Wednesday, April 2, 2014

10 Ideas to Get You Started!

Who doesn't like lists?! For Service Beans (I will be doing posts detailing the program soon) for the past few months I have been putting a list of new service ideas on the back of the record sheets every month. At a committee meeting we were brainstorming easy ways to give students and families service ideas. One of the committee members threw out this genius idea and I have been putting a list on the back of the record sheets every month. Having a solid committee is pure awesomeness. Why it took me months to share it on here I don't know, but it finally hit me and so here ya go!

To print this page go here and don't forget to Pin it!

What I do when I print up a new record sheet is sit down with my family and we go over the list of ideas and choose what we want to do when, and put it on the calendar. Doing as part of Family Home Evening on Monday's would be great or during Family Council would be great too (check out this amazing post on family councils). It works really great to sit down and plan out what we are going to do which means most of it actually happens. It's also super fun to see what your kids want to do and their enthusiasm is contagious. If nothing else print it out and put it on your fridge. I also hope that if you like it you'll share it with others so they can catch the service bug.

One last note...The SIP Project was featured on Christi Madrid she is a vivacious and bright women (I don't think I have ever felt the need to describe someone as vivacious, but that's how I see her). I have been following her site for sometime and was honored she thought of me. She started a fantastic new series called "Light It Up". Need some sunshine?! Head on over then!

Alright my friends,

Scatter sunshine!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Simple Act of Service That Will STICK!

I hope you will take a second and pin this. Let's inspire the world!
 Once you start generating ideas on serving you can't really turn it off. Why would I want to do that anyway right?! So I got a $10 Target gift card for a something and then I didn't need it anymore so I thought "what am I going to do with it now?" I realized it would make a great random act of kindness and oh, so simple! So I took a piece of card stock wrote "Randon Act of Kindness" and used washi tape to put it on the card stock and the shelve at the store.

Don't you just love this mugshot?!

    This was my kids nearly screaming that there was a gift card and to come and get it! I quickly quieted them, but I had to do it a few times, little stinkers! They were just so excited for someone to get it they didn't want to wait! Luckily I choose a quite isle to put it on since I knew I would be snapping a few pictures so they didn't actually get anyone to come over...phew!

So just like buying flowers every time you grocery shop to take to someone this is actually even simpler, but the flower routine is still quite simple also. These are both meant to fit into your routine without making you have to go out of your way. I suggest buying the gift card on one shopping trip and making up a few cards that say "random act of kindness" to put them on and then stick them in your bag as well as some washi tape and then next time you grocery shop leave it on one of the isles you go down. Simple, simple!

Also as a follow-up I have been doing the flower routine with my kids since I did that post. It's become habit :) There are times I get the flowers put them in a vase at home and then don't deliver them to anyone. However the goal of these kinds of service ideas isn't perfection just ways of doing service that fit into life fairly effortlessly because those are the things that tend to with stand the test of time. Though I will say most of the time they do get delivered. A simple fix would be to just deliver them on my way home and not even take them home, which would then be even simpler then the gift card idea haha battle of the service routine!

Scatter sunshine my friends!


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Valentine's Day Inspired Ding-Dong-Ditch!

Hello my lovelies! No I haven't forgotten about The SIP project, have you Lol? I have ideas for posts all the time, I just don't have enough time, especially lately. My wonderful committee and I have been hard at work keeping Service Beans going. As I was putting together a list of service ideas which goes on the back of the service record sheets, it being February I am going with a Valentines theme of service ideas. During Christmas sometimes someone starts up a You've Been Grinched ding-dong-ditch or something similar and I thought why not do one for Valentines day?! I tried to find one online, but couldn't so I decided to make one and enlist the skills of my sister Amy for the poem. Can I just say she is awesome, she has a ton on her plate, but is always happy to help me with whatever.

All you do is make some goodies, print out this sheet and leave it with your goodies at someones house. They then make copy of it and put one on their door so if someone sees the sheet they know to go to someone else's house. Then they make goodies and leave one of these sheets at someone else's house. The process continues and continues. It would be fun to hear how many people do this so if you do it let me know :)

Well my friends get out there and do some ding-dong-ditching! I am going to go eat a bowl of Lucky Charms because it's been one of those weeks two weeks. I need some magically delicious in my life right about now ;) And I know getting out there with my kids and doing some ding-dong-ditching and thinking of others will help.

Oh and in case you want some fun ideas for Valentine's day traditions that any women will love check out this post I did a few years back.

Alrighty, have a good one!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Marler Family Photos In the Bosque & Service Project

I am just going to let you jump in here! Meet Tess a rad chick who rocked her service project!
In her words...
"My experience with the SIP project has been great! I initially wanted to team up with DeAnn because I thought it would be an easy and free way to get my family pictures done. I didn't realize how much fun I would have doing the service and how badly I would want to do it again.
I chose my service project based off my own talents and interests. I love to sew and I thought it would be fun if I could teach someone else the same skill. Maybe even get them to love it and appreciate it the way I do.
I asked around to find someone who I could serve and found two girls, ages 14 and 17, that really wanted to learn. We lined out the projects they wanted to complete and I had to figure  out what I would teach them. Before I was even able to begin teaching I had to do some research on sewing for beginners. I thought I would have such a hard time filling all the hours required. But in reality, they flew by very quickly. I had such a great time hanging out with these girls and just talking to them that by the time our projects were finished I had clocked 15 hours of "service".
Together we sewed a tote bag for each of them and a skirt. I really hope that they continue to sew and they continue to love and appreciate it! I look forward to my next family portrait so that I can do this all over again. Thanks SIP Project!"

-Tess Marler

I just loved working with Tess and David they were super fun and willing to do anything! We had grand plans for pictures in the Santa Fe National Forest. Nature had other ideas with an early freeze which decimated our chance for pictures under the tall aspens in full fall glory.

Can you tell he doesn't get soda much Lol (which is a good thing in my book)! Chug, chug, chug!

                      Yeah I had super hard time deciding which pictures to include in this post.

                                One of my fave photos from their session at the Bosque.

Meet Maxton the serious! There is something neat about kids who are little thinkers, not silly and crazy, but just chillin, thinkin, and enjoying the ride. I like variety, heck all kids are neat. This little dude did capture my heart though.

                   You guys play swords while mommy and daddy drift off into la la love land.

She posed! This girl was confident in striking a pose, it was pretty stinkin cute. This was her striking a pose with the tree and me capturing it from above.

One of those moments where I catch them off guard and say"hey look over here!" and bam cute picture ta boot.

I am in love with this one too. The vibrant back ground really, really makes me miss my favorite season.

                             I love it when kids or anyone really looks into the camera like this.

"Look Mommy!"

                                    I was really happy I captured this sweet little moment.

                                           This just can't help but make you smile :)

 Cute family! I love what I do! The end result of someone enjoying their service project and serving with their talents and fantastic photos they will cherish for a lifetime makes all the not so fun stressful parts of The SIP project worth it.

Thank you Marler family for your participation in The SIP Project!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Before It's Gone...

How many of us have promised ourselves that we would have all our Christmas shopping done before December so we could focus on the spirit of the season or other similar promises? This has been my goal for 3 years now and I have failed 3 years in a row. The more Christmas's I have the quicker they go by, I know you can relate.

How do we focus on the reason for the season...The Savior? I don't have that figured out. If there were some special formula to be able do it all I would share it with you, promise. What I do know is that if you feel like you fail because you try things and they don't stick, don't despair. I have tried so many different things the past few years and truthfully not many really stick. I have found that the things that really stick are the ones that are built into my normal routine. I have to go grocery shopping and so it's easy to buy a bouquet of flowers and then give it to someone, this has stuck.
Back to Christmas, the thing is Christmas is a here it comes, enjoy it if you can, if not too bad so sad try again next year kinda deal. Having Christmas traditions that are focused on the Savior and serving our fellow brothers and sisters are huge in helping us feel the CHRISTmas spirit. Here are a few things I have tried over the years I will tell you what has stuck and what hasn't. What doesn't work for us may work great in your life and vice versa.

12 days of Christmas service....didn't stick. I think this will work great when I have older kids that can take more initiative on their own. It can be hard to do if you're not the greatest planner like me.

Kindness Elves...this is what I am dying to try! I love the idea of the Elf on the Shelf, but never got one. This has my kind of spin on it though! I also think it will be easier because it doesn't have to be a daily project. If we did 6 decent size service projects (as in making cookies for a neighbor size project) between today and Christmas I would feel successful. The Elves or whatever you choose to use can encourage kids to do other stuff between the bigger stuff. Miss Anna the fabulous creator of this idea (I could just hug her for this great idea) blogs at The Imagination Tree. She has started an Instagram hashtag so people can post what they have done which means you can get ideas :)
Thanks Janalee for sending me a link to this post!

Kindness Elves Alternative Elf on the Shelf Tradition

The Giving Jar...yeah, were floundering on this one. We still have it on our counter, but it's hard to do if you don't use cash much. For those people like my dad who feel up a ridiculously huge container full of coins every year this is for you!

How is Christ Supposed to Compete With Santa? Giving a gift to our kids that focuses on the Savior...
This has stuck! The first year I found the biggest box (symbolizing that Christ is the greatest gift) I could and put pictures we had of the Saviors life in it and they opened it on Christmas Eve and we sat down and talked about the pictures. The second year I found a snow globe with the nativity in it and the kids opened it on Christmas Eve and then we all took turns bearing our testimony's about the savior. Excited to keep this tradition alive!

Good deeds paper chain...we did this for one year. I think it would be fun to do again, but since Zaya is already doing Service Beans it would be redundant. It's fun, simple and festive! This would be good to do for Russel though. He is always talking about Service Beans when he does something good...hum maybe we will have to revive this tradition!

What traditions of service do you and your family do this Christmas season?

Well, all we can do is try and let stick what sticks and not be upset when something doesn't. I don't want to be overwhelmed with keeping up with traditions, I want there to be balance in it all and we all know balance is elusive. Let's KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) and we'll all have it figured out by the time were 90 right?! Ha!

Merry Christmas :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Who has time for gratitude anyway!?

Being grateful seems more important then ever. Without it what you have is never ever enough, ever! How do you teach your little ones gratitude? Chances are, like me you pretty much feel you have failed at this. The reason I feel this way is because I have young kids (7, 4, and one on the way) and the thing we all have to remember is our kids sometimes take a while to start doing what were doing. Be patient, if you do it and they see you do it often they will most likely do it too. So the question is how do WE as parents model our gratitude?! THANKSgiving day is good enough right Lol!?

 Let's brain storm here and I think you will see that you do more then you think, but there is ALWAYS room for improvement always, never room for berating yourself and saying "I have failed at this, why bother." As a parent I can think of few things that bother me as much as ingratitude, can you imagine how our Heavenly Father must feel?! Okay let's brain storm now, I teach my children gratitude through my example of...

1. Having family prayer - verbally pray with your family and be very specific about what you are  grateful for. Be sure to mention what you are grateful for in each family member present.
2. By writing notes of gratitude (most of the time) when people do nice things for you and you  encourage your kids to do the same. Setting up a Thankful Station and giving them access to it is  huge.
3. By reinforcing good habits.When your 7 year old shares their favorite coveted toy with their 4 year  old sibling you are sure to give them thanks and praise for doing so. Also encouraging the child on the receiving end to express gratitude, "that is your sisters favorite toy, that's pretty nice of her to share it with you, how can you show your gratitude to her?" Or something like that anyway.

I don't want to make a huge list, I just want to trigger in you that you do teach your children gratitude, now, what are some other ways you teach your kids to be grateful??????????????????? Comment I want to hear!

It's easy to get sensory overload, we have access to so much information and ideas not to mention our never ending to-do list! It can make our brains short circuit and shut down. So let's keep it simple! I know Thanksgiving is right around the corner, I know! Don't check out on me! We have time to set some simple goals together. The whole point of the post is we do have time, it will really only take you 15mins or so to set your goals and gather all the supplies assuming you don't have to make a trip to the store. The problem can be that we don't set out looking for specific crafts we get overwhelmed because were being to general. What do you want to accomplish and what crafts & ideas will get you there. Now let's set some specific goals together!

One craft you can do with your kids on Thanksgiving that encourages gratitude. I am going to do the Thanksgiving Time Capsule again. Kids love burying stuff and making a map to find it again next year. It's also SUPER simple!

One way you can encourage your family to be more grateful through out the year. I am going to start a daily gratitude notebook with my kids & hubs and we will write in it during dinner.

Added bonus points goal - Finding a way to show my kids on Thanksgiving how grateful we are by serving someone else. Looking for an eye-opening experience here. Why lounge around all day when you can do some good for someone else! I'll let you know what we end up doing.

What are your goals? 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Need A Little Spark In Your Romance?

Hello all! I am new to posting on SIP blog, but not a new reader. My name is Emilee and DeAnn is my SIL, and we were happy to help her out with this! D puts a lot of time and energy into these posts and I always feel that they have a great spiritual aspect to them even if she doesn’t feel that they do. Well they do for me!
I woke up from a Sunday nap to a full candle lit dinner! He went all out and decorated the table and everything, it was really sweet!
 One aspect of service that many of us may overlook is Serving Our Spouse. We tend to be with this person a lot and the time we spend with our spouse is generally taking care of household things such as cleaning and cooking, if you have children the majority of that time is spent taking care of them along with the household chores. But in order to keep your marriage and friendship alive you need to take time out of your schedule to serve your spouse. It doesn’t have to be every single day, but it should be often! It doesn’t have to be big, but it should be heartfelt. My husband Chip and I did this as sort of a back and forth conversation about serving your spouse, I hope you enjoy!

Chip-When it comes to service I really try to do something for Emilee every day, but life happens and you still have to go to work, and some still have school going on also (that would be us haha) so it doesn’t always happen as often as I would like, but there are still ways to make it happen.

Emilee-Chip is really awesome about surprising me with things, like flowers, or a note. Sometimes I come home from class and the dishes are done and the stove is clean. Not every woman would agree, but I think him helping around the house is sexy! Serving your spouse is a way to keep the romance lively in our house, it shows he is thinking about me and that he cares. He knows I get stressed and frazzled when the house isn’t clean, so him doing things to make sure that doesn’t happen is a great service for me.                                                                    

Chip - Emilee is a gift giver, and so she really pays attention to what I need and when I need it. She is awesome with the follow through, even if it’s day to day things she gets them for me because I often forget to put things that I need on a list. She just remembers and does it! It shows that she cares about me and is constantly thinking about what I need.

DeAnn - Hey, how's it goin?! Just going to interject her for a second...we all know the statement below is true, we just forget sometimes, learn your love language and your spouses love language.

Chip eats graham crackers and milk every night before bed, so I made him the mug to go with it. And Grumpy Cat is for me.
Like I mentioned…Chip really loves graham crackers and milk, so I bought some specifically for him one day, and made him go on a scavenger hunt to find all the ingredients all over the house! Chip came home from work to cookies last week!
Emilee - Boys don’t generally like flowers so I will make him treats, or make sure we have his favorites for dinner pretty often. To him, these are a treat, and to me I put extra effort into meals that I feel he might like. It isn’t big and extravagant…but it doesn’t have to be.
Chip - Service can sometimes be me coming out of my comfort zone to do things that Emilee likes that aren’t necessarily my favorite. I hate shopping, but I know Em loves it so I will go with her cause I know she likes me being there. Sometimes Em will do sporty man things that aren’t always her favorite but she will do/watch them with me and I really appreciate that. *(Emilee-Don’t take this the wrong way, I like sports…I don’t like football however.)

                                                       Chip brought these flowers home to me randomly one day, they are my favorite!
                     The lamps that Chip made for me after my weekend away…he’s quite the artist and I didn’t even know!

Emilee - We like leaving notes to one another quite frequently, they aren’t long, but they go a long way. We have a notebook that we hide around the house for each other to find. We call it “The Love Notebook”, only happy positive things go in the notebook…basically it’s just love notes to each other compiled all in one place. I would consider this service because it builds each other up and usually is the highlight of my day when I finally find it! Realistically speaking we don’t write in it every day but we try to get to it at least once a week each.

Chip - One thing that is really important to remember is that you need to REALLY know your spouse to serve them in a meaningful way. Being in tune with what they need, and how to give it to them in a loving way is really vital. Making your spouse a first priority is key, and follow through is easier to do when you have your priorities straight.

Emilee - I love that you just said that, because service is awesome but it won’t have the meaning behind it if you don’t really know your spouse. For instance, if I were allergic to lilies, and Chip brought home lilies…it wouldn’t have the same affect because I would feel like he wasn’t really paying attention to me.  I don’t mean to be ungrateful, but I would suggest that the service you give to your spouse is something that they enjoy and would be meaningful to them. For instance if your spouse doesn’t like chocolate, and you bring home a huge box of chocolates as a gift…it might miss the mark.

Emilee - Also, when either Chip or I is out of town and the other is home often we will take the opportunity of them being gone to do something big. Chip made some cute lamps for me last time I was out of town because he knew we didn’t have the money for new ones and he knew how much I hated the ones we had (they were from his grandpa…which he got from a church auction…from like the 70’s…need I say more???). Chip redid the lamps with some craft supplies I had around the house and I was floored! He did a really great job and it meant a lot to me, and it didn’t cost anything!


Chip - We were in the middle of moving and I had to go out of town for 3 weeks. Em packed everything in our house by herself! She was overwhelmed but she made it happen and it meant a lot.

Emilee - Service can be a cute thing to put in your house too, for all you crafty ladies! I have recently started writing notes on paint swatches. I put them on the fridge and they are also a reminder for me to continue doing service when I see them. I love that they are constantly a reminder to Chip that I love him. Service can be cute and functional!
All in all, serving can be big or small, a quick note or an extravagant gift. As long as we continue to show love and support to our spouses, serving will be easy and joyful to do.

If the format of the post is a little wonky you'll have to forgive me, blogger was whacked out with some serious glitches when I put this together. Hope you enjoyed the post! I asked these two to do this post because they are very much in love and anyone who is around them can clearly see it. Also they posted most of these pictures on Instagram or Facebook and it's just cute okay! Who better to talk about this stuff then a couple madly in love and who regularly serve each other. They have been married almost 3 years fyi :) Me and Jake will be married 9 years in November, it just goes by faster and faster!

Emilee blogs over at Pinstrosity, have you heard of it? They have been on Dr. Oz and lot's of other stuff head on over and check it out...

I would love to hear how you keep the spark of love and service alive in your marriage, it is really helpful to hear what others do so get typing in the comments!