Monday, December 07, 2009

Well, my 29th day was officially Sunday.  And once again- I gave a lot to the Children's Ministry and to the Children in the Christmas Musical this year, at our last practice before Dress Rehearsal on Wednesday!  And then when I got home, I squeezed in just a little bonus with some bananas we had browning on the counter~ I made banana muffins for the family, and a batch to share!!

And now, my gift to you is the gift of giving itself and the challenge to try it for yourself and reap the rewards in more ways than you could ever imagine!!

About the 29 Gifts Movement.

The 29 Gifts Story
29 Gifts Origins is a global giving movement with several thousand members in 38 countries. Our collective mission at 29 Gifts is to revive the giving spirit in the world. We change lives—and change the world—one gift at a time. During our first year of operation we've accomplished a lot for some very worthy causes. Read about some of our projects here.


Give one thing away each day for 29 days. Share your stories about how it impacts your life to focus on giving. Join the 29-Day Giving Challenge today. Why? Because to see our world change, we have to do something to change our world. Plus, the best way to attract abundance into your life is to be in a perpetual state of giving and gratitude. Be an important part of the global giving movement that inspires more generosity on our planet.


Sign up and then give away 29 gifts in 29 days. Your 29 Gifts can be anything given to anyone... money, food, old sweaters, smiles, your time, kind words or thoughts. You can start your own personal 29-Day Giving Challenge at any time—there’s no official begin or end date. To complete the challenge, submit a story, post a piece of your original artwork, create a short film or write a song. Tell us about your favorite gives and the impact it made on your life to focus on giving.

29Gifts Founder, Cami Walker, answers some frequently asked questions in this Welcome Video

Find more videos like this on 29-Day Giving Challenge


1. Be mindful. The Challenge is intended to be a sacred ritual—it is your opportunity to cultivate a mindful practice of stepping outside your own story for a few seconds each day by serving others.

2. Don’t quit. If you have a day that you feel unmotivated to give, it’s ok. Just go for the simple give. Call a friend and give some kind words. Write someone a nice note. Or exchange smiles with a stranger. Every give doesn't need to be monumental. You might even notice that the “simple gives” feel more powerful than the grand gestures.

3. Don't worry if you don't do it perfectly. If you forget your give one day, be gentle with yourself. This ritual is about progress, not perfection. Sit down and quietly reflect on your day. Review the entire day mindfully and find the times you unconsciously gave so you can bring it into your consciousness. Don’t forget that there is never a day that you don't give. There are only days that you don't acknowledge and remember you did.

4. Be receptive and have fun. Enjoy your 29 days. And remember to stay open to receiving. Giving can't happen without the receptors of our gifts.

5. Participate. To get the most out of your experience, take part in our discussion forum and document your experience. Writing in your giving blog or posting videos or images regularly on the site will help you keep giving top of mind during your 29 days—and longer if you choose to stick around.

6. Stick Around. When you've completed you first 29 days, our hope is you'll feel so inspired by the changes you see in your thinking and your life, that you'll continue to give mindfully each day. You're welcome to stick around our community as long as you want to. Many givers have been here for multiple 29-day cycles. You're also welcome to join us as a volunteer after you've completed your first 29-day cycle. We always need people who are willing to commit to help welcome new givers, comment on blog posts, spread the word online, help us organize our community events and fund raisers. If you're interested in volunteering, contact Erin, our online community manager at and tell her a bit about yourself, your skills and why you'd like to be a 29Gifts volunteer.

Sign up now and get started. Give your gifts to the world!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Days 24-28

Geepers!?  I don't know where the time has gone!?  Another busy week in the Olson Household.... 
Imagine that. 

Tuesday, Day 24
(Thankful for my daily facebook updates to keep me inline and my memory refreshed)

Karisma 'Jones' Olson thinks she just found out what her gift du jour will be today!!

I can go to starbucks and know that 5c of my wonderful cup of coffee is going to help fund aids research! Thanks Andrea!!  Starbucks Coffee Company
December 1 at 1:21pm · Comment ·LikeUnlike · View Feedback (4)Hide Feedback (4) · Share

Yvonne Ruffthat's cheating.
December 1 at 3:13pm · deleteKarisma 'Jones' OlsonOh how do you figure?!
Ok, I did feel a *little* nudge of guilt- so I gave another $1 to Harvesters too, fed another 5 families!!! That feels good!! I was sooooo going to Pay It Forward today- at McDonald's- it was the only drive thru on my list, but the line was FOREVER long and I only had an hour for lunch.... so I went inside instead and will have to save that one for another day.... :O)
December 1 at 7:25pm · Delete

Wednesday, Day 25
December 2nd- Pookie's Birthday!!

Well, of course I gave him gifts!!

And I gave my bff away..... 
She packed up the house, hit the road and moved away.....
far, far, away.

But, she'll really never be more than a click awy.

Thursday, Day 26
I gave a hug.

Friday, Day 27
I did it- on the afternoon Sonic run, I decided I'd pay it forward!  So, in never having done this before, I thought, do I ask what the person behind me's total is before proceeding?  What if they're buying lunch for their office or bringing home dinner for the family?!  What if it's outrageous?  Doesn't matter.... defeats the purpose.  You just have to jump in, full forced- no going back. 

So I did.

I asked to pay for the person behind me too. 
Her total:

That felt like cheating.
But still, I bet it brought a smile to her face! :O)

Then, later in a trip to Tar-Jay with the kids, we all picked out gifts for Toys 4 Tots- no price restrictions- I just asked them to pick something they thought another child would like...
Some kids will be happy to receive-
A McDonalds cash register, complete with the burger and fries, a cool new sled and a couple packages of play-doh!! Oh what fun!!

Today- Day 28
After an early morning Holiday Extravaganza and pancake breakfast at school with the kids, the girls
(Bella, Aunt Cathy, Nana and I), we all went running around and did a little shopping too.  Our first trip was to the King Of Kings for Martin Luther Academy's annual cookie walk and while paying dearly to keep my own child well fed today, we also made sure to go out of our way to hit the Salvation Army buckets whenever they were near!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Week Of Giving - Days 17-23

Another week has flown by!  A week with family, a week of celebrating, a week with friends, a week of Thankfulness and A WEEK OF GIVING!!

Now, if only I can think back and remember that far...... oh boy!!

Tuesday- Day 17
 It's the hardest yet to remember, while I'm absolutely certain it was there~
I'm gonna have to get back to you on that one!  :O)

Lunch Note Promise by Lunchables
Check out the Lunch Note Promise! Promise to write a lunch note and Lunchables will give a free lunch to a kid in need!

Wednesday- Day 18

'Twas the day before mom and dad's 45th Wedding Anniversary, so I loaded up the kids and we went to the ponderosa to wish them well and to share the love!!  The kids worked so hard and decorated a card to the tee!  We picked out some absolutely *gorgeous* flowers for them to keep and to plant to bloom each year after year and a wonderful bottle for the two of them to share!!

Thursday- Day 19

Also known as THANKSGIVING.  It was so easy to give today and to be thankful and to be greatful for all that we have, those that we know and those that we love.  We started of with a trip to McDonald's on our way out of town and made certain to "Give a Hand" for the Ronald McDonald House and those in need. Then we headed to the land of Des Moines where we shared a fabulous new Pumpkin Trifle desert at the dinner at the church.  We met some new friends and played games with the kids!  Then to top of the day, we gave our undivided attention to our kids with a family night out- at the Buc's game!!  Nothing like good 'ol Iowa hockey!!  Especially when the kids KNOW one of the players personally and he LIVES with their cousins!!  How very cool is that!?

Friday - Day 20

Oh me oh my- today, I gave till it hurt!!!  They call it "Black Friday."  The day that the stores break out of the red...  This year, I had also heard it referred to as "Green Friday" at Toys R Us, as this was the day that they "made a lot of green" and even Blue Friday as advertised in KMart's big ad?!  We're thinking this one goes back to the days of "blue light special!"  And if you too remember that~ maybe I'm really not so old!?  LOL!  We went to bed somewhere between 11:30 and 12am, for a short nap as the alarms went off at 1:30am to leave the house by 2 to pick up a friend and be at the Old Navy for their doorbusters by 3am!!  Holy moly!!!  What were we thinking?!  Heck, we were done by 8:30am and couldn't even begin to tell you of all of our savings!!! Hee hee...  Today we felt like Marines- getting more shopping done before 9am, than most people get done all day!!!  So, Friday, needless to say- I gave to the economy!!

Saturday- Day 21

To be honest with you, somewhere between Thursday and Friday and the lack of sleep in there- it's really hard to say, if it happened on this day or if happened on that!?  But somewhere in there, we even snuck in another quick trip to the grocery store for some odds and some ends and another great feast was purchased and given at the register for another one in need.... 

Sunday- Day 22

Once again, I gave my afternoon to the children.  Sunday's have been practice days for the upcoming Christmas Hang Ups~ our musical at church.  The kids have been working and studying and practicing soooo hard since September and with only 2 practices left, this Sunday was pretty essential!!  The kids are doing great and the show's sure to be a hit!!

Monday- Day 23
So much to do, so much to say....It's incredibly hard to think for a week, but what about just one day?!  Back to work, back to the grindstone- it's in it's out, it's Monday....  oridinary ol' no big deal Monday....
But it didn't feel that way to everyone I know.
I'm sure that my friend Dana would beg to differ as this is a day she's marked down in her book.
Today was her daughter Delaney's surgery, a big one I'm sure.  So I've given prayers for her, for both of them and for their family and friends.  As God is watching from above, it's through Him that they are given strength and through Us that we give support.  We love you sweet Delaney!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day 16

Tonight while at the grocery store with the kids and while standing in line just trying to get through the checkout without a complete meltdown from my adorable 7 year old who just couldn't understand why I would not give him yet another quarter to put in yet another machine at the front doors for yet another cheap toy.... he decided to try to distract and out smart me...  He says to me, "Mom, do you think they have one of those bucket things or a place to give money to the homeless people or something?"  He did get my attention and I started looking around, thinking that usually they do have something at the registers- when I, with the help of my daughter, spotted the Check Out for Harvesters donation coupons.  They have these available in $1, $5 and $10 increments.  Immediately Bella rips off the $1 and hands it to the cashier, I smiled and said ok, then Anthony says he wants the $10 one?!  Well, that just wouldn't be fair, so we agreed on another $1 donation!!  We just fed 10 people for only $2!  Then we had to proceed still all the way to the car, to explain how that money- the equivalent of four quarters that we just donated for each of them, fed 5 people who otherwise wouldn't have been able to eat.  Although he tried to argue the point with me and to explain how the Indians didn't have money when they were here with the Pilgrims and how they had to live off their crops on the land~ I think in the long run, he "got it."  At least I hope I'm making some sort of impression?!

Then, just to top off our night of giving, the man behind me with a turkey under each arm, asked if I'd be so kind to let him use my Hen House card too?!  Well heck yeah, who wouldn't?!  Silly man!!  Sure made his night and saved him a pretty penny too!

Harvesters can turn a $1 donation into 5 meals. How do we do it? By leveraging that dollar to acquire, transport, sort, store and distribute enough donated food to feed five people. Where else can you get that kind of return on your investment?
To find out more about Harvesters- visit their website at:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Days 13, 14 & 15

Wow!!  Another 3 days have passed!!!  But not without another 3 days of giving!!  If only I could remember what I gave on Friday... hmmm....  It started with another lucky free lunch that I shared with a friend!!  Woo hoo!!  And ended with a late night sharing the cleaning duties with the kids?!  Does that count?  And to think I got a nice and organized book closet out of that deal!!  And another great/late heads up on an EARLY morning shipment of Zhu Zhu pets at Toys R Us!!!  Thank you, thank you!!  And I'm sooooo sorry, for not sharing my news (especially with you Troy!).... but I didn't find out till late and the sale was at 6am- which meant you had to be there by, hmm, oh, say 5:30am at least.... and, well, to be honest- I was up to my eyeballs in pledge and cupcakes- just not at the same time.  :O)

Then Saturday was the day of the big girl's birthday party!!  Oh what fun it was too!!  Her daddy was kind enough to wake up early and make the run for us, so that I could sleep in just a tad... then after surprising her with another friend for her friend, we got ready for the day.  And what fun did we have as we made candy necklaces, decorated cupcakes and made scrapbooks too!! And how lucky we were that one little friend who's just a little younger too, was in need of a coat the she just out-grew!!  Giving made easy!!  And I must have rubbed off on my kids, if just a bit... as Bella was so nice and generous to share in all of her gifts!!

Today, like most Sunday's we spent at the church!!  And in between Sunday School and our Musical practice when running errands and picking up a cookie cake for Ms. Colene and to share~ we made sure to share a sweet treat with the nice girls at the checkout too!  Then on the way home, we gave our old glass bottles to the recycling bin by Gomer's...  just one more thing we can do in our efforts to help Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!!  What's your One Thing?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 11 & 12

Wow!  I can't believe it's already days 11 & 12!!  And I'm not even having to think hard about it yet...  there just seems to be such a need for giving!  And most of it, comes natural! 

Yesterday I had to really think about it though...  In retrospect, I see where in a rush to make it to a meeting by 6 and getting there at 6:15 only to find out we were 15 minutes EARLY!!!  I got to give my kids some undivided attention!  We got to study some spelling words and had a little fun throwing in a few extras too!!  Then at the meeting, I gave an open mind to an offer for God's opportunity to "mess me up!"  (You had to be there!)  But what a great opportunity this is as God has sent Curtis Huffman from his beach suffering life in Florida back to Kansas City's Northland to start a movement, to start a church that starts churces that starts churches!!!  And to think that we could be at the breaking ground of all of this.  And just when I was asking "What is my next step?!"  Strange how God listens and answers....  The church name?  Northland!!  The church's mission:  Equip people to know, go, and show the ways of the Christian faith with pre-Christians and Christians from here to the ends of the earth.

Today- not only did I share my buy one get one free lunch from Noodles, but I gave my USB car charger to a coworker with a dead phone to make his deliveries to St. Joe and Excelsior!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Days 9 & 10

It's not easy being cheesy....  LOL!  But somehow I do do it very well.  :O) 

Day 9 was such a busy day running here and there and everywhere, but in the hustle and bustle of it all- I did manage to hit the Salvation Army bucket again.  Then when out running around with the kids, I discovered that I've rubbed off just a little bit....  everytime we pass the bell ringers, the kids ask for money for the bucket and whether or not we're going to ring the bells again this year?!  Anthony loves it and knows that it's a good cause to help people who need some money, but Bella says she thinks it might be too cold this year.  LOL!  We've always done it at the Hy-Vee in Liberty, in between the doors- sheltered from the elements!!  Kids are so darn cute!! So of course, once again, I gave them each a dollar for the bucket.  And inside WalMart, Anthony was sure to ask me for some money- I thought he wanted it for a candy machine or some game or something, but no, it was for the Children's Miracle Network- he said, but mom shouldn't we give some money to help the homeless?  No coaching needed- but possibly some lessons in tithing?!

Day 10

Today was Bella 6th Birthday!!!  Does it count that I gave her a plethora of gifts?!  Aside from that, as we left Chuck E Cheese tonight I stopped and handed out the remainder of our 5 helium balloons (with parent approval) and lit up a few small faces!  Sometimes it's the little things we do!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Day 8

Day 8

Today was yet again another VERY BUSY day for Mrs. Olson!! 
Thankfully though, Tony and the kids let me sleep in!!  Which in turn, seemed to make the day seem even busier and go even faster.... 
So after a great day at church with an AMAZING message, Chris Cakes and fellowship, a quick trip home then back again for Christmas Musical practice, home again, then off to in the world could I work in giving? 
You just do. 
As I jumped on facebook and was sitting and reflecting about my day and sort of wondering myself- what did I give?  I didn't count Tony's giving to The Ronald McDonald House yesterday, when we ran through the golden arches for breakfast, so could I really count our giving to the church?  Na.... 
But our fellowship and giving a place to sit to someone we'd recently met and share our breakfast with~ that counts...  And I thought about my time, the time I gave to teach the kids in the Christmas Musical, but then I was reminded that it was the gift of love today.  (Although in some instances, we all might argue that it was patience more than anything!)  At Bunco, I always give up my money rather easily....  :O)  However, tonight I had 2 roll-offs, in which I actually won one!!  So, I gave them all CAKE!   

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Day 5, 6 & 7

Ok, so I have to admit, this whole giving on purpose is really harder than it seems......  I mean, I'm a pretty giving person at it is, but when trying to give daily, I wonder if some of the things I give count?!  There really aren't any rules to this- at least not that I'm sure of?!  But on day 5, I was really struggling- a coworker was having a really hard time, she's had some medical issues surmounted with time off, hospital bills, doctor bills, lack of insurance, not to mention everything else that encompasses that, but then on top of everything else, she was just having some intense pain!  It was sooooo bad, and she was trying to be soooo strong, but being as stubborn as she was, she just really wanted to fight it out- I tried to lend my ear, to give her strength, but found that all I could really do was to give her a big old fat and juicy hug!!!  (And for those of you who know, I'm really not a big old fat and juicy touchy feely kinda huggy person!)  So, does that really count?  I really didn't "do" anything, but I did everything I really could.... 

Day 6... another day like before- I didn't give anything monetary- I think that's where my sense of "giving" keeps getting confused.... it doesn't have to be monetary, but genuine, heart felt and necessary.  So on day 6 I listened.  Something we could all really benefit from- just to stop and listen- sometimes that's all the other person really needs.  They don't necessarily need our judgement, our advice, our opinions or our two cents- they just need someone to listen.  And that's just what I did.      Later, of course, I checked back in and we brainstormed and we talked and we shared and again, I listened.

Day 7. 
A busy day.  I gave my time- attended Leadership Training for my son's Cub Scout Den.  Ran errands and decided to park just a little farther away and grab a cart from the parking lot on the way in- something we should all do- why not?!  You're going to use it as soon as you get inside anyway and it's one less cart for someone else to tote or to run away stray into the parking lot?!  Next stop, I intentially planned to go into the grocery store on the same side as the Salvation Army Bell Ringer to make sure to give my donation- my mom said she plans to give to each one she sees this year!  What a great idea!!!  I usually volunteer to ring the bells each year and haven't signed up yet and just might not physically be able to fit it in- but will definitely help where I can!  Once inside the store, I put my blinders on and challenged myself to get in and get out with everything on my list in just a very short amount of time.  In doing so, I failed to help the little old lady in her store owned power cart ramming it into the meat coolers as she tried and tried to turn it around while her frail husband stood ever so sweetly out of her way.....  I really don't think I could have jumped the counter and ran around and weaved through the other people in the store to help her before she managed it, but still, it woke me up and made me aware.  I travelled over to the toilet paper and mentally added two jumbo packs to my list as the kids have been begging me to get some the next time I go to the store as their classes are competing to see who can collect the most for the shelter bins.  Then I passed the sweetest little lady climbing up on the bottom shelves to reach the Sponge Bob Dixie Cups that were on the top shelf and knocked over and pushed back- she was ever so grateful!  I'm guessing she has grandkids?!  And still I managed to get everything on my list and out of the store in record time!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day 4

Ok, so today is Day 4 of the 29 Days of Giving...  I had great intentions of giving to Toys For Tots today.... but the fact that the toy I thought I had, I don't and the trip I had planned to the bank didn't happen since it was closed...was making it a tough start!  But, on the way out the door, I grabbed the container of cookies still sitting on the counter, that we didn't need at Cub Scouts after all, and brought those to work to share once again.  Gee, I'm starting to see a theme here already!?  LOL!  Then, on a drink run in the morning, a did spot a coworker who's wallet was dry.......  it happens.  And then I just had to throw in an OJ for my friend Diana who seriously expected me to believe that she was going to eat a sausage biscuit with grape jelly without anything to drink?!  Silly girl!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Random Acts of Kindness?

I don't really know what started it, but the other day at work we somehow got on the subject of random acts of kindness...  One girl was talking about a trip to Dollar General and how the lady in front of her with her baby in toe, had to put back the toilet paper she was going to buy as she just didn't have quite enough to pay for it.  Now, we've all been there before when you get to the checkout and you left your wallet at home, the debit card in the car, your spouse forgot to give you the new credit card and yours is expired~ or even just when you didn't have quite enough....  not only is it embarrassing, but I can't even imagine to have to choose what to put back, and not having enough for toilet paper.  Well, the girl I work with must have felt those same emotions as she went ahead and paid for the toilet paper with her items and caught up with the new mom still loading the baby into the car.  How very grateful she was and couldn't thank her enough!!

The other gal at work shared a similar story that had just happened to her when leaving Sam's and meeting a young lady at the gas pumps.  The young girl was trying to use a Wal-Mart gift card she had to pay for her gas, but the pump wasn't able to read and/or accept it.  Frustrated and out of gas, she asked, nearly begged to sell her gift card for some gas money.  My colleague refused to take her gift card, but did give her $10 and followed her to QT to make sure she got there safely and was able to get the gas she truly needed.  Again, the girl was extremely grateful. 

Well, of course not wanting to be without my own little tid-bit to add... I just had to chime in!  Of course, my story paled in comparison.  But still an act of kindness that was witnessed and this time to me!!!  This was my silly 'ol story and quest for the infamous and impossible to find Zhu Zhu pet!  A friend tipped me off that Wal-Mart was going to have them in the ad on Sunday and would have them available- yet in limited supplies.  Well, since everyone knows that Sunday starts at Midnight- I high-tailed it up there at 12:00 on the nose.  Only to find out that the line started at 11:30pm!  They had 20 come in and with a limit of 2 per person, that meant that the first 10 people there got them!  Bummer.  I missed that boat, but shrugged it off, no big deal. I figured I'd make the most of it and pick up the dog food and few other things I needed so I wouldn't have to battle the crowds on Sunday anyway.  Then as I was walking out the door, I ran into my friend- you know, the one that tipped me off!!  This was his 3rd Wal-Mart for the night and when I told him the news, he and his friend left too...  who woulda thought?!  Then low and behold, next thing I know as I'm loading up my van and getting ready to head home, he stopped at my car and asked when Bella's birthday was.  I told him it wasn't till the 17th and that I had a full 10 days to shop- no big deal.  He snickered a little, handed me the cutest little white pet hampster, Zhu Zhu and wished me luck.  What a guy!  I'll pay him back, just as soon as I can and he knows it- he's just not holding his breath!!!  Supposedly, the next shipment is expected December 1st....

Which leads me to Sunday's Sermon in church.  The topic was about giving....  and mentioned in the sermon was the book "A Month of Giving."  Well, in googling the subject of 30 days of giving, 1 month of giving and other various ideas- I came across the 29 Gifts Movement.  Originally, while sitting and listening to the sermon, I thought this would be a great idea to write down and chart our giving within the family, but since hearing the stories at work and doing even more research- I thought I'd put it out there and see who's up for a challenge?  Shoot me an email and sign up with me!  It's become quite the movement already and I can't wait to journal my progress, share my stories and hear from you too!

Monday, October 12, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like


Ok, so it might not really look a lot like Halloween around here, but I'm beginning to feel the time crunch!  So much to do, such excitement to share!!  I FINALLY got the 3rd Annual Halloween Party Invites created and posted the "event" to facebook and gave the kids each their own 25 invites to hand out to their friends and classmates, our costumes have been ordered and the first few goodies and prizes have been bought!  Whew!  AND one of the biggest hurdles has just about been topped- THE MUSTANG!!!  It's 99% done and will be making it's exit and debut trip home THIS weekend!!  (No offense to the Magneson's, but we're ready to bid it adieu! ~ As I'm sure you're ready to welcome it home!!)  So then, on to yard work... and tree cutting, and clearing and raking and more yard work...  Nothing T can't handle in a day... or two!?  But it's soooo worth it!  In the past 2 years, we've had incredible weather and turn outs and somehow we manage to throw it all together when we're never really sure how it'll be done!  50+ kids plus all of their parents and friends, a pot luck, crafts and games, a costume contest and S'MORES!  What could be better?!  LOL!

What could be better?!



Nick and Jessica are getting married!  We're all very excited for this wedding!  Of course, many of us are shipping the little ones off for the night, for a night of adult entertainment, dining and dancing and Haunted Housing right across the street at The Edge of HELL!!!  How very cool is that?!

But that's not the only reason we're shipping off the kids....  I'm in charge of making the wedding cake!!  I've never made a wedding cake before in my life!!  So, I've become OBSESSED with the Ultimate Cake Off and Ace of Cakes, I've taken cake decorating and fondant classes and I'm still having nightmares and stressing out just a little bit about this!!  And I'm still not sure what I'm going to do about my cake topper?!  I've researched them and ordered one- STILL WAITING- apparently I missed the "being shipped from China" part... the SLOW boat from China?!  Time permitting and talent pending, what I'd really like to do, is make Jack & Sally (aka: the bride and groom) out of gum paste....  one can dream....

So, other than flavors and stacking and cooling and frosting and the ultimate "how to's," here are some of my inspirations:   (shhhh, don't tell, I have the ultimate say, so whatever happens, it will be a surprise!!)

Wish me luck... 

Monday, October 05, 2009

God Sightings

Last spring at church, we started preparing the kids for VBS and one of the discussions we would be having with them then....  God Sightings.  Ever since then, it's been something we discuss and we share the different ways we've seen or experienced God in our own lives each week.  The kids always have some amazing answers- sometimes they're just fun and sometimes they've really put a lot of thought into it, but each week they share something.  Some examples include the experience they have in church, or in witnessing a rainbow, the fight they overcame and avoided with a sibling, or the baby puppy they recently adopted, the green grass, the dinner they had together with their family, the changing colors of the leaves....  This week, we had one great story from my helper and her daughter who talked about her Aunt's house that burned and the two strangers who came to her house and alerted her to the fire, how the next day when they came back to sift through the remains, her two kitties who could not be found, were.... and how the ONE wall that remained that did not burn had one thing on it still remaining, a crucifix.  A definite God Sighting- one that lasted, one that stayed to remind the firefighters and the Aunt how God was there, God was watching and looking over them, keeping them safe and sending his love in strangers to get her out and keep her safe. 

God's love is always near.  I witnessed my own, personal God Sightings this week- once last week when I was making a quick stop to pick up some medicine for Anthony, before getting on the highway and traveling across town.  Just before I got out of my car, I had to get that one last drink of my sweet tea in the car- unfortunately it went down my wind pipe instead and boy did I choke... I think I had a coughing fit in the parking lot for at least 10 minutes- I was so embarrassed, but fortunate to have been alone.  Finally, I cleared my throat and went in. After leaving the store and getting on the highway, I immediately encountered bumper to bumper traffic sitting at a complete standstill!  Not more than 5 miles ahead was a horrible accident- I sat there for no less than 30 minutes- watching the emergency crews come and go, the tow trucks came....  it was heart wrenching as I drove past... silly how one little coughing fit could set you back just long enough to avoid such a big thing.  I never really thought much of it though- then yesterday, among my list of 101 things to do, I was passing the car wash and thought- what the heck, my car's dirty, it's a nice day...  I almost never wash my car...and I know I really didn't have the extra 5 minutes to squeeze it into my already overbooked schedule- but I did... then later as we were turning in to go to my office, another bad accident had just occurred.  Just long ago enough that everybody had gotten out of their cars and moved to the curb- but still recent enough that no body else was yet on the scene.  Too close for comfort!  Was it kismet?  Maybe.  I'm just glad to know that my own Guardian Angel is always watching over me! 
And that God is there too! 


Thursday, September 17, 2009


No, seriously- totally FREE CHOCOLATE on Fridays!!  As if Friday in and of itself is not good enough, these great little M&M guys are giving themselves away!!!

I first heard about this great offer through Freebies 4 Moms- the best newsletter I ever did sign up for- FREE stuff everyday, I'm signing up left and right and keep finding new things in my mailbox all the time!  It's great!  For example- today alone, I printed off a coupon for a FREE portrait package- yes, the entire package, from Portrait People!!  How very cool is that?! Oh and last week- I was playing the Huggies Enjoy the Ride game- I dunno, they give you these Huggies points and you spend them to try to win prizes- I WON!!  A $25 Starbucks gift card!! Yeah baby!!

Ok, so back to the FREE CHOCOLATE...  too easy- just click on the link, sign in and give them your address.  They'll send you a coupon for a free candy bar!!   I think you can do this four times- on separate Fridays of course as this offer is only good for the first 250,000 people each Friday. 


Monday, September 14, 2009

A Do-Over Day...

Or should I just call it a "do-over weekend?!"

We've all been there, done that... had one of those days that at some point- usually just midway through it that you just want to crawl back in bed and start over?  Well, Saturday was just one of those days- which led to one of those weekends all together. (Let's hope this weekend upcoming, which is already planned to be twice as busy, is not a repeat of what we just went through!)

So, it all starts out like any other great Saturday as planned:  sleep in, wrap present for my future sister-in-law's bridal shower, the kids hang out with daddy while I "shower" with the ladies....  then off to Raymore to take pictures and create a virtual tour for a new homes listing (one of my side jobs), then just a night to chill and relax with the family!  That was the plan anyway... and like I said, it all started out just fine...

The Mikasa Margarita Glasses and Margarita lotion and foot scrub for the Bride-2-Be
Chocolate Chip Pancakes smothered in peanut butter and maple syrup that Tony made...
and then mom called....
I knew it wasn't good...
all I heard was Tony say, "ok, no, I'll take care of it."
I just knew.......
It all started a little over 6 months ago, when we noticed a lump on BooBoo's (aka: Clifford) front leg.  Tony finally took him to the vet as he was limping and whining more and more.  Not good.  It's a tumor.  IN his bone.  No telling how long it's been there, how big it is, how far it's spread....  "Just make him comfortable," was the advice we received.  While the tumor was only about the size of a golf ball, it gradually got worse...  and doubled in size each month.  Tony talked to the vet about amputation, but not knowing how far it'd spread internally and with his age; they felt it'd be better for him not to have to learn to walk with 3 legs now- he might not get over it and going under was probably not the best idea.  There were also suggestions of taking him to KU to have students "study him" and to use him for trials and experimental case studies as this is so rare, but again, he didn't see that as any life for him....  So, BooBoo's spent many a day being spoiled with lots of treats and peanut butter sandwiches and chew bones.  As he got around less and less and developed more and more incontinence (sp?) issues, we decided to take him up to The Ponderosa where he loves to be- to run and be free, to enjoy the open spaces and fresh air.  He always loved going to Papa's and seeing his friends there.  He was happy.  That was a week ago.  Then, during breakfast, mom called....  "he's not doing good... he won't get up..."  It was time.  And Tony left right away to get his dog, his dog of 12 years.... to make his appointment and bring him home.
Rest In Peace - You'll be missed fat dog.
the rest is just a blur....  something about crabby kids at a luncheon, a trip across town and then some for a house that wasn't ready..... what happened next, I dunno....