Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Birthday or Merry Christmas

Well how about both. Oh yes people my birthday is today and I am definately one lucky, blessed lady!  I get the question all the time do I enjoy my birthday being on Christmas? Oh yes I will admit I actually do enjoy this my parents always made sure I celebrated my birthday when I was younger on a different day most of the time Christmas Eve but it was always made special and I always remember it as my special day.  Now that I am older I still don't mind sharing my birthday with the biggest holiday on the calendar.

Christmas Eve night we spend at Shane's mom's house, it is always fun and we always have a good time. Dinner is usually a little late there is usually still present wrapping occuring but all of that adds to the memories we make while we are all together.  Dinner was delicious and dessert was Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream Cake. I am not sure I loved it not sure I didn't what I loved was the fact that Shane's mom and brother spent time making it and were thinking of me. I always appreciate it when I am thought about with love. I love them too.

I was woke up this morning by two little girls yes it was 7:30 am but I loved it they brought me in birthday presents and wished me Happy Birthday and gave me hugs and kisses it was terrific. I got a new Sony camera and it is bright blue and I LOVE IT!! I also got flowers, from Hallmark of course because they last forever and are always beautiful. LOVE THEM!!

Then it was the Christmas mania, paper was flying toys, clothes, stocking stuffers, Santa is still magical in our house and I love that I love that they still believe. Believing it like dreaming I think so magical and there should always be a little magic in your life something bigger to believe in.  I love it, the girls loved their Air Hogs Helicopters and all the clothes they got, it was fabulous. Shane got new floor mats for his truck they are Weather Tech digital fit and are SA WEET!!  I got new Smith sunglasses and a bluetooth so I am hands free driving and keeping me and our girls safe.

Then it was off to my parents house for a little more magic and breakfast, YUMMY cinnamon rolls, bacon, sausage, and scrambled eggs. Double YUMMY!!

Then off to my Aunts house to see the whole family and have dinner another YUMMY. Okay so the theme of my Christmas is food. I love to eat, I don't make excuses for it I make time for the gym.

Tonight we are at Papa and Nana's house, Shane'e dad and Robin, always love being over here we don't eat dinner but this year Wes made a funfetti cake that was Christmas themed with Christmas tree sprinkles on it how fun.  It was moist and delicious.  And now everyone is in the living room playing Buck Hunter Pro and just the sounds of laughter and all of it is so wonderful. What a fabulous weekend to the start of the end of a fabulous year. There have been ups and downs but it has all been a journey and we wouldn't be where we are right now if it was for the bumpy road behind us.

Merry Christmas to all of you and I wish you many blessings in this New Year coming!!

Day 2 turned into Day 1, Time was Ticking

DAY 2: (DECEMBER 23)-- Purchase a gift card at a local grocery store (of any amount). Turn around in line, and hand it to the first person you see. Then walk away. No explanation is needed. I'm sure their expression will say it all.

Day 1: (DECEMBER 24)-- YOUR turn to choose a random act of kindness. I thought it would be fun to see the different ideas everybody comes up with for this last day before Christmas. Be creative. The sky is the limit. =)

Well it ended up I skipped a day essentially so Day 1 came and I was bound and determined I was going to purchase a gift card and do something random, I had to recruit help.  The gift card was random and totally unplanned the girls and I ended up in Walmart buying random household stuff the day before Christmas (yes I have lost my mind, it happened a long time ago though so no worries). While standing in line to pay for my toothpaste, batteries, and mouthwash a lady got in line behind us because of course it was Christmas Eve and Walmart was PACKED!!  She had a hand basket with groceries in it lettuce and such I remembered my Day 2 gift.  Standing there explaining to the girls that this was going to be our second to last Christmas Gift and as the cashier gave me the receipt and my change the girls grabbed our one grocery bag and I turned around and handed the lady the giftcard she just watched me purchase for $5 bucks, she hesitated taking it from me then her face lit up and she said you are so sweet thank you. The look on her face for enough for me and I just said Merry Christmas to you and the girls and I left.  As we walked out of Walmart I felt so thankful for all of my blessings and so happy I had just made some random person smile so warmly.  Yes I love this Gifting job.

Oh I wasn't done yet I had to still do one more random gift. Well Shane and the girls were going shopping for me like they do every Christmas Eve and I should tell everyone even though they are last minute shoppers I love everything I get and I mean everything, it is the thought that counts I love it that they spend the time to go think of me. So they were pulling out to leave and I handed the girls a $5 bill and told Shane they needed to give it to someone or buy a giftcard but it had to go to a good cause or a random person.  I did mention my husband's family serves the Salvation Army. Well on their way out the door at one of the stores there was still a bell ringing ringing their bell and that $5 went to a great cause I know it did, it went to someone who needed it, I don't need to see a specific face or know any details I am happy, calm, and joyful knowing that such an group of people are on this Earth helping others and expecting nothing in return.

Well that concludes my 12 Gifts of Christmas blogging I hope you had fun reading it, were encouraged to help others and maybe next year you can join us on our adventure because I am truly hoping this becomes one of our Christmas Traditions something my children will do and pass on to their children.  Until that time I am going to go and enjoy my kids and all the magic they bring to Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Day 10 (December 15th) Nope I am not losing my mind ;)

Pay for the person's order in line behind you in either the coffee drive-thru, fast food, a tollbooth, train ticket, etc. (There are a LOT of options here...)

Well if you have been following my blog you know that I had to do a little day swapping so we are going back to Day 10 on Day 3 :)

Oh yes backtracking and it was well worth it. This morning there was a Starbucks run on my list, for two reasons one selfish, one not.  Selfish reason, I really wanted a Peppermint Mocha with whip cream and chocolate shavings YUMMY!!!! Unselfish reason, I needed to take care of my Day 10 gift. So off I went to Starbucks, I got my Peppermint Mocha although they only had Sugar free peppermint so it didn't taste as delicious oh well I will get over it.  I asked the lady at the window to please charge me for the car behind me she was a little miffed that I did this she asked all kinds of questions, Do you know her? Is she your boss, coworker, or friend? I just answered no to all and asked her to please tell the lady behind me Merry Christmas and I drove off.  I loved this it was so much fun!! I also hope that she feels compelled to pass on the same kindness in someway to a stranger today.

Merry Christmas!!

Day 4 (December 21st)

Tape quarters to a vending machine. So simple, yet so convenient! I honestly cannot count how many times I have wanted a snack or a soda, but could not dig up that last quarter to satisfy my craving.

So 3 quarters in some tape and a vending machine so simple? Yeah well first I had to think about where in the world I was going to find a vending machine as I don't drink pop, and I don't normally buy stuff out of vending machines.  Think Brook Think, and of course ask your coworkers. You know for all the times I go into Walmart, Albertsons, Safeway I don't pay much attention because there are vending machines outside everyone of those doors. I know I am a genius you don't have to tell me :)
Mental note: look at your surroundings a little more.

So trip to Albertsons last night because the girls and I had 50 goody bags of Muddy Buddies to make and we ran out of the Chex, chocolate chips, peanut butter and powdered sugar. 50 is a lot when making Muddy Buddies, but oh it was so much fun clouds of powdered sugar floated in our kitchen and there was chocolate everywhere, oh well that is what sponges and water are for right. It was so much fun I wish I would have taken a picture, the girls enjoyed it all and I even enjoyed repeatedly telling them that no they didn't need to taste every batch. :)

Oh yeah the quarters, so the vending machine outside Albertsons has 3 quarters taped to it I hope they come into good use for someone but even if someone just takes them to take them I hope they really need them. Either way I felt good about leaving them there and the girls got a kick out of taping them up and seeing them still there when we came back out of the store.

Oh simple joys!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day 5 (December 20)

Do something kind for the elderly. This can be anything from helping them to their car with heavy groceries, holding the door open for them, volunteering at a retirement home, or even raking their leaves.

I was making this task harder than it had to be.  I was trying to figure out what elderly person to help, when I would have time to go to a retirement home and holding the door open for them, well that is something I do anyway, heck everyone should do that it is just common courtesy.

Well I had to stop at Albertson's last night to get fixins for Muddy Buddies and they had little poinsetta's so cute and I bought one I was going to bring some holiday cheer to some little old lady, God had other plans. I went and picked up the girls, and told my mom I was headed up to Rocky Mountain Care Center. My grandma was a resident there in her last years of Alzheimers and they were wonderful.  I knew there had to be someone there that didn't get many visitors and needed to know there were still people that cared, besides the employees.  Change of plans again my mom said why don't you just go out to the Masonic Home? Oh yeah we have a retirement home just down the road from my parents house, wonderful idea Mom.  The girls and I drove out there and walked in the front doors, there was a young lady writing out the dinner menu and I told her my plan I was looking for a resident that didn't receive many visitors that could use a little holiday cheer. She thought for a moment and said 2nd floor Mr Bob, but to be careful as his cat lives in the room with him and likes to escape :) Perfect! Up the tiny elevator we went with poinsetta in hand, now I had planned on delivering to a female not sure why, but the girl had told me in the 7 months she had been working there he had only had one visiter.  One, are you kidding me people I understand we all get busy but that is terrible and if he has kids they should be ashamed of themselves I mean it and I would tell them that. So I knocked on his door, noting the sign that stated Smoky lived there and he told us to come in. I should have thought out my plan better as he was in bed, lights out and Smoky was right there at the door to greet us. I told him we were just stopping by to wish him a very Merry Christmas and bring him a poinsetta. He said Oh Thank you and we snuck out with a reminder from him to please not let his cat out. I have every intention of going back to visit Mr. Bob as it broke my heart that he didn't have any visitors I think next time we shall drop off some kitty treats for Smoky.

I think I have said this before but this gift was my favorite, Mr. Bob gave us a gift in return that I don't think I was expecting. He was so thankful and it reminded me of how precious life is how we should always take care of each other especially our older generation, they have seen so many things and been through so many things they have so many stories and adventures to share with us.

If you don't want to participate in this whole 12 days, this one gift should be the one you take up the challenge to do. My girls left commenting on how the building smelled and what was that smell, I explained it was the smell of the memories from the elderly being dusted off so that they could be shared with a new generation.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day 6 (December 19th)

DAY 6: (DECEMBER 19)-- Buy a $5 or $10 gift card for a grocery store, gas station, coffee place, etc. Leave the gift card on a random park bench or windshield of someone's car.

I won't lie I almost forgot this, I was on my way home and Florence Coffee was still open it seems to me that they are usually closed on my trek home but their sign flashed open and there was a barista inside. It triggered the memory and I stopped and bought a $5 coffee card. Then I drove around back and left it on a car in the parking lot of the gas station. I picked a car that was older and I hope that whoever received it enjoyed it and was surprised.

This was so much fun!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Day 7 (December 18th)

Buy or bake something for a neighbor. You may know them well, you may have never even introduced yourself. So here's your chance!

Living where we do we don't really have next door neighbors it is farm country people and honestly that is why we moved out here. My kids can ride their bikes around and just play outside without me hovering making sure they aren't going to be abducted. We lived in McHugh Trailer Court for the first 2 years of their lives and they didn't have the luxory. Now they are farm/valley girls living more of the childhood their dad and I had, so wonderful!
Onto the challenge we don't have next door neighbors we have neighbors across the street they are wonderful we don't talk all the time but we wave, smile, and chat! More than that they are there I know that if I needed something I could run across the street and they would help me out. So the girls and I bought a fun little Santa tin and put some cookies we baked in it and hung it on their fence when they left for church this morning. I didn't get to see them get it when they got back but I am sure they were surprised, wonderful! We hope they enjoy their treats and that it brought a smile to their faces. Neighbors are wonderful even when they aren't right next door!

Day 8 (December 17th)

Write a letter of thanks to the armed forces. (Yes, even if you don't support the war. Remember that these people are risking their lives daily in order to ensure our safety and Freedom).

The challenge gives the address so this was really easy a simple handwritten note of thanks addressed to the man or woman reading it. We teach so many things in school these days believe we should be teaching some basic lessons in manners starting with writing thank you letters and this would be perfect because like it states even if you don't support the war that doesn't mean should condemn a person for doing their job.

Merry Christmas to all of our military and their families! Thank You!!

Day 9 (December 16th)

Put grocery carts away in a random parking lot for other shoppers or find carts that others have left behind. It will help the employees out by bringing them indoors where they belong.

I was not sure this one would work out but stopped by Shopko on my way home from work and put a couple carts inside that had been left on the sidewalk and then put a handful more way in the cart corrals that were left out. This made me happy but not because I was doing the challenge but because honestly the people of Helena really for the most part take their time to put their carts away and I'm proud to live in a town that cares about each other.
Keep caring Helena because honestly the little things we do are noticed and appreciated by someone!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Day 3 (December 22nd) oops I mean Day 10 (December 15th)

DAY 10: (DECEMBER 15)-- Pay for the person's order in line behind you in either the coffee drive-thru, fast food, a tollbooth, train ticket, etc. (There are a LOT of options here...)

Okay so there was a little snafu yesterday and I was never in a line to do Day 10 (December 15th), I thought about going to McDonalds being in line just to pay for the order behind me but that never panned out very well and there was stuff I had to get done like my children fed and drive to East Helena to watch my nephews First Christmas Program (all well worth not doing Day 10, trust me)
Well last night was also my monthly girls' night yes sadly this only happens once a month and sometimes we are bad and it doesn't even happen then but I was bound and determined that I was going to get some sanity this month before Holiday Happiness hit :) So Day 10 was randomly swapped with Day 3

DAY 3: (DECEMBER 22)-- Leave a generous tip for a server, barista, or bartender--along with a nice note. This will most likely make their night. Having been in all three of these positions, I know how easy it is to get discouraged when guests are difficult and do not tip. This could turn their entire day around!

I cannot say I accomplished all of this to a tee but I did leave a generous tip just forgot the note part. I think the almost 1/2 hour of conversation that me and my girlfriend provided listening to the waiter's story was maybe better than the note I could have left. I learned a lot about that waiter and he really learned nothing of us besides we were married and had kids because we kept mentioning that fact as he was chatting with us :)
He was nice, young and had made mistakes in life and I truly believe and hope he was sincere that he was trying to turn his life around. Hopefully my tip meant something to him and it is put to use but if not I had a great evening with a wonderful friend and listened to a gentleman that I believe just needed someone to talk to.

Switching days can't be that bad when the outcome was so wonderful!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Day 11 (December 14th)

DAY 11: (DECEMBER 14)-- Write a kind, hand-written letter to someone that changed your life for the better. And no, I'm not talking about an email or a text...I'm talking about snail mail people. ;) (This can be to a childhood friend, a teacher from the past, or even an old baby-sitter that impacted your life for the better.)

I can tell you that I have known who I was going to write this letter to, the minute I read the challenge. She is a wonderful lady who made a very big impression.  I don't want to say who in case she reads this before the letter reaches her door, because like the challenge says SNAIL MAIL people ;)

This was fun I haven't written an actual letter in years I have typed many messages, sent many emails and texts and even typed some letters but to handwrite a letter it will definately be in my Gifts of Christmas next year.

Merry Christmas and onto today's challenge to pay for the order in line behind me, I haven't been anywhere or bought anything today but I have a plan stay tuned :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day 12 (December 13th)

Day 12 (December 13) – Buy food for a homeless person (or someone in need). This does not have to be expensive. $5 should cover lunch.

So this task was a little out of my comfort zone, I have heard of homeless people getting angry and being upset when someone buys them food instead of giving them money. I was judging before I had actually taken on my Gift of the day. I had seen a gentleman sitting outside the post office this morning when I went to get the mail for work and as I was leaving the parking lot I felt bad that I had not grabbed him breakfast, well God had another plan lunch. I did Adopt a Family shopping today for our office with a coworker and as we were leaving the parking lot of Walmart he was sitting outside Burger King. So I drove around the block and pulled into Burger King, as I was ordering my healthy side kicked in just a little I ordered him a Whopper Jr with Fries and a bottle of water because in my mind I was thinking who needs all that sugar. My coworker handed him the bag as we stopped next to him and the look on his face was of genuine thankfulness. He seemed very happy to get a bag of food that was hot and it warmed my heart yet made me sad, that the very thing that most of America takes for granted this gentleman was so happy to receive. I didn’t need a thank you or anything in exchange the look on his face brighten my whole day.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

12 Gifts of Christmas Tradition

I have been inspired by a fellow blogger and I am hoping her post will inspire you too and you will join me on my 12 Gifts of Christmas Adventure.
I will be posting about this starting December 13th, as that is the start of the 12 Gifts of Christmas, what a wonderful tradition to start with my girls.  If you would like to join me you can comment under my posts every day and tell me about your random act of kindness for the day, remember that even the smallest things have a great impact.
Merry Christmas!!!

3 Wonderful Things

So it has been awhile... I can't promise I will keep up, but today I feel pressed to post. I saw a journal prompt that stated to list th...