11.19.2014

26 Acts in 26 Days in honor of 26 People

In 26 days, it will be December 14th.
December 14th marks the 2 year anniversary of the Newtown shootings where 26 people (20 precious children & 6 adults) lost their lives at Sandy Hook.
Just like I have done in the past 2 years,  I will be doing 26 Acts of Kindness in the next 26 days in honor of the 26 lives that were lost.
 My heart still aches for the community of Sandy Hook & Newtown. 
They are still in my prayers & I haven't stopped thinking about them.
As you may remember, my friend Laura lives in Newtown & her 2 youngest children go to school at Sandy Hook. They physically survived the shootings, but the emotional wounds will never go away.
Laura did a guest post on my blog last year for the 1 year anniversary of Sandy Hook. It was beautiful, you can read it {HERE}
You may remember that after the shootings occurred in 2012, I also did 26 Acts of Kindness.
For ideas, you can read what I did HERE and HERE
 
Last year for the 1 year anniversary, I did 26 Acts of Kindness as well.
You can what I did in 2013 HERE
 Here are some more Random Acts of Kindness you can do:
  • Pay for the order of the person behind you in the drive-thru line.
  • Send friends and relatives notes or letters of encouragement on the back of your kids’ artwork.
  •  Leave love notes for your spouse or kids in their lunch.
  • Bring water, coffee, or hot chocolate to outdoor workers (like the crossing guard at your kids school or bus driver)
  •  Buy a soda or candy bar for the cashier when you’re checking out.
  • Give a restaurant or coffee gift card to someone (bank cashier, postal worker, homeless person, or random stranger)
  •  Send a silly card to brighten someone’s day.
  •  Call or email someone you haven’t talked to in awhile, just to ask how they are.
  •  Send your spouse a text just to tell him something that you appreciate about him.
  • Hide a kind note in a library book.
  •  Bake cookies for someone. (Postal carrier, neighbor, elderly friend, Sunday school teacher, Teacher, Teacher Aide, School Secretary, etc)
  • Leave coins on a parking meter or the machines at a laundry mat.
  • Pay the toll for the car behind you.
  • Give a huge tip on your next restaurant bill.
  • Offer to return someone’s shopping cart to the store.
  • Let someone go ahead of you in the checkout line.
  •  Pay for someone’s meal at a restaurant.
  • Donate food to a food bank
  • Bring your child's teacher a coffee or treat
  • Send your child's teacher an email just to say thank you
  •  Make a meal to share with a sick or busy neighbor.
  • Offer to keep a friend’s kids so she and her husband can have some time alone.
  • Make cards for nursing home residents…and deliver them with your kids.
  • Pick up trash at the park.
  •  Thank a soldier & write them a note/card.
  • Make care bags for the homeless (Tolietries, bottled water, food store gift cards, non-perishable/ready-to-eat foods.)
  •  Buy car wash coupons and give them away.
  • Leave extra coupons on the store shelf next to the item they’re good for.
  • Tape envelopes with quarters to vending machines.
  • Take homemade cookies or cupcakes to the police or fire station.
  • Pack a date-night box  (red box movie, popcorn, soft drinks, movie candy) and leave it on someone’s doorstep. Ring the bell and run!
  • Bring a friend or neighbors Donuts one morning
  •  Take magazines, crosswords or Sudoku puzzles to a waiting room at the hospital
  •  Take flowers to a nurses’ station – for the nurses.
  •  Purchase a store gift card or a gas card and send it to a friend in need.
There are SO many simple things you can do. 
You don't need to spend money doing this, many things you can do for free or for minimal cost.
I am so excited to do this again. 
Kate is almost 8 and Claire is 6. They will be joining me in doing the acts of kindness. They are at an age where it is imperative teach them and model to them the importance of doing nice things for others. 
(I will not be telling them why we are doing the 26 Acts of Kindness....I don't think they need to know about the school shootings that happened 2 years ago. When they are older I will tell them, but not at ages 7 and 6. I will tell them we are doing Random Acts of Kindness to be nice)

You can even download this #26Acts printable to keep track.

 Download it {HERE}

As I do each act of kindness, I will say a prayer for each one of the victims families.
Here are the names of the 20 precious children:
Charlotte, Daniel, Olivia, Josephine, Ana, Dylan, Madeleine, Catherine, Chase, Jesse, James, Grace, Emilie, Jack, Noah, Caroline, Jessica, Avielle, Benjamin & Allison.
And 6 staff members:
Rachel Davino, Dawn Hochsprung, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, Anne Marie Murphy & Victoria Soto.

You are not forgotten.
 
The 2 year anniversary & the holiday season are incredibly hard for the victims families.
I am going to try & complete my Acts of Kindness by December 14th
 (but if I don't finish by then, that's okay, I will try & get them done by Christmas)  
26 Acts of Kindness in 26 Days.
Honoring the 26 Victims.
I hope you will join me!
If you have any Random Acts of Kindness ideas, please put them in the comments.
 Let's spread kindness this holiday season!

11.18.2014

Tuesday Top 5

Happy Tuesday!
I loved all your comments on the Crib Tent post.
Glad to know I am not alone with a crazy kid. Ha!

{ONE}
 Can you believe that Thanksgiving is next week?
I am so excited. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year. 
And, Thanksgiving dinner is one of my favorite meals of the year. 
Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, Pumpkin Cheesecake....I LOVE it ALL!
One of the traditions I do for our kids teachers & our neighbors for Thanksgiving is make them pumpkin bread with a little printable I made:
You can find the printable & recipe {HERE}


{TWO}
 We are also done with our little house remodel. We are in the final stretch.
Last week the French Doors went in. Claire loves watching the work get done, especially when they were cutting a hole in our wall. She talks our contractors ear off and follows him around chatting to him. I wonder where she gets her chattiness from?!? 
 We are loving having a new door to the outside, it totally changes the functionality of that room & our backyard.
Kevin finished all the floors last weekend, he did such a good job. So proud of him!
The project should be done by the end of this week....Can't wait!!!!
My house has been covered in dust for months!

{THREE}
 These are my favorite boots. 
I got them last year.
 I wear them 4-5 times a week. 
Love, love, love them!
{Get them HERE}
They are now 20% off!

{FOUR}
As you might know, I am a Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger.
Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger

I wanted to let you know about a Sweepstakes Hormel is having!
Hormel Foods Gives Thanks Pinterest Sweepstakes
Hormel Foods wants to thank all the fans for showing their love and support. 
This Thanksgiving season, you could enter for a chance to win a $700 prize pack. 
Between Nov. 3 to Nov. 21, visit {HERE} and click on the “Thanksgiving Sweepstakes” app. 
Pin together the perfect Thanksgiving meal for a chance to win assorted serving platters, serving utensils, cups and a VISA gift card!  Ends this Friday, November 21st!

{FIVE}
I can't believe I forgot to announce the winner of the Crock Pot on my Crock-tober Giveway!
The winner is:
Amanda
Send me an email or leave a comment and I will get you hooked up with your new Crock Pot!
And, speaking of Crock Pot Meals, here is a round up of all the Crock Pot Recipes that I have on my blog.
 Chicken Tortialla Soup Recipe {HERE}

 Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan Recipe {HERE}

Slow Cooker Ribs Recipe {HERE}

Recipe {HERE}
 
Sweet Potato + Black Bean Chili {HERE}

And, my most popular (and controversial post) & recipe...Easiest Dinner Ever.
This is the most viewed recipe on my blog. You either love it or your hate it :)
Easiest Dinner Ever Recipe {HERE}

I love, love, love my Crock Pot. 
Crock Pot & Soup Season is my favorite!
I am working on a Pumpkin/Butternut Squash Soup right now.
I am hoping to perfect in the next week or so and then I will post it for you guys!

11.14.2014

An Escape Artist, a Climber & a Crib Tent

Even though Luke is only 2 years old, I have already seen differences between him and the girls.
Luke is ALL boy.
Even though we have dolls, barbies, etc all around our house he ignores them and goes straight for the balls, trucks, cars & trains.
He is also a Climber.
A few weeks ago, Luke and I were playing, I had to go to the bathroom and when I went back to his room, he had dragged his PBK Everyday chair to his dresser, turned it upside down and used it as a ladder so that he could open the top drawer of his dresser.

So, let this be a Public Service Announcement to remind you that if you have kids in your house, make sure you bolt your heavy furniture to the wall. 
All of our dressers  & bookshelves at our house are anchored to the wall, it is pretty simple to do and only costs a couple dollars. Kevin secured all our furniture about 4 years ago because
1) When Claire was 2.5 she tried to climb on Kate's dresser and it fell over. Luckily her dresser is short and it didn't land on her, but it could have been BAD.
and 2) We live in Earthquake country, we need things secured to the wall.

 So, Luke is a climber.  He climbs on the counters, he climbs on tables, he climbs everywhere.
The other day when I was making dinner, I heard Luke go into the garage and when I went to get him, he had climbed onto Claire's bike & was trying to "ride" it.
Also, he doesn't like wearing pants and is in a stage where he takes off his clothes, pajamas, his diaper...he just wants to be nakey.
He is crazy.


I knew it was inevitable that he would start climbing out of his crib because the last few times he has been in a pack n play he has climbed out of it.
When we were in Tahoe a few weeks ago, he climbed out of it everytime we put him down for his nap or for bedtime. He would run upstairs with his jammies off and he was so proud he climbed out.
We were hoping it was just a pack n play thing, but when we got home from Tahoe, that night he kept climbing out of his crib. It was a loooooong night but finally he fell asleep and stayed in his crib.

The next day for naptime was a disaster. He wouldn't stay in his crib. The 10th time I went to put him back in his crib, I opened his door to find this:
He had taken things OFF his walls!!!!!
He had gone into Claire's room and gotten her piggy bank and he was using his PBK everyday chair as a ladder and was trying to get his piggy bank off his tall dresser.
Seriously, he is crazy.

I gave up on having him nap in his crib, so I put him in his car seat and we drove around until he fell asleep....I seriously felt like I had a newborn again because for the past few days he wouldn't sleep at night and wouldn't nap.  It was exhausting.
I didn't know what to do....we weren't ready for him to be in a big boy bed (hello....see the above photo....do you think he can be left alone at night with access to everything in his room?
I don't think so!
I know a lot of people put their 2 year olds in toddler beds or twin beds, but we just aren't ready to do that with Luke....so we stooped to a low level......we borrowed a crib tent from some of our friends.
Yes, that's right. 
A crib tent (Feel free to judge) 
We felt like this was the safest option for Luke at this time until he stops his climbing phase (do boys ever grow out of their climbing phase?)
Plus, Luke can now unlock the front door, so it's just not safe for him to be able to roam free.
So, here it is in all it's glory. 
The crib tent.
I have no shame.
Something I never thought I would have to use.
Kate was in her crib until she was 2 years 10 months old...she never tried to climb out.
Claire was in her crib until 2 years 8 months old, she only climbed out once (and that week we put her in her big girl bed)
So, for now Luke is still in his crib, with the crib tent keeping him safe inside. 
And, I have to put his pajamas zipped on backwards because that way he can't take them off.
I am sick of cleaning up pee/poo in his crib from when he takes off his jammies and diapers. Ugh.
 Poor Luke.
I hope the backwards pajamas and crib tent won't cause him to have too much therapy when he is older. Ha!
Anyone else out there have (or had) toddlers that were climbers, pajama strippers or escape artists?
Crib Tenters Unite!

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