Life in the Fishbowl

Living by the Todd Family Motto: "It behooves us to live."

Life in the Fishbowl - Living by the Todd Family Motto: "It behooves us to live."

A brief Yard Sale update


Well, we might have been a little too ambitious when we planed on having the Yard Sale this past weekend. A ton of stuff has been donated to our fundraising efforts  (including a Foosball table, a dishwasher, and a drum set) and we just plum ran out of time to get everything ready. In reality, this is a good problem to have. Right?

So we decided to postpone the Yard Sale by one week. It’s a good thing, too. Saturday’s weather was not conducive to having any type of yard sale at all.

So now we get to have the same bat sale at the same bat location at the same bat time, only one week later. So here are the details:

Todd Family Yard Sale

Saturday, May 23
7 a.m. until noon(ish)
On Chase Boulevard in Hunting Creek in Greenwood. Simply follow the signs and you can’t miss it! You can email me if you need more specific directions.

But wait…

there’s more!

We’ll also be selling items the following Monday! If you couldn’t make it out on Saturday and you happen to be out and about Memorial Day morning, why not stop by and check out what’s left?

Obviously, the goal is to raise as much money as possible. Maybe we’ll even be able to cover a plane ticket to Ethiopia with these funds.

If you can’t make it to the Sale, that’s OK. It would be great it you’d share it with anyone you know who might be able to make it. Just click here and share away.

We’d be ever so grateful.

Thank you for your ongoing support. Thank you for partnering with us as we take this adoption journey.

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7 lines I love to quote from Star Wars

One day not too long ago, while Aiden and I were driving home from some event, I had to make a quick stop at a store. Aiden didn’t want to go inside, so I told him he could stay in the car. Since he’s 14 years old, there wasn’t any danger of him getting too hot in the car. I left the car running because it was going to be a quick dash in and out of the store. That way, he could stay cool with the air conditioner on and he could listen to whatever tunes he wanted to hear. I could get in and out without having to wait on him. It was a win-win proposition.

As I stepped out of the car, I turned to Aiden and said one of the lines from Star Wars that I love to quote:

“Lock the door. And hope they don’t have blasters.”

In case you’re unfamiliar with that quote, it’s Luke and Han’s response to C-3PO when he asks what the droids should do if they’re discovered in the Death Star. But you already knew that. Right? Of course you did. If not, I highly recommend watching A New Hope again. After all, it’s my favorite movie. It should be yours, too. Unless The Empire Strikes Back is your favorite. Or Return of the Jedi. Those are great choices, too.

I realized as I walked away from the car that I use that line a lot. In fact, I find myself saying this almost every time I ask one of the kids to lock a door. Then I realized that I use several lines from Star Wars in everyday conversation on a regular basis.

So here they are, in no particular order. Seven lines I love to quote from Star Wars.

7 lines I love to quote from Star Wars Continue reading

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Here’s what happened at SoFabU OTR in Cincinnati

This grant was  provided to me by Collective Bias, Inc. All opinions are mine alone. #SoFabUOTR #CollectiveBias
SoFabU OTR in Cincinnati name tag

I love it when I leave a leave a conference feeling equipped, encouraged, challenged, and inspired. That’s exactly what happened at SoFabU On the Road (“OTR,” for short). Here’s how it happened…

On the Road Again

I hopped in my car before the sun came up a few Saturdays ago. I gassed up the car and hit the open road, headed east towards the Land of Seven Hills, the home of the Reds, Graeter’s Handcrafted Ice Cream, and Ahalogy. It was also a stop on the SoFabU On the Road world tour.

OK. It’s not really a world tour. But they’re definitely hitting all regions of the contiguous United States. And that’s pretty cool!

 Ahalogy was a gracious host

For the morning session, we met in the offices of Ahalogy. They’re experts about marketing on Pinterest. They know their stuff. Not only did they welcome us to their amazing facility, but they also dropped some serious Pinterest knowledge on us. Continue reading

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The YARD SALE is almost here!

Update (5/15/2015):

Due to circumstances beyond our control, we’re delaying the Yard Sale by ONE WEEK!! We’ll see everyone on Saturday, May 23!

Thank you for understanding.

Yard SaleRemember how I mentioned that we were going to have a yard sale in the very near future? Well, that day is almost here! Lord willing and if the creek don’t rise, we’re going to have our yard sale on Saturday, May 16We’ve arranged to host it on Chase Boulevard in Greenwood, Indiana. There will be plenty of signs to point you in the right direction.

All money raised will help fund efforts to complete the adoption process. Several families have donated some great items for this Sale. And now we need your help to spread the word! Please help us in letting everyone know about this coming Yard Sale in the Indianapolis area. You can share this link on Facebook, Tweet about it, or you can share the Event page via FacebookFamily of SixThank you again for your continued support of our adoption efforts. We cannot wait to bring “W” home to be with our family forever!

If you have any question about this Sale, please shoot me an email and I’ll get back with you as soon as possible.


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Our family is ready for The Avengers! How about yours?

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AvengersUnite #CollectiveBias

My family of Super Heroes #AvengersUnite

Have you heard? Of course you’ve heard! The Internet has practically exploded with each movie trailer release over the past few months. A huge impact has already been made on the international box office.

MARVEL’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron is almost here!

Super Heroes Assemble Screenshot #AvengersAssemble

Check out the Super Heroes Assemble app for exclusive MARVEL’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron content!

I’ve done my best to turn my family into a gaggle of geeks, and I think it’s starting to pay off. We are super excited about this super hero movie. To help us get ready for the coming blockbuster, I downloaded the Super Heroes Assemble app (available via Google Play and iTunes) and discovered tons of great stuff about MARVEL’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

With this app, you can unlock all kinds of cool features like character bios, featurettes, special behind-the-scenes features, a tour of the Hulkbuster facility, and other great content by heading over to Walmart or and scanning specially marked displays.

Walmart Collage #AvengersUnite

You can also unlock content on the app by scanning specially marked packages. And starting today, you can unlock a special digital comic book thanks to Dr. Pepper. All you have to do is scan a Dr. Pepper sign at Walmart. Or you could scan any Dr. Pepper 12-pack that has The Avengers on its package. It’s a pretty cool feature and it’s the perfect tool to help you and your family to get ready for MARVEL’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Product Shot #AvengersUnite

There’s even an opportunity to use the app to “suit up.” Our family, however, decided to take that whole suiting up thing one step further. It’s really only the next logical step – especially for a gaggle of geeks like mine. Right?

My family the Avengers
So watch out, world! I grabbed these masks and other accessories from The Avengers at our local Walmart. So now our family has suited up and is ready to take on any foe that may come our way. You might find us walking the halls of an upcoming convention. Or you might even find us roaming downtown dressed as these heroes. Just for the fun of it.

We didn’t choose these heroes in a willy-nilly fashion. Each of these characters from MARVEL’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron has a connection with each of our family members. That’s right, friends. There was a method to our madness. Here’s how characters from The Avengers universe connect with my family:

Christy as Captain America #AvengersUnite

Christy as Captain America

Captain America has a strong moral compass. He stands up for what is right with little concern for any personal gain or profit.

That’s my wife. She has an inner strength and compassion that compels her to act on the behalf of others, giving a voice to the voiceless and remembering the forgotten. She is always helping others and trying to make the world around her a better place.

Aly as Thor #AvengersUnite

 Aly as Thor

Thor, a visitor from another realm, has a strong connection with the natural world. Thor can control the weather and has the ability to call down lightning from the heavens. He alone is worthy to carry his hammer, which focuses his power.

Aly can’t call down lightning from the sky, but she has a deep connection with the world around us. When she was little, she said the animals would talk to her. I don’t know how, but there were times where it sure felt that way. She is in tune with the nature around us. It’s almost superhuman.

Aiden as Hulk #AvengersUnite

 Aiden as the Hulk

Bruce Banner is smart. He’s super-smart. His alter-ego, the Hulk, is a giant mass of muscle and is misunderstood by most people. The Hulk possesses superhuman strength and can smash just about anything.

Aiden is smart. And as a teenager, he’s often misunderstood. And much like the Hulk, Aiden is a man of few words. He has been working out with the high school football team for the past six months. He’s become a lean, mean, muscular machine. Because of his strength, he has been called upon several times to help move furniture.

Aiden SMASH #AvengersUnite

Mihret as Iron Man #AvengersUnite

Mihret as Iron Man

With the help of sophisticated technology, Tony Stark can suit up in a powerful set of armor to become Iron Man. Much like Dr. Banner, Mr. Stark is very smart. And his creativity knows no bounds. He’s a determined person whose Iron Man suit helps him accomplish his dream of protecting the world.

Mihret’s nickname at school is “Miss Determination.” Much like Mr. Stark, she won’t take “no” for an answer. Although she requires the use of mobility aids in order to walk and get around, she is always using her creativity to find new ways to achieve what doctors have suggested she wouldn’t be able to do. She always has on her “armor,” ankle and foot orthotics that help her walk. She is able to use the assistive technology available to her to help her achieve her goals and accomplish her dreams.

Our family is united

When you watch the trailers for MARVEL’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron, it’s apparent that, once again, the world needs these heroes to unite together in order to defeat a powerful foe. Working together as a team isn’t always easy. It requires sacrifice, humility, honesty, and teamwork. It can be messy. But when they work together, they can accomplish much.

That’s not unlike our family. Sure there are personality clashes at times. And we a little rough around the edges. Life together can be messy – both physically and emotionally. But we’re united. And when we work together, we can accomplish much. Who knows? We just might end up changing the world.

I know what you’re asking. What about me? Which members of The Avengers am I? Well, he’s really not an Avenger, but I think I might relate the most closely with Nick Fury, who gets things done in the background and does his best to help the rest of his team succeed.

How about your family?

Why not check out the MARVEL’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron section at and find the perfect snacks and equipment for the super heroes in your life? I’d love to hear which members of The Avengers are most like your family members.

Feel free to share those connections in the comments!

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An A to Z Challenge apology. Kind of.

A to Z Challenge


might have bitten off more than I could chew by trying to conquer the A to Z Challenge this year. If you take a quick glance at my blog, you’ll see that my A to Z posts have kind of tapered off. You shouldn’t be surprised. It’s not like I didn’t warn you.

I’m going to get it done. I promise. But it probably won’t be finished by the end of April. Part of me says I should say that I’m sorry. But I’m not. Sometimes things just happen.

am going to finish the Challenge. And I’ll back date them so they’re in the order they’re supposed to be in. It kind of makes sense to do that.

To those of you who have been able to stay on track, congratulations! I’m happy for you! This is a much tougher challenge than most people think. You should be proud of yourself.


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S is for Soap on the Bottom of the Pan

1960s Boy Scout Handbook

This image contains an affiliate link.

During my second year in Boy Scouts (or maybe it was my first year), our Troop hosted a competition. During one of our weekend campouts, we were challenged to “earn” the First Class rank based on the requirements from the 1960s. Each requirement was given a specific amount of points and each of us found a partner for the weekend’s competition. Jarod and I teamed up and instantly began preparing for the campout. We had a month to hone our skills for the contest. And we were determined to win. Since we were so young and inexperienced, we were at a definite disadvantage. We were going head-to-head against teams of Life Scouts and Eagle Scouts. Even with a weighted scoring system that leveled the playing field, the odds were not necessarily in our favor.

Since everyone was working in pairs instead of functioning in the standard Patrol system, the Troop didn’t have enough equipment for the campout. So we had to bring some of our own utensils, including pots and pans.

Since this was a campout based on the 1960s, that meant that we weren’t allowed to use the propane stoves that our Troop had. Each team was required to cook his own meal over an open flame. And we would be judged on how well we built our fire, prepared our food, and cooked our meal. We also had to eat what we cooked. That was a requirement to receive maximum points.

Properly cleaning and storing our equipment was also a requirement.

Jarod and I had an ambitious menu. We were going to wow the judges. We felt a higher degree of difficulty was necessary in order to take down the more experienced Scout teams. I don’t remember what we had for dinner, except potatoes. I know for a fact that we had pan-fried sliced potatoes.

While we were about to start cooking dinner, I walked away for some reason. I’m not sure why. Maybe I was getting firewood. Or maybe I was getting water. I really don’t remember. But I remember I was gone for a few minutes. Continue reading

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When hunger bites at you, bite hunger back!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BiteHungerBack #CollectiveBias

Bite Hunger Back #BiteHungerBack #ad

I had forgotten how much growing teenagers eat in one day. We have two teens in our house right now. One of them (who shall remain nameless) is pretty much a bottomless pit. This kid would still complain about being hungry after eating a seven-course meal.

I get it, though. They are teenagers. So I understand the change in eating habits. School takes a lot out of you. Athletics takes a lot out of you. Following your favorite Boy Band’s every move takes a lot out of you. So you’ve got to eat. It’s part of being a growing teenager. I get that. I really do. But – holy cow – they can eat. A lot.

Hungry teens with forks #BiteHungerBack #ad

And this has me worried.

We are in the process of adopting a boy from halfway around the world. If everything goes the way we hope, hell be home with us by the end of this year.

He’s a teenager, too.

So that’s going to make the challenge of keeping our family’s bellies full without breaking the bank even more difficult. Don’t get me wrong. He’s totally worth it. And he’s going to make our family complete. But if he has half the appetite our other teens have, we could be in a heap of trouble.

Fortunately, there’s HOT POCKETS® Breakfast Bites and HOT POCKETS® Snack Bites.

HOT POCKETS® Snack Bites and Breakfast Bites

Made with high quality ingredients, HOT POCKETS® Snack Bites and Breakfast Bites can help fulfill your kids’ seemingly never-ending hunger. The Snack Bites are available in a variety of flavors, including Hickory Ham and Cheddar, Pepperoni Pizza, and Cheesy Beef Nacho. The Breakfast Bites flavors include Bacon, Egg, and Cheese, Sausage, Egg, and Cheese, and Ham, Egg, and Cheese. Once you try them, you’ll discover that they’re a satisfying snack with some serious staying power.

HOT POCKETS® Snack Bites and Breakfast Bites at Walmart #BiteHungerBack #ad

You can find HOT POCKETS® Snack Bites and Breakfast Bites in the frozen snacks section of your local Walmart. And during the month of April, you can save $1 off HOT POCKETS® Snack Bites with this coupon!

HOT POCKETS® Snack Bites are great any time!

Pepperoni Pizza HOT POCKETS® Snack Bites

When my teenager with the bottomless pit as a stomach complains about hunger pains a half an hour after dinner, HOT POCKETS® Snack Bites can help tackle that appetite. It’s great. My kids can pop them in the microwave without supervision and in almost no time at all, they can have tasty, cheesy goodness for a hearty snack. HOT POCKETS® Snack Bites are made with quality ingredients, including 100% real cheese. With the snack that bites hunger back, you can satisfy the hungriest of appetites.

Kick-start your day with HOT POCKETS® Breakfast Bites

HOT POCKETS® Breakfast Bites Close Up #BiteHungerBack #ad

I’ll be honest. Nobody in our house is a morning person. So breakfast before school is usually a pretty big chore and it’s also kind of miserable. With HOT POCKETS® Breakfast Bites, however, we can make the most of our morning with bites full of breakfast awesomeness. Much like the Snack Bites, these Breakfast Bites are stuffed with quality ingredients like 100% real cheese. They are a great way to bite through your morning hunger and start the day off on the right foot.

Thanks to HOT POCKETS® Breakfast Bites and HOT POCKETS® Snack Bites, I feel a little bit better about our family’s future with three teenage mouths to feed under one roof. I know their hunger will be satisfied with these hearty snacks. Now I can worry about other things: like how to get three teenagers to share a bathroom. Or share the remote control. Or put their dirty dishes in the sink. I hope I’m not biting off more than I can chew.

Be sure to check out HOT POCKETS® online by following them on Twitter, liking them on Facebook, and following them on Instagram for more great ways to bite hunger back when hunger tries to bite you.


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L is for Like My Page

You know how I said a few days ago that I’m working on building my email list and creating a new and improved newsletter so I’m not totally bound by the unpredictable whims of other platforms?

Well, that doesn’t mean I’m giving up on those other platforms. So why not mosey on over to my nifty little facebook page and give it a like?

Facebook Page


It won’t make you thinner. It won’t make your teeth whiter. It won’t cure your plantar fasciitis or your halitosis.

But hopefully it’ll make you smile. I’ll do my best to make you smile. And that’s worth something. Besides, only 10 or 20% of those who like the page will ever have a post of mine show up on their feed, anyway. So you really have nothing to lose.Right?

**I’m participating in the April A to Z Challenge. This post is part of that endeavor. You can see my other entries to this year’s challenge here. A lot of people are doing the same thing. You should check out some of their posts!**

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I’m not myself when I’m hungry at work

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WhenImHungry #CollectiveBias

I'm not myself when I'm hungry #WhenImHungry #ad

I love my job. I have talked about how difficult the job can be at times, but I really do love it. I had no idea how fulfilling this job could be when I signed on. I had no idea how exciting and humbling and awe-inspiring it would be to watch a student write his name for the first time. I get more high fives and fist bumps and hugs in one week than I did during my entire tenure at my previous place of employment. I love these kids. And I work with a great team.

I love my job.

And that’s why I need to be at the top of my game. I want to give these kids my best effort every day. They need my best effort. And that doesn’t happen when I’m hungry. Because I’m not myself when I’m hungry. I’m more like a grumpy, grizzly, grouch.

Hungry Face #WhenImHungry #adMy palms get all clammy. Beads of sweat start to form on my forehead. My stomach starts to grumble. My lips begin to tremble. And my eye begins to twitch. I’m rarely a happy camper when I’m hungry.

It doesn’t exactly create the best academic environment when one of the instructional assistants is distracted and coming close to going on a rampage because he’s hungry. So I turn to SNICKERS®. I’ve especially become a fan of the SNICKERS® Peanut Butter Squared.

SNICKERS® available at Kroger #WhenImHungry #ad

I can pick one up in the checkout line at my neighborhood Kroger. It’s the perfect combination of peanut butter, nougat, peanuts, and caramel covered in milk chocolate. Oh, man. It’s so good. And it really hits the spot. It’s the perfect snack for when I’m starting to feel smacked around by my hunger in the middle of the day.

It fits perfectly in my backpack so I always know where it is and I can get to it easily. And since two squares come in one package, I can eat one and save the other for later. Of course, I can eat both squares in one sitting, too. Either way, my hunger will be satisfied.

SNICKERS® in my backpack #WhenImHungry #ad

I need to be able to give my full attention to the kids who are under my care when they’re at my learning station in our classroom. There’s no time to become a grumpy, grizzly, grouch. My time with these students is too precious. So there’s no time to be anyone but myself when I’m teaching them. So I can’t get hungry. Because I’m not me when I’m hungry.

SNICKERS® saves the day #WhenImHungry #adI’m definitely not myself when I’m hungry. Who are you when you’re hungry? Why not share it with the world? Enter the SNICKERS® “Who are you when you’re hungry?” contest by uploading a personal photo or video from your Computer, Facebook, Instagram or use the SNICKERS® Meme Generator to create something new! Voting begins at Noon on 5/11/15 and ends at 11:59:59AM ET on 7/15/15.

Be sure to check out more fun stories and recipes by visiting #WhenImHungry, too! You just might find yourself inspired. And you’ll definitely find ways to have your hunger satisfied.


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