Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Serve others in memory of 9/11

For those of us who remember 9/11, it will forever be engraved in our minds.  We saw images that we will never forget.  Out hearts were more than touched, they were changed.  We saw our whole country come together to make something tragic turn into something special.  People were kind and compassionate.

I love that hard trials can be turned into something beautiful, if we let it.

Our children probably don't really understand what happened on that day, and that's okay.  But it's still a great opportunity to teach them that it's a special day and that we can help others who helped us on that day in 2001.

Here are some simple ideas to get you started!

Mail a postcard
Postcards are such an easy way to spread kindness!  You can even make your own by simply cutting some card stock 4" x 6", let your child color a picture, then write a simple note on the other side.  You can send a postcard to those who are deployed, the families of a military member, veterans, etc.  Here is a website with information about sending letters to military personnel.

Say Thank You
Saying thank you is something so simple, but can make a big impact on someone's life.  Besides the typical people we think of helping on 9/11 (firefighters, police, etc.), don't forget to thank EMTs, doctors, nurses, flight attendants, etc.  There were so many people who contributed to helping on that day and on the days and months that followed.

Bake a treat
Take cookies to your local police department or fire department, no doubt they will be grateful!

Donate Money
911day.org is asking for people to donate $9.11 to support education programs and charitable services in honor of those lost.

There were countless volunteers who helped that day.  Some who helped pick up the debris and some who went unnoticed.  You can volunteer (even a short amount of time), to help with any cause or organization you are passionate about!  Even something as simple as offering to volunteer in your child's classroom would count!

Send a package
Military personnel are often deployed with very little contact with their family members.  That would be really hard!  By sending a simple package, it will make any military member's day!
Here's a website with more information about what and where to send packages.

Donate blood
There were many people who were hospitalized because of the attacks on 9/11.  I'm sure some of them needed blood.  In memory of that day, you can donate blood to the Red Cross.

There are also several events around the country that you can participate in!

Family Day of Service  
If you live in Utah, there is a fun event that will have several tables set up, each with their own act of kindness.  It will be a fun and easy way to get your kids involved in service!

See the flier below (click to enlarge) or this facebook event page for more details.

Operation Shower
Operation Shower is an awesome non-profit organization that throws baby showers for those who are expecting and have a loved one deployed.  Such an awesome idea!
In Utah, there is a local Operation Baby Shower event where you can come and donate a gift that will be sent to those military spouses who are expecting.
Or, you can throw your own Operation Baby Shower!  Throw a baby shower just as if the mom-to-be is there, then donate the gifts to Operation Shower.

Family Day at Captain Hope's Kids
If you live near Dallas, TX, you have to check out this event!

Captain Hope's Kids and Pennies of Time have teamed up to bring you a fun Family Day!  For the full details, click here.

Dine Out for 9/11 Tribute 
If you live in NYC, check out these awesome restaurants who are teaming up to raise awareness and funds for 9/11 educational programs.

Compassion Games
No matter where you are, you should check out the Compassion Games!  It's a fun way to get your family motivated on this day, the National Day of Service and Remembrance!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Uplift Families Parenting Conference - A Utah Event

I've asked before on my Facebook page if being a spouse is harder or if being a parent was harder.  95% of the answers said being a parent was harder.  I completely agree!

Being a Parent today is filled with challenges! If you’re looking for common sense solutions, come to the 2015 Uplift Families Parenting Conference, hosted by First Lady of Utah, Jeanette Herbert, held Saturday, September 19th at 5:30 pm at the Thanksgiving Point Show Barn.

This year’s presenters include: Matt Townsend, Brad Barton, Carmen Rasmusen Herbert, Clay Olsen and Lucy Delgadillo. We’ll also have a special performance by Joshua Creek!

You’ll be inspired, educated and entertained by well-known speakers and experts on the family. Enjoy dinner, dessert, music, exhibits and prizes! Make it a date night or come with friends!

I am so excited to be partnering with Uplift Families!  Uplift Families is a non-profit organization started by Utah's First Lady, Jeanette Herbert.  I believe that the old fashioned family values are so important, but that it is continually getting harder and harder to have those values in our home.  That was one of the main reasons why I started this blog.  I wanted to help others instill those values in homes by sharing fun and easy ways to serve together as a family.

Uplift Families is a great website with hundreds (if not thousands) of resources for parents to help with anything from Autism to Suicide to Education.  I highly recommend it to any parent, and no doubt the conference will be amazing, too!  

Tickets are $25.00 per couple or $15.00 for an individual. Seating is limited.

To receive $5 off your order, use promo code Trust2015!

To buy tickets or get additional information, go to www.UpliftFamilies.org

Sunday, August 16, 2015

8 ways to serve with your kids, inspired by children's books

If you're visiting from The Place, WELCOME!  Check out this local event on September 11th!

Children's books can be a powerful force for teaching children.  I love sharing my favorite books on kindness with my kids, and they really seem to respond positively to them, too.

I always love the ideas of doing an activity inspired by a book, so today I want to share 4 books on kindness, each with 2 act of kindness ideas to go along with them.

I recently asked on my Facebook page, what moms would want to hear about.  It was almost unanimous that everyone wanted to hear how kids could serve other kids.  So, I tried to incorporate that in these ideas!

(this post may contain affiliate links)

Kiki's Hats
by Warren Hanson

-Learn how to knit with your kids and donate hats to the homeless shelter or kids going through chemo.  You can also knit small hearts to donate to The Peyton Heart Project.
-Share your talents for free!  Take pictures of someone for free, bake a treat for someone, draw them a picture, etc.

(Enter to win this book this month in our Virtual Kindness Summer Camp!)

Because Amelia Smiled
by David Ezra Stein

-Pass out smiley face stickers to kids at the store
-Leave these printable smiles for people to find, or you can mail them.
(here are some printable ones you can use!)

Those Shoes
by Meribeth Boelts

-donate outgrown shoes to the homeless shelter
-Host a SOLE HOPE shoe cutting party for kids in Africa

The Impossible Patriotism Project
by Linda Skeers

-Send a thank you card to a military family
-Serve in memory of those who served at 9/11 events like the Family Day of Service, or plan a small event of your own!

OR, better yet... read any kindness book with your children and ask them what they want to do because of the book!  I bet they will impress you with their answers!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Gymboree Giveaway!

Back to school time is such a fun time!  Of course it is, it's usually a time where I get an extra reason to go shopping!  I have teamed up with Brittanie from Simplistically Living and several other bloggers to offer you some extra money to have fun spending!

Gymboree has been dressing children since 1986. The brand's fashionable clothing and accessories are created to celebrate kids being kids in unique head-to-toe looks. Available in sizes newborn to 10 years, Gymboree clothing is designed with colorful, high-quality fabrics and detailed touches throughout.

Whether your child has already started school or is starting in a few weeks, Gymboree is the place to shop. Currently they are offering an extra 30% off markdowns which means you can save even more on your back to school shopping! Plus new arrivals are 20% off!

Now want to know the really awesome part about Gymboree? Well, when you refer a friend, they will give you $20 to spend at Gymboree! That is like a totally free outfit for sharing with your friends how awesome Gymboree is! Check out all the details here.

So what are you waiting for? Head into your local Gymboree store and get shopping (and saving). 

Giveaway Time!

Gymboree wants to help make back to school shopping a little easier on your wallet. So they are giving away a $75 Gymboree Gift Card to 1 lucky winner! All you have to do is enter using the giveaway widget below! Giveaway ends 8/17! Good Luck Everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: This blog is not responsible for prize fulfillment. This giveaway is sponsored by Gymboree.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A fun twist on acts of kindness, plus a giveaway!

If you are here from Good Things Utah... WELCOME!!  Be sure to check out this fun, local activity to get your family involved in service!  

I think it's pretty obvious that I love acts of kindness, but let's talk about a fun little twist on them.

It's not a new idea, but it might just be an idea that you haven't tried yet... but you should!  Your kids will love it!

Are you ready for it?

Okay, let's get to it.

I'm calling it,

'Sneaky Service'

It's where you and your kids decide to do an act of kindness, but you have to do it in secret... and no matter what you do... Don't Get Caught!!!

You can build it up with your kids (que on the spy glasses... you know the ones with the big noses and a mustache, or even just all black outfits) or you can just wing it.  Whatever you think will work best for your family.

Or, there are some fun books to get you excited.  One of my favorites is Do Nice, Be Kind, Spread Happy, but more on that later...

Here are three ideas how you can do this 'Sneaky Service':

1.  Thank your mailman

Chances are that you have probably seen this idea floating around the internet, but I HAD to add it because of our sweet experience.  (If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably heard part of it.)
My friend, Sheila (from Pennies of Time... check it out, you'll love it!), told me a story about how someone she knew had served someone that worked in their community, and it brought tears to the workers eyes.  I was touched and felt like we needed to do something for someone that worked in our community, too.  I looked for opportunities for a week or two, but I let our busyness get in the way.  One particularly hot day, we heard our sweet mail lady down the street.  We ran inside, wrote a quick thank you card together, and put the card and some cold water in the mail box.

Now here comes the extra fun part.

We went inside and spied on her from the window.  She had no idea we were there, but it was SO fun to see her reaction!  She was truly touched and she even wrote us a quick thank you note back.

It literally took us less than 5 minutes, but it was 5 minutes that will stay with us forever.  My daughter still talks about how we "made the mail lady happy".

Do it.  You'll love it.

2. Give a heart attack

Okay, so I know this is an oldie, but it's a goodie!  This one can be so fun to do with kids of any age.  Just have your kids color or write on hearts, then tape them to someone's door (with painter's tape) in the night.  But, be sure to be so quiet so you don't get caught!

And here's a free printable to make it easy for you.

If you don't want to go the paper heart attack route, use chalk on their driveway.  It will make them smile every time they get home.

3.  The Giving Plate

I saw this idea on Facebook and couldn't help but do it, too!

I got a ceramic plate from the dollar store, wrote on it with a sharpie, baked it at 425 degrees, then let it cool.  (just like the DIY Sharpie Mugs)

It was super easy to do, and will bring lots of people, lots of happiness!

Now here's the 'Sneaky" part... bake a treat with your kids.  Then wait until it gets a little bit dark.  Run up the plate quietly to the porch, ring the doorbell, then run and hide!  Just be sure not to get caught!!!

So, what do you think?  Do you think your kids would like to do these 'Sneaky Acts of Kindness'?

I thought so!

Now, back to that cute book.

My good friend Mandy reached out to me because she found this super cute book about acts of kindness in her Usborne book store. (because she knows I kind of like service) She sent it to me and we have loved it!  It has TONS of ideas for kids to do acts of kindness.  It's cool and quirky.  It also encourages kids to join the "Kindness Club".  It's really cute and would be a fun way to encourage kindness in our kids!

Mandy has even offered to give one of YOU a copy of this book!

You can enter to win this book until August 3, 2015!

So, what are you waiting for?  Enter now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck!!  xo

Disclosure: This blog is not responsible for prize fulfillment or shipment. I was not compensated to participate in this giveaway.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Books that teach children of any age to say 'Thank You'

I'm such a sucker for children's books!  I feel like they are a fun way to learn new things.

Saying 'thank you' is something that I teach my children as early as possible.  In fact, I teach them how to sign thank you before they can officially even say it verbally.

So, if I can combine those two things, that makes me a happy camper!

Lately I have been looking into books that encourage kids to say thank you, so I thought I would share them with you, too!

Here are a few of my favorites:
(affiliate links below)

Bear Says "Thank You"
by Michael Dahl
Age Range: 0+ years

Please and Thank You!
by Jill Ackerman
Age Range: 0+ years

Disney Sofia the First: Please & Thank You:
Your Guide to Becoming the Perfect Princess!
Age Range: 3 - 6 years

Richard Scarry's Please and Thank You Book
by Richard Scarry

Age Range: 3 - 7 years

The Please and Thank You Book
by Barbara Shook Hazen
Age Range: 3 - 7 years

The Berenstain Bears: Please and Thank You Book
by Mike Berenstain
Age Range: 3-7 years

Please! Thank You!
by Parragon Books
Age Range: 3-7 years
The Berenstain Bears Say Please and Thank You
by Jan Berenstain
Age Range: 4-8 years

Thank You, Amelia Bedelia
by Peggy Parish
Age Range: 4 - 8 years

Thank You, Mr. Falker
by Patricia Polacco
Age Range: 5 - 8 years

The Thank You Book for Kids
by Ali Lauren Spizman
Age Range: 8 - 12 years

101 Ways to Say Thank You, Kids and Teens
by Kelly Browne
Age Range: 8+ years

I hope you find these helpful!  

Oh, and don't forget to utilize the library for these books!  


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