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!"

Sweetest Day is almost here!

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Sweetest Day #SweetestDay

What? You’ve never heard of Sweetest Day?

That’s OK. I’d never heard of Sweetest Day until a friend of mine from Chicago mentioned it while we were at Milligan.  I wondered.

Well…

Yeah. It is. It’s a made up holiday. Its roots have something to do with candy makers wanting to “bring happiness to those who were forgotten,” like the poor, old folks, and orphans. Since the first Sweetest Day in the early 1920s, the day has evolved into a day to spread goodness and cheer to everyone – especially your significant other, and especially if you decide to give away sweets. Because that’s what makes it sweet, right?

So, it might be true that Sweetest Day really is nothing more than a made up holiday in a thinly-veiled attempt to get us to buy more chocolate on the third Saturday of October, even though we’re already stocking up for Halloween. It’s still a good opportunity to make sure that Special Someone knows you’re thinking about him or her. Right? I mean, who doesn’t like being told that they’re on someone’s mind?

Go Big or Go Home?

You could choose to go all-out and do something like plan a romantic getaway with BedandBreakfast.com. Since Sweetest Day is always the third weekend in October, you might want to check out south central Indiana. It’s beautiful this time of year!

eCreamery $10 Off Banner AdOr there’s ice cream. There’s always ice cream. What’s sweeter than ice cream? That’s the perfect gift for Sweetest Day, do’t you think?

And what makes ice cream an even better treat for Sweetest Day? Personalized ice cream!

We like to say that there’s always room for ice cream, even if you’re full beyond full. That’s because ice cream oozes through the cracks. It’s proven.* Because science.

Of course, if you haven’t done it yet, you could always try your hand at writing a love note.

Or, there are a few other small gifts you could give for Sweetest Day. They’re simple. They’re corny. And they’re sweet. For Sweetest Day. Get it? And you can find many of these items at Dollar Tree (you can order them online with FREE In-Store Pickup. [Restrictions may apply]). So it’s a pretty good deal!

Socks

Sweetest Day gift

Who says you have to give food for Sweetest Day? You could give a pair of socks with a note attached that says something like “You knock my socks off!” They could be serious socks. They could be silly socks. It’s really up to you!

Corny? Yes. Absolutely. But wait. There’s more!

Donuts

Donut you know I love you? #SweetestDay Sweetest Day

Or you could always surprise that Special Someone with donuts (or some other type of snack cake) with a silly note like “Donut you know I love you hole lot?” Or something like that.

It’s goofy. I know. You might even call it punny. But it’s a simple way to celebrate Sweetest Day, don’t you think?

I know there are other simple, punny Sweetest Day gifts you can give. Share your ideas in the comments below!

I hope you have a fun day, sharing sweetness with your friends and family!

 

 

*No. It isn’t proven. This is just a joke. But it sounds good. Doesn’t it? That’s why we use it as an excuse to eat ice cream.

My New Year’s Resolution for 2016

Happy New Year

Well, 2015 has come and gone. And what a year it was! If you didn’t get a Christmas card with a letter included, don’t take it personal. We didn’t send any this year (again). Maybe next year?

So here’s a very brief look at some of our family highlights from 2015…

Aiden started his high school football career. Aly has taken her final year of middle school by the horns and is thriving as an 8th grader. Mihret was named her school’s Spotlight Student and was presented before the School Board.

Oh yeah, and Christy met our son for the first time.

Then five months later, I met him. And Weldu officially became a Todd.

Of course, there have been some bumps along the road. But 2015 was a pretty amazing journey.

My 2015 Best Nine
Thanks for the recap, 2015BestNine.com

As I look ahead to 2016, the year we should finally fill that empty seat at our table and have all SIX of us under one roof at the same time, it promises to be an exciting year. And I can’t wait.

I’ve never really been big on making New Year’s resolutions. I know a lot of people resolve to lose weight, eat healthier, get organized, spend less/save more, read the Bible regularly, or spend more time with family and friends. You know, the usual resolutions. Some have established SMART goals they want to achieve. They planned their work. Now they’re going to work their plans.

Those are great. If you have one of those resolutions, I hope you are able to keep it. I hope you can look back on December 31, 2016, and say “Yeah! I kicked that resolution in the teeth!”

Me? I don’t really have a resolution for 2016. Sure, there’s a lot I need to change. There’s a lot of me that needs fixing in the New Year. But I’m kind of taking a longer view on the changes that need to be made. This really isn’t a resolution for 2016. It’s more like a life goal. You could say it’s a New Year’s revolution.

I want to be known as a man of grace.

I don’t mean a guy who’s graceful on his feet like Fred Astaire.

Any hope for that kind of grace has been long-gone for a long time. Have you seen me try to dance? I’m no twinkle-toes. And I’m definitely no Fred Astaire. I’m much more like Matt Foley.

No. I’m not talking about my agility. I’m talking about having grace ooze out of every pore of my being. The way I see it, I can either be a man who is judgmental, trying to find the fault in every little thing. Or I can be a man full of grace, showering it on the world around me. I could be wrong about that. But if I have to be wrong, I’m going to choose to err on the side of grace. Because that’s what I’d hope people would do for me. Because, as the song says, grace wins. Every time.

When I come to the end of my days, and people gather together to put me in the ground, I want people to share stories about my compassion. I want the anecdotes people hear to be full of grace and forgiveness. There’s a lot of things I’d like to leave as a legacy for those closest to me. But at the top of the list, it’s grace.

I want to be known as a man of grace.

And I have such a long way to go before that happens. So I’m starting today.

What are your resolutions for 2016? What can I do to encourage you to keep that resolution?

Happy Belated Sister’s Day!

Ever since we celebrated Father’s Day (remember – it was the ‘Funnest Day Ever’), Alyson has been asking why we don’t celebrate Sister’s Day.

Last week she made a declaration, “In six days, it will be Sister’s Day.” She even did a countdown. In the spirit of Festivus, and other such ‘holidays,’ we celebrated Sister’s Day yesterday.

Alyson got to pick where they spent the day (conveniently, a friend had invited them over to play on a new Slip-n-Slide…they also went to PetSmart and I took them to ToysRUs), and she also got to eat her dinner on the ‘special red plate’ that we reserve for celebratory days – like birthdays and Mother’s or Father’s Day.

Yes, our little girl is quite creative.

What about Brother’s Day, you ask?

Well, Brother’s Day was originally supposed to be today, but I think we’re rescheduling it for tomorrow, since Aiden got a sunburn on his back yesterday. Brother’s Day wouldn’t be any fun if your back is all red! We’ve got to do it by Thursday, though. That’s when the kids go back to school (yes, they’re still going to go to school down here even though we’re moving in about three weeks…it’ll give them a chance to spend time with their friends)!!

So – mark your calendars for July 10 of next year and celebrate Sister’s Day with us!

Happy Fourth!

We went to the Johnson City fireworks last night.  For five days, all we heard from Alyson was, “How much longer till the fireworks?”  Two minutes into the show, all we heard was, “When is it going to be over?”  For a town the size of Johnson City, the fireworks were quite impressive.

The kids went to a waterpark today.  Aiden still has his swimming trunks on, hence the camouflage.  When they got home, Aly decided to dress up in her Princess Leia costume and pretend she was a rock star. 

Tonight, we had some friends over and had the usual Independence Day fare – hamburgers, pasta salad, Italian sausage, watermelon, and apple cobbler.  We finished the night with some sparklers, which are apparently illegal around here.  Didn’t know that until after we were done.  I guess ignorance is bliss.

More ‘illegal’ fireworks…

Father’s Day

For Father’s Day, I was taken to a secret location and told it was going to be ‘The Funnest Day Ever!’  We wound up at Warriors Path State Park for a picnic after church.  Then we spent the day playing around the park.  It will definitely rank up there as one of the funnest days ever.

I tried to take a picture of all of us on the paddle boat.  This was only the second time the kids had been on a boat.  The other time was when we went to Ft. Sumter in Charleston.

Both the kids made cards for me.  In fact, Aiden made three of them.  One was a picture of the IU logo that said ‘IU wins the game.’  The other one was a note that said:

Dear Dad
Sunday you can take the day off.
from Aiden

Once I had his permission to take the day off, it was definitely one of the funnest days ever!

It’s almost over!

I’m starting a new holiday.

Happy End of Political Ads Eve!

Like most Americans who have access to mass media, I’m sick of the political ads – especially the mud-slinging ones (and there’s been a lot of mud-slinging in the good ol’ Volunteer State, let me tell ya!). True, some of the ads have been creative and even a little amusing, but most of them have been nothing but venomous. After all the misrepresentations and harsh characterizations, it’s a wonder anyone wants to vote anymore. When I stood at the voting machine today, there were times I wished there was a “None of the Above” button – mostly because I’m sick of the negative ads.

The long-awaited relief is less than 24 hours away. No more political ads!

Maybe we should all wear redwhite, and blue tomorrow – regardless of the election results.

Who’s Scruffy Lookin’?

OK, so I guess I should say happy Star Wars day.

May the Fourth be with you.

Get it?

May

the

Fourth.

Man…some people have too much time on their hands. Souldn’t we have gotten out of school or something? Don’t tell the banks or the post office, though. They’d probably shut down. Come to think of it, we didn’t get any mail today. Maybe the Post Office did recognize Star Wars Day. I guess I’m out of the loop or something.