Tuesday, 30 April 2013

RAK 80 - Ring THE CRAP out of that Bell

March 21

The first day of spring.  The symbol of new beginnings, and rejuvenation, and life.

This day also marked the end of Radiation Therapy for one of my very dearest friends.

She came, she saw, and she TOTALLY kicked some cancer ass.

Today she got to ring the bell that indicated the end of this part of her journey, and the beginning of the next... a TRUE 'DAY ONE'.

Today's RAK involves me shedding countless tears throughout the day for her...  Constant well wishes sent her way, and the standing up and clapping with tears streaming down my face as I watched the video she sent of the actual bell ringing, moments after it happened.

This girl, in her actions, exemplifies the definition of 'grace', she is adored by all those she meets, and remains a true inspiration...

Everyday I wake up feeling so grateful she is among my nearest and dearest.



On behalf of The Kornel/Peters Family

RAK 79 - Remebering the details

March 20

Sometime last year, my hairdresser needed to take a leave of absence.  No big deal ... except if you are like me, and have been going to the same girl for nearly 13 years!

I continued to go to the salon, and sought out a replacement stylist until mine returned to work.  I had tried a couple - kind of whom ever would see me when I needed to hide those pesky greys.

I love connecting with people, and when you are in the salon chair for a couple of hours, it gives you ample opportunity to chat and get to know the person who you are spending that time with.

I had a great chat one day with the girl who was coloring my hair...  She is about my age, had never married, and we had similar tastes in music.  We talked about her niece, and their plans to someday go to Paris, we talked about her new favorite painter, and her latest crush.

I started seeing a different girl on a bit more of a regular basis, as my regular stylist was not going to be returning any time soon, so I needed to just settle in with someone else.

On this day, I went to the salon to have my hair done, but who I was booked to see had some double bookings. She put my color on, but when it was done processing, she needed to have someone else wash my hair.

The girl that happened to be available was the one whom I had the lovely conversation with about six months earlier!  I called her by name, asked about her niece and their Paris fund - I shared the story of my friend recently having been there...I asked about her favorite painter, and she ran to the back to get her phone to show photos of some of his latest work.  I asked about her crush, and she had several stories about their communications, and meetings while he was in town on business...  She was SO surprised that I had remembered all the details, and was so happy to share her stories with someone who really wanted to hear them.

It was really neat to catch up with her, and I loved her excitement when she saw that I remembered all the little details.  I won't soon forget her smile...

I left the salon that day not only with freshly colored hair, but also with a happy and light heart.



On behalf of the Kornel/Peters Family

RAK 78 - Pot luck wha? --- (oh crap)

March 19

Today had a bit of a bitter sweet start.  Emma woke with Pink Eye, so it meant that, with my Mom away, Jeremy and I had to adjust our schedules, and see who could spend the day home with her...

I got chosen, and although it was hard to miss work at such a busy time, I was so pleased I would get to spend the day with my Emma...  Perhaps there was even a bit of gratitude for this bought of Pink Eye...

We spent the morning drawing and doodling when I suddenly remembered that I had committed to bringing a slow cooker dish to the School to contribute to the Pot Luck dinner the parents put on for the teachers during parent teacher interviews...!  I hadn't put it in my google calendar when I made the commitment... and in our world, if it isn't in the calendar, it doesn't happen...

Also, I don't often cook, nor do I do much of the grocery shopping... so I am sure I was completely out of my mind when I actually signed up to do this.  In most times like these, I usually voluntell Jeremy to cook something yummy - but in order to pull that off... I would actually have to TELL him.

But there I was in this predicament of my own creating, and I REFUSED to admit defeat.  I clicked into high gear - searched my recipe books, did a mad dash to the grocery store, and prepared a fantastic batch of Calico Baked Beans!  And yes, I even got it to the school on time.  *phew* ...

It would appear that the universe had my back with the pink eye thing... Had I gone to work, I would have been unable to fulfill this commitment. - It was cleared up and she was fit for school the very next day...

Learning:  Keep the google calendar up to date...



on Behalf of the Kornel/Peters Family

RAK 77 - Thanks for thinking of me.

March 18

Wow... Yesterday left me with hundreds of birthday messages on my Facebook wall, in my inbox, and via imessage...  I was COMPLETELY overwhelmed, and felt SO very loved...

So, on this day, I sat for hours and responded to each and every message sent to me...  It was fantastic!  I was able to read every message when I wasn't on the run, and think of the person who sent it to me, and respond to them from my heart...

I can honestly say I know some pretty amazing people...

So very blessed,


on behalf of The Kornel/Peters Family

RAK 76 Happy Birthday to US !

March 17

I am very fortunate to share my birthday with my lovely and amazing wife. This year we chose to forego the date night, the dinner at a restaurant, and all that couples stuff that we typically enjoy on out B day, and we spent the day at home with our family.  Sure the fact that I haven't yet received a paycheck in 2013 is a bit of a motivation to stay in, but more so the opportunity to spend some time with our kids and each other is pretty great and hard to pass up.

The girls were excited to decorate a cake for us, and of course there was some green beer seeing as it was also St. Patricks day.  It was a great night and I can't think of any better way to spend my birthday!

Here are some pics from the night....

RAK 75 - Support the arts

March 16

I had previously mentioned local Edmonton artist Mae Anderson, well she has a part in todays RAK also.  Tonight is her EP release event and we have decided to attend, and we have invited a very good friend, and music fan,  to join us.  So not only are we supporting this great local artist but we are introducing a fellow music fan to something she hasn't yet heard.  Should be a great night


UPDATE: It was no surprise, but the show was amazing.  Great job by Mae and her band who I am lucky to be friends with.  I received some "interesting" news via text during the show, but that  resulted in what should be an exciting new adventure ... details of which will follow. 

RAK 74 - Good Luck Ryley...

March 15...

Well, all the shopping is done for the proper shoes and pants... and this day, Ryley headed out into the land of the blizzard for his first ever job!

He was determined to be early, and was quite anxious to get out the door... Jeremy was standing with key in hand waiting to give him a ride.

My Mom heart wouldn't let him walk out the door without several hugs... and a Good luck charm.

When we were making our mod podge rocks (click here)...  I created one for him that said "loved".

When I passed it to him, he smiled at me, dropped it in his pocket, and headed out the door...

We know he will completely rock it! (-hehe puny...)



On behalf of the Kornel/Peters Family.

RAK 73 Ski Trip with Amber

March 14

Over the years I have always tried to attend the school ski trips with all the kids.  They are typically a couple a year to Rabbit Hill, and for the older kids a trip to Jasper once in a while.

For this trip I was not planning to attend, I had a full plate at work and just couldn't get away.  We explained to Amber that she would have to go with out a parent this time, and she accepted (though begrudgingly). On the morning of March 14 we packed her up and made sure she had everything she needed for a great day of skiing. She was set.  She was accepting the lack of 'dad' in her day.  She was going to have fun.  But it was then, at the last minute that I was struck by a feeling that I was making a mistake, that these times and these days were numbered as she and all the kids were getting to a point where they would no longer want mom or dad with them on their ski and field trips.  So with a last minute change out of my work clothes, and an email to work, I was going skiing.

The excitement in Amber's face at hearing this news was an instant sign that this decision was right.  The snow was falling and the sun shinning and it was an incredible day of skiing and snowboarding at the hill.  I have no regrets and I know that this random act was worth every penny of lost income. A clear reminder to stay in tune with what is truly important in life.


RAK 72 - You Rock...


Today my girlies wanted to do something special to show their teachers a little extra appreciation...

They sat down and carefully chose words that best suited each of their teachers, and cut them out of Brave Girl tissue paper....

Get yours here....

Then chose their polished river rocks...


and out came the Mod Podge..

glossy of course!

and ... voila ....

their masterpieces...

The teachers loved them!


On behalf of the Kornel/Peters Family...

Monday, 29 April 2013

RAK 71 - Donate to help buy Dahlia House

March 12

Our very first Random Act of Kindness that kicked off our year of kind acts was to create 'Truth Cards' as a family that were hand carried to the Philippines and given to women who were either rescued from, or still trapped in the horror that is Human Trafficking. (Read about our RAK One - here)

Amber's card made this post! (it is the 16th one down)

Here is Aidan's Card hanging in the Manila Safe house.

Because this issue is huge, and on-going, we remain committed to doing whatever we can to help these women.

Melody  poignantly writes about her trip in a few post on the Blog found on the Brave Girl Website...

Click here to read ~ Part 1 - Brave Girl Human Trafficking Travel Journal  - I encourage you to read her words...

In the above post Melody tries her best to put her experience into words, as she implores us to think of these women as souls...
Her identity is not a whore. Or even a rescued whore. She is not a whore.Her identity is not a prostitute. Her identity is not a former prostitute. She is not a prostitute.Her identity is not of a product to be sold. She is not a product.She is not less than. She is the same as.She is a beautiful beautiful beautiful soul. 

She goes on to say
I am angry. I am heart broken. I am confused about how this can be happening. I have nightmares and I think about it every day. I also know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be and that I will never be the same after this. I am grateful, thankful, compelled…..changed. I can not stay silent and I REFUSE TO DO NOTHING….. 
and then

I just want you to imagine the most disgusting cesspool and lake of smelly, disgusting, vile, poisonous, puke inducing sewer that you could ever imagine…just imagine it for a minute…without anything attached to it….don’t think of it as an analogy…just as what it is…
Imagine that you know where it is….you know how it smells, (it is the sewer, it is stinking, rotting garbage and filth…there are flies and rats all around it) so… you know that you just want to stay as far away as possible from it………and once you know about it…you learn to. (of course) You teach your children and friends to stay away from it…you talk about how much it stinks, how poisonous it is…how much disease it is spreading…how you must do all that you can to stay away from it…….and of course…it would be great for   it to be cleaned up….but for now….just stay away….it is so gross, so smelly, so disgusting…so dangerous, so vile….so absolutely opposite from everything good and true and beautiful and healthy…..
Ok….got that picture?
Now…imagine a girl that you love more than anything that gets thrown into it. Maybe she can swim, maybe she can’t. Maybe she even decided to jump in because someone told her that if she does it for a while, she can have the life she wants to have.
But she is in there, ok?
She is treading water, or she is drowning, but she is in there.
You see…..one of the problems with human trafficking (specifically sex trafficking) is that we turn away when we see it…..because it is disgusting….like this lake of sewer. It is dangerous, it is smelly, it is offensive. So we make our path in a way that we can avoid being near it. We orchestrate our life so that we do not have to smell it or see it. When we do approach it…..we look for a moment and then we look away. We look away before we see the souls that are in it. We only see the sewer, we only smell the smell. We only choke on the vileness that oozes off of it, making our eyes burn. We look away before we see the soul that is drowning or treading water in it.
What if it was your daughter, or your sister, or your niece? What if it was your best friend’s daughter or sister or niece?
We have got to stop thinking the girl is part of the sewer.
We have got to stop looking away when we see the sewer….because she is in there. 

Meloody then wrote Part 2 of that post.

Click here to read ~ Melody with "Manila Part 2" - Lets help buy Dahlia House!

In the above post Melody Talks about the girls
She was young…..she had dreams…..at some point she started being seen as a beautiful little body instead of beautiful little soul. At some point she started being seen as a product that could bring in money….or a product to hold onto for on-demand sexual pleasure…or even just to torture. So……she was tricked. Or she was stolen. She was told that she was going to be working as a waitress or a home helper…….and it wasn’t true. She was taken somewhere where she couldn’t communicate with anyone who could help her…and even if she could have reached someone, she couldn’t have told them where she was…because she didn’t know where she was. She was threatened, put into debt, and made to feel like trash…….and then used and used and used and used and used. Each one has a different rescue story….all are incredibly brave. But each girl was a little girl who had no one making sure she was safe…no one looking out for her…..and a whole lot of powerful people using her………..

She goes on to say that the people from the organization "Wipe Every Tear" have found another location for a new Safe House that is able to accommodate MORE girls that are rescued...

She ends her post with this video...

Help buy Dahlia House...

After reading her blog posts and watching her video, I went over to the Razoo page and donated on behalf of the Kornel/Peters Family...  then went over to Facebook and encouraged all of my friends to do the same.

RAK 71 - a small part of something WAY bigger.

Sending these girls SO much Love.


On behalf of the Kornel/Peters Family.



With the help of some very dedicated people, and many many just wishing to help... Enough money was raised to purchase Dahlia house!!

They are still accepting donations to help with furnishings and such...

Click here to read more.

RAK 70 Happy Birthday

March 11

Ok I know most people wouldn't consider calling my father on his birthday a random act of kindness, however I have a history of missing these type of events especially for those who live away and I don't see everyday.  So today's RAK is not only a call to my dad to say happy birthday, but also a commitment to stay on top of things like this and not miss any important birthdays/ anniversaries, etc for those near or far.


RAK 69 - Oz the Great and Powerful

March 10

Since seeing the initial trailer for Oz - The Great and Powerful - Emma was really excited to see it...

It had become a topic of conversation for her and her friends at school during lunch and recess breaks.  She and her friends were very excited to see it.

This Sunday afternoon, we were invited as a family to go to the movie with the family of a recess chatting friend of Emma's.

Weekends are a fairly cherished commodity around here... and we usually have them planned to the minute in order to accomplish all that needs to be accomplished during it's duration.

We threw caution to the wind, and bravely agreed to start the work week without having all the laundry done, and without having the bathrooms cleaned so we could accept this invitation.

Not only did this RAK put a smile on the face of our Emma, it allowed us to spend some time and share some laughs with some pretty cool people...



On Behalf of the Kornel/Peters Family

RAK 68 - I meet friends in unlikely places...

March 9 - On this day, Jeremy and I went for a 'date night' to a night club to hear some live music, and a few laughs.

We don't often attend this establishment unless Jeremy is playing, so it was really nice to have him in the crowd with me, instead of up on stage.

Partway through the night, I slipped off to the restroom, and found the line up excruciatingly long for my super full bladder.

The girl in line-up in front of me was in pretty much the same boat, and we stood there willing with all our might for the slow line up to move faster...

I glanced over at the unfairly near vacant men's room, grabbed the hand of my new friend, and together we took our - now dire - situation into our own hands.

The fellas were gracious and made way for us to quickly do what needed to be done, and exit.

We ended up chatting for an extended period of time after our initial exchange, and found that our spirits were meant to somehow come together.  She is an aspiring artist - as am I - and it would appear that we both have waged a similar battle against our lack of confidence in our work... She study's event management, and has been a part of planning some pretty important events for some of our Countries politicians... and I have been a part of planning an event for some of Canada's well known musicians...

As this days random act of Kindness, I reached out and helped someone ... ummm... in need... ;), and ended up with a new friend.




On behalf of The Kornel /Peters Family.

RAK 67 - Outing with a Friend

Mar 8

Called up a friend and invited her to go out for a couple drinks and check out a local band.  We had recently been involved with a musical project that ended abruptly, so I don't think either of us was too sure of where each other stood.  So it was great to get together and mend that fence and realize we were both on the same page.  A great night was had.

RAK 66 Going Above

March 7

I have a hard time saying 'no'.  I had to pass up an opportunity and I hate to not be involved.  As many know for the past 6+ years I have been involved in the Beaumont Blues and Roots Festival.  It is something I am very passionate about and it is a big part of who I am now and what I hope my legacy will be.  This week there was some work to be done on some documents for the festival permit, so this RAK is partly the fact that I went above what was required to put together a high quality document, but it is also the kindness my amazing wife showed in her support and assistance with not only the preparation of this but also the final packaging, binding and delivery to the powers that be.

It is pretty great having someone so amazing to share my life with, so for this and all the kindness she shows I am grateful.


The Books !

RAK 65 - Remembering

March 6

Today our RAK is a remembrance.  Stompin' Tom Connors was a Canadian folk music legend, and there are many in Canada who have at least one memory tied to a Stompin' Tom song.  For me it was Margo's Got the Cargo, a song that came out when I was in high school.  I had my long hair and my electric guitar and a cassette tape collection that included many AC-DC, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Led Zepplin and similar artists.  So for me to go out and buy a Stompin' Tom tape was really saying something.  After hearing Margo's Cargo on Much music I was hooked, and I bought that tape, still have it to this day.  He was the real deal, a guitar and a voice and a whole lot of life experience.  Listening to Stompin' Tom actually changed the way I thought about songs and the way I wrote songs, and my acoustic guitar starting getting a lot more play time.

Like I said I am sure most of us has a Stompin' Tom story, feel free to share yours in the comments.  In the mean time please enjoy Margo's Cargo.


RAK 64 - Promote a local artist

March 5

Yesterdays RAK dealt with a local business, today a local artist.  I am fortunate to live in an area where there is so much great local talent.  Musician, songwriters, singers, so much great talent in the general E-town area.

But for today I will draw your attention to one artist in particular because she has an EP coming out soon and because I am fortunate to be friends with a couple great musicians that play with her. Mae Anderson is based in Edmonton and I can't say enough great stuff about her music.  Have a listen and be sure to support her by purchasing her songs in itunes. https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/mae

Here is a sample...


RAK 63 - Promote a Local Entrepreneur

March 4

In a world where convenience and mass production is so prevalent it is more important that ever to recognize the independent business people.  They are the ones putting in countless hours, sleepless nights, and taking the risks to produce quality innovative products.  One such craftsman is a friend of mine from right here in Beaumont and using his experience as a musician combined with his skills as a programmer he has built a CNC machine in his garage and he is using it to produce some of the most innovative guitar effects pedal boards I have ever seen.

So for today I have shared this with my contacts on Facebook and in some guitar forums, and now here, so hopefully some word will spread and his venture will see some success.

Check it out at http://hannahguitars.com/

RAK 62 - Baking for Nana

March 3 - One of the ways my mom expresses her love and devotion to the people around her is through her cooking.

If one of 'those' life even has occurred  and you perhaps don't feel much like cooking, my Mom is among the first at your door with a box of freezer friendly food she spent the day preparing.  You know it will be the best comfort food going, not only because she is a fantastic cook, but because you know she has prepared each dish with lots and lots of love.

There are times during super busy work weeks, I have come home to my house on more than one occasion to a fully prepared meal, all my laundry done, and my house spotless...  It is enough to set me on my butt racked with sobs of gratitude.

As this days random act of kindness, we decided to show some of this kind of love back to the woman who so easily gives it to others.

Jeremy prepared a batch of buns, and tray of cinnamon twists, and as soon as they were out of the oven, he drove Emma and Amber to "Nana's house" to deliver them.

Her recounting of the exchange that day on Facebook...
8:30 PM door bell rang and my two girlies were there with two fresh buns and some cinnamon twists and a homemade card that read "Dear Nana.I love you to the moon and back.You are the best Nana in the whole world.Happy March." I asked "Did you girls come out this time of night in your jammies just to bring me this?" Amber "Yes and to give you a hug!" A great surprise and one of the sweetest Nana memories ever!

I think I would call that a VERY successful RAK.

So grateful for her...



On behalf of the Kornel/Peters Family

RAK 61 - A minute ... to win it

March 2

So, on this Saturday, Jeremy and I spent the day representing and promoting the Beaumont Blues and Roots Festival at our town's Spring Awareness event.  This alone could probably constitute an act of kindness... But like most days, it is hard to narrow down which act we are going to capture and write about in this blog.

For this days RAK, the creative and adventurous spirits of our girls won out over the Spring Awareness Event...

Jeremy and I were exhausted after a busy work week, add to that an early Saturday morning wake up to get girls to dance, a boy to work, and then heading over to set up for the Spring Awareness...  We came home from Spring Awareness ready to veg quietly on the couch hoping that our girls would be otherwise occupied so we could let our brains rest.

They, however, had other plans.  :)

In our absence, our girls created several "Minute to win it" challenges and had huge plans of teaming up against us to compete in a family Minute to Win It championship... Kids against grown-ups...

Our knee jerk response was to decline their offer saying we were to tired to lift a muscle... but their enthusiasm and obvious preparations quickly turned our 'nos' into a 'yeses'.

We bounced tiny rubber balls into plastic cups, we threw handfuls of pencils in the air and caught them (with one hand!), flipped bottle caps, built bridges out of cards, and we even scooted across the floor on our buts on a fluffy mat trying to see who got the best time...  (the grown-ups KICKED some kid butt... or at least that's how I remember it... :) )

The prize?  Huge smiles and belly laughs...  Completely worth every minute!  ... to win it... !


on behalf of the Kornel/Peters Family

RAK 60 - Please take our seats...

March 1

Today we celebrate Ryley getting his FIRST JOB EVER!!  We are so excited for him, so finally gave into his longstanding request to go and try Wild Wing in Beaumont.

We are a large family, so when we go out, we must get there early - usually well before the dinner hour -  to avoid standing in line for a long long time...

We had our dinner, and Ryley ordered his wings, and a great time was had by all!

We were just finishing up our dinner, and Jeremy was paying the bill, when another family entered the now full establishment, and was about to turn and leave when they saw there was no tables available.

That's when our random act of kindness muscle did it's mighty flex, and the wee-est of the family suggested that we give up our table to this hungry family!

I quickly approached them and offered our table.  I indicated we were just leaving, and that our table was theirs if they wanted it.

The new incoming patrons were so very grateful, as was the serving staff...  It is a fairly small establishment, and when the Kornel/Peter's family is seated, we take up almost half the seats...!



on behalf of the Kornel/Peter's family



Here is a shot of Ryley's first pay stub ever!  We know he will succeed in whatever he attempts!!

Way to go Ryley!!

RAK 59 - Beers for Jam

February 28 - Beers for Jam

No not the sticky fruit stuff you put on toast, jam as in a bunch of musicians getting together in a basement to rock out some tunes !  So for this RAK I was meeting up with some guys to try out some tunes.  We had jammed once before, but it was essentially a new thing so we were all still feeling each other out.   Now as someone who enjoys the occasional adult beverage, I am always fond of a cold beer while playing some guitar, but  being a new group of people there is a hesitation because you don’t want to offend anyone and you don’t know if they drink or not.  It is silly really when you think about it :)

So for this jam I decided to just stop and grab a 6 pack and see how it went over.  Well it went over with flying colors J.  Broke the ice and everyone was relieved to have a cold beer since we were all secretly wondering the same thing. 

RAK, music and beer … perfect combination !