Entries by Karen Kitchel

How Do You Thank Someone?

You know the feeling deep within. Someone just came to your door with a basket of warm cookies because they know you’re having a tough day. You narrowly escape your burning home while a firefighter goes back in to save your puppy. Or maybe it was a stranger who picked up all the spilled candy that your little darling scattered on the supermarket floor.

Sometimes we wish we had a word much stronger than “thanks” to convey our heartfelt appreciation. Perhaps by adding a sincere look or a tap on the arm, we can transfer our feelings of gratitude.

What else can we do to say thanks? I once gave a co-worker a post-it note with a word of thanks, and ten years later she told me it still could be seen on her refrigerator. Think back to a time when you really felt thanked for something you said or …
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Scatter Some Kindness on World Kindness Day!

November 13 is an international observance of World Kindness Day.  Will your scattering kindness make the world a better place?  I think so.

When a trash collector finds an anonymous note on his trash cart that says “you are appreciated” how will he feel? If it’s a cold, snowy evening and you come out of your office to find your car windows completely free of snow, how thrilled are you?

 It’s the little things we do that make our world a kinder place.  Who will you shower with kindness today?

(Photo by Random Acts of Kindness Foundation)

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No Child Without Mittens

Why would a child be without mittens during an early and cold winter?  Maybe they don’t own a pair. Or perhaps they lost their mittens just like the “Three Little Kittens” in a favorite old book of mine.

Remembering the fun times when I was young reading this book about how three little kittens lost their mittens made me think about the kindergarten students where I volunteer.  What would they do if they lost their mittens or didn’t have any? Telling kids to put their hands in their pockets seems like sentencing them to no fun at recess.

Sharing the story about the three little kittens brought a lot of smiles.  And the best part was when kindergarteners turned into kittens with their new mittens!

Moral of story:  Buy some mittens and take them to a local school to have on hand when days are cold and mittens are lost.…
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A Month Not A Day

What word comes to mind when you think of November?  Often it’s Thanksgiving. A day when we “gather together.”  And it’s when we hear about the narrow escapes, newfound friends and never-ending appreciation for families.

But why just a day?  Why not a month of giving thanks for all the good things in our life, whether it’s neighbors who offer to help, our favorite tv show, or that special someone.  Maybe if we start practicing early in the month, we will be wondering why all the fuss about a turkey when we’ve been cherishing special moments for weeks.

Just give a little thanks today!


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A Rainy Day In Kindergarten

This rainy day in Kindergarten may have been the best day of the year. Who wants to go outside for recess when you have a cuddly someone to share your chair, and they give unlimited hugs!

Then when it’s time for you to go to lunch, they will stay seated and eagerly await your return.

May every child have a stuffed animal to love!

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Happy Birthday To My Son

Thirty-five years ago today, a child was born in South Korea. Three months later, I had the immense joy of watching him being carried off of an airplane and placed into my arms. The social worker said “I’ve never seen a happier Mother.”

I give thanks every day to his birthmother who had to make a heart-wrenching decision to give him what she hoped would be the best life possible. It’s hard to imagine how that must have felt. I hope she has always believed she made the best decision. I can’t imagine my life without that happening.

Today I get to celebrate with my son as I think about the past, the present, and the future with him.

Happy Birthday Ryan!

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While leaves turn golden, autumn is the perfect time for a relaxing walk.  Or just settle down in a comfy chair and remember an amazing autumn day. You might even invite a glass of wine for company.

Be kind to yourself today!



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Aging Gracefully

Research has proven that the happiest age group of all is the elderly. Why is that? Maybe because it’s a more peaceful existence, and we know it’s okay to slow down. When we age gracefully, we live with the wisdom of all of our life experiences.

Admitting that things have changed is often the first step in aging with grace. We cannot always live as things were in the past. That’s the message, retired priest, Father Bob Schwartz, presents when speaking about transitions in later life.

In youth, he says, we lay the foundation for our life. The first season is often struggling to get our lives going. This is a season of being heavily dependent on others. The second season is about giving our lives away in serving others, whether it’s family or contributing to the world of church, work, or culture. The third season of our lives is …
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