Monday, July 19, 2010

Do Good Day recap!

So Wednesday was, to sum it up in one word: fabulous. 

I can not thank 77kids or enough for giving us the chance to participate in Do Good Day!  

We all woke up bright and early - or at least what bright and early means at our house ;-) And headed off to the big city. (here's where I also tell you that I used the navigator on my new phone so I wouldn't have to print directions. And also that my phone gets traffic updates and will tell us how much time left on our drive. And so for most of the car trip instead of hearing "Are we there yet?" I heart "How much more time till we get there?" ROFL!)

 We met up with everyone at the parking lot of the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) where we got our box of fun stuff for Do Good Day (thank you cards to pass out, stickers, candy, t-shirts for the kids, and our 77 dollars to pass out). We gathered all our stuff together and headed inside - which was good because let me tell you, it was pretty darn hot that day LOL! 

The moms and older kids started to work on setting everything up. The younger kids found the play room right away!  They seemed to float in and out of there during the whole day - but it was nice for them to have that area to hang out in. Well, at least my 4yo had a good time playing in there. Then he'd come out and do something with me, then go back in. So nice!!

In the middle of the dining room we set up a table and had the kids make some thank you cards. My 7 year old thought this was so fun that she ended up making quite a few cards all through out the day! We had the kids then take the cards they made to the office. They shared the thank you cards with the staff to thank them for all that they do!

Then we were all given a tour of the house by one of the residents there - her family has used the RMH several times. Her older sister was in the hospital. She knew the house pretty well and gave us a great tour of the house. I enjoyed getting to look around. We also learned that Coca-cola donated beverages to them. The vending machines were a quarter for each pop, but the RMH kept that money to help cover costs. The recommended fee for staying was 10 per night. It actually costs about 70 per night to keep a family housed there, so as you can imagine RMH and the families that stay there rely heavily on donations to stay operational.

After the tour, it was time for lunch! 

It really was such a nice lunch. But of course, you can't have lunch without dessert can you? Well, you can, but it's just not as fun is it?

A very full and fun afternoon for sure. But before everyone headed their own separate  ways, we were able to get one group shot!

I was able to talk to one family for a little bit while we were there and being able to stay in this house was such a wonderful thing for them. They were able to visit their daughter/sister everyday - the mom mentioned if they couldn't come downtown they wouldn't be able to do that. I can't imagine as a mom having to leave my child in a hospital for several weeks and then not be able to be close enough to visit daily? :( Heartbreaking, but thankfully RMH is there to help those families out.

This was indeed a full day for us, but it didn't end there!

 We got home and ALL of us (yes, me included) sat down to decorate the thank you cards in our box. We had decided while we were driving home that we would decorate all the cards and take them to our local police officers and fire fighters. I won't lie - we dropped them off after typical hours and we were met with a few strange looks when we first walked into the police station/rang the fire houses's door! The kids were all smiles though and so proudly handed a pack of thank you's over. They told them today was Do Good Day and they wanted to thank them for all the good they did. They handed them over (to a nice woman at the police station and a fireman at the firehouse) and asked them to please pass them around to the people they worked with. I admit, as mom watching them, it was so sweet and I loved it!

Then we decided to pass out (cold) water bottles and our dollar bills to those commuters coming off the train at rush hour. 

We patiently waited for the trains to come. Fortunately for us, three trains were all coming in a short period of time so that was good. Unfortunately for us, people were very taken aback and we had a very hard time passing our dollars out. I think people thought we were trying to sell something to them (whether the water, the dollar, a political belief or religious believe - I'm not sure!) Anyway, we passed out what we could - but we couldn't pass out all of it. I won't lie - the kids were VERY disappointed by this. They were so down when we went back to the car. So, we headed to a park and passed some out there. Then we came home and passed out the rest to neighbors and friends! I will say, I think the passing out part was the most fun for all of them! And hence why the most disappointing when people wouldn't accept the dollars. I will say this though, the people who got it and accepted them, really got it and all had such kind words to say to us. And that was awesome! And that was especially nice for the kids to hear. 

And then I think we all came home and completely passed out! ROFL!! We were tired. But we were happy. And we would all do it again in a heartbeat! =)

As an aside, I took lots of pictures on Wednesday and you can see them all here!

Disclosure: I am working with The Motherhood on behalf of 77kids by American Eagle, and was paid a monetary stipend for participating in this project.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Good Morning!

It's here ... today is Do Good Day!! We are so excited at my house for this!! It is going to be an amazing day - not only are several of us in Chicago getting together, but all told - there will be 77 bloggers spread out across 11 cities all doing good tomorrow!

Why 77? Because American Eagle is launching 77kids - clothing stores aimed for kids. 77 comes from the year American Eagle was founded - 1977. So 77kids partnered up with to bring these 77 bloggers together to do some good!  I think this is a FABULOUS way for 77kids to celebrate their opening!

I am lucky enough to be working with some fabulous bloggers in the area - Melissa, Jen, Lydia, Paula, and Dawn to serve lunch at the Ronald McDonald House! It's going to be so great - I can just tell already!! It seems like all the Do Good Day teams have some great plans going on for today - please head on over here to check out what everyone has planned! So many great things going on - just wonderful!

Yesterday, to prepare two of the kids and I went to target to pick up some items on the Ronald McDonald House Wish List. They had so much fun getting to help pick out what to bring. So while I grabbed paper towels, laundry detergent and hand soap - they picked popcorn, juice boxes, and popsicles! We also grabbed a few books - most notably The Wizard of Oz, as it's a favorite in this house! 

After lunch, the group is going to split up and the kids and I will be heading back to our town to pass out some fliers around our town. We are still debating - hitting parks or hanging out at the local train station. I know, I know, last minute - I swear not on purpose - we had some other ideas of where to pass them out that fell through, so we're onto plan d, e and f LOL!  

I promise to come back tonight or tomorrow and tell you all about it! And maybe even get my kids brave enough to share their thoughts with you. I'll be tweeting through out that day as I can - so feel free to follow me over on twitter!

And don't forget to head on over to Hyacynth's blog and tell her if you did some good today too =)

Disclosure: I am working with The Motherhood on behalf of 77kids by American Eagle, and was paid a monetary stipend for participating in this project.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Do Good Day

A few weeks ago I received an e-mail asing if I wanted to participate in Do Good Day. I jumped at the chance - a day to do good things, count me in.

Truthfully, I don't do enough good things and I don't do enough giving back. I used to - in high school I volunteered at a bereavement center and a local hospital - among other various one day activities. I continued to do things in college and then I gave birth to my daughter. And it was a lot harder to get out - I was young, trying to finish school, working part time, had a husband, blah, blah, blah - the excuses just rolled off my tongue. My husband, picked up my slack though and volunteered at the local hospital for more than a couple of years (I'll never forget when I gave birth to our second child, after all the excitement, etc, he left to go tell a couple of patients he had gotten to know through his volunteer work that we had had the baby - which I think is beyond sweet).

Anyway, I do what I can from home now - some sewing/knitting/donating money things. And while I think that's all good - when I received an e-mail from 77 Kids (a kids clothing line from American Eagle) and The Motherhood to actually get out of the house and work in a team with other moms in the area, well, I was all over it. 

So next week, on July 14, the kids and I are going to head downtown - to a Ronald McDonald house and do some good! We can't wait to do it. And it gets even more exciting - you too can help us out. One of the other moms participating Hyacynth is hosting a link up on July 14 for anyone else who goes out and also does some good. And it gets better:
I'll be hosting a link-up Wednesday, July 14-15 for anyone who decides to engage with their kiddos in a random act of kindness.

If you and your little ones engage in a pay-it-forward type of kindess, simply post a picture of your little ones acting part of it out on your blog and briefly write about it.

After the link-up closes, will choose one person to win $25 {cash}. And additionally, that person will choose a charity* to recieve an additional $30.

It can be as simple as your little ones weeding a neighbor's flower bed or helping them clean out some of their unused toys and donating them to a local women's shelter. It's totally up to you!

And though I've been commissioned by ae to participate in Do Good Day, the company has NOT asked me to host this link up. I simply just wanted to pay it forward to one of my friends here by giving away $25 to her family and $25 to a charity* chosen by her {and I think the simple act of engaging our little ones in a little do-good project is worthwhile in itself}.

Fun! Fun! Fun! I will remind you all about this on the 14th and link back to her again. I hope you'll all join me, Hyacynth and all the Chicago moms participating (the list is here!) and go out and do some good =)

We can't wait - and if you need some help on where to start - here is the Ronald McDonald House Wishlist. And if you want to donate some things on that list - let me know. I'll even try to arrange to get them from you so I can bring them down with me. =)

Anyway, can't wait to tell you all about this on the 14th and about how it all went! =)

What? I have a blog!

I know, I know, my poor neglected little blog. I swear I didn't forget about you. Not did I purposefully leave you. It's just that that pesky little thing called life gets in the way. And here's the deal - without that life, I'd have nothing to blog about so, there it is.

Anyway, the girls are almost done with softball (2 weeks left). It's kept us quite busy. I'm still working weekends (till the end of the month!). And hubs has been swamped at work. And I've dealt with some stomach-bug type thingy. So, it commonly feels like there isn't enough time to catch my breath these days.

Sadly very little crafting has happened in between all of this stuff. I hope, and pray, life will get back to more normal terms when softball ends. Don't get me wrong - I love it a lot. And I love watching the girls play. And they both love it. But it's taking time. And often both girls have games/practice at the same time - which means hubs takes the younger one and I take the older one and we get about 5 minutes to say hi, how was your day, anything important we need to know before turning around and heading out!

Anyway, not trying to be downer here - really, I've had a lot of great moments - I just haven't had time to blog them all lately! LOL! =) Next week we have something really FUN coming up that I can't wait to talk about (post coming on that in a few moments LOL!) And tonight, my oldest has her very first play off game and so we are all very excited about that! =)