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!"

Worst.President.Ever.


By Unknown – White house, Public Domain, Link

When it comes to political discourse, it appears that we have become a nation of extremes. Many have taken the statement “If you’re not for us, you’re against us” into the political realm and then multiplied it to the extreme. With this type of approach to American politics, anyone who even remotely disagrees with you is obviously anti-American and full of hate. And if the conversation shouting match goes on for any length of time, one side is sure to accuse the other side of sounding like Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia.

Of course, it is inevitable during conversations like this that someone eventually accuses a recent president of being the “worst president ever.” They rarely give many valid reasons why he was the worst president in the history of the US. They just make the blanket statement that he was obviously the worst president we’ve ever seen. Continue reading Worst.President.Ever.

2016: Worst. Year. Ever? Nope. Here's why.

this-trumps-everything-in-2016

In the past, I’ve recognized the arrival of a New Year with a retrospective Todd Top Ten List or the announcement of the year’s Matty (formerly known as Ralphie) Awards. After much soul searching and careful consideration, I have decided to indefinitely suspend these events.

Is 2016 the worst year ever?

When we look back on 2016, it’s hard to say it’s been anything but rough. Personally, this has been the most physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually exhausting year I can remember.  This has just plain worn me out.

I don’t think I’m the only one. It appears that 2016 presidential contest sucked the life out of many people. And this transition to a new administration is causing angst on both sides of the aisle. Then there’s Syria. And Russia. Ethiopia has also seen some political unrest and uncertainty. Oh, and then there were horrible terrorist attacks and horrifying mass shootings. And don’t forget the worldwide refugee crisis. I could probably add the hype around the Zika virus and the uproar over the death of Harambe and the wildfires that swept through Gatlinburg.  Don’t get me started on the way social media has turned everyone into an expert about everything from parenting to zoology to political science. And they’re not shy about pouring on the criticism when someone disagrees. It’s awful. It’s really awful.

It feels like we’re sitting on a powder keg. And the assassination of the Russian ambassador in Turkey made many wonder if we were getting a front row seat to early 20th century world history repeating itself.

That’s a scary proposition.

Then you add in all of the well-known people we lost in 2016. Prince. David Bowie. George Michael. Kenny Baker (R2-D2). Erik Bauersfeld (Admiral Ackbar). Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia). Muhammad Ali. Florence Henderson. Alan Thicke. These are just a few of the many celebrity deaths in 2016.

On a personal note, I was heartbroken when I heard about the deaths of David, Sophia, and Ruth Ann Rinehart. We also said goodbye to my Grandma and laid her to rest at the end of 2016.

The hits just kept coming.

When I look back on 2016, it can be tough to argue that it is anything but the worst year ever.

One event changed everything.

Regardless of all of the other events that took place this year, this is what makes 2016 one of the best years ever.

Brothers meeting for the first time.

Todd Family of Six

Todd family of Six

We became a family of SIX in 2016. And that trumps everything else that happened this year.

It’s something worth celebrating.

So let’s dance!

In light of recent worldwide and celebrity tragedies, it feels like we’re limping into 2017. Many are wishing “Good riddance” to 2016. I get that. I really do. So whether you’re celebrating the end of what could be considered a pretty awful year, or whether you’re celebrating the good things that happened this year, let’s dance together as we look forward to what 2017 has in store for us.

Happy New Year, friends!

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.

T is for Todd

A to Z Challenge 2013 T is for Todd

Yes. That’s my name.

Todd.

It used to bug me a whole lot when someone would use my last name as a first name. I never understood why so many people wanted to use a last name for a first name (see what I did there?). I think it bugged me the most when I was speaking with a Communications professor during my first semester of my freshman year of college. He pulled me aside and said, “You do know you didn’t answer one of the questions on your exam – right?” I did know this. I also knew that without a shadow of a doubt that I was going to get the bonus questions right. I wound up with a 95%. “When I saw that you didn’t answer that question, I said, ‘Ack! Todd!!!?!!” and he playfully smacked me with the small stack of papers he was holding. It bugged me. A lot. The guy didn’t even know my name.

Wait a minute.

Todd is my name. It’s not my first name, but it’s my name. It was shortly after this conversation that I realized that I was making too big of a deal out of something that really wasn’t that big of a deal. I mean…there are much worse things I could be called – like Toad or Toddler (oh so creative, huh?) or Porcupine or a last name that really doesn’t sound very nice when it’s said by itself (I’m sure you can think of a name or two like this).

No, we’re not related

Over the years, I’ve been asked if I’m related to (InsertFirstNameHere) Todd. I always feel bad when I look at them with a blank stare and say “I have absolutely no idea.” As far as I know, there’s no family connection with Gary Todd, Chuck Todd, or even Sweeney Todd. And no, I don’t think I have any connection with Matt Todd, the rugby player. But I think it would be cool if I did.

Matt Todd of Canterbury
Matt Todd is on the left. I think Aiden could take him. 😉

Family History

Todd family tree
A Tree of Todds

The best I can tell is that our family has strong roots in Kentucky (I’m glad my ancestors finally wised up and moved further north). We can also trace our ancestry back to Scotland. Or maybe Britain. Or maybe both. I’m not entirely sure. But I did discover that there’s a possibility that our family might have had a motto:

It behooves us to live.

I kinda dig that.

Todd means fox. Either that means our family is “sly as a fox” or has a history of red hair, which makes us look like foxes. Unless you count my gray hair as silver. Then we’re silver foxes.

Why yes, we ARE related

There are two rather famous Todds that, to best of my knowledge, are connected with my family. One is connected with 100% certainty. He was Grandpa’s brother: Earl Todd. Uncle Earl was a POW after the Battle of the Bulge. He was given a heroes’ welcome when he and his colleagues returned to the States. He was awarded the Purple Heart. He never talked about it. Ever. I talked about it a little bit more in this post a few years ago.

MaryToddLincoln

The other relative is a little more famous and a little more distant. For years, we thought that Mary Todd Lincoln had no relation to us. Somewhat recent research has led us to conclude that yes, she is a distant relative – a cousin removed several times. Knowing how eccentric and paranoid and genuinely disliked she was, I used to shy away from this connection. While she isn’t directly in my bloodline, I have a connection with such an important, yet ultimately tragic, story. Aiden and Alyson think that’s really neat. Too bad the kids at school have never believed them.

You can call me Todd

So it doesn’t bother me very much if you call me Todd. Just don’t call me Mark. Or Mike. Or Scott. You’re welcome to call me Todd if you have to. I’m kind of proud of it.

Because that’s my name.

Don’t wear it out.

Book Review: 10 Christians Everyone Should Know

"10 Christians Everyone Should Know: Lives of the faithful and what they mean to you" edited by John Perry I chose to read Ten Christians Everyone Should Know because I’m intrigued by the stories of people of faith and I must confess I knew very little about the people discussed in this book. I think books like these are a must-have for any home library. The great thing about Ten Christians Everyone Should Know is that the end of each chapter gives you the name of a more complete telling of the person’s story. While I realize this is a marketing technique (each of the biographies happen to be published by Thomas Nelson Publishing, the very same publishing house that published Ten Christians. Convenient, huh?), I appreciated having that knowledge available. It’s kind of tough to find some quality biographies about people like Jane Austen or Johann Sebastian Bach, and I will be searching out some of these biographies because some of the brief biographies I read in this book made me want to know more about the people.

It is no secret that I’m a big fan of St. Patrick. Not St. Patrick the legend, but the St. Patrick – the one who was kidnapped and enslaved. The St. Patrick who escaped his captors and then went back to share Jesus with them. The more I read about him, the more I want to know about him.

I also really appreciated the chapter about George Washington Carver. The only thing I’ve ever really known about him was that he was the token African American scientist you talked about in school during Black History Month because he came up with so many different uses for peanut butter. As I read Ten Christians, I realized that his story is much more than being the Peanut Guy. Personally, his story probably stands out the most for me. It is inspiring. It is challenging. It is also infuriating because of the way he was treated during segregation. I must admit there was one time where I came very close to throwing the book across the room because I was so angry at what I had read about the way some people had treated him. In my opinion, his story alone would make Ten Christians worth the read.

The full title of this book is Ten Christians Everyone Should Know: Lives of the Faithful And What They Mean To You (emphasis mine). I don’t think every biography in this book really touches on the “what they mean to you” part. If told well, the stories of Christians like Bach, Galileo, Jane Austen, Sergeant York, and others, should be inspiring and challenging to the reader. They should force us to look at our own lives and see if we’re using our talents and opportunities to God’s glory. Some of these biographies do a fabulous job of doing just that. Others, unfortunately, fell flat for me. At times that left me disappointed with the book. But that was just a few times. And that was probably because I expected too much from such a relatively short book. With that being said, however, Ten Christians is definitely worth picking up. I’m pretty sure you’ll discover something you never knew before about someone who was influential in his or her world.

I review for BookSneeze®Disclaimer: I am a participant in the BookSneeze program. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Who are YOUR heroes?

Superman revealing the S on his costumeI’ve been reading a few biographies recently and have come to realize that several of the subjects are heroes of mine. I never really classified them as “heroes” until I started reading more about them. I’m working on a post about who those heroes are (and why they’re my heroes). But that post isn’t ready yet. So while I’m working on it, I have a question for you:

Who are your heroes? Who inspires you?

For a variety of reasons, I’d like to limit this to the realm of those who are no longer with us. I’m pretty sure I’ve asked this before, but I know it’s been a while so it’s worth asking again.

I’m looking forward to knowing who inspires you.

Coming Soon…

Do you remember that list of 46 people I want to make sure my children know about?

Well, I’ve decided to try a little experiment. Aiden, Alyson, and I are going to write mini-biographies about each of these people and publish them on a new blog, aptly titled

So keep your eyes peeled. Aiden’s already working on the first post. He’s pretty excited! This should be fun.

Just don’t tell them that they’ll be learning anything this Summer. 😉

46: The Series (Episode 2: People)

XLVI

There are people in history that I want to make sure my children know about. Their struggles and their stories help tell the story of why we are where we are as a country and also as a family. I can’t rely on the schools to teach them about these people. After all, I just asked one of them today who Ben Franklin was and got “Uh, wasn’t he the guy who invented the telephone? No? The telegraph?” Maybe I have my work cut out for me.

Of course, there are people like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Jr., and others in American history that I want my children to know about. Hopefully Ben Franklin was just an anomaly, or I’m gonna have to re-write this list.

Anyway, I’ve composed a list of 46 people throughout history that I want to make sure my children know about. There are a few on here I’m pretty sure the older two know about. I want to include them anyway. I want them to know about their struggles. I want them to know about their ingenuity, leadership, faithfulness, and determination. I may not agree with all of their ideologies or philosophies, but I want them to learn from them and be challenged by their stories. I will elaborate at a later date why I have chosen the people I’ve chosen. Some might make sense. Others might leave you scratching your heads.

That’s OK.

I’m sure this list will continue to grow. But I chose to use pick 46 of them. So here goes…

Continue reading 46: The Series (Episode 2: People)

Under the Sun…

When I was in fourth grade, the Space Shuttle program was shelved indefinitely in the aftermath of the Challenger disaster.

Now, 25 years later, Aiden is in the fourth grade and Discovery has flown its last mission. Endeavor and Atlantis won’t be far behind.

When I was in fourth grade, the President announced over the air that US forces had attacked Libya. Yesterday, the US joined NATO forces in attacking Libya.

What has been will be again,
What has been done will be done again;
There is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:9