Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas, the day after


Two Things I am Grateful For:
1). My children!  They are awesome.  Love them to pieces!  

2). Good medical care.  We are so blessed to have the medical care we have in this country.  I am so grateful for that!  I hear horror stories often about the care received abroad.  We are very blessed.


From the Camera:
I thought this was a great idea.  I wish I could just shrink wrap the tree and put it away.  It would save so much time and hastle.  We may need to really think long and hard about this.  That's right, I am seriously considering this option.  Don't laugh.  I'm not kidding!!! Ha Ha



From the Heart:  
Keeping with our topic....here is another idea...
There are many families out there that are in need, living week to week and hoping for enough food and money to get by. For these families, every week is a struggle, but the holidays are even more of a struggle. Every parent wants to be able to buy presents for their children, to surprise them with a gift.
But when money is tight and it comes down to buying dinner or buying a present, dinner will win, every time. You can help. Adopt a family in your neighborhood, school, or church. You can help them anonymously and leave groceries on their front stoop, or you can help them personally and take them shopping or ask them what is on their "wish list" for the holiday season. Adopt a family in need, and treat them as your own family for the duration of the holidays.  And continue your help right on up through the beginning of the new year.  This will help a struggling family in more ways than you know.

Benefits:

The family that you touch with this kindness will never forget you. Your kindness will be retold time and again to their children and grandchildren. If you have your own children, this is a meaningful act to do with them while also teaching them the meaning of generosity and kindness.

Step It Up:

Adopt a family for the whole year, and not just the holidays. At the start of the school year help provide new clothes and school supplies for the children. Help one or both parents find work if they need it. Offer to watch the kids for free. Invite the family to dinner.

Keep It Simple:

Purchase a gift card to a local grocery store or shopping center and leave it with the family in need.


From the Kitchen:
This recipe is yummy.  I've had this at a New Year's Eve Party, but never got the recipe. I had to find it online.  Here is what I found.....



  • Prep
  • Cook
  • Ready In
MLALAK
This hot dip is perfect for a tailgate party or anytime! Shredded chicken, cream cheese, hot sauce and lots of melted cheese create a wonderful buffalo wing flavor on a chip or with veggie sticks.

Ingredients:


    Directions

    1. Place chicken breasts in a large saucepan; cover with water. Boil until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from water, and cool. Pull meat from bones and skin. Shred meat and reserve.
    2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    3. Heat olive oil in large skillet. Stir in celery; cook until soft. Mix in the cream cheese, blue cheese dressing, and ranch dressing. Cook and stir until smooth and creamy. Stir in the shredded chicken and hot sauce. Spoon mixture into an 8x8 baking dish. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese.
    4. Bake in preheated oven until golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes.

    From the Spirit:
    To those who obey His commandments the Savior promises life in abundance—not in the monetary sense but rather the abundance of a full, happy life that comes from being able to recognize the good in this world, see the Lord’s hand in our lives, and know His will for us. Yet I know from experience that as a young adult in the Church, it can be easy to postpone experiencing this abundance as you wait your life away. I have been guilty of selling my life short—underestimating what my life could be—by telling myself that because I didn’t yet have a degree or a husband or a house or children, my life was somehow inferior to the lives of people who did have those things. However, our potential for happiness is not limited by things beyond our own control.
    By following the counsel from the prophets and apostles regarding four aspects of life, we can find the fulfillment and happiness of a more abundant life.

    1) The more we feast upon the words of Christ—the scriptures—and delve into developing our spirituality, the more we are able to see the goodness around us and recognize His role in our lives. President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) pointed out that the scriptures are “the words of life” (D&C 84:85) and that this is especially true of the Book of Mormon. He said, “When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance.”2

    2) We ought to take advantage of opportunities that come our way to travel, serve a mission, accept a calling, increase our education, learn a new skill, or develop a talent, because the Lord requires us to do all in our power now to cultivate an abundant life. Elder Wirthlin declared, “No matter our age, circumstances, or abilities, each one of us can create something remarkable of his life.”4 I have been able to create something remarkable of my own life through opportunities to travel around the world, learn a new language, serve the Lord and others, and explore different cultures. I have striven to follow the advice of Sister Kristen M. Oaks, wife of Elder Dallin H. Oaks, when she counseled young single adults to “depend on the Lord, enjoy every opportunity, and delight in the life you have.”5

    3) It’s easy to culture loneliness or self-pity as you would bacteria in an isolated dish, becoming bitter toward those who have relationships you long for, but Elder Wirthlin pointed out that “those who live abundant lives … fill their hearts with love.”6 At times it requires a great deal of effort, humility, and prayer for hearts to be filled with this love, but charity is a gift of the Spirit available to all who seek it (see Moroni 7:48).
    Acquiring this love helps us find happiness and fulfillment in the midst of what might otherwise be a lonely period of life. Elder Wirthlin noted, “We are happiest when our lives are connected to others through unselfish love and service.”7 Service not only is an excellent way to develop worthwhile relationships but also has a way of enriching our own lives, allowing us to recognize our blessings and helping us see the goodness of the world. Because it is so easy as young adults to get caught up in our individual concerns, we need to take the time to lovingly consider others and their needs ahead of our own.

    4) We have also been given guidelines concerning the care of our mortal bodies. The Word of Wisdom instructs us to not use tobacco or alcohol and to avoid excess. We are encouraged to eat grains, fruits and vegetables in their season, and, in moderation, meat. (See D&C 89.)
    While difficult physical challenges may limit what some of us can do with and for our bodies, we can each receive divine guidance for our individual situations. I have found that as I’ve prayed to Heavenly Father about how to best take care of my body, I have received specific revelation regarding how to do so. When my body is in good shape, I am better able to appreciate the world around me because I have more energy and feel better about myself. Mastering my physical body gives me confidence in all other aspects of my life, which in turn helps me to live more abundantly. President Thomas S. Monsonhas observed that “God gave man life and with it the power to think and reason and decide and love. With such power given to you and to me, mastery of self becomes a necessity if we are to have the abundant life.”8

    From the Schmidt's:

    Yesterday was a wonderful day.  We spent the day opening presents, playing games, playing with icing (Lexi got cake decorating tools for Christmas), and relating and just enjoying the day.  I think everyone was pretty happy with the gifts they received.  My kids are pretty awesome.  They knew we would not have a wild Christmas at least where presents are concerned, yet if I had to gauge it, this was a very good Christmas.  Funny how that works out, isn't it.  Today I am at work.  This weekend we will be puttering around the house a little.  Our stake/ward boundaries will be changing so hopefully we will all make it to that meeting to determine what that means for us.  Kevin and I thought about that a little yesterday and all the possibilities.  So we will see.  It should be a good meeting Sunday.  More to come.  Talk to you soon.

    Favorite Quote:



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