Project “Other” keeps on truckin’. Here’s a quick update on Days 8 & 9 of trying to put others ahead of ourselves in the spirit of December’s service theme. We’re trying to share ideas on ways to serve, gifts to give, or reasons behind the season. Please feel free to weigh in with the ways you serve in your family… or fun home-made gift ideas. We’d love to glean from your wisdom!
Day 8 – Wednesday

At our kids’ school, we have Grandparent’s Day right before the kids get out for Thanksgiving. It is a wonderful presentation of recitations and songs from grades 1-8. By itself, it’s impressive and moving… but that’s not all. Families go from the auditorium to a banquet room that is chock full of “semester projects”. To me, these are the true highlight of the event. Masterpieces ranging from a Leggo carousel to a pictorial display of a father-son fishing trip, These projects represent things for which the kids are passionate.

This year, Slow Walker and Speed Police painted watercolors and Sister Save-A-Lot put together “Manna Packs”.  They were little brown paper sacks adorned with a cute informative sticker and filled with snacks that people can keep in their car and give to someone they see that is in need. She made around 100 for people to take and use.

So, as we contemplated our service idea for the day, we drove by a homeless man and lamented the fact we had no Manna Packs in our car. It is agony to stop next to someone in need (even if they might be scamming for money at the red light… they still are in need)… not only for my kids, but for me. Dishing out the dough is tough.  Sharing some sustenance for the day, we can do.

drawing up designs

As part of the project, the kids decided to draw something to put on the bag’s sticker.

the winning design

This little number Slow Walker had doodled at school won.

We scanned it, shrunk it a bit,

full sheet labels

pulled out the full sheet labels, and

print outs

printed 3-up on the page.

(Next to the laminator, full sheet labels are near and dear to the heart of the crafter.)

labeled bags

Next we labeled the bags and

the goodies

filled with a juice bag, Sweet & Salty mix, cheese crackers and some jerky.

fill, fold, and staple

Fill, fold, staple …

the finished product

The finished product… ready to give away and hopefully bless someone’s day.
Day 9 – Thursday

Our project today has been staring us in the face for the last few weeks. We have a neighbor on our block whose house is for sale. We were so sad when they moved. The house has been leased for the last year or 2, but that sweet family decided to head home to Australia. Since then, our friends, the owners, have decided to put it on the market to sell.

“What do y’all think about cleaning up the neighbor’s yard?” I tell the kids.
Slow Walker was all over that.. anything involving a rake or broom.
“How will they know we helped?” one asked.
“They won’t.”
“That’s the beauty of it. They won’t know.”
“Ooohhh…” Believe it or not they liked that better.

The leaves here in Dallas are just now in full Fall, so their yard has been chock full of tree debris.  When one of the kids saw someone looking at the house, we thought we could help by cleaning the yard a bit.

lots of leaves

Most of it is from their trees,

and lots of acorns but a fair amount is from our bumper crop of acorns.
Those things are going to be a bear in the spring when they’re saplings!
what are they doing with the chair? What are they doing with that chair?
oh wait, that's a computer Oh… that’s not a chair. It’s the stool from the bathroom (for Jack) with a laptop.
Tunes to make the job more fun.
I love that they’re creative
having some fun and funny.
The epitome of whistling while you work.

Happy day serving others :) … and thanks for walking the road with me.


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