The Art of Volunteering

The journey beyond my own back yard has begun.
When we first moved here, March 2004, I walked the neighborhood, in search of people who would like to be a part of a progressive luncheon (in hopes to get to know a few fellow neighbors). Shortly before the luncheon, I created and managed a neighborhood web site. People were able to suddenly connect and know who they lived next too. Our house is even a ‘volunteer’ McGruff House for kids. Shortly after I created the web site, I volunteered for the local festival committee, and applied to be on the park and rec commission. The first year on the festival committee, I sold pony ride tickets and helped set up. The second year I coordinated the dance entertainment and royalty program. I also coordinated Halloween activities in our neighborhood, and helped with National Night Out. Last year, I was asked to be a tri-chair for the school districts bond and levy campaign. Though our children will never attend the school district in which we live (or the surrounding districts) I felt compelled to help. I learned about a lot through this experience that even made my reasoning’s sounder of why our kids won’t be attending this school district. This is now my second year on park and rec., and this year I have the honor of being the chair. I enjoy serving on park and rec.~ I hope to be on it for a while.
I’m excited to “branch out” now.
About a month back, I filled out my information for a background check to volunteer for the Flint Hill Children’s Festival in Saint Paul. We have gone for the past few years and really enjoy it. Since the Festival and it’s staff have put such smiles on our faces, I thought it would be a great way to give something back.
Today was my first assignment as a volunteer. I worked from 10am until 5p.m. preparing children’s art work for the art crawl and helping hang hot air balloons in Dunn Brother’s. (People thought we were decorating for Cinco de Mayo!) What a fun group of people to work with! It was the perfect way to spend a rainy Sunday as well. Up on the 12th floor of the Landmark Tower building, you could see the view of the river and witness the pelting of rain.
I already look forward to my next volunteer duties! I’m so blessed that I have such a supportive husband that lets me volunteer for these things that I feel passionate about. I admit, I have the most amazing husband. I’m blessed in so many ways- it all starts and ends with his presence in my life.
This weekend was non-stop for me, as are most week days currently. I’m quite tired…however, I am filled with joy.

Parade of Houses

Saturday night, and the house is quiet at 9:30PM. All my boys are sound asleep. Daddy too! He stayed home with the boys today while I ventured out. He was quite tuckered out by the time I wandered in (no comment A.D. & D.D.).

This morning I was up early with Tiger…who apparently LOVES to rise WITH the sun. I had to get a move on as I volunteered at Nishad’s school for the ‘public’ open house that they had today. I came armed with green tea and munchies. When you find something you feel passionate about, and you love it…you’re happy to volunteer. I was able to chat and laugh with the staff ~ such a group of kind hearted women that have quite a sense of humor.

After I headed to the D’s for C’s confirmation open house! One thing I love about visiting the D’s is that when you walk in, you are always greeted with a smile and a warm hug. I thank God that Nishad and E were born on the same day, at the same hospital. It’s because of this connection that they came into our lives. Little did I know that I would become so fond of them. I think God knew though. 🙂 I only wished we lived closer, and had a little more time to spare these uber busy times. The D’s were all dressed in black and white and looked so stylish. Both the girls have grown so much since the last time I saw them. There was a picture of the girls in the hallway that was so precious…I remember thinking at that time how little all the kids were. It seemed like things were a bit stressful…and that they wouldn’t grow up quick enough. Funny how I find myself now wisheing time could slow down a bit…and Nishad is only 3 1/2 years old. I guess it’s good I learnt that lesson early. Cherish the time, even in the height of feeling stressed at times as it does go by quick.

Tiger will be 18 mos. in a few days. Amazing. I’m still having abdominal pains under my belly button. I’m still very tender there. It’s been like that since Tiger was born. It comes and goes. Yesterday I was holding a plate in my hand and had such a sharp pain in my left side, I almost dropped the plate. I’ve also gained weight. This winter was long. I actually struggled with a bit of seasonal depression this winter. Argh…Minnesota. We’re decided to lay off traveling in the summer to focus on longer ‘escapes’ in the winter. A little vitamin D does the body good! I’m glad that summer is here so I can be a bit more diligent and focus on the healthy Mom I desire to be and need to be. I haven’t made my yearly doctor appointment yet. I was always very good about that…until this year.

This will also be my last summer with both boys not in school!! Nishad has two more years after this year at LFM (pre-school and K). However, Tiger will be attending at the same time Nishad is in the toddler classroom (across from his big brother!). This is a great opportunity for all of us. We also feel like it makes up for so much of the things that Tiger has already missed out on that Nishad did when he was a baby/toddler. The boys will both go to school with their Daddy and I will pick them up at 11:30a.m. each day. Exciting times.

Picnic Time!

After pick-up today, we joined forces with the three J’s and headed to Mission Hills Park in Plymouth. It’s literally a hop, skip and a jump from school. The boys all had a blast playing together at the park, spotting the turtles, ducks, dragging huge tree limbs (dead branches in the brush) around…I think they were so excited, that they forgot to eat very much! By the time we arrived home, the boys were ready for a nice siesta!

Now if the wind would only calm down, it would be a beautiful night.

Open House

Tonight was Nishad’s Open House at his school. It was a chance for him to show us his classroom and school through his eyes. We just love Nishad’s school and can’t say enough about it. Everyone should be so inspired early on in life…and blessed with such amazing educators.

The first thing that he gravitated toward was the sewing. He recalled how Auntie Kelly and he made a puppy-dog. We meandered through the classroom and worked a bit with the sand paper letters, and toured the geography section. All the while, Tiger and Ashish played in the award winning outside environment.

After, we treated Nishad with dinner out. I also receive such compliments on the boys about how well-behaved they are when we are out. I took them to lunch at Panara Bread last week, and an elderly lady in her 70’s came up to me and said that she couldn’t help but notice how well-behaved the boys are, “How did you do that?” …I am super-Mommy! 😉 In reality though, I’ve been blessed with the most amazing kids from day 1. God must have known I was a newbie, so he had to send such blessings to teach me a lesson or two. 🙂