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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Take Drinks to Your School Maintenance Crew!


Type of Challenge
Random Act of Kindness
Challenge
For today's challenge let's tell your school maintenance crew how much you appreciate them! Take your maintenance crew some Gatorade or water. They work long hours outside and this will help them beat the heat!

Reflection
Imagine if we didn't have a maintenance crew! Who would help move furniture when a certain administrator has a whim of creativity? Who would keep our grounds beautiful and pull out the wild bushes that makes a certain administrator break out in hives?  Who would come over and turn off the water to the bathroom sink that is boiling hot and a certain administrator is burning herself trying to fix? Or who would come and build a wall between an opening of two rooms because the current APs office doesn't have air conditioning and she has to move her office? 

As you have probably figured out these are all things that have happened to me. Our maintenance crew is amazing! Gary, who is assigned to our campus is the most gracious and kind person. Anytime I have an issue or have a  crazy idea he is always there to help. It is important that we never take our maintenance crew for granted. They  work extremely hard and deal with some crazy antics from teachers and administrators. :) If we didn't have our maintenance crew I don't know what I would do. Well, I know what I would do. I would end up tearing things up trying to do it myself. Furniture would be wobbly, holes in the wall, scratches on the floor, and I would probably accidently set the building on fire.  The maintenance crews definitely makes our lives easier. :)






Saturday, July 29, 2017

Work Out





Type of Challenge
Self-Kindness


Challenge

This is a kindness challenge for yourself! Many of you already do this and you know how much it can help you to relax.  I get that between jobs, kids, and other responsibilities this isn't always easy.  Whether it is a spin class, running, walking, yoga, or whatever you choose, you will not regret it. Just do something to get your heart rate up. Your body and even your family will thank you! 

Reflection


The Benefits of Exercising! 

Image result for legally blonde quotes endorphins



My favorite movie is Legally Blonde! Elle got it right when she said that exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy. Now the last part of this quote is a bit extreme, Ha!, but you get the point. When you exercise it is reduces stress, and it truly does create endorphins that make you happy. Personally, I haven't worked out in 2 years! I finally decided that  I needed to start again for my own mental and physical health, and I signed up for a spin class! I'm not quite sure if a spin class is truly a kindness challenge for myself of not. HA!! I am only kidding...kinda.


Buy Extra School Supplies




Type of Challenge
Random Acts of Kindness

Challenge
Pick up a few extra supplies for students at your local school. We all have students who show up on the first day without school supplies. For today's challenge pick up some extra school supplies, whether it is a couple boxes of crayons or some extra pencils. You can even create a box in the office to put the extra supplies. This will allow students in need to have supplies before they even come to the classroom.

Reflection
Check out the video below. :)






Here are some of the supplies that I picked up for our office school supply bucket. 
                       



Thursday, July 27, 2017

Invite Someone Over for Dinner



Type of Challenge
Random Acts of Kindness


Challenge
Invite  someone over for dinner



Reflection

Last week 4 of our students helped me present at a math and science conference at one of the nearby universities. They did an AMAZING job. Nothing would work the way it was suppose to work. There was no internet. There wasn't a way to project my presentation, and the room didn't have any tables for the students to present their project. However, these students took it in stride and made it work. I was extremely proud of them.





After the conference I had the honor of taking them to eat pizza and then we went to the local cupcake shop! I had such a great time getting to know them better and see each of their amazing personalities shine through.


Family Book Talk



Type of Challenge
Self Kindness

Challenge
Reading is a great way to bond as a family. When I 
I saw this challenge on Dr. Brad Gustafson's page,  I knew it was something that would be perfect for our Kindness180 challenge.  I sent Brad a message and asked I could use this challenge as one of our Kindness180 challenges and of course he said yes! Btw, if you do not follow him on twitter or Instagram, START! He is full of knowledge! There are two other wonderful collaborators that created the Family Book Talk. They are Julie Kirchner and Linda Gibson who are both  media specialists. You can learn in more detail about the Family Book Talk here

Basically a family book talk is sharing books that you love as a family! When you do your family book talk make sure to use  #familybooktalk because Scholastic will be randomly giving books to families. 

Reflection
I did this with my boys and we had a blast! Check out the video below.



video

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Give Fresh Flowers

Type of ChallengeRandom Acts of Kindness

Challenge
Who doesn't love fresh flowers? :) Studies show having fresh flowers in your home increases happiness, reduces depression and anxiety, and can increase emotional contact with friends and family. For today's challenge grab some fresh flowers from your garden or from your local grocery store and brighten someone's day!

Reflection
I decided to take some fresh flowers to our local donut shop. We have several of our moms that work there. They work hard and always greet us with a smile when we come in. (We love our donuts!) They really loved the flowers and it was nice to bring a smile to someone's face with such a small gesture. Think of who you can give flowers to. Who needs their day to shine a little brighter? Go ahead and try it! It's guaranteed to bring a smile to their face! :)


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Make Someone Laugh!




Type of Challenge
Self kindness

Challenge
Today's challenge is just fun! Today make someone laugh! We need to slow down, be silly, and just laugh!

Reflection
I have two little boys and naturally, everything they talk about revolves around farts and poop. Now, if you cannot handle these two things then you probably should stop reading. Ok I am kidding...but not really.  I was not able to handle those words at first either ,but then I had two little boys and now what my life has come to. So on the way home from a trip my children made up songs about these two things, and fully embracing the boy-mom life, I helped them create the song. Yep. I said it. I own it. I am slightly embarrassed but not enough to keep from posting about it. The point is we laughed until we cried. When they are teenagers farts and poop will no longer be funny. Or  as my 4 year old calls poop, Mansunsca (don't ask why, I don't know). Yes manscunsca was in the song. Oh and  you better believe I wrote down their song and I will make sure to share it with their girlfriends one day.  Moms get to do things like that. So what did you laugh about today? Hopefully it was a little bit better than farts and poop, but if not, just own it. Love it. Laugh about it.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Do Something Nice for a Coworker



Type of Challenge
Random Acts of Kindness

Challenge
Today is "Do Something Nice for a Coworker". We spend around 8 hours a day with our coworkers. They can become like a second family. It is important to show appreciation to the people you work closely with day in and day out.  Today, show your appreciation for your coworkers by doing something nice for them.
 
                                                     
Reflection
Today I brought donuts to our custodial staff. They work extremely hard all year, but especially during the summer. They work to clean and make our building beautiful to start a fresh school year. What did you do today to show your coworkers how much you appreciate them. Share below!

Do Something Nice for Someone Who Has Hurt You


Type of Challenge
180 Challenge

Challenge
This one is going to be a doozie but it is well worth it! Today's challenge is to show kindness to someone that has hurt you. This will probably be one of the hardest challenges yet. It is easy to show kindness to someone we love and care about. It is also easy to show kindness to someone that we see in need. However, it is hard to show kindness to someone who has hurt us, especially if they aren't sorry for it. Why? I personally think it is because of walls we have built up to protect ourselves. Especially if this person hurts us over and over again. But the question is, who is going to be the one to stop the hurt?

Reflection
I am not going to share what I did for this challenge. This one was very personal and I am still continuing to work to build a stronger relationship with this person. Instead I am going to share some thoughts about why this challenge is so important.

We have all been there at some point in our lives. Someone has hurt you and continues to hurt you over and over again. You do not retaliate and you are completely innocent in the situation, but for some reason this person will not let up. There are a couple of options here. First, you can go ahead and retaliate and give them a taste of their own medicine. While this is tempting, I wouldn't recommend this, or secondly, as we say in the south, "kill 'em with kindness, "which simply means showing them kindness until they stop.

Real life example: I had someone who relentlessly spread rumors about me.  Sadly, a few people believed these rumors. I even confronted this person about it, but the rumors wouldn't stop. Here's what I finally figured out. First; the people that really mattered didn't believe the rumors. Second; that person was obviously hurting for one reason or another. What do people do when they are hurt? They hurt others. So instead of continuing to be offended and upset about how this person was treating me, I simply began asking her how she was doing, asked about the kids, what her plans were for the weekend, etc. It wasn't long before the rumors stopped. There was no real reason why she targeted me. I was just the one she picked. Believe it or not we eventually did become friends. She was hurting and she just needed someone to show her kindness.

I would like to say that I never hurt anyone, but that would be a lie. As I said before when you are hurting, you often cause others to hurt. About 17 months ago my husband's baby brother died. He was only 20 years old and it was from a severe motorcycle accident. I still have memories from seeing him that will never go away. For SIX MONTHS I would wake up EVERY night at 10:45, the same time that we found out he had died. I would stay up pretty much all night thinking about him and the pain was often unbearable. Not only was I hurt, but I was also exhausted and had to function as a school admin, wife, and mother during the day.

However, no one knew how much I was struggling. During the day I would act like I was fine. I had to appear strong or I wouldn't be able to make it through the day. No one knew that I might have slept for 2 hours the night before. No one saw me bawling in the car before I came into the building. No one saw me leave lunch to go to the cemetery and just cry.  I appeared to be "just fine", but the reality was I was hurting more than I had ever hurt before.

Because of this hurt I treated some people unfairly and I wasn't always kind. Relationships were damaged. Thank goodness I had people that continued to show me kindness during that time, even though they didn't really know what was going on. They were able to see past the hurt, and see someone who just needed to be shown kindness.

Why do I share something so personal? I think it is important to be candid about our experiences and our struggles. I want you to understand that I did not create this challenge because I have it all together and this challenge is just for "other people". This challenge is to not only challenge others, but to challenge myself as well. I have been the one that has been hurt, and I have been guilty of the one causing the hurt. Showing kindness to someone, even when they hurt you, is so important. We never know what someone is going through. I still remember those who showed me kindness during that painful time and they will always hold a special place in my heart. Their kindness kept me going as I struggled through the grief of losing someone that meant so much to me.

Kindess180 is not only about doing acts of kindness, but it is  also about changing our mindset of when we show kindness and how we show that kindness. Showing acts of kindness isn't only for those who deserve it.  You never know what a person is going through, and how your act of kindness can help them heal whatever hurt they are personally going through.



Thursday, July 20, 2017

Walk Slow

Type of Challenge
Random Acts of Kindness

Challenge
So today...walk slow. Even if you have a million things to do, just slow down, even a few moments and enjoy God's blessings.
I have always been told that I walk like I am on a mission. I walk fast and zone-in on what I need to do. This is great when I need to get a lot done in a short amount of time, but not so great when I often miss opportunities to build stronger relationships.
Between working, cleaning, cooking, running errands, taking kids to events, etc it can be extremely hard to slow down. But here are a few things I notice when I make myself "walk slow". 
  • I stop and have intentional and meaningful conversations. 
  • I notice the little things. 
  • I smile more.
  • I laugh more.
  • I am more relaxed.
  • I am overall happier.
Reflection
Kindness180 is all about honesty. So here is me being honest. I totally failed at this today....at first. All of sudden everything around me needed to be done all at once, and  I started to go into full panic mode! After I had my panic attack, I had to stop and remind myself what today's challenge was all about, just to walk slow and so that's exactly what I did. I was still able to do what I needed to do, but it wasn't in "state of emergency" mode, and even helped keep everyone calm around me. (Bonus!)

If you are ever in a panic about what you need to do I have discovered a piece of advice that I have to give myself often. Stand up, take a deep breath, and literally walk slow. Look people in the eye, smile, and genuinely ask them how they are doing. It is amazing how much you will strengthen your relationships with other people if you simply choose to "walk slow".

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Plan Something NIce for Your Neighbors



Type of Challenge
Random Acts of Kindness


Challenge
For today's challenge think of something you can do for your neighbors. Bake a treat or help with yardwork. My kids and I decided to hand out popsicles at the park across the street from our house.


Reflection
Growing up we knew everyone in our neighborhood, and there were so many houses we were welcome to walk-in (almost) whenever we wanted. One of my favorite neighbors was a single woman who did not have any family. Every time my sisters and I would come over we would eat cookies, or a popsicle, during the summer months and just sit and visit with her.


As I have gotten older and life has been bombarded with chaos, I forget sometimes the need to slow down and get to know my neighbors, so that's what this challenge is about! When you do something nice for your neighbors, whether you mow their lawn, bake them a treat, or send them a note, you are able to build relationships with them.


For today's challenge think of something you can do for your neighbors. Our family decided to hand out popsicles at the park across the street from our house. When we first started handing them out many of the parents were skeptical. They didn't know why complete strangers were handing out free popsicles! Fortunately, I had two cute little boys with me who insisted they take the popsicle. We were outside for about an hour and it was a lot of fun. We made great memories as a family and were able to meet some of our neighbors. 

What is something that you can do for your neighbors? Comment below!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Unplug



Type of Challenge
Self Kindness

Challenge
For today's challenge completely unplug from all electronic devices for 1 hour. Spend time with your family, read your favorite book, do something you are passionate about, or do nothing at all. :)

Reflection
I am 100% guilty of not unplugging from my devices nearly enough. It is important for us to disconnect, and spend time focused on the ones we love, or taking time for ourselves for some peaceful quiet time. Completing this challengeas much harder for me than it should have been. So I decided to make this challenge an ongoing one. In the spirit of this, tonight I sat in bed with my 7 year old son and shared stories about him when he was a baby. He giggled until he hurt, as I told him all of the funny things he used to do when he was a baby. His eyes lit up when I told him how proud I was of him and how much I loved him. Before I knew it, the hour was up, he was asleep, and my heart was full. This was definitely an eye-opener on how much we are plugged into our devices and don't even realize what we may be missing. Great memories were made as a result of this challenge.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Show Appreciation To Your Mail Carrier




Type of Challenge
Random Acts of Kindness

Day 2 Challenge
Write a thank you or leave a treat for your mail carrier.
I don't know about ya'll but in Texas it gets HOT (100+) in the summer.  Our mail carriers are hardworking and never complain. Let's show them some love! Write a thank you or leave a treat for your mail carrier. This can also be challenge that you can do with your students when you get back to school.


Reflection


For our mail carrier we wrote a thank you card and included a Sonic gift card. My 7 year old son  decided to throw in a transformer sticker to make it extra special. :) We placed the treat in the mailbox on a Friday, but we didn't receive mail on Friday or Saturday! We finally received the mail on Monday and she was able to pick up her treat. I later found out our neighbor  heard about the Kindness180 challenge and gave our mail carrier a treat as well!

What is something you can do to make your mail carrier's day a little brighter? Comment below!



Sunday, July 16, 2017

Send a Book Card






Type of Challenge
Random Acts of Kindness

Challenge

Who doesn't love receiving a special card, and who doesn't love a good book? Today's challenge is to write a book card to at least one person. Simply grab a book of your choice and add a special note to someone. The note could be a special keepsake for the person you choose. 


Image result for happy dreamer

Reflection
Recently 15 of our teachers and myself went to Get Your Teach (GYTO) on in San Antonio. I knew it was going to be a great conference, but I didn't truly realize the impact it was going to make, not only on my teachers, but for myself as well. The teachers left the conference reenergized and ready to tackle the new school year. I was excited to see my teachers so pumped up!

As an administrator I was looking at the conference from a different lens. The presenters at the GYTO conference weren't just teachers but they were leaders. They were genuine, humble, kind, and had a true heart for helping teachers.

As I created the book card Kindness180 challenge I knew  I wanted to send the books to the presenters of the GYTO conference. I wanted to tell them thank you for putting on a conference like no other, and for truly having a heart for helping other teachers.

I purchased books from one of my favorite authors, Peter Reynolds, and wrote a thank you inside of each book. I then sent it through media mail, which I had never heard of before. Media mail is just a cheaper way to send books, but it takes a little longer for the recipient to receive it. To be honest, I was a bit of a skeptic when I was told about it, because I have some trust issues with USPS, but that's a story for another time. The USPS pulled through and the presenters from GYTO received their books!

Once my teachers get back from summer vacation (which is next week!) I am going to start leaving book cards in their boxes. We have a staff of 65 so I am looking for a way to purchase books that are a bit cheaper. I have stocked up on the Khols Cares books, which are only $5 each. I also plan on hitting up the Scholastic Book warehouse sale in December and May.

What are some of your favorite books you would like to send as a book card? Comment Below!