Todd Family Blog

Welcome! Read below for our latest news and pictures.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Must See TV

Oh my you all watch "My Boys" on TBS? We got hooked last season and it's only gotten better. This week's episode was classic. For once someone got the Midwest right - cool, laidback, nice people with fun, laidback cities to hang out in. (The show takes place in Chicago and it makes us so happy to watch while living out here in "Why-Would-You-Want-to-Live-Anywhere-Else?-California". Haha.) You gotta watch an encore of this week's episode, especially if you have ever been told that the Midwest is "Fly Over Country". (Seriously. People say that to us. Seriously.)

Here you go:

Okay, that's it. Love to you all!

Softball Star

On Saturday Brad participated in a church softball tournament. He assured me that he was absolutely the worst person on the team, but he must have done okay because the team came in 2nd place! We have the red 2nd place ribbon hanging on our fridge to prove it. He is also nice and sore from a whole day of softball after years away from the game. Thankfully, he has studied plenty of baseball over the years by following his Cubs.

Below is a picture of Brad and our new friend from church, Nate, taking a break. Nice Padres hats guys - No one tell the Cubs that Brad is becoming a bit of Padres fan here in SD!

P.S. If you missed our Friday post please check below to see if you can help out. Thanks!!!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Help the Shepherds

Hey, Everyone! We just checked the website of the rescue where we got our wonderful boy Cal (Westside German Shepherd Rescue) and were reading about their dire situation. It sounds like they have been hit really, really hard this month and are desperate for help. They have the most amazing people working so tirelessly, and we've been so impressed with how much they do to help all the dogs they can. If you can spare even just $10, I know they would greatly appreciate it. (Even when I have sent them just $10 here and there I've gotten personal Thank You's from the head of the rescue, Robin. They really do need anything you can spare.) This is one of those charities where you can be certain that every penny is going directly and immediately to help the cause. The link to the Westside German Shepherd Rescue is above and to the right.

And if you know anyone interested in a great German Shepherd, it seems from their "Tails of Joy" page that they adopt dogs to all over the country! When you adopt a dog from a rescue you allow them to get another dog out of a high kill shelter or give funds to a dog with serious medical issues, often due to neglect and/or abuse. So, you really get to save two dogs at once. (After bringing Cal home I heard from his foster Mom that she immediately took in two more dogs!) Plus, you get a prescreened purebred dog or an adorable mixed breed for a bargain donation price!

For proof of how fabulous this organization is, check out their "Tails of Joy" link at the top of their home page. Cal (called "Simon" by the rescue) and Gracie are on page 39 (you can click on whatever page you want), and I also love Kilo's story on page 41.

A Couple Visual Aids:
Gracie and Cal sharing the backseat (in my little Jetta!) on our ride home from L.A. after adopting Cal. (Yes, I took this over my shoulder while sitting in traffic!)

Cal, the day after his adoption showing us his perfect "sit".

P.S. Why German Shepherds you might ask? There seems to be a massive over-population here in Southern California, probably due to over-breeding. There also seem to be quite a few irresponsible breeders in L.A. who dump non-breed standard dogs in kill shelters rather than finding them homes. (These are pure-bred dogs that aren't show quality or don't have the typical shepherd looks.) That is probably what happened with Cal due to his floppy ear and long hair, and possibly what happened to Gracie, too. Add this to individuals who, for whatever reason (and you'd be surprised how fickle these reasons sometimes are), give up their dogs to the rescues, and you have a HUGE problem of sweet, adoptable pets with no homes.

At any one time, both the Westside L.A. Rescue (where we got Cal) and Orange County Rescue, which are only an hour away from each other, EACH have 40 - 90 dogs available for adoption. And I know the Orange County Rescue alone has placed almost two hundred dogs in homes just in 2007! Yet they still constantly get calls from kill shelters about beautiful, adoptable shepherds that are being put down only due to a lack of space at the shelters. However, the rescues can only take in so many due to their own financial restraints and space. So, this breed in this specific part of the country needs a lot of help.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Football is Here!

Though Brad is up in San Francisco this Monday night on business, Meagan, Gracie and Cal are holding down the fort for the Colts on Monday Night Football. We know it's only preseason, and Lord knows those aren't "real" games with the Colts, but boy does it feel good to see those blue uniforms and a full RCA Dome. And this time as defending champs! We didn't know that football season could end like it did last season, and we're also realizing that we didn't know it could begin like this either! How fun to see all the coverage about the "Champion Colts" as all the preseason hype gets going.

Win or Loose, Repeat or not, Preseason or Regular game, we love our Colts!

Cal sporting his Colts bandana....Cal is a bit confused right now. This is his first football season with us. He's a bit concerned about all the yelling I'm doing!

Gracie sporting her Purdue bandana...This being her third football season she is an old pro at weathering all the drama.

Gracie and Cal ready to watch the game

You have to appreciate how difficult this picture was to take (our first and only attempt). To get both dogs to sit and stay, balance the camera on the back of the couch and get there in time - all not easy. I hope you'll forgive me cutting off the top of my head!


On Saturday night we had the highlight of the week:
The movie Superbad +
a (contraband in Meagan's purse) Cubs flask of Malibu Rum +
a large Diet Coke purchased at the theater.

We recommend this recipe to all of you who are over 21 and would think a ridiculous movie like Superbad is hilarious. (Which we did. And if you married your high school sweetheart, that is a bonus. Ah, the awkward days of high much fun to laugh at later. Mom and Dad - you may not like this movie so much. Bob Todd, you would. Bonnie, you're a toss up; you might surprise me!)

And by the way (for those of you who have seen this movie), is that seriously what high schoolers are doing these days? Completely frightening. Note to our parents: You had it SO good.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Vegas '07 - A Study in Contrasts

Incase you haven't been to Vegas in August, it is HOT. The 110-plus degree heat is actually a plus for those of us close enough to take advantage of the crazy hotel deals in this slow tourist season. So, a couple weeks ago we spontaneously planned a long weekend thanks to a wonderful package available for two nights/three days at the Ritz in Lake Las Vegas (about 15 miles away from the actual strip). It was the most wonderful little vacation! One of those where at every minute you are doing exactly what you want to be doing, completely happy and you come home feeling wonderfully refreshed. We definitely want to move into the Ritz.

Along with the wonderful hotel stay we also enjoyed an amazing dinner at Craft Steak (owned by Tom Colicchio - head judge on Bravo's Top Chef), came out about $50 up thanks to Brad's Black Jack skills (and DESPITE Meagan's nickel slot luck) and ate at a massive seafood buffet. What more could you want for a long weekend?

Perhaps we enjoyed the Ritz even more due to where we stayed the first night of our trip. We wanted to take off Thursday night and decided to stay at the CA/NV state line in the casino stop of Primm, NV. Brad and his friends have always called this spot "Fakey Vegas" due to the fact that it always fakes you out into thinking that you have arrived at Vegas, only to realize that it isn't Vegas and you still have an hour to go. So, for a grand total of $40 we were guests at Buffalo Bill's Hotel and Casino. Now, Buffalo Bill's is perfectly nice, clean and fun, plus it has a great $6 breakfast buffet. We also received free T-shirts for joining their rewards club. How can you argue with that? (And by the way, at the Ritz' casino we received free dishware for joining THEIR rewards club. The first of many contrasts in our trip.) I think the pictures below can say the rest.

Miss you all! If you ever get to Vegas, we'll meet you there!

The Ritz, Lake Las Vegas (Imagine the valets parking Meagan's little black Jetta with 152,000 miles on it - hilarious.)

Buffalo Bill's, Primm, NV

The Pool at The Ritz

The Pool at Buffalo Bill's (taken from our room window)

The view over the "European Village" below our room at the Ritz

The view from our room window at Buffalo Bill's. (Yes, that's a roller coaster below - it continues through the attached casino!)

And here are a few more favorites:

Enjoying dinner at Craft Steak

The Spa and Fitness complex at the Ritz where we spent a lot of time relaxing. (And actually working out, too, surprisingly enough!)

We kicked off our trip by eating dinner at the only B-dubs on the West Coast in Riverside, CA (near L.A.).

The Sports Book at the MGM Grand on the Strip

Meagan in front of the Lion Habitat at the MGM Grand. (Yes, they have live lions in the middle of the casino! Crazy.)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A busy and fun weekend

This weekend we had two special events here in SD!

Sunday morning we both helped to organize a fundraiser to benefit the home church movement in Vietnam, which is coming out of huge persecution. There is such urgency for copies of the Bible in Vietnam that they can't keep up with the demand. A local SD Vietnamese pastor has translated the New Testament into Vietnamese from the original Greek, which had never been done before! Reverend Mary Allman Boyle, who was the leader of our small group at church (First United Methodist), is involved in this movement. Our small group (about five of us) spontaneously decided to help her raise funds for these Bibles and eventually a trip to help the churches in Vietnam. Meagan sang, we all made food, Brad helped set up and clean up and we had a great turnout and response! It was so great to work with our new friends for a good cause. Below is a picture of Meagan singing some spirituals and hymn arrangements.

We also had a real treat in seeing our good friend, Meghan Boots, Sunday night for dinner. (Meghan is one of Meagan's fellow Alpha Phi's from Butler.) Meghan is in town for work and had a whole evening free to catch up with us. It was so wonderful to see her and enjoy a great dinner at a neighborhood spot.