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A Story of Christmas Spirit

12 Dec

This blog is a Thank You blog. What does this mean? Today, a total stranger in a store bestowed upon me a random act of kindness that left me stunned, in shock, and in tears. How can you thank a stranger when all you know is her first name – Kathy? The only way I can think is to share this story with others and perhaps it will inspire you to feel the power of this woman’s generosity.

My daughter was given a shirt, a skirt, and a pair of leggings from Kohl’s. It is a store I don’t usually shop at myself because of my finances. I find that even with their non-stop sale circulars every weekend they are a bit too pricey for my budget. The clothes came with a gift receipt. With my daughter lacking a dress to wear for Christmas, I headed to the dreaded Kohl’s return line to get store credit and buy her a special dress instead. To my surprise, the items I returned totaled just under $52.

Dollie and Me Christmas DressI headed off to the girl’s section to find a Christmas dress. I found a perfectly cute dress from a collection called Dollie and Me for $70 but was on sale for $35. Keeping with our Christmas tradition of new pajamas for Christmas Eve, I had enough left over to find a nightgown from the same collection on sale for $12.99. With a total of $47.99, I felt the store credit and the few dollars in my pocket would cover the total including tax.

The checkout had the usual massive line with about 12 people in line. While waiting in line, many people were talking about the coupons the had with them. Not being a regular shopper at Kohl’s, I had no idea that this was the “thing” one does when shopping there. The woman in front of me introduced herself as Kathy and offered to pass off her coupon to me after she used it at checkout. She began to tell me about the items she was buying and how they were for people she didn’t even know. She and her friends get together, find families that are in need, and buy clothes for their children.

I thanked her for all that she and her friends do. I told her that, as someone who has been on the receiving end of such gifts, it was nice to be able to thank someone for their generosity. When it came time for her turn at the checkout, she turned around and took my items out of my hands declaring to me, “I am buying these for your daughter.” Holding out my store credit card, I told her not to worry about it because I had enough to cover the items. She would hear none of it and insisted that she pay for my items. She just asked that one day, when I am in a position like her, to pay it forward.  Thanking her, I gave her a huge and blessed her family.  I sat in my car for a good 15 minutes crying and shaking in total shock from the whole experience.

Christmas spirit is alive out there. When a total stranger buys a little girl a Christmas dress and pajamas, you know that there is goodness and love in this world.

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American Flag Bow Tie

9 Dec

American Flag Bow TieMy father’s birthday was at the beginning of the month.  A few days before his birthday, I asked him what he would like because he is really hard to match with a good gift.  Unless it is bald eagles, firefighter related or Santa related, he is usually hard to peg.  Seeing how he already has a ton of those three things, I was trying to go different.  So he tells me that he wants an American Flag bow tie.   It is no simple feat to find a decent looking(not cheesy or corny) American Flag bow tie.  Most places I found would not have the tie here in time so I opted for an Amazon giftcard to use with his Kindle and saved the bow tie idea for Christmas.

Now is the time to find the perfect American Flag bow tie so it will ship in time for Christmas.  I have found several companies that sell them but I they all still look a bit too cheese to me.  Before I can settle on one, I have to ask the more important question that bow tie wearers, of which my father has never been, prefer – pre-tied or self-tie.   It turns out it was to be self-tie.

After viewing countless tacky bow ties, I finally settled with Buy Your Ties. It is a silk American Flag, self-tie bow tie for $14.95. Bonus: If you don’t mind a little wait the shipping can be free.

Happy Thanksgiving and Wreck-It Ralph

22 Nov

When flying monkeys attack!

I found some gift cards to AMC Theatres in my wallet. It is nice to find extra money. There was $32 on the cards combined so I was able to take the kids to see Wreck-It Ralph. I figured that Thanksgiving morning was a great time to go because most people would be home getting food ready. We are going to my sister’s house and I prepped everything we needed last night.

The kids loved the movie. Skyler said, “More awesomer than awesome. And even more amazinger than amazing.” All in all I think that is a pretty good review. She got a bit scared at some parts and held my hand.  From an ADHD standpoint the movie kept their interest the whole time.  There was no complaining or even bathroom breaks.  Even the soundtrack kept Skyler from wanting to leave until the credits fully finished.

When we left they both posed with some of the cut-outs for upcoming movies.

Boy, that Gandalf is one really tall guy!

After we headed to my sister’s for her annual Thanksgiving dinner tradition. We were light on the usual 40 people the 18 of us managed. I made a veggie tray to try and keep my Thanksgiving light and

My “thing” for family events is making an unusual but fun dessert. In the past I have made dessert sushi, rainbow jello, PB&J cake, chestnut cakes, pumpkin pudding, etc. This year I made a Kit-Kat cake which looks amazing but is really simple to put together. Make either a chocolate or vanilla round cake. (I made the white cake.) Frost with your favorite icing. (I used white icing as well.) Fencing the entire cake in with Kit Kats. I found the regular size too big so I used the size you give out on Halloween. The frosting acts like glue for the Kit Kats. Wrap the cake with a holiday themed ribbon to hold it together and to make it look fancy. Top the entire cake with m&m candies. I picked out the blue and green ones so that there were only fall colors for Thanksgiving. If you are partial to peanut butter you can also use Reese’s Pieces. It came out really cute.

Out traditions on any holiday includes and overload of desserts, more than any human can actually consume.  This year with so many missing we thought we had a manageable amount but, alas, we were still left with a ton of extra sweet goodness.

The only sad note of the day was that their father didn’t call them for Thanksgiving. The kids tried to call him but his phone kept going right to voicemail. Tristan was more okay with this than Skyler. He said that daddy never asks him questions anyways so it was okay but Skyler was really upset.

Parent Visitation at School

13 Nov

Today was the parent visitation at school. I spent about 20 minutes in each classroom. It was interesting to see the writings of all the children outside each classroom on the bulletin boards. I started out at the 4th grade where the children had to write a speech as if they were running for president.

Tristan’s speech:

I will make a very good president of the U.S.A. I’m very smart because my last report card made me an A+ student and I will use my brains to prevent anything that will lead me to going mad with power. I’m very nice because on my 9th birthday I swore not to kill a single living soul unless it was a life or death situation. I’m also strong because I’m only 9 and can lift 20lbs of metal!

I have 3 main goals for my campaign. I will put a ban on smoking across the U.S.A. I will lower 50% of taxes. I will create A.D.H.D Awareness Month.

Think about all the famous people with A.D.H.D., like Michael Phelps, well, I have A.D.H.D. too!

Then it was off to the 1st grade where they wrote what they were most thankful for in preparation for Thanksgiving.

Skyler’s thanks:

I am thankful for nature because it is so nice and I love it and it is so beautiful. I ♥ everything green in nature and more.

ADDled Adventures

17 Oct

This blog is going to be a way I can share the things I have learned, done, explored, enjoyed, been frustrated by and more by raising two children with ADHD as a single mom with ADHD.  Our lives continue to be a great adventure with each day bringing new fun, excitement, and chaos.

Great resource for teachers, parents, children, and family members dealing with ADHD:

ADDitude Magazine: Provides clear, accurate, user-friendly information and advice from the leading experts and practitioners in mental health and learning.

CHADD: A non-profit organization serving individuals with ADHD and their families in the Untied States.

National Resouce Center on ADHD: Provides comprehensive information and support to individuals with ADHD, their families and friends, and the professionals involved in their lives.

ADDA – Attention Deficit Disorder Association – Provides information, resources and networking opportunities to help adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder lead better lives.

ADHD Coaches Organization: Supports the value of coach-specific training, as well as education in the field of ADHD and ADHD coaching, as critical to the effective practice of ADHD coaching.

ADHD Awareness Week: A week set aside every year to promote awareness of ADHD. It is sponsored by a coalition of the above groups.