Friday, February 25, 2011


It's my birthday tomorrow.  I am trying hard and showing great restraint by not rolling my eyes right now.  So instead of taking the road labeled, "Annoyed with getting older,"  I am going down the one labeled, "Celebrate in a fun, unique way."  So, to celebrate my whopping 34 years on this planet, I am going to try and perform 34 Random Acts of Kindness.  And since I know my time is stretched thin this weekend, I'm asking for your help to get to 34.  So if you are reading this, please consider performing a random act of kindness in my honor.  But then you have to let me know what it was so I can keep track of numbers.

I got this idea from here.  I was really inspired by this post when I read it and decided to try it this year.  I'm not sure I can afford to do quite so many big things as the author does, the intent of the goal is not to bankrupt me, just to LOOK.  Look for ways to make the lives around you, known and unknown, better.  To be nicer to strangers, just for the sake of being nice.

So here's what I've got...

#1-#4-Gifted the 4 ladies at the Dentist office with some Lia Sophia Bling when I took Denver in for her appointment.

#2- Bought a $10 gift card at Target and told the cashier to use it on the next order that came through her line.  It took her a second to really get what we were asking, but when the next person approached her line, she smiled and said,"Well, I guess that would be her."

#3-#5-  Gave some more bling away at Wegmans.  Had to correct someone who thought I was selling it.

#6-Bought a sub tray while at Wegmans and delivered it to our local Fire Department.  The girls LOVED this one b/c the fireman let them climb up on the Ladder Engine for a picture.

#7- Wrote a thank you note to our mail-person and attached a Chocolate bar to it.

 #8-#17 Snowblowed 10 driveways(besides our own) after we got about a foot of snow within 12 hours.

#18&#19- Denver and Willa shoveled two neighbors porches and applied pixie dust(ice melt).

  I'm in a gym for most of my day tomorrow, playing the role of coach for a 14 and Under Volleyball team.  I'm hoping there will still be opportunity to knock a few more off my list.  But that's the thing I guess, there is always a place for kindness.  If we can't immediately see it, it may be we aren't looking close enough.


#20+#21  Submitted via my Mom "When I told Aunt Bev about your request, she bought a dozen donuts to take to the gals at Joann's and pre-paid an order at a local deli for a family who had a trailer fire and lost the double wide and the garage last week."

#22 While buying the 5 glass vases in this pic at Goodwill, I also got a $10 gift card for the next person in line(who gave me a hug).

#23 Delivered 5 vases full of flowers to a local Nursing Home.

#24-33 Gifted the staff of 10 at the same Nursing Home with Lia Sophia bling(seriously, I had a lot of jewelry to give)

#34&#35  Delivered cookie trays to the local Police Precinct and another Fire Station

#36 Gave a $25 gas card to someone at the gas station.  This was little harder b/c the first guy Wayne tried to give it to, didn't want it.  I think he was afraid Wayne was accosting him, but eventually he did understand and told him to try and find someone who really needed it.  We did find someone who would take it and seemed pretty happy about it too.
# 37  Delivered a box of drawing pads, crayons, and silly putty to a local hospitals Emergency Room, along with a case of bottled water.

To be sure, the second day was harder due to our family fatigue from the weekend.  As you see, Adalyn was sometimes awake and sometimes not.  The older 2 girls were pretty pooped too.  But my Almost-SIL took the torch and really ran with it.  Having lost a dear friends of hers about a year ago, what started out as a few good deeds for my birthday turned into 34 ways to remember her friend.  It is a heartwarming experience actually.  Almost addicting.  Thanks Robyn, for the great idea.                          

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Happy 3 Days After Valentine's Day

 I kind of missed the blog for Monday.  But here is a little Valentine picture so I hope you had a nice day.  The older I get the more I find that this day is really not a big deal if your married(Wayne and I have never really celebrated it), but seems to be a big deal if you're single or dating someone.  I'm not sure what that says about us marrieds.  But I know I have 3 of the cutest Valentines to be had(actually I have 8, as I have been corrected many times now.  The rest include Daddy(can't argue that one) and Possum(big argument there), Sneakers and Neener(cats who are on the top of my 'dislike' list lately), and Rainbow, our new Beta fish that sits on our dining room table and swims around in her little bowl, all the while laughing at us I"m sure).

 Oh well.  Lately we've been noticing Adalyn has a more determined sense of style than her sisters did at this point.  Or maybe it's been so long I can't actually remember accurately.  Most of the time her style includes a dancing skirt.  She is way more into dress up than the other two were.  We've been known to go to the grocery store in hideously mismatching pieces only because we(and by 'we' here I mean her royal highness) were determined to do so.

 But we have managed to finally, finally get her to sleep normally.  In her own bed all night.  So we can all laugh a little easier now that we are not on the cliff of sleeplessness.  It seems we are trading the bad sleep for the terrible two's however.

Interspersed with bouts of delightfulness, of course.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Crafting Bug

Winter has brought a fierce crafting bug to my house.  Along with a determination to make more gifts instead of just buying something that will only be forgotten 48 hrs. later.  I thought I'd share as I'm pretty proud of my little projects.  The real test will be if I can come up with handmade gifts for the teen nephews in a few weeks:/  Crafting for guys is always so hard so if anyone has a suggestion, let me hear it.

This is a little pen set and holder I made for a boy in Willa's class. 

 I used wire to 'write' his name and embroidered stars onto the denim.  I used a cardboard core covered in denim(old jeans, not even fit for Salvation Army).  Then I stitched a rocket ship and 2 aliens and hot glued them to a pen.  Boys are always hard to craft for but I like this little gift and I hope he will too!

By the same line, this was a little gift for one of Denver's friends.  Again, a cardboard core covered in denim.  I stitched the little girl's name and decorated with some silk-ribbon embroidery.  The we covered pens with green florist tape and hot glued a silk flower into the top after removing the plug.  

These flowers I fell in love with!  Taking a strip of fabric and stitching one side tight and then hot glueing a button in the middle.  Then hot glue a lollypop stick to the back with maybe a circle of felt to cover the messies.  For my niece, I took florists styrofoam and glued it into the tin pot and sliced a bunch of holes in a piece of brown felt.  Glued the felt on top of the styrofoam and she can 'plant' them.  I would use wooden dowels if I did it as a gift again, the lollypop sticks broke too easily:/.  But I think she enjoyed it all the same.  I did have a misguided thought to make these flowers for Valentines for the kids to take to school.  However, clocking at around 10 minutes per, it was slightly unrealistic to make 50 of them.  Maybe just for the teachers.

 And this is a cute little monster I made for Adalyn.  I think much of my inspiration came from just thinking about ways in which I could play with my Mom's box of buttons which I'm hoping she doesn't actually want back:)
 And finally, for a dear little friend's birthday, the girl's wanted to throw a little birthday tea party.  Just the 3 of them.  So I decorated this little cake, and made cucumber sandwiches and fruit kabobs.

This is what Winter does to me since I can't be outside.  

Friday, February 4, 2011


Today I had to pay our property tax.  It is not a fun time.  I do not like to see my money leave so quickly when it seems to take so long to build up.  But I also really don't want to be a grumbler.  Someone who is always complaining about, well, taxes.  And Lord knows if I added up all of the tax I pay, from the grocery store, to the hardware store, plus school taxes and then property tax plus the taxes taken out of our paychecks for things like medicare and SS, I would probably faint at the number and be able to make a good case for taxation without representation.  However, I digress.(BTW,  I live in Monroe County and we are the most heavily taxed area in the US, ugh.)

There are really good reasons we pay taxes and I will take a moment to list some of the good things my tax dollar helps pay so I avoid turning into one of those people who looks at every public employee as a wretched waste of time and money(not naming names but the description fits a lady at the bus stop who is constantly complaining that we have to pay $$$$$ for the health care and benefits of each town employee.  I'm really tired of hearing this because in the end, I don't want to have a community of people who do not have health care.  It would not make for a good situation I think.)  Again, I digress.

1.  We have a fire station less than a half a mile away.  That means a response time of under 5 minutes for almost any emergency.  This is actually huge when you think of what the ramifications would be of not having one so close.

2.  Our Town(Greece) has a free compost and wood chip program where they actually deliver the materials to your house.  This is a huge service to someone who likes to garden and makes me happy every year.

3.  Our police department is extensive.  While yes, we have not had a great couple years there as far as scandal free authority goes, I do feel safe in my area and all my interactions with the police have been positive.

4.  Our streets are plowed fairly well and often.

5.  When the sewer backed up into our house a couple years ago, they were here within 30 minutes and cleared the problem.  We did have to tackle the clean-up but we did not have to pay a plumber.

6.  They removed my old yucky tree and planted a new one, that I got to pick.  Course my choices were limited but still, I had a choice.

7.  We have 2 libraries, one of which is very large.  I think we need to expand the smaller one that is blocks away from my house.  But still, I can reserve any material in the system and have it delivered to my neighborhood library.  Plus, the librarians there are great, helpful people who have been kind to my children ever since we started bringing them.

8.  We have quite a few parks, though I would love to see more trails too, the parks and playgrounds are great for my kids and for Possum too.  We have 3 within walking distance of our house and during the Summer, it is a boredom buster for sure.

So there's 8 good reasons to pay taxes.  Can you think of any others?  I'm sure there are.

It's just that it would be easy to yell loudly, 'No More Taxes!"  But the truth is, they are essential to some extent.  Do I think that my monies are spent efficiently and wisely 100% of the time?  Not really.  And that is really disappointing.  It makes raising taxes more unpalatable when I think they are not being as careful with their budget as I have to be with mine.  But I will also not drift into the complainers corner and be ungrateful for the services they provide either.  Especially since I have to pay them, like it or not.