Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Sunday

Two Things I am Grateful For:
1) Our Relief Society President.  She is actually our neighbor and our old Bishop's wife.  I will be honest, I never dreamed she would become our Relief Society President.  The thought just never crossed my mind I guess.  She has only been in this calling for a few months now, but she is really trying and has been there for our family many times over.  We are so grateful she is there and takes the time to check on us.  It means a lot and she is a blessing.  Thank you!  
(Melissa Dickson is our Relief Society President.  She knows all that she has done for us! AND we really appreciate her help.)

2) My other neighbor!  Rhonda Whetten!  You have been there time and time again to help me through some of my rough times more times that I care to admit.  You have been a listening ear with a kind heart.  Thank you for letting me vent sometimes and not judging me.  I am so very grateful for all that you have done for me....... and my family.  You are amazing!  Thank you! 

From the Camera:
This one is for Kyle....
From the Heart:
In keeping with my theme for this section....Random Acts of Kindness, here is another idea.
Distribute hand warmers, wool socks, or Evac Kits to the homeless, especially in February when the holiday season is over but the need is the greatest.
I like this idea coming to us now, so we can plan and prepare.  Besides, random acts of kindness should be things we do all year around.  Not JUST during the Christmas Season.  This way we can have one saved up and ready for a future date.  I love that idea.  Kind of like, Food Storage, or an Emergency Kit.  You could call it your Random Acts of Kindness Storage Kit.  HA HA!  Just a thought.  :)

From the Kitchen:
Texas Fruit Cakes Candy/Cookies

1 small can coconut
1/2 pound candied cherries
1/2 pound candied pineapple
2 1/2 cups whole pecans
1/2 cup flour
1 can condensed milk

Mix all ingredients and drop by spoonfuls in miniature muffin tins.  Place pan of water on bottom rack of oven under the muffin tins.  Bake at 300 degrees for 30-35 minutes until brown.  Makes 48.  Do not over bake as they will get very dry.  Keep in a sealed container.

From the Spirit:
Be an effective giver.
There is a line that all must step over. It marks the place where an individual goes from receiving more pleasure from giving than from receiving gifts.

As seniors in high school, several of us had decided to sub for Santa. We had been given the name of a single mother who had three little children. They lived in a rather dismal apartment house with dirty walls, steps, and hallways. The whole building needed a coat of paint and a scrubbing. The doors didn’t fit very well.

We gathered food, toys, and clothes. Excitedly we ascended a rickety staircase to the door with the number on it that we had been given.

A tired woman invited us in. There were no warm lights or even a tree to greet us. Her little children seemed too frightened to speak. As we placed the gifts around a tree we had bought and did some decorating, we observed a large, quite new television set. Our gifts were soon distributed, signaling that it was time for us to leave. The little family said very little as we slipped out of that dark place to go home. 

Father greeted me as I arrived home.
“How did it go?” he asked.
“Fine, Dad, except,” I sputtered, “they had this large TV set.” That was a time when many families could not afford a big television or even a small one.
My father said something like, “What does that have to do with it?”
I stammered, “Well, why didn’t the lady buy Christmas toys, decorations, and food for her family instead of the big TV?”
“Maybe that is all they have for any happiness in their lives,” Dad said.

I realized that what he said was true. We had observed how little else they had. Suddenly my whole immature attitude spun around. We had blessed four people and that was all that mattered. We are never quite the same after an experience like that. Some of my own pettiness evaporated that night as I realized how much we had enjoyed giving those gifts.

President Howard W. Hunter said:
Let us look backward for just a moment to our childhood and analyze that which gave us the greatest happiness when we were children. I am inclined to believe that the things we enjoyed most and those that gave us the greatest happiness when we were children, were the things that were given to us. When our parents went away and returned, we always looked for some little token they would bring back to us. We looked forward to Christmas because of the things we were going to receive. Our whole life was built around receiving. At that time we did not understand the other side of giving. Sometime during our progress through this life, we came to that point when we suddenly realized it was not receiving that brings us happiness. To some this comes early in life; to others it comes later; and I am inclined to believe that there are some who never have this awakening during the daytime of their lives. They miss one of the great principles that brings happiness to us. [Howard W. Hunter, Gifts That Money Cannot Buy, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year (Provo, 26 April 1961), p. 2]

Yes, hopefully we will all be able to completely leave those years of childhood when our thoughts are more self-focused than they should be. 

 Victor Herbert captured that truth when he wrote:
Toyland, Toyland,
Little girl and boy land,
While you dwell within it
You are ever happy then.
Childhood’s joyland,
Mystic, merry Toyland!
Once you pass its borders,
You can ne’er return again.
<
[“Toyland,” words by Glen MacDonough and music by Victor Herbert, Ardee Music Publishing, Inc., 1981]
From the Schmidt's:
Today Curtis was able to tell our Bishop he will be ready to turn in his mission papers tomorrow!  We are so excited for him!  I cannot tell you how excited we are!  He was a little bummed when the doctor's office told him he couldn't get his completed physical form until Monday because the lab work has not come back just yet.  As you can imagine, Curtis felt like the wait was too much to bear.  The poor kid.  Kevin had to talk him through all of that and help him realize all was not lost, it's one more business day.  No big deal.  Curtis is just dying to get out on his mission as soon as he can.  It's hard for him to sit back and watch all of his friends leave while he is still here.  I can totally understand that.  Thankfully, Kevin was able to "talk him down" so to speak, and help him understand that one more day is not that big of a deal.  

Yesterday my boys got the Christmas light up all on the house.  We hang all white lights on the house and then we usually add colored lights to the bushes around the house.  This year we just did the white lights on the house, and a colored wreath on the arch of the house, and our icicle lights above the front window where you can see a little bit of our Christmas tree through the window when we open it.  We decided to put the tree in the corner this year, instead of front and center in the window to allow for more room in the living room.  It works.  

Kevin even came outside to see our lights go up and later to check them out at night.  That makes the chore of putting them up worth it.  He spent about a 1/2 an hour in a chair in the family room yesterday too.  He played a video game.  Kevin said he was trying to keep his mind off of things.  He is out of one of his pain medicines and is just trying to get through the weekend until he sees the doctor at the beginning of next week.  Until then, he is in more pain than normal.  That is never good.  
I mentioned that Friday was a rough day, but I never explained and I am ready to now.  I woke up that morning so sick.  I spent the time I normally spend getting ready for work throwing up.  Not good.  My stomach was so upset for the rest of the day.  I tried to eat later but that wasn't a good idea.  I dreaded calling out of work, but I had to.  I have to say, I am so mad at myself for getting sick.  I really do not like having to call out of work at all.  Later that morning Danielle called me.  She was let go from her job.  She was a wreck.  So I told her to come home.  Apparently, the school was letting go of several people.  Why they didn't just wait a week for their fall break I do not know.  That would have made a lot more sense to me.  Then it could have been a clean break.  Plus they told Danielle over the phone because one of the people went off on the principal when she did it in person.  Now Danielle has to go back and drop off keys and badge.  Not good.  Kevin told Danielle to keep track of everywhere she goes and the times just in case something should happen at the school.  Then she has a record of everything, every place, and everyone she was with until she gives back those keys.  It's sad that we have started thinking like this.  BUT, you never know.  Later Friday night I started to feel a little better, thankfully.  That night we got a surprise visit from Lexi's Young Women's leader.  She came to see Lexi and tell her they have decided to NOT call her as the Mia Maid's President because of everything that is happening in our family.  I couldn't believe it!  Lexi sat on our family room couch for about 2 hours.  I could tell she wasn't sure how to process this whole thing.  Me on the other hand, was completely devastated.  Believe me, we all know that our situation puts limitations on the things we can do.  We would be fools to think otherwise.  That being said, it's one thing to know it and own it, but it is a completely different thing for someone else to come in and tell us that is the reason we are being held back from doing certain things.  It just made me so angry.  As if this situation is ever going to get any better.  And as if Lexi has any control over any of this.  I know this didn't even happen to me.  It happened to Lexi, but it hurt me too.  After Lexi closed the door and the leader left, I felt like this whole thing was not handled correctly.  In fact, it made me question a lot of things and I went out inquiring about those things.  Thankfully, as I was asking questions someone helped me with answers and let me know that this person was NOT instructed by Priesthood leadership to make that visit.  Nor would they have ever delegated that authority to that Mia Maid leader.  At that moment my anger and frustration disappeared and I stopped pointing fingers and being petty.  This was something my husband was trying to help me understand Friday night right after this happened.  He NEVER questions, he just accepts.  A quality I have yet to master.  He even tried to help me to remember at time when he was given the responsibility of doing certain things as a Young Men's leader that was "out of the norm".  I love that man!  Now I know why I had that feeling as Lexi closed the door that night.  Sure, this doesn't change the outcome, which is fine.  We get that, and that is okay.  We can deal with this.  Now we know this leader acted on her own.  I guess I need to remember we are all learning.  I am learning to deal with needing help from others and having to ask for it once in a while.  This leader is learning too.  It's sometimes hard to remember this as we become the ones that these leaders make mistakes with, as they develop their leadership skills, and learn the correct order of things.  I can say this, it is hard NOT to judge.  I am really trying NOT to judge and see things for all angels.  That helps me to move on, believe it or not.  

Danielle spent Friday night working on some jewelry items.  She had a boutique she had a booth in on Saturday.  She did pretty well that day.  Today she seems a little better.  Sure the sting is still there.  I gave her a few job leads, and a couple ideas for crafts to make and sell.  I think she will take those ideas and get going on things.  She is pretty resourceful.  She will bounce back and will be good.  I know she will miss the kids at the school, and they will miss her too.  That is the hardest part of this whole thing.  She grew attached to those kids.  Something will work out.  She will find a way.  After all, that is the one constant in our family, we find a way.  

From a Quote:
Christmas, My Child,
Is Love In Action,
Every Time We Love,
Every Time We Give,
It's Christmas.
-Dale Evans
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