Wednesday, 27 February 2013

RAK 58 - Make an effort to include those who are left out

February 27

Today is Anti-Bullying Day... We encourage you to wear pink, and to make a point of talking to someone who appears to be left out! Encourage your kids to do the same

Report back, we would love to hear how it went!


The Kornel/Peters Family

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

RAK 57 - It CAN Wait

February 26

For RAK 57 Coreena and I took the pledge at  We are both notoriously bad for checking our phones every time they beep or vibrate.  Even if it is at a red light or while driving, I admit it, I've done it.  So this won't be an easy one ... but it is important.  So we both took the pledge, TO NEVER TEXT AND DRIVE, we put it up on facebook for the world to see and we are certain our kids will hold us to it!  You should take the pledge too.

Jeremy & Coreena

RAK 56 - Remember to Rest.

February 25

Today as our RAK I gave a pass it on card from The Brave Girls Club to the Project Assistant working on my project.

With a tight schedule and back to back deadlines she works VERY hard at keeping the ship sailing in the right direction by keeping our words processed, our sheets spread, our files foldered, our manuals drafted, our meetings met, and our minutes took. 

She is meticulous, she is accurate, and she cares about what she does.  She is an indispensable member of our team.  She is cheerful, and beautiful - inside and out - she wears the funkiest clothes, and she has even taken the time to offer me 'parenting teens' advice when I need it.

let yourself stop and rest
This sentiment is so fitting for her, as she seldom puts in ONLY 40 hours.  She certainly needs to allow herself time to stop and rest.



On Behalf of the Kornel/Peters Family

RAK 55 - open door, open hearts

February 24

Today's post is a little tough to write, so please forgive me for my vagueness. 

Today we opened our home with love, and I got to witness some things that touched  my 'Mom heart' in ways that I never dreamed.

I can't give many more details than that, but will report that on this day I got to say the words "I think you are a really great kid" to a child that wasn't my own, and who really needed to hear it. 

Truthfully, and with so much love,


On Behalf of the Kornel/Peters Family

RAK 54 - Donate Clothes

February 23

Our home is bursting at the seams!  We have so many people living here, that our dinner table barely fits in our kitchen.

It didn't take us long to learn that we don't really have a lot of room to hang onto things.  We have to, on a regular basis, go through the Great Kornel/Peters' Purge, and weed out the things we no longer need so we do not get buried in stuff.

Today's RAK was to go through our drawers and closets and get rid of items that we no longer wear, and donate them to charity.

items packed and ready to donate

It took us pretty much all day, because as we purged... we also cleaned and reorganized...

But with the music playing and the occasional 'dance party' break, we finished and got the items to the donation boxes in our town.

Donation Boxes

And supported a fantastic charity.


Added bonus ... I can now see the floor of my girls room! 


The Kornel/Peters Family

RAK 53 - Fiona & Hope for Paws

February 22

This RAK needs little explanation...  We came across this video on Facebook, and instantly knew what our RAK would be for today...

We have two furry family members, L|ily and Lola,  that brighten up our everyday...

We tearfully made a donation to Hope for Paws on behalf of Fiona, and the many precious souls just like her.

The world needs more people like those at Hope For Paws.


The Kornel/Peters Family

RAK 52 - Awknowledge a valued team member

February 21

I am not sure who reads these posts, or their backgrounds, but this RAK has to do with my line of work.

I work in the Engineering field as a Civil/Structural Design Lead in the Oil and Gas industry.  On one project specifically, we have gotten to the phase of the project that requires everything we have done thus far to be passed a senior team member for checking.  This person checks for quality, accuracy, and they ensure that we are presenting all the required and pertinent information so what we are designing can actually be fabricated and constructed in the real world.

This process is a little nerve wracking, and sometimes a little hard on the spirit to have your hard work critiqued, picked apart and rearranged... but none the less, an important part of our process.

On this day, amidst rushing, mark-ups, redlines, and changes, I made a special effort to shed my defensiveness and acknowledge the checkers efforts.  I thanked him for 'making it right', and told him I appreciated his contributions to our project.

In an office filled to the brim with testosterone, sometimes it is hard for anyone to be vulnerable and accept the suggestions of others.  Over the years, I have always found that when we choose to let go of our egos, be humble, and to look through reasonable eyes, the end result of our collaborative efforts is always something everyone can be proud of.



On behalf of the Kornel/Peters Family


RAK 51 - A Heartfelt Thanks

February 20

A couple years ago Coreena mentioned an online class she wanted to take.

"You want to take a class online, yeah sure why not" was my response (or something along those lines).  Little did I realize the lasting life changing effect it would have not only on Coreena, but on our family, our relationship and even my life.

It was the Brave Girls club that she signed up for.  What I thought was an online art class turned out to be this amazing community of women from all walks of life around the world who come together through the common goal of wanting to live the best life they can possibly live.

Coreena has since taken all the online classes that have been offered. Learning to create amazing works of art while at the same time becoming and amazing work of life.  I have watched as Coreena has overcome emotional obstacles that have held her back her whole life.  I have witnessed her shedding the chains that have held her back. And I have seen her grow in her confidence and love for herself.  The biggest changes following her two trips to the Brave Girl camp in Idaho.  Through the Brave girls Coreena now has this amazing network of friends throughout the world in which to confide, share and lean.

The effects of all this have been felt throughout our whole family.  As we all learn from Coreena and strive to be our own best selves with her encouragement, strength and support.  Personally I know for a fact that because of Coreena I have achieved some goals that previously seemed unbelievable and I have gone on to set new bigger exciting goals.  And I attribute much of this to the Brave Girls club and the lessons learned through Coreena.  I am not going to lie, I have said the words "I wish I could be a brave girl" to Coreena.

So where does the RAK come into play?  For this day I spent sometime writing an email expressing my thanks to the leaders of Brave Girls club for all that community has done for my wife, my family and myself.   A small token of appreciation for a group of people that has truly changed our lives.


Sunday, 24 February 2013

RAK 50 - Jump rope for heart...

February 19, 2013

Our family is no stranger to that dreaded late night phone call that comes, a panicked loved one on the other end, stating that someone we adore has suffered from a heart attack.  We have sat by the phone waiting word on angiograms, angioplasty, bypass, and even valve replacement.

We make regular donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundations, and support them whenever we can.

We have a very adorable and enthusiastic little girl in our life who was intent on meeting her lofty goal of $350 for the Jump Rope for Heart Campaign.

For our RAK #50, we donated $25 to her fundraising campaign to push her a little closer to her goal.  We wish her happy jumping and are SO very proud of her!! <3

Her mom, my dear friend Tracy, sent this lovely reply...

Have I ever told you how wonderfully amazing, thoughtful, kind, generous... There are not enough positive adjectives in the English vernacular to describe you!!! Thank you from me and Eden for your kind donation. She is in bed now otherwise she'd be thanking you herself! Love you ♥ xoxo

Supporting the Heart and Stroke is a big deal... But putting a smile on the face of this beautiful little girl and the pride in her heart at having met a goal she set is worth way more than any amount of money we could possibly give.

We are so glad we could be a small part of this little ones realization of the greatness that she truly is.


The Kornel/Peters Family

RAK 49 - A Little Help

February 28, 2013

Today was a windy day, very windy and cold.  The wind combined with the recent warm weather and melting to create very icy slippery situations on roads, sidewalks and parking lots.  On my way into a store today I noticed an elderly gentleman making his way slowly through the parking lot.  In one hand held his shopping bags, and in the other his cane.  Slowly and carefully he was attempting to make his way across the icy lot towards his car.  It was clearly a struggle to maintain balance and the icy lot only intensified the struggle.  While I may have easily turned a blind eye and made my way into the warmth of the store, I made the choice to offer assistance.  I made my way to the gentleman and offer assistance.  Ensuring that he made it safely to his vehicle before continuing with my own shopping.  A fraction of time in my day but hopefully making a difference for this gentleman.


RAK 48 - Movie Day

February 17, 2013

Today we went to the theatre for a family movie night. For Christmas this year I got gift cards for Cineplex. So I decided for a random act of kindness to use my gift card to bring a friend to the movie and pay for his ticket.  My friend and I saw Identity Thief, it was very funny and we had a good time.


RAK 47 - Reconnect with the die hard 'haps fans

February 16, 2013

February 16th was a bit of a sad day for us.  It was the final performance of Jeremy's band, the Mishaps.  The band had been performing for six years in bars and pubs in and around Edmonton.  They did some corporate shows, weddings, family events, and even played Coreena's surprise 40th birthday party.

During it all, the band became our Mishaps Family. 

In honor of The Mishaps 6 years of success, they made their last show a huge celebration where they invited all of their fans and former band mates to come out and 'party' one last time.

RAK 47 was about reconnecting with people who have supported the Mishaps over the years.  We were excited to share the night with many who have been with us along the way, and some who were brand new to the Mishaps experience.  The night was filled with friends old and new, laughter, music and the crazy flower selling lady.  It was great to know they were making new fans right up till the end!  Thanks to all who shared this night and the past 6 years with us.

Coreena and Jeremy

The 'haps doing their thing

The lovely Leah AKA Girly One



Jeremy AKA Rokstar

...and there was bag pipes...

Our Mishaps Family

RAK 46 - For you ... from me ... for reals.

February 15, 2013

So here we are the day after Valentines Day.  The Kornel/Peters Family has been feeling a little of the budget crunch as we readjust to Jeremy's recent employment changes. 

Being the amazing guy he is, he got a little creative and gave me THE BEST Valentines gift EVER.(click here - it still makes me cry).

The fact that I didn't have a Valentine's gift for him, was something that bothered me quite a bit.

So, for RAK 46, I got busy...


And - for the first time EVER - I made HIM something...

'King Jeremy the wicked ruled his world' - Pearl Jam

finished product...

... it is black... despite what this picture says... :)

Looks AWESOME on him... and maybe even a little 'bad a$$'

It is a small token, and it pales in comparison to the stuff he does for me every. single. day.  But it is significant because of all the pieces I have created over the years, I have never created anything for him. - well, except for a couple of babies... :)

But, this RAK is dedicated to him, this amazing guy whom I get to wake up next to every day.



on behalf of the Kornel/Peters Family

RAK 45 - Kisses in the Office

February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day!

In honor of Valentines day we took a couple pounds of Hershey's Kisses into the office and left them out for all to enjoy. 

Coreena & Jeremy

Kisses for Co-workers !

RAK 44 - Pick up the Trash Cans

February 13, 2013

I was walking home from school and it was a very windy day.  It was also garbage day so everyone's garbage cans were out on the road.  The wind blew some of them down so I picked them up as I walked home from the bus. 


It should be noted that the garbage cans are the large ones on wheels provided by the town, they are bigger than Emma !  Great job, we are (as always) so proud. 

RAK 43 - Recognize great service...

February 12

It seems that truly great friendly service is becoming harder and harder to find.  On this day I had some of the best and most friendly service I have had in quite some time at the morning drive thru window at Starbucks.  Stopping on the way to work for a coffee and a breakfast sandwich I was greeted with an incredibly friendly smile, and genuine friendly service. Memorably great service.  I took note of the girls name and that night sent an email through the Starbucks website to their comment line, below is the email I received back.  Hopefully this message got back to the girl who deserves the credit.


 From: Starbucks Customer Care
Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Subject: Re: The service I received at a store <<#1137889-10398661#>>


Thank you for your email, I hope you are doing well today.
I just finished reading your email and appreciate you taking the time to share your concerns with us.
You are very welcome. It is always a pleasure to help a Starbucks valued customer.
We hope that you experience this level of excellence at all of our locations, but we sure are glad you stopped by this one!  It feels good to get a compliment, so I would like to pass your comments on to the store you mentioned, but unfortunately, I cannot find it.  If you reply to this email with more information about the store (such as cross streets), it will help me locate it.  Feel free to look at our store locator for store information.
Thanks again for writing us.  If you ever have any questions or concerns in the future, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
We would love to hear your feedback. Click here to take a short survey.


Byron H
customer service

RAK 42 - Message on the shelves

February 11

On this day Emma and I were on our way out the door to do a little shopping and on our way out the door Coreena handed us a stack of Brave Girl "Pass it on card" to distribute on our trip.  A small note with an inspiring message to hopefully brighten someone's day.  I let Emma decide where to place them throughout the store including the baby aisle, inside a magazine and next to some snack food.

Jeremy & Emma

pass it on cards

"Let yourself stop and rest" inside People Mag with Ashton.

"Everything is going to work out beautifully" for a new mom

"Go out and be awesome (the world needs you)" With your morning oats.

"Dream even bigger dreams" with a light snack.

RAK 41 - Commissioned for you...

February 10

RAK 41 - Commissioned for you...

So, here we are in February, and I have been in a bit of a 'funk'.  I am finding that it is pretty common at this time of the year for others to feel much the same way.  Add to that, the fact that I have five busy children, and a demanding job, I think it is only natural to wish to hibernate for a spell.  Thankfully, my family has been taking this Random Act thing so seriously, and they have been carrying this on with vigor as I rest up, search for my smile, and emerge from a bit of a dark place.

I have a dear online friend who has been going through a really rough time over the course of the past few months.  Her story is hers to tell, so I will not divulge any details here, but, suffice it to say that to get up each day and put one foot in front of the other required significant effort.

Before Christmas, she had asked our group of online friends to contribute to her home d├ęcor with a piece of our original art, commissioned with her in mind.  Her intention was to hang our pieces in a collage on her wall as a reminder that she is loved and supported by so many.  I immediately responded that I was 'in' and went out and purchased the paint that was in her 'suggested colors' spectrum.

A bit of a challenge to find all the colors!

I took the canvas, and the paint into my art room, and there they sat...  For a month... Until I FINALLY heeded to it's super late night yearning to no longer be white.

It begged me to no longer be white...

Again, this canvas sat, in the pile of other half done pieces, that I never seemed to get to...  and the specially purchased paint sat in it's designated space on my workspace constantly reminding me that I had made this commitment...

I contacted my friend letting her know it was still a work in progress, and that I hoped to get it to her soon.  Her reply was completely understanding, as she is no stranger to the creative process...

On Sunday, in search of my smile, I went down to my art room...  The green canvas called to me, and I DOVE in... and completely lost myself...!

I added color...

Was this green?
I was not even sure where it was going...  Or what I would put on this colorful background...

Without hesitation, and without question, I grabbed my brayer and ivory paint, and went. to. town. !  Low and behold, it told me it needed to be a girl...

she started to come together...

Next thing I know, this is where I ended up...

She is almost done, I am just waiting for
her to tell me her words...

Finally she spoke!

She got back up anyway

And now she is ready to be sent off to her new home...

...she will be mailed as soon as the Stickles dry...

So as our RAK 41, I recommitted to  a piece that has been in the works for a while to send off to an amazing beautiful soul to add to her wall of other pieces from friends around the globe.

In the process, I found my way out of the darkness, and back onto my path of light...  And found my smile was right there waiting for me.

Sending love

On behalf of the Kornel/Peters Family.

If anyone else is feeling the February Blahs...  I HIGHLY recommend going out there and doing something kind...

Sunday, 17 February 2013

RAK 40 - Yes, to ANOTHER sleepover...

February 9

RAK 40 - Oi... ANOTHER sleep over... ok....

With so many people living in our home ... and the fact that our children often have friends here as well... Our home gets pretty busy.

We have some rules regarding "sleep overs"...  I put that in quotes because we have learned over the years, with all these kids... that string of words... "sleep over" ... in itself... is a lie.  They don't sleep.  They don't.  They go on over to each others houses and they laugh and they talk and they hang out, and they watch movies, and they eat junk food... but they don't "sleep"...  They do everything but sleep.  IF they manage to close their eyes for a bit, they always wake up WAY earlier than they would on a normal school day... so they can get some more chatting and giggling, and movie watching in before they are forced to part ways by their "Oh so mean Mom's."

In our home... the smiles and moods of the wee ones are directly related to the number of hours slept.

As a rule, we do not allow back to back sleep overs...  Mostly for my sanity... :)

Our girls Emma and Amber, have a pair of friends - also sisters - who are their same exact ages  ... in their same exact grades... and the four of them get along beautifully, and often have sleep over all together.

On their last sleepover they were to go to their friends home... Emma wasn't feeling well, and chose to stay home and sleep...  She must have been really sick to pass up on the opportunity...

So, the next day, when the four of them schemed up the idea of a sleep over re-do so Emma could partake in the fun...  We took a deep breath, and allowed a deviation to our rule.  We listened to giggling and chatting and playing of these kindred spirits having so so much fun.

It was COMPLETELY worth the crankiness we had to deal with the next day!


Coreena and Jeremy

on behalf of the Kornel/Peters family

RAK 39 - Treats at the pool

February 8, 2013

Amber and I went swimming with our friends Camille and Caroline at the Beaumont pool.  Dad gave me $20 to pay for Amber and my swimming but it was only $10.  After swimming I asked everyone if they wanted something to eat.  They said yes so I bought them each a bag of chips from the candy machine at the pool.  It was nice to be able to make someone feel good by getting them a treat.   I like being able to do things like this.


RAK 38 - Cleanliness Kindness

February 7

In our busy world it is so easy to turn a blind eye to the simple things that we can change.  To ignore a small thing and continue on our way.  Today's RAK is small, likely went unnoticed and wont change the world, but it is something and it hopefully made the world a tiny bit better.   I have been working in an office with about 60+ people and there is a public washroom (of course).  I noticed that it is common by the afternoon for the counters to be come quiet wet.  People wash then and in reaching from the sink to the soap and paper towels they drip water on the counters.  I am sure I do it too.  Today I looked at that and thought wow this is not appealing at all, in such a nice clean facility and people are just not taking any effort to maintain it on an ongoing basis, expecting I suppose that the janitors will take care of it at the end of the day or not even noticing what is happening.

Today after washing I took 2 minutes and a bunch of paper towel and wiped up the excess water.  What a difference it made.  A simple act that makes the facility more appealing (less disgusting)  to those who follow.  The RAK didn't not end with one wipe of some water, I have made a commitment to make this my routine from now on.  Wiping the counter each time I use the washroom.  Hope it helps.

RAK 37 - Change is Good

February 6, 2013

RAK 37

This is truly a random act that certainly couldn't have been planned or expected.  Keep in mind also that the K-P household is currently running on a reduced budget as we try to get back on track following my January layoff.   So it was a typical quick stop at the Sobey's for a few groceries (there is a trend growing with our RAK's and Sobey's hmmm ... coincidence I assure you).  I had just over $100 worth of groceries when I went to pay, and I was paying with cash.  Not to berate the clerk, it was nearly close and I am sure it had been a busy shift. However there was an input / counting error and some bills were counted as though they were other bills and when I should have received change of $2 and some change I was handed $52 and change.  Sure the thought crossed my mind to put it in my pocket and make a quick exit.  But despite my financial struggles and many uses I could have for an extra $50 I made the choice to correct the clerk, explain they mistake, and return the extra cash.  Not sure what the repercussions would have been to that clerk or to the store, but I do not I slept easier that night knowing I did the right thing and probably saved that kid from some stress and explaining to the manager at closing.


RAK 36 - Helping Nana cook diner...

February 5, 2013

I went to Nana's house  after piano like we always do. She was making dinner so I asked if she needed help cooking dinner and she said yes, so I helped her cook dinner. We cooked ribs, rice, salad, and corn. it made me feel  good to help Nana.  I like cooking with Nana.


Monday, 11 February 2013

RAK 35 - I got it.

February 4, 2013

RAK 35

My first RAK contribution.  On this day I was going to Subway for lunch so I offered to take my friend and buy him lunch too.  It was good to be able to do something for someone else and it was better to go with a friend instead of alone.  It is not much but he didn't expect it and it made him happy so that is good.


Tuesday, 5 February 2013

RAK 34 - Come - eat- relax

February 3

RAK 34

It is normal for us to spend Sunday's having dinner with my (Coreena) parents - or just my Mom if my dad is away...  Many a Sunday we have spent eating my mothers fabulous cooking... and then leave with leftovers and count the days to the next Sunday.

Once in a while we change things up a bit, and have them over here to our house...

This Sunday was one of those times.  After a CRAZY busy week, and a very quiet weekend, we were all pretty casual and restful in our home.  I texted Nana and invited her over before she had a chance to invite us!

We had a lovely dinner, lots of conversation, and many laughs...

yes... this is how she has taken to eating her corn...

After dinner, we sat and enjoyed a coffee, and got caught up on all the conversations we have been meaning to have for the passed few weeks.

They live so close to us, but sometimes life gets so busy we HAVE to remind ourselves to stop and take inventory of what is really important.

Everyday I wake up feeling so grateful I get to call them 'Mom and Dad'.

With gratitude...

The Kornel/Peters Family.

RAK 33 - A Day of Rest

February 2

RAK 33... Saturday, for some it is a day of rest and relaxation, a day to catch up on some personal activities, or a day to read a book.  When you have 5 kids however Saturdays are FULL of running around to various activities and putting many miles on the car.  Our Saturdays include driving a 16 year old to work at 8:00 am, returning in time to drive one girl to her Ballet class, then home for a quick coffee before it is time to pick her up, feed them then get the littlest one ready for her ballet class and on and on and on.  Through play dates, birthday parties, swimming, skiing, movies, laundry, house cleaning and other activities into the mix and Saturdays leave us longing for Monday so we can go to work and relax!

For RAK 33 I made the choice to get up and get moving bright and early and rather than bringing C her morning cup of coffee to get moving, and splitting up the running around.  I chose to quietly close the bed room door, asked the kids to keep the noise level down so this woman who gives so much could simply just rest.  When she did wake I was there with her coffee and gave her the choice of spending the day how she needed to in order to regain some peace in her mind and in her heart.  The day involved some rest, a few naps, some dvd's together and some time to herself.  I was happy to be up and running with the kids knowing that the person who I admire most was finding some rest and some peace ... and saving up the energy to get through another week!


RAK 32 - Mail a note to random people around town

RAK 32

February 1 - Mail a notes to random people around town...

Today, we did something a little crazy...  We wrote seven cards, one for each member of our family... and sent them to random addresses around our town!

We picked the addresses off Google Maps, so we didn't even have names to put on the cards...!

We started each card off with "Dear Random Person"  ... and spread a little happiness with seven different messages from our hearts to theirs.

Dear Random Person...

We looked up postal codes and sent them off...


We included this blog address on the bottom of the cards, so hopefully a recipient or two will stop by here and let us know the messages have been received...!
We hope we brought a smile to the face of those whom received the cards, and we sincerely hope it encouraged them to pay it forward...
The world would be so much more beautiful if everyone were a little more kind. 
Sending love
The Kornel/Peters Family

RAK 31 - Smile at everyone you see day

RAK 31 January 31

Today we proclaimed it SMILE AT EVERYONE YOU SEE day!!

We agreed that all day, we would smile at everyone we crossed paths with...  IT WAS AWESOME!!!  The smiles back were so worth the effort... but the best part was that it is impossible to have a bad day when you smile smile smile.

It may have to be part of our everyday kindness...!


The Kornel/Peters Family

RAK 30 - Food Bank

January 30, 2013

Day 30 was a long day where mom and dad ended up at work till 7PM!  With all that was happening the RAK was not at the forefront of our thoughts today.  I will be honest on days like this it is easy to question why we are even doing this, or to say forget it I am tired and I just want to go home.  However the dedication of Coreena is infectious and her commitment unrelenting.  We stopped on our drive home to grab a few groceries at the local Sobey's store and while shopping we were brainstorming (beating our heads!) to find come up with an RAK for the day.  It finally came to us as we paid for our groceries and prepared to head home feeling exhausted and worm out.  As we left the store I noticed the Food Bank donation bin tucked in the corner of the store by the exit ... light-bulb   We dropped our bags in the truck then headed back into the store to fill another basket with non perishables for the food bank.  We decided on a set amount we would spend and proceeded to scour the isles for the best deals in order to maximize our efforts.  We filled the basket, paid and then dropped these groceries into the Food Bank basket.

Knowing that someone will eat because we took the time to go back into the store is a great feeling.  I am certain we will make the effort more often in the future to grab a few extra items for the food bank as we go about our usual shopping.  I encourage you all to consider this effort also.