MAC Grants for Teachers, a Giveaway for Everyone

Here we are, about halfway to Fall Break. Yes, the East Coast is still learning when the bus comes and how to get to class, but here in Indiana, we are well into the groove. Last week I learned about an fantastic opportunity offered to educators here in Central Indiana and today I’m excited to share that with you.

PLUS, there’s a giveaway that involves school supplies.


MAC grants with URLMcDonald’s of Central Indiana is happy to announce that they are accepting applications for the 15th annual MAC (Make Activities Count) Grants program. This program is open to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade teachers in Central Indiana, and awards of up to $500 will be made.

Isn’t that kind of cool? Do you remember middle school? I know so many people who’ve blocked it out. I’ve always thought that teachers of this age group are a special kind of angel. I know that living with a middle school student can be challenging (or so I’ve heard). I can’t quite imagine spending my days with 25-30 of the them. But the teachers that I’ve met who teach middle school LOVE teaching middle school, and I’m so grateful for that.

This program allows teachers to think outside of the box (and budget constraints) and offer their students something they may not be able to experience otherwise.

For more information, please visit for additional information and an online application.


To help spread the word, McDonald’s of Central Indiana is facilitating a giveaway- one lucky reader will win a McDonald’s branded backpack, filled with some McDonald’s goodies, food coupons…and a $25 Target gift card.

To enter, leave a comment telling me something not-awful about your middle school experience. For additional entries, leave a separate comment for each time you share this post. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google Plus sharing is encouraged, so that teachers can learn about this opportunity. Feel free to share on each platform up to once a day! Just be sure you leave a comment each time you do.

A winner will be chosen Sunday evening around 9pm, and the winner will have 24 hours to respond. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

Disclosure: I’m getting a prize backpack too, but all opinions about this program are my own.

Want to increase your chances to win? Check out other local #McDsIndyMoms and their giveaways!

Indy Home School

a Latte with Ott, A


First 5k After 40: Weeks 3 & 4 {and a Giveaway}

Updated: This Giveaway is now closed & the winner notified. Thanks to everyone who entered- I got a LOT of extra steps in this week!

As I sit here, I have an ice bag on my ankle. The good news is that I’ve clocked 13k steps today, including a couple of miles on the treadmill! The past two weeks have driven home what a good decision signing up for the Finishline 500 Festival 5k was, versus the Mini-Marathon (there is nothing mini about it).

Last week we found ourselves down one vehicle. While the van was getting serviced, our usual routines were disrupted, including my workouts. I still made it to the gym twice, but I didn’t meet my goal of five days that week (I know, who am I that that is my goal?). Saturday I did go for a walk with friends. This week I’ve gotten more miles in, but my pace is realistically a 20:0 minutes mile. Which is fine. It’s a still an actual pace, which is better than no pace at all.

I’ve learned that a companion is crucial to training, as is making a date to workout. I’ve put workouts on my calendar like any other appointment, and every weekend, my friend and I figure out which days we can workout on the treadmill together.

With just a week left before race day, I need to bump up my game. I’m going to have to get outside and do 5k a couple of times this coming week. As soon as I get this ice bag off my ankle!

{The Giveaway}

Are you needing a little motivation? Some goodies to get you moving? McDonalds and I can help! Leave a comment telling me your favorite kind of exercise, or the kind of exercise you’d like to try, and you will be entered to win a fun prize pack from McDonalds, including a t-shirt, pedometer, water bottle and a few other goodies.

For additional entries, share this  giveaway on social media, and leave a separate comment for each share.

As an added incentive….I will walk 1,000 steps for every entry and report back here when I do. I will do my best to walk your 1,000 steps the day that you enter. So…enter away, and I’ll get to walking! (*So, on a non-gym day, I typically do 6,000 steps. I’ll do a 1,000 over the baseline of 6,000 for every entry) 

This giveaway will be open until the night before the Finish Line 500 Festival 5k. Entries will be open thru 9pm on May 2nd. Winner will have 24 hours to respond- if there’s no response, a new winner will be chosen. Good luck! 

“Disclosure: McDonald’s of Central Indiana has provided benefits, including free Finish Line 500 Festival 5K registration, an Arch Card, a t-shirt and giveaway products in exchange for my participation in this campaign.

First 5k After 40 Training: Week 2

I am continuing to move in ways I haven’t in awhile. In preparation for my first post-40 5k, I’m checking in once a week and sharing my progress. I’m proud to say that Spring Break 2014 was full of fun, and full of exercise. We trekked through Conner Prairie, I got in three workouts at the gym, and then Saturday happened. Oh Saturday.

Leilan and I have become dedicated FitBit users. It’s basically a geeky pedometer that works with a smartphone app by syncing throughout the day. We’ve been using our devices since early March, and it’s been a great motivator to move more and sit less. Saturday though, we took this idea to a new level.

Saturday we had a friendly competition- we asked the kids, “Who will take more steps? Mommy or Daddy?”

Friends chimed in with their thoughts, and I had a good number of people on my side. Meg was rooting for me too. We started out just a few steps apart when we got into the car to go to the Children’s Museum.

“Do you want me to drop you off at the door?” he asked coyly.

“No, we can walk with you,” I answered.

In the museum we eventually got split up, and I was put on Andrew duty, which means we watched a lot of trains. After reconnecting, I discovered that he was ahead by quite a bit- while I was watching trains, he and Meg were all over the place! I left him in ScienceWorks on the fourth floor with the kids and “went for a walk”.

In case you were wondering, it’s about 700 steps to walk the ramps of the museum from the fourth floor to the basement and then back up again. I did it twice and evened the score. When we left the museum, we were once again within a couple hundred steps of each other.

Children's Museum Tweet

Here’s where it gets confusing. After we stopped for a bite to eat, we split up. Leilan was headed to the store to buy some clothes. I took the kids to Holland Park, where they played and I walked the path near the playground. I went over 10,000 steps there, and thought I had gained the lead.

As we were getting ready to head home, I got the following tweet. It looked like 10000 was not going to be the end of it.

date night tweet

That night on our date, we walked through Ritchey Woods- it was quite and peaceful and a nice way to reconnect with each other. We then drove to dinner, and parked at the end of the parking lot. When we were done, we walked over to the mall, walked around the mall and then walked back to the car.

When we finally picked up the kids, we compared notes.

SOMEHOW HE BEAT ME. I do not know what he did while clothes shopping, but clearly he walked around the store a few times. I also got distracted at the mall by shiny things, and I’m fairly certain he got a few more steps in while I looked at baubles. But seriously, how did he get so far ahead???


Even though I didn’t win, it was the most active Saturday we’ve had in awhile, and I booked 8 miles in my training log.

Final FitBit Challenge

With three weeks to go until the Finish Line 500 Festival 5k, I’m feeling like finishing this event is going to be a heck of a lot easier than our Saturday competition.

“Disclosure: McDonald’s of Central Indiana has provided benefits, including free Finish Line 500 Festival 5K registration, an Arch Card, a t-shirt and giveaway products in exchange for my participation in this campaign.