Tell Me Something Good – Manners and Mentorship

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today i am so pleased to share a touching and meaningful ‘good story’ with you!

my father-in-law mark has been a “big brother” through the organization big brothers big sisters (his location is in northwest florida) since last may. when he first shared with us that he was going to apply to do this, everyone in our family thought this would be a great fit since my father-in-law is a man full of life experience, patience and wisdom that should be shared! little did we know just how big of an impact he would have on his “little brother.”

after the first two months of working together, mark was featured as the “big” of the month (so proud!) this is a piece of what was written about their relationship in the newsletter blurb:

“When interviewed by the case manager, Josh – was a timid and sweet child who reluctantly told the case manager that he was often picked on and didn’t have many friends. His mom reached out to request a strong male role model and someone to help Josh with his self-esteem and social struggles. Josh’s mom and grandmother are overwhelmed with the changes they have witnessed in Josh over the past two months.

He has learned table manners, eye contact, how to address people, and for the first time is saying positive things about himself. Mark has helped Josh conquer his fear of water and taught him how to swim. Josh says his favorite activity to do with Mark is to swim but he also says that he just likes to talk to Mark because it makes him happy. Mark is very humble when taking credit for Josh’s progress. He will say avidly that he gets more out of it than Josh does…”

i can’t tell you how that made my heart swell to read that! we got to meet josh when we visited last year in october and it was so great to see them interact. mark had been working with josh about table manners then we witnessed the 10 year old clear the table without being asked and then helped my husband and me with the dishes! it was super sweet and made me so proud of the impact they were both having on each other.

teaching josh table manners sparked an idea in mark. he thought others in the program could benefit from learning basic table manners that will stick with them through childhood, their adult life, business meetings and teaching their own children one day!


my proactive father-in-law talked with the fanciest restaurant in panama city beach, FL about a partnership of coming in, being served a fancy meal and then having an etiquette teacher come in and teach the skills. he put all this together and then EmCee’d it, with the help of josh! it was a raving success that not only created a great memory for the “bigs and littles” involved but also taught tangible skills that will be beneficial for a lifetime!

good work mark, i’m proud to be your daughter-in-law!The Averys

i’m curious, who taught you table manners? and of course…please tell me something good you have seen/heard/happened lately!

ps. get ready because on monday i’m going to be showcasing some of my personal jewelry that will be very affordably for sale!

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  1. Rachel G

    February 12, 2016 at 1:17 am

    Now that’s really something to be proud of! So cool! I’m really glad that mentoring programs like this exist across the USA! My grandma was the one who taught me how to set a ‘fancy’ table, it’s stuck with me for a long time–though sometimes using chopsticks and eating over here it feels like I’m using a completely different set of table manners.

    • chelsea

      February 12, 2016 at 10:26 am

      i sure think so too! oh man, i would have definitely paid to go to a dining etiquette class for eating with chopsticks (and lessons on how to eat with them as well!) love that your grandma taught you about a fancy table, rachel 🙂

  2. Elyse

    February 12, 2016 at 3:37 am

    That’s so awesome! I have a special place in my heart for the BB/BS program thanks to my aunt the Head of Fundraising for our hometown and area for a LONG time and then she was Executive Director for 2 years before she retired.

    My family taught us table manners – it’s never a gathering without FOOD so you learn quickly how to behave.
    Elyse recently posted…6 Ways To Save On Movie Date Nights

    • chelsea

      February 12, 2016 at 10:28 am

      that’s so awesome that your aunt was so involved in keeping the organization alive in your home time!! it really is an incredible concept. glad you had your family to teach you about that – sounds like my kind of gathering 🙂

  3. Audrey

    February 12, 2016 at 6:38 am

    Honestly, table manners are SO important and people just don’t realize it! It’s one of the FIRST things my mom notices about someone (and now I do, too). I was taught very young how about table etiquette. I actually helped my husband learn how to set a table as well as clear the table after a meal. (On my dad’s side of the family the men sit around while the women clear the table after a meal. I HATE that and Kyle knows it, so he helps me clear the table so my great-aunts and grandma don’t have to.) My other grandma’s birthday (maternal) is coming up and I made a survey for the guests to take and one of the questions is “What are some lessons or advice you received from Peggy?” and one of my lessons was how to set a table properly. It’s a lesson that goes by the wayside sometimes but it’s SO important and telling!
    Audrey recently posted…Ways to Challenge Yourself

    • chelsea

      February 12, 2016 at 10:30 am

      totally agree audrey and when you eventually dine with potential clients or fancy events and you see alllll the forks, it can be overwhelming and anxiety-provoking! i really love that you taught this to K and he helps you clear at your family meals, that’s super sweet (and would drive me nuts if only the women cleared too)!

  4. Claire

    February 12, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Hearing this story is a great start to the day! So heartwarming.

    Table manners for us was taught…with a ‘spot of tea’ and a British accent. With my family, we would pretend we were having a high tea experience, inevitably teaching us the qualities of excellent table manners!

    As for my something good…one of my closest friends lives away from home (a good 15 hour drive away) and she told me how her parents sent her a ‘Valentines Day Care Package’. So sweet!! Valentine’s isn’t reserved just for our intimate partners, but for anyone we cherish and love. Love love!

    • chelsea

      February 12, 2016 at 10:32 am

      oh yay! i’m glad it was a good way to start your day, claire 🙂

      that sounds like such a fun way to learn about table manners, i may have to keep a ‘spot of tea’ in mind for teaching future children this!

      thanks also for sharing your something good – love that your friend’s parents sent her a valentine’s day goodie package! agreed that it’s not just for a romantic someone (my mom just sent us one too) 🙂 thanks for sharing that!

  5. Jennifer Haston

    February 12, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Hey Chelsea! What a great story! I volunteer with Boys and Girls Club and I find it so rewarding!! My “tell you something good” (yep I just heard Chaka Khan– is pretty funny. I love my husband to bits and love spending time with him but he is heading to a “man weekend” with the men of our church and I am really excited for him and for me! Unlimited Girl Time and Puppy Time.. coming up! Not to mention, I get to watch all the “America’s Next Top Model” I want without him saying how bad it is..

    • chelsea

      February 12, 2016 at 10:33 am

      love that you are involved with the boys and girls club – that’s fantastic jennifer! i am also glad to hear that chaka khan still rings in your ears when you say it (me too and i love it!)!

      yay girl time and puppy time! sounds like you’ve got some good things going on and oh to watch what we want without judgement (mine currently is ‘pretty little liars’ ha! enjoy!

  6. Paula Howley

    February 12, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    THAT WAS AMAZING. And such a good idea!
    Here’s my something good. Get ready…
    I’m sending Meaghan to SCHOOL on Monday.
    Yep, homeschooling mom is taking a break. First dumping church, then all my TM responsibilities now, no homeschooling. Holy cow. We are both pretty excited.
    Paula Howley recently posted…Singing Bird from the Mosh Pit of Despair

    • chelsea

      February 15, 2016 at 8:44 am

      ahhhhh WOW! i hope today is great for both of you paula as you embark on this new journey! i am glad you are not afraid of changing things up and figuring out what works best. YOU ARE AMAZING!

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  8. Marilyn Jess

    February 15, 2016 at 4:26 am

    What a beautiful story. The fact that Mark is family makes it even sweeter. Josh is one lucky young man. His fine manners will make him standout as a youngster, and an adult. It will impress every date he ever has, and later, his life partner. Talk about a gift that lasts!

    • chelsea

      February 15, 2016 at 8:45 am

      you are right, it does make it that much sweeter 🙂 totally agree that these will stick with him for life and hopefully give him a sense of confidence!

  9. Charlene

    February 15, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Aww this is so sweet! You sure do have a special FIL!
    Charlene recently posted…My 6 Favorite #LoveBlog Instagram Posts So Far

    • chelsea

      February 15, 2016 at 8:45 am

      sooo sweet, right?! i am still swelling with pride! 🙂

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