#BeKindGetSigned List

February 26, 2014

Over the holidays, my kids and I had the opportunity to read hundreds of stories detailing kind acts that you emailed to me in response to my #BeKindGetSigned tweets! It has taken forever to get through them all, but we were each so blessed by your kindness!
Thank you to everyone who has gone out of their way — and not just around the holidays, but all year long — to do something kind for someone else. Small things can make a huge difference to someone who is struggling. We all have our own struggles and sometimes all we need is a smile, a hug or a little surprise to remind us that someone cares and to “keep on keeping on.”
We couldn’t all agree on ONLY 12….. So I’m sending out a total of 28 signed copies of my cook book, Love Is In The Mix to the people listed below:

1. Lauren (Pennsylvania) – volunteered for Salvation Army with her children and bought gifts for a child in need. Great!
2. Sidney (Georgia) – collected clothing for kids in need and donated them after being inspired by a similar program at school. Awesome!
3. Carrie (Massachusetts) – lives her life donating and volunteering and teaching her kids to do the same! Her list is long! Great job!
4. Sam (Massachusetts)- he and friends make people smile by Christmas Caroling with their friend ‘Steven the Snowman’ (think Frosty the Snowman). So fun!
5. Vanessa (Canada) – baked treats and delivered them to people in the hospital, patients, families and staff! Wonderful!
6. Yvonne (Wisconsin) – helped numerous people in need with seemingly small things, but she put smiles on many folks faces! Great work!
7. Emily (Missouri) – helped buy gifts for a struggling friends’ kids so they could enjoy a lovely Christmas! Thank you!
8. Sydney (Virginia) – was a big part of a big school run operation to help local kids to have a Merry Christmas. Great lessons learned for her and classmates too!
9. Austin (Missouri) – bought gifts for kids in need in his local school district. Way to go!
10. Shoshana (Pennsylvania) – volunteers at three different local organizations through out the year! Wow!
11. Tricia (Canada) – shops all year and donates items to a local organization that helps kids in need to have a wonderful Christmas! Thumbs up!
12. Amy (Ohio) – each year, she donates a full Thanksgiving Dinner to a local needy family. She lost her job this year around the holidays and STILL carried out her tradition! Way to go!
13. Karen (Indianna) – helped a homeless man in the grocery store and made his day with her kindness! She was blessed as well. Wonderful story!
14. Kelly (Maryland) – she and her mom blessed a struggling family at their church by buying them gifts and included encouraging notes! Wonderful!
15. Traci (Canada) – she and her two boys shopped for toys and blankets for kids in need and baked goods for the firemen and delivered them to their new local fire station! Awesome job!
16. Cassey (Minnesota) – bought lunch for a lady in line in front of her! Well done!
17. Jessica (New Hampshire) – came up with an idea to make holiday sweatshirts for homeless kids in a class at school! Great idea! Beautiful job!
18. Allison (Georgia) – saved her money all year and surprised a struggling family who she babysits for a huge flat screen tv! That is awesome!
19. Sommer (Florida) – volunteered to sort toys for Toys for Tots! Thank you!
20. Naomi (New Zealand) – bought a gift card for a struggling friend at work to help her have a Merry Christmas! Well done!
21. Beth (Wisconsin) – their family did their own 26 acts of kindness in honor of the Sandy Hook victims! So awesome!
22. Nicholas (New York) – bakes cookies each year and packages them in holiday tins and gives them out to ‘people in need of a smile’! I love this!
23. Kelly (Florida) – helped a homeless family by giving them money and buying them dinner! Heart wrenching and heart warming story! Great job!
24. Courtney (Canada) – took it upon herself to plan a fun day filled with crafts and games for four families kids (7 kids in all!) so the parents could Christmas shop .. And she babysat them free of charge!!! This is great!
25. Jessie (Illinois) – when her friend went into labor a bit early (and on the day she had planned to do all her wrapping!) she surprised her friend and wrapped all her presents for her! Perfect!
26. Patty (Michigan) – she cares year round for an elderly lady who is otherwise all alone! Wonderful!
27. Brandy (Indianna) – rescues dogs and donated an excess of dog food given to her to other dogs in need! Great job!
28. Elysa (Illinois) – volunteered to help families that were affected by the recent tornados in the Midwest. What a story! Wonderful job!

Zorro Jay

November 25, 2013

We found him “by accident” sometime back in October. Cara, Mady, Collin and I were at the pet store picking up some water conditioner for our beta fish, Fizzy and Finn. A store employee, with a green and black bird attached to her shirt collar, approached us and asked if we needed any help finding anything. I smiled and jokingly said “No thanks, but do you know you have a bird attached to you?” She laughed and said “yes, this is Zorro.”

We followed her over to Zorros enclosure and spoke about him and our other pets for the next hour. As it turns out, this store manager has Shokas brother! We traded information so that we could get our dogs together to play and continued discussing Zorro.

He’s a five (almost six) month old Black Capped Conure, a small parrot, who is very intelligent, affectionate and can learn to talk. He loves and bonds with people and will live for 30+ years! The more research I did on him, the more I decided that he’d be a great fit for our family! But, I carefully thought through this big decision and decided he’d be a great family gift for Christmas.. Since the store wouldn’t officially hold him til Christmas, we made nearly weekly visits to see him until I had the research done and his cage and supplies ordered. Yesterday was the day for pick up so we all loaded up and very excitedly headed off to the pet store to pick Zorro up! It was a wonderful experience as we learned final instructions from the store staff. They all kissed him goodbye as we placed him into his little travel case we bought for him.

He was quite frightened at first, but once we had his cage set up (his “big” permanent cage hasn’t arrived yet) up and had him inside of it, he settled down and began to explore. After a celebratory pizza dinner, we took turns letting him ride on our shoulders all night… The most heart warming part of our first evening with Zorro was when he began his nightly chirping.. From way across the room, Alexis imitated his sound and they continued to “communicate” back and forth all evening while we were doing after dinner chores!

The kids and I are in love already.. I even got up earlier than normal this morning to cut up banana bites for Zorro and I served them with dry organic Cheerios!

Oh what fun! With 1 dog, almost 50 chickens, 2 fish and now a parrot, named Zorro…. Go ahead and call me “Mommy Doolittle!!!!”