Tag Archive: volunteering


What are you doing?

This past week, we have become owners of a new guinea pig and two rabbits.

Picture by Xandert

As a 4H family, life is always exciting as the kids choose to do different projects or follow in the footsteps of their older sibling who did rabbits for a few years.

What I like about 4H is the chance to do a number of different projects in different areas.  We tend to choose animals and visual arts. We have friends whose son does aerospace and rocketry. Our oldest did woodworking one year.

You can do rock collections and insects, gardening and cooking. But you can also do photography and writing. This year our daughter is doing the “read-a-Book” project because she reads, a lot, and can do a poster on the book.

4H is one of those programs that I find valuable for kids because they can learn many different things, try many different things and maybe find that thing that sparks them. Plus, it is hard to get in trouble when you have to take care of an animal every day, several times a day.

However, 4H is not the only worthwhile program for kids. Scouts, Awanas, youth groups and sports are just a few of the activities out there for kids. The problem maybe affording some of these programs or getting the kids to the programs.

That is why I will buy fundraiser products from any kid who actually shows up at my house. The truth is we need to supports these things for kids. I have seen kids have nothing to do and do other things only to hear people complain about them.

I have seen older people complain about rollar rinks and skateboard parks, desiring to take them away from the kids because they make too much noise and leave around too much trash.

Picture by Anita Patterson

What if instead of complaining, we did stuff with kids. You don’t have to become the leader at the weekly youth group time. But maybe you could hook up with a group that meets monthly and show off one of your skill and teach them to the kids.

Are you a crafter or a fishing person? Maybe you paint pictures or deal with electrical appliances. Maybe you are a computer wiz or a master gardener. My point is you probably have something to share and chances are there is a kid who wants to learn. Instead of complaining about those darn kids, find one you can help.

Let me share that I am a youth group leader. And when we had a neighbor boy who was a bit of a handful, I encouraged my husband to reach out to him. The boy kept ‘borrowing’ my youngest’s bicycle.

The first time I yelled at him, the second time I told my husband to help him fix his bike. The second solution was the better and improved relations on both sides. While the boy has now moved away, I can only hope that some other caring adult will step in the same way with him.

Now ask this of yourself – What can I do to be a positive force in the life of a child?

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You know that feeling when you have the right amount of energy and your head is feeling clear? Some call it being healthy.

 I am there.

Picture by Doctor Bob

I have energy, actual energy. I want to get out of bed and do stuff. Like my workout or making food or writing a real blog entry. If I am going to sing, I am going to give it my all.

 Bring on that karaoke version of Hound Dog on YouTube.

 It is wonderful to feel totally on again, not just halfway there. My thoughts are not turning to when I can go back to bed or the next cup of hot tea or finding a blanket so I can be a part of the simple goings on in my house (which by the way needs a thorough cleaning). After three weeks spent trying to get over a cold that coupled itself with a nasty cough and nasal congestion, I am thankful for the return of good health. I plan to guard it at all costs.

 All of this down time has helped me make some important decisions. Back in November, I complained about the ennui I was feeling. How I saw many roads and was not sure which to follow. I felt a lack of purpose in my life, a lack of giving and a lack of using my talents to their full potential. 

Picture by Seemann

I decided to go ahead with the magazine. I had done so much research already that I know which printer to use, I know how I want to distribute the magazine, I know the approximate monthly costs. Oh, and I already have a logo thanks to a designer friend of mine. Writers are not hard to find because I know many and believe that others will come along. I have come to realize that sales people are out there and I will find them. The tough part is finding a backer. I am ready to do that.

The next improvement of the year is to find a charity to give my talents to, whether it is a few hours a week or a month. Last week, I called my local Habitat for Humanity and offered my services. I am happy to do whatever but did make the request to do any needed writing.

Picture by Chelle

 Lastly, I am doing an overhaul of my personal appearance. I need a new haircut and to put my wardrobe into one that is well put-together whether it is a casual day or dress up day. After going through catalogs and magazines, I believe it will take only a few pieces to get there. Trouser cut jeans, a black pencil skirt and a wide black belt are the building blocks I need to buy. I can make a few new skirts with material I already have in my stash. The boots that I saw and loved at Prada for Breakfast will have to wait till next fall. 

I have other goals that include getting to a networking situation once a month and finding ways to earn more money until the magazine is up and running. Plans are underway to be a better mom and to be better to myself. I am trying to be reasonable in my goals but understand that doing the little things, one day at a time, is what is going to help me get to the place I want to be.

How are you making this year a better year for you?