"Dreams don't work unless you do." ~John C. Maxwell
I've been thinking a lot about kids doing out of the ordinary things. Earlier I shared about Christian Bucks who worked to get a Buddy Bench on his school playground in Pennsylvania.
In Iowa, Luke Thill grew fascinated by the Tiny House movement. He did some research, and said, "I got obsessed with them and decided to build my own." Quite an ambitious goal for an early teen, but clearly his dream! Luke convinced his parents, but there were conditions. Luke had to raise the money, find the materials, and stay on budget. Then he'd own it free and clear.
Luke raised money cutting lawns and other jobs. He gathered reclaimed materials and bought some new. He bartered labor. Luke even cleaned an electrician's garage in exchange for help wiring.
Luke built the 89 square foot tiny home on his family's property. He calls it his "starter home," although the city codes consider it a "glorified shed." No matter what you call it the structure has a kitchen and sitting area with a drop down table, and a wall mounted TV on the main floor. A bedroom is in the loft. There is no plumbing, but that's okay for now. He uses it for doing homework, hanging out with friends, and sleeping there a few times a week.
In the process of constructing his tiny home, Luke learned many life and building skills. But he's not stopping there. In the future he plans to sell it and build another one on a trailer hoping to haul it to college for cheap living.
When Luke spoke at TinyFest Midwest, he said, "I want to show kids it's possible to build at this age."
If you're interested in Luke's project, he has a YouTube channel. And if you know about any Can Do Kids, I'd like to hear about them, too.
"In a world where you can be anything, be kind." ~Unknown
Recently I read about "The Buddy Bench" popping up on school playgrounds across America, and other countries. What a great idea! As a retired elementary teacher I recall many recess duties where kids said, "I don't have anyone to play with," or "I don't know what to do." Others aimlessly roamed. And some chose to "hang out" with a teacher on duty.
The website (buddybench.org) says "The Buddy Bench is a simple idea to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground," and it spreads "the message of inclusion and kindness."
On the website is the story about Christian Bucks, who in the spring of 2013 as a 1st grader, became aware of the Buddy Bench idea when his family researched German schools for a possible move. Now inspired, he shared the idea with his teacher and principal, who helped make it a reality. In the fall, as a 2nd grader, Christian explained the buddy bench to his school's student body right before it was placed on the playground. The idea has spread into a Buddy Bench movement. And Christian has been invited to participate in the placement of Buddy Benches at other schools. Author Lois Lowry once said, "Kids deserve the right to think that they can change the world." It looks like Christian has a good start.
There are many ways Buddy Benches can be placed on playgrounds. My first thought was this could be a great service project for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, student councils, PTA or PTO groups, sororities and fraternities. Families, craftsmen, and retired folks have already taken the challenge to build or raise money to place Buddy Benches on school playgrounds in their communities.
Thank you Christian for caring to spread kindness and make a difference in our world. And I can't help thinking on this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day that he would say to Christian, "Well done!"
"The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals." ~Melody Beattie
When I started my quote search for this post, I immediately loved the first one I read. But I looked at more, just in case. I noticed another site touted the "Top 10" on New Year's Resolutions, where this quote was honored as Number 1! It was clear. It was the first one I read, and rated number one. So this was indeed the one! I liked the comparison of a new year with a chapter of a book waiting to be written. And how setting goals helps get the story written or a task completed.
One of my goals when I started my blog was to post every other Monday. That's worked out well, except for October when things went awry. Before we departed on a ten day trip in Montana, I decided to skip the week we were gone. I wondered if anyone would notice. (After all, my techy Megan and I were the only ones aware of my goal.) But when we returned from the trip, I don't even know how I lost track of the days and the dates on my pre-determined Blog Log schedule. OOPS! (I think it was jet lag!) That's two missed posts in a row. Hmmm! So I adjust the schedule after my snafu, and have stayed on track -- so far. The blog and website together met a previous goal for 2017 of having an online presence that editors and agents advise is necessary in today's writing world.
As I ponder goals for 2018, I will continue to write and submit. Those are things I can control. As Annette, one of my critique friends says, "It keeps our brains active!" What I can't control is if or when an editor, publisher, or agent will say, "Yes!" My part is to keep on doing my best, and to maintain a positive attitude about all of it. And pray! And then there are my perennial goals to purge cupboards, closets, and drawers, and keep my writing space uncluttered...