Category Archives: Little Warriors

Intentional Kindness

Someone posted on the Orange for Owen page on facebook about another organization called Ben’s Bells Project.

I read about who Ben was and why his parents started this organization.  I looked at the pictures.  Then I read the mission statement:

Our mission is to inspire, educate and motivate each other to realize the impact of intentional kindness and to empower individuals to act according to that awareness, thereby changing our world.

Intentional kindness.  The words made me think … got the gears turning.  This is not the kind of stuff like holding a door open or smiling – this is something with purpose and drive.  It’s deliberate – willful – purposeful – intended.  It calls for thought before hand. Planning.

If you listen to KLove you know what “Make a Difference Monday” is.  You are encouraged to go out of your way and make someone else smile – show someone intentional kindness.  But what if we did this every day?  Every week … every year.  What if intentional kindness wasn’t just something we did on Mondays … or when we felt like it.  What if we did something intentional every day of the week?  Every day of the year?  Honestly, I don’t know that I have the strength or stamina to really do that.  But if I could … I really believe my life would be radically different.

I’ve been doing a lot of praying about hate vs love lately.  I looked forward to the sermon at church yesterday – Oh God Lead Us from Hate to Love.  I read the Generous Wife blog.  She recently called attention to this scripture:

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.  1 Peter 3:9   NIV

I feel like this is all powerful stuff.  These are radical ways of thinking – no one’s natural reaction to evil is to bless that person.  It’s got to be intentional.  Purposeful.  Pre-thought out.  I feel challenged to change my gut – to stop my natural reactions.  I fear that I will be too weak to make the change successfully – or at all.  It’s overwhelming to think that I am expected to pray for the man who holds up a bank.  To bless the friend who lied to me.  When my husband wakes up cranky  – I am expected to repay him with a blessing.    For the guy that cut me off on the freeway, forgiveness.  For the mother who beats her children, a prayer.

I need strength in the days ahead.  In the trials of hate vs love that are still to come.  I pray for the softening of my heart so that I will turn to love rather than revenge.  I pray that when I feel the fire of anger begin to ignite in my heart that I will be able to put the flame out … may love and peace takes it place.  I pray that I use the power of forgiveness in all that I do.

Intentional kindness — it sure is a crazy idea … but the possibilities it opens are beautiful!

Love, Mel


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Filed under Faith, Little Warriors, Posted by Melissa

Craft Hope Update

It’s quite magical how helping someone else can make you feel better about yourself.  Making these hats has given me such purpose at the end of the day.  It’s a measurable task.  I can be a mom all day long and have nothing physical to show for all of my hard work.  But when I have a hat, it just makes me feel like I actually accomplished something.  It’s silly really because I cared for three lives all day long.  I do a lot all day.  Being a mom is really important.  I know that.  But there is something about a little hat with a cute felt monster on it that makes me feel a little more accomplished.

It also reminds me that I still have more to give.  My life isn’t that crazy that I can’t spend a little time each day helping someone else.  It was about an hour a day that I crocheted … a hat and sometimes more a day.  I crocheted while I watched tv or while Doug and I chatted about our days.  My fingers did all the work, it wasn’t something I had to think about to do.  I spent a little time while the babies napped and after I cleaned up lunch.  ok … sometimes I crocheted before I cleaned up because it became like daily therapy for me.

Each and every hat I made was unique.  59 different color patterns with different felt appliques on them.  All I kept thinking was that each of these little kids were different and unique – they all have their own story – and I wanted them to have something as special as they are.  I’m giving a little piece of Owen to each of these children to wear as a shield of their own.  I thought of Owen each stitch I made … I think of him with just about every breath I take.  I prayed that my little warrior would watch out for all these other warrior children out there.  I prayed for the parents who are fighting right along with their sick children.

I posted pictures of all the hats I made below.  I’m really excited to share this project with you all.

Love, Mel


Filed under Little Warriors, Posted by Melissa

Exciting Announcement! The Next Little Warrior Event

It is with great pleasure that I announce the next Little Warrior event!  The Little Warrior Organization will be partnering with the Supermom’s of Ascension (my mom’s group) to put together Easter Bags for the Hope Center of Waukesha.

It’ll be a two part deal:

First part:  We will be collecting items starting now until March 21st for these bags.  It’s items such as non-perishable snacks, shampoo, soap, deodorant, books, small toys, etc.  There is a complete list here.

If you are out of town and would still like to participate, this is a great way.  Take your child to the dollar store or Wal-Mart or Target and talk to them about people who don’t have homes.  Have them try to come up with a list of what kinds of items they would need if they didn’t have a house to live in.  The basics.  Praise them for thinking of others and tell them how important it is.  It’s the teaching part that really gets me motivated about this project.

Second part: We are inviting children of all ages to join us in making and filling the Easter Bags on March 24, 2012 at 1pm-5pm.  Come for the whole four hours or come after your child’s afternoon nap.   It’s going to be a great opportunity to show children that they can make a difference.

I’ve got all the details up on (a link is in the black header of the blog too).   Yes that’s right … the Little Warriors Website is officially launched as well!!!  Pre-registration for the event on the 24th is appreciated so we have an estimated head count of how many will be joining us.  But walk-ins are always welcome!!!

We made just under 300 ornaments in the first Little Warrior event … do you think we could make 500 Easter Bags??  It’s really all up to you!

Please feel free to email me or if you have any questions.

Love, Mel


Filed under Little Warriors

More Little Warriors

Yesterday I had a link posted to my facebook wall from a fellow blog reader.  Thank you so much Katherine for sharing this with me!

Have any of you heard of Craft Hope?  I hadn’t until I clicked on the link.  It’s a website that organizes  service projects based on crafts people can make.  Anyone can participate … anyone who is willing to make handmade crafts that is.

Project 16 is titled Littlest Warriors.  They are making hats & bags for kids with leukemia.  “You never know when your life is going to change forever.”  Isn’t that the truth?!?!

These kids are real.  Their pain and courage is real.  They are literally fighting for their lives each and every hour.  My Owen fought for his life.  He didn’t win his battle, but maybe these kids will.

I’m sharing this because I plan to make some hats.  I love to make girly things but having all boys I don’t have much use for them.  So I’m stocked up on the purple and pink yarn and I’m going to make as many as hats as I can.  A small donation from my Little Warrior to the Littlest of Warriors.

Love, Mel

Click here for more information on Project 16: Littlest Warriors.


Filed under Little Warriors, Posted by Melissa

First Ever Little Warriors Event = Success!

This past Saturday was the first ever Little Warriors event … and let me tell  you … it was a huge success!  We had five different ornaments to make as well as a birthday card making station.  About 50 kids participated and made over 250 ornaments!

There were so many moments when I stood back, looked around the gym and thought “wow Owen, you brought all of these people here today.”  I haven’t spoken to my grandma in years however, I remember in college I had to interview her for a class project.  I remember her saying that one of her most profound moments was one holiday when she sat back and thought “All of these people are here because of me.”  I now know the very feeling she was describing.

I’m not sure what I enjoyed the most … all of the owenge in one place, the santa hats or the fact that all of these children were learning how to love and serve others.  Perhaps it’s all of the above.

I had such wonderful volunteers – there is no way I would have been able to pull this off without them.   I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they are willing to help me with more events to come!

Here are a “few” photos from the day’s festivities!!!

My brother, Jake, “manning” the hot glue table.  We won’t mention how much of the hot glue we were picking off of the table during clean up…

Parents helping their little ones make  beautiful glittery snowflakes.

Got to love a dad who is willing to craft with his daughter!

There is always a good reason to wear a tiara!  Too bad I forgot mine at home 🙂  Next time ….

Just look at how happy he is!

So proud of his reindeer ornament!   As he should be!!  It’s AWESOME!

Even the little ones were learning and making new friends!

This little man made me smile on more than occasion on Saturday.  First, he sat down at the puzzle wreath station and tried to put the puzzle together!  I love the way kid’s minds work.  Made sense to me!  Then, after going a little ‘crazy’ with the stickers, he was told only one more … he quickly took two more and stuck one on each cheek.  That’s exactly how I saw him marching around the rest of the event 🙂  He made me smile.

This is Sam.  Every time I try to take a picture of him (at a few Supermom’s events this past summer and Saturday), he shows me a serious face.  Like “Listen lady … I don’t know you and I’m not going to smile.  You are crazy.”   He’s got one thing right … I am crazy! We did happen to sneak this great photo of him!  I love Sam and his mom Amy!  (a fellow Supermom at church)

This family touched my heart beginning a few months ago.  I was sitting in church, wearing my bright orange striped skirt and Pastor announces that there is going to be a baptism.  I gasp for air – triplets.  All dressed up in their Sunday best.  Looking into the baptismal fountain, playing with their dresses.  Everything 3 year olds are supposed to do.  Their little sister Nellie is being baptized.  It was was most beautiful and painful sight.  There is just such a magical difference from seeing two smiles to three.  I can’t explain it.  I notice the difference when we have a play date.  Three is magic.  Perhaps it’s the spiritual number 3.  Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  I’m am so grateful that this fellow family of triplets took time out of their weekend to attend the Little Warrior event.  I was able to hang out with them a little – I learned that one of the girl’s favorite color is purple.  As the triplet’s went bounding out the door to leave – I know Kelly could see the slight pain in my eyes – but I meant it when I said “just beautiful.”

Check out just a very small fraction of all the ornaments made!  Hindsight, I should have taken the large eye balls away from the reindeer station … next time!

I love Anna’s smile!

Another dad hard at crafting!

Ok – my one regret – having Sharpie markers at the reindeer table to trace hands.  Probably not a good move – DUH!  As my wise sister said “we want you to remember today for a very long time!”  I hope the mom’s weren’t too mad at me.  I practiced with a ball point pen, but you couldn’t see it on the dark brown.  So I figured a sharpie would work – wasn’t thinking about the permanent part.  whoops!

Had to get a little baby fix!  Kristi’s son, Aiden, played on Jaden’s soccer team this past summer.  I remember fondly watching what a cute preggo Kristi was … long before we made the connection that we both went to Ascension!  And now I can say I held the cute Grayson monkey 🙂

At the last minute, Sara and I decided to make completion certificates for the kid-os.  Lordy were they a hit!  Kids were jumping up and down – doing a happy dance when we gave them their certificate.  I think we’ll have to keep up with this part of the event!

Here are the triplets – beautiful!

An entire village of penguins!

Everything was beautiful!  The ornaments, the volunteers, the love, the kids.  It was wonderful.  The right size – not too big, not too small.  It was the perfect venue (HUGE thank you to Summit View Elementary for letting us use their gym).  As Owen’s mom, I was so proud.  To know that the happiness and smiles were going to keep branching out really spoke to me.  I know that I am following God’s path.  With Owen being an organ donor Doug and I often spoke about Owen’s love and giving being multiplied.  First it was three donor recipients, then when we found out his kidney went to science we tried to imagine how many more lives would be saved.  The number is infinite.  The same with the event.  The smiles started in the gym, with the kids and parents.  Then the smiles pass on to the grand-friends who will receive these ornaments … then who knows!

I’m looking forward to planning more of these kinds of events.  I’m working hard on getting a little warriors website up – to connect families with “regularly offered” service opportunities as well as special Owen events.  I hope I have more to share in the new year … fingers crossed earlier.

Thank you again to everyone who made this event a success.  Jesus loves you and so do I!

Love, Mel


Filed under Little Warriors, Posted by Melissa

Spread the Word

Only 9 days until our first Little Warriors event … and wouldn’t you know …. the front page of metroparent has a huge headline about volunteer projects for kids.  Totally got me excited.  I really pray that I”m on the right track with this idea.  The more I become aware, the more places I notice these kinds of things.

I want to remind those who are interested to sign up for the event by clicking here.  We’re asking for parents and kids to register to make sure we have enough materials the day of the event.  Also, the Interfaith Organization sends thank you notes to their volunteers so we’d like to be able to give them your information to ensure you get the note 🙂  You are the ones putting in the time and effort into these ornaments!

You can also download a copy of the flyer here:   Flyer for Interfaith Organization Xmas Ornaments Event

Help us out by handing out to interested family/friends/coworkers.  Perhaps you could post on a bulletin board at church or work?  Your help in getting the word out is so appreciated!

If you have any questions please send an email to

Looking forward to the 19th!!!

Love, Mel





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Introducing Little Warriors

So … a friend of mine came up with an idea that has us both feeling inspired.  Then “Little Warriors” was created!  It’s still a little bit of a work in progress, but isn’t everything in life?

When reading everyone’s responses to a previous post I’m Hungry, I heard loud and clear that readers and supports learned about hope through the blog.  Owen taught so much to adults about what it meant to be a warrior.  In addition, my family and I received so much in our time of need.  People from all over gave words of encouragement, meals, gifts, cards – the list continues.  How do I make sure that the next family who goes through sometime horrific are also taken care of – like we were?  How do I make sure anyone who is poor in spirit, hope, health, money are also taken care of?  Where do I even start?  We start by teaching our children how to take care of each other.  We instill the value of service on the future.  Children.  Just like Owen.  Just like Logan, Weston and Jaden.

Little Warriors is an organization that will provide parents an easy way to involve their children in service programs.  I try to do my best with Jaden, however it’s not easy.  It’s a lot of work.  What opportunities out there are suitable for my five year old?  Can they help in a soup kitchen?  Will he stand long enough to ring a bell for the Salvation Army?  Who do I call?  I learned through my recent bible study with the Supermom’s group at my church, that other moms had the same questions about how to involve their kids too.

When my friend, Sara, offered to help me get this idea off the ground, I felt like this was something I should do.  I needed to do.  I felt moved and motivated.  Now I’m just hoping it’s not a flop haha.

We are starting with a Little Warriors hosted service project – making ornaments for low income elderly in Waukesha County via the Interfaith Organization.  Kids come, make some handmade ornaments, maybe a new friend.  Little Warriors will pass along the ornaments to the Interfaith Organization of Waukesha county and they make the rest of the magic happen.  Each child will receive a thank you note following the event.  To really drive home that what they do makes a difference to someone.  Hopefully planting the seed of “desire to help” in those little one’s hearts.

Click here for complete details on the event.

If you’re not able to attend the service project, you can still participate!  We have posted a ‘wish list’ for craft materials.  Please email us at if you have items you are able to donate.

For complete details on our event visit the Little Warriors link in the black header or click here.

We hope you are as excited about this opportunity as we are.  Owen – I hope you’re proud of what we are doing …

Love, Mel


Filed under Little Warriors, Owen's Gone