Life in the Fishbowl

Living by the Todd Family Motto: "It behooves us to live." I want to change the world.

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

Our lives changed after we took this picture 5 years ago

We took this picture five years ago today. It was the last time we were together as a family of four.

Outside Indianapolis International Airport before flying to Ethiopia.

A few minutes after this, the kids drove off with their Papaw. Soon after that, Christy and I boarded a plane. Our ultimate destination was a Little Girl in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Flying over Egypt

Five years ago today, we were ending one leg of our family’s journey.

Five years ago today, we were starting another leg of our family’s journey.

Five years ago…

Wow.

How has it already been five years since we went from being a family of four to a family of five?

Our first picture as a family of five. Taken at the Indianapolis International Airport

It couldn’t have happened without the prayer and support of some pretty amazing friends and family who were with us throughout the process. And it certainly couldn’t have happened without family members taking care of Aiden and Alyson, trying to do whatever possible to keep their lives as close to normal as possible while their mom and dad were half a world away. To anyone and everyone who had some part in our journey to bring Mihret into our family, I want to say “Thank you” again. Thank you for allowing God to use you and to weave your story into our family’s story.

Because we can’t imagine our family without Mihret.

Family picture at the 2013 Show Hope Celebration in Franklin Tennessee

I bet you can’t, either.

The kids holding a sign that says

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9/11, ISIS, and a different response (aka the post I don’t want to write)

The Greatest of These is Love

I’m going to be honest here. I’ve been struggling with writing this post for quite some time. I don’t really feel like I have any real answers here. And I like answers. I like to have my posts tied up in a neat little package with a nifty bow to present to you, dear reader.

I also hesitate to post this because it feel like I’m choosing to be a little naïve. And nobody likes to appear naïve.

And maybe I’m struggling with this thought that’s been rattling around in my head and my heart because…well…I don’t LIKE these thoughts. But I have to share them. I have to get them out. You might not like them, either. You might want to call me an idiot. You might want to call me crazy. That’s OK. I’ve been called crazy before. Or maybe you’ll choose to never read any of my stuff again. I hope that won’t be the case. But I might understand if you choose that response.

I remember how it felt to watch the planes slam into those Towers. I remember the horror of watching the buildings collapse. I remember wishing for *those* people and anyone who agreed with them to be sent straight to the pit of hell. Like all other Americans who watched in disbelief and terror that horrible Tuesday morning, I will never forget. I will never ever forget.

Here we are, 13 years later, and how far have we really come? We have killed countless terrorist leaders, including Osama himself, but the President addressed the nation a few nights ago, declaring that “We will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are.” That sounds an awful lot like his predecessor, who said, “Make no mistake, the United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts.” Doesn’t it?

We’ve been doing an awful lot of hunting these past 13 years.

We’ve also done a lot of punishing.

Regardless of your political persuasion, I think we can all agree that there have been a lot of successes in the ongoing fight against terrorists.

Yet here we are again. We’re in another knock down, drag out with a ruthless terrorist organization. They rose up out of a crippled terror group. And once ISIS (or is it ISIL?) is destroyed , what’s to stop more terrorists from rising up in its place? It’s like the Hydra – you cut off one head and two more sprout up in its place.

Then they’ll strike at us.

We’ll strike back.

They’ll get revenge.

We’ll punish.

And it will go on and on and on.

We are stuck in a never ending cycle. The pursuit will not end. The hunt will not be over. When will it stop? Will it ever stop? I remember during the initial days of the commencement of the War on Terror that we were warned that this effort could take decades – maybe even generations to accomplish.

What if we responded in a different way?

And here’s where I struggle. I don’t know how we, as a State, could implement any other approach than a military response. These monsters are terrorizing civilians, murdering babies, and beheading journalists. They must be stopped. Period.

But I also keep hearing these quotes bounce around in my head and heart:

“An eye for an eye makes both men blind.”
- commonly attributed to Gandhi

“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”
- commonly attributed to Abraham Lincoln

“But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you.”
- Jesus (Matthew 5:44)

“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you…”
- Jesus (Luke 6:27)

“…the greatest of these is love.”
- Paul (1 Corinthians 13:13b)

So that’s where I’m stuck. I don’t want to respond with love. I don’t even know how to respond to this kind of evil with love.

Like I said, I don’t have a pretty bow to wrap around this one. There’s no Brady Bunch or Family Matters ending here where everything magically comes together at the end of the post. Responding with love could mean that more people are murdered and oppressed and abused in the immediate future. That’s not good. At all. Things are messy right now and a response like this could make things even messier.

And I don’t like that one bit.

But doing the same thing we’ve been doing but expecting different results…that sounds like the common definition of something. Doesn’t it?

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Walgreens #GetAShot Twitter Party 9/17, 1-2 pm ET ($550 in prizes)

RSVP for the #GetAShot Twitter Party

This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.

#GetAShot-Twitter-Party-Badge-9-17, #TwitterParty, #shop, sweepstakes on Twitter

Do you love a good Twitter Party?  I do! that’s why I’m excited to co-host a party about how you can Give a Shot when you Get a Shot at Walgreens! On Wednesday, September 17 at 1:00 pm ET, please join me for the #GetAShot Twitter Party where we’ll be discussing this wonderful opportunity to give back to children in need and giving you a chance to win prizes.

As you might know, the Get a Shot, Give a Shot program at Walgreens is something that is very near and dear to my heart. If you’re planning on getting a flu vaccine this year, I ask that you strongly consider getting it at Walgreens. Because when you get vaccinated at Walgreens between now and mid-October, you’re also giving a vaccine to a child in a developing country through the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life program. So this Twitter Party is extra-special. Not only do you get a chance to win one of the six prizes, but you will also help spread the word about this life-saving campaign. You can win stuff and change the world all at the same time. How cool is that?

Join me and RSVP for the #GetAShot Twitter Party on SoFabChats!

RSVP at SoFab Chats

DATE:  Wednesday, September 17, 2014

TIME:  1:00 to 2:00 pm ET

PRIZES:  5 – (1) $100 Walgreens Gift Cards

EARLY BIRD PRIZE:  1 – $50 Walgreens Gift Card

HOSTS:  @Freebies4Mom, @MoneywiseMoms, @comebackmomma, @mattdantodd, @JManMillerBug

SPECIAL GUEST:  @Walgreens

RULES:  #GetAShot Twitter Party Official Rules

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TIP:  How to join a Twitter Party
Sign in! Before party starts, click on the green “Sign In On Twitter” bar at the top of the page!

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Wait till next year…

I’ll bet you thought I forgot. I’ll bet you thought I was going to just let this series of posts fade away like Wonderful Wookiee Wednesday and Flashback Friday (which started waaaay before the whole Throwback Thursday trend. Yet again, I’m a trend-setter) and Thankful Thursday.

I’m happy to say that you were wrong.

2015 fireworks

It’s just taken me a while to finish this sentence:

“Next year looks better to me because…”

….things are in place for 2015 to be a dream year. Obviously, I cannot predict the future. But here are some things I would love to see happen by the end of next year:

    • I will be helping out a local nonprofit organization or two, utilizing the marketing skills I learned during my place of previous employment. It might not pay much, but that’s OK. We’re going to change the world.
    • We will finally be a family of six.
    • I will finally complete the One Year Bible. I started it back in…oh…2012. And I’m currently on track to complete it December 26, 2014. I suspect that end date might change. Unfortunately.
    • I will knock off a few items on my “Things I Want to Do” List. Like, maybe #1 (Go to the Men’s Final Four – it’s in Indy next year), #9 (Attend the Indianapolis 500), #31 (Visit Lincoln’s Tomb), #32 (Grow a Garden), and #88 & #89 (Build and Launch a Model Rocket with my Kids).
    • Maybe I will have figured out a way to have a getaway with Christy. A week would be awesome, but I’d be just as happy with just a night or two at this point.
    • There’s this little thing called Star Wars Episode VII that’s scheduled to come out in 2015. I just might have to take the family to a midnight showing of that on opening night.
    • Maybe Aiden will go fishing with me and my dad at Bennett Spring.
    • My story about a snowpocalypse falling upon Indy will be complete and I will be well on my way to finishing my story about a colony on Mars.

Since 2015 starts just a few months from now, it’s time to get cracking and lay the groundwork for what could very well be the most epic year of all time. You hear me?

Of.
all.
time.

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My notes from Mixwest 2014

Mixwest Notes
I had a great time at Mixwest 2014. I got to meet some new people, catch up with some old friends, and learn some pretty amazing stuff from the fabulous collection of speakers and presenters.

It’s always hard going to a conference like this and deciding what workshops to attend – especially when you want to go to all of them. But you can only go to one at a time, unless you’ve managed to figure out a way to be in three places at the same time. If you have, please contact me! I want to learn your secrets.

My friend, Leah, calls this the Mixwest Struggle. And let me tell you, the struggle is real, y’all. Since many of you might have shared in The Struggle this year, I’ve decided to share my notes from this year’s conference. Now, I’m not the most amazing note taker on the planet, but I did try to get down as much relevant information as possible. Here are my notes from Mixwest 2014.

And in case you’re interested, here are my notes from Blog Indiana 2012 – the precursor to Mixwest.

I should mention that because of The Struggle, I tried to avoid sessions that I knew were going to be recorded. Once those are available, I will have figured out how to be in two places at the same time! Still gotta unravel the mystery of being in three places at once. But that’ll happen. Some day.

I hope these notes are helpful. If you have any technical difficulties, please let me know and I’ll get that fixed ASAP. And if you have any notes or insight from any of the sessions that you attended at Mixwest 2014, I’d love to learn from your experience!

Keep being awesome, Mixwesterners! Hopefully, we’ll see each other again next year. Because I love what you do.

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3 more things my high school band director told me

Yesterday, I shared three things that my high school band director told me that have stuck with me over the years. But I wasn’t done. There are three more things that I need to share…
Low brass awesomeness

“Don’t mess with the Star Spangled Banner.”

You march onto the field, play the song exactly the way the audience expects to hear it. Then you march off. No fluff. Nothing artsy about it.

He was right. He still is. Every time some pop sensation tries to do something cute with the national anthem, that person gets lit up on the social networks. In a different context, it could be considered ground-breaking (see: Jimi Hendrix), but we are a nation of traditions. And if you’re going to perform the national anthem before a game, you’re better off just performing the song the way it was written and getting out of the way. If not, you might find yourself on some Top Ten Worst National Anthem Performances list.

Whenever someone messes with the national anthem, I just shake my head. “Mr. Briel was right,” I say to myself. “They should’ve listened to him.”

Blind fish and a prediction about our offspring

Mr. Briel opened class one day with a story. It wasn’t entirely unusual that he would tell us a story, but this one was a little different. He started talking about fish. But these were just any fish. They were blind fish that are found in caves.

Blind Cavefish

Then he started to discuss the scientific theory behind this phenomenon. Strange, I thought. I must have accidentally walked into biology lab instead of Concert Band. He explained that organisms adapt to their environment over time. Features that an organism needs in its environment continue to be strengthened. Other organs, like the eyes in the cave fish’s case, eventually phase out. Fish in a body of water in the middle of a cave don’t have any need for eyes, after all. There’s no light anyway. So over time, the fish just stopped growing eyes because they weren’t using them anyway.

Then he explained that the things an organism uses tend to be emphasized as their genetic makeup is passed on from generation to generation. At the same time, the things they don’t use tend to be minimized as an organism adapts over time. Sometimes, these features disappear altogether.

After giving us a brief scientific lecture, he paused and looked over the class.

“You know, I was thinking about this effect of passing along traits to our offspring as I was trying to figure out what happened during yesterday’s class. And I’ve come to this conclusion:

“Your kids are going to be born with no ears and really big mouths!”

You know, there are days when I think of this prediction and wonder if Mr. Briel might have had a touch of the gift of prophecy. Because…well…there are some days where it sure feels like he was absolutely right.

As they say, revenge is a dish best served cold. And I’ve had some pretty large helpings of that dish over the years.

“If you’ll switch to tuba, I’ll put you in Wind Ensemble.”

In 5th grade, I took up the trumpet. A cornet, to be specific. But that really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I was part of the trumpet section, so we’ll just say I was playing the trumpet.

Anyway, I started playing the trumpet in 5th grade. I played it all through middle school and even marched as a trumpet during my Freshman year of marching season. I was decent. But I definitely wasn’t great at trumpet. My trumpet skills were nothing to write home about.

At the end of 9th grade, Mr. Briel came up to me towards the end of class. He had a proposal for me. We didn’t have anyone lined up to play tuba the next year. So he asked me and two of my Freshman trumpet buddies if we’d consider switching from trumpet to tuba. To sweeten the deal, he said that he’d put us in Wind Ensemble – the highest level of band at our school – if we made the switch.

So I switched. And my musical career took off.

Because of a scheduling conflict, I was not enrolled in Wind Ensemble the following semester. I was disappointed, but it turned out to be a great thing. Since I was the only tuba playing in Concert Band, I couldn’t hide behind anyone else. I had to quickly learn how to play my new instrument and I had to learn how to play it with power.

So I did.

Not to toot my own horn (no pun intended…or maybe it is intended), but I got to be pretty darn good for a guy who didn’t start playing tuba until the 10th grade. I wound up on the All-City Honors Band for two years. I played in a large brass ensemble at the State Solo & Ensemble contest. I participated in TubaChristmas for several years. I performed in several church orchestras and brass ensembles. I even had a tuba solo in a jazz concert while at Milligan. Turned out it was my final instrumental performance ever.

All City Band

All City Honors Band. Can you find me? I promise I’m in this picture.

I had a much better time playing tuba than I ever had while playing trumpet. And I have Mr. Briel to thank for that. Sure, he might have chosen me to play tuba simply because I was a pretty big guy and could handle carrying a giant brass instrument around. But that’s OK. I have no complaints. Because it still opened all kinds of doors for me.

And now I’m a bass line guy for life.

Mr. Briel impacted me in many ways. But this invitation to play the tuba? It was life-changing. And I cannot thank him enough for giving me that opportunity.

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3 things my high school band director told me

Harrison Marching Band

I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that participating in the instrumental music program while I was in high school had a profound influence on my life. I’m not a professional musician (and I don’t play one on TV), but I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch to say that the music program might have been more influential on me than the English or science classes I took.

Don’t misunderstand me. This isn’t a slam on my English, math, and science teachers. Those classes were important. You hear me? They’re important! Don’t go dropping out of school, kids – especially if you’re my kids. And I hope none of my teacher friends misread what I’m saying here. I love what you do. Math, science, social studies, English…they’re all critical classes. Don’t try to convince me otherwise.

That being said, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that some of my closest friends from high school were in band with me. It also shouldn’t be much of a surprise that quotes and stories from Mr. Briel, my band director through most of my high school career, are some of my most fond memories from my days of walking the hallowed halls of Harry High.

As the current school year takes off and we are on the cusp of yet another season of marching band awesomeness in Indiana, the stories that Mr. Briel would tell keep repeating themselves in my mind’s ear. There are some valuable lessons in some of those stories. And they’re worth passing along. Here are a few…

“Practice makes better.”

You know the saying, “Practice makes perfect.” Right?

It’s bunk.

There’s always something you can improve. Always. And this is true even at the highest level. The best of the best are constantly improving. They have not reached perfection in their given field. So they keep working at getting better.

We will never “arrive.” No one has done anything perfectly. But that doesn’t mean we can’t keep improving and become the best we can be in whatever we do. And that takes practice. Lots of practice.

Because practice makes better.

Practice vs. Rehearsal

Practice is what you do on your own. It’s individual improvement. You practice to become technically proficient. You practice so things become second-nature. You practice to become the best you can be individually. Because, as I just told you, practice makes better.

Rehearsal is where everyone is working together. After hundreds of man-hours of individuals practicing, all the pieces are brought together in a rehearsal. In order to have an effective rehearsal, everyone needs to come prepared. They need to know their stuff so the band can make proper adjustments together. Rehearsal isn’t the time for individual practice. That needs to be done ahead of time. The most effective rehearsals happen when everyone has done the legwork beforehand during their individual practices.

I realize that this distinction might not be universal. But it certainly stuck with me. You practice in preparation to rehearse. You rehearse the way you perform. Because you only perform the way you rehearse. Things don’t magically change when you step onto the field or when you walk onstage. All of the hours of preparation through practice and rehearsal show their fruit when you perform.

“We’ll add that section when we get to Regionals.”

My Freshman year of high school, our band won just one trophy during marching season. It was a third place trophy. There were only three bands in our class. We were a doormat that year. And we weren’t much better the following year, either.

Winning hardware was fun, but all of these competitions during marching season were in preparation for the Indiana State School Music Association’s (ISSMA) organizational marching contests. They were kind of like a postseason tournament for Indiana marching bands. The system has changed since then, but in my day, there were three rounds to the ISSMA statewide contest: District, Regionals, and State. To move on from District to Regionals, you had to earn a Division I rating by earning a particular score or better. I think the minimum score was 60 out of 100, but I could be wrong. Everyone with a Division I rating advanced to the Regionals round. So your band was really competing against itself. It was entirely possible that all bands at the District level could advance to Regionals. If I remember correctly, we always went to Jasper, IN, for District.

There were two Regionals for each class in the State. The competition at Regionals was twofold. You were trying to earn a Division I, similar to the  District competition (requiring a higher score to earn a Division I rating). Your band was also competing against other high school bands for the right to move on to State. After all the bands performed, the judges ranked the bands, announcing the top five bands at each Regional. Those bands would then advance to the State Finals. Yes, it was entirely possible for a band to earn a Division II rating and still advance to State. But that was highly unlikely.

The ISSMA State Finals was made up of 40 of the top bands in the state (10 from each class). State was an all-day event where bands from each class took the field at the Hoosier Dome (it wasn’t called the RCA Dome yet) in competition. After each class performed, the bands were ranked from 1 to 10, with four bands being crowned state champions of their classes.

During my Freshman and Sophomore years, we didn’t even come close to earning a Division I at District.

Things started to click during my Junior year. The pieces started to come together. We marched to selections from the City of Angels soundtrack and it was a fun show. We knew something special was happening.

The Reitz Invitational might have been the first contest of the season (my memory’s getting a little hazy. Don’t you dare tell me that I’m getting old). We performed half of our show at that contest. That wasn’t too uncommon that early in the season. We were shocked when we heard the announcement over the PA during the awards ceremony that we, the perpetual doormat of Southwestern Indiana marching contests over the past two years, had won first place in our class.

We were on cloud nine. We had made our mark. And the region knew it. The Warriors were here and we were here to stay.

Very rarely did Mr. Briel talk about looking ahead to the end of marching season. We were pretty focused on the immediate future. We had to build upon our success with each subsequent contest. We had to get better. So we usually only needed to look ahead to the contest ahead of us.

During one of our rehearsals after the Reitz Invitational, Mr. Briel was sharing with us how much we were going to add to our show with each subsequent competition. As he charted things out, he told us how we were going to complete our show at District.

Then he paused and said, “Now, if you’re paying attention, you realize that there’s still part of the show that we haven’t added yet. We’re going to add that section when we get to Regionals.”

The place erupted.

It was a bold prediction. A confident prediction. It took some guts to say that to us. But we were ready. We were up for the challenge. And we did add that final piece to our show for our performance at Regionals. We ended the season with a Division II rating at Regionals. But we didn’t care. We were ecstatic to be there. And we had a lot of fun along the way.

Of my four high school marching seasons, I think I look back on the City of Angels show with the most fondness. We had more success my Senior year, and even earned a Division I at Regionals, but there was something kind of magical about that Junior year. Some of it might be because we were given a challenge and we rose to accept that challenge.

Just like Mr. Briel knew we would.

There are three more things that Mr. Briel told me that have stuck with me over the years. I’ll be sharing those tomorrow. Be sure to come back and read some more wisdom from a band director who probably had more of an impact on my life than he realizes.

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The Red Velvet Revolution at the Indiana State Fair

Funnel cake at Dogwood Festival
Funnel cakes.

They’re awesome. They’re probably my favorite non-Fall Festival fair food. Sure, they’re pretty horrible for you. But there really isn’t much that can beat the warm, sticky, fried dough goodness of a fresh funnel cake.

I remember when I first tried a funnel cake topped with cherries. I think I was at Kings Island. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. I didn’t think there was anything that could have made a funnel cake taste any better than it already was. After all, you can’t improve upon perfection. Adding cherries? That took funnel cakes to an impossibly amazing level.

After discovering cherry-topped funnel cakes, I was convinced that we had reached the pinnacle of fair food awesomeness. After our trip to the Indiana State Fair this weekend, I came to realize that I was wrong.

Oh so wrong.

Red Velvet at the Indiana State Fair 2014

Red velvet took over our visit to the Indiana State Fair this year. We tried deep-fried red velvet Oreos that were covered with cream cheese and powdered sugar. They were pretty amazing and worth the wait in line (probably around 10 minutes). Some our family thought it was the best thing they ate while we were at the Fair.

I, however, was more impressed with the red velvet funnel cake that we tried.


Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, someone went and blew away all of my preconceived notions about what makes a good funnel cake. The red velvet funnel cake was mind-blowing.

It might not look like much, but it’s got it where it counts. It’s fairly straightforward. Red velvet batter that’s deep-fried and topped with powdered sugar and cream cheese icing. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Who is the genius who thought of this? I would like to shake this person’s hand. Shoot, I might even give him or her a giant bear hug. We experienced a red velvet revolution at the Indiana State Fair this weekend.

And our lives will never ever be the same. Ever.

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Cheering up a friend with some game day food

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

Game Day Food #TeamJellO

If you have spent any amount of time on this blog, you know that I’m an avid college sports enthusiast. I’m particularly fond of a particular team that wears cream and crimson and is located not too far from my home. Through thick and thin, I’m dedicated to this team. I understand what it means to be passionate about your favorite college team. That’s why my heart went out to our family friends when they had to face a very difficult sports-related decision. I’m hoping to use a Jell-O University Mold Kit to create some amazing tailgating food that will surely help ease this family’s pain.

Hook'em Jiggler #TeamJellO

My friends are die-hard fans of the Texas Longhorns. Just as I would bleed cream and crimson if you were to cut me, I am convinced that family would bleed burnt orange. As you would expect, this devotion to the Longhorns also means a certain dislike for their favorite team’s arch rival. I can understand that. I’m not a fan of the other major state school in Indiana – the one that wears black and gold. And don’t get me started on that blue and white team from the state to our south.

This rivalry between the Longhorns and that other in-state team that happens to wear maroon has been brewing for more than a hundred years. It runs deep. Very deep. So you can imagine the disappointment when my friend’s youngest son came home from his instructional league football practice with the news that their team is going to be that very same rival team. My friend’s son is going to have to wear maroon all season long.

As you might expect, they are heartbroken. There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Our friends are torn. What do they do? How do they support their son without compromising their beliefs and betraying all that they have held dear? How do they show that they love him even though they cannot imagine cheering for the maroon team all season long? I do not envy their position. I’m glad I never had to make such a decision with my kids and their instructional league teams. I did come pretty close to such a conundrum when my son was on a certain baseball team from the New England area, but that wasn’t nearly as big of a deal as this. While I cannot help them navigate the ins and outs of what colors they should wear (I can’t imagine them wearing anything maroon – ever) and when to cheer at their son’s games, I can be there for them. I can support them. I can bring a smile on their face.

Just in time for the football season, the new Jell-O Jigglers University Mold Kits make an awesome addition to any die-hard fan’s tailgating arsenal. I went to Walmart.com and bought the Hook’em University of Texas kit. These kits are available for 20 of the major collegiate athletics programs around the country. They can be found in store for your local university team, but since Austin, Texas, is more than a thousand miles away from central Indiana, it made a whole lot more sense to have them ship the kit to me.

Walmart #TeamJello screenshot

The kit arrived a few days later and I quickly went to work. This family was down on their luck. They needed some serious cheering up. This was a job for some Jell-O pie and University of Texas Jigglers.

Making the Hook’em Jigglers

Hook'em Jigglers University Mold Kit #TeamJellO

Shaped like the head of a Longhorn, these Jigglers were extremely easy to make. You simply spray the mold tray, mix the Jell-O in a bowl with some boiling water, and then pour the mix into the molds. It’s really as simple as that. The hardest part is the wait. You need to let them cool for three hours before you do anything with them. Since I love orange Jell-O, this was a challenge. But I toughed it out.

Making the Jell-O Pie

Jell-O Pie #TeamJello

While the Jigglers were cooling, I went about making the Jell-O Pie. It’s so silky and smooth and tasty, you’d think it took some serious culinary skill to create such a masterpiece. Fortunately for me, it was as easy as…well…as easy as pie. Here’s what you do to make a Jell-O pie:

Ingredients

  • 1 Pie crust. Baked. You can make your own from scratch if you’d like, but the premade, frozen variety works fine, too.
  • 1 Pint of vanilla ice cream. Softened.
  • 1 Box of Orange Jell-O mix. You can use any flavor mix that you’d like. I used orange because the Longhorns are orange and it just made sense.
  • 1 1/4 cup of boiling water.
  • 4 ounces (approximately) of whipped topping
  • 10 Jigglers

Directions

  1. Combine softened ice cream, Jell-O mix, and boiling water into a bowl. Stir until mixed through.
  2. Pour the mixture into the pie crust.
  3. Place pie in the refrigerator. Allow it to cool.
  4. Once it has cooled, add a layer of whipped topping.
  5. After your Jigglers have finished cooling, use them to decorate the top of the pie.

See? It’s amazingly simple. It might be a little time consuming, but it is definitely worth the wait!

Jell-O Pie with Jigglers #TeamJellO

I can’t wait to take these to my friends’ house. They’re going to love sharing their Texas Longhorns school spirit together! Even though they might have to endure the maroon for a short time, all of them are Longhorns to the core. This Jell-O pie and these Hook’em Jigglers are sure to knock their socks off!

Game winning combination #TeamJellO

The Hook’em University Mold Kit and Jell-O pie are a game-winning combination!

 

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