Thursday, December 18, 2014

Friday Fun Day!

Two Things I am Grateful For:

1) Lighter traffic!  You can tell that people are busy with the holiday now early in the mornings now.  Traffic is getting lighter and I'm sure it will be lighter and lighter as we get closer to Christmas.  Love that!
2) My boys!  I got up and got me ready for work today and came out of the bathroom to my husband on the floor and my boys up on either side of him helping him up and back into to bed.  I had no idea he even needed help because I was too far away to hear him.  So glad my boys were there.  They jump to it every time and I really appreciate that.  I know I would never be able to pick Kevin up on my own.  They can.  They are amazing!

From the Camera:

Isn't this snowman just as cute as can be.  I would LOVE to be able to make snowmen in my front yard during the winter.  That would be awesome!  Have you seen the kits you can get with the eyes, ears, nose, mittens, buttons, hat and scarf in them?  Each time I see them I think about the fun we could have making snowmen.  BUT...it doesn't snow here in Arizona.  Sure, we could drive an hour or two up north to get to the snow, but it wouldn't be the same.  Snowmen are meant to be created and enjoyed for days and days in your yard.  Not created and left on the side of the road even if it would brighten the lives of all the people passing by.  We need SNOW right here!  ~smile~smile~


From the Heart:

In keeping with out theme, random acts of kindness, here is another great idea.....

There are few compliments more gratifying than when someone praises your child. Having someone tell you that your child has done something above and beyond is one of the best things a parent can hear. When the opportunity arises, compliment someone on the abilities or behavior of their child. It could be a friend or a stranger.

Benefits

When you praise someone’s child, you’ll also be complimenting that person on their parenting, since they are the ones who put time and effort into raising their child. Being a parent isn’t always easy and a little affirmation that you’re doing a great job raising your kids can go a long way.

Step It Up

Go out of your way to let parents know when their children have done something worthy of praise. If you are a teacher, send home notes to parents, letting them know what he or she has accomplished or done well.

Keep It Simple

When you notice a child who well-behaved or who possesses an exceptional talent, compliment their parents if they happen to be around.


From the Kitchen:

This is one of my favorite breakfast recipes, but I do not make it very often simply because it is very decadent.  My family gets this as a treat maybe once a year, and usually when I make it to take to work.  I always make an extra to leave at home, otherwise  I will never make it out the door.  Funny how that works sometimes.  Enjoy!  

Overnight Baked Pecan Praline French Toast
Ingredients
1 or 2 loaves of French Bread (13 to 16 ounces)
8 large eggs (you can use egg beaters)
2 cups half and half
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 teas. vanilla
1/4 teas. ground nutmeg
1/4 teas. ground cinnamon

Slice french bread into approximately 20 slices, 1 inch thick each.  Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9x13 inch baking dish in two rows, overlapping the slices.  In a large mixing bowl combine the eggs, half and half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended.  Pour the mixture in between the slices.  Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.

Praline Topping
1/2 pound butter (2 sticks) softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teas. ground cinnamon
1/2 teas. ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients for the topping in a mixing bowl.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spread praline topping over the bread and  bake uncovered for 40 minutes until puffed and golden brown.  Serve with fresh fruit or eat it plain.
This is what it looks like before you bake it.  So yummy!

From the Spirit:

Taken from this months Ensign and the article by Bishop Gary E Stevenson called The Reality of Christmas....
Becoming More Christlike
Jesus Christ
President Benson said that one of the greatest things about Christmastime is that it increases our sensitivity to things of God:
“It causes us to contemplate our relationship with our Father and the degree of devotion we have for God.
“It prompts us to be more tolerant and giving, more conscious of others, more generous and genuine, more filled with hope and charity and love—all Christlike attributes. No wonder the spirit of Christmas touches the hearts of people the world over. … For at least a time, increased attention and devotion are turned toward our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”2
This Christmas, as the spirit of the season permeates our hearts, let us do something that expresses our feelings in an outward way, showing that we understand that the babe born in Bethlehem is the real Redeemer. President Howard W. Hunter (1907–95) gave some practical advice that helps us do that:
“This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again.”3
Without Christ, there would be no Christmas. Without Christ, there can be no fulness of joy. Without His birth and His Atonement, we would have no Intercessor, no Advocate with the Father, and no Mediator who makes it possible for us to return to the presence of our loving Heavenly Father and live together as eternal families.
I celebrate with you the beautiful and miraculous reality of the birth and mission of the Son of God, and I bear my testimony that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer—the promised Messiah.
From the Schmidt's:

Today the fraudulent charge on my old Visa Debit card finally posted so I could submit my claim as soon as I got home from work.  Apparently no one has heard about this issue because it only effects the state of Arizona.  When it becomes a national thing then you will see it on the news.  Lucky us Arizona!  Kevin actually reached out to New Channel 5 to report it too, which I thought was interesting.  When we first got married he NEVER would have done that.  Look how far we have come.  Fun times.  
Danielle added this to her facebook page and I loved it, so I snagged it and now here you go....
Kyle spent the day with his Grandma.  She had an early morning doctor's appointment to get a shot in her eye.  Yikes!  That does not sound like fun at all!  She they spent some time over at her house and then went back over to my BIL's house until it was time for Kyle to come home.  Tonight Curtis and Lexi ran over to Grandma's house to feed the dogs.  Tomorrow they will do it all over again, at least with the animals.  

Lexi had a super short day at school today.  She made it back to school after being out sick with the flu.  She has so much work to make up, but this is the end of the quarter/semester.  This is not going to be good we are sure of that.  She is ready to just stay home and do online school.  She isn't liking her sophomore year of high school at all.  I feel for her, but totally switching to online school is not an option.  She may have to take a few online classes to make up a few things, but she will never just do online school.  Especially just because she is doesn't like something.  We expect our children to tough it out a little.  Besides, nothing in life is perfect and you can't just walk away from things when things get tough.  She is just frustrated with how things turned out for her with volleyball, with her classes, with church, pretty much with everything lately.  I'm sure home is a part of that list of things, but she never says that.  I would be a fool for not thinking our situation is not causing our children a little grief, right?  Common sense, right?  I'm sure it does.  Eventually things will get better for Lexi.  We just need to give it a little time.

Curtis has to go back to the doctor's office to get them to redo a section of the paperwork for his physical.  They didn't include test results for the lab work that was done.  So, back he goes.  Curtis is thrilled, of course.  He is just afraid they will want to give him another shot, take more blood, or another Tb skin test.  I laugh.  He freaks out if he gets a splinter in his foot.  Seriously.  He had a splinter one time and I tried to get him to let me take it out, and it took 4 adults to hold him down to let me barely dig it out of his foot.  He doesn't handle stuff like that well at all when it happens to him.  When it happens to other people he has the best bedside manner you could ever hope for.  He is quite awesome when it comes to helping his dad or his Grandma.  I love that about him.

Kyle is a little more reserved.  He doesn't even attempt to go to hospitals.  In fact, it took me days to get him up to the hospital to get him to give his father a blessing just before his last surgery.  Kyle does not do well with medical stuff at all.  He can handle it when it happens to him, but not to others he loves.  My boys are opposites of each other.  It's interesting to me, yet they are the best of friends.  I love that!  I'm glad they take care of each other, and they take care of their sisters too....and their sisters take care of them in return.  It's great!  What more could a parent hope for?  I love that my kids get along.  Sure, they have arguments and disagree, but push come to shove they are always in each other's corner when someone on the outside messes with their family.  
Danielle added this to her facebook page.  I loved it and had to share.  Just for fun.
IT"S FRIDAY!!!  I am so glad!  During this time of year our team at work is super busy.  This is charitable gifting season, which means we are fielding all kinds of calls from all over the country from people inquiring about their charitable gifts out of their accounts as well as any transfers they have coming into their accounts.  Everyone is trying to get everything done by year end.  Which we totally understand, but it does make it a little wild and crazy for all of us.  It will be even crazier next week and right on up to the end of the year.  Then at the beginning of next year everyone will call to check on gifts they received into their accounts trying to get donor information so they can send them a thank you.  This will continue throughout the month of January and will die out a little until tax time.  Then everyone will call to make sure everything is done by the end of the first quarter, and then call again right up to tax time.  Everyone needs their reports so they can file their taxes.  And these are just the basic types of calls our team takes.  We deal with all kinds of fun things, like moving assets from trusts that are being dissolved transferring to the beneficiary accounts, or moving assets from a deceased relatives account at another firm to the primary beneficiary's account at our firm.  OR there is the transfer from the divorced husbands account to the former wife's account, or the joint account to the individual account.  Even better,....the traditional IRA transfer to a Roth IRA account.  OR the custodial account transfer to the former minor's new individual account.  Fun times!  These are just a few of the transfer scenarios we come across each and every day.  Have I lost you yet?  I know, I know.  Talk about a lot of huey!  I see your point.  This still is just the tip of a very large iceberg.  We do a lot on our team.  It may not seem like we deal with a lot, but we do.  It is a demanding job, but each of the members of our team are very good at what they do, and they do an excellent job each and every day.  I am proud to count myself among the members of my team.  They are awesome!  
Back to my original thought....IT'S FRIDAY!  I am so glad I get to sleep in tomorrow.  BUT, we will be super busy this weekend cleaning and wrapping presents.  We are getting ready for the festivities this upcoming week.  Christmas is almost here!  Can you believe it??? I can hardly stand it, I am so excited!!!  Let the fun begin.  We did this little scavenger hunt last year that I think we will try to do again.  That is, if Kevin is okay with riding in the car with us.  I posted the details last year...but here you go...

Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt

A). You and yours take a drive or walk through your neighborhood and see how many of these you can find.  Make it harder by not using the same house for more than one thing.

B). You and yours go up against another group in a photo relay.  How many of these can you find in an allotted amount of time?  You will need to provide photo evidence.  Again, you can only count a house for one item on your list!
Happy Hunting!!!!
 
List #1
1). A Nativity Scene lit up by a flood light
2). A yard with at least 5 Reindeer
3). A house with only white lights
4). The Grinch
5). Rudolph the red-nosed Reindeer
6). Giant candy
7). A snowman with a top hat
8). Christmas music playing
9). Disney Characters
10). A decorated mailbox
 
List #2
1). Snoopy
2). A white Christmas Tree
3). Mr & Mrs Claus
4). Blinking lights
5). 3 Inflatables in one yard
6). A Train
7). Blue Icicle Lights
8). A Camel
9). Santa on a Roof
10). An Angel

A Favorite Quote:
 photo ae61ba47-7d78-4151-a87a-fbdf53851081_zps246d8efb.png
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