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Posts Tagged ‘kindness’

  1. Most Important Meal of the Day

    March 8, 2015 by admin

    TRDad is a professional chef part time and a stay at home dad full time. He is a the foundation of this family.

    IMG_9862Beyond cooking, TRDad is also a chauffeur, nurse, disciplinarian, teacher – the list goes on. He is always quick with a hug and loves heading out on a family bike ride.  We are blessed in countless ways but TRMom considers not having to prepare dinner after working all day as one of her favorite blessings.

    Since TRDad is so selfless, weekend breakfasts are one small way that TRMom tries to give back to him. This simple gesture of is now a tradition in our home.

    While TRDad is out walking our pup in the morning, TRMom gets to work. Typically, eggs are served up over easy or as an omelet, on top of or with cheesy toast. A hot cup of coffee on the side, and TRDad is ready to welcome another day.

    It may not seem like much but the tiniest acts of kindness can make a huge difference to someone!

  2. Best of 2014

    December 31, 2014 by admin

    56571_party_mdAs we welcome in 2015, we at ThriftyRambler wanted to take a few moments to reflect on 2014. Here are some of our favorite posts of the year: (launched in 2013 but continues throughout the years!)

    We are thrilled interact with all of our readers and we thank you for being a part of this homegrown project. We are excited to see what the coming year has in store for all of us! We encourage you to continue to reach out to us with ideas or comments.

    Wishing all of you a peaceful, loving and prosperous 2015.


  3. Cinnamon Ornaments

    December 7, 2014 by admin


    This TRFamily loves the holidays.  And we greatly enjoy spreading the holiday spirit with handmade gifts to our friends and family.  There is something special about the love and effort that goes into handmade gifts.  And our children take great pride in creating gifts for the special folks that impact their lives.

    Last Christmas, we made fantastic salt dough ornaments.  But even though that was fun and successful, we wanted to do something different this holiday season.  We decided to make cinnamon ornaments!


    • 1 cup of cinnamon
    • 1/4 cup of applesauce
    • 1/2 cup of glue


    Tip:  Your batch will yield about 15 ornaments

    Combine the cinnamon and applesauce, mixing until clumpy.  Then pour in the glue and continue mixing.  Dough will be incredibly sticky.  We found it necessary to mix by hand and add liberal amounts of flour until we could roll out our ornament dough.  Add decorations if you’d like.  Punch out a hole in the ornament with a plastic straw and then bake at 200F for 1 hour.  Let cool for at least 3 hours.

    Bonus – You’re entire house will smell like cinnamon!



  4. A Simple Cup Of Tea

    November 21, 2014 by admin

    Our Latest Activity For the ThriftyRambler Kindness Project

    IMG_8632Our Plum has a very hard time waking up and starting her day. If left on her own, she simply snoozes her alarm and snuddles back down under her covers. And when she finally emerges, the morning grumbles are in full force and hard to shake off.

    We’ve tried many things to help our Plum adjust to morning. And nothing worked until we happened to brew a cup of herbal tea to help Plum feel better during a recent cold. Voila!

    Now we have a new tradition to our morning routine. TRMom is usually the first person up and about in our house. She will start coffee for the adults, feed the critters, and put on the tea kettle for our Plum. Once a cup of Sleepytime has had time to steep, TRMom takes it quietly into Plum’s bedroom, leaving it on the floor near the bed.

    We don’t know how long it takes for the sweet scent of tea to rouse our Plum, but we do know that she emerges from her room with no intervention and in a decent mood. She returns the now empty mug to the sink and gets going with her day.

    This small act of kindness in the form of a cup of tea was all our Plum needed to help her embrace a new day.

    Simple gestures like this can make a difference in the days of people around us.  Pay attention in your world.  Who do you know that needs a cuppa?

  5. The RC Auto Club

    November 12, 2014 by admin

    On a recent hiking trip, we emerged from our forest fun to find the previously empty parking lot filled with half a dozen sport utility vehicles and a number of people milling around.

    “What have we bumped into here?” we thought.

    It was a group of eight or ten men aged between twenty years old and up to about about sixty.  Several of them wore the clothes one might associate with hunting.  Since this happened to be the first day of deer hunting season, we began to fear that we had stumbled onto some sort of hunting expedition.IMG_8694

    But our concerns soon disappeared as we realized that we were approaching a group of radio controlled car enthusiasts!

    They had brought their collection of RC monster trucks and jeeps to the woods to race through the leaves and see whose car could scale the steepest hill, or crawl over the biggest rocks.  We chatted them up, aided by Bluey’s many questions about how these cars worked and who built them.

    They were the friendliest bunch of guys you could hope to run into!  They were more than happy to show off their cars unique capabilities and to explain how they functioned.  They said they’d just come back from a big meet up in Arkansas, driving 15 hours each way to race their trucks through the trails.

    Bluey was thrilled and immediately wanted to join their club and go racing with them.

    IMG_8697We were glad to have talked to them and wished we weren’t on a bit of a time crunch to get TRDad to work.  We gladly would have spent all afternoon with these nice gentlemen.

    Instead we drove home talking about cars and vowing to research their club to try to get Bluey involved.  Our son charged up his own remote controlled truck as soon as he got home and then drove it around the neighborhood.

    We were thrilled to have met these guys and happy that our decision to interact with these strangers was the right one.  We met a group of people we could easily have over-looked or actively avoided, people who pursue a hobby that our young son finds fascinating.

    All for the simple effort of  choosing to say “Hello!”

  6. “I Know.”

    November 5, 2014 by admin

    IMG_7314Sample TR Household dialogue:

    “You’re a great kid.”

    — ‘I know.’

    There are few points in parenting more satisfying than hearing your child assert their own goodness.

    Our kids know they are good kids because we tell them.  We point out when they do the right thing, be it holding the door for someone, or saying they are sorry for something, or offering to help someone else.  They are good kids.

    This doesn’t mean they never do wrong.  Of course they do.  They make mistakes.  They get angry.  They say a hurtful thing.

    But nothing they do changes their basic nature-  they are good kids.  Good kids who make errors.  Who have lapses in judgment.

    So when Bluey or Plum make a mistake, we can address the error without questioning their goodness. Good people screw up on occasion.  Good people have bad moments and bad days.

    Our hope is two-fold:

    1. We hope when our kids are admitting to mistakes, or caught up in a mistake, they remember not to internalize it.

    2. We hope that when our kids find other people erring towards them, they remember that people are generally good and that our kids treat those around them with compassion and understanding.  Doing a bad thing doesn’t make you a bad person.

    You’re a good kid.


  7. Talking To Strangers: We Encourage It

    October 8, 2014 by admin



    Perhaps against majority’s opinion or advice, we love talking to strangers. On our TR journeys large and small, some of our best take away moments are the conversations with the few people we have met along the way.  We do talk to strangers regularly and we encourage our kids to do it, too!

    We recently stopped for a quick lunch at a favorite local chain. As we were leaving, TRMom was suggesting to the kids that they make a stop in the bathroom. An elderly gentleman was sitting nearby and he interjected, “That’s some good advice!”

    Rather than ignoring this unfamiliar man or giving a dismissive smile, we struck up conversation with him. We shook hands, introduced our family, and chatted for a few minutes. As we were leaving, he declared, “You should have my card.”


    Tip: There is a huge difference between talking to strangers and heeding the whims or demands of strangers. We would encourage you to teach your kids how to IMG_8104recognize this subtlety and judge for your own family what works best.

    Allowing ourselves to engage with others only enhances our experiences and our connections to the world. We are all so isolated already thanks to Facebook, Snapchat, Texting, etc. These apps only give the illusion of connection. We don’t want our children to miss out on in-person, every day interaction with another human being.

    Humans are social animals.  We talk to each other and hopefully, we make connections.  If you only speak to people in your immediate circle, you severely limit your life experience.  So we chat people up when in stores or walking down the street- everywhere.  We encourage our young ones to introduce themselves and to share their thoughts with others.

    We meet so many interesting folks this way: the Korean War vet, the self-taught artist, the long time resident of town.  We’ve heard many stories from many people.  We encourage you to give it a try.  Talk to people and listen to what they have to say.  Who knows who you’ll meet next?

    They might just make your day.  Or you just might make theirs.

  8. Volunteering: Kitty Transport

    May 18, 2014 by admin

    Part of our continuing series for the ThriftyRambler Kindness Project.

    IMG_5936A great way to cultivate kindness is to volunteer to help others.

    Finding the best opportunity to volunteer can sometimes be a challenge, especially for the very young.  But a young age is the exact time to begin volunteering.  By starting out at as a youngster, kids learn all through their lives that helping others is something you do.  It can become a habit that they won’t want to break.

    So we’ve been looking for a chance for our young Bluey to get involved in something he cares about in his community, and that can make a meaningful difference in the world.

    We found just the thing by transporting kittens for Darling Pet Rescue.IMG_5935

    It’s no secret that Bluey loves animalsespecially cats, so helping transport them was a perfect fit.

    Darling Pet Rescue (DPR) is a no-kill animal rescue group that finds homes for animals in need.  DPR offers shelter and foster homes for animals until a permanent home can be found.  But the logistics of taking care of the animals can be quite daunting.   All DPR rescues receive top-quality veterinary care, and frequently need to be moved from the vet clinic to various pet stores that display the animals to expose them to good homes.   If animals at the viewing stores get ill, or need additional care, then they need to go back to the vet clinic.

    Moving critters from place to place is where Bluey comes into the scene.  We (along with several other dedicated volunteers) offer the rides to or from the clinic.  Our Bluey loves going on a kitty mission, and offers his sweet loving words to the cats while they are in car carriers next to him.  He comforts, calms and reassures them during their trip, and helps them settle at their destination.

    Bluey’s volunteer work also ties into his school projects.  He his learning a lot about animal health and care, and this knowledge is reinforced every time Bluey helps out.

    Bluey looks forward to assisting DPR and he knows that with each trip, he is helping an animal find a new family- just like our cats and dog settled down with us!

    Although it took us a while to find the right fit, we are so happy that Bluey gets to help out his friends and neighbors in a way that really matters to him.


  9. Snark Attack!

    April 23, 2014 by admin


    Our latest activity for the Thrifty Rambler Kindness Project

    We’re sure most of you have been in a similar situation. You’re in line at Target and some man is barely holding it together while a cart full of runny-nosed kids are screaming bloody murder. You think to yourself, “What is wrong with him? Why did you drag your kids out here? Why don’t you leave?” Or you’re at the park and a woman is absorbed with her phone while her charges terrorize the playground.  You think, “What a horrible person. Here are a bunch of future bullies. What is wrong with people?”

    TRMom & Dad admit that we don’t always have a sympathetic reaction to witnessing random or heated interactions of families we don’t know. We’re sometimes too quick to judge and criticize. And we know that this isn’t productive or kind. We’re working on it.

    TRMom & Dad need to remember that what we’re watching unfold is a moment in time. We have no idea what led up to it or how it will resolve.

    Think about those days when you were less than your best, either publicly or privately. Would you want someone to walk away thinking that was as good as you can be?  Or that your kids should be taken away from you, or that you’re violent, or mean? Of course you wouldn’t want that to be their conclusion.

    So we’re trying to be more understanding. We’re working on recognizing when someone might need an encouraging word, a friendly smile, or our space in line to make a quick escape from a store. Or perhaps we simply need to stem our negative thoughts for the moment and realize that this is someone’s really bad day. And that is all that we are witnessing. The single occurrence doesn’t make someone a bad person.

    We’d like to encourage you to do the same. Work this Kindness.  And perhaps slowly, we’ll all become more of a supportive community.



  10. Make It A Double!

    January 31, 2014 by admin


    “Can I have a drink, please?”

    As parents, one of our jobs is teaching the kiddoes the best way to ask for stuff.

    For example:

    When Bluey goes to sleep at night, we snuddle in bed with him and help him get all relaxy and sleepy.  He sometimes falls all the way asleep before we leave.  But on other occasions, Bluey’s still very much awake.  Either way, we give him a hug and a kiss on our way out of the room. Recently, Bluey decided that if he was awake, a hug and kiss weren’t enough.  He wanted more.  So Bluey began to whine and complain that he hadn’t been hugged.  It was very frustrating.  Here we are hugging you, and you don’t even notice?  But then we realized that what he wanted was more hugs.  And who can deny a small boy a hug?

    So TRDad had a conversation with Bluey.  He explained that asking for something in a demanding, unappreciative way is unkind.  Even when what you want is as simple as a hug.  So we settled on the expression, ‘Doubles.’  Now, when Bluey feels like he needs another hug, he states: “I need a Double!”  It’s a nice, sweet, and kind way to ask for a little extra love.

    This same process works for all sorts of requests- milk, snacks, mittens, playtime- everything can  be set on a path of asking politely.  But you need to take the time to sort it out with your kiddo when you aren’t stressed and annoyed.  Pick a quiet time, and start a conversation: “So you know how you want me to leave your toys undisturbed when you go to bed?  Let’s talk about that…”