Monthly Archives: April 2010

Do a Good Deed Day!

Love Thy Neighbor

There are so many cheap, fun, and EASY ideas to build a better relationship with your neighbor(s)!  Brightening someone’s day with a simple gesture can make a world of difference for someone, and it’s SO easy to do.  Here are a couple of ideas I’ve done with/for neighbors:

- Buy a bunch of grapes (or pick a bunch from your garden) and deliver them with a note:  You’re a GRAPE neighbor”  Lame huh?  And yet so fun at the same time!  Seriously, it’s such a laffy taffy joke, people will laugh simply because you had the guts to do it:-)  I have a neighbor who mentioned to me how much her family loves grapes, but that they don’t buy them because of the cost.  So I’ll be doing this as soon as there’s a sale ha ha!

- Make cookies, cupcakes, or other fun treats with a note telling them how ‘sweet’ they are.

- Share your garden’s harvest.  Heck, share your garden space if you’d like!  We had a friend of Munchkin come over for a playdate almost once a week last summer, so she and Munchkin got a garden box and each time she came over we’d water and weed that box.  It was so fun watching the girls enjoy their tomato plants!

- In winter when shoveling your walk, spend 5 extra minutes and get the sidewalks of those on either side of you.  SO easy, but when a neighbor does it for me, it makes me so happy:-) 

- Invite the neighbor kids over to play to give their parents a break. 

- In January/February, start some fun flowers indoors.  When they’re ready to flower, deliver to neighbors to provide a little spring cheer.  Keep a few for yourself too!

This is such an easy idea, I know there’s gotta be hundreds more…what kinds of things do you do to “love your neighbor”?

Frugal Friday – Balancing your Checkbook

In this age of digital budgeting and spending, it’s easy to forget this simple, yet extremely important aspect of budgeting:  Balancing your checkbook.  If you’ll take 15 minutes to balance your checking account, you’ll stay on top of your budget and avoid bounced checks and overdraft fees.

Head on over here  to read an article by Dave Ramsey sharing tips and advice for balancing your checkbook!

A Proud Day…

The other day Munchkin was hosting a playdate.  The girls decided they were cheerleaders, and were cheering at a basketball game.  After the “game” was over, the gal who was visiting said, “Let’s go home and get our boyfriends!”
I was so proud to hear my daughter’s response:
“There are NO boyfriends allowed in THIS house!”
And then I heard her reasoning:
“Because I saw both of our boyfriends kissing other girls!!!”

Oh dear….

My thoughts on Compassionate Service

Service Soapbox Baby Shower
In conjunction with the Service Soapbox Baby Shower, I wanted to share some of my thoughts on compassionate service, and service in general.

Just a couple of days ago I shared a story about my daughter serving me.  That story really sums up my thoughts on the matter, but let me recap:

  • Service does not have to cost you money.
  • Service does not have to cost you time.
  • Service is AWESOME!!!
  • One person, doing what they can to serve another, will CHANGE THIS WORLD.

I think a lot of us think that we can’t change the world, we can’t make a difference, we can’t “pay it forward”…because we feel we’re not qualified to do so, don’t have enough time or money, or just plain aren’t good enough.
IT’S NOT TRUE!!!

You can serve and make a difference with what you have, and if you sincerely give what you have, it’s the biggest gift one could receive. 

Some of my favorite experiences with compassionate service include:

  • The time my neighbor brought by a book she’s borrowed from the library.  The title, something along the lines of “Cats Have Aspergers, Too”.  She was thinking of us and wanted us to have a fun read.  
  • The time just a little over a week ago when our neighbors brought us over some Easter rolls…they were delicious, fun, and they set the perfect tone for my family’s Easter!!!
  • Every single time my kids pick the dandelions from my yard and give them to me, my heart soars.  It really, truly does! 
  • The day before my grandfather passed away (this last January), he was in the hospital, and his feet were bothering him.  My mom and I asked him if he wanted lotion on his feet, and he confirmed that he did.  Rubbing lotion on and massaging my grandfather’s feet meant the world to me.  It meant MORE than the world.  It was the last chance I had to serve him, in my small way, on this earth.  I felt God’s love surround me as I thought of Christ washing the feet of his disciples.  A simple task, sure, but one that meant SO MUCH MORE.  I will be forever changed because of that moment.  

So what do you say?  Join me at the Baby Shower?  If you can’t come, how about you join me for the Virtual Shower the next week?

5 Things Challenge 4/11-4/17

Hip hip hooray for a productive week!!  Here’s how I did on my 5 things:

  1. Pull out computer desk and clean under and behind it.- DONE
  2. Vacuum all the beds and couches good – DONE
  3. Put away Easter decorations, baskets, eggs, etc – DONE
  4. Reorganize the food storage – DONE 
  5. Go to the school’s Community Council Meeting, do my monthly PTA duties! – DONE

Even though it was productive, I’m REALLY not in the mood to do anything this week….but I shall try:

  1. Clean out rabbit’s cage.  It’s sad that it has to be on my list, isn’t it?
  2. Get the mail for my mom while she’s gone.
  3. Re-inventory all my Mary Kay stuff.
  4. List 5 more items on ebay.
  5. Get registered for my summer semester!

 

The Best Act of Service – Pay it Forward!

Today, I want to spend a little time sharing a story of service.  Real, true, meaningful service that changed my life.  Consider this the “Do a Good Deed” post for the week!

Before I get into the story, I want to let you know about a wonderful, heartwarming giveaway that is going on…it’s called a “Pay it Forward” giveaway!  An old friend of mine is hosting it over HERE, and it’s awesome.  All she’s asking is that you think about a time you received service and then share it.  That’s all you gotta do to enter!

I think a lot of us think that we can’t change the world, we can’t make a difference, we can’t “pay it forward”…because we feel we’re not qualified to do so, don’t have enough time or money, or just plain aren’t good enough.

IT’S NOT TRUE!!!

You can serve and make a difference with what you have, and if you sincerely give what you have, it’s the biggest gift one could receive.  With that said, here’s my story:

As many of you know, my son has been diagnosed with an ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).  He was diagnosed almost 2 years ago.  The day we found out he may have Autism was the day of my 8-year anniversary. 
I hate admitting this, but for the first week or so after being told of his condition, I mourned.  I was told, “Remember, your son is still the same person.  Nothing has changed except that we now have a name for what is going on.  He’s STILL YOUR SON.”

It didn’t feel that way.  I felt that I had lost my son.  I mourned for the child I had lost.  I mourned for the future I was convinced he wouldn’t have.  I’m sure many parents who have experienced this know what I’m talking about. 

Anyway, I spent WAY more time being a wreck than I should have.  One day in particular, 6 days after the diagnosis to be exact, I spent the whole day crying and napping.  I’d cry for an hour, nap for an hour, and do it all over again.  At around 3:00 in the afternoon, I awoke from a nap to see my then 5 year old daughter sitting on the bed, watching me.  I was so drained, I didn’t even care.  I just started crying again.

Here’s where it gets good.

That 5 year old girl, my sweet little Munchkin, lifted my head up and laid it on her lap.  She began stroking my hair and humming.  Once my blubbering had quieted down, she leaned down, kissed me on the forehead, and said “Just lay your head on me mommy.  Everything’s going to be okay, I’m here.”

Can I express what that meant to me?  I cannot.  Just typing this makes me emotional.  My 5-year old child changed me that day.  She gave what she could, and she gave it with the truest sincerity of her heart.  She gave me hope for a better tomorrow.  She reminded me that I needed to start living again, because yes, everything WAS going to be all right.  With that simple 30 second act of service, my daughter changed my life.

Please share your thoughts.  Share your stories.  Let your hearts be lightened as you remember times of service, whether big or small.

Walk Like You Have Somewhere To Go book review

 I recently had the opportunity to read and review the book, Walk Like You Have Somewhere To Go, by Lucille O’Neal with Allison Samuels.

This was a book I was excited to read.  In the book, Lucille, the mother of NBA great Shaquille O’Neal, shares her struggles and disappointments in life along with many of her sweetest memories.
I have to be honest; this book disappointed me.  From the very first chapter, I felt that the story was written with a “woe is me” attitude.  As the book progressed, the tone improved, but every once in a while that whine would come back, and since that tone had been there from the very beginning, I found it difficult not to roll my eyes when I’d read about yet another reason that she struggled.  It was especially strange to hear her mention her mother and how she would say “Lou, stop being so pitiful.”  She seemed to recognize that she tends to complain a lot, and it definitely reflected in her writing.
To be fair, the book did have it’s good points as well.  It was an easy read.  It was interesting to peek into her life and the lives of her children, and it kept my attention.  It shared some fun memories and stories that made me smile, such as her being able to finish college and get a degree. She made some very good points throughout the book as she matured and figured things out.
I would give this book 3 out of 5 stars….many people may really enjoy it, especially those who like to get a peek into the reality of celebrity life.  It had great potential to be incredibly inspiring, but it just didn’t do that for me.

*I do not receive any monetary compensation.  This book was given to me to review by Book Sneeze.  The opinions are all my own.