents via passenger pigeon or the Pony Express. Been there. Done that. Not going back.

Ever.

Luggage and phone at the airport #Tips4Trips

That’s what I love about using Walmart Family Mobile. I don’t have to worry about wonky Internet connection. And I can be confident that I’ll be able to have an actual conversation on my phone without worrying about how many minutes I’m using. That’s pretty important when you’re in a time crunch.

And the phones are pretty cool, too.

In preparation for this great journey, I discovered some pretty cool apps. I think these are some tools that every traveler should have in their digital suitcase. They’re very helpful. And they’re free, although some can be enhanced with in-app purchases.

7 must-have apps for international travel:

Android Apps SmartTraveler #Tips4Trips

SmartTraveler

Provided by the U.S. State Department , SmartTraveler gives a plethora of information about countries around the globe, including local customs and laws, political climate, and the location of the U.S. embassy. It also keeps you up to date on travel alerts and warnings that have been issued by the State Department.

 

Android Apps iBlueButton #Tips4TripsiBlueButton

You never plan on having a medical emergency while traveling. But just in case the unforeseen does happen, it’s a good idea to have iBlueButton. It keeps all of your medical information and medical history in one place so you can access it with just the swipe of your finger.

 

Android App Google Hangouts #Tips4TripsGoogle Hangouts

This was pre-installed on our Androids, and although it’s gotten some negative press in the past, Christy and I have been using it to communicate over the the thousands of miles between us. You can use it to send text messages. You can also use it for free video calls via wifi, too.

Christy checking the phone at the airport #Tips4Trips

Android Apps iTranslate #Tips4Trips

iTranslate

With over 90 languages available on this app, you can translate words and phrases in a matter of moments. With an extensive dictionary library, you’ll be able to discern contextual clues and dialects. It’s easy to use and essential for a world traveler.

 

 

Android App Google Goggles #Tips4TripsGoogle Goggles

Let’s say you’re overseas and you see a landmark some 30 miles away but you don’t have any idea what it is. It looks important, but that’s about all you know. With Google Goggles, you can take a picture and search the web with that image. This app has some serious potential.

 

Android App FlightAware #Tips4TripsFlightAware

FlightAware was the perfect app for me to use while Christy was up in the air. No matter where I went that day, I could check the app and track her flight. And if you’re using it while traveling, you’ll be able to keep up to date on the flight schedule and which terminal you have to go to. That’s amazingly helpful if you have a short layover.

 

Android App XE Currency #Tips4TripsXE Currency

You can keep up to date on the exchange rates with this app. It’s a great way to make sure you’re getting the most out of your currency.

It’s also helpful if you’re trying to plan and budget your trip.

 

There are so many apps available that are related to travel. I’m sure I’ve missed some good ones. Now that Christy’s begun her journey, I can start planning for my trip to Ethiopia, which should happen within the next few months.  What apps should I add to my list? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.

#Tips4Trips Phone and suitcase

 

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Partner with Fair Trade Friday and help change the world!

BloggingTeamFBcover

OK, here’s the deal. I had heard about Fair Trade Friday before. I had heard of Mercy House before. But I don’t think I’d really heard about their ministry. When I agreed to join the Fair Trade Friday blogging team, my eyes were opened and I am in love.

fair trade necklace

While they do have to occasional Box that’s geared towards men, I’m not likely to wear many of the accessories that come in a Fair Trade Friday Box or Earring of the Month shipment, I know my wife loves them. And if she loves them, I love them. But that’s not all that I love about this effort. The beautiful products are actually just a tiny part of why I love Fair Trade Friday.

I am in love with what they’re doing. I’m in love with the fact that they’re empowering women around the world. I’m in love with their passion. I am in love with how one person’s vision and obedience to God’s calling has changed the lives of countless people.

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I know what you’re asking. What’s Fair Trade Friday all about? It’s about empowerment. It’s about it’s about opportunity. It’s about ending the cycle of poverty. It’s about uplifting women who feel like they’re forgotten.

It’s about changing the world.

A ministry of Mercy House Kenya, Fair Trade Friday has partnered with 27 faith-based organizations in 19 countries. The primary purpose of these faith-based organizations? The empowerment of marginalized women.

Mercy House from Petro Studios on Vimeo.

These partnerships have provided steady jobs for over 1,00 women.

Like these women in Ethiopia.

ethiopian woman creating

One bag for the Earring of the Month Club provides work for three (yes, THREE!) women. Something so small. Something so seemingly insignificant. Something so life-changing.

EOTMbag

THAT’S why I love Fair Trade Friday. Ethiopian woman making beads

 

That’s why I think you should, too.

One of the taglines that Fair Trade Friday uses is “Change the world. Look good doing it.” It’s really that simple. And by doing this, you’re helping to change women’s stories around the world. How amazing is that?

Convinced? Here’s what to do.

There are several ways you can help change the world with these amazing products:

  • Join the Fair Trade Friday ClubEach month, you’ll receive a box with three to four surprise goodies, like stylish accessories, organic soap, or a bag of coffee. This club is kind of exclusive because there’s only so much product to go around. But that’s OK. They have a waiting list! Cost: $31.99/month. You can cancel at any time.
  • Try a One-Time Box! It includes all the cool stuff from the Fair Trade Friday Box for you to enjoy. You can order it for yourself or send it as a gift! Cost: $35.00 + $10 shipping.
  • Join the Earring of the Month Club! You’ll receive a high-quality pair of earrings and a beautiful reusable bag every month. If they’re sold out? Join the wait list!  Cost: $11.99/month.
  • You can always purchase something from the Mercy Shop! They have some pretty amazing products over there. Like t-shirts, jewelry, and fundraising opportunities.Oh.

    And this framed art:

Rolled Art -AfricaSo what are you waiting for? 100% of the proceeds benefit maginalized women around the world. It only takes a few bucks to change a woman’s story. Start partnering with Fair Trade Friday today.

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Note: With the exception of the necklace photo, all images appear thanks to Fair Trade Friday.

 

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These Minions cards can turn a mailbox into a dance party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SendSmiles #CollectiveBias

Turn Your Mailbox into a Dance Party #SendSmiles

When I was a kid, I loved getting the mail. Every day, I would wait  in anticipation of the mail’s arrival. Once it arrived, I would rush out to the mailbox and throw open its doors, eager to discover what treats had been sent my way thanks to the Postal Service. I rarely retrieved mail that was addressed specifically to me. But when I did, it was such a magical experience. And if I received a special greeting card from someone? Well, that would just make my whole week!

We live in an age of instant everything. We have access to instant news. We can stream almost any movie or TV show with just the click of a few buttons. We have instant connection with people all over the world thanks to social networks. The world keeps getting smaller and smaller thanks to the digital revolution in which we now live.

Thanks to this digital revolution, we get reminders every day about people’s birthdays, anniversaries, and other significant life events. And thanks to the instant connectivity that’s available at our fingertips, we’re able to flood the timelines of friends, family, associates, and acquaintances with well-wishes on their special days. It’s a pretty cool phenomenon.

I’ve found that as we move more towards digital relationships, however, the need for physical connection is even greater. Don’t get me wrong. Receiving a birthday message online is pretty fun. But when you get a card in the mail? I don’t know about you, but my inner six year old wakes up and does a little dance.


There’s just something extra-special about receiving a card in the mail. I think it’s because you’re able to touch it and feel it. Now you’re even able to listen to many of them. In a world full of digital connections, there’s something about getting a card in the mail that makes you feel even more connected.

Cards available at Walmart #SendSmiles

As much as I love getting cards in the mail, I love sending them even more. Unfortunately, I’ve kind of run into a problem. You see, it appears that I’ve forgotten how to use a calendar. I know, I know. That’s a pretty good sign that I’m not very organized, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, getting organized is a process, not an event. I’m working on it. I promise.

In the meantime, however, I’ve found myself in a conundrum. Since I haven’t done a very good job of keeping up with my calendar, I usually don’t figure out that it’s someone’s birthday until the very last minute. By the time I realize it’s someone’s birthday, I don’t have the time to rush out, buy one, and get it in the mail. And that leads to all kinds of heartache and disappointment on my end. After all, I want to share in the joy on someone’s birthday!

#SendSmiles Walmart CollageSo I’ve decided to get proactive while I’m working on my organizational skills. I visited my nearby Walmart, went straight for their Hallmark section, and stocked up on cards – lots of cards. Now I have cards for all kinds of people for all kinds of situations.

The highlight of my new stash of cards?

Minions cards!

Minions Party Cards #SendSmiles

These Minions cards are the perfect card for that Minion fan in your life. And who doesn’t love Minions? They’re sure to put a smile on someone’s face – even on the gloomiest of days. Many of these cards come with their own little Minion that you can carry around with you wherever you go. How cool is that?

It’s enough to make your inner six year old break out into a dance party.

Stock up on cards at Walmart #SendSmiles

Now I don’t have to scramble to find that perfect card when it suddenly hits me that a friend or family member’s birthday is right around the corner. I’m ready. Are you?

If you’re looking for some creative ways to share your cards with the people you love, Hallmark has you covered. Their Pinterest boards are chock-full of creative ideas. They also have some great ideas on Facebook and Twitter (@Hallmark). And if you want to keep up to date with all the things they have planned, their Instagram is pretty remarkable.

Mailbox #SendSmiles

Your mailbox is waiting. It desperately wants to host a dance party. Which card will you be sending to make someone break out in a dance? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

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3 life lessons I learned on staff at Beaubien Camp at Philmont Scout Ranch

Beaubien Staff 1995

Some college students dream of working at Disney World during their Summer Break. Others work as camp counselors or lifeguards. Some spend the long, hot Summer days working at a part-time job.

Me?

Colfax County New Mexico Wall Map

Map of Colfax Couny, NM – home of Philmont Scout Ranch (*affiliate link*)

I had the opportunity of a lifetime. During the Summer between my Freshman and Sophomore years at Milligan College, I had the opportunity to live out my own dream. It is also the dream of many others who have been involved in Boy Scouts over the years. I was a Backcountry staff member at the summit of Scouting: Philmont Scout Ranch.

I had already hiked five different Philmont treks during my Scouting experience: four as a Camper and one as an adult Advisor. My love for Philmont ran deep. It still does. During my first trek, I had decided that I wanted to work in the Backcountry at Philmont. That’s not unusual, though. I would imagine that at least half of the thousands of Scouts who stream through this high adventure base have this same thought.

There is one event that solidified this dream for me. Continue reading

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Say goodbye to boring meals with STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PowerfulProtein #CollectiveBiasSaying goodbye to boring lunches with STOUFFERS Fit Kitchen

I don’t know about you, but lunch is always a challenge for me during the work week. Since I’m currently working two jobs, I am constantly on the go. I need something satisfying to give me the energy to make it through the rest of the day. I have 30 minutes to fix, eat, and clean up my meal before heading back to the grind. That’s really not enough time to run to a nearby fast food joint to grab a bite to eat. I used to bring leftovers to work, but our growing football playing teenager usually wipes out those reserves. And one can only have so many cold cut sandwiches before hoping for something more fulfilling at lunch. In the end, I’m left with a pretty boring, forgettable lunch experience. Fortunately, STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen provides a tasty protein packed punch that gets me through the afternoon.

So I’m saying goodbye to boring lunches. And you should, too.

FIT Kitchen Steak Fajita

Available at Walmart in the frozen foods section, STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen entrees are available in six mouth-watering varieties:

  • Steak Fajita
  • Cilantro Lime Chicken
  • Rotisserie Seasoned Turkey
  • Bourbon Steak
  • Oven Roasted Chicken
  • Monterey Chicken

STOUFFERS FIT Kitchen #PowerfulProtein available at Walmart

Each meal is packed with at least 25 grams of protein. You know what that means? My hunger is satisfied. All afternoon long. But it’s not just my hunger that’s satisfied. My tastebuds are, too.

FIT Kitchen Fajita fork 2

I love STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen Steak Fajita.

It’s chock-full of tender prime rib steak with a smoked red chile sauce. With green and red peppers, beans, corn, and season brown rice added to the mix, every bite is bursting with flavor.

My mouth is actually watering just thinking about how great this meal is. Seriously.

It’s that good.

FIT Kitchen Cilantro Lime Chicken

I’m also a big fan of STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen Cilantro Lime Chicken.

White meat chicken with black bean and corn mix and seasoned brown rice with a verde tomatillo sauce – what’s not to love? I have to hide this package in the freezer for fear of someone else eating it before I can take it to work for lunch. It’s a family favorite at our house. Having STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen Cilantro Lime Chicken for lunch makes my belly full and my mouth happy for the rest of the afternoon.

FIT Kitchen Title

10 minutes. That’s all it takes.

These meals only take 10 minutes or less to prepare. So I’m saying goodbye to boring lunches. Goodbye, half-hearted meals. Goodbye, running to the nearest fast food joint to get something that’s only moderately satisfying (at best). Goodbye, wimpy frozen meals. Hello, STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen entrees! These entrees provide a balanced single-serving meal that keeps me going the rest of the day. They are the perfect addition to my hectic work schedule.

Want to know more about these fabulously satisfying meals so you can say goodbye to boring lunches? You can learn more about STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen on their social platforms. Follow them on twitter at @Stouffers. You can also like their facebook page.  And they have some pretty great ideas on Pinterest.

FIT Kitchen Title Image (2)

How about you? How will these new STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen meals fit with your busy schedule? Leave your ideas in the comments below.

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Here’s what I love about Indy PopCon

What I love about Indy PopCon

I have been to several conventions over the years. Several of them were of the geek-related variety in Indianapolis. And what I can say without a shadow of doubt is that Indy PopCon is my favorite of the cons that I’ve attended. Due to the fact that we were moving that weekend, I was only able to attend for a little while during last year’s inaugural run. But I loved every minute I was there. And I can’t wait to return this year.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy about all the cons that are here. They are great for Indianapolis. And I think Indianapolis is great for them. But Indy PopCon? There’s something entirely different about it. And I love it.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s how the fine folks in charge of Indy PopCon describe the event:

PopCon was founded to celebrate all aspects of pop culture, rather than just hyper focusing on a specific genre. We have a wide variety of interests – just like our fans – so we created a con to celebrate them all in one awesome weekend!

I don’t want to miss this event. There’s a lot that I love about this event. And I’ll share some of those things in just a minute. But first, the rest of the basic details:

Indy PopCon
Indiana Convention Center
Indianapolis, IN
Friday, June 26-Sunday, June 28

You can go here to order your tickets. And if you use “ATRO” as a promo code, you’ll be helping out one of my palsplus, you’ll get an exclusive PopCon print.

Indy PopCon is a con of the people, by the people, for the people

I nifty little community has sprouted up in Indy. It began close to two years ago when they started making noise about the coming of Indy PopCon. The con’s Indy Popconcreators are local pop culture enthusiasts. And they wanted input from other local pop culture enthusiasts. A lot of dreaming, planning, implementing, and promoting has gone into this event.

The 2015 con promises to be exponentially better than the 2014 con. And the 2016 version will be exponentially better than this year’s. That’s because the organizers regularly listen to feedback and actively participate in the local community. They aren’t a group of outsiders just swooping in to Indianapolis hoping to make a quick buck. Like many of us, they love Indianapolis. They’re part of the community. And that shows by the quality of the event they strive to pull off.

You can be who you are at Indy PopCon

I love that Indy PopCon celebrates all things related to pop culture.

Don’t get me wrong. I think the genre-specific cons that focus on things like comics or gaming or Star Wars or Star Trek are great, great things. But I can bring my kids to Indy PopCon and use it as a teachable moment, reminding them that they can be whoever they want and love whatever they want to love. They don’t need to feel boxed in to one type of label. At Indy PopCon, YouTubers rub elbows with gamers who hang out with cosplayers who share a drink with film buffs who get to chat with artists. Seeing such diversity can encourage my kids to be more comfortable in their own skins.

Indy PopCon is a grand assembly of all things geek. And it’s a beautiful thing.

Movies! Tons of movies!

Have you seen how many movies they’re screening? Holy cow! That alone is worth the price of admission. I mean, where else can you see The Last Starfighter, The Rocky Horror Picture ShowRed DawnAlien, Gremlins, and The Princess Bride (just to name a few) in one place?

Oh, and did I mention that Flash Gordon himself is going to be there?

Edward James Olmos will be there, too.


Yeah. I’m kind of excited.

I’ve only scratched the surface

There is so much going on at Indy PopCon that I can’t even begin to cover it all! You’ll just have to make a visit to downtown Indy and check it all out. So when will I see you there? Let me know and we’ll get together! Or we can just hang out at the Awkward Twitter Mingle.

The Force will be with us as we live long and prosper at one con to rule them all. So say we all.

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Celebrating Bosse Field’s 100th anniversary!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a small percentage of the sale if you make a purchase using the link.
Bosse Field is 100 years old

I’ve been to sports facilities that just ooze history out of every corner. It’s a mystical, magical experience. Some say Bosse Field has that same kind of feel. There’s good reason for that.

Bosse Field is about to turn 100 years old.


It’s the third-oldest ballpark still in use in the United States. Only Fenway Park and Wrigley Field are older. From concerts to an NFL team (ever hear of the Evansville Crimson Giants? Yeah, me neither. You learn something new every day.) to minor league baseball, Bosse Field has seen its share of memorable moments.
Bosse Field

I have a few personal memories of Bosse Field. Both are honestly pretty faint. I think I remember attending an All Star game for our t-ball league there. I also remember attending a Triplets game. Or maybe more. And I think I had one of their Knothole Gang shirts at one point.

Bosse Field is a place steeped in history. That made it the perfect setting for A League of Their Own. Although Madonna later said she wasn’t much of a fan of our fair city, the fact that A League of Their Own was filmed in Evansville was a source of great civic pride. In many ways, it still is.

Shop for thousands of 100% authentic autographed sports collectibles at SportsMemorabilia.comI still puff out my chest a little bit whenever I talk about the movie. I’m always quick to inform people that it was filmed in my hometown. And that Uncle Dale took Grandmama to the filming of the final scenes. They needed extras dressed in 1940s attire to fill the stands for the championship game. I have other friends that were there that day, too. Every time I watch the movie, I scan the crowd to see if I can find anyone I know. I haven’t been able to find anyone yet. But I’m sure I will someday.

I remember riding in the car with my Aunt Patsy one evening. A limo pulled beside us while we were heading down Morgan Avenue. “What if that’s one of the cast from that movie they’re filming here – the one about girls’ baseball?” we said to ourselves. Then a window rolled down and a hand reached out and waved at us. Aunt Patsy was convinced that it was Tom Hanks. I’m still not convinced.

Fortunately, Mr. Hanks doesn’t think Evansville is the equivalent of Prague.

So in honor of Bosse Field’s 100th anniversary, I’m going to be introducing my kids to A League of Their Own. Of course we’ll have peanuts and cracker jack. And since the Rockford Peaches play such a prominent role in the film, we’re gonna have an old favorite of mine from my Scouting days: Simple Peach Cobbler a la mode.

What? I haven’t shared this fabulous recipe yet? That’s a travesty. I’ll have to do that very soon. But for now, you’ll have to wait. But don’t cry about it while you wait.

Because there’s no crying in baseball.

If you’re looking for smoe pretty cool memorabilia from A League of Their Own, check out this link:Movie Collectibles and Memorabilia. They also have some pretty cool All American Girls Professional Baseball League memorabilia, too.

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So what shall I do with @Just_Matt_?

No straight lines make up my life; And all my roads have bends; There's no clear-cut beginnings; And so far no dead-ends. Harry Chapin, All My Life's a Circle

One year ago today, I received an email from the HR Director, asking if I wouldn’t mind stopping by her office for a little “chat.” I knew what that meant. It was early Tuesday morning and very few people had arrived in the office yet. I knew exactly what that meant.

Less than an hour later, I was walking out to my car to get a box so I could gather up my belongings. It wasn’t a surprise, really. It had happened to a lot of people in recent weeks. In fact, I was starting to see a bit of a pattern. But it still left me a little disoriented.

I had just been fired.

I can say all I want about how this was a blessing in disguise and that I’m better off now than I was then. Those statements are true. And I probably said those exact things to people that day. Because I believed them. But this was still a rather significant change in direction for our family. And can I just say that this couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time?

A week before this event, we moved into a new rental.

A week before that, we had purchased a new (to us) van.

Two days after I was fired, Christy’s teaching job lost funding.

The day after that was the one-year anniversary of Dave’s passing.

Emotionally? I don’t know if there could’ve been a worse time for this to happen. There was all this excitement about new things like the adoption and the van. That excitement was mixed with sorrow and uncertainty as we didn’t exactly know where this road was going to take us. It’s kind of tough to know what’s happening next when both family members lose their jobs in the same week.

Of course, there never really is a good time to get canned. Is there?

Anyway, I promise I’m in a better place. Of course, I miss some of my former teammates. But I really do love my new jobs. And pretty much everything about my life is in a better place. A much better place.  So I’m not really carrying any emotional baggage like I did back when we moved to Greenwood.

Back when I was guest-posting and doing other digital promotion for my former employer, I had created a second twitter account. Y’all already know about @mattdantodd. Right? And y’all are already following me. Right? If you aren’t, you can go ahead and click on over there and do that. I’ll wait.

I promise. I’m waiting.

Done?

Good.

You might have known about @mattdantodd. But I’ll bet you didn’t know about @Just_Matt_. Well, now you do. And I’m looking for some input about what to do with this account. You see, @Just_Matt_ has kind of lost his way. I’d love to help him find his way back on track. There’s no need for him to end at a dead end. Is there?

So on this, the one year anniversary of my life taking an unexpected turn, I’d like to know what you think I should do with @Just_Matt_. Should I primarily promote this blog through him? I kind of do that already through my main twitter account. I’m really not sure what to do with him at the moment. But I’m open to suggestions. Actually, this is me begging for suggestions.

What should I do with this twitter account?

I could try to bribe you by saying the winning suggestion will get some awesome prize. But I really don’t have an awesome prize to give away. All of our extra money is tied up in adoption expenses right now. Remember?

I’ll figure something out. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your suggestions!

Oh, and that quote at the top of this post? Here’s the rest of the song. I think it’s kind of fitting for today. Don’t you?

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