Todd Top Ten – 2004

I always thought it was somewhat presumptuous that people would release Top Ten lists for the year in early December. Like news never happens the week between Christmas and New Years. This year’s tsunami disaster is a prime example.

In the spirit of year-end lists, here is the list of top ten events for the Todd family in 2004 – some are good, some are bad, all are definitely memorable!

10. Matt’s high school reunion.
9. Todd Bussey’s wedding.
8. Interviews, interviews, interviews!
(Cold Stone Creamery, Southern Indiana, Iowa, North Carolina, Tennessee – I think that’s all)
7. Alyson’s first trip on an airplane (Raleigh to Detroit to Indy) with Mommy. Aiden stays with Daddy in a hotel in North Carolina.
6. Our new church family.
5. Tracie and John’s wedding.
4. Answered prayer – my sister-in-law’s pregnancy.
She’s due next year…truly an act of God! Christy’s sister is due one week before she is. Something must be in the water.
3. Passing of Greg Pas.
2. Moving to Tennessee/enrolling at Emmanuel School of Religion.
1. Passing of Christy’s Papaw.

Honorable Mention: No emergency room visits! Matt ventures into guest preaching. Our family trip to Conner Prairie. The kids really getting into Christmas and Santa this year.

May 2005 be a blessing to all of us!

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Happy New Year!

Don’t you hate it when you’re tired and it’s late, but you can’t settle your mind down enough to go to sleep?

Yeah, I hate when that happens, too. It’s beginning to look like tomorrow’s going to be pretty interesting with no sleep.

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More than “The Reason for the Season”

“As Man alone, Jesus could not have saved us; as God alone, he would not; Incarnate, he could and did.” – Malcolm Thomas Muggeridge, Jesus

Let us not forget that Christmas is not just a time of families and traditions. It is the celebration of an invasion – the inifltration of God into our world by taking on humanity. It is by that act of reckless abandon for His beloved creation…

for the world…

for me…

that He gave up His omnipotence to become a helpless, dependent, baby boy. He walked among us – the King within the confines of His enemy’s camp. It is only because such an invasion took place that we have salvation through the cross, and hope in the resurrection!

The manger was just the beginning!

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“You Gotta Get Up…It’s Christmas Morning!”

I have never seen Aiden so excited to go to bed! We had our neighbors over for a new Christmas Eve tradition of baking sugar cookies and watching the kids bounce off the walls on a sugar high. Then, after they left, we put out a plate of cookies for Santa with some milk. As soon as Aiden finished composing a letter to Santa, he was running around naked, looking for PJs to put on so he could get to bed. He meant business.

We finally calmed him down enough to get him to open his new Christmas PJs. He threw them on, ran into his room, shut off the lights and hopped into bed. I guess we’ve figured out how to make sure he goes to sleep right away – tell him a fat man is going to sneak into our house while everyone’s asleep, and he’s going to eat our cookies and drink our milk! He finally woke us up at 7:15 – which is late for him.

Alyson is still waking up in the middle of the night, and the last thing we wanted to hear at 3 AM was the sound of Christmas presents tearing open. So, we moved the recliner into the hallway, blocking the path to the living room. It worked, I guess. Sometime during the night (all 5 hours of my sleep – I just get so excited about watching people open presents!), she climbed into bed with us.

I guess there’s already been enough excitement for one day. Both of the kids asked to go to bed for their naps. Is that some type of Christmas miracle, or something? I’m not complaining!

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Note to self

If I’m ever leading a church, and we decide to have a Christmas Eve service, I need to remember to put the information on the answering machine!! How hard is that?

I’ve been calling around all day to find a church with a Christmas Eve service. Those that have the information on their website (that’s another rant for another day) are having their services at 6 p.m. We can’t do 6. All church offices are closed. Understandable, but it would be nice to know if they were having a service tonight.

I’ve managed to find one at 8:30, and one at 10. Neither one would be my first choice (because I know the church styles, not the times), but we’ll probably go to one of them, and have a good time, darnit!

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Can’t say I disagree

Bottom 10. Not good. Not good at all.

At least the Aces rebounded nicely from their heartbreaker to Purdue. One Indiana team should be representing the state in the tourney…and it ain’t from the Big Ten!

I’d hoped for a little bit of snow today. At least enough to take the kids sledding. Unfortunately, Evansville hogged all of the snow and didn’t want to share!

It’s Christmas Eve, though! And I have too much to do to get distracted by snow and sledding and the like.

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The Dangers of too much TV

I guess we need to throw out our television now. Our kids are picking up on commercials – even if they aren’t on that often. Here are some prime examples:

1.) At my folks’ house, we had the TV on with no sound (I think it was the Colts game, but don’t quote me on that). The commercial for Capital One came on. Without any sound, Aiden stopped, turned to the screen and said, “What’s in your bottom?” Instead of “What’s in your wallet?”

2.) When we stopped at McDonald’s on the way home from Evansville, the kids just started singing, “bad-da-bah-bah-bah,” the new tune for their “I’m loving it” campaign.

3.) The final straw — tonight at a fast-food restaurant with an indoor playground, Aiden questioned why it was time to leave. He said, “Why? Because I’m black?” I think that commercial for the new NBC show has only been on once or twice around him. How do you tell him that’s not something we say (especially since he’s not black) when it was so bloomin’ funny?

I shall get the sledgehammer and put an end to the menace tomorrow.

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Finals, revisited

A few weeks ago, I ran over to school with the kids. We walked in the door and Dr. Wetzel, president of the school, invited the kids into his office to see his pet turtle. It’s a wooden turtle that’s hollow inside. He had Alyson take the shell off revealing…candy! I think he said it was a gift from Africa. Then, he showed him his “pet” frog – a box with a wooden frog on the end. He had Aiden open the lid and a wooden snake came out in an attempt to eat the frog. Another gift from Africa.

I thought it was pretty cool. Where else will a school’s President invite a student’s children into his office for some candy?

Today Aiden was with me when I stopped by school to see if my finals were graded (I knew my Greek one was done. I was more worried about OTI). The first thing Aiden asked when we walked into the school was, “Will we see Mr. Turtle?” Kids – always thinking with their stomachs. I tried to explain that Dr. Wetzel was the president of Daddy’s school, to no avail. He wanted to see the snake and frog, too. I guess we’ll have to work more on the respect thing.

So – got my tests back. It’s amazing there can be so many marks on a Greek test and it still winds up being a B (after the curve…barely). I was right about OTI – I didn’t get a hundred this time. I still held my own, though. Thank God, though, for gracious grading. The short answer I should have bombed wasn’t graded as harshly as I’d thought. Was he just testing the waters to see if anyone was actually doing the required readings?

I have figured out that my GPA for this semester will be better than any other semester in my academic career – both high school and undergrad. No time to get cocky, though. We’ll see if it holds up next semester when my workload increases – in church, home, and school.

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Bussey Wedding, revisited

I’ve had a few days to let the memories of Todd and Mandy’s wedding soak into my brain. It was one of the most memorable wedding ceremonies I’ve attended (my own excluded, of course). These are the things that continue to come up:

* The junior bridesmaid coming down the aisle immediately before Mandy’s entrance. She was ringing a bell, singing, “Here comes the Bride! Here comes the Bride! Here comes the Bride!” all the way down the aisle.

* The 6-page program handed out to each guest. Not only did it include the Order of Service, but interlinear notes, explaining who people were and why they were important to the happy couple.

* The tag-team officiating of the ceremony. So many ministers have been involved in Todd’s life, including the huge staff at Crossroads, that I’m sure it was impossible to pick one or two to officiate the wedding. So – they had a different minister (or ministers) oversee each section of the ceremony.

* Todd implicating impropriety by saying his younger brother looked remarkably like the milkman.

* The entire Crossroads choir performing the pre-service music.

* This quote from one of the Groomsmen at the reception: “I met Todd on August 18, 1980, when we both entered Kentucky Christian College as freshmen. Ironically, on that same date, Mandy received her first tricycle.” There’s something like a 15 year age difference between the two.

Yet again, may God bless the Bussey family!

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“The Wedding of the Century”

Todd Bussey is a married man.

And there was much rejoicing.

After 42 years, the guy who has impacted so many lives in many more ways than he could ever imagine made a lifelong promise to the woman he had prayed about, and certainly hoped for, for so many years. I thank God that we had the opportunity to share in his joyful event. Hundreds of people were there – many of which I recognized, quite a few I knew.

Mom and Dad said afterward that this is probably the closest thing Crossroads will ever come to having a homecoming. And it was quite a homecoming.

Kevin called it the “Wedding of the Century,” and he was probably right. People really did come from all over the country to share this time.

May God bless the marriage of Todd and Mandy Bussey.

………….

I spent most of the evening catching up with old friends – especially Jarod, my friend from all the way back in Kindergarten (he threw up on me in 3rd Grade), and Andy, the one and only Philmont legend. After the reception, a group of us went to O’Charleys and ate appetizers, shared drinks, and retold old stories. I haven’t laughed so hard in a very long time. It was so good to see all of those guys again. Andy can still tell a story like no one else can. If I could work a crowd half as well as he does, I’d be guaranteed to never have a boring sermon or lesson or conversation in general. They eventually had to kick us out because they were closed.

My only regret is there wasn’t enough time to talk to everyone I wanted to talk to. There never is, though. Before this whole marriage thing became a reality, Todd had mentioned over the summer that he would like to have some type of reunion with a bunch of us from his youth ministry days. His 20th anniversary will be coming in the not-too-distant future. I think it still sounds like a great idea.

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