When We Last Spoke…

When we last spoke Mr. T was back from church camp and cheer camp, I was back from my Vegas birthday party trip, had completed my challenge of 40 Random Acts of Kindness before my 40th birthday and discovered I was getting older.

We shall not discuss me getting older.

Since then we’ve been just as busy!

First, there was the fund raiser for the cheerleaders – look at Mr. T striking a pose!

Cheerleading fundraiser car wash

And several of the girls were happy when the Shelby showed up!

Shelby

Right after that I went to our family birthday party for me and the Twin’s.  Because you can never have too many birthday parties!

birthday party

Jayman checking out his gift.

birthday party

Samantha super cute and excited over her gift. Birthday party Bella asking if I need any help0102dc9c5a40f91352d71d726ef084716cc79fea6c

And Joshua just jumping in to help me unwrap my gift!

The winner of the funniest gift goes to my parents.  They got me a “Cut Glove”

cut glove

It is designed to keep your hand safe when using sharp objects.

Baby blue

Which, we all know, I need all the help I can get!  (This picture is from several months ago when I sliced my finger open!)

The very next day I left for a four day work conference in San Antonio.  I am fortunate that several of my friends are also colleagues and we have fun – but more importantly, they are almost always up to driving me around carpooling.  At this conference I meet with clients, meet potential clients, and do lots and lots of training.  I try and hit every manufacture and rep group that is there and learn about the new equipment and get refreshers on the existing.  I did manage to get in some socializing time, as well.  🙂

Look! A car on a car!

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No flash, but one of the work parties was a Guns N Roses theme.  In case you were wondering, I’m not dressed up! I’m just naturally that rockin’! 01bb6ac18eb130be2d3ed73053c3a0a7771b7e8aa9

Check this out! It’s a Pirate Pigeon!  We had fun watching him one day at lunch time! 01a5aa0376b31dc21fd2360b72125f22a41d057b4d 01ca5a507ea4105a5d9c61ca06d8de71da2f8790ee Here is BA winning a contest at Coyote Ugly.  I’ve never been in this bar, but IT WAS JUST LIKE THE MOVIE!! I even had to duck when I ordered a glass of water – she had the soda gun aimed right at me!  I begged and pleaded, and she spared me! (This only makes sense if you’ve seen the movie – but trust me, I was almost drenched!)01b85db90470e00eb4c3f49561b9b9c6168b2e4a1c The view from my hotel room.  The strip of water below is part of The Riverwalk 01939db6759a6798d602a9a3d89f6c6c11585e1c01Little drink… big straw!  I got the straw for my birthday from the bar.  Because again, you can never have too many birthday parties!
01036c373659283d98e80bd6e9f93c30de68c6b73a And this is what we do when we are breaking down the booth but the truck isn’t at the dock yet!  I didn’t have the booth, but my wonderful car pool buddy did, and I was just along for the ride!

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I made it home safely and had one day to catch up at work and home and then jumped right into the Annual 4th of July Family Reunion!  This event is hosted by my parents every year, for over 25 years now, and it while it takes some time and effort to get the house and yard ready and the food prepped and cooked, it is so worth it!  We had so much fun!  And a really good turn out!

We broke in a new pool float!

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Gathering in the kitchen
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Check out my Pinterest inspired fruit dish! I was pretty jazzed over it!

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Dad’s homemade ice cream is second only to his BBQ Ribs!
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So, that was my last two weeks!  And for everyone who invited me to participate in an event or blog hop, I hope you will forgive me for turning your invitation down – there was no way I was fitting any more on my plate last month!  But, we had So. Much. Fun!  I’ll trade the lack of sleep for all of the memories made!

 

We All Can be a Ripple

I DID IT!!

no act of kindness no matter how small

 

I completed 40 Random Acts of Kindness before my 40th Birthday!!

I will admit that the other week I had a small panic attack when I realized that I hadn’t focused on my RAK list and Mr. T, who I’m not sure how he is so calm when I’m so hyper, said “Just take a look at the list, I bet that you’ve done more than you know.”

So, we sat down together and started going through the list, and darned if he wasn’t correct!  We both have completed more than 40 random acts of kindness – that’s a total of more than 80 RAKs!!

The Lorax

On another note, we both mentioned how hard it was to help someone with car trouble! I can’t tell you how many times we’ve stopped and asked only to be told that they were okay/had someone on the way/didn’t need anything.  So, we didn’t cross that one off, but not for lack of trying!

  1. Hold the door open for someone
  2. Teach a child something you wish you knew at that age
  3. Tip a waitress more than you normally would Done – at Starbucks 🙂
  4. Spend some time with a senior citizen
  5. Smile at a stranger
  6. Compliment a stranger Done! Thanks to Cranston for this http://cranstonholden.com/ Go check out his blog 🙂
  7. Put a quarter in a meter that is about ready to expire
  8. Leave the mail person a thank you card
  9. Donate unwanted items to a homeless shelter Done! I donated to a store on the campus of a high school that has a high homeless population
  10. Donate your unwanted suits to a place that caters to single moms re-entering the work force or older workers re-entering the work force.
  11. Smile at the Walmart greeter  Always!
  12. Help someone learn something new
  13. Bake someone a cake
  14. Carry someone’s bags to the car at the grocery store
  15. Walk or run for charity Done!  American Heart Walk in honor of my brother, Lee.
  16. Thank a soldier
  17. Let someone go in front of you in line Done!
  18. Say “thank you” to the cashier Easy!
  19. Share inspirational quotes
  20. Donate books to a school or library
  21. Give your box tops to a school ( found on General Mills products)
  22. Help someone for free
  23. Bring flowers to a co-worker, friend, or someone that may be having a hard time.
  24. Tell your family you love them.  I did this today! 11/20/13
  25. Donate coupons that have expired to a military family (they are honored at the military commissary)
  26. Buy that young mother a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, and a jar of peanut butter.
  27. Praise a parent for their child.  I’d like to think that I’ve compliments several of you reading this on your kids!
  28. Praise your boss  Done!
  29. Instead of asking for gifts ask your friends to do random acts of kindness on your birthday.
  30. Donate stuffed animals, coloring books, crayons, stickers, and little toys to the police station to hand out to sick, abused, or scared kids.
  31. Give someone a hug
  32. Help someone whose car is broken down
  33. Send a sunshine box to someone that is sick (put in Kleenex, their favorite cough drops, magazines, and anything that might cheer them up. Don’t forget the get well card )
  34. Hand out pennies at a wishing well or fountain. You never know whose wish you may help come true.
  35. Surprise someone with a cup cake, muffin, cookie, etc.
  36. Pre-stamp some thank you notes and hand them out, letting the recipient know to send it to someone they appreciate
  37. Hide notes in library books for someone else to find.
  38. Make or buy hats for kids that are suffering from cancer and donate them.
  39. Be a friend who listens
  40. Stick your change in the Ronald McDonald box at McDonald’s
  41. Make care packages and take them to a homeless shelter.  Modified into the Blessing bags
  42. Leave your newspaper for someone
  43. Donate blood The day this list went live, I got a tweet that the blood mobile was in my neighborhood – was it kismet or what?!? 🙂
  44. Donate school supplies to a school or preschool
  45. Call a friend and let them know you are thinking about them
  46. Donate a $1 (when asked in line at grocery/convenience store “would you like to donate” say yes)
  47. Thank the police or fire department (drop off a case of water) done 1/25/14
  48. Return a shopping cart for someone and save them the trip We’ve done this several times already – and it’s always been appreciated!
  49. Take new parents a date night kit. (Movie rental, popcorn, 2 liter of soda, and candy.)
  50. Collect canned food for a food bank
  51. Hand out Valentine cards with lollipops on Valentine’s Day.
  52. Write a letter to someone who made a difference in your life.
  53. Pick up trash.
  54. Plant a tree
  55. Pat someone on the back
  56. Take little care packages to a Cancer center. Fill them with a travel size hand lotion, chapstick, and purse size package of antibacterial wipes. They will be much appreciated!
  57. Pay it Forward at the coffee shop Mr. T and I bought the coffee order of the people behind us in the drive thru
  58. Make and distribute Blessing Bags to the homeless
  59. Listen intently to people’s stories without trying to fix everything
  60. Offer your seat to someone when there aren’t any left.

I was really pleased to challenge myself and to work with Mr. T and show him that you don’t need a lot of money to change the world and that small acts can become habits!  I think that the biggest lesson we learned was that we may not be able to make a huge change, but we can make lots of small changes that have a huge ripple in the world.

We can do that – we can all be a ripple.

Pay it forward

Blessing Bags and Coffee

Let me start by updating you on my 40 Random Acts of Kindness before my 40th BD!  I’m just so super excited about this.  I love helping others, but what has really made this worth while is showing Mr. T that you can change the world, one small act at a time.  As I’ve mentioned before, several of the items are low or no cost, because I wanted to drive home the point to everyone that you don’t have to have a lot of money to make a big different in someone else’s life! You can see the full list here.

Today we dropped off a case of water at the local fire station.  This is the Fire Department that responded when mom and dad’s house caught fire when I was 7 mo pregnant and was storing all of my stuff at their place. So, they have a special place in my heart.  We ended up just leaving the case of water at the front door, as I couldn’t get in and didn’t want to go wandering through the fire house! But, Mr. T enjoyed it – he felt good leaving them a surprise!

RAK Firetruck

If you took time to read the list, you’ll see that I crossed out “make a care package and drop it off at a homeless shelter” and made a note that I changed this to Blessing Bags.  If you don’t know about Blessing Bags, they are pretty awesome!  The goal is to make a little bags to keep in your car to hand out when you see a homeless person, sometimes I’m just not comfortable handing out money, so this is a great alternative.  These bags are all over Pinterest if you are interested, (and you can follow me by clicking on the link to the right!)

I read through some of the ideas and then headed out.  I did my grocery shopping with my handy dandy calculator on my phone and discovered that I was going to come out $30 under budget… so it was time to start! I bought what I could at the grocery story and then headed to the Dollar Store to fill in the gaps!

blessing bagsI grabbed brown paper bags and a case of water.  Then I grabbed:

  • Kleenex,
  • moist wipes,
  • lip balm,
  • snack crackers,
  • granola bars,
  • toothbrushes and paste,
  • combs and
  • band-aids.

I put out a call on Facebook that I was putting these together and taking donations of supplies and my mom responded almost immediately.  I picked up a big bag of sample size shampoo’s and lotion’s (Read: gathered up from all of the hotels she and dad has stayed at!) and I get to add those to the bags as well!  I’ll get the first 20 bags put together and these will go with Mr. T and his youth group at church the next time they go downtown to distribute food to the homeless.  I’m pretty excited.  Due to my mom’s donation, for about $2 each, these bags should be full of items to help someone out.  There is food and water to feed their insides.  There will be lip balm and wipes to take care of their outsides.  I have found a bible verse to put on a gift tag to help feed their soul.  I think that covers the basics.  And, hopefully, they will be appreciated and something that will last longer than cans of food.

Anyway, I’m pretty darn excited about it! I’ll keep a couple in my car to hand out, too.

Lastly, let me address the coffee part, since it is part of the title of the blog!

My Keurig broke several days ago.  I spent time trouble shooting it on Google, I called and spent 30 minutes on the phone with Keurig customer support and they finally let me know that it was not fixable.  Ugh.  They did offer me a “discount” on a new unit.

Well, after a little more time on Google and varies on-line retail shops, I discovered that their “discount” could easily be beat!  And, not only could their discount be beat, but I could get a different color…

purple keurigHello lovely!  Let me tell you – this beautiful purple joy was worth suffering through 3 days of decaf coffee!

A Million Thanks!

Okay, I have so much going on – and not near enough time for all of it.

Work has exploded, which is good, as it pays my bills.  Personal life is still as small as ever, but super busy.

I have a friend coming to spend a couple of weeks with me next week, and I’m not prepared. At all.

I have a friend coming over Friday night… I’m not even prepared for that!

Mr. T wants to graduate a year early.  I’m so not ready for that, and in fact and am in denial.  Especially about the money I have to find to support the extra classes he has to take off campus in order to accomplish this!

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Let me go water my money tree in the back yard :/

The holidays are almost here – are you kidding me? 11 Saturdays until Christmas.  11.  You heard me.  11.

I crossed something my Bucket List today – but it’s too fun not to devote an entire blog to it, so you have to wait for that, I want to be able to do it justice!

Oh! And I won a contest and got a free book!

But… as I’ve been working on my Random Acts of Kindness, I ran across this blog today from my pal at Being a Lady is Overrated.  Now, normally I’d just reblog it from her site, but I had other stuff to tell you about, too – so um, Lady, forgive me, but I’m doing a copy/paste because I’m super excited about it!

I plan to take cards to my family Thanksgiving dinner and invite my entire family to participate (I won’t force them too, but you can bet I will tell you who doesn’t!!!) 🙂  Hi mom!  I wouldn’t really do that.  Okay, I would.  Who am I kidding?

Go visit and give a follow to Being a Lady is Overrated and then join me and Lady and Pickles (I have to catch up on my nicknames – that could be her wonderful son or another friend… I can’t keep it all straight right now!) and send a Thank You to our military troops!

zwani.com myspace graphic comments

In light of the current state of my life, I’m finding myself in need of distractions. So I’ve been thinking of productive or good things to spend my time on instead of wasting it watching TV or something.

Well I’ve found it!! Pickle and I are beginning a letter writing campaign. We will be writing letters and making cards for all the brave men and women who are serving in our military.

I found this organization where you can send them generic letters and cards. Then they distribute them to our military members severing at home, abroad, retired and injured.

http://www.amillionthanks.org

Feeling motivated and happy today! Can’t wait to get started.

I can’t wait either Lady, and thank you so much for sharing your journey and doing positive things to help you get through.  Great inspiration!  And yes, I’ll send back the next couple of Supernatural seasons with my Amy this weekend.  This part wasn’t necessary, but I can’t go a day without mentioning it!

Speaking of!! Today’s Daily Prompt is all about Addiction… and you know I want to write a post about Supernatural… can I write the post even if it’s after the prompt has passed?  Ack!  I need more time in the day!!

My 40 Random Acts of Kindness

I found this pin the other day and it really spoke to me!

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The Rebel Foodie put together a list of 52 Random Acts of Kindness and helped me imagine what a difference I could make.  I’ve already started on my list, but I feel compelled to share and bring you along with me on this journey.

I spent some time on the web and gathered up some ideas and combined it with items from The Rebel Foodies list and created my own list: 40 Random Acts of Kindness.  I have a birthday coming up, and felt this was a great way to Pay It Forward and help me celebrate the time I’ve spent on Earth.  My goal is to complete these items before I turn 40; which is closer than I think!

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I visited the Random Acts of Kindness foundation website and found some great ideas, as such, my list is actually longer than 40 items.  In the end, I wanted to make sure I left myself open to opportunities that presented themselves.  Also, because I realized that a lot of the items on the list are things I do regularly, I needed to stretch my boundaries and give myself acts of kindness that would help me grow as a person.

I am super excited about this new chapter and Mr. T doesn’t know it yet, but he is too!

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I’ve created a new page for my 40 Random Acts of Kindness and I encourage you to check it out – and come back and check out what I’ve crossed off and remind me to get busy if you notice I’ve been slacking!

For your reading pleasure, I’ve also included it here!  Thank you, as always, for being part of my journey and letting me share my life with you!

(Update! I told Mr. T about this the other day “hey, here is what I’m doing and I’d like you to be part of it – we have to finish before my BD.”  He asked what was on the list and I read most of it to him… Let me tell you – T has taken off!!  He immediately picked up his phone and called half a dozen friends “I just wanted to let you know I’m thinking about you.  Nope, that’s it.  Okay, bye!”  And every where we go, he is picking up trash!  I’m just so proud of my kid right now!  I have to get busy or he’s going to put me to shame!)

  1. Hold the door open for someone
  2. Teach a child something you wish you knew at that age
  3. Tip a waitress more than you normally would
  4. Spend some time with a senior citizen
  5. Smile at a stranger
  6. Compliment a stranger
  7. Put a quarter in a meter that is about ready to expire
  8. Leave the mail person a thank you card
  9. Donate unwanted items to a homeless shelter
  10. Donate your unwanted suits to a place that caters to single moms re-entering the work force or older workers re-entering the work force.
  11. Smile at the Walmart greeter
  12. Help someone learn something new
  13. Bake someone a cake
  14. Carry someone’s bags to the car at the grocery store
  15. Walk or run for charity
  16. Thank a soldier
  17. Let someone go in front of you in line
  18. Say “thank you” to the cashier
  19. Share inspirational quotes
  20. Donate books to a school or library
  21. Give your box tops to a school ( found on General Mills products)
  22. Help someone for free
  23. Bring flowers to a co-worker, friend, or someone that may be having a hard time.
  24. Tell your family you love them.
  25. Donate coupons that have expired to a military family (they are honored at the military commissary)
  26. Buy that young mother a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, and a jar of peanut butter.
  27. Praise a parent for their child
  28. Praise your boss
  29. Instead of asking for gifts ask your friends to do random acts of kindness on your birthday.
  30. Donate stuffed animals, coloring books, crayons, stickers, and little toys to the police station to hand out to sick, abused, or scared kids.
  31. Give someone a hug
  32. Help someone whose car is broken down
  33. Send a sunshine box to someone that is sick (put in Kleenex, their favorite cough drops, magazines, and anything that might cheer them up. Don’t forget the get well card )
  34. Hand out pennies at a wishing well or fountain. You never know whose wish you may help come true.
  35. Surprise someone with a cup cake, muffin, cookie, etc.
  36. Pre-stamp some thank you notes and hand them out, letting the recipient know to send it to someone they appreciate
  37. Hide notes in library books for someone else to find.
  38. Make or buy hats for kids that are suffering from cancer and donate them.
  39. Be a friend who listens
  40. Stick your change in the Ronald McDonald box at McDonald’s
  41. Make care packages and take them to a homeless shelter.
  42. Leave your newspaper for someone
  43. Donate blood
  44. Donate school supplies to a school or preschool
  45. Call a friend and let them know you are thinking about them
  46. Donate a $1 (when asked in line at grocery/convenience store “would you like to donate” say yes)
  47. Thank the police or fire department (drop off a case of water)
  48. Return a shopping cart for someone and save them the trip
  49. Take new parents a date night kit. (Movie rental, popcorn, 2 liter of soda, and candy.)
  50. Collect canned food for a food bank
  51. Hand out Valentine cards with lollipops on Valentine’s Day.
  52. Write a letter to someone who made a difference in your life.
  53. Pick up trash.
  54. Plant a tree
  55. Pat someone on the back
  56. Take little care packages to a Cancer center. Fill them with a travel size hand lotion, chapstick, and purse size package of antibacterial wipes. They will be much appreciated!

kindness starts with me