24 October 2014

Inspiration: Posts That Are Making Me Think

It's been a busy week. In the past week the after school activities have picked up so we have a few more weekly obligations on the calendar now. It's good but it keeps me on a tight schedule.

I also just went through my annual ladies check ups the past two weeks. I walked in the house Monday afternoon wondering why I felt like I'd been punched just below my under arm.

Then I remembered I'd been to my annual Mammogram that morning. Ouch. Yes, please get the best visual possible and if that requires that kind of crushing, well then I guess we'll go with it.

I have had a few blog posts I've read that have really felt like they might be a little life changing for me. They express thoughts that stick with me, create visions of hopefulness, make me change my behavior, start inspiring my choices, and help me to feel more connected to the life I really want.

One that I read a few weeks ago was a Living With Kids at Design Mom highlighting the home of Solly Baby founder Elle Rowley. Elle had some fantastic things to say about living in a tiny home with three kids, raising children, being a mom and small business owner. I printed out the interview with her from Living With Kids and I will tuck it away in a journal to remind me how she inspired me as a mom and entrepreneur.

This article from Mother's Niche on Sugar Addiction caught my attention. I think I have a problem with sugar. I want to address it. These tips feel concrete, realistic and helpful.

I've been thinking about how to fund some little ventures I have in mind and this post from Rain On A Tin Roof, How To Find Money gave me some good ideas. It was a great reminder that there is money all around us if we know where to find it and how to make it.

I started looking around and realized that despite my efforts to keep things minimalist and streamlined, we still have stuff we don't need anymore. For example, we have multiple car booster seats. We don't use them anymore, but we could keep one for visitors as needed...but we don't need three.

We could pass all this stuff onto to others who could use it and would probably love to buy it at less than new prices. Then we can use that money for things we do need or are dreaming of. I'm going to start posting stuff for sale on Monday.

I have more to share, but that's probably good for today. I hope you find something that inspires you here. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

image definition via Merriam-Webster

22 October 2014

8 Tips To Prepare Your Family to Serve Others

Last week I wrote about ways we can help the poor and needy. Today I wanted to share some of what I've learned about successfully volunteering with kids.

A couple of weeks ago I had the chance take The Bug to serve at the food pantry. I checked the first time, when I went by myself, to see if families could volunteer, what ages were appropriate and how their schedule worked.

Here are a few ideas for preparing the family for a positive experience volunteering.

1) Learn everything you need to know in advance. Do your research, talk to the staff at the location and go and serve once yourself so you can see how it will work for your family.

2) Talk to the kids in advance. Tell them what to expect. What they will be doing. Let them know how long you will be there. Will they be wearing a hairnet or apron? Will they need to be quiet in certain areas? Will there be a break? Snacks?

3) Teach the kids about appropriate safety behavior. Let them know about any physical dangers and where they will and won't be allowed. Give them any details you can about the situation they can expect there. At the food pantry children must stay with an adult and need to be very careful in the warehouse area.

4) Role play how to act in social situations they may be unfamiliar with. There may be situations that require some social graces and sensitivity when dealing with the elderly, poor or needy. Role play with the kids how they can best interact graciously. then they won't be nervous or embarrass those they are serving, you or themselves.

5) Teach them about the blessings of service. Find and share some success stories about people who have been helped at the charity you will visit. On most charity websites they have history and statistical information you could share. You can also share your own experiences if you have already visited.

6) As you serve highlight positive moments and good feelings you see your kids experience. Praise them for their good work and share with them how it is appreciated and helping the organization succeed.

7) Have a post mortem meeting. When you complete your service let family members share their experiences, build on the positives and talk about negatives. What did members enjoy, what could you do differently next time to increase the positive aspects of the experience.

8) Plan your next service opportunity. During the post mortem, while the experience if fresh in everyone's minds, schedule the time for your next service opportunity. You may choose to try a different activity or revisit the same organization again.

Teaching kids generosity and service are opportunities for some amazing life lessons.  These are experiences and lessons they will carry with them throughout life. Here's a link to another helpful article full of ideas for how you can do service with your family - 10 Ways To Teach Your Kids To Serve Others.

How have you helped your family learn through service? Any tips you can share?

Image via Deseret News


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