+
upworthy
Joy

Teen with autism makes record-breaking Jenga block tower, inspiring Hallmark holiday movie

15-year-old Auldin Maxwell, who stacked an astonishing 1,840 Jenga pieces all on one single block, says using them helps tap into his creativity.

jenga, hallmark, hallmark christmas movie, guinness world records
Canva

Maxwell hold two Jenga-realted world records

At the ripe old age of fifteen, Auldin Maxwell is already breaking world records and inspiring Hallmark movies.

Maxwell landed his first spot in the Guinness World Records in November 2020, when he successfully balanced 693 Jenga blocks all on top of one vertical facing Jenga block.

Only four months later, he broke his own record by stacking 1,400 Jenga blocks onto one vertical block, more than doubling the original amount. He then broke the record for most Jenga GIANT blocks (500) stacked on top of a single vertical Jenga GIANT block.


And now, 15, Maxwell has re-broken both of his previous records—with a tower of 900 Jenga GIANT blocks, and a staggering pile of 1,840 regular Jenga blocks.

world record christmas, hallmark hallmark holiday movie, jenga world record

Maxwell's story inspired a Hallmark holiday movie titled "World Record Christmas"

Screenshot from Guinness Word Records/Youtube

Maxwell, who is on the autism spectrum, told Guinness World Records that his passion came naturally, saying that he had “one or two Jenga sets, and I just started building different designs and came up with stacking ideas.”

He even watched videos of different Jenga block records, and when he realized he had enough pieces to attempt breaking the most Jenga blocks on a vertical Jenga block, he became determined to do so.

Though it involved a lot of trial and error, eventually Maxwell had a system in place—starting each attempt with another enjoyable activity like riding his unicycle or playing basketball, listening to music while working and taking a half hour break when he felt the structure might collapse to allow for a fresh perspective.

“For me, it’s an engineering challenge, and using them really taps into my creativity!” he said.

Maxwell’s accomplishments have also inspired a heartwarming Hallmark movie titled “A World Record Christmas,” which debuted on 16 November.

The story centers around a neurodivergent boy named Charlie who, like Maxwell, is set on earning a title for Guinness World Records by stacking 1,400 Jenga blocks on top of one single vertical Jenga block.

Charlie gets the opportunity to fulfill this dream on Christmas Eve, which becomes a community event that raises money for children with autism.

You can watch Maxwell in action below, courtesy of Guinness World Records. It’s pretty incredible to watch, not to mention nerve-wracking. But then again anxiety is all part of what makes Jenga fun. And unlike most Jenga towers, this one doesn’t wobble at all.

Enjoy.

Humanity truly never runs out of unique discoveries.

popular

10 anti-holiday recipes that prove the season can be tasty and healthy

Balance out heavy holiday eating with some lighter—but still delicious—fare.

Albertson's

Lighten your calorie load with some delicious, nutritious food between big holiday meals.

True

The holiday season has arrived with its cozy vibe, joyous celebrations and inevitable indulgences. From Thanksgiving feasts to Christmas cookie exchanges to Aunt Eva’s irresistible jelly donuts—not to mention leftover Halloween candy still lingering—fall and winter can feel like a non-stop gorge fest.

Total resistance is fairly futile—let’s be real—so it’s helpful to arm yourself with ways to mitigate the effects of eating-all-the-things around the holidays. Serving smaller amounts of rich, celebratory foods and focusing on slowly savoring the taste is one way. Another is to counteract those holiday calorie-bomb meals with some lighter fare in between.

Contrary to popular belief, eating “light” doesn’t have to be tasteless, boring or unsatisfying. And contrary to common practice, meals don’t have to fill an entire plate—especially when we’re trying to balance out heavy holiday eating.

It is possible to enjoy the bounties of the season while maintaining a healthy balance. Whether you prefer to eat low-carb or plant-based or gluten-free or everything under the sun, we’ve got you covered with these 10 easy, low-calorie meals from across the dietary spectrum.

Each of these recipes has less than 600 calories (most a lot less) per serving and can be made in less than 30 minutes. And Albertsons has made it easy to find O Organics® ingredients you can put right in your shopping cart to make prepping these meals even simpler.

Enjoy!

eggs and green veggies in a skillet, plate of baconNot quite green eggs and ham, but closeAlbertsons

Breakfast Skillet of Greens, Eggs & Ham

273 calories | 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 (5 oz) pkg baby spinach

2 eggs

1 clove garlic

4 slices prosciutto

1/2 medium yellow onion

1 medium zucchini squash

1/8 cup butter, unsalted

1 pinch crushed red pepper

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bow of cauliflower ham saladGet your cauliflower power on.Albertsons

Creamy Cauliflower Salad with Ham, Celery & Dill

345 calories | 20 minutes

1/2 medium head cauliflower

1 stick celery

1/4 small bunch fresh dill

8 oz. ham steak, boneless

1/2 shallot

1/4 tspblack pepper

1/4 tsp curry powder

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp garlic powder

3 Tbsp mayonnaise

1/8 tsp paprika

2 tsp red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

tofu on skewers on a plate with coleslawPlant-based food fan? This combo looks yums. Albertsons

Grilled Chili Tofu Skewers with Ranch Cabbage, Apple & Cucumber Slaw

568 calories | 20 minutes

1 avocado

1/2 English cucumber

1 (12 oz.) package extra firm tofu

1 Granny Smith apple

3 Tbsp (45 ml) Ranch dressing

1/2 (14 oz bag) shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)

2 tsp chili powder

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

frittata in a cast iron skilletSometimes you just gotta frittata.Albertsons

Bell Pepper, Olive & Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata with Parmesan

513 calories | 25 minutes

6 eggs

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted

2 oz Parmesan cheese

1 red bell pepper

1/2 medium red onion

8 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with slices of grilled chicken and a caprese saladCaprese, if you please.Albertsons

Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Classic Caprese Salad

509 calories | 25 minutes

3/4 lb chicken breasts, boneless skinless

1/2 small pkg fresh basil

1/2 (8 oz pkg) fresh mozzarella cheese

1 clove garlic

3 tomatoes

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 3/4 pinches black pepper

1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

four stuffed mushrooms on a plateThese mushrooms look positively poppable.Albertsons

Warm Goat Cheese, Parmesan & Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms

187 calories | 35 minutes

1/2 lb cremini mushrooms

1 clove garlic

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

2 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1 1/4 pinches crushed red pepper

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with open English muffin with goat cheese and sliced baby tomatoes on topMove over, avocado toast. English muffin pizzas have arrived.Albertsons

English Muffin Pizzas with Basil Pesto, Goat Cheese & Tomatoes

327 calories | 10 minutes

3 Tbsp (45 ml) basil pesto

2 English muffins

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/2 pint grape tomatoes

3/4 pinch black pepper

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

pita pocket on a plate filled with veggies, meat and cheeseThis pita pocket packs a colorful punch.Albertsons

Warm Pita Pocket with Turkey, Cheddar, Roasted Red Peppers & Parsley

313 calories | 20 minutes

1/4 (8 oz) block cheddar cheese

1/2 bunch Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

4 oz oven roasted turkey breast, sliced

1/2 (12 oz) jar roasted red bell peppers

1 whole grain pita

3/4 pinch black pepper

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp mayonnaise

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with toast smeared with avocado and topped with prosciuttoDid we say, "Move over, avocado toast?" What we meant was "Throw some prosciutto on it!" Albertsons

Avocado Toast with Crispy Prosciutto

283 calories | 10 minutes

1 avocado

2 slices prosciutto

2 slices whole grain bread

1 5/8 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp onion powder

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bowl of chili with cheese and green onions on topVegetarian chili with a fall twistAlbertsons

Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili with Cheddar

444 calories | 30 minutes

2 (15 oz can) black beans

1/2 (8 oz ) block cheddar cheese

2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

2 green bell peppers

1 small bunch green onions (scallions)

1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin purée

1 medium yellow onion

1/2 tsp black pepper

5 7/8 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp cumin, ground

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

For more delicious and nutritious recipes, visit albertsons.com/recipes.

Image shared by Madalyn Parker

Madalyn shared with her colleagues about her own mental health.


Madalyn Parker wanted to take a couple days off work. She didn't have the flu, nor did she have plans to be on a beach somewhere, sipping mojitos under a palm tree.

Parker, a web developer from Michigan, wanted a few days away from work to focus on her mental health.

Keep ReadingShow less

20 high school students lift car to rescue mom and toddler

Some people are in the right place at the right time when tragedy strikes. A mother and her 2-year-old are both lucky to be alive after being struck by a car that was blinded by the sun. Bridgette Ponson was walking across the parking lot of Layton Christian Academy in Utah when the accident occurred.

Students rushed to the car realizing that Ponson and her two small children were stuck beneath it. While the 3-year-old managed to free themselves to crawl from under the car, the mom was trapped on top of her younger child unable to move. Help arrived nearly instantly in the form of more than 20 high school students, an United States Airman.

The school's surveillance cameras caught the entire heart-stopping rescue on video as the teens struggled to lift the car. Eventually, the high schoolers were able to lift the car high enough for senior airman Dominique Childress to help pull the mom and toddler to safety.

Keep ReadingShow less
Education

Kids in 1966 shared their predictions for the year 2000 and it's fascinating to see now

In many ways, the future turned out much brighter than these youngsters expected it to.

Thankfully, this girl's prediction was way off.

The idea of predicting the future has been the subject of countless books, movies and televisions shows (and is basically the basis of all gambling). Outside of a few uncanny instances, no one can tell exactly what the future holds, especially for the world at large. But people sure love to predict it anyway.

The BBC shared a video compilation of kids in 1966 sharing what they imagine the year 2000 would be like, and their predictions are fascinating. After five or six kids share, it becomes clear what some of the most pressing concerns of the 1960s were. Some kids thought we'd have bombed ourselves into oblivion. Others believed we'd be so overpopulated we would be packed like sardines and wouldn't be able to build houses anymore.

Not all of the predictions were so dark. Some kids had some hilarious predictions about cabbage pills and robots. Others thought we'd have better cures for diseases and less segregation among the races, which we have.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

A surprising number of moms secretly hate Christmas. Here's how to bring back the joy.

No one talks about the mental and emotional toll of having to make all the holiday magic.

Canva

Some moms are done with the holidays long before they start.

The holidays are supposed to be magical, right? Who doesn't love the decked halls, the pretty light displays, the big meals with family, the visits from Santa, the Elf on the Shelf's antics, the cookie exchanges, the caroling, the Nativity pageants, the presents under the tree and all the things that fill the Christmas season with joy and wonder?

A whole host of moms responsible for making all of those things happen, that's who.

This time of year, parenting groups start seeing anonymous posts from overwhelmed moms who admit to hating Christmas because the role of making magic for everyone else in the family has become too much. "I feel terrible for saying it but I've come to loathe the holidays," one mom shares before laying out the laundry list of magic-making to-dos added onto her already full schedule. "Is it normal to start crying in the grocery store because it's all just too much?"

Inevitably, the comments start filling up with others who feel the same way. "This is me." "I totally feel you." "I hate this time of year, too. I just can't wait for it to be over." Cue the shame and guilt of admitting a truth that no one wants to say out loud because who on Earth hates Christmas?

Clearly, this is not how any holiday is supposed to be. How did we get here and how do we fix it?

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

11 award-winning photos that captured lovely and laughable wedding moments from 2023

Weddings bring up all kinds of emotions. These photographers knew exactly how to celebrate that.

this year's IWPOTY gave us a Disney princess

Just like the love bonds they celebrate, weddings contain a multitude of feelings—romance, commitment, joy, silliness, both reverence and irreverence all at the same time.

And wedding photographers are given the challenging task of capturing each of those emotions stirred throughout the event. Somehow, through their handful of images, we are supposed to get a glimpse into the unique lives parents are creating together. It’s obviously not easy, but the great photographers make it look effortless.

Every year, the International Wedding Photographer of the Year (IWPOTY) Awards takes entries of outstanding wedding photography from around the globe in various categories like Epic Location, Solo Portrait, and Break the Rules.

Judges selected the most memorable images from 1,700 submissions, and 2023’s winners include a rock-climbing bride and groom, a breathtaking aerial photo, and a moonlit kiss that belongs in a fairytale.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Neighbor does an amazing act of kindness for father of 3 who lost his wife

“I see him doing the absolute best that he can with what he has.”

Colin McConnell surprises his neighbor with an incredible amount of gifts.

An incredible story out of Detroit, Michigan, shows how the power of kindness can multiply. Colin McConnell is a writer who lives in a duplex next to Donald Wilson, a single father, who lives with his 3 young kids, ages 5,3 and 1. Sadly, the mother of the 3 children passed away a few months ago, leading Wilson to raise them by himself.

"He told me that the kids are going to be around a lot more because their mother had passed," McConnell told WXYZ. "And the kids were walking up the stairs at the time. I just saw their little legs and my heart just broke instantly. I wanted to do something more for them. And he said, 'We don’t really have winter coats.’ I thought he had three daughters because the son was wearing his sister’s clothes — it was because he didn't even have clothes."

McConnell had tried to help the single dad by watching his kids from time to time or picking them up some donuts from the coffee shop. But he felt he had to do more. “I see him doing the absolute best that he can with what he has,” McConnell said. “I know from having conversations with him that he's having a difficult time, and so are his [kids],” he said in a viral TikTok video.

Keep ReadingShow less