Saturday, December 31, 2011

Not to be forgotten 2011

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New Years Subway Art

Sweet Memories from 2011
  • The crazy amount of snow we got at the beginning of the year. 
  • Taking the camera outside in the snow, in the dark, to make a video showing how deep the snow was.  Falling during filming and not being able to get myself out of the snow drift.
  • Making chocolate chip cookie dough cupakes with 3 chocolate chips on top for 3GC's birthday party.
  • Agape families at church
  • Troy hit a cop car on a snowy evening.  An hour later, in the same car, I hit the concrete barrier on the highway.  We eventually pulled over and set up camp inside Wal-Mart until Brian came to rescue us (and calm our nerves).
    • Brian came to our rescue more than once this year.  We are lucky to have him!
  • Walk MS with Troy, Shelly, and Lindsey
  • Taking the A-Z Challenge to write every day on my blog in April
  • Celebrating our 4th anniversary by planting our first tree together, and the first tree on our property.  We named her Betty because she is Cleveland Pear and she will have white flower on her in the spring.  Betty White stars in the show Hot in Cleveland.
  • Getting up in the middle of the night to watch William and Kate get married.
  • Decorating Easter eggs with Levi
  • The bird nest we found on the side of our house.  We loved checking in on those eggs every day.  I did a lot of research on baby birds and we checked in on them at least twice a day. 
  • Living one of my dreams - attending family (church) camp with my husband.
  • A Minute of Sunshine with Misty
  • Outdoor concert at Church with Jason Watson
  • Geocaching
  • Troy is always amazing to me when I'm sick, but I was especially reminded of how lucky I am to have him when we went to ER in the middle of the night seeking relief from my kidney stones.
    • Mom cleaning my house, making homemade chicken and noodles, and taking care of me so I wouldn't have to be alone while Troy was at work.
  • Taking Levi and Issac to robot camp where they got to build their own robot and program it complete an obstacle course.
  • Sprint Fun Day with Brylly...trains, petting zoo, and face paint!
  • Susan G Komen Race for the Cure with Troy
  • Attending the Air Show with Levi.  That boy loves airplanes!
    • Watching a plane crash, and a man die and then having discussions with Levi about death.  Kids can teach us so much!
  • Troy got baptized!
  • For my birthday Troy put post it notes all over the house with little love notes to me.
  • Planting bushes in front of the house
  • Troy got a new boss and she makes cupcakes for me!
  • Pumpkin Party at my house!  We ate food made with pumpkin and everyone decorated a pumpkin to take home.
  • Troy was Super Pumpkin Man for Halloween...with a homemade costume that I put together at the last minute.
  • I won a custom frame from Alphabet Photography!  I love it so much that I still have not hung it because I want to make sure it goes in the perfect soon as I figure out where that is.
  • Shopping for lotion for Smooth Operation
  • Organizing a cupcake tour so that Arielle could find the perfect cupcakes for her wedding!
  • Donating 475 bottles of lotion to Della Lamb
  • Spending a Saturday morning bagging groceries and clothes for family's in need at Operation Thanksgiving.
  • Watching Levi sing in the honor choir!
  • Providing the morning message at church.
  • Earned enough gift cards through Swagbucks to get a Kindle for free.
  • Ringing the Salvation Army Bell once with Troy and once with Shelly.  It was a great experience and I look forward to doing it again next year.
  • Creating matching ugly Christmas sweaters for Troy's work party.
  • Volunteering at Operation Santa with Shelly
  • R.A.C.K.-ing at least one person a day for the 25 days leading up to Christmas.
  • Decorating Christmas cookies with Troy and Rick on Christmas Eve
  • Family Night's at Church
  •  Getting a job working at The Sweet Tooth.  I'm so excited to start baking/selling cupcakes in January!
  • Getting accepted to participate in the Young Adult Mission Trip to Jamaica in 2012

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

RACK day 25

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.

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“…whatever you do, do it for all the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

Merry Christmas! 

  • Remember the people who work on Christmas day.  Take treats to the hospital, drug store, or gas station and thank the employees for working today.
  • Tape candy canes to ATM's around town.  I guarantee someone forgot to buy a present and will be making a last minute run to the ATM for a cash gift.
  • Visit the nursing home and spend time with those who are alone on Christmas day. 
    • Take your family and sing some Christmas songs.
  • Pick up the phone and make that call to someone half way around the world, or halfway across town, wherever you feel a call is needed.
  • Let it go.  Spend the day taking in all the love and let everything else go.  Forget the bills, you can't pay them today anyway.  Find a way to compliment the crazy relatives that drive you bonkers.  Recognize the joy of having children around on Christmas day, even if they are fighting over the new toys.  Let it go and just take in all the love.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

RACK day 24

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.

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"and suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God and saying Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men" Luke 2: 13-14

Maybe I watch too much American Idol, but when I read that scripture the scene in my head is very theatrical.  There was one angel standing in the spotlight singing quietly then the light broadens and from the darkness you see a multitude of heavenly hosts step forward and provide back up for what turns into a very powerful, emotional song.  They are supporting one another.

I want to tell you about a story I witnessed at work a few days ago.

Two women were sitting in the lobby, both of them were eating breadsticks from a local pizza place and reading a book.  A man approached the first lady and asked if she had $1 to spare.  The lady looked over and realized she only had a credit card with her, and regretfully told the man she was sorry she did not have any cash.  He thanked her and moved on.  He repeated the question with the second woman and she did not have any cash either, but she offered him the breadsticks she was eating and he was very thankful for the food. 

These two women had the same thing to offer.  Neither one of them had cash, but they both had something to eat when approached by a man asking for help.  Why didn't the first lady offer her breadsticks?  She had nothing more or less to offer than the lady beside her, yet when someone came to her in need she turned him away.  The second lady did not have the dollar he was asking for, but she was quick to offer what she could.  She did not hesitate to give up her lunch for a stranger.

I am sad to tell you that I was the first woman in that story.  Every morning I pray for God to bring to me the people that most need to recieve a little kindness in their lives and when he brought that man to me I turned him away.  I am ashamed.   This is not my proudest moment and it is hard to share it in such a public way.  I can't go back in time and redo my actions, so instead I will go forward with a picture of this man in my head as a reminder of the time God answered my prayer by bringing me a man in need and I said "not now God, I'm hungry". 

"and suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host" God provides back up!  We are not alone; whether we are singing praises over the birth of baby Jesus, or offering a few pieces of bread to a stranger, we are not alone.  I missed my opportunity and so God provided back up and showed me the way through someone else. 

Don't miss your opportunity today.  My back up had to come to the rescue.  Let your back up be the kind that stands behind you dancing and singing along to the awesome music you are providing. 

  • Thank the man who dresses up in a red suit and lets your children sit on his lap every year. 
  • Deliver poinsettia's to a few random houses
  • Hide a gift card between the books at Barnes and Noble
  • Visit someone who lives alone.
  • Give your breadsticks to the hungry man.

Christmas Day we don't see a lot of strangers, mostly family as we gather at home.  What will you do tomorrow as a true Random Act of CHRISTMAS Kindness?  I plan to leave the warm house and do a RACK for people I don't know, and I'm pretty excited!  I'll have some ideas for you early tomorrow morning, but it's a good idea to start thinking now!

Friday, December 23, 2011

RACK day 23

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.

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"If what we call love does not take us beyond ourselves it is not really love." Oswald Chambers

Step outside your comfort zone and show love in a bigger way than you have before.  Show your family and friends that you love them by doing a completely unexpected Random Act of Kindness.  Show a stranger love by doing something - just about anything - for them.  Push yourself to be uncomfortable in a good way.  Know that you are doing good, even if it makes you nervous. 
  • Type up a compliment for everyone in your department at work.  Make sure you include a compliment for yourself if you wish to remain annonymous!
    • Don't want to be annonymous?  Next time you have the opportunity to speak in front the whole group stand up and give each person a compliment.  It is good for us to share those compliments out loud and remind others of those positive qualities we see one another. 
  • Provide some free babysitting for parents who need to finish up their Christmas shopping.
  • Write a thank you letter to the boss of someone that has provided excellent customer service.  It is too often that comments are only received when they are negative.  Go against the flow and send some positive feedback.
  • Deliver a stationary kit to a nursing home or hospital.  You can always ask a nurse to direct you to someone who will appreciate it (or even deliver it for you). 
  • Give someone an Almond Joy with a note stating "It's a JOY to have you in my life."
  • Put your camera to work!  Visit a festive area and offer to take free pictures of families in front of the giant Christmas tree, twinkling lights, snowman, or whatever it may be.  Get their email address and send them a free copy of the picture.
  • Offer to take pictures of families, couples, indivuals who are out snapping pictures with their own camera's.  We rarely get pictures with the whole group in them because someone has to be standing behind the camera (or phone!) pushing the button.  If you see people taking pictures step up and offer to take the picture with their camera for them.
  • Go into a bakery and prepay for cupcakes.  Ask them to give the prepaid cupcakes to the next few people who walk in the door. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

RACK day 22

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.

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blessings bags from here 

"Be so happy that when others look at you they become happy too!"
  • Give carepacks to the homeless.  It would be a great idea to keep one of these in your glove box so you are always prepared.
    • travel size toiletries, starbucks gift card, phone card, small bottles of tylenol, small packs of food (crackers, applesauce, granola bars), toothbrush, comb, hand wipes
  • On your way into the store grab a few shopping carts that are scattered around the parking lot and return them to the store.
  • Load someone's groceries into the car for them.  A lot of the country is getting snow right now, so I bet this RACK would be greatly appreciated. 
  • Clean the snow off someone's windshield
  • Keep an extra pair of gloves in your car and give them out to someone you notice has bare hands on a cold day.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

RACK day 21

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.

“You can not do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.”

That quote might as well say "Stop procrastinating Misty!"  Although I will continue to do Random Acts of Kindness after December 25th has come and gone, there are some things I really wanted to do during this initial 25 day period.  Even though I may have listed some of these ideas before I am posting them again because they are some of my favorites, and I have yet to do them.  Five days left, time to get busy!

  • Leave a $1 bill in the toy section at the dollar store for a child to find.
  • Tape money to a vending machine and then sit back and watch as people walk by and check it out.
  • Tape quarters to the small toy/candy machines at a local restaurant.
  • Purchase a gift card and turn around and hand it to the person behind you in line.
  • Wrap a few small gifts and leave them in a public play area for children to find. 
  • Leave a box of groceries on the doorstep of a family in need.
**I want to share my RACK from yesterday.  I felt like I needed to be present for a RACK, specifically a RACK for a stranger.  We decided to buy a gift card at Pizza Hut and give it to someone who was already in there eating.  I prayed the whole way there that I would give the gift card to the right person, because I didn't know how I would decide which family was the most deserving.  Guess what?  There was only one family there when we arrived!  Must be meant to be!  I purchased the gift card and as I was signing my name on the receipt my hand was shaking.  I was nervous to walk up to a complete stranger.  Troy suggested we just ask the waiter to give it to this man and his daughter for us, but I knew I needed to be there so I could see the joy on his face.  I took a deep breath, walked over to his table, and said "This is for you.  Merry Christmas!"  He didn't quite know what to say, but he thanked us and wished us a Merry Christmas as well.  I needed to see that smile, that expression of joy on his face that couldn't be hidden. 

I do not do RACK's to make myself feel better, but yesterday I needed to give that man a gift card so that I could feel better.  It was hard, my voice was shaking, I was shaking and he probably thought I was a little bit crazy, but as soon as we walked out into the dark parking lot we both burst out the biggest smiles our faces had ever seen.  I am ready to do it again!  My batteries have been recharged and I am ready to put that smile on some more faces.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

RACK day 20

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.

Go watch this video....

We are 80% through this RACK journey, and I am struggling.  The first few days I bounced out of bed every morning anxiously awaiting the RACK's I would do that day.  I had them planned out ahead of time and I could barely contain my excitement.  Now I am at a point where I find myself driving home at the end of the day wondering who I can quickly do a RACK for before I arrive at my nice warm home and jump into my pj's.  Less than a week to go, it's time to get that excitement back! 

I have done the majority of my RACK's annonymously.  I'm not good at walking up to strangers, even if it's for a good cause, so I try to do something for them and still remain a secret.  I don't stick around to see them get their gift and so I have not been able to appreciate the joy on their face when they realize someone has done something nice for them.  Today my goal is to see that smile happen.

  • Go into Pizza Hut, purchase a gift card, walk over to a random family and set it on their table.  Wish them a Merry Christmas and walk away.
  • Organize a group and go Christmas caroling. 
  • Buy a box of donuts and hand out "free samples"

Monday, December 19, 2011

RACK day 19

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.
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"Kind words are the music of the world" F.W. Faber
I remember writing letters to my grandparents and my aunt and uncle who lived many states away from us when I was a kid.  At camp every summer we would exchange addresses, not email addresses, real addresses so we could send each other letters.  In college I sent a letter, an actual letter written out on paper, to all the new students that would be living on my hall when the new school year started. 
Email is much easier, but there is something about receiving a good old fashioned piece of mail.  Send someone mail today.
  • Include a quick, personal note in your Christmas cards
  • Write a letter to a friend you haven't talked to in a while
  • Write a letter to a friend you see all the time.  Thank them for their friendship.
  • Send a thank you note to your pastor, your pastor's spouse, or your pastor's children for all they do.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

RACK day 18

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.


   “Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good actions; try to use ordinary situations.” Jean Paul Richer

  • Double the recipe of whatever your making and give 1/2 away
  • Let someone get in front of you in line
  • Be extra kind on the road.  Let cars get in front of you, remember to use your blinker, and resist the urge to yell at the car that cut you off. 
  • Pack your car full of people, give everyone a mug of hot cocoa, and take them on a tour of Christmas lights in your city.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

RACK day 17

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.
"Money is like manure; it's not worth a thing unless it's spread around encouraging young things to grow." Thorton Wilder
Perhaps it's not the most inspiring quote, but it is kind of funny.  Today's RACK ideas are all about kids!  Make sure you include notes with your RACK's so the parents will know what's going on. 
  • Purchase a few children's books (or recycle what you have) and leave them in public play areas for children to find. 
  • Wrap a small gift and leave it where a child will find it.
  • Drop some change on a playground, then sit back and watch the faces light up when they find a nickle laying on the ground!
  • Tape quarters to the small toy machines you see at restaurants.

Friday, December 16, 2011

RACK day 16

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.

"Kindness is like snow; it beautifies everything it covers."

The other day I was home sick and needed something to eat.  I called my sister and through the haze of painkillers I put in an order for sandwich and a request for free delivery.  She brought me the sandwich I vaguely remembered asking for and I fell asleep.  I woke up to find that sandwich curled up to my chest, only a few bites missing.  It took me about an hour to eat that bologna sandwich I requested.  I hate bologna (although I did request it), but with each bite I thought of my sister and the RACK she had done for me that day.  "Kindness is like snow; it beautifies everything it covers."  That was the best bologna sandwich I've ever had!

  • Have a pile of stuff you are saving for a yard sale?  Give it away for free today.
  • Sponsor a Compassion child and write to him/her. 
  • Give to your local fire fighters and/or policemen
    • cards
    • baked goods
    • a hot meal
  • Take a cup of hot cocoa to the person working the crosswalk at your child's school.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

RACK day 15

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.


“The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.” Mother Teresa

  • Give 100% at work today.
  • Spend extra time with your children and make them your top priority for the day.
  • Really love your spouse today with all you've got. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

RACK day 14

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.


“Live simply that others might simply live.” Elizabeth Ann Seton

  • Give up something for yourself and make a donation to a local food bank instead.
  • Limit your use of the car today so that your grandchildren (your children, you) will have cleaner air to breathe.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  Limit your contribution to landfills.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

RACK day 13

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.

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"During my second year of nursing school our professor gave us a quiz.  I breezed through the questions until I read the last one:  "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"  Surely this was a joke.  I had seen the cleaning woman several times, but how would I know her name?  I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank.  Before the class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our grade.  "Absolutely," the professor said.  "In your careers, you will meet many people.  All are significant.  They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello."  I've never forgotten that lesson.  I also learned her name was Dorothy."  Joann C. Jones

Virginia is the name of the lady who cleans the restrooms at my work.  She is a small woman who talks fast and always greets me with a smile.  That is just about all I can tell you about her.  By the end of this RACK journey I will know more about Virginia.  She is significant and deserves my attention and care. 

  • Introduce yourself to someone new.  A compliment is always a great conversation starter!
  • Find out the name of the person who cleans your bathrooms, delivers your mail, or shovels the snow off the sidewalk at work.  Greet them by name from now on.
  • Buy flowers for the housekeeping staff.  In my experience the people that spend their days cleaning up our messes rarely have a space they can escape to.  Lunches are eaten on a table surrounded by cleaning supplies.  I imagine bright flowers would be appreciated. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

RACK day 12

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.

Sun and Snow...Beautiful

“How do you say ‘thank you’ for sunshine and health…for clear days and gentle rains…for happiness, joy and love? You say it by sharing what you have. You say it by making the world a better place in which to live.” Thomas D Willhite

  • Share what you have. 
    • Do you have money?  Buy a gift card for someone
    • Do you have an extra cake mix?  Bake a cake to give away.
    • Do you have a large house?  Offer your home for a holiday party.
    • Do you have extra firewood?  Share it with a neighbor.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

RACK day 11

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.

free printable christmas gift tags

“One of the things I keep learning is that the secret to being happy is doing things for other people.” Dick Gregory

  • Take soup (or soup mix) to someone and wish them a "Souper Holiday Season"
  • Send someone a gift card for 5 free Redbox rentals
  • Leave a small gift in a shopping cart for someone to find (make sure you include a RACK card so they will know it was intentional)
  • Help someone decorate their house for Christmas

Saturday, December 10, 2011

RACK day 10

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.

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These would be cute to deliver to a neighbor

"Giving frees from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our minds to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others." Barbara Bush

Each morning we pray that God will not only bring to us the people that most need to recieve a bit of kindness, but that we will also be able to recognize that need so that we may do our part.  How many people do we encounter daily that could use a bit of random kindess, but we miss the opportunity because our focus is in the wrong place? 

Twice a day, on my way in and out of town, I pass the home of a family that I know could use a little extra help.  I have made countless trips past their house, but it wasn't until today, 9 days into this RACK journey, that I first thought that I should do something for them. 

It's amazing how spending just 9 days focusing on doing at least one act of kindness a day has already caused me to rethink parts of my every day life.  Once you start giving it's hard to stop!

  • Leave an extra tip for your server at a restaurant.
  • Donate your time to a local charitable organization. 
    • Troy and I will be volunteering at Della Lamb this morning.  We are so excited to do this again!
  •  Fill a box with food and deliver it to a family you know. 
  • Tell someone about your mission to do at least one RACK a day and ask them what you can do for them. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

RACK day 9

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.

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"Never get tired of doing little things for others.  Sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts."

I like to have a glass of water on the nightstand because I usually wake up in the middle of the night ready to chug as much water as I can get my hands on.  Sometimes I forget to grab a one before heading to bed.  On those nights Troy will bring me a glass of water so that I don't have to get out of the nice warm bed where I'm already starting to drift off to sleep.  It's a small thing, but to me it's big. When I think about the many reasons I am in love with this man, those glasses of water make the list.  It feels good to have someone do the little things for you.

  • Ask someone about their day and then listen as they respond.
  • Look through your friends list on Facebook and send a message to someone you haven't talked to in a long time.
  • Let your child take a bath with extra bubbles and sit with them as they play for an extra long time.
  • Purchase 2 chickens to provide food and income to people you will never meet, but will greatly appreciate your kindness.  Outreach International has many ways you can do a small thing to make a big difference to someone else. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

RACK day 8

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.

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“To give without any reward or any notice has a special quality of its own.” Anne Morrow Lindbergh

  • Send a note of encouragement to someone and forget to include a return address
  • Purchase a $5 gift card at a local  bakery or coffee shop and ask the cashier to give it to someone after you leave.
  • Leave food/gifts/money in the mailbox or at the front door of a family you know is in need.  Do it anonymously. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

RACK day 7

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.

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Flowers made from coffee filters...for the crafty people

"Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does." William James

YOU make a difference.  I need to post this on my bathroom mirror so I can repeat it out loud every morning.  I struggle with this.  I encouraged people to donate lotion to Della Lamb earlier this year and each time someone gave me praise for my efforts I made excuses as to why I didn’t deserve such kind words.  I didn’t feel as though I made a difference.  Four hundred and seventy five bottles of lotion will be given to families in need this Christmas and that makes a difference.  I made a difference and by recognizing that for myself it will help me to continue making a difference.  

You make a difference each time you do a RACK for someone.  Whether it's intentional, or just part of your daily habit, you are making a difference.  Go out and make a difference in someones life today!

  • Give someone flowers
  • Collect shopping carts from the parking lot and return them to the store.
  • Hide a gift card in between books at the book store. 
  • Write your mother/father-in-law a letter thanking them for raising your spouse.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RACK day 6

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.

Click here to learn how to fold $1 into a shirt and tie

It's easy to make a buck.  It's a lot tougher to make a difference." Tom Brokaw

One dollar is easy to replace.  You probably won't even miss it once it's gone, so go ahead and spend it on someone else.  How can you brighten someone's day with just $1? 

  • Leave a candy bar for your mail carrier
  • Hide a $1 bill in the toy section at the dollar store for a child to find.  Make sure you include a note so the parent will know that it was placed there as an act of kindness.
  • Tape a dollar to the vending machine with a RACK card (then hide around the corner and watch as people walk by and check it out)
  • Give someone a packet of Jolly Ranchers and wish them a "Holly 'Jolly' Christmas"
  • Surprise someone with a Sprite and a note that reads "May your day be Merry and Sprite!"
  • Mail $1 inside a card to a child you know.  Money and mail all in one day is sure to make them smile!

Monday, December 5, 2011

RACK day 5

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.

It takes 21 days to form a habit.  Guess how many days are left in this RACK journey we are taking?  Twenty-one days left, just enough time to establish something new in your life.
Is there a new kind habit you would like to incorporate into your life?  Start it off with bang today!
  • Hold the door open for as many people as you can today.  Really go out of your way and see how many doors you can hold open in the next 24 hours 
  • Make eye contact.  We tell people thank you when they do kind things for us (like the hold the door open), but a thank you means so much more when it's accompanied with eye contact.   Make eye contact and thank the UPS driver, the cashier at McDonalds, the child that picks up their toys, and the stranger that holds the door open for you. 
  • Donate what you can every time you come to a Salvation Army bell ringer.  Troy and I rang a bell this weekend and we saw donations as small as a few pennies, and we were appreciative of each and every one of those pennies.  If everyone would drop their loose change in that bucket once a day imagine how many more people the Salvation Army could help. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

RACK day 4

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.


"I am only one, but I am one.  I cannot do everything, but I can do something.  I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do."  -Edward Everett Hale

What will you do today?

  • Donate books to the library. 
  • Give away your parking spot.
  • Take a child shopping to buy a Christmas gift for his/her parents.
  • Go to Starbucks and buy however many $5 gift cards are within your budget.  Pass them out to strangers on a cold day.
  • Buy a copy of your favorite book and give it away.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

RACK day 3

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.

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"There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that is reflecting it." Edith Wharton

There is no shame in being the mirror, for it has an important job to do as well.  Without the mirror the light would be concentrated to one area. 

  • Think of someone who is a candle, lighting the way, and mirror them.  Keep them in your mind all day and do as you imagine they would do.  At the end of the day write them a letter and thank them for being a candle in your life.
  • Be a candle for someone else and light their way.
    • Invite someone to attend church with you.
    • Spend one on one time with a child.  (Good luck trying to figure out which one of you is the candle and which one is the mirror.  Kids have a way of lighting up our world!)
  • Give someone a candle!  Tie a ribbon around it and leave it in a mailbox.  As an added bonus their mail will smell really good!

Friday, December 2, 2011

RACK day 2

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.

1117SoupKitchen Soup Kitchen and Food Bank Locations
photo credit

"If you can't feed a hundred people then just feed one." - Mother Teresa

Start where you can and do what you can.  You don't have to be the best, you just have to give your best.

  • Make a meal for a neighbor.  Don't forget to include dessert!
    • Yes, a frozen lasagna counts, as well as a package of oreo's for dessert (as long as you include milk).  Don't cook for them if you are a terrible cook!
  • Take treats into work for your coworkers. 
  • Give a restaurant gift card to the next person that opens a door for you, smiles at you, or whomever feels "right". 
  • Take someone out to dinner.
  • Invite someone over for dinner.  Yes, I understand that this means you have to clean the it anway.
  • Harvesters is working to end hunger.  Donate money, food, or your time to this organization. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

RACK day 1

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Let's countdown the 25 days to Christmas by performing
 at least one Random Act of Kindness each day.

The tree is ready to be filled with RACK's

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive.  And then go and do that.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”  - Harold Whitman

When I do things for others it makes me feel alive.  I am happier, there is a bounce in my step, and I feel like I can do whatever I set my mind to.  Yesterday someone asked me why I "coupon for charity".  Why do I use all those coupons and buy stuff for other people?  Because I thought I needed more money - because it seems like there is never enough and so I started using coupons.  After I started finding ways to save money I then immediately used that saved money to buy things for others. It's interesting - I found that my needs were all being met and while that extra money would have been nice to have, it couldn't compare to the feeling I get from giving it away.  It makes me feel alive.

What will you do today?

  • Leave small treats on the windshields of cars you park near today.  Attach a RACK card to the treat, or make your own.  Candy canes would be a fun choice right now!
    • Keep a stash of these cards (with treats attached) in your car all month long so that you will always be prepared to brighten someones day.
  • Take a plate of cookies to the auto shop that worked on your car earlier this year, the florist who arranged flowers for your wedding (no matter how long ago it was), the teacher that made school fun.  Imagine the look on their face when you thank them today and let them know you still remember what they did. 
  • Do something that makes you feel alive: exercising, visiting with friends, reading a good book, or whatever it may be - because when you feel alive you will in turn be kinder to those around you.  Start off this month of giving by making yourself feel alive "because what the world needs is people that have become alive."

Monday, November 28, 2011


RACK'ed cards from tsjphotography

Troy and I are doing a different version of an advent calendar this year.  We will be writing down and adding at least one RACK to our tree each day as we count down to Christmas.

RACKRandom Acts of Christmas Kindness

“God doesn’t give you the people you want; He gives you the people you NEED…to help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you, and to make you into the person you were meant to be.”

We will start each morning with a prayer that God will lead us to the people that most need to receive a Random Act of Kindness that day.  We hope that our RACK’s will be met with open arms, but people may be not always be appreciative of what we are offering.  We trust that God will lead us to the right people, even if we do not see why we are being led there.  We are not always aware of the impact we leave on people, but as we open our hearts and our minds to the needs of others we hope to make a difference to someone.

Will you join us?  Each day I will write a short post, a few sentences, and then list some ideas for  RACK’s you could do as you go about your day.  Some may have a cost associated with them, but I promise to list as many free/low cost RACK’s as I can come up with.  After you perform a RACK of your own I hope you will share it with me.  You can post it as a comment on this blog (even anonymously if you wish), leave me a facebook message, or send me an email.  As new ideas come in I will share them so that we can continue to inspire each other.

This would be a great time to sign up to have this blog delivered to your email every morning.  There is a space on the right side of this blog to enter your email address and subscribe.  Please note that you will need to open the email and confirm your subscription, so be on the look out!

You don’t need to do a RACK a day to make a difference.  Whether you do one, or 25 RACK’s this holiday season you will be making a positive impact on this world.  

“Let no one come to you without feeling better and happier when they leave.  Be the living expression of God’s kindness; with kindness on your face…in your eyes…in your smile…in your warm greeting.” – Mother Teresa

* I first learned about RACK’s from Tracie at tsjphotography.  She has generously designed and provided a free template for RACK cards you can hand out if you wish.  Click here for her free download.  Troy and I will be handing these out over the next month, and using them to post our RACK’s on the tree at home as our own way of counting down the 25 days of Christmas.  Instead of emptying an advent calendar we will be filling our tree with the RACK's we give during the month.    Click here for a blank version if you want to create your own, or fill them in at the end of each day like we are doing.  Thank you Tracie!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Smooth Operation: Mission Completed

When I decided to start collecting lotion to donate to Della Lamb I set my goal at 100 bottles.  I felt confident that I would make my goal, but I was slightly worried that I would end up buying 70 of those bottles myself and beg my family to come up with the other 30.  Would everyone think I was crazy for wanting to donate lotion?  No one I know has ever collected or donated lotion to families in need.  Toys, clothes, and food are the typical donations.  I have never glanced in a donation box and seen lotion, which is exactly why I was doing this, and also why I was scared I would be doing it on my own. 

Once I realized that you guys were willing to help me out I started to get more excited.  I remember standing in the shower one morning imagining what it would be like to show up with 150 bottles of lotion.  Wow!  That would be amazing!  The more positive feedback I received the bigger I let myself dream and I imagined 200 or 250 bottles of lotion.  I would put lotion on my hands at work and think about the bottles that were stacking up at my house and how many people were going to be able to keep their own hands moisturized this winter because of your donations.  

I got excited when I had two boxes full of lotion and we were working on our third box.  I lined them up on the couch and stopped to admire them frequently.  I put extra boxes across the remaining stretch of seating area and wondered what I would do if you were able to fill all 5 boxes.  How would I fit all of those in the trunk of my car?

The donations kept coming in!  I received lotion from all over Missouri and Kansas.  Lotion was brought in from parts of Iowa and Nebraska.  Donations were sent from as far away as Texas and California!  People who are not part of the Kansas City community were reaching out to help our local families and I was touched.  Every time a donation came in I cried.  It took a couple weeks before I was able to accept those bottles without a few tears running down my cheek.  

I started with a goal of 100 bottles of lotion and prayed someone would help me reach that number.  In the end we filled 12 boxes for a grand total of 475 bottles of new lotion!  In the early stages of day dreaming I had imagined pulling up to Della Lamb and popping the trunk open to reveal that it was full of lotion.  In the end I had to borrow my parent’s Explorer because I couldn’t fit 475 bottles of lotion into my car!  What an amazing problem to have.

We ended up with an awesome variety of lotion to meet just about every need.  Apple crisp, coconut lime, and vanilla bean noel were just a few of the awesome scents that were included.  Lotion made just for men, just for babies, or created with little girls in mind were all donated.  We had extra large economy sized bottles all the way down to tiny travel sized bottles.  There was lotion for people with extra dry skin or sensitive skin.  There was a lotion for every need!

Thank you to those that purchased lotion every time they went to Wal-Mart, or Target, or the Dollar Store.  Thank you to those that made a special trip to the store and scooped all the lotion into your cart.  Thank you for those individual bottles of lotion that were waiting at my door when I got home from work.  Thank you to those that dug around their own house to find an unopened bottle of lotion to donate.  Some of you sent money and/or coupons and I shopped the sales and did my best to get the most out of your donation – thank you.  Thank you for all of the prayers and the words of encouragement over the past 7 weeks.  

Your donation will be wrapped and given to families in need this Christmas.  A mother will be able to put lotion on her baby because of you.  A man will come home after working outside in the cold weather and be able to ease the pain of his chapped skin because of your donation.  An elderly woman who lives alone will have a gift to open on Christmas morning because you gave up something in your cart at Wal-Mart and bought a bottle of lotion instead.  

What we are doing is just a drop in the ocean.  But if that drop was not in the ocean I think the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” – Mother Teresa

Thank you for contributing 475 more drops in the ocean.    

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thankful Thursday 10-06-11

If you are here to find out more about donating lotion to Smooth Operation please click here, and as always you can check for updates by clicking on the picture of the lotion on the right side of this page.

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  • Over the weekend a song came on the radio that we both love, all conversation stopped, the volume got turned up, and we sang along.  I love moments like that.  There are a handful of songs where we both just know that everything else stops because we are going to sing this song together.  No explination is needed. 
    • Extra happy moment because we were listening to a Christian radio station and although we have sung this song together many times in the car it really hit me on Saturday.  I am married to a man who stops everything to sing songs about God's love with me. 
  • Birthdays just took on a whole new meaning after reading this lady's blog about her last birthday.  Never been so excited to turn another year older!
  • Lotion donations came in pretty fast for the first week!  Keep them coming!
  • I made pumpkin pie french toast Sunday morning.  I love just about anything made with pumpkin!
  • We already drew names for Christmas!  Procrastination is pretty much my middle name, but when it comes to gift buying I need all the time I can get.  I suck at picking out gifts for other people, so you if you are ever in a gift giving situation with me you should cross your fingers and hope I don't draw your name.  I have 3 months to figure it out this year....wish me luck!
  • Letting things go.  This week I really focused on letting go of things that stress me out.  Feels good.
  • I really noticed that the leaves are starting to change colors this past week.  Just looking at fall leaves makes me happy. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Help

Interested in donating lotion to Smooth Operation?  You can always find out the latest info by clicking on the picture of lotion on the right side of this page. 

The Help[Paperback]

At what point do we stop believing what we have been told and start figuring things out for ourselves?

I recently read the book The Help and it's one of the best books I have read in a very long time.  The story talks about what it’s like to be a black maid working for a white family in the early 60’s.  I don’t think I will ever be able to understand how some people believe others should be treated differently because of the color of their skin.  I think it is because I have such a hard time understanding this concept that I am drawn to this era.  I want to know more about the people who lived through this unique time, especially those who broke the rules!

I wanted to dislike the white women in the book.  They believed that they could get a disease from using the same toilet as a black person - that seems like nonsense now days.  The maids raised the white children, taught them right from wrong, potty trained them, and loved them as their own children.   Those same children would grow up and hire a black maid who would not be allowed to sit at the same table as them, drink from the same set of glasses as them, or use the same toilet.  It was a terrible cycle that just kept repeating itself. 

As much as I wanted to dislike those white women, I actually took a little pity on them.  They were raised in a culture that truly believed there were differences that went much deeper than skin color.  It's hard to be taught that one thing is right your entire life and then question that belief as you get older.  It would be like being told that the sky is actually orange when you have always believed it be blue.  It's hard to go against what you already know.  It needs to be done: we need to be challenged, but let's face the truth: most of us don't want to be the one that takes those first steps.

How many people sat in the back of the bus day after day never having the courage to make their mark in history like Rosa Parks did?  How many white people disagreed with the way blacks were being treated, yet were afraid to make their feelings public.  I imagine it was difficult and a little a lot scary to be the first one in your family/friends/church/group to say you were doubting what everyone else was doing.  Are you strong enough to be that person?

I read about crazy things like blacks not being allowed to use the same toilet as whites because they had different diseases and I think about how much things have changed - how far we've come.  If someone tried to convince me of that now I would look at them like they were crazy, but back then, for so many people, that was the truth as they knew it.  It makes me wonder what the world will be like in another 50 years.  What will kids read about on their computers in history class (books will be so old fashioned by then) and wonder how we could have ever believed the crazy things we do without thinking today. 

What are the things in my life I should be questioning?