Monday, December 15, 2014

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree!

Two things I am Grateful For:
1) Lexi who makes me laugh at myself.
2) Our dog for protecting us.

From the Camera:
This is a photo from my own home.  
My Christmas tree.  The photo is a little fuzzy and a little dark, but I couldn't resist.  

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From the Heart:
Tonight I heard a terrible story of a little kindergarten girl that had been placed in a foster home.  
And if that was not bad enough and A LOT for this little girl to deal with, her foster parents were not feeding her and they were not sending her to school with a lunch or money to buy a lunch.  So this little girl was stealing lunches from other students and acting out a lot in school.  Thankfully the school took it upon themselves to call in the authorities.  Plus the school has made sure this little girl was fed every day.  How sad is that?  Right here in our city...Mesa, AZ.  Now, I am sure this is just one of many stories for these school age children, sad as it is.  So, in keeping with our theme of random acts of kindness, I say offer to buy a school age student lunch, especially if you see someone in need.  What a blessing that would be for some very deserving little ones.  I cannot imagine this little girls situation and my heart goes out to kids like this.  

From the Kitchen:

Twix Cookies
If you love Twix, then you will LOVE these cookies! Shortbread  cookie, caramel filling and chocolate topping- they are INCREDIBLE!

Shortbread Cookies
  • 1½ cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Caramel Layer
  • 15 oz of caramel (I use Peter's caramel that comes in a 5 lb. block because I can simply just melt it down in the microwave as is and its ready to go, no evaporated milk required, but you can use Kraft caramels as well. Just follow package directions for melting)
  • 2 Tablespoons evaporated milk
Chocolate layer
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons shortening
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add vanilla, flour and salt and mix until well combined.
  3. Dump dough onto a lightly flour surface.
  4. Roll dough out to ½ inch thick.
  5. With a small biscuit cutter, cut out cookies and place on greased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F 14-16 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and let cookies cool completely.
  8. Melt caramel according to package directions. Spread over cooled cookies. Let caramel cool completely before spreading on the chocolate.
  9. In a small microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and shortening in 30 second increments, stirring in between each increment until melted and smooth. Spread over the tops of cooled caramel.
  10. Let chocolate set before eating and serving. I popped mine in the fridge/freezer to get the chocolate to set faster.


From the Spirit:

“Christmas Eve on the Desert.”

Tonight, not one alone am I, but three—
The Lad I was, the Man I am, and he
Who looks a down the coming future years
And wonders at my sloth. His hopes and fears
Should goad me to the manly game
Of adding to the honor of my name.
I’m Fate to him—that chap that’s I, grown old.
No matter how much stocks and land and gold
I save for him, he can’t buy back a single day
On which I built a pattern for his way.

I, in turn, am product of that Boy
Who rarely thought of After Selves. His joy
Was in the present. He might have saved me woe 
Had he but thought. The ways that I must go
Are his. He marked them all for me.
And I must follow—and so must he—
My Future Self—Unless I save him!
Save?—Somehow that word,
Deep down, a precious thought has stirred
Savior?—Yes, I’m savior to that “Me.”
That thoughtful After Person whom I see!—
The thought is staggering! I sit and gaze
At my two Other Selves, joint keepers of my days!

Master of Christmas, You dared to bleed and die
That others might find life. How much more I
Should willingly give up my present days
To lofty deeds; seek out the ways
To build a splendid life. I should not fail
To set my feet upon the star-bound trail
For him—that After Self. You said that he
Who’d lose his life should find it, and I know
You found a larger life, still live and grow.
Your doctrine was, so I’ve been told, serve man.
I wonder if I’m doing all I can
To serve? Will serving help that Older Me
To be the man he’d fondly like to be?

Last night I passed a shack
Where hunger lurked. I must go back
And take a lamb, Is that the message of the Star
Whose rays, please God, can shine this far?

Tonight, not one alone am I, but three—
The Lad I was, the Man I am, and he
Who is my Future Self—nay, more:
I am His savior—that thought makes me four!

Master of Christmas, that Star of Thine shines clear—
Bless Thou the four of me—out here!
Wholesome, hallowed, gracious.
From the Schmidt's:
This has been another "fun" day of being sick.  I spent the entire day on the couch.  Every time I tried to get up my stomach let me know it was there and rumbling.  No fun.  AND I broke out in hives this morning.  What is up with that?  I so hate that!  
Kevin had a doctor's appointment today.  Curtis went with him.  He got some of his questions answers which was good, and his medicines adjusted again. 
Curtis had some appointments today too.  AND about 3 phone calls to make to get his paperwork in order.  Fun fun!  We are getting closer!
Danielle came over tonight.  She is doing better, and has a few job leads.  I'm sure she will have something soon.
It's getting late and I really need to lay down.  Take care and we will talk to you soon.
Check this out....
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Santa Kevin
This was Kevin dressed as Santa at our Ward Party.  He did it under protest after the Bishopric gave him the assignment of finding someone to put on the suit and pass out candy canes to all of the kids.  
All the kids met Santa on the stage at the end of the party.  One little boy got really upset when Santa called him by name.  He came down from the stage demanding to know how this man in the red suit knew his name.  (He was our Bishop's son.  Poor Caleb.)
Then after all the candy canes were past out Kevin, I mean Santa, tried to get away to retreat to his closet so he could change out of the hot red suit.  BUT, several little kids followed him all around the building.  He couldn't escape from the little kids and I will never forget his comment when I finally made it out to the hallway to find out where he was.  The kids followed him all around yelling out I want another candy cane and we know who you are!  When he saw me he was frantic to get away from the kids.  To this day I still laugh when I think of Kevin in the red Santa suit.  What a great day that was!  

Favorite Quote:
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