Saturday, December 15

Day Fifteen

Today was Gingerbread House Making Day!!  We'd hoped and planned for a big turn out but due to one thing, another, and some no~shows we had Charlotte come over!  We still had a fun time.....!

Parts and plans laid out...

Making the "cement"

Charlotte's house

Jack's house with garage!

Jack's house finished

Jessie's house finished

Later hubby, baby and I went into town to run a couple of errands and I took two $5 bills with notes attached and planned to hide them in one of the stores we stopped in.  The trouble was, I'd eaten a lot of my construction frosting before I left the house and my focus was a off?!  I totally forgot to plant the money until we were on our way home!!  My lovely hubby took a detour and stopped at a gas station for me.

He went in ostensibly to get me a cup of coffee but also took in the cash and hid it for me!!  One bill behind a box of pop tarts and another behind a KitKat bar!!  I love the idea of someone finding free money!!  Especially at the gas station!!  I wish I could afford to buy someone's gas or to hide $100 bills!!

Anyway, that was today's act.  Now I've got to figure out how to finish off MY gingerbread project whilst holding a baby that just won't nap!!!!

Friday, December 14

Day Fourteen

Our friendly little grocery store.

Walking his baby sister.
December 14th started out as a lighthearted, fun day for us and the rest of the country I imagine.  It was only when I scrolled over to Yahoo to see what the rest of the world was doing that the day shifted dramatically.  20 children murdered in an elementary school in Connecticut.  11 days before Christmas. Children.  Babies.  Needless to say the day went down hill right there and I struggled to keep it together for my children, my babies.  I mourned, I cried, I tried to find some reason, I ranted online and on the phone and then finally I had to pull it together for the children.  We decided to take a walk into our little town and to the grocery store where we took our 9 dollar bills, each with a little note on it, and hid them, three apiece, all around the store.  Upon leaving the clerk asked us "Did we not have what you needed??" ... I explained that we were on a little acts of kindness mission and she said "OH!  It was YOU guys who stuck the bag of money to the pop machine?"  I had to admit that yes, it was us..."Well"  she said "We did it too!  We refilled the bag!"

The loot.
I was talking to a friend today and she said how quickly one person can change lives by destroying them with an assault weapon and yet how slowly one can change lives with kindness.  It's true, it's a very small step, but as long as we take that step and then someone takes another step right behind us, then we can get there in the end.

Hug your children.  Never let them go.
My babies. (and the dog!)
Jack wanted to take a pic too...

Thursday, December 13

Day Thirteen!

I may sound a little more subdued tonight.  It's called a sugar coma.  You'll be able to guess why when I tell you my stunningly stupid  clever  idea for an Act of Kindness today.  See, most years we bake cookies and take them around the neighborhood, leaving them on doorsteps on Christmas Eve.  One year I made a batch of fudge, bought some fun dishes, wrapped the both in fancy plastic wrap ( I can't think what it is called!!  It's on a roll, it's different colors, it's see through.... OMG... sugar coma...!!)  anyway, I made it look pretty and gave that out instead of cookies.  Well, the lovely lady who runs the post office REALLY loved the fudge.  I remembered her mentioning it, so I made a big batch of fudge today intending to give it to her as a random act of kindness.  I made up the fudge, (chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, peanuts, Heath bits, raisins, ....!!) put it in the fridge to set, bagged it in a cute Santa bag... but.... alas.... there was quite a lot left over.  Wisely I made up another bag for a friend I was going to see in Drama class this afternoon.  ( we ballsed up the time, missed the whole thing... I still have the bag of fudge in the pantry....  this could be bad.... ) Anyhoo... even after the second bag... there was STILL fudge left.  Well I don't know about your house but in our house, if there's fudge... well, let's just say there wasn't any for long.  To be honest there is STILL some left ( note to self, next time, make less fudge ) but we have been doing our best to eliminate it from the house ( in the form of sticking it in our faces as much as possible. )   Jessie was the first to notice the side effects.  She was giddy and hyper for a while, pretending to be a dog, jumping on the couch, laughing hysterically and uncontrollably at first, and then, the crash.  She complained her body felt funny, her eyes weren't focusing and her head hurt.  S.U.G.A.R baby.  My eyes start to flicker from side to side at a rapid rate.  My heart rate accelerates and I can't spell or think!  It's not a stroke, don't worry, it's the FUDGE!!  It's GOOD fudge, but I have NO self control.  NONE.  If one piece of fudge is good, then surely half a pan is even better!!!   We tried to fix the problem with protein.  Scrambled eggs and cold chicken for all!!....  it hasn't worked!!  I MAY have to take the remainder and either a) pass it off to a neighbor or b)   throw it in the outside trash.  I could throw it in the inside trash but I MIGHT go crazy and try to fish it out!!!  (not really!... well maybe!!  Nooo!!!.... possibly.  Best to be sure. )

Anyway, it really was an Act of KINDNESS to give it to our lovely post mistress.... SHE has self restraint!!!  We went for a walk in the glorious "winter" air ( 50+ degrees?? Please. ) and took her her fudge! She was delighted.  We were pleased!  ...and a little sleepy.

oh fudge. 


Wednesday, December 12

Day Twelve!

OK... today was another example of expecting one thing to happen and instead doing something else!  Firstly, it should be noted that today is 12/12/12.  Insert obligatory shot of kids and kitchen clock at 12:12 12/12/12......

We got our gingerbread baked ready for our Gingerbread House Day on Saturday then we headed out to Barnes and Noble to perform today's act!  

We'd planned, since it was 12/12/12 to get a copy of the Twelve Days of Christmas and give it to anyone in the store who had a 12 year old OR who KNEW a 12 year old!! :D  ....  our plans were somewhat thwarted when it was discovered that the only version of the 12 days was A Pirates 12 days of Christmas.  
That wouldn't have been SO bad but it was about 20 bucks!!   (The price of books in this country just staggers me.  In the UK books are SO inexpensive AND tax free...!!)   anyway....  It turned out that Barnes and Noble was having a book drive for the Children's Home in Lincoln.  They had a selection of books that you could buy and donate to the home.  We checked them all out and Jessie picked 
A Smart Girl's Guide to Sticky Situations.  It must have been a pretty good book as she read it all the way up to the checkout counter! We purchased the book and gave it to the clerk to put into the donations pile.  It felt like the right thing to do, even if it wasn't the original plan!  A stop by Trader Joe's on the way home to try the Dark Chocolate coated Peppermint Joe Joe's made the afternoon complete.... oh my....   where have those things BEEN all my life?!?!? 

The absolute kicker though, the piece de resistance, so to speak, is when my littlest girl LAUGHED for the first time in her entire (almost four months) life!!!  Yeahy!!  Life is pretty awesome around here!!

So there ya have it.  Day twelve!!  We are getting this thing down I tell ya! ;D 

Tuesday, December 11

Day Eleven!

Isn't it a STUNNING bus!?!?
Oh today's act was FUN!!!! : D  We took 9 $1 bills and wrote a little note for each bill saying  "Merry Christmas" and "random acts of kindness".  We headed to the bookmobile where we have spent many an hour over the years.  We hadn't actually been since the summer... it was SUCH a hot one and I was pregnant.  Pregnant and summer heat don't mix for me.  I stayed home in the A/C.  Well, we CERTAINLY didn't have to worry about heat this time! :D  It was COOOOLD as we headed out.  We tracked down the bookmobile ( it had changed locations since we were last there! ) and were amazed to find it was a totally different vehicle!!  A BRAND SPANKING NEW BUS!!!  Wow!  It was lovely!!  We hustled on board and the kids went giddy!  They LOVE the bookmobile and were so excited to scan the shelves and pile up books to take home.  I headed to the back of the bus to chat with the librarian, Becky, and also to select some of my favorite Christmas books.  Into nine of these books we slipped the dollar bills... somewhere in the middle of the book so it will be a delightful surprise to any little reader!  One book had a CD in the back and we hid a bill back there too... just to see if anyone listens to it!! ;D

It was really fun for some reason!  The idea that some little reader will be sharing the holiday spirit with Mum or Dad and will suddenly come across a whole dollar bill!! ;D  Warms my heart right up it does! ;D

Monday, December 10

Day Ten!

Today started out as one way and ended up another!  We had originally intended to go to the Goodwill Store and drop off a ton of donations, then whilst we were there we were going to hide dollar bills in the pockets of pants and coats so that people would find them when they bought them.  Then we got to thinking, finding a dollar isn't that big of a deal anymore, I mean it will be for children when we hide the bills in the Target toy section, but for an adult to find a dollar in a pair of pants well, it won't really raise any pulses.  I often find myself wishing I had $100 bills to hide!!  How exciting it would be to find one hundred dollars!!! ;D Anyway, we then thought it might be better to just hide ten dollars all at once for one person to find.  We taped two $5 bills together and added a note saying "Merry Christmas" and got ready to find a nice winter's coat we could seclude the loot in!

We got to the store and headed in, looking for winter coats.  ...  ...  ...  No winter coats.  Really?!?  Really.  I didn't see any anyway.  Hmm.  We continued to browse the store and the kids picked out books they wanted to buy.  I noticed an older man shopping too.  He looked through the houseware section, he was in the sweater section and finally I noticed him picking out a pair of pants.  He's the one, I thought.   We hustled over there and I rather forwardly handed him the money and note and said "This is for you!!"  .....  "Why?"  he asked.  Suspiciously and not unreasonably in my opinion!!!  I explained that we were doing 25 Acts of Kindness and he said "Nooo.... buy the baby some formula!"  ( as a FERVENT Breastfeeding advocate I thought that was hilarious!! ) "We're fine there..." I said "She's a breastfed baby!" ... this left him no wiggle room so he took the money and smiled.  "Thank you!"  he called out.  "I'll remember this Act of Kindness and pay it forward" .....!!

Awesome. :)

Sunday, December 9

Day Nine!

We made another batch of cookies today, Norwegian Butter Cookies no less!  They are so delicious and simple to make too.  It was Jack's turn to be "Santa" today so he put on his hat and coat and made ready to deliver cookies to the retirement home up the road.  It was about 26 degrees outside.  You'll note Jack's outfit...  Ahem.

Yes Folks, those are shorts.  And Wellington Boots.  And an enormous coat that will make you sweat.  Still, he was in the mood and Ho Ho Ho'ed with me all the way up there!!

Once we arrived we found a staff member and told her we had made cookies for the residents and staff.  She seemed quite grateful, if confused!  Jack said "Ho Ho HO!  I'm SANTA!"... she smiled at him nicely and we headed home!  Jack asked if perhaps we could have "warm chocolate milk" when we got back.  Not hot.  Warm.  I'm on it, Kiddo.  :D

We presented the cookies with an ingredients list also, incase any of the residents had any dietary restrictions.