Year #2 Week #27

Hello my friends! I’m a day late posting again. I have no idea where my brain is at, maybe on summer vacation? Anyways, last week was full of kindness for AMOK and celebrating Independence Day with family and friends during their time off.

Last Monday the kids and I put a bunch of quarters on treat machines outside of the grocery store. Tuesday we brought some Dum Dum suckers with us when we helped serve lunch to hungry kids in the park. They’re little allergen free balls of sugar! Wednesday we smoked meat and had a picnic for friends of ours that are moving to Japan. They’re a military family so moving is normal to them, but we’re very sad to say goodbye. Thursday I made dinner for ten women and children escaping their abusers in a shelter. Baked ziti casserole, garlic bread, salad, and brownies looked really yummy. Friday we brought the kids to their favorite park with huge tube slides. It’s over an hour away, but was well worth the trip. Saturday we held an ice cream social and game party for our neighbors. We managed to gather a ton of donations for the Heartland Animal Shelter and had an awesome time just hanging out! Then Sunday I left some quarters and accouterments at the local ‘fluff and fold’. Doing laundry stinks, but maybe this act of kindness made that chore a bit easier.

So, this is the last week of Random Acts’ Annual Melee of Kindness. Then it will be time to start figuring out what I should endure for E4K! Unfortunately, the neuropathy in my feet from chemo makes running a 5K dangerous and not within my reach. Slight road block, but I’ll figure it out. Maybe I’ll Zumba for a few hours? Hope you all are having a lovely summer, hugs!

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Year #2 Week #26

Hello there everyone!  We’re finally back from South Carolina and all settled back into our routine.  We had to spend an extra day in Charleston due to some storms going through the Chicagoland area.  Which wasn’t really difficult, it’s gorgeous there!  I usually write on Sundays, but last night it slipped my mind.  Sorry for the delay.  We’re about halfway through AMOK and still going strong.  Let me catch you up on what kindness trouble I got into last week.

Monday we were still at the beach, however we knew it was our last day.  So we made a trip to a local non-profit thrift store to donate all our beach gear that wouldn’t fit on the plane.  Someone will love the beach chairs, canopy, sand toys, and shovels.  Tuesday was a bit nuts because they cancelled our flight after we checked out of our hotel.  However, I did leave a tip and some snacks for the hotel cleaning staff before we left.  Wednesday morning we gave our pool noodles to some new friends before we boarded the plane.  Thursday I dropped off a large donation to a local thrift store that supports a non-profit. (Argh… didn’t mean to repeat a donation act so soon, at least they were for different organizations in different states) Friday I paid for one Gish scholarship, I may not be participating in the hunt this year but now someone else can!  Saturday I made some phone calls to friends and family that I haven’t talked to in awhile.  And yesterday I did some of my husband’s chores so he could get a little break.  He hates cleaning the tubs, hee hee!

My friends, I am finally starting to figure out a new goal for the next few months.  Just a few more details to work out and then I’ll share with you.  I know it’s taking forever!  Have a great Independence Day.  Please stay safe and have some fun, hugs!

Year #2 Week #25

Hello from South Carolina, my friends! We’ve been coming to this same beach for five years now. We love our little Isle of Palms. Random Acts’ event AMOK (Annual Melee of Kindness) is in full swing and I’ve been performing an act of kindness everyday for this momentous event. Usually AMOK is only one day, but this year it’s for a whole month! Woo-hoo!

Since we took a plane to our paradise this year, I didn’t have room to pack a ton of supplies for AMOK. It’s been an interesting week to say the least. Everyday we’ve been at the beach we’ve cleaned up a bit, which is a great act of kindness for the environment. Monday I tried to be nice to myself after loosing my prescription sunglasses in the ocean during the first ten minutes of swimming. That was a tough one, my friends. Tuesday I noticed a painter working on the public restroom all day, so I brought him a nice cold water bottle from our cooler. Wednesday I donated some funds to a non-profit helping refugees in Syria that my friend recommended. Thursday I tipped our tour guide at the Charleston Tea Plantation, he was awesome! (Plus, it’s the only tea plantation in the US and my picture for this week is of some of the baby plants!) Friday I handed out three five dollar lotto scratch offs to some cashiers. Saturday we gave our parking ticket to the person behind us, so they could use the hour and a half left over. And today I thanked some other non-profits and tried to use my voice for self advocacy when it comes to your health. Phew, that was a mouthful!

Mostly though, we’ve just been having fun in the sun with a little kindness mixed in! Hugs!

Year #2 Week #24

Hello everyone! This week was crazy! Between getting ready to go to the beach and preparing for Random Acts’ month of AMOK (Annual Melee of Kindness) things were very fast paced. We did serve lunch in the park again for children who qualify for free school lunches during the year. The kids really seem to enjoy helping out there, everyone is just so kind and thankful.

We also went to Brickworld yesterday, the convention for all things LEGO (and LEGO knock offs). My inner Star Trek nerd escaped the second she saw the USS Enterprise made completely out of legos! That was amazing! The kids were stunned speechless by some of the large, motorized, and light up creations.

My first two days of AMOK were very simple acts of kindness. The first day I gave everyone I could kind compliments. It’s wonderful how much a few nice words from a stranger can mean to someone. And for the second day (today) I opened doors and let people go in front of me in line. Since we were in two busy airports today, this act turned out lovely! People were just so thrilled, and it was really minor that we had to run to our gate. Whoops, oh well, we made it here to the beach!

Hope you are all having a spectacular Father’s Day! I’m trying to #GetKind and let my husband slack a little because he’s the best Dad and deserves it! Hugs!

Year #2 Week #23

Hello there everyone!  This week was all about Random Acts’ #KindnessChallenge for this month.  The theme is ‘Loving Yourself’ which I just call ‘self care’ kindness.  And yes, it is still the hardest for me.  I’m way better at caring for others than myself for some odd reason.  So, the kids and I took two trips downtown to visit with friends.  We went to Lincoln Park Zoo and Shedd Aquarium.  Despite the crazy traffic, everything was a blast and well worth the effort.  We took the next few days easy.  Lazing about, playing outside, and eating chicken tenders were top priority.  Then we saw both sides of our extended family yesterday for some trampoline and flower planting fun.

Now, of course I had to find one act of kindness to do amongst the ‘self care’.  Since I left the food pantry, I’ve felt the pull to help feed the hungry.  It just so happens my friend, Pastor Kris, started an awesome program a few years ago that we needed to check out.  As you all know, there are many school age children that are provided state funded lunches and breakfasts during the school year.  Did you ever wonder who feeds them during the summer?  The extra strain of those meals can break a family’s budget.  So, he started a park lunch program for kids.

The kids and I went to a local park and helped serve lunch once this week.  We had a ton of fun.  Emma was in charge of helping everyone sanitize their hands before receiving their meal.  Dan was in charge of handing out the milk that went with the meals.  The other adult volunteer kept count for the records, while I handed out the main meal.  During slow times the kids played on the park equipment and made some new friends.  The kids were very friendly, thankful, and eager to help with the cleanup after their meal.  It was a perfect lunchtime adventure in kindness.

Now, I need to get back to my AMOK planning.  The Annual Melee of Kindness starts in a week, so it’s time for me to firm up all my plans.  Hope you all are doing well, hugs!

Year #2 Week #22

Hey there everyone! Summer has finally arrived. My kids finished Kindergarten and Second Grade this week. They both enjoyed their teachers beyond measure and were slightly sad to see the school year end. We found some ways to spread kindness along the way.

We bought a bunch of pencils, erasers, pencil bags, and pencil shapeners for a donation drive held by our local ‘Girls on the Run’ Club for students in need in Kenya. Some of the supplies we picked were from a company that donates an identical item for every item they sell. That’s a win win in my book! I also volunteered a bit with the PTO, which is always an awesome time.

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Supplies for students in Kenya

Random Acts also started a new #KindnessChallenge all about ‘loving yourself’ or self care kindness. This one is hard for me. I enjoy focusing on helping others, but to do that properly I have to take care of myself too. So, I started by having a really fun Momma play date with a friend without the kids. We might have had a bit of silly fun playing with new toys that arrived during our visit.

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Dinosaur puppet fun

Random Acts also announced the dates of their AMOK event this year. AMOK stands for the Annual Melee of Kindness. Usually on this day people all over the world will go out into their community and cause some kindness trouble. This year they’re holding this event for a whole month! Yeah!!! Thirty days of performing as many acts of kindness as I can. I cannot wait, I’m already starting to plan, the possibilities are endless my friends.

I hope you all had a great weekend! Tomorrow the kids and I are going to the zoo, hugs!

Year #2 Week #21

Hello my friends! I am visiting my family in Oshkosh this weekend for the holiday, so this post will be short. This week I gathered a bunch of old books and music to donate to various organizations. I highly suggest going through your bookshelves and weaning them a bit. There are many small lending libraries and waiting rooms that could use some new reading material. Seriously, just google where to donate books. Literally a zillion places pop up!

I also volunteered at the school’s field day on Friday.  I spent the morning with the second graders and the afternoon with the Kindergarten classes. Such fun! There were even potato sack races, woo hoo!

I hope you all have a lovely holiday weekend, hugs!

Year #2 Week #20

Hello there my friends!  This week I didn’t have much planned in the kidness department.  I wanted to spend the week just fulfilling random acts of kindness that came my way.  Last year these ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ days made me extremely nervous.  I was so afraid that no opportunities for kindness would come my way without planning.  However, now that I’ve worked kindness into my everyday routine and changed my lifestyle to actively be as kind as possible, these random days are easy.

I’m not going to bore you with all the details of these acts because that’s not really what my project is about anymore.  It seems to be evolving a bit, doesn’t it?  Sure, I still love to share all my kindness shenanigans with you.  But what seems to be more important to me right now is sharing my new found philosophy.  I thought that when the year ended I would just go back to my old ways of not thinking I can make any sort of difference in the world.  Go back to sulking about all the things I couldn’t accomplish.

I’ve realized that making a commitment to living the most kind and respectful life that I can though is a huge accomplishment.  I have absolutely changed who I am and how I impact the world.  These acts of kindness have turned me into a person who tries really hard to be kind no matter what the world throws at me.  These kind acts have seeped into every crevasse of my personality.  And honestly, I didn’t expect that to happen.  I didn’t think I would change.

Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone just suddenly woke up one day and decided to be kind.  What would our society look like if everyone just tried to add some kindness?  What could we solve if we focused on being kind no matter what the universe threw at us?  No matter how stressed, how important, how overwhelmed we get we just agree to stay kind.  I know my world has changed a ton just with this simple philosophy, this small change.

Just try it, my friends.  Nothing fancy, just be kind for a day, a week, a month, a year.  Just resolve to stay kind despite all the annoying crap the world throws at you.  I’m not asking you to put brand new shoes on and drink the spiked kool-aide.  See how big the ripple you make with kindness can get and see how it can change your soul.  Hugs!

Year #2 Week #19

Happy Mother’s Day my friends!  This week was jam packed full of school book fair fun.  I’m taking over as chairperson of the book fairs, so I needed to be there every second to soak up as much knowledge as I could.  I had a lovely time helping kids pick out books, working the registers, and hanging out with staff and fellow parents.  I also found plenty of ways to add acts of kindness during the week.

There were a bunch of last minute items to bring in each day.  Everyday we needed new and unsharpened pencils to refill our pencil pull game, sometimes twice in one day.  The kids can’t resist the pencils or the chance to win a free book.  There are always a few kids and parents who calculate tax wrong or just forget it all together.  So, bringing some change everyday helped make sure books weren’t left behind due to something as silly as tax.  Plastic bags were needed to make sure coins didn’t get lost in backpacks, and we had plenty at home.

As always, I make sure my kids pick out a book from their teacher’s ‘Wish List’ basket.  This time we also purchased a book for their music teacher and my son’s teacher from last year.  I love this option.  It’s a way for my kids to leave a piece of themselves in the classrooms and with the teachers they bonded with for a whole year.  This year I also witnessed another parent step up with a huge random act of kindness.

A boy came in crying one morning because his parents had said no to one of the more expensive books on his list.  He was trying so hard to be brave and stop crying.  He told me when checking out that he was really happy to be even getting one book.  However, he was afraid the book he really wanted wasn’t in the library.  There was a parent shopping during this time and he asked us which book his parents had said no to.  We told him and he bought the book for the student and asked that the change be put into our fundraising container.  It was a touching moment and I was ecstatic to have been there to see it.

Not only was the book fair running this past week, it was also Teacher Appreciation Week.  Everyday had a theme and ways for parents and kids to be involved.  Monday morning I had the honor of picking up donated doughnuts and delivering them to the schools. (Note I did not donate the 15 dozen doughnuts needed for our district, thanks to the Volo Dunkin Doughnuts!)  The teacher supply bar later in the week is my favorite.  We donated supplies last week, but I also dropped off 102 cards that I made to be placed in the supply bar.  The kids were eager to participate everyday.  My favorite was bring your teacher a piece of fruit, flower, or handmade drawing of a garden.  The kids picked out a bunch of bananas, flowers, and a gift card for their teachers.  Then we placed them in cute reusable bags with fun cards the kids made.

 

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Cards I made for Teacher Supply Bar.

 

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Bags the kids put together for their teachers.

Whew!  A ton happened this week and lots of kindness was accomplished.  Time for me to enjoy the rest of my Mother’s Day.  The handmade notes and cards I get from my kids are enough for it to be one of my favorite days of the year.  Snuggles to all you Mother’s out there (and yes, that includes fur babies!).  Make sure you take some time for ‘self care’ kindness today.  Hugs!

 

 

 

Year #2 Week #18

Hey there kindness people!  This week started with an act of ‘self care’ kindness.  I bought myself an early Mother’s Day present.  It’s a coffee mug straight out of the Star Trek universe.  Okay, it might look really bland, unlike Wesley Crusher’s sweaters, but this is the best cup ever!  You see, it’s self warming and controlled by an app on your phone.  That’s right folks!  No more putting my coffee mug down only to find it lukewarm a few minutes later.  It’s like the Goldilocks of cups, never to warm or cold, always just right.  And if I forget to charge it, that’s what Starbucks or any other decent coffee shop is for.  Who am I kidding, I’ll drink sludge masquerading as coffee too, ha!

This week was spent learning how to set up and run the school book fair.  The PTO needed a new chairperson for the three book fairs our district holds a year.  And I love books, so I volunteered.  I started the week off learning the website and how to place orders.  Then I moved on to helping make large banners for the school, copying flyers, and then getting said flyers into the teacher mailboxes.  The end of the week was reserved for setting up the gym with all the lovely merchandise.  There’s nothing I love more than browsing in a bookstore, ever since my library page days in high school.  I was meant for this job.  We open tomorrow and I am excited to sell some books, and a ton of miscellaneous weird school supplies.

 

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The $5 and under book cart!

 

This weekend was spent getting the jungle residing in my sunroom out into open air.  The temperature has finally stabilized and shouldn’t be going back to freezing anytime soon.  So, that called for getting my container garden outside.  Plus, we have plans to build some raised vegetable beds in the yard this year.  So, we needed to figure out exactly where and when we will be starting this project.  We’re waiting until June for this, so stay tuned.  It’s all part of my project for Random Acts’ #KindnessChallenge planting with purpose.  Most of these veggies will be going to a local food pantry with a few snagged by my family first.  Oh, I was also very surprised to see the strawberry plants in our berry garden have come back, spread out, and are already blooming.

 

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Container garden includes radishes, summer squash, cucumbers, beets, turnips, sunflowers, and onions.

 

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Future home of the small sugar pumpkin patch

 

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Strawberries popping up in between all the dead ground brush.

 

 

 

And last, but certainly not least, I sent two packs of socks to an internet friend who is having a sock drive for a homeless shelter.  This was supposed to be done weeks ago, but the viral sinus snafu interfered.  Oh, I’m also sending a pair of soft leggings that I bought during my last fundraiser for Random Acts to my Aussie Shadow. (Don’t know who my Aussie Shadow is? Read Day #38) She wanted to buy something to contribute, but unfortunately LuLaRoe doesn’t ship to Australia yet.

 

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SOCKS!!!

 

I hope you are all enjoying this lovely weather since spring has finally decided to grace us with her presence.  Stay strong, my friends.  Hugs!