Compassion Bulldog

Teachable Moments

I experienced some very good teachable moments with the kids today.

First I took them to the Jones Brothers Easter Egg hunt in Stinson Park.  I warned them ahead of time that there would be a LOT of other people there so we may not get any eggs and not to let that upset them because we will get lots of eggs from the Easter Bunny tonight so it is ok if we don’t get any today. We are going just to have a little fun.

There were in fact LOTS and LOTS of people there and the announcer said “Go” and the kids took off running…Lexi was run into and ended up falling to the ground and Liam didn’t know what was going on. Logan and Austin each got one egg and a mom with a very sweet little boy (who was probably only 2) came over with 3 eggs in his basket. She encouraged him to share one with Liam and one with Lexi since they didn’t get any. (Lexi was in tears this whole time because she fell and because she didn’t get any eggs). It was the sweetest thing and such a great moment to remind the kids that no matter how little somebody has, the nice and right thing to do is to share with others that have less than we do. It was good for them to see both sides of that. Thank you again to the wonderful mom and little boy that shared with my children!

Next we went to Jones Brothers for cupcakes and waited in line outside the door to get in. Once inside we followed the line ahead of us toward the counter and suddenly a woman starts yelling at me for cutting. Being that I had been waiting in line this whole time and was simply following the line that was in front of me, I had no idea what she was talking about. I spoke calmly with her and apologized that she was so upset but didn’t see how it was my fault or why I deserved the way she was treating me. Obviously she was very upset and I happened to be the person in the wrong place at the wrong time that fell in direct line of her attack. I, however, never lost my temper, never raised my voice and maintained a smile on my face (which secretly I think made her even more mad…lol!) the whole time. The other woman she was with joined in on the attack and instead of attacking back, I simply smiled and let them go ahead of us.  They then turned their attack on the poor girls at the counter that were working their tails off to try to serve everybody as quickly as possible.

The kids and I then got up to the counter to pay and I apologized to the girls at the counter for the treatment they had just received.  I thanked them for their incredible service and let them know that I admired the way they were handling such a busy day and such a stressful environment.

After finishing their cupcakes and walking back to our car, I sat and asked the kids what they thought about the day and what had happened.  They said they had a good time and were happy we went!  I asked them what they thought about the little boy that shared his Easter Eggs with us leaving only one for himself.  They said they thought he was very nice for sharing with Lexi and Liam and I emphasized again the importance of sharing and helping others even if we don’t have a lot to share or give.  I reminded them of how good that made them feel when somebody shared with them and that we want to treat others the same way as that little boy did with them.

Next I asked them what they thought about how the ladies acted in the cupcake store.  “Not cool” my oldest said.  We discussed how the women were angry and how they yelled at mommy.  “Did mommy get mad at them and yell back or push them or hit them or scream at them?” I asked.  “No, you talked it through with them!” they proudly answered!  I reminded them that even though it did make mommy upset that those women were yelling at me, it was important to stay calm and talk with them to try to make things better.  I also told them that even though mommy stayed calm and didn’t yell and tried to talk with the women, they were still angry and even though it didn’t fix things, it also didn’t make it worse.  I told them that sometimes not everybody will be nice or act the right way and we can’t fix that, but what we can do is stay calm and treat them better than they are treating us.  And if it gets really bad, to just walk away and go ask for help if you need to.

I am so very proud of my kids for they way they acted today.  They stuck together, they listened to mommy, they helped comfort each other when one of them was sad, they showed true gratitude to somebody that helped them and shared with them, they waited patiently in line for cupcakes without acting up and they quietly watched and learned from me during a stressful situation.  And most importantly they shared their thoughts and feelings with me and we had a great discussion about what we could learn from what we had experienced.  Love those little ankle-biters!  🙂

Until next time…be kind to one another and take every teachable moment life offers you.

Change the Way you Think…

New Year’s Eve…another year coming to an end and a new one about to begin.  We all know that this time of year brings reflections of the past year and resolutions for the new year.  New year, new you right?…Wrong!

Why is it that each year at this time many of us decide we are either going to create a new version of ourselves or ignore the new year resolution movement all together and change absolutely nothing?  I have always been a firm believer that if you aren’t happy with something, change it!  And that is something that I live by 365 days per year…not just at the new year.  Well Mary Engelbreit took it a step further:

161-change-the-way-you-think-picture-quotes

What if we all changed the way we think?  If you really think about it, we do so many things simply because we feel we are expected to or because that is the way that everybody else does it.  Could we change the way the world works if we all just changed the way we think?

I have decided that for 2015 I am going to try a little social experiment.  My family, like so many others, is struggling to make ends meet and living paycheck to paycheck.  However, I want to help make a difference in our community and have always wished that I could “win the lottery” so I could help others more.  Well, I am going to change the way I think about that.  Knowing full well that I will in all reality never win the lottery, it is time to stop waiting for that time before I help others.  So, how do I make a difference without hurting my own family financially?  Hmmm…what if every household donated $1 each month to one organization?  What a difference that would make!  So that is what I have decided to do.  I am going to commit to donating $1 each month in 2015 to a local organization.  Only $12 for the year.  My family can definitely handle that financially.  But $1 to an organization is not much help is it?  Well, every little bit helps so I will first not feel guilty about “only donating $1.”  Second, I am a communicator, an organizer and I have hundreds of friends, family and coworkers.  We are stronger and more effective as a team then we are individually, so why don’t I use my organization and communication strengths and put them to good use!  So here is my challenge to each of you…join me in donating $1 each month to help our community.  I am happy to collect any donations that others wish to give and will give the total amount each month to a different organization.  I would love to hear from you on which organizations we should choose…we need 12…so please communicate those suggestions to me!  I will make the donation at the end of each month so that allows time to collect the donations from all of you.  I will document each donation with a photo and will blog about each one as well.

So this is the start of me changing the way I think…and it is just the start.  I hope that this helps inspire you to change the way you think as well.  I want to hear your new thoughts and ideas and your plans as well…please feel free to share them with me and others so we can all continue to motivate and inspire each other and make the world a better place for us and for our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and so on.

Until next time…

Small acts can make a big difference…

I woke up the morning of July 18th, got ready as normal and headed to the kitchen to get my cup of coffee before heading to work.  The stack of mail was sitting on the table waiting for me, as it is every morning, and at the top of the stack was a bright green hand-written envelope.  My curiosity sparked, I went straight to the mail pile instead of to the coffee pot first and picked up the green envelope.   I didn’t recognize the sender’s name but it was a local address…figured it was a bridal or baby shower invite of some sort.

I opened the envelope and inside was a Thank You card with a picture of an adorable 16-month old boy, whom I did not recognize.  The card read:

“Lori,

I cannot thank you enough for donating breast milk to help our son Isaac.  He had kidney failure from birth and formula was causing further health problems.  By giving him breast milk he was able to get the kidney transplant he so desperately needed.  We are three weeks post-transplant now and he is doing so incredible!  He’s now started crawling and standing, and even eating!  It’s amazing to watch.  We would not have been able to get to this point without the wonderful gift you have given to us.  I can’t imagine a more self-less thing to do.  You have given health to our son, and I am forever in your debt.  You are an angel on earth.  Thank you!

Kelly (Isaac’s mom)”

My heart was overflowing and the tears began to fall…that note and picture just made my whole day…heck, my whole year!

A while back, a friend of mine posted on Facebook that a friend of a friend (somebody she did not know) needed breast milk for her son who was struggling with kidney failure.  I was so excited to see this message as I had over 300 bags of breast milk stored in my freezer at that time because my son could not use it as he was showing sensitivity (we think to dairy) and would scream in pain after digesting it.  My husband and I had just discussed what we were going to do with it all.  I was not willing to just throw it away for as any mother that has breast-fed or pumped knows…that is hard work to get that stuff and it truly is “liquid gold”!  We talked about donating it, but we didn’t even know where to begin or if it would qualify as I hadn’t kept a food journal of what I was eating while pumping so it had gluten, wheat, dairy, etc. and we weren’t sure how that whole process worked.  But now this opportunity fell into our laps!  I was so excited!!!  I contacted my friend right away and her friend arranged to pick it up from me to deliver to this family that needed it.

Now, months later, I receive this surprise note in the mail that just changed my life!
Something that was so very simple for me to do, meant the world to Kelly and her son Isaac.  Such a powerful reminder that even the small things we do really can make a big difference!

Small things make a big difference

I am excited to write Kelly back and thank her for her kind words and the update and picture of little Isaac.  As far as I am concerned I now have another son…little Isaac will be in my heart forever now.  I am hoping to meet the family and someday be able to hold Isaac and hug his mom!