Thursday, April 30, 2009

I'm Thankful for My Favorite Things

In this weeks's edition of Thankful Thursday I'd like to share some of my favorite things that I'm thankful for. After all - we all do enjoy our favorite things - so why not express our thanks for them.

1. Coffee - ok, so that was on the last list, but it is so versatile. You can drink it hot, cold, dressed up with whipped cream and steamed milk or just plain black. YUUM

2. Krispy Kreme - HOT doughnuts, is there really any better brand?

3. Sun rises over the ocean - Anytime I'm at the beach, I get up early enough to watch the sun rise. It creeping up over the horizon in a blanket of bright bold colors is such an experience. You should try it.

4. The ocean all by itself - I could sit and watch the ocean time and time again. I'd love to have a house where I could go out on the back deck and enjoy my coffee and just watch the ocean.

5. Spring and Fall - It is spring for a few more weeks here in NC. I love the crisp cool mornings that warm up to almost summer like days. Doors open, windows open - cool wind coming through.

6. My Gameboy SP - I know with the modern technology out there - why would I still love this? I guess it is the kid in me. Anyone have any games they don't want anymore? I rule Kirby's Pinball!

7. Magazines - Even with how I keep up with blogs to save money on buying books, I do ask for magazine subscriptions for birthday presents and Christmas presents. Hey, it's the gift that gives for a year. I love Real Simple and Scrapbook Magazines. I'm not very good at scrapbooking so I'm also thankful that scraplifting is ok.

8. Cook Books - I used to try one or two new recipes a week, but lately I haven't been doing that. I need to get back to it.

9. Driving - I like to drive. Many tend to hate long trips, but I love driving. Now I don't like bumper to bumper traffic mind you.

10. Giving - Call me obsessed, but I like to give. I was at the store and they had Easter candy on sale for 75% off. I was thinking about who to give the bunnies to - to see about how many I'd need. I love giving. I always have. Hopefully, I always will.

11. Snow - we actually had a bit here in NC this winter - so that was pretty cool.

12. Laptop - I LOVE my laptop. I'd like one of the 8 inch itty bittys but - hours being cut back means no for now - still. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my laptop.

13. Candles - Cinnamon candles are my favorite. Kind of gives you the feeling of Christmas time.

14. Reading - I'm so thankful for being able to read. I love reading. I love to read blogs, books, papers. I love reading.

15. Cool Computer Buttons/Icons - The Thankful Thursday button picture above is adorable. So many blogs have them these days and I think they are wonderful. Still can't figure out how to make one, but I'm thankful that people will let us untechy people "grab" them. I just wish someone would make a button with "It's the little things that make life big" on it for me. That would be awesome.

This is my list for this Thankful Thursday. What are you thankful for this week? Don't wait until Thanksgiving to think about your blessings. Take a minute and express them here!

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. ~William Arthur Ward

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The 30 Day Spreading Joy Challenge for May 2009

I'm currently working at making this blog a better blog by taking Problogger's 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. His recent challenge was to write an article that would "Call Your Readers to ACTION". After giving it some thought, I decided since May was just around the corner, I'd challenge YOU to take Spreading Joy's 30 Day Challenge.

This 30 Day Challenge is designed to help build "giving" habits. It can be random acts of kindness to strangers, giving food to the homeless, send an encouraging note/card or planning a special game night with your family - something that you wouldn't normally do. Not only do strangers need kindness, but our families do too. There is no right or wrong way, you simply need to commit to it - one thing a day for 30 days.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Take used magazines to Nursing home.
2. Buy a 6 pack of Reese Cups and give them away randomly.
3. Donate used books or clothing to a Women's Shelter or if you are in NC donate to Spreading Joy. Many of these places do not re-sell items, but they give them away to people who can use them.
4. Buy several bottles of flavored coffee creamer and let everyone at work know they are welcome to it.
5. Purchase a couple of cakes and take them to a local men's shelter. What a sweet treat for them!
6. Pass on a book that you've enjoyed.
7. Make a financial contribution to your favorite charity or to Spreading Joy Corporation. Even designate it towards our Back To School 2009 project.
8. Start an "Others" box and purchase toys to donate at Christmas time for deserving children.
9. Help a local food pantry. Many food pantries PURCHASE their food from food banks and then distribute the food freely. Take several bags by and drop off to help re-stock their pantry.
10. Purchase a dozen biscuits are on sale for $1 from McDonald's and put them in the "common area" of your work place. The first 12 co-workers that get there will welcome the surprise!
11. Sign up and commit to the 30 Day Challenge! Not only will it encourage me, in the fact that I'm able to make a difference, but it will encourage others to take the challenge as well.
12. Tell others about Spreading Joy and just how easy it is.
13. Purchase a box of Little Debbie Oatmeal cakes - place a label on it that says you are Spreading Joy and then give them out. For around $1.50 - you can give away 12 cakes which will make at least 12 people smile. This is what we did as shown by the picture. The label reads "I'm taking the 30 day challenge of doing one thing for one person each day. See how you can make a difference - go to ." (Did anybody notice that there are only 11 cakes? My daughter was very happy!)

My challenge to you is to SIGN UP and commit to a month of giving. You can either "track" your giving in the comment section of this article or on our "Tell Me Your Story" page. Either one can be updated at any time. If you choose to use the comment section, you'll have to post a new comment each time you want to tell us about your giving. On the "Tell Me Your Story" section, you can simply add a new thread - just as I did with March.

I would LOVE to be able to report back to you at the end of the month all the things that were done to make a difference.

So, are you up for the challenge? Will you commit to 30 days of giving? I hope you'll sign up. I can't wait to show you what a huge difference a group of people can and will make!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Oprah and Ashton are on Twitter - But Have NO Clue What They Are Missing!

My desire with Spreading Joy Corporation is simple - I want to be spreading joy everyday! I have a huge desire to give big - Oprah Big - but until that day comes, I have decided that I will simply give what I can.

Twitter allows me to do just that. While SJC is an IRS approved Non Profit Organization, we currently do not have a steady stream of income. So, when I purchase things for the homeless, for Joy Packs, books, thank you cards etc, it is coming from money my husband and I donated - which is fine because we are doing what we can until we can give big.

But twitter - it allows me to make a difference and THAT is what people who only follow a "few select people" such as @oprah and @aplusk are missing out on. Granted, Oprah hasn't been using it that long and I'm sure she will probably add more over time, but when you are only following 98 people like Ashton is, then you are missing out. Sure what you have to say goes to your million or half of million followers and they comment on what you said, but you are missing a HUGE opportunity to make a difference.

Oprah is following 11 people
Ashton is following 98
Demi Moore is following 78
Larry King is following 46
Jimmy Fallon is following 97
Ellen Degeneres is following 20
Al Roker is following 47
Katie Couric is following 75

I was happy to see that Shaquille O'Neal is following 488 people. So he isn't missing out as much, but I wonder how many of the people he is following are fellow players.

The reason these guys are missing out is because they are only keeping up with each other. There are so many wonderful people on twitter which equals to so many ways to make a difference!

They are missing the fact that every Friday people in twitterland tell who is making a difference in their corner of the world with #followfriday. Many people will suggest who you should follow based on the content of their tweets. You can connect in so many ways but if you don't follow people and get to know them, you'll never know what you are missing.

There are people who are dealing with things like cancer and while they want to remain positive, they do have down days. Imagine how a simple tweet from @oprah would serve as an instant pick me up. Miley Cyrus is only following 34 people. If she were to desire to get the most from twitter and follow others, she would know that Jonathan Jay was a 15 year old fighting cancer and loves her. Imagine how a horrible day could be turned around with just 1 tweet! They would also know that Heather is a young mother that will be having her 3rd brain surgery soon and the new medication has zapped her energy. But regardless of that Heather will pray for you and unashamedly tweet that she is praying for you should you ask for prayer.

Following various people that you do not know, the opportunity for learning is unbelievable. Maybe because I'm doing what I can with what I have and money is not something I have a lot of right now - I love learning for free. I'm so new at this and I've asked for "honest" opinions. People like Jill and Brian will help newbies like me and give valuable feed back on their sites. Not only is the feed back awesome, but the articles that get posted are amazing! Someone recently tweeted about 25 Ways to Let RSS Feeds Optimize Your Life which will help me tremendously! This is what it's all about! This is what you miss out on by only following a few people!

By only following a few people you miss connections with people that you would otherwise never have the opportunity to get to know. For instance, Lark a "Poet, technical writer, movie lover, voracious reader, and witchy woman." and myself your basic do what you can with what you have - have more in common that what is on the surface. She is going through a similar journey with her Step Dad that I went through with my Step Dad 14 years ago. If I had not followed her, I would have never known. Her interest in the paranormal and love for horror flicks is what got my attention in the first place. I enjoy her tweets everyday but there will be days that she is down or the treatments aren't going well and I hope that I'm attentive enough to make a difference!

By only following a few select people - you miss out on awesome stories of changed lives! Mark who has been homeless in the past, came out of it and then due to this economy recently lost his home again still helps the homeless. His number one goal is to make the issue of homelessness front and center. To help invisible people become visible again! Mark received a call that one of his homeless friends, John, had been mugged while traveling north to find work. He sent out a tweet for help and Jimmy was working close by and was able to help. John didn't have to spend the night in 27 degree weather after having been mugged. Mark was able to help a homeless friend through this crisis even though he was no where near John.

I'm truly glad that so many Hollywood people are on twitter because they are the ones that have such a huge voice. Me - as of this posting, my voice is at 949 but I'm LISTENING to over 1,100 people and loving it! This is just a tiny speck of what you can get from utilizing twitter to the fullest!

I love communicating with James at Be Legendary. It reminds me to be courageous during the scary times. I love getting quotes from insightful1. Michelle and I both love buttered popcorn flavored Jelly Belly's. No matter what Catrina is doing, she is "always a mom first" - which is awesome considering so many of our children are left to their own devices. Valerie always has great articles and she communicates with her followers. Kristen and Sandy are helping Non Profits. Stillsafe provides me with awesome quotes and is a great retweeter. Lolly inspires with tweets such as "give gratitude". Liz is one of several bloggers who is helping others become successful and outstanding! If you are new to blogging, her blog has so much info to help you get going! DJ Change always has great articles. I never know what kind of tweets I'm going to get from Kim because she "tweets about art, film, comedy, twitter, design, tech + music. i love pop culture, sunshine + laughter/ #ROFL. =)". Larry gives us random thoughts from Hawaii. Then there's The Art of Joy. A group in Scotland that is using beautiful art to fund raise for various groups. Josh takes amazing photos. Jessica helps people with marketing on a budget and she helped me to understand twitter when I first started using twitter. Susan helps others find happiness. Adam is fun to keep up with. Great ideas and articles from Designriffs. Again, there are many more that I love to keep up with, but you get the idea!

Ashton may have reached 1,000,000 followers first, but I'm spending the weekend looking for the best, brightest and uniquest people that I can follow. Who knows, maybe I'll be the first person on twitter to FOLLOW 1,000,000 people!

"Wherever there is a human being there is an opportunity for a kindness."~Sallust

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

This post is part of "Thankful Thursday" Go to JonnandKate's Blog. To get your own button and start your Thankful Thursday post today.

I've come across a blog that is such an encouragement to me. His name is Jonathan Jay. He is 15 years old and he is blogging about his journey while fighting cancer. "A story of landmarks, of struggles and of hope. Today I am 15 years old and even more so I am a survivor." (Let me stop right here and say click on his name, check out his amazing story and then leave him a comment letting him know you are thinking of him.)

One of the things he blogs about is "Thankful Thursdays". I've read his amazing story and think wow - I have so much to be thankful for. I'm so glad that I came across it and now I will be posting a thankfulness post every Thursday. I always think of my blessing more than just at Thanksgiving, but will try and focus on them each week.

Like most people, I will start out with the obvious. But in the next few week I think you'll be intrigued by the things I'm thankful for. (Well, I at least hope so.)

On this Thankful Thursday - I'm thankful for:

  • My Husband - We've been married for 19 1/2 years. He is a great guy, father and friend. He doesn't mind my "spur of the moment" ideas like "let's drive to the beach for a day" or "let's hang out at the book store for an afternoon". He usually does the dishes when my son doesn't do them and doesn't mind my facebook/twitter addiction. Or my coffee addiction for that matter. I'm sure I get on his nerves sometimes, but that is what keeps us on our toes.

  • My Children - I have 2 wonderful children. 18 yr old son and 14 yr old daughter. They are givers (wonder where they got that from)? My daughter more so than my son, but still a good thing. They don't give me any trouble and usually when I ask for something to be done, I know it will get done. I'm proud to be their mom and they make that very easy.

  • Place to live - It is not my dream home - but I have a home and it keeps me warm, cool, dry and safe. I may not have the room that I want or that office to keep me organized, but I have a lot more than many people in America have and for that, I'm truly thankful. If you don't believe me - check out this post from Invisible People.

  • No significant health issues - My son does have Tourette Syndrome and my daughter struggles with IBS daily - but these are nothing compared to many things children their age are going through. They can work around these and still be great people. They can encourage others that are struggling and make a difference in ways they never dreamed.

  • My regular family - Well - there is nothing regular about my family. I have great brothers and a wonderful sister. I can't imagine life without them. My Mom is by far the bestest, greatest most wonderfulest Mother of all and I'll never ever back down from that assumption. (I know, your Mom is great, but I'm telling you - my Mom is the lady!) I have been blessed with the greatest Step Parents on the face of the earth, even though we tease my step mom and call her our step monster :-) I have a great group of nieces and nephews and I love each and everyone of them. I have wonderful cousins and love all of my aunts and uncles dearly - all of them.

Now for a few of the less obvious things I'm thankful for!

  • Puffy shaped clouds - I saw the biggest group of clouds together yesterday. I tried to get a picture of them but couldn't. Looked like a snow capped mountain. I love to find shapes in clouds.

  • Reese cups - Who doesn't love reeses - really. If you don't, why? I'm sorry - really - tell me why. I know some who don't like chocolate (the horror) and some who don't like peanutbutter - but really? Reese's? LOVE them.

  • Coffee - why this isn't at the top of these, I don't know. I love coffee. I must admit that I'm going to have to start doing at least half caf until I can get my sugar cravings under control. (ugghh) but my favorite treat (cause I can't afford it daily) is a Cinnamon Dolce Latte steamed extra hot! NOTHING like it. I love it.

  • Being born in this day and age - I can't imagine sending my children somewhere at age 16 driving without me and "wondering" if they made it. I love being connected. I love know when my kids arrive to school and home each day. I don't see how my mom did it. As you'll see - I totally addicted to modern technology!

  • Texting and emailing - I'm so thankful I can harass my sister through texting. I enjoy the fact that I can email my friends that live in Korea or the Philippines. I love emailing Bonnie in Russia and being able to keep up with her family.

  • Facebook - I'm so thankful I can keep up with friends that live near and far. I love seeing Toni's girls on facebook and checking every ones "status". It's a quick peek into their life and it's wonderful. I love keeping up with the Holtsclaw family in Pennsylvania as well as my sister who lives down the road. Modern technology is the greatest thing.

  • Twitter - I LOVE twitter. I have met so many wonderful people on there. Really inspiring, funny and full of information. I've learned a lot and found a lot of new blogs to keep up with. The Internet is full of great learning tools and so many generous people that will help you along the way!
  • My Blackberry - I'm so thankful that I can be connected. I can have my emails, my facebook status, my replies from twitter anytime I'd like. It is so nice to be blessed with these resources. I don't take it lightly - as many people would love to be able to afford a blackberry or iphone.

This is my list for this Thursday full of Thankfulness. Oh - I'm glad I got to leave work a little early to see my son participate in his track meet.

"Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.--Brian Tracy"

Friday, April 17, 2009

Frugal Joy

I love saving money and still being able to do and or have great things! Reading blogs is one of the ways that I save money! I love to read and reading FREE blogs instead of buy books saves me hundreds if not thousands of dollars every year.

I've recently come across several blogs that help us to be more money savvy. I though I'd take a minute to share them with you. Enjoy!

5 Dollar Dinners:

She has a goal "to make $5 Dinners for my family every night of the week. Be inspired to come up with your own “dollar amount” based on your family size and regional food prices, and challenge yourself to make frugal AND healthy meals!"

This blog is not only a fun read but full of great recipes. She also gives us links to print coupons. I know - many think that couponing is a waste of time, but when you have more time than you do money, it is a great investment!

Head over to 5 Dollar Dinners and see what's cooking tonight!

The Simple Mom:
"Happiness is making the most of what you have." is the motto of The Simple Mom. Encouraging us to step back and take a look at what we have. Her blog is full of great ideas for giving, simple living, getting the most use of your freezer and she has graciously provided a great check list for spring cleaning!

Festival of Frugality:
"Home of the weekly carnival that helps you pinch pennies out of dollars." This the place for tons of ideas! This blog is literally one stop place for all things frugal. They take the time to find blog articles so you don't have to go searching all over the Internet for them. As this economy continues to remain in a slump, this is the place to get ideas!

The Simple Dollar:

This is one of my favorite blogs! Trent pulled his family out of a horrible debt situation. He has remained focused on his family while doing what ever it takes to ensure that he can provide without going into greater debt. He even has published a book 365 Ways to Live Cheap. "It's filled with 365 great tactics you can apply to your personal finances, from frugal tips to great ideas for managing your money." His blog is full of ideas and tips to get you started!

Here are a 10 other tips for helping get the most bang for your buck:
1. Cutting coupons while you are watching your favorite TV program.
2. Have soup and salad for dinner once a week - quick, easy and delicious!
3. Have family night at home - play a board game with your kids. Enjoy simple meal with easy clean up and have fun sending time together. Play your favorite music in the back ground.
4. Breakfast for dinner. Very inexpensive and yummy.
5. Be on the look out for good books and magazines at yard sales and thrift stores.
6. Start a magazine swap. Find out who is reading what and swap. Gets more for your subscription dollars.
7. Save your change. We have a bank in our closet that we drop all of our change into everyday. We don't carry cash much, but every little bit saved helps.
8. Drink water when eating out. We try not to eat out if we can help it, but when we do we save close to $8.00 by drinking water. If you must have flavor, add lemons and a little sugar and have lemonade.
9. Turn off lights and computers when not in use. Really an age old tip, but it helps.
10. Keep a positive attitude when being thrifty. Making it fun will go a long way to keeping yourself on track.

I love being thrifty and I hope that these blogs and tips will bring you closer to your financial goals.

Have fun Spreading Joy today!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

More Giving Without Spending

A few weeks ago, I did a post 50 Ways to Make a Difference Without Spending a Penny. Since then, I've found a few blogs that are encouraging others on the subject of giving and one of them is sharing ideas on ways to give without spending AND giving an idea for each day. At the end of the year, she will have shared 365 ways of giving without spending.

Her blog is A Year of Giving Without Spending. There are a lot of great ideas to get you going.

Remember, your financial status shouldn't determine if you give. If you can give abundantly - then you should give back part of what has been given to you. If the times are tough right now, you can still make a difference. You may have to be a little creative, but it can still be done! Do like I do - give what you can until you can give BIG! Never lose sight of the goal you have.

Have you taken the 30 day challenge? If not, take 30 days to develop a wonderful habit of giving. Your journey could inspire others to do the same. So many people need encouragement - will you be the encourager? Will you help inspire others? Those 2 ways of Spreading Joy doesn't cost anything either.
So, tell me - how ARE you spreading joy?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

30 Day Challenge for March 2009

Here is a recap of my Month of Giving for March 2009. My wish is that it will encourage you and inspire you to do what you can with what you have.

Ok, I've been doing at least one thing everyday - on purpose since April 1st and keeping track of it to reach 1,000 acts of Spreading Joy. I enjoy giving and doing for others - it actually motivates me to want to do more.

Steve's hours have been cut back for some time now - and I'm really trying to NOT spend any money that we don't need to spend. BUT - I'm still Spreading Joy - my heart will not let me stop.
So, I'll be keeping track of how I'm spreading joy this month. I do not count the things that I would "normally" do, but things that I think are over and above my normal volunteering and giving.

As of February 28th, I've recorded 583 "acts of joy". I wanted to be at 1,000 by March 31st of this year....I'm not thinking that is going to happen. So, here is how things are shaping up so far.

3/1 - Started snowing late in the evening - walked to a local pizza place to order pizza, but noticed how very clean everything was and decided to not order so that they wouldn't have to clean up after us. (trust me - in the food industry you are glad for the work, but once you've already cleaned it, you kind of dread those straggling customers. (1 item)
3/2 - gave away 2 princess gift bags with some lotion and shower gel and lip balm, pencil, eraser and notepad. (previous purchased items...) (2 items)
3/3 - Put oatmeal out in common area at work, sent email to troops, and allowed kids to eat at pizza buffet (we are not eating out much anymore) (3 items)
3/4 - Left Little Debbie Oatmeal cakes for 3 co-workers that work in a different facility (3 items)
So, that is how my first 4 days are shaping up - how about yours? Are you taking the 30 day challenge? How's it going? How are you spreading joy? Any low cost/no cost ways to help me out?
It's 10:20 Saturday evening and I'm tired - very much so! I wanted to get this posted and copy it over to facebook to. Even though things are tight - I find we spend money on just about whatever we want to don't we? Yep - you know I'm telling the truth here.
It always comes back to us when we do things and they are a sacrifice for us.

This month will be a happy mixture of "freebies" and costly giving. Glad to see it! Truly I am.

3/5 Bought dinner for Mom and Stepdad at my brother and sisters birthday party. Even though the tip was already figured into the check - left our great waitress an extra tip for her wonderful attitude and service.(3 items)
3/6 - Took a note by to the manager of the restaurant about the wonderful service our waitress gave us even though were were drinking tea, water and diet coke like camels! (1 item)
3/7 - Purchased items from an auction that benefited Missions. Missionaries have a special place in my heart. They sacrifice on a daily basis and do so gladly! (1 item)

There you have it - One week down and 14 acts of Joy closer to my personal goal of 1,000! I'm excited. I can't wait until I get there! How is your month going? Are you spreading joy everyday? Oh, you don't want to miss out on the joy this brings back to you. No way to ever tell you how great it is - - it is soooo worth it.
It is amazing how quickly a week can go by. The busier I am the faster it whooshes past my eyes! Here is how my giving is shaping up so far this week:

3/8 - Purchased Girl Scout Cookies from 3 Scouts (1 from each of them) (1 item)
3/9 - Was not ill and grouchy at work - even though I was functioning on 2 and 1/2 hours of sleep. (if you don't think that is spreading joy - work side by side with a grouch...) (1 item)
3/10 - Happy Chuck Norris Day - donuts for my team and some customers to celebrate this great birthday. (1 item)
3/11 - purchased 3 McDonald's hot fudge sundae for the great staff at Quiznos at Waterside Crossing (3 items)
3/12 - While at the hospital for Megan's Hida Scan - went to get coffee (what a shock) and put all the cash I had into the Relay for Life canister (1 item)
3/13 - Gave away 2 little debbie nutty butty bars (is that spelled right????) oh well - (2 items)
Tomorrow - I know that I'm going to support a Church's used book sale - I love books. I love to read them and give them away - and I'll be doing that this weekend to. (I also love to keep a lot to...)

So, this is me this week. I hope you are spreading joy every where you go!
How about your ideas - I know you have them. How are you spreading joy?
Until next time -
Wow!!! I can't believe I'm so far behind in my 30 day challenge posting. First I get behind because of Jury Duty...when your normal working routine is changed it affect so many things - and then I stay behind because of working a few extra hours for someone that needs some help this week....oh, enough of the whining already....on with it - right?!? :-)
Ok, Ok - here we go...

3/14 - Supported Church used book sale and boy scout yard sale (2 items)
3/15 - Gave cards of encouragement to 2 people (oh I forgot, I have more to mail...uugghhh) (2 items)
3/16 - Took Magazines by DR office waiting room (1 item)
3/17 - Gave away 2 butterfingers and 2 nestle crunch bars (4 yummy wonderful items)
3/18 - sent a few encouraging emails and thanked several officers for serving and protecting! (2 items)
3/19 - played on FREE CLICK sites - sent rice, bibles, books etc - so much to send. (1 items)3/20 - Gave waitress $3.00 tip on free meal (one purchase from previously listed auction) - (1 item)
3/21 - Unwrapped a smile or two - gave out a box of Little Debbie Cakes (1 item)
3/22 Used 10 times today and earned .10 cents for Spreading Joy - HEY - if 100 people used it 5 times a day - WE would earn $1,825.00 for a year for Spreading Joy - prett cool. (1 item)
3/23 - made it a point to smile and speak to every person I passed (1 item)3/24 - Gave a few gifts to someone in nursing home (1 item)

So - that brings me to today and it's early yet which leaves me plenty of time. I've got to get Angie to post this on the Facebook group - since I do not have access to it during the

This brings me to a total of 622 acts of Joy since April 1st of last year. I'm so I will reach my first goal of 1,000 acts of joy and THEN it will be on to 2,500. I wonder if I could reach a million acts in my lift time??? probably not alone - but if we all kept track of it, we could do it together in the next few years....couldn't we.

I'm simply giving what I can until I can give BIG - and I can't wait!

How about you? How are you Spreading Joy? Everyone can do it - even the little kiddies. Yep - how man of you (especially mommies) have ever received a big ole handful of beautiful "yellow" flowers from the front yard? Even 2 year olds need to give. (now they don't tend to share very well, but they love to give...)
Start today - Spreading Joy is fun, simple and the rewards that YOU will receive are out of this world!

Wow, I can not believe it is April 1st 2009. It doesn't seem like a year since I started journaling about my giving habits - and yes, they truly are habits now. I try and find ways everyday to make a difference everyday. This month was a little more difficult as my husbands job has cut his hours a while back. I've been trying not to spend money if I don't have to (especially with a child that will be graduating High School in June - very expensive)
Here is the last few days of how I went about Spreading Joy:

3/24 - Gave a few gifts to someone in Nursing Home
3/25 - Took a friend to lunch. It was only Wendys, but lunch is still lunch. I used to work with this friend everyday, but he transferred to greener pastures....good for him!
3/26 - Brought in candy for co-workers Birthday! 3/27 - Left work early and spent time my wonderful husband of 19 and 1/2 years.
3/28 - Gave a yummy, most delicious Reese Egg to a Police Officer that was doing reports in his car. Carefully approached his vehicle, smiled and as I gave him the little piece of chocolate/peanut butter heaven, I told him to have a wonderful evening and stay safe. I hope he was encouraged.
3/29 - Gave out letters of encouragement and thanks
3/30 - Donated clothing to a local crisis ministry
3/31 - Linda - who is coming upon her 1,000th mitzvah (acts of kindness) has asked those that can celebrate with her - " So my request to you TODAY as part of helping me achieve this 1000th mitzvah is to give food or money to your local Jewish Family Services, food bank, shelter, person in need down the street, etc. $1 is equivalent to 5 lbs of food. Please give generously. Sign your name on the comments after you have donated. Thank you for joining me in my mitzvah project." so In honor of my Internet friend from the other side of America and her wonderful journey of 1000 mitzvahs, I purchase a $20.00 grocery store gift card for "someone down the street" who lives on a fixed income and would never ever let you know she needs anything. Never. So, if she doesn't - then she will have a "little" extra.

So, that was 7 more acts of joy for MY own personal journey. That brings my total to 629 - so very close to MY first goal of 1,000.

I need to plan ahead and think of something great for my 1,000th act of joy....any ideas?

I have truly enjoyed sharing this month with you. I hope you have found it encouraging as well as inspirational. My goal is to inspire you to do something for someone. It doesn't have to cost thousands of dollars (unless of course you have thousands to spare and then I hope you'll consider donating to Spreading Joy some to do great big things with) but it just needs to come from the heart. It's a win/win situation. Everyone wins when you give!

How is your 30 day challenge coming? Tell us about it. You never know who you may encourage to start their own journey of giving.
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