Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween {2014}

The kids had a pretty awesome Halloween week!

Adalyn had a fall party at preschool on Thursday were she practiced her trick or treating and ate some yummy food. I had fun seeing her in her preschool world. She also got to spend Halloween day at Sarah's house were they got some afternoon trick or treating in at Park Place in Kirkland, did some art projects and made cookies.

Shane had a Halloween party on Friday. I was able to organize it, but I wasn't able to be there. Which was a bummer for both of us. I did mange to arrive in time for the school costume parade and surprised him with that.

Per our Halloween tradition, we started out trick or treating in downtown Kirkland. Visiting the stores and restaurants in the daylight is so much fun. They get lots of attention and really enjoy it.

Shane was a knight/gladiator. He picked this costume over the big fuzzy bear one that he was considering as well. This was a big costume transition year for him from cute animal to mean warrior.

Adalyn went as a pumpkin. That was what she requested in September and that is what she stuck to all along. The funniest part was she had to have a headband with her pumpkin costume, but then of course wore it a whole 5 minutes.

Mr. Knight was struggling to have fun at first. Big event days like this make him a bit more up and down with his moods. He warmed up after 5 minutes or so of trick or treating.

I worked on Halloween and decided last minute that I needed to participate in the costume arena for my little toddlers and my own kiddos. I grabbed my cat tail, some eye liner and made myself some cat ears and voila...a black cat I was. Adalyn was impressed. Shane wasn't.

Look Mommy, I got candy!!

Ah, he is happy now!

The famous Kirkland cow and coyote all dressed up.

Shane lost his first tooth last year while eating a sandwich from Jimmy Johns. He was determined to have it happen again this year. But to no avail, it didn't...even with 4 loose teeth.

After all of our fun in Kirkland, we came home to do some neighborhood trick or treating.

Our pumpkins: the top one is Kenny's, middle is Shane's and the bottom is mine and Adalyn's. Shane won for his 3rd year in a row for best tradition pumpkin at the pumpkin carvin' party at Dahlia's house this year. He is the big champion and he does NOT take that title lightly at all!!

Kenny's Halloween project. This pair of legs has been scaring me for weeks!

We came home to put Adalyn to bed and Shane instantly started in on sorting his candy. He was going to go back out with Kenny, but decided not to so he could just sort it.

The next morning they were back at the sorting again. 

Finally, by Saturday they were ready to buy it back from them. They got to pick 10 pieces and then I give them $5 each for the rest of it. Then Shane takes it to school and may just win a pizza party if his class has the most candy brought in! After that the candy makes its way overseas to soldiers.

The best part is they didn't even ask for a piece of candy all day today!

39 Acts of Kindness

At the beginning of this year, a friend of mine asked people to join her in completing 39 acts of kindness for her final year of being in her 30's.

My first 10 are here.

I don't want this post to be boastful. That isn't my intent at all. I've really enjoyed breaking out of my box and finding ways, which are often very small, to be kind.

11. I got gas for Kenny in his car. Getting gas is one of my least favorite "chores", making this act of kindness even more of a big deal.

12. I loaned our dog crate to a family that we don't know that was looking for an extra dog crate for their dog that had hip surgery. They had our crate for 3 months. It was a total leap of faith since I had no outside connections to this family. The crate was returned with out any issues.

13. I loaned our small/extra tent out to another couple that I didn't know. They were looking to go camping for the weekend, but didn't have a tent and normally sleep in their car. I loved that our tent was getting out and being used. They ended up repaying my kindness with a 6 pack of hard cider and chocolate! That was totally unexpected.

14., 15. and 16. I helped along with other friends preparing a meal at Ronald McDonald's house for families that have kiddos in Children's Hospital. Serving up food to these families was really humbling and you find yourself so grateful for healthy kiddos.

17., 18., 19., 20., and 21. I sent 5 cards to 5 special people in my life.

22. I baked some muffins and gave a couple to a friend.

23. I delivered a cupcake to a friend for Mother's Day.

24. I delivered a cupcake to Adalyn's speech teacher for Teacher Appreciation Day.

25. I delivered a cupcake to my new co-worker that I had never meet on Teacher Appreciation Day.

26. Our family participated in helping to make hundreds of "blessing bags" at our church.

27. - 35. We purchased 10 of these blessing bags and have been handing them out to people we see on the corner in need. We handed out 8 out of 10 of them so far. It feels really good to know when you pull up to someone in need you have a way to help them.

36. I loaned someone, that I don't know, my two ceramic tea pots for a tea party they were attending.

37. I made a necklace and gifted it to a friend, just to show her how special she is.

38. I wrote a card to our Pastor to express my gratitude in his dedication and commitment to our church.

39. I passed on clothes that Adalyn had outgrown to a friend.

40. I picked up a free pair a jeans that I saw that I thought a friend of mine's daughter would like to have.

41. I paid for someones order at Starbucks.

42. I shut the door of a car for a little girl who has having problems closing it behind her in the car line at school.

43. I took some banana bread to Shane's teacher at the end of the 1st day of school.

44. Shane and I volunteered at Food Lifeline and bagged up granola and coffee beans to be given out to families in need.

45. We delivered cookies to our new neighbors when they moved in.

46.+ I joined a Facebook group called "Buy Nothing Kirkland". The Buy Nothing Project started on Bainbridge Island over a year ago as a way to gift your neighbors items that you don't need or want any more. This group has been amazing. I've gifted over 20+ quality items to my neighbors. Things that we don't need any more, but others do. It goes directly to someone living in my community and saves these items from the landfill or moving out of our community. In turn, I've been gifted amazing things as well. This summer all of us were able to bike ride together because we were gifted a bike for Kenny, a new helmet for myself and Adalyn. That just is the tip of the iceberg in the BNK world. There are over 150 Buy Nothing Projects. There may just be one in your neighborhood!

It takes a bit of time to list and gift these items, but that extra step and time truly is the point of acts of kindness.

It may just take an extra second or two to complete an act of kindness. Sometimes it takes longer. But in the end that act of kindness blossoms and blooms and becomes this wonderful thing floating and shifting in the world. The lines are blurred on really how much or how far an act of kindness can go.