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Showing posts from February, 2014

The Ultimate Free Valentine's Gift for Him...(or Her): A Simple Act of Kindness for that Special Someone

14 Days of Loving-Kindness: Day 13 - Your Spouse/Partner/Rock/Everything

Finding the perfect Valentine's Day gift for that special someone can be challenging or, as is the case with my husband and I, can feel a little irrelevant. We're not really "presents" people. 
Still, it is nice this time of year to take a moment to acknowledge that special someone. In the midst of the 14 Days of Loving-Kindness Challenge, I somehow stumbled upon an awesome, kick-ass (free) gift for my husband -- if I can truly pull it off.
What is it? Two words: forgiveness and release (for those of you with dirty minds, I'm not thinking of that kind of release). 
Truth: Even the best couples can hold on to old hurts, can let resentments -- even nonsensical and silly resentments -- take hold, can find themselves taking their partner for granted. 
At the end of a long day at home with the kids, who is the person that receives a snappy response to a simple question? 
     Our spouse. 
In the midst …

Neighborly Acts of Kindness: 5 Ways We Show Love to Our Neighbors

14 Days of Loving-Kindness: Day 9 - THE NEIGHBORS!! 

I love that the little town we live in now really feels like a community to me, and I realize that doing our part to create this community is essential. I think acts of kindness are a good place to start. 
Here's our 5 favorite ways to show love to our neighbors: 
1. Bake for them! 

The boys and I love to bake together and love it even more when we make extra goodies to share with our neighbors. (P.S. They like it too. It's a small way to show you care).
2. Feed their pets -- or in our case, their chickens. 
We have neighbors with chickens, so we keep veggie scraps that we know the chickens love and walk over to feed them. We also like to take doggie treats to another neighbor's dog (a dog we know is friendly) and to pet the dog through the fence, which both the dog and neighbor are glad that we do. (A bonus of our doggie visits is that this particularly, quite well-behaved dog is helping Caterpillar overcome an intense fear …

Teaching Little Hands to Help: A Family Tradition Worth Passing On

14 Days of Loving-Kindness: Days 7 + 8: Reaching Out to Someone Who is Hungry or Homeless and Sending Love to Parents/Grandparents 

How do we teach young children to serve? Why is teaching little hands to help important? Can little ones really help others?When can they start giving to others? Embarking on this challenge, I found myself revisiting these questions, and they've resurfaced as I've shared this project with others and engaged in discussions with others about service and kids. Of course, these questions have lots of answers. Today I share just a few answers...

First, let me apologize for combining two posts and being a little behind with the challenge share. Yesterday morning I should have started the day off with a post about how we serve those who are homeless or hungry, but the stomach bug that overtook the boys earlier in the week hit me Thursday night. I've finally recovered and find myself glad, actually, that I have the opportunity to combine my share about…

My Biggest Challenge Yet: Doing Something Kind for My Abuser

14 Days of Loving-Kindness: Day 5 - An Act of Kindness for Someone Who Has Hurt Me
Today's challenge is both the act that in many ways prompted this whole concept of 14 Days devoted to Loving-Kindness as part of a promise to myself to focus on Compassion in 2014 and also the act that almost made me forget the whole thing because I wasn't sure that I was ready to do it. 
As a young girl, a boy who was probably 4-5 years older than me, would force me to touch him sexually as I wept. It didn't happen often as the family were friends that we only saw on rare occasions, yet it did happen several times. And it did have a substantial negative affect on me like dark clouds covering a beautiful blue sky. 
During my adolescence and much of my teen years as my body began to "betray me" and insist on its femininity, I would seek out oversized clothes, avoid make-up and basically do all that I could to assure myself that I would not be attractive to anyone of the opposite sex. I…

12 Ways to Show Kids Love on Sick Days

Update: Day 4 of 14 Days of Loving-Kindness Challenge - How We're Adapting our Challenge to Accommodate Sick Days and How the Boys are Surprising Me! 
As I shared on Day 1 of our challenge, so often as a parent I make plans...and then life happens and they change. Yesterday the boys' prompt involved showing loving-kindness to new friends at the park, and I shared our play time plan of sharing bubbles, sand toys and cars. Then, at 1 a.m. of the same night I published the post about our park plans, Wild Thing got sick -- really sick, as in "strip the bed and throw the puke-covered child in the shower" sick. 

I knew our playground plans were out! However, during a painting activity, Wild Thing surprised me by (out of the blue) telling me that he was making cards for two of his friends. I smiled. Here he was, at home and sick, and yet still thinking of others and extending love to his friends. 

The prompt for today involves showing kindness to a parent (for the boys) and sh…

Acts of Kindness for a School Counselor as part of National School Counselor Week

For the second day of my 14 Days of Loving-Kindness Challenge, I'm focusing on school counselors or a school helper or mentor, basically a person who provides support and guidance for our child's learning and life. I know with Wild Thing, just 4, that's what we will do -- discuss who he feels provides guidance for him or perhaps a person who has made starting preschool more inviting for him and do something nice for that person. 
I'll also be sending thank you letters -- hand-written thank you letters, not an email or Facebook message -- to 2 counselors who were significant to me. Plus, I'm highlighting a counselor here too: Barbara from The Corner On Character with a guest post about school counselors and some ideas on how to show them love and kindness this week. 
Hello from Barbara at The Corner On Character.

Did you know that the first week of February is set aside every year as National School Counseling Week so that school families everywhere can celebrate their…

Day 1 of 14 Days of Loving-Kindness: Making Our Family "Be Kind Book"

As any parent knows, you make plans...and then they change. For the 14 Days of Loving-Kindness Challenge I am doing this month for myself and my family, we're starting the challenge with a focus on being kind to ourselves and, for the boys, to each other -- their sibling. 

Inspired by the Kindness Crocodile of Pennies of Time and Kindness Car of Frugal Fun for Boys, I planned to turn a small stuffed moose we have into a "magic moose" who would highlight the times when the boys used their "magic eyes" to see the need to be kind. 
However, as we discussed as a family what it means to treat ourselves kindly and for the boys to treat each other kindly and as various activities for the day evolved, well (you know where this is going), my plans changed -- for the better.
We've had some more challenging days this week with Wild Thing struggling with his listening skills and Caterpillar being, well, 2! Wild Thing (4) has asked several times this week if we can make &q…

14 Days of Loving-Kindness: Embracing My Imperfections

Day 1: Loving-Kindness Towards Myself. 
I love the word maitri, which commonly translates as compassion toward oneself or unconditional friendliness to oneself. How many of us are actually not friends with ourselves? I know I am not the only person, and definitely not the only mother, who struggles with this. As mothers, our flaws or mistakes stand out. Our kindness towards ourselves goes to the bottom of our priority list. However, I believe if I cannot be kind, loving, compassionate toward myself, I cannot be kind, loving or compassionate toward anyone else. 

Today, it's simple. I am going to cut my haircut. Yep. That's it. I do this, maybe, twice a year. However, deciding that I will do this thing for myself symbolizes so much more than needing to get a trim and taking the time to do it. It symbolizes that I deserve to feel beautiful. 

I deserve to treat myself -- physically and mentally and emotionally -- with kindness.