Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Best. Birthday. Ever. Part 1 - The Prep

When I had the crazy thought to do 35 RAKs in ONE day on my 35th birthday, I never imagined what the day would turn out like.  RAKs are often unpredictable.  -Sometimes you never meet or even see the person you are "RAK'ing", other times you directly interact with the person.  But nothing, NOTHING, could have prepared me for this birthday full of RAKs.

Donnie left Friday, with the three littles in tow, headed for my brother-in-law's (DJ - the sis' hubs).  Yes, those two amazing men decided to combine forces to watch five little ones for two days and two nights - AND they made it look easy - so us women folk could have the house to ourselves to prep (and giggle).

My two accomplices came up later that evening.  After a delightful dinner, we headed to complete some last minute errands and then back to my house to prep for the following day.

Here they are assembling blessing bags for me:

The Mother - working hard for me
The Sis - making it look easy
And I baked and baked and baked.  Let's just say, I made roughly 25 dozen cookies and 5 dozen scones to deliver the next day and wasn't in bed until 2 am!

Some of the goodies

Blessing Bags

I've heard of several different versions of "Blessing Bags" - to benefit all ages in various need brackets - but the bags for the less fortunate/homeless seem to really pull at my heart strings. 

I, like probably a lot of you, have heard it over and over again to try to avoid giving money to those looking for some help.  The husband and I have, since the beginning of our marriage, purchased food for those are asking for some help whenever we see and need and can help.  And now the kids have come to expect it if we see someone in need.  But, let's be honest, running through a drive-thru isn't always possible with various schedules and appointments, and often times I feel like I want to offer more than a fast food place can offer. 

Enter the Blessing Bag. 

These are awesome to make up ahead of time and keep in your car - ready to hand out at any moment.  I have seen several lists but here is what my bags include:
  • A pocket-size Bible
  • Fresh socks
  • Lip balm
  • A comb
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Baby powder
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Deodorant (gender appropriate)
  • Travel sized toilet paper or wipes
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Feminine products for the women's bags
  • A first aid kit
  • Bags Peanuts
  • Clif Bars
  • Beef Jerky or Slim Jims
  • Trail Mix
  • Peanut Butter to go
  • Tuna or Chicken salad with crackers
  • Gum and mints (put into a baggie to help the mint taste not spread)
  • Bar of soap (I put this into a baggie but leave it on the side - only to be added last minute so the soap doesn't affect the taste of the food - it can travel through the bag)

You can easily double up on toiletries, food, or the socks, I simply prefer to cram as much of a variety as I can into that gallon bag - just include what you think is best for your area and budget. 

I also try to keep a bottle of water on the side (takes up too much room in the bag) to hand out with the bag. 

Finished product:
In winter, I will add gloves, a beanie, double up on the socks, and some hot apple cider or hot chocolate packs (gas stations here will usually give out free hot water and many less-fortunate will hold on to coffee cups they have received in the past for that exact reason).  The main point is giving out what the area most demands for that season.  :)