Monday, October 28, 2013

45 Acts of Kindness: What's Your Plan?

We are one week away from 45 Acts of Kindness! On Monday, Nov. 4, we will celebrate Steve's birthday with a giant celebration wherever you are!

This is our third year to celebrate Steve's birthday in such a big way, and we couldn't do it without you. Cooper, Katie and I have a goal of 450 acts of kindness this year. So far, 264 Facebook friends -- and friends of friends -- have committed to helping. If you are on Facebook but haven't signed up for the special day, you can do so here.

Some basic instructions for the big day:

1. You can print a card to leave, if you choose. So, if you buy a drink for the person behind you in line at a coffee shop, hand them the card. Or, if you deliver flowers to a nursing home, attach the card. Perhaps you're taping coins to a vending machine, to treat a stranger to a snack -- tape the card with it, too.

2. How do you get a printable version of the card? Click here!

3. If you are comfortable doing so, take a photo of the act of kindness.

4. Then email the photo to me at Or text the photo to me at 972-489-4344. Or post the photo on our Facebook page.

5. With or without a photo, when you email, text or post to Facebook, please offer a description of your act of kindness. Include your name if you like, too. =)

Need some inspiration? Here are just a few ideas from previous celebrations!
  • Bake cookies and deliver them to your local police or fire station.
  • Adopt a cat or dog. (One furry creature, a cat, was even named Toby Steve in memory of Steve!)
  • Donate food to a food pantry.
  • Support your local children's hospital with a donation.
  • Leave a cheerful note for a friend or teacher or co-worker.
  • Give a gift card to a cashier.
  • Donate to the Red Cross.
  • Tidy up grave sites at a cemetery.
  • Surprise a neighbor with flowers.
  • Make dinner for a friend.
  • Donate blood.
  • Give an extra generous tip while eating out.
We can't wait to see all the creative ways you'll be celebrating Steve's legacy! Thank you for making the day especially cheerful for our family and for making the world even brighter!

(Big thanks to Cory Jensen, for the lovely logo, and to Layne Smith, my personal technical guru.)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Save the date: Nov. 4, 2013

In two weeks -- on Monday, Nov. 4 -- we will be celebrating Steve's 45th birthday with 45 Acts of Kindness!

This will be our third year to celebrate Steve and honor his memory with a day devoted to taking care of others.

Cooper, Katie and I love, love, love this day. Last year, there were at least 350 acts of kindness performed all over the country and even the world in memory of Steve.

Do you think we can top 400 this year? How great would it be to hit 450?!

Just a few ideas, based on the past two years:

  • Buy coffee or lunch for someone else
  • Hold doors open longer than usual
  • Surprise someone with flowers
  • Clean out your closet and donate to a shelter
  • Bake cookies and deliver to your neighborhood fire station
  • Treat a crossing guard to hot chocolate
  • Leave cheerful notes on windshields
  • Deliver a meal to someone who needs some cheer
  • Donate toys to a children's hospital
  • Buy books for a classroom

If you want to read some really touching stories, click here for many of last year's kind acts.

Coming to the blog soon: More ideas and a note you print to leave behind.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Little reminders

Steve was notorious for underestimating time and quantity.

A typical conversation between him and me:

Me: Steve, how many miles away is (fill in the blank)?

Steve: Oh, just a couple!

Me: Does that mean "two" or "a Steve couple"? 

Steve: Definitely more than two.

"A Steve couple" could be five or eight or 15. It was difficult to know.

Our Cooper is the exact same way.

A typical conversation between him and me:

Me: Cooper, how many minutes until you finish (fill in the blank) homework?

Cooper: Oh, just five!

Me: OK. (Though I have learned this almost always means 10 or 15 or 20.)

I admit that with Steve, the squishy definition was at times irritating. With Cooper, I'm much more patient.


Katie took an abbreviated Myers-Briggs test in a class at school. (Tests for children don't include all four characteristics. It takes some time -- past the age of 12 -- for Sensing vs. Intuition to be clear.)

Her results: EFJ -- Extraverted Feeling Judging

Steve's results: ESFP -- Extraverted Sensing Feeling Perceiving

My results: INTJ -- Introverted Intuitive Thinking Judging

There's no doubt that she and Steve share some "E-ness" and "F-ness."


Katie is student of the week in her third-grade class next week. The poster includes a section for "Most Inspiring Person." She wrote about Steve:

It has to be my dad. He inspired me to draw. He was brave when he was sick. I love that my dad was so confident.

I love it, too. And I love that Cooper and Katie share his courage and confidence.