Sunday, July 28, 2013

Day 25 Acts 27 & 28

Beverages to fill to my friends' soul. 

For acts 27 and 28, I decided to drop off a couple surprise beverages to some well deserving friends. 

First drop was a early morning door stop. Hopefully our friends Jeni and Adam were surprised when they opened the door to get the paper, and low and behold there was also a bottle of wine! 

The next one happened at work! My friend Nicole and I share a passion for Dunkin Donuts coffee! It just makes us happy! 

This was waiting for her when she arrived at her desk! Since she is almost 30 weeks pregnant, she got the decaf! Same effect, so tasty and satisfying! 

Day 24 Act 26

Starbucks for a stranger! 

I have heard of this happening to a few people that I know and thought it was awesome! I decided it was a perfect opportunity for an act of kindness. 

Hopefully, I was able to help this lady get her day started off with a smile, with a paid coffee at Starbucks! 

I am rather intrigued with her drink of choice! I may have to give it a try sometime! 

Day 23 Act 25

Smiles sent to my long distance friends! 

Today's kindness was such an easy and fulfilling act to do and found myself questioning why I don't do it more often!  

I decided to drop a few cards in the mail for a handful of friends that I don't get to see or talk to near enough. 

I wanted them to know that they are thought of often and thinking of past memories always fill my happy tank! I know that when we do have the opportunity to see each other, it will feel as if time has stood still and we will pick up right where we left off! So blessed to have them as my forever friends!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Day 22 Act 24

We All Scream For Ice Cream! 

Especially when you get it for free! 

Tonight we treated ourselves to DQ. 

It was a great night to celebrate some good (life changing, floating on air) news our family received earlier in the day!! And no better way to spread our happiness, than to pay it forward to the car behind us. 

This car hopefully enjoyed their surprise when they went to pick up their food and learned it had already been paid for. I know we enjoyed doing it! 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Day 21 Acts 22 & 23

Two acts today! The end of the month is quickly approaching it's time to kick these acts into high gear! 

 In the last year my family and I have decided to take on a more responsible approach with our finances to be better stewards of what we have been blessed with. This means everything we buy and how much we spend and save is pre-determined on a budget basis.  Most commonly known as the Dave Ramsey plan! HIGHLY recommend it for anyone that is looking for a common sense approach to finances. 

Today was grocery shopping day for Allie and I. To make our weekly grocery money stretch, I quickly discovered that our dollars go the furthest at the no frills grocery stores. One of those is Fareway, (see day 13 act 15 post), the other is Aldi. 

One of the ways they keep costs down is to make you "pay" for your shopping cart. You insert .25 to unlock the cart. When you are done shopping you simply return the cart and you get your quarter back. End result, carts are neatly stacked in their place and not strewn about in the parking lot. It totally works! 

Today Allie and I decided it would be nice to put some quarters in a few carts to surprise our fellow shoppers. 

Today's second act was to bring a little bit of happiness to our friend Connor. He is a little boy in our neighborhood that loves to come over and play in our yard whenever possible. He really loves Allie and pretty sure she feels the same about him. 

He has been under the weather for the last few days, so we wanted to make him feel better by bringing him a few surprises. Hopefully it cheered him up and he will be over at our house playing real soon! 

Day 20 Act 21

Cookies for Grandma Eileen! 

We all have people in our lives that we aspire to be like and people that just make us feel special every time we see them. For me, that person is a very special lady, our family refers to as "Grandma" Eileen. 

Even though I would love to claim her as one of my Grandma's, she is actually my brother in law's grandmother. A little birdie told me she needed some cheering up, so I thought she was the perfect person for me to offer some surprise kindness. 

We dropped in for a surprise visit yesterday evening to bring her some of the best cookies on earth. We also brought her, what she referred to as hot dish, we call it a casserole. :-) 

I think our act of kindness worked! It was great seeing her beautiful smile! 

These are the cookies that we brought her, and they are ahhmazing!! If there is  anybody in the DSM metro area that has a passion for cookies like I do, you should totally check them out!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Day 19 Act 20

Time is money, especially when you have an expired parking meter. Today's act was helping those individuals that were out of time. 

I took a walk along the busy downtown street in front of where I work, and happily added some money to the meters that needed it. 

All of the meters were full and about a third of them were overdue. Hopefully I helped at least one person to avoid a parking ticket. After all it's Friday, ain't nobody got time for that. :-) 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Day 17 Act 19

Did you notice? No act of kindness on day 16?? Unfortunately I was unable to perform an act of kindness yesterday due to circumstances of my day. 

Back at it today though! With the help of my sister, (who is awesome at helping) we hopefully made two children's day a little brighter. 

We decided to buy a couple of small gifts and dropped them off at the hospital in the pediatric in patient unit. It was super easy and highly recommend doing it, if you ever have the chance. 

We simply just dropped the gifts off at the nurse's station and asked that they be delivered to a boy and a girl that could use some cheer. 

The nurse said that they often let balloons find the kid. They usually just leave them on their desk, and when the right "match" comes along they will stop and look at it with awe and amazement. That's when they know that ballon has found a home. Love that!! :-)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Day 15 Act 18

Cookies For A Friend!

A friend of mine from work is in the hospital right now battling effects of a recent cancer diagnosis.  It has been a long road for Kristi and her family.  They have spent long days, weeks and months in the hospital over the last year.  The determination and strength this family has is beyond belief.  

Kristi's husband Tom has literally been by her side the whole time.  In the last month, he has only left the hospital a small handful of times, refusing to let her be alone.  

For this act of kindness I thought it was important for him to have something tasty and homemade, so I made a big plate full of cookies.  Hopefully he and other members of their family were able to take a break and enjoy a moment of cookie goodness.  

Day 14 Acts 16 & 17

Making the most of my Sunday by doing two more acts of kindness.

Act 16 was filling a backpack with school supplies for Freedom Youth.  This was for a school supply drive organized by our church. 

Once again I received help from my one of my helpers! She was actually a busy girl, keeping up with Mom today. 

Dropping it off at church. Notice her tattooed arms? We had to put on every tattoo she received the day prior at Ankeny Summerfest. She cracks me up!

Act 17 was presents for some deserving friends! 

I have the privilege of knowing a lot of brave, kind and caring people, but let me tell you about a Mom, daughter, and son that I think is one of the bravest of all. Their names are Brenda, Andrea and Sal! 

I went to high school with Brenda and with the technology of Facebook, I have been able to keep up with all of the happenings of her life.  She is an amazing mom to her two children.  In honor of her daughter, Andrea, that was diagnosed at a young age with infantile spasms, she is working especially hard right now trying to raise money to have an all inclusive playground built in Grimes, Iowa.  Please see the following links below to read Andrea's full story.  She is so beautiful and such a brave little girl.

Since they are all working so hard right now to make a difference for others, I thought it was important that they receive some well deserved gifts.

Here is information about the fundraiser Brenda and her family are working on to raise money for the playground.  If you are in the Grimes area the first weekend in August, please stop by!


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Day 11 Act 13

Surprise!  Ice Cream!  

Since Andrew has been such good helper with my acts of kindness, I thought it would be a good idea to let him have some fun and receive part of today's kindness act.   On Thursday, Brian and I coordinated a surprise trip to Cherry Berry for and Andrew and his good friend Liam.  We have known Liam and his family since our early day care years, and feel so grateful Andrew has a buddy like Liam to call one of his best friends.  We always enjoy seeing him and love it when we can get the boys together.

Andrew knocking on Liam's door, all excited to see him!

The boys had a lot to catch up on, they were quick to grab a table for just the two of them! 

Day 13 Act 15

To Tip Or Not To Tip?

That is the question that I usually have whenever I finish shopping for groceries at Fareway.  One of the reasons I continue to shop at Fareway on a (usually two trip) weekly basis, is not only their fair prices, but I also really appreciate that they help you load your groceries into your car. 

I most appreciate that the person that is pushing the cart and loading your car, (usually a high school age teenager), is always friendly and courteous.  I have told Andrew many times, when he is old enough to get a job, that I want him to work at Fareway.  You can just tell that they train their employees to be respectful, courteous and helpful.  All great life skills to have in the working world and to be a functioning member of society.

Today I decided that I was going to actually tip my Fareway helper as my act of kindness.

I have to be honest, this one has probably given me the biggest chuckle of all.  When I went to hand the nice and respectful kid that loaded my groceries today his tip, you would have thought I was handing him poison.  :-)....still chuckling.  He stepped away from me and said, "No that is ok".  Then the two of us played a tiny bit of "tug of war" back and forth on me insisting he take it.  Eventually after about three times of me saying "No I really want you to have it", he conceded. 

So if anyone else ever wonders if you should tip the Fareway kid, the answer is apparently no.  If you try to tip them, you more than likely will receive the same "poisonous" response that I did. 

Day 12 Act 14


Remember that feeling as a kid when you saw a candy vending machine and you REALLY wanted one?  You asked Mom and Dad for a quarter and they would say no!  So you took a chance and turned the knob on the machine anyway, and low and behold a stray skittle, M&M or gumball would actually drop.  And you felt like you hit the jackpot!!  It was the best feeling ever!

That is what I wanted to happen with act 14.  I placed quarters in a few candy machines at the mall.  Hopefully someone will come across one of these unexpected surprises and feel like I did as a kid.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Day 10 Act 12

My act of kindness today was buying a birthday (sushi) lunch for my dear friend Nicole.

This year is a milestone birthday for her as well. However hers is 10 years younger than mine. :-) Lucky girl is just now saying hello to her thirties.

She is a very busy (and AMAZING!!) mom of three, so her free time outside of work and home is pretty limited. I really appreciate it when we can occasionally steal some time over lunch to chat and catch up. She always has great stories to tell about her kids, and more than willing to listen to whatever is on my mind. I am lucky to have her as my friend! 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Day 9 Act 11

Today's act is a true random act of kindness.  My husband Brian had the great idea of looking at a random person's baby registry and buying them a gift!  Loved the idea and ran with it!  Sometime next week, someone named John Smith in Minnesota will receive a monkey in the mail.  

Our friends at Target make shopping so easy and quick!  Hopefully this family will enjoy this gift and whenever their new baby plays with this toy, it brings joy to their heart.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Day 8 Acts 9 & 10

Today was my first day back at work after vacation. I had a terrible feeling of concern overcome me in the middle of the day about finding time to complete an act each day during the work week.  I quickly put it out my mind and told myself, shush it and just do it!! As it turns out, the kids and I were able to pull off two acts of kindness.  Woo hoo! 

Act 9 
I thought it was the perfect day to take our kindness outside.  The first act of kindness today was going on a trash walk. We went to a local park and took a walk with our heads and eyes looking for "treasures"  Along the way we were able to find enough trash to almost fill a grocery bag. 

We stopped along the way and talked to a couple of kids that had been there for five hours fishing for turtles. We were able to see one of their big catches, a large snapping turtle. I also discovered that both of my kids are excellent trash collectors. :-)

Act 10

For this act we thought it would be nice to treat our duck friends! And oh boy, were they everywhere! 

As soon as we walked up to the pond area they started flocking towards us for food. I have never seen that many ducks come out of the water at once. 

They even came close enough to eat out of our hands. It was crazy and fun for all three of us. I think I may have even enjoyed it more than Allie and Andrew. :-)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Day 7 Act 8

Today's act of kindness is in the books! Literally! When I returned my library book today, I left a note and a dollar inside for the next reader to find. Hopefully it will make someone's day brighter. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Days 5 & 6 Acts 6 & 7

Fell behind with my posting yesterday so doubling up today. 

Yesterday was day 5 act 6. It was a busy day because we celebrated Andrew's 11th birthday. We had some of our family, who were over for an afternoon BBQ. It was another fun day for us over this holiday weekend. 

The Act of kindness for yesterday was Scratch cupcakes for the neighbors, Jen and Aaron. (Not the same neighbors from day two, but different ones that we are equally thankful for!)

We appreciate the interaction they have with our kids.  Every time Jen sees Allie she graces her with a big hug which Allie just loves. It is very cute. Aaron is always good about taking interest in Andrew's activities, baseball games and school. 

They are expecting their first child in September, we cannot wait and welcome their daughter to the neighborhood! 

Today was day 6 act 7.  The Act of kindness for today was for our feline and canine friends. The kids and I had fun making cat and dog treats for the ARL (Animal Rescue League). We were able to use a recipe from their website. It was super easy and fun too. 

As they were baking and the aroma filled the kitchen, our cat Kona became very interested in what was going on.  She was sitting by oven and meowing and wanting a treat. Hopefully this means the ARL dogs and cats will like them. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Day 4 Act 5

Happy 4th of July!! It's a great day to celebrate with friends and family. This day is extra special to us because it is also our son's birthday! He always has fireworks on his birthday. Lucky guy!

We are so happy this year to have Grandpa Fred in town. He took the train all the way from California to celebrate Andrew turning 11. We always love it when he comes to town, and wish we could stop time because it goes way too fast when he is here. 

Today's act of kindness happened while waiting for fireworks to start. Andrew and I handed out a handful glow sticks to other kids that were waiting patiently for the "show" to start.  Once again he was a great helper on our quest for smiles! 

We even left a few on some empty chairs.

 The highlight of this act was meeting and talking to a lady that was sitting nearby  by herself. She and her husband recently moved to DSM because of a job relocation. She was very nice and interesting to talk to. I always enjoy talking to people and learning about their "story". 

Although today started out less than desirable because our birthday boy woke up sick. By noon he was feeling much better and our day started to perk up a bit. We had a visit from Grandma Grandpa Hanke which involved conversation, apple pie and cake. Then we ended the day with glow sticks and smiles. Not a bad way to end the day. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Day 3 Act 4

Today's act of kindness is a small way to honor my dad, brother and the all of the firefighters that make a difference through their selfless acts. 

 This time Allie, my 4 year old daughter, got in on the action! She and I made cookies and took them to the fire station. She was so excited and more than willing to help out! 

I received insight from my brother, on what would for sure make them smile.  He gave me the idea of also taking ice cream treats. So that's what we did! 

When we arrived, I knocked on the door where a group of them were standing. A gentlemen opened the door and with a cautious, but very professional manner asked what I needed while the others just stood back and waited for my response. When I explained we were there to drop off treats, funny how quickly their ears perked up and about a 1/2 dozen of them came dashing over to the door to check it out. :-) 

Two of them were nice enough to pose for a picture. Allie was a little shy and afraid to stand next to them, but she agreed to a semi-smile from afar. 

Thank you to all of the firefighters that are making a difference each day! Stay safe and God Bless! 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Day 2 acts 2 & 3

Today was a fun day! I had the day off work so it was a good day for a two-fer. With the assistance of my helper, soon to 11 year old son Andrew, we were able to pull off acts two and three with sweet success! 

For #2 it was another trip to the flower store to buy flowers for our neighbors. Pretty sure we have some of the best neighbors on the planet!  They are always  willing to lend a hand whenever needed and always know that we can trust them to keep an eye on things while we are out of town! They are the absolute best! 

Act #3 was a fun one as well! Andrew and I dropped off a jar full of hugs for a special lady from our church.  Her name is Jen and she might be the worlds best hugger! Every time she sees us whether it be at church, or out and about, she always hugs us! Not just a quick whimpy hug. It's an all out squeeze hug that just radiates kindness, care, and love. 

Anybody that knows me, knows I am NOT a hugger by any means, but after only meeting and seeing her a couple of times I knew right away that her heart is the kindest and loving as they come.  This jar of hugs is just a small way of letting her know how much we appreciate her in our lives and we are truly blessed that God gave us the opportunity to know her! 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Act One

Today was act one day one! It's official, let the 40 acts begin! Today, five random strangers received a flower on their windshield at a local hospital. Hopefully it allowed happiness to enter their day for just a brief moment after their appointment or visit with a loved one at the hospital. 

I have to admit it felt kind of weird as I placed each flower and found myself looking over my shoulder to make sure nobody questioned the "creepy girl" walking through the ramp. When I was done that feeling was quickly gone and replaced with a feeling of hope!