Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness

A couple weeks ago I was shopping at Walmart. An older gentleman was in line a head of me and kept looking at the gum, trying to decide if he wanted any, and eventually gave up, paid and started to leave when he saw what he was looking for on the rack in the aisle next to us. By this time, I was in the middle of my cart full of groceries and there was at least one other person behind me in line. He patiently got to the end of the line, with his son waiting with the cart full of the already purchased groceries (I wold like to point out that I was smiling while I saw what he had chosen earlier, the usual...veggies, fruits, vitamins, meat, some juice, a box of Good and Plenty's and some Skittles.) I waved him up to where I was and told him I would get his gum for him. He thanked me and then tried to pay me. I told him a couple times that no, I just wanted to get the gum for him and he was like, but I haven't paid for it yet. Finally I said, "Sir, I'm just trying to do something nice, can I please pay for your gum?" He took a step back, blinked a few times and gave me a stiff old man hug.

His son also offered to pay me, and shooed him away as well. He asked me why, and I said, honestly, I wanted to do something nice, he reminds me of my grandpa and I understand the importance of gum (I actually had 4 different packages of it on the belt at the time). He thanked me and while they were walking away, I heard the old man tell his son, Can you believe that? She didn't want ANYTHING for it!

It kind of made me sad that people find it so shocking that someone wants to do something nice for someone else. Here, I paid $1 to save a man waiting in line for 10 minutes and to let him have a treat. I have also paid for coffee for the person behind me a few times (in the drive through at Starbucks, in line at Friedrich's). Tonight I helped a couple of women that were lost in the skywalk find their way to their hotel. They said they were going to be in town for a conference for a few days so I also showed them a few places to eat and to get coffee/drinks along the way as well.

A friend of mine had a birthday earlier this year and what she asked for from her friends and family was to do a Random Act of Kindness. I believe she found the information somewhere in reference to The Birthday Project online. She had everyone put on her FB event's page as to what the RAOK was. I don't know how many she got, but mine that day was to jump start someone's car in the parking garage at work that day.

I think that we should all try to do at least one RAOK a week. It doesn't have to cost anything...It may just be holding the door for someone, offering to take a cart back, smiling at someone you meet on the sidewalk, or in my case, the skywalk. Buying a glass of lemonade from the girl on the corner (Side note: Our neighbor girl put up a stand this past weekend. At some point, she had made enough money that she had to go to the store, get more lemonade and was even able to upgrade from a pitcher to a Thermos with a spout at the bottom AND top. She's so stinkin' cute and it's only a quarter. Her chalkboard sign in front says "Zoe's Pink Lemonade Stand 25 cents per cup! :)" How can you walk away from that!). Sometimes I think we are so caught up in ourselves, our phones, our lives, that we don't take a moment to just live.

IN other non-related news, Spenny declared to me last week that he has a girlfriend. Her name is Tessa, she is beautiful and she has fast shoes. He really loves the frisbee and tonight told me that cousins are the very best friends ever and that you should love your cousins and tell them. He's super sweet, has a great smile and is honestly a really good kid. He always puts others first, especially his little brother and best friend. He likes Frisbee's right now and is getting more perceptive all the time.

Emerson is adorable. Mouthy. getting a deep voice already. He loves his fish (We're on Doug #3 and I gave up on Rock for now...he's on vacation if anyone asks). He loves morning cuddles, bed time hugs and to eat all of my salad. He loves playing with my camera on my phone and sending pictures to instagram. He told me the other day he is Duffenswirtz (or whatever hsi name is...the bad guy from Phineas and Ferb).

With that being said, I'm going to bed. Good night all :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Post from Last Sunday

Apparently I forgot to hit "publish" so here's last week's post.

It's been a while, so I'll try to update.

First off, I had a wonderful Mother's day. J told the boys that it was Mommy's Day, which means that Mommy got to do whatever she wanted. We picked up some plants I've been looking for, had some lunch, relaxed and just spent time together as a family. I also did some crafting. I got some stainless steel measuring cups that I have been eyeing and then J got me the motherload (no pun intended) of crafter's delight.

He got me my very own Silhouette Cameo. (Insert "Oooohs" and "Ahhhs" here.) Ok, I know most of you probably don't even know what that is, but it is similar to a Cricut cutting machine, but does a little bit more (it not only cuts paper/cardstock, but fabric, heat transfer paper, vinyl and apparently rhinestone paper...which I wasn't even aware existed until earlier this week). It also has an advantage over the Cricut in that I don't have to buy cartridges for things to cut. I can either design something on my own, download files online or purchase things in the Silhouette store.

So far, I've only cut one page. I put several things on the same page just to see how it worked and LOVE it. The lines are crisp, the curves are smooth and it was great! I've been playing with the design program quite a bit and just really love it.

J's been out of town this weekend, he's on his way home currently from the Twin Cities. He participated in a card tournament and won first place. Gratz, dood!  The boys and I had a great weekend together, we hung out at home yesterday morning, they watched TV and played while I did the dishes, some laundry and worked on the basement. We then headed to Kohl's where we got some super cool lawn chairs for the boys at a great price ($10 each instead of $20 each) and some new sandals for mommy (I even threw away two pairs in exchange for this one!). We then took our pop cans back and grabbed some groceries. While Spenny was laying in bed with me yesterday morning, he again asked me for a pet. [This has been an ongoing thing lately, he wants a pet. "Mom, can I have a pet for me?" What kind of pet? "You know, like a dog." We have a dog, her name is Lola. "Mooo-oom, I want a REAL dog, you know, a BIG one!"  Sorry, Lollers, apparently you're not big enough for an almost 5 year old looking for a pet.] I suggested a fish. He was SO excited and asked if he could name him Rock. Sure thing, buddy.

We picked up a tank, some supplies and a couple fish (Popcans paid for most of it even!) and they are now swimming happily in their new home on our kitchen counter. Emerson also got a fish. His name is Doug. Pictures to follow later.

We spent the evening in Huxley, we had a picnic and spent over an hour playing at the park with our friends Julia and Murddoch. Fun times were had by all.

Today I got up, made muffins, did more dishes (I miss our dishwasher!) and did some more cleaning (I'm going through things, getting rid of clutter) and more laundry. The boys picked up the living room as part of their chores and Spenny volunteered to vacuum. He did a decent job for his first time, and I think he was proud knowing that he did something new and that he was helping. I'm sure he'll be hitting me up for money for his piggy bank soon enough.

Have a wonderful week!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Storm Season

I love your typical Iowa thunderstorm just as much as the next person. I love how it cools everything down, the thunder and lightning is relaxing, everything smells so fresh. It's great for sleeping, and gives everything a clean slate. However, when the storm turns into more than just your average storm, I start to get nervous and usually want to bunker down in the basement.

Last night my hometown was hit by a tornado. Thankfully, everyone is safe. Some people lost their homes, some farm buildings and although they haven't really said on the news, I'm sure there was some livestock/poultry that was lost.

My mom and youngest sister still live there, but they were safe and had no damage. They went to the basement, which is a scary little place, so I know it had to have been bad. We weren't able to get in touch with them right away, something about no power and dead cell phones, but my grandma, uncle and cousin drove over to make sure they were ok, and let them call me.

I've been looking at pictures on the different news sites like hereherehere and here (and of course, facebook) and it warms my heart to see the community come together to clean up. The school gave the high school kids the day off for volunteer work. People were helping load turkeys after a shed was destroyed, they made lunches for the volunteers, offered prayer, gave donations and overall, I'm just impressed. 

I can't imagine having my home/farm/livelihood being literally ripped from me, and my thoughts are with those that suffered the damages. 

Let this be a reminder to us all to get our emergency kits ready (Flashlights, batteries, water, first aid kits, etc) because you just never know when you may need it.