Before I begin, I apologize for the rather long post.  There is a lot of stuff to announce today!  If you get bored, make sure you at least jump down and read the end.

Today is my 25th Birthday! This means that I will finally receive my final car insurance premium reduction, though my agent tells me it won’t be great since I’m married with a child so I’ve already received most of the “mature adult” discounts.  While 18 and 21 start you feeling more like an adult, I hope that 25 is when people stop saying to me, “Oh, you’re just a baby” (or a little kid depending on their age).

Today is the first birthday of this blog! It was one year ago, while I was a little bit bored at work, that I wrote my first blog post.  To this day, it is still one of my favorites.  You should definitely check it out.

This is my 100th post! At the beginning of 2011, I decided that I wanted to post 3-5 posts a week and I built of schedule of what themes I would blog about what days.  About two weeks ago I noticed that if I posted once a day until now, I’d hit 100 today.  I had to be really diligent (and borderline obsessive this last week) but I made it.

Now for some really exciting news.  As of today, smalltownkidmin.com is the new home of this blog! It launched this morning and I couldn’t be happier.  I’ve migrated all past posts, comments, pages, etc., so all of the great content from the last year is available there.  I will be keeping the old blog open for a month but I will not be updating it, except to tell you that I’ve moved.  Please update your blog reader as necessary.  Also, if you have subscribed by email, you will need to subscribe to the new site.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t carry over.

Let’s take a look at this past year as it relates to the blog.

I was featured on Kenny Conley’s blog.  Shortly after I started my blog, I emailed Kenny to tell him that he was an inspiration to me (he continues to be to this day).  I mentioned that I had started a blog and he was kind enough to feature it on his.  It was unexpected, but I was so excited I even showed my grandma (who still has no idea what a blog is).

In the past year, I was honored to be included in the bracket style competition from Ministry-to-Children.  While I did not advance out of the first round, my blog was only a month old, so I’m hoping to do better this year.

I was also honored to be included in the top 100 kidmin blogs.  I’m hoping that with the increase in postings since the beginning of the year, as well as the new domain, I will move up a couple of spots this year.  There are some really great blogs on there, so I don’t have very high hopes.  I just want to beat out Wayne Stocks since he has taken a sabbatical. 🙂

Speaking of Wayne, because of this blog, I was asked to participate in a group blogging project with Wayne and a phenomenal team of volunteer and bivocational kidmin writers called Kidmin1124.  That project has spawned a bi-weekly radio show for which I have enjoyed being on the panel.

In part because of this project, I was asked by the Superintendent of the Illinois District Council of the Assemblies of God to speak at last year’s Annual District Council.  It was during that event that, having held my license for the required two-year period, I received my ordination.  It was truly an honor to be able to share what God is doing in our little church and others like it who are willing to dream big.

Another highlight of the year that was directly caused by this blog, was when Sam Luce asked me to do a Take Ten interview on his blog about being bivocational in kidmin.  I am still grateful for that opportunity and still listen to it now and then.

Also because of this blog, I have been able to give away a few ministry resources through a couple of giveaways.  This was part of my desire when I started this project and I hope to be able to give away even more stuff this year.  Which leads to my final thing…

For those of you who are just joining us, in honor of today being the blog’s birthday, I’d like to give something away.  Yesterday, I reviewed the Read and Share Children’s Bible.  The publishers have given me a copy to give away.  All it takes to win is to leave a comment below by 11:59 CST next Thursday, Feb. 24 telling me one thing you’ve enjoyed about this blog in the last year or any story about this blog or me personally.  Be creative, it doesn’t have to be true.  If you’re reading this on the old site, you’ll need to head to the new one to leave a comment.