Todd Family Blog

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Saturday, July 10, 2010


Mom and Jenny came in to town last month for my first baby shower! (By the way, we still don't know when we get to travel to Ethiopia to pick Elijah up. I promise to post right away when we do. Don't worry, you'll hear!)
Jenny made us a fabulous dinner (thanks, Lisa, for such a great New Orleans recipe!) of creole shrimp and rice. Definitely going to be a favorite.

Elizabeth came down from Crown Point for the shower and brought Brad a present for Elijah. We will have Eli brainwashed for the Cubs, Colts, Bulter and Purdue as soon as he gets stateside. We’re gathering all necessary apparel. Thanks, Elizabeth and Keith!

Aw, love this picture of me and and Jen! Definitely needs a frame. This is in Jen Toerring Rawe’s beautiful home. Thank you for hosting, Jen!!!

Mom, Me and Cindy Wacker, one of our oldest and dearest friends.

Abby Hoskins, Bonnie, Mom with Miriam and Taryn chatting behind.

Me and fellow Zville alum, Alli Weber Yancey

Some of my dear friends who came to celebrate. Everyone was way too generous. Thank you, everyone!

I had a few surprises waiting for Brad when he came home from Switzerland. One was Bonge’s, which was in our last post. Another was a weekend planned up in Michigan to visit our very dear friends Chad, Kate, Louis, Heather, and our friend Kyle (who lives in Singapore) was also there visiting! Brad didn’t even know that we were going out of town. I packed him a bag and everything. I was so exhausted once I picked him up at work (after getting the dogs ready for the dog sitter, cleaning the house, teaching, etc.) that I said something about looking forward to cleaning up once we got up to Chad and Kate’s. Brad looked at me in total shock and said, “What!?” So, that is how I let the cat out of the bag. Didn’t matter. Brad was so excited that he was literally dancing along with the radio on the drive up. What a great, relaxing weekend!

Kate, Chad and baby Christopher Jack chillin’ in Chad and Kate's beautiful new home in downtown Ann Arbor.

Chad and Kate have two rescued Bernese Mountain dogs. We love Angel and Gracie! This is Gracie in one of her favorite sleeping spots where she can keep an eye on everything happening in the living room.

The weather was gorgeous all weekend, so we walked to Zimmerman’s, a wonderful deli in Ann Arbor, for lunch.

I couldn’t come empty handed, so I brought some African dips and homemade pita bread. It became a running joke all weekend because I was so excited that the pita actually had a pocket. It’s possible I was jumping around my kitchen at home when I first baked it.

Chad after reacting to the US’s first goal in our game against Slovenia. I’ve never been much into soccer, but it really was fun to watch the games all weekend.

The boys came up with an ingenious way to keep a drink cold in the hot summer. It was a bit funny as they all drank their dripping beers, but it seemed to work well! Brad wouldn’t join in on the idea. He’s stubborn that way.

Friday night Chad and Kate arranged a cookout for us. They spoiled us with yummy brats, lamb, and grilled corn. Louis came over from his home near Detroit and we also got to meet some of Chad and Kate’s Ann Arbor friends.

Louis, Kyle, Brad

Chad, Kyle, Brad

Saturday night we were spoiled again with a cookout at Louis and Heather’s in Royal Oak (a very cute neighborhood north of Detroit)! Connor kept us entertained. It was so fun to see him. Such a little boy now! And he’s got a good arm! We played a lot of catch.

After the cookout at Louis and Heather’s we went to downtown Detroit for a Tiger’s game. Very cool stadium.

After the game, this couple had won the chance to get married on the field! Now that was something I had never seen before. Afterwards, there was an amazing fireworks show. Quite the evening for the $10 tickets we scored outside the stadium.

Chad and Kate treated us to a great breakfast before we took off. Chad made a big pile of crepes for us and Kate provided tons of berries and a yummy blueberry compote. I told you, we were spoiled all weekend!

One of my excellent students, Kirstin, played the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella this summer. I always love seeing my students up there on stage whenever I can be there.

This month was Miriam’s birthday! We had some drinks at Maggiano’s and then Miriam made friends with a group of Australian’s (high school teachers in town for a conference – random! Miriam seriously makes friends wherever she goes), who kept us entertained. I texted Kate (who is also Austrialian) their funny phrases during the night.

Last month we had an Ethiopian dinner party! I cooked all week and treated our guests to some African-style dips (yogurt, white bean humms and an olive oil dip), three different kinds of homemade bread, and beef, chicken or lentil stews. So fun! It was great to share what I have learned these past few months. I am in love with cooking Ethiopian and African fare. Such a fun blend of spices.

Miriam and Taryn

Steven, Taryn, Brad, me, Seth, John and Steph. Seth and Steph were visiting Steve and Taryn and it was so nice of them to spend one of their Indy evenings with us. What a fun group!

Tyler and Adrienne (yes, I posted pics from their wedding in the last post!) invited us over for dinner in their beautiful home in downtown Zionsville. We just loved getting the tour of the place, cooking out, and toasting their new place. (Chad and Kate, we used the Prosecco you gave us at Christmas!)

Tyler and Adrienne have the cutest little ball of fur, Zoe. She had us in stiches all night.

After dinner we walked into downtown for Zionsville’s gallery walk. I had no idea there were so many galleries in Zionsville now!

This sign delivered exactly what it promised in a gallery down the street.

Back at Tyler and Adrienne's we laughed as Adrienne put on her oven mitts to get out the pie she then removed from the box. Ha! It was sure yummy, though Tyler didn’t partake. I learned he does not like “small fruit pies”. Only big fruit. See? Still so much to learn about our friends!

Our friends who have adopted from Ethiopia, the Bells and the Ponslers, met Brad and me at a nearby park for our annual (we’ve decided it is annual) picnic. We stepped it up this year though. Well, the Ponslers stepped it up for us! They brought the coolest pop up grill, a tent and we all pitched in some food. What a fun afternoon. And somehow I missed getting a picture of baby Mackenzie Ponsler! Next year Elijah will be there, too. Our group keeps growing.

Chip Monsters, as I was calling Tegegn and Hudson! Tortilla chips with a spicy yogurt dip were a big hit.

The boys walked around like this most of the day. Way too cute.

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