Monday, December 06, 2010

I just got these cute cards for FREE!!

Tropical Cheer Christmas 5x7 folded card
Make a statement with custom Christmas cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

It Keeps Going and Going and Going!!

Woodson Chapel Christian Church in St. Joe, MO is starting the 40 Days of Kindness. Pass it on!

Friday, April 16, 2010


As I sit and reflect upon what my 29 Days of Giving has done for me and how I've benefited from my own acts of kindness, I'm AMAZED at how much I've infected others to react, initiate and incorporate bigger and better ways to keep the momentum going!!  It's been well beyond my 29 days of Giving and I've seen and witnessed how it keeps going and going although I've quit the accountability and daily acts of giving.  Even though I'm not intentionally and actively giving on purpose each day, I'm still giving and sharing daily.  And the benefits are overflowing! 
We've all heard the phrase "Pay it forward" and many have seen the movie, but this is more than a movie or a phrase, it's real life and it's PURE- giving or acting without expectation.
If you google the phrase, "pay it forward" this is what you'll get:

Wikipedia also defines it:
The expression "pay it forward" is used to describe the concept of asking that a good turn be repaid by having it done to others instead. In contract law, typically there are two parties, but there may be a third party beneficiary. "Pay it forward" means the creditor (obligee) offers the debtor (obligor) the option of "paying" the debt forward by lending the funds to a third person instead of paying it back to the original creditor. Debt and payments can be monetary or by good deeds. In sociology, this concept is called "generalized reciprocity" or "generalized exchange". A related transaction, which starts with a gift instead of a loan, is alternative giving.

See also
Reciprocity (social psychology)
Reciprocity (cultural anthropology)
social responsibility
Gift economy

I absolutely LOVE this- especially what's found in the See Also- kindness and social responsibility.  It's part of our core responsibilties and the way to Walk in the Shoes of Jesus to live as we are here to live.  Hebrews 10:24... And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds...

Many times I've been asked about my giving and what inspired it, why I did it, how it worked and so on....  I'm really not one to talk much about my personal life (in person any way), or make a big deal over the things I do or have done- I just do it to do it....  But I do talk about it and love what it's done!  My sister-in-law and her husband, the Pastor of a church in Minnesota, have taken my acts of kindness and enveloped it into a passion and ministry within their church and they've blogged about the responses and reactions within the church and their community!  Click on her link to follow their story.

Not long after they started their 28 Days of Giving, I was again approached to share my story.  My own church wanted to start up something with a goal of 4,000 Acts of Kindness!!  Expanding from the 29 Days, they wanted to encourage 100 people to take the challenge of 1 act of kindness each day for 40 days = 4,000 acts of kindness!!!  They kicked this off Easter Sunday with my own video testimonial.

Check out their link and progress here:

Who knows where this will all lead?!  I'm just proud to say that I've been an active part of it!!  Don't be afraid to get involved and pay it forward yourself and to give back.  Who knows, mabye your town will be the next Kindest City in your state!?  See how this city is working towards that title now:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Flowering Cross by Beth Ryan

"The Flowering Cross" is a wonderful Easter story for children.  It really shows kids how they too can have an affect on the lives of others and how they can share their love for Jesus as well as his love for us.  Through Katie, Papa Jack finally opens up as his heart is filled with love for the first time.

I read this story to my children, ages 6 & 8 and they both wanted to share in the review as well.  My youngest, loved the story and thought this would be great for me to read as I teach K/1 Sunday School- especially now as we're beginning to celebrate Easter.  My son also thought that this was a very good book.  While he thought it could have been a little longer, he did not find it boring.  (His words.)  I too enjoyed the book and thought it had a great Easter message while creating a new tradition with the Flowering Cross as a way to celebrate the life Jesus gave for us and to say Thank You Jesus for all He has done for us.

There are also "Faith Imprints" and Bible verses at the bottom of several pages to refer to and discuss as you're reading the story.  While I like the references, I would rather have them at the end, but either way is great and it really makes it fun to go back and discuss to see how the kids understood the story.

I highly recommend this story for young children and will enjoy sharing this with others. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, January 10, 2010

2010 Rewards, Motivations and Goals

2010- Our Goals, Our Motivations and Our Rewards Boards!

As many of you may know and have seen, we keep the kids "Rewards Boards" posted up on the wall in the kitchen.  Previously, they were on a giant hot pink posterboard and we used stars to track their progress.  It worked wonderfully!!  But then, after having several inquiries for more information and pictures and what not, I tried to create a post to show and tell all about it- only for my post to get lost somewhere in Cyberspace.... not happy.  But no love lost.... in the process, I thought I'd add some helpful tools and links and inadvertently (my 10c word for the day!) researched the SuperNanny just a bit and discovered her, even cooler, reward boards!!!  So I thought I use hers, as ours was beginning to get a little tatterred and worn.... 

After a few trials and tribulations, we FINALLY got our new boards up and running, just in time for the new year!!

Bella's chart is on the right while Anthony chose the Pirate theme on the left.  We dug out some game pieces and use those to move their 'marker' up and down as needed.  I printed the pages directly from the Supernanny site, laminated them and use 'tacki-tape' (?) to move their markers and to hang our creations. 

This was our first official week using the new charts.  They each start at the bottom on "Start" and have to work their way up to 10.  They have to earn it in order to move up- setting the table, putting away their laundry, doing other chores as asked- no questions asked or whining allowed, etc...  But they can also lose it and go back down at the drop of a hat- bad behavior, not listening, arguing and fighting, time outs, etc...  One night last week, Bella did go down 2-3 places in just a manner of minutes, but made it all the way back up to 9 by the week end.  :O)  Anthony, on the other hand, managed to make it all the way to 10 and held on to it (although just by a thread) all the way to the end!! 

So then what? you ask.... well, that's up to you!!  Last year, they earned a quarter for each star they had at the end of the week (the primary difference was that they started with 10 stars and had to keep them all they get to earn them!!).  The quarters still work for us, but have decided to tweak that just a bit as well.  Last year, we discovered that it was nearly impossible for them to not spend it as fast as they earned it!!  And when you're only earning $2-$2.50/week, that's a whole lot of nothing they wasted their money on.  We even tried to find incentives for them to SAVE for... and found that Bella is a MUCH BETTER saver than her brother!!  Combined with some birthday money she got, she managed to save enough for a really nice digital camera!! 

So, this year, we're going to help them save...  and just like our family individual goals, we're keeping with our theme of 100.  If they have 10 perfect weeks, they will have earned 100 quarters!!  So, below their charts, they have another 100 board to track their earnings!!

And just because I know you're dying to hear about our family individual goals of 100...  I'll tell you.
It really originated as goals for the kids, but of couse, they sucked us in too!  And to be honest with you- well, the mom and the dad are not doing too well yet.... 

The kids were kind enough to make us each nametags for our tracker.  Mom's goal is to work out 100 times, dad's is to save $25- 100 times, Anthony's goal is to read 100 chapters (a revised compromise from 100 books) and Bella's goal is to learn 100 words!!  As you can see by the bottom 2 charts, the kids are off to a great start!!!

So, what are your goals, your rewards and your motivations (aka: resolutions) for 2010?