Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Great Way To Turn Forty!!!!

My very good friend, Jenny, turned 40 today.

So to celebrate, she invited her sister, her mother (both shown below with Jenny) and some of her friends to spend the day with her.

Borrowing an idea from another good friend, Lisa, she decided to have a service party--and in fact the goal was to perform 40 acts of service in approximately 4 hours.

We began by writing letters of appreciation and/or encouragement to anyone of our choice. We placed these in the mail box along with a note of appreciation to the mail man.

Next, we loaded into a 12 passenger van and drove to Rena's. Rena not only just became the grandmother of twins, but it is her birthday on Friday. So we gave her a bouquet of flowers and sang a birthday song!

Then things got a little trickier. Here Suzy is leaving a package on a door step, ringing the doorbell and running. (And you thought only teenagers did that! :-) There were a couple packages we delivered that way. (I would tell you what was in them, but just in case the people read my blog, I don't want them to know it was us. :-)

We then headed off to Wal-mart. Here we brought out a helium tank and filled balloons that were handed out to the children in the store.

We also helped put away shopping carts for shoppers. That turned out to be a bit humorous. Although we didn't have any children turn down a balloon, we had several people tell us "No thank you" when we asked if we could put away their shopping cart for them. Even after we told them it was our friend's birthday and to celebrate we wanted to serve them, they still told us no.
However, there were others who were very appreciative.
As we traveled from location to location we decided to leave signs on telephone posts along the way to hopefully brighten people's day.

Then we headed to a rest home with more balloons for the patients there. Here we also got a mixed reception. Some people were not too happy we were bothering them but most were very nice and happy to have visitors. The best part is there were three people also having birthdays this week so we sang "Happy Birthday" to each of them. Below is a picture of Jenny with one of the birthday girls. This beautiful lady just turned 88!!

We had one man ask us to sing the birthday song in Spanish (which we did) and another man sang a cowboy song to us! As we left, Jenny's mother commented, "That was the most fun I have had in two years!"
Knowing how miserable it is to be outside in the Arizona heat, we then became the "Gatorade Brigade", and dropped off ice cold Gatorade to work crews we passed on the streets.

Below is one happy man who took several bottles to give to his workers. I missed the best picture though. After delivering about 10 bottles to a work crew they all gathered together and waved goodbye with the drinks in hand. Unfortunately we were speeding off to rescue other thirsty men in need and so I didn't get the picture.

Next on the agenda was the hospital. Here we taped envelopes to vending machines with change inside for anyone who may want it. The lady below had just walked up to the vending machine when we arrived and gave her some money. She was so cute about it. She thanked everyone and gave Jenny a big hug!!

Before leaving the hospital we also dropped off coloring books with crayons in a couple of the waiting rooms for bored children.
Another fun service we did was go to Taco Bell and pay the bill for a person going through the drive through. Our intent was to pay for the person behind us, but as no one came behind us, Jenny jumped out of the car and approached the man in front of us instead. She said, "I know you will think I am crazy, but it is my birthday and for my birthday I want to buy your lunch." He exclaimed, "Oh my gosh!! Thank you!!" That was fun.
Finally, we were all finished except for one more service. We gathered for lunch at Olive Garden (Jenny's favorite restaurant). Here Jenny found a family at a table near us and gave them a $25 gift certificate to help pay for their meal.
And then we enjoyed a delicious meal of our own.
Near the end of our day, Sonia (above in pink shirt) was heard to say, "Being kind sure takes a lot of time!" We laughed at that, but it was true. It took time, and some money and we were all pretty sweaty and stinky by the end of the morning. BUT . . .it was also a lot of fun, a great way to celebrate a birthday, and of course it brought a great deal of . . . joy to our journey.
And hopefully some joy to a few other people's journey as well.
Happy Birthday Jen!! Thanks for letting us spend the day with you!!


Momza said...

That is the BEST birthday party I have ever heard of!!!
Wow! I would love to do something like that for my bday coming up in Nov...you've got my wheels turning!
Thanks for sharing!!!! Happy Birthday to your Friend!

Lisa @ Pulsipher Page said...

So Awesome!! What a great birthday idea. You have some great friends.

the Eggett's said...

How cool is that?!? I so want to be invited to your next party!

Erin Spenc said...

What a great idea. How fun!

Joy For Your Journey said...

It was a really fun party, but I can't take any credit for it. I was just glad to get invited! :-)

Sue said...

What an amazing idea. I can't wait to try it out!!



Emma T said...

What a great idea!! I love that! And it looks like you all had a really fun time!!

Rebecca Irvine said...

What a fun birthday idea. I will have to use that for my big 4-0 coming up in November.

Cherie said...

That has got to be one of the neatest Birthday Ideas I have ever heard of! How wonderful to just give, give, give of yourself all day with all your friends right there with you - I love it and will be tucking this idea away for the future.
I love all the smiles in the pictures!!

Suzanne said...

THIS IS THE BEST IDEA EVER!!!! EVER in the history of time! That is so how I would love to celebrate. Serving randomly and then celebrating with dinner at the end! FABULOUS!! Thank you for sharing this idea. I along with others will definately be stealing this one! -Suzanne

MissKris said...

Oh my gosh that looks like the funnest birthday party ever! The ideas were so much fun. My favorite idea was the gatorade idea. I bet those workers smiled for the rest of the day.
But the whole thing looked great. Everyone will remember that for a long time :)

Marilyn said...

What a great idea! And I'm screaming right now because we have ANOTHER CONNECTION!!! Rena is my daughter's aunt-in-law! (her married name is Brooks!!!) They spend a lot of time with Auntie Rena. This is amazing! What an amazingly small world.

Anonymous said...


Handsfullmom said...

You have the awesomest friends! What a good idea!

Just ME the MOM said...

Man - you all are amazing! What an idea, it doesn't seem like it would be that difficult to come up with such a great idea - but then to perserveer to the end and carry them all out is awesome! Here's a round of applause :)


Momza said...

Hey, this was such a great idea, I shared it today on the Mormon Mommy Blogs Post of the Week!

KC Mom said...

What a GREAT day! I'm sure it felt so wonderful doing such fun things for others!!

Sharon Cohen said...

I agree with Sonia! Being kind sure takes a lot of time! Did you really do all that in 4 hours??? I am amazed. What a wonderful 40th birthday. But, let me tell you - to pull it off for a 50 year old - might take a lot more than 5 hours!

This is the first time I've participated in the Post of the Week blog hop from Mormon Mommy Blogs. I decided to visit every site listed before mine and follow for reasons of fellowship. So glad that I did.

Lesa said...

This was fun to read! So awesome. I love the idea!

Stopping by from MMB.

Amy said...

Thanks to Momza for passing along this idea. Since my birthday is today, I didn't have time to plan this all out. So I'm taking it virtual:


Thanks for the inspiration!

MomBabe said...

This is the most awesome thing I've read this week. What a great idea!

Nate's Mom said...

WOW! This is just awesome. I love the idea. I think this would be great for kids too. I think for the next birthday I will have my kids hand out balloons outside Walmart. They would love it and the receiving kids would love it! Thanks for a fabulous idea.

Sheri in CA