Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

This is the most amazing dancing you'll ever see.

During our trip to Ethiopia, we dedicated Thursday as a day of celebration. The Transition Home where Weldu had lived hosted a goodbye coffee ceremony for him (and for us). And later that evening, we went to 2000 Habesha, an Ethiopian cultural restaurant. We had been to a similar restaurant when we brought Mihret home. And we had a great time. We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the end of all of the red tape and the fact that Weldu was really, truly, going to come home with us in just a few days!
The food was amazing, as one should expect. The dancing? Amazing. It was a great evening of celebrating with family and friends. Our hearts were as full as our bellies by the time the night was over.

Continue reading This is the most amazing dancing you’ll ever see.

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.

Techno Ewoks!

techno Ewoks

I’ve known about Meco’s Intergalactic Funk version of Star Wars since the early ’80s. I think it’s such a groovy song that I used to use it as the background music for my homepage. Yeah. I said homepage. Remember those? I used to have one back in the day. You could say it was a long time ago. Maybe even in a galaxy far, far away….

My homepage was called Matt’s Little Website. Creative, huh? I thought so. The music was accompanied by a fun little gif:


See? Fun times.

Although I updated it once or twice since creating Matt’s Little Website, it’s clear that the Internet and I have come a long way since 1999 when this homepage first went live.

The Internet has been part of my life for a long time. So why on earth has it taken me 30 years to find out that there’s a techno dance version of Yub Nub, the Ewok celebration?

You have failed me for the last time, Internet.

If I’d known such a thing, I would’ve lobbied for this version to be used in our wedding. Because it’s quite obvious that Ewoks know how to party.


Bring Mary-Kate home!

So…do you notice that new button on the sidebar to the right? The one that looks like this:

2000 Tutus
Click on it. Buy a tutu. Help another little girl become part of a forever family!
You know you want to. Go ahead and do it. And you’ll be part of Mary-Kate’s amazing story that God is already writing!

Traditional Dinner

Saturday (9/19) was a busy day. We spent the morning at the National Museum (as mentioned here earlier…I’ll have more from inside at a later date). Then we got to spend some time in the afternoon with our children at the Center.

That evening, we were met by some representatives from our adoption agency for a traditional Ethiopian dinner at he Abyssinian. The atmosphere was amazing! There was also a wedding reception there and we might have been a tad bit underdressed. But we got to experience (from a distance) some of the wedding celebration. Priceless!

The food was amazing. I was glad we’d experienced Ethiopian cuisine before, or I would have been completely lost. The food was served in a buffet so you could get as little or as much as you wanted. And there was a server behind the buffet who was very helpful in explaining what some of the different dishes were. And he did so with such passion. I felt kind of bad bypassing the dish that I was pretty sure he said had cow stomach in it.

But not that bad.

There was also a band with dancers. We were told they generally dance until midnight or one in the morning, but since it was such a full house, it was much warmer in there and they probably wouldn’t go that long into the night. We didn’t stay long enough to find out. We had a very long and emotional day ahead of us. And we needed to be in the vans early in the morning. Although we wanted to stay longer, we needed to get back to the hotel to get as much rest as possible.

Videos of the dancers. Can you imagine dancing like this for 5+ hours?

By the way – I love the girls’ big, bouncy hair! I think I secretly hope that Mihret’s will be like that, too. Although we’ll still have no idea how to care for it. 😉

Oldie but a goodie

We spent Saturday afternoon and evening in Fishers at a graduation party for Christy’s Third-Year (aka Third Grade) students. There was a period where the rain forced us to go inside our hosts’ home. They cranked up the stereo and the kids got their groove on to some classic hits like YMCA

Then they played I Will Survive.

This, of course, reminded me of a video I saw online back before the days of youtube and high-speed Internet. It’s still a classic. Maybe you’ve seen it before. If so, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it again. 

If you haven’t, you’re in for a treat.

We showed this to Aiden when he was around one year old. He cracked up. We showed it to him over and over again. He cackled the entire time. 

Yeah, he’ll probably wind up bringing this up to a therapist someday.

Whose Daughter is This?

See that girl in white in the middle of the video? I don’t know whose daughter that is, but she’s out of control. Whenever the band would play during last night’s Christmas program at school, she figured it was time to display her mad dancing skillz.

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[vodpod id=Groupvideo.1845627&w=425&h=350&fv=]

She must be a preacher’s kid or something.