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The Odd & Random BEST of 2016 List!

We’ve posted lists at the end of the year for both 2014 & 2015 and they’ve included some of our favorite foods, experiences, stories, etc. from the year. Here’s our new, curated list for 2016.

It is odd and random, but it is our “best of’s” for sure!

BEST IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION TO HAVE of 2016

I’ve gotten together with many different friends over this last year and asked the question, “Have you heard of the enneagram?” And it is a GREAT and rich conversation to have.

The enneagram is a very old model for understanding human personality. There are 9 different types and it is surprising how dead on these 9 descriptors can be! Here’s a lengthy podcast by the Liturgists that will give you all the info for a great conversation piece with friends and family.
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BEST NEW GREELEY RESTAURANT of 2016

Royal Nepal is an Indian Restaurant in Greeley that opened this year. I went in for lunch once… then went back 3 more times that month. It is an incredibly affordable buffet with wonderfully prepared food. If you are local try it out!

Here’s the Facebook info.
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BEST NEW WAY TO LISTEN TO MUSIC of 2016

My brothers and I don’t really exchange gifts for Christmas or birthdays. But this year my oldest brother, Scott, let me know he sent Brad and I a gift that he discovered this year.

They are noise-cancelation, cordless headphones and they have changed how I can listen to music in our home. Can you imagine that it gets loud around our 6 member household? These headphones allow me to hear the music with intense balance of bass and treble. I’m even wearing them right now as the kids are playing with their cousins in great cacophony.
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BEST LIFE-CHANGING PRACTICE of 2016

“The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. Last January Betony and I read this book together after so many friends suggested it. It takes you through a process of clearing you home of all the stuff that’s built up. We wrote about it here earlier this year.

After doing this practice in January we’ve still had clearing days each month and taken things into Good Will. I would say it added 30% more space to our small home. That’s my favorite thing about it.

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THE FULLY LISTENED-TO ALBUMS of 2016

Anymore I rarely listen through an entire album. I listen to singles and bits of albums here and there. But there were 3 albums I actually listened to all the way through this year!

Chance the Rapper, Coloring Book
Bon Iver, 22 a Million
Moana, Movie Soundtrack
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BEST PODCAST MOMENT of 2016

The Robcast from Rob Bell has been one of my favorite places for spiritual conversation the last couple years. This time he has with Father Richard Rohr is just unreal. As Rohr talks I realized so many of my favorite speakers from churches have been stealing his stuff for years!

BEST READING of 2016

Of the books we read this year these are the ones that stayed with Betony and I:

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
I had low expectations for this play inspired by JK Rowling but written by others. But as I read it I just loved it. Great characters, great additions to the Harry Potter world, and great themes to play on that stay true to the series.
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Finding God in the Waves
A Christian who turned atheist then turned Christian again (nicknamed “Science Mike”) wrote this non-fiction book. His story is filled with raw honesty and really enriching science. The piece impacted my faith this year, for sure.
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Illustrated “Wizard of Oz”
Betony read this book aloud to the kids. She would read during “tea times” out on the porch this fall every 10 AM of their homeschooling days. She fondly remembers it as a magical time.
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BEST APPS of 2016

From online suggestions Betony found the DragonBox apps. Our girls are able to do pre-cursors to basic algebra now! They approach it in a crazy, visual way, but it works. The company has about 5 different math apps each for different ages and they are all fantastic.
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Betony saved downloading Samorost 3 until after Arlo was born as something for her and the girls to explore together. It didn’t disappoint. The graphics are stunning. It is such a weird and fun world to explore. I would recommend playing it on an ipad rather than a phone if possible.
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BEST NETFLIX AND CHILL of 1985 (kidding, 2016)

Obviously, Stranger Things had to make it onto this list. Betony and I would put the kids to bed and tell each other “We’ll only watch one episode!” Two and a half hours later we’d head up to bed. Slightly creeped out but thoroughly entertained. Great throw backs to the 80’s, great story, and fantastic characters.

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Giants & Pilgrims Great North Central Tour: Day 1

We left Greeley, CO in a two car caravan heading towards Nebraska Friday, June 27th. Morale was high after breakfast burritos, morning pleasantries and luggage tetris.

During the first drive some things stood out worth writing here. One was our trumpet player, Craig Baserich, sharing some haikus he’d written about pizza:

Ate you for my lunch
Still can taste your dreamy sweat
Never wash my face

Hot, cheese, grease, sauce, meat
All of that on top of dough
Feed it to my soul

Frozen, take out, Mmm
Deep dish, thin crust, stuffed crust, Mmm
Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm

What else do I like?
Apple, chicken, carrots, No
I also like cake

Morale was even higher after he shared all these. I was sore from laughing after the session.

In the evening we pulled into Omaha and had a tremendously lovely house concert with friend Laura Preston.

Below are a couple pictures. One from travels (our first day of tour being sponsored by the soon to return “pretzel bacon cheeseburger”) and one from our house concert.

Stay tuned for Day 2 log coming soon. After Day 2…

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For a Laugh

In honor of the pranks of April Fool’s Day and the joy of Easter we put some comedy in our April paper Almanac that was out this month. Enjoy some jokes done in the manor of their famous archetypes below.

If you’d like to share some jokes that you know, post them in the comments.

KNOCK, KNOCK JOKES

Knock, Knock
Who’s there?
To
To who?
It’s to whom.

Knock, Knock
Who’s there?
Control freak. Now YOU say control freak who.

PUNS
Did you hear about the short clairvoyant who escaped from prison?
She’s a small medium at large.

CHICKEN CROSSING ROAD
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Because it doesn’t recognize the roads existence.
Its behavior is instinctual and random.

TWIST
What’s blue and smells like red paint?
Blue paint.

WALKS INTO A BAR
A grasshopper walks into a bar. The barman looks at him and says,
‘Did you know there’s a drink named after you?’
‘Really?’ says the grasshopper. ‘There’s a drink called Jeremy?’