The Tinii

It's plural for Tinius, because we said so.


This is why your mom warned you about potato guns!- By Josh

A couple nights ago my neighbor Klint and I were bored and thought that it would be fun to build a potato gun.  We ran to home depot and twenty minutes later we had a pretty large potato gun.  IMAG1304


That night we shot just about everything we could find that we thought we could blow a hole in, including…


A beer can.




Closet doors.

Not to mention…


Klint and Kyle’s shed!




So a couple days later a few of my friends from the Congo came over.  I thought I would impress them by showing them my potato gun.



After the back of the gun exploded I was scared to even look at my finger because I didn’t think there was any chance it would still be attached to my hand.  Thankfully it was!


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The Details on The Year of Adventure By:Allison

So, here are more details on our upcoming adventure since Josh’s description was … uh…lacking pretty much any description.

Our last day at work is April 19th. So sad! It’s going to be super hard to say goodbye, but it’s time. Everyone and their mother is asking us about a going away party – because word has gotten around that the Tinii are pretty awesome party throwers. Makes me wonder if people are going to miss us or our parties. A coworker and friend suggested a night where we eat tons of sambusa and host some Somali dance crews made up of the kids from our afterschool program. That seems like quite possibly the best idea I’ve ever heard. Does anyone know if Haiti has something similar to sambusa? If not, I’m going to need to learn how to make it because I refuse to live an entire year of my live without it.

So after work ends, our amazing friends from church will be moving into our house by May 1st. Which means that we should be feverishly packing up our belongings. Eh.

As soon as things are lined up, the plan is to have our sailboat shipped to Savannah so we can take a few months to just chill. We have stressful jobs where we work with kids and will then be moving to a stressful country to work with more kids. We need an extended vacay between the two. Hopefully during that time we’ll also be learning Creole!

Once we are fluent in Creole, we’ll be moving to Port-au-Prince, Haiti to come alongside The Salvants at New Hope Haiti Mission. We’ll be homeschooling the Salvants’ kids, living in their backyard (in a house not like just crashing in their yard…which probably still wouldn’t surprise anyone, haha), and helping out however we can at the orphanage. That will probably mean teaching English and helping with teams and who knows what else! One of the things that really makes us excited about working with the Salvants is the “flexibility” of what we’ll be doing outside of the school day. For those of ya’ll who know us, you know we’re pretty much up for anything all of the time. It seems like the Salvants recognized that and are ready to put that attitude to use! I am thoroughly excited about homeschooling. I love teaching and planning and all that goes along with it. I had a great experience homeschooling as did Josh and we hope we can give the Salvants’ kids just as good of an experience with school. They may even come out of the year with a few new hobbies if Josh has anything to say…building potato guns is science, right?

Because I like making lists, I’m going to subject you to the little things I am most excited about right now besides the obvious big things:

  • Friends moving into our house who will love and enjoy our neighbors and neighborhood, and continue the tradition of awesomeness in that home.
  • Learning a language
  • Not having to experience winter for a WHOLE YEAR
  • Eating pikliz and plantains
  • Being near a beach again
  • Working really closely with a family who has been through international adoption because Josh and I will hopefully start that process before our friends are all having grand kids and leaving us in the dust.
  • Living next door to a family WHO PRETTY MUCH ALL PLAY THE UKELELE. Yeah, that’s right. We bought a banjolele and that day we found out the Salvants are a musical fam and a lot of them play the ukelele. We might become Haiti’s first ukelele band.
  • Eating fresh conch more than I get to here which is never.
  • Having access to chickens. I am more excited about this than anyone ever should be. The orphanage has chickens and April mentioned that they might get some too. Ya’ll, I have wanted chickens my whole life. My parents wouldn’t get them when we were little (along with not letting me have a horse or a snake, lame) and my husband won’t let me get them now. But God CLEARLY wants this girl to have chickens even if He has to move me to Haiti to get them.
  • Hopefully getting to see our friend Caleb who lives in Jacmel!
  • Getting my craft on with April who I just found out likes to get her craft on.
  • Mangoes

I’m realizing a lot of my feelings are revolving around food.

On a side note, all of you should plan your vacations this summer to wherever we are on the East Coast and if your vacation time is going to be after August…COME TO HAITI.

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The Year of The Adventure By:Josh

Just wanted to let everybody know….it’s official….


That’s a joke. It freaked me out just to type that word.

But we did quit our jobs.

Next we’re gonna live on our boat for a few months.

Then in August, we are moving to Haiti to teach these American kids.  Lol.

We are calling it The Year of The Adventure…and we love adventures…blog

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The Joy of the Police Scanner App By:Allison

For those of you who didn’t know, I am from a little slice of heaven in South Alabama. I grew up on a bunch of property with grandparents and cousins for neighbors. I had the most idealistic childhood you can imagine – if you imagine life through the lens of a redneck.

Best next door neighbor ever. Also I look straight up homeless.

Best next door neighbor ever. Also I look straight up homeless.

I use the term redneck in the most endearing way possible. I have so many great childhood memories. Some of my memories are easy to relate to – playing outside with cousins, selling lemonade, Sunday dinners with grandparents. Others, however, only a select few can relate to. Namely, other redneck/country/southern types.

See, great redneck memory. Forget the stereotype of classless Alabamians not wearing shoes...I pretty much never wore clothes.

See, great redneck memory. Forget the stereotype of classless Alabamians not wearing shoes…I pretty much never wore clothes.

For instance, Brady (my younger brother) and I did sell lemonade. Then we got some business sense and realized that we needed to cater to our market a little better. Who drove down our road the most? Farmers and family members. So we picked long pieces of grass, tied it in bundles, and marketed it as hay. I think we even wrote a sign that said something like, “Could also be used to start a fire.” We did sell a bundle to a family member who felt bad for us  appreciated our business sense and probably had a fire that needed starting.

Yup, that's my slice of heaven

Yup, that’s my slice of heaven

Then there’s the time the my childhood best friend has these amazing goats (we had goats too, but not this amazing) and they were smart enough to walk on leashes and stuff. So we did just that. Down the road. Probably barefoot. I’m sure everyone who passed thought, “Bless the hearts of those poor children whose parent’s won’t get them dogs!” We thought we (and the goats) were awesome.

Another rather fond memory I have of childhood is sitting at the “kid’s table” at Grandma and Pa’s listening to the police scanner. Go ahead, laugh. You only laugh because you don’t know what a great thing a police scanner can be.  Pa had one and so did his brother, Leon (or Paw Paw as I knew him). Paw Paw listened to his while sitting in his garage smoking and drinking beer. That feels way more appropriate than sitting at the kids table letting the grandkids listening to crime as it happens.

Pretty sure Teri Lee and I would have preferred a Barbie Jeep.

Pretty sure Teri Lee and I would have preferred a Barbie Jeep. Please note the little head peeping over my shoulder. We piled FOUR of us into that thing. And when our little brothers complained we tied them into the back with a belt.

In the South – or out in the country anywhere for that matter – people know everyone’s business. It’s just part of life. If a police car flies down our road that means that someone we know is in trouble. So, you follow it. The brilliant thing about a police scanner is that (if your family/friends forgot to call you BEFORE the police) you can find out what’s happening without chasing down emergency vehicles. This is a nosy concerned person’s dream come true.

The idea of knowing everything that is going on in my community never left me. In fact, I think it instilled a very important set of skills in me but that’s another post. Basically I could totally be a private investigator. So now, I find myself living and working in East Nashville. If you aren’t from Nashville, this neighborhood can get a bad rap for being rough. Before hipsters started taking it over it was I guess. Now it’s getting artsier by the minute. There’s still housing projects here and lots of affordable housing too. The main stretch is dotted with discount beer and tobacco shops and enough Hair Words to live up to their name and actually supply weave to the whole world. It’s certainly colorful and diverse and fantastic. It’s crimes are also colorful and there is a pretty obvious police presence.

Enter my love of the police scanner.

One day, Josh and I saw a bunch of police cars flying down Gallatin. Chasing emergency vehicles down your back country road is one thing, but down a busy street in the city is just dumb (and I think illegal). My curiosity was very high, though. Then, God himself (probably) reached down from the heavens and gave me the most amazing idea. “I bet there is a police scanner app.” Whoa. It was like a fist bump from Jesus.

And I was right.

Jesus changed my life when I was baptized at eight AND on that day on Gallatin Road when he led me to the police scanner app.

I quickly downloaded the best app you can ever download, turned it on, and a wave of childhood memories came rushing back. I could almost smell Paw Paw’s beer and cigarettes as I realized that I will never escape my roots. Every single person should download the app before judging me too harshly. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself forcing your husband to pull into the Kroger parking lot in the middle of 10 police cars while you listen to the details of the assault & robbery that just occurred in the Citi Trends next door (then you might wonder if you know the person, look up the arrest records the next day, and then find their facebook). Or trying to convince everyone to drive a few blocks over to watch the police escort a 16 year old run away out of his girlfriend’s house and back home – because his mom found out where he was staying. Nashville has so much more potential for police scanner entertainment than South Alabama where police scanners basically amount to snooping on family and church members.

So call me a redneck or nosy or crazy. Just don’t get mad when I don’t invite you to the viewing party the day I finally strike gold and the police raid Robert Plant’s East Nashville home. Or perhaps they get called because between T-Swift and her latest song subject boyfriend are arguing too loud.

My Alabama roots serve me well so often, and that will be the day they serve me best.

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The Many Hobbies of Josh By:Allison

According to Wikipedia, a “Renaissance Man” is someone whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. If Josh stuck with a hobby long enough to gain “expertise” he would be the renaissanc-iest Renaissance Man this world has ever seen. Most people see something that interests them and think, “That’s neat. I wish I could do that.” Then they move on with their lives. Josh sees something that piques his interest and thinks, “Dude, I could totally do that.” He is so serious too. He thinks he can do just about anything. The great thing about life is that people who think they can do anything usually can because the hardest part is trying. Josh takes this to a new level though. We aren’t talking about normal hobbies like grilling or working on cars. Josh reads about a hovercraft in popular science and says, “That doesn’t seem too hard.”

This project didn't get completed because his mom got sick of a freaking HOVERCRAFT sitting in her basement and threw it away.

This project didn’t get completed because his mom got sick of a freaking HOVERCRAFT sitting in her basement and threw it away.

Or he gets into slacklining, and then needs to take it a step further and says, “We can totally put that slackline 15 feet up in the trees and do it. We’ll harness in. It’ll be safe.”slackline

Or he gets around his awesome fam and they ALL say, “Yeah we can build a swing, but let’s make it swing out into a 30ft gorge. So what if you have to build a platform to jump off of…this will be sweet.”


Or a kid in Haiti shimmies up a coconut tree and Josh doesn’t say, “Wow, kid you’re awesome.” He says, “Wow, kid you’re awesome. I want to be awesome too.”


Or he tries to combine all his hobbies and ends up with this photo.


Or a mole comes up on his FACE and he gets it checked out and it’s not cancerous. He doesn’t want to pay to have it removed and I come home to a bottle of gin, an exacto knife, and bloody paper towels on the coffee table because his latest hobby is surgery.

There is no picture of that, thank goodness.

I tried to think of a comprehensive list of the hobbies Josh has had since we have been together and here’s what I came up with:

  • Playing guitar
  • Rock climbing
  • Hiking/Camping
  • Hovercraft building
  • Street luging
  • Fire of any sort…preferably mixed with gunpowder
  • Putting on LEGIT fireworks shows
  • Sailing
  • Smoking meat
  • Unicycling
  • Juggling fire
  • Juggling fire while unicycling
  • Welding
  • Rapelling
  • Making hot sauce
  • Growing peppers for hot sauce
  • Building tall bikes
  • Slacklining
  • Buying silver
  • Composting
  • Goofing around on the stock market and then actually making money
  • Using Gimp to make funny pictures of friends
  • Making “Chillwave” music
  • Playing the banjolele
  • I’m sure I’m forgetting something….

I wish that Josh would start a DIY blog like our friends at Oh So Pretty. It would be the most amazing DIY blog on the face of the planet. The world basically learn how to be awesome.

Consider this post  my ode to Josh’s awesomeness. This might be the most PDA you’ll ever experience from the two of us.