Saturday, December 13

Day thirteen.... Easy as pie!

It has become a habit for hubby and I to do the week's grocery shopping together on a Saturday morning.  We tend to get pretty much the same stuff and have it down to a fine art but we also have lots of fun clowning around, tossing bags of frozen foods across the aisles to hubby is  a common thing to catch us doing and the folks at Trader Joe's love to see us play.  We often stop for a coffee or maybe pick up some lunch, it's kind of a date and we enjoy our time together.  today was no exception.  We made several stops today and even did a little Christmas shopping to try and get into the spirit.  60 degrees in mid December makes it hard for me to feel Christmassy that's for sure!  Anyway,hubby treated us to THIS which I love 

It reminds us of our trip and is so pretty!  I noticed it last year in the store and loved it then so I was delighted when hubby noticed it today and wanted to get it!

I wanted to make sure we did an act of kindness whilst we were out so we stopped at the Village Inn and paid for a holiday pie!  

Who ever came in to get a pie would find it was paid for and get a treat!  We picked out a very festive one!  

hope it's tasty!!

The evening was spent with a French theme as we watched Ratatouille whilst eating dinner!  Now I'm wrestling with Millie as I attempt to write this post on  my phone  at the same time as nursing her to sleep.  It's Not Working!   


Friday, December 12

Day Twelve .. one for the animals.

Today was almost 60 degrees.  Seriously!  I sent all the girls outside to bounce on the trampoline and Millie didn't even have to put on Clo' !! :D  They had a wonderful time and really enjoyed the lovely temps.  I went out later in the afternoon and was really surprised at the number of people walking around town and just sitting outside enjoying the warm temps!! :D

As for me I spent the day writing Christmas cards.  It probably would have been fun to have counted how many I sent..... but I didn't...!! :D  Suffice it to say it was quite the stack when I took it to the post office!  We racked our brains trying to think of today's random act and then an ad in the mail inspired me.  Today we wrote a Christmas card to Hearts United for Animals, a non kill shelter in Nebraska.  We added our donation and a thank you note for all they do.  What a wonderful organization. 

I wish it could be more.

No helper cat tonight... he's still under the couch!! :D Silly muppet.

And now, I've got all my chores done, my blog is written and once I've got Millie to bed the night is my own!  I wonder if I'll sleep it away on the couch or maybe I'll watch a movie!!....  Whooot!  Friday nights!! LOL!

Thursday, December 11

Day Eleven!

Day Eleven!  Already?!  Oh I'm starting to get that little butterfly in my stomach.  The one that says....  You DO realize you haven't bought / ordered one gift yet... not one... and some of them have to go to ENGLAND.... you know... that butterfly! :D

Anyway, we had a fun day!  The usual toddler type amusement.  We have a little girl who comes to be with us on Thursday and Friday so she and Millie played and watched Frozen ( again.. )  I baked a few more Christmas cakes for hubby's work folks with more than a little help from the neighbors since it turns out I had run out of eggs and cinnamon.  But I didn't notice them both at the same time of course... that would be too easy!!  ...   Gah!

We managed to fit in our act of kindness today.  This one was an easy one in theory!  We had a bunch of Christmas themed scratch cards and wanted to send them to random folks!  We were going to go through the phone book shouting STOP at random places and then mail a Christmas card containing a scratch card and a little message to whomever we picked from the page.  Great idea!  Only.... no phone books.  I recycle them as we never use them!...  almost never!  OK so we'll use Google maps and a die.  ...  only Google maps kept crashing..... OMG!!  I finally got it loaded and we used the die to pick whether to turn left or right and which side of the road, which house number etc!  It was kind of fun!  A TAD time consuming, kind of fun and TOTALLY random!! :D

So there ya have it!  Today's Act!!  I popped down to the post office and dropped off the cards as I had to go to the local store to get (more) eggs.  I totally had spaced off that I needed egg whites to make the royal icing frosting!!  Sometimes I worry I'll forget the kids!! Har!!

OK, well no Helper Cat pics tonight... he hides under the couch when we have company and Jess's friend is here for the night soooo....  You'll just have to imagine him!! LOL!!


Wednesday, December 10

Day ten! No Fudging!

Today started out early and fast.  We had our usual breakfast routine (which is pretty involved and you'll either think I'm crazy or bragging so you don't need to hear all the details! ) ...  Got my boy off to the bus stop and then came home to quickly wash all the dishes and clear up and get some clothes on Millie before heading across Lincoln to the Ice Rink! :D  The lovely Diana managed to persuade me to sign Jess up for an ice skating lesson and basically Jess and Diana's daughter had the whole rink to themselves for an hour!!  It was fabulous!  If I didn't have miss Millie to watch I'd have been out there in a heart beat.  The instructor was fabulous and in no time Jess was out in the middle of the rink like she was born to it!  Next week the instructor said she'd see if she had some skates small enough for Millie!

Anyway, after all the excitement of skating I made a quick stop at the grocery store and also the library then we headed on home.  Millie wanted to watch Frozen ( can't think why?! ) and I sat and read my books  napped a little.  It was rather pleasant I must say.  Anyway as the afternoon wore on I made a batch of fudge and bagged some up along with some Candied Pecans we'd made yesterday.  I drove into our little town and dropped some fudge off to the mail lady and the rest of to the city office next door.  A very quick and easy but also quite tasty act of kindness!  

I took the dogs for a lovely long walk this evening and checked out the lights in town as they started to flick on.  Some beautiful displays out there.  I returned home in time to make dinner after which Jack allowed Millie to sit on his lap as they both played Toca Kitchen together on the iPad.  If you know Jack you know that this is the biggest news of the day.  It's a BIG deal folks!

He kinda loves his sister!!

So now the house is quiet.  I fell asleep putting Millie to bed.. again...  and I had wanted to put a loaf of bread in the oven to cook for tomorrow's breakfast so I'm going to be up a while as it bakes.  I may not manage to stay awake the whole time...  **yawn!**

Anyway... here's helper cat.   Helping. 


Night all. 

Tuesday, December 9

Day nine ... Hitting the Target.

It was time for me to get my hair trimmed.  I took Jess and Millie and dropped them off at Target and stopped at the local Cost Cutters to get my locks lashed.  I had a really nice girl cut my hair... about the first thing she told me was she was wearing a wig ( nice long brown hair ) and under that was bright pink shortness!!  ( I love pink hair and had pink hair myself for much of last year! )  She asked where I was from, I said England...her last name is England...  she loves the English accent ( well, really, who doesn't !? ) and would love to go visit.  She told me all about some cool markers she used to draw on her mirror ( I want some! ) and told me the name of the place to get cheap wigs!  When she'd finished with my hair she rang me up at the check out and I gave her an 80% tip.  She was pretty happy about that and said "It's because my name is England, isn't it!?"  ( Maybe...!!)  ( It wasn't an expensive hair cut! )

Meanwhile in Target Millie and Jess were having an adventure of their own!  We'd set out 10 one dollar bills and written a little note on each one.

Jess and Millie hid them all over the store for people to find.  I'd hoped Jess might have been able to take pics but apparently Millie was being rather a handful.  ( really?  Millie??  Nah....!! )   When I met them in the store Jess was getting over heated and fed up with chasing the toddler hither and yon so whilst she went to purchase a little something for her brother, I thought a small Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks might cheer her frazzled soul.  I headed up to the bar to get her one (and me, I won't lie) and there was a lady there in front of me on the phone and rifling through her wallet to find a couple of dollars for her coffee.  "I'll get this!"  I said.. and so I bought her coffee for her.  She was very grateful and surprised.  It was literally only a couple of dollars but makes a difference in someone's day.  I'm telling you, these acts of kindness are totally addictive!

Later that afternoon the book mobile came to town.  I wanted to go by and see if I could find a book I always read at Christmas time.  I can never think of the name but it's always there for me to read!  I took Miss Millie along with me at her request (she even went to put on clothes for me!) and I was happy to see that my friend Rebecca was driving the bus today.  She said she was so glad I came along as she wanted to tell me something.  Apparently at the previous stop a teacher had come on the bus and said that in the book she had checked out she had found a dollar bill with a note on it... !!  From us!  Rebecca explained to the teacher all about our acts of kindness and said that she should do something good with it to pass it along.  The teacher was excited and said she certainly would.  Rebecca and I couldn't remember if it had been one or even TWO years ago since we put bills in the books, but the awesome thing is that one dollar bill was still in action even today. I remember the kids having such fun picking out books to hide money in, we had a ball.   And then we would think about how surprised children would be to find money in their books..  I'm not making myself very clear, it's late and I fell asleep putting Millie to bed, but I'm trying to get at how lasting an act of kindness is.  One dollar, one or two years ago and it's still having an impact today.

And now, one more act of kindness for the day.... Helper Cat... having his chin scratched!!!

Night night!!

Monday, December 8

Day 8 ... One for the kids!

Today was pretty darn productive... at least...on and off anyway!  It certainly wasn't productive from the get go, but on reflection I got quite a lot done.  Prepare for a stack of photos! :D

Let's start out with one from breakfast shall we? :D I just LOVE how Millie has laid her napkin nicely across her lap!  Makes me warm inside.

Her buddy from next door came over to play and they wasted NO time getting right down to it.  We had snacks, they JUMPED around all over the place and laughed their little tails off.  Millie is SO lucky to have a girl the same age as her living right next door.  I know Jess and I are totally jealous of Millie's fortune!  They enjoy each other's company already, I do hope it continues as they grow older! 

We did a little arts and crafts~ing using this genius idea I saw on Pinterest (probably, isn't everything to be found on there?!?) ...  a clothes peg holding a pom pom for easy painting!  Make them all the same color and coordinate them with the paint..??  Even easier!! :D  The girls made these lovely Christmas trees and then painted some more and more and more!

We follow ( ahem, rather loosely sometimes) the Flylady method of house cleaning and organization. I honestly swear by it, that and Minimalism!  The less you have, the less there is to clean!   Anyway today is whole house cleaning day so that means stripping the beds, vacuuming the whole house, cleaning the windows and mirrors, emptying all trash cans etc etc.  

... Can you spot my awesome hose repair here????  I went to vacuum this morning and the thing was making a really scary hissing noise!  I came to find that the hose was torn almost completely through!!  Quick!  To the Duct Tape!! :D  I wrapped it up nice and tight and Voila!  I can vacuum again.  Good thing too.  I narrowly avoided getting a blasted Vacuum cleaner for Christmas.  Some one would have gotten hurt!! :D

Anyway... onward and upward! ... So then it was time to bath the dog!  Remember the trip to the park yesterday!?!  I had not realized just how FILTHY the little dog got !!!  OMG.  Jess ran a nice deep and warm tub full of water for us in the basement sink and I stuck her in it.  For the first time ever she was wagging her tail as I bathed her!  I think she really enjoyed how warm the water was!   I actually took a pic of all the MUD left in the sink when we were done but it's on Jess's iPod and she's in bed so you'll just have to imagine a sink so gross you are shocked!  And also imagine a picture of a REALLY blurry dog as she ran off from us once we had dried her off!!  Hilarious!  The big dog was chasing her all over the house as she wasn't convinced it was actually Lucy who came back upstairs! 

So anyway, down to today's Act! :D   I decided to go for a walk as it was a ridiculous 51 degrees this afternoon.  We should have all gone really but one thing and another.... you know how it is.  If you don't have kids or you don't know how it is, just guess.  It just is.  Trust me.  Anyway, off I went, taking BIG stretchy leg strides and breathing in deep breaths! I headed to the local little grocery store again for I had a plan.  I wanted to get some candy canes to give to the kids off the bus like we did a year or more ago.  I chose the candy canes and then thought, huh, I can do better than that, so I also got some cocoa mix, some marshmallows and some of those tree shaped cake things.  I took them all to the checkout and then paused.  Huh.  I'd left my money at home!!  :D  Ho hum!  I walked home and picked up the money DROVE back ( it was getting a bit close for time!) and we put together ten bags of treats with a note.  

The note included that the gift was from the neighbor in an attempt to not make it look like I'm trying to sell crack to the kids off the bus.  I was leery of the small sized baggies I was using for the 4 marshmallows !! LOL!!  I watch too much TV sometimes I think!  Anyway, we picked Jack up off his bus and went across the street from our house to the bus that stops there.  We waited a little while ( as I said, it was a warm day ) and soon the bus arrived.  

Jack, my crazy helper!

The faces of the kids still on the bus are funny!  HEY!!!

We handed out bags to each child who got off the bus but ended up with 5 bags left.  We knew there were two boys on that street who come home with their mom so we went to their house to see if they would like a bag.  

Knock knock!!

They were very grateful and I heard one of them say to his Mom as we were walking away "Well, that was nice!!"  :) 

We still had three left and we have neighbors right across the street with three boys, so that was a "problem" soon taken care of! :)  10 happy kids.  Easy and fun!  (A big thank you to Jessie who helped me stuff all the bags and helped with the holly on the notes! ) 

(*no helping Kitty tonight... he must be outside on the prowl!)

Sunday, December 7

Day Seven... It's a dog's life!

Today, oh boy.  A strange day to start out with.  It was very gray and misty, drizzly dampness.  Not a very Cheery day that's for sure.  Some days when it's gray outside I tend to get a bit low.  I don't mean to, I don't even notice it really until I find myself too low to get myself back up.  Today was a bit like that.  After a lovely cup of tea and a chat with a couple of friends I was able to feel a bit more like myself.  I knew that if I went out for a walk I would feel better and I knew if I did an Act of Kindness I would feel TONS better.  It does that for you, Acts.  You just can't help but feel good inside.  I don't think you could be in a bad mood and do one.  You certainly couldn't be in a bad mood AFTER you had.   So I had a little think and came up with a plan.  I nursed miss Millie to sleep and lay her on the couch.  Her Daddy stayed home with her and I took the other two kiddoes and the two dogs and we set out in the van on a mission.  I decided to pick up some dog treats to take to the dog run today.  We decided to stop at our local store in town rather than giving our money to a big box store in the city.   I was AMAZED at all the goodies I was able to collect!!

Quite the haul!

So we headed off to the park.  Oh my the pooches just love it there!! :D  I met a friend from Dog Training Classes there and we walked around with her and her pooch for a while.  My dogs ran and ran and ran until they were filthy and exhausted.  Just how a dog should be.  We had tasked Jack with the task of choosing the recipient of today's gift and he was excited to do his job!

We walked around for a while and a nice man stopped and chatted with us about Yogi, our puppy.  Jack thought that maybe he would be a perfect person and handed him the package saying "This is for your dog!"  

The man said he thought his dog would be VERY pleased!  Jack did a great job!!

So anyway, after a good walk in the cold damp air we headed home to watch Aladdin by the fire.  When I walked in the door I found Millie and Daddy in an intense game of Chess...

And later she demonstrated how to do sit ups ( she was "helping me" with them the other day...  fyi it's not helping if you are nursing on somebody when they are trying to do sit ups.  Kinda makes it a bit harder!! ) 

And once again, the cat.  Sitting quietly, waiting for his head bump.  Silly boy.  

Night all.