Saturday, December 27, 2014

What a peaceful Saturday

Two Things I am Grateful For:
1)  Quiet Saturday mornings!  I love sleeping in on Saturday.  It's my only day to sleep in.  Every other day I am up with the crack of dawn.  Today was a glorious day!  

2) The modern conveniences of life.  I love being able to clean my dishes and place them in a dishwasher to sterilize them.  Or that's how I look at it.  My dishwasher heats up the water to a point that kills germs and that has helped our family in more ways than you know.  I also love cooking with an oven and not over a fire, or heating things up in a microwave instead of waiting for things to thaw or cook other ways.  I also love hot showers, electricity and so on, and so on.  

From the Camera:
Lexi at the temple this year with her best friend.  Her friend is taking the picture.

From the Heart:
In keeping with our theme this month, random acts of kindness, here is another great idea....
Beautify your surroundings! Be kind to the environment and those around you by picking up trash when you see it lying around. It doesn't matter who left it there, just pick it up!

Benefits:

Picking up trash helps keep your neighborhoods, schools, parks, beaches, playgrounds, etc. clean and healthy. You will appreciate your surroundings more, and everyone else will, too.

Step It Up:

Organize a group of people to go out and keep a specific area clean. Help with a beach clean up, or be a part of a relief team working to clean up after a natural disaster. Once a month commit to going to a local park or picnic area and picking up after others who may have left trash behind. You can also do this on the side of a road, or even on your neighborhood streets. And don't stop at just picking up garbage! Separate out the trash that can be recycled.

Keep It Simple:

Always keep an extra bag to act as a trash bag where ever you go. You can keep it in your car, backpack or purse. Use this bag not only for your own trash, but also for other trash you might see lying around!

From the Kitchen:

Ranch Cheesy Crackers

Ingredients:
3/4-1 cup vegetable oil (I use 3/4 cup)
1 packet (1 ounce, or 3 Tbsp) Hidden Valley Ranch Buttermilk Salad Dressing Mix
1/2-1 tsp. dill weed (I used 1 tsp dill)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. lemon pepper
16 ounce box Cheese-It crackers

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Line a large cookie sheet with foil.
2. Add vegetable oil to a large bowl.  Whisk in Ranch Seasoning Mix.
3. Add dill weed, lemon pepper, and garlic powder to the mixing bowl.  Whisk well.
4. Add the box of Cheese-It crackers to the bowl.  Make sure you mix well so seasoning is on all crackers.
5. Place the seasoned crackers in a single layer on your lined cookie sheet, and bake in the over for 15-20 minutes.
6. Remove from oven, and let cook for 10 minutes.

****Once cooled for 10 minutes, I placed my baked crackers into a gallon Ziploc bag and placed in the fridge to accelerate the cooling process.

From the Spirit:

Words by Jeffrey R. Holland 
The start of a new year is the traditional time to take stock of our lives and see where we are going, measured against the backdrop of where we have been.

There is something in many of us that particularly fails to forgive and forget earlier mistakes in life—either our mistakes or the mistakes of others. It is not good. It is not Christian. It stands in terrible opposition to the grandeur and majesty of the Atonement of Christ. To be tied to earlier mistakes is the worst kind of wallowing in the past from which we are called to cease and desist.

Let people repent. Let people grow. Believe that people can change and improve. Is that faith? Yes! Is that hope? Yes! Is that charity? Yes! Above all, it is charity, the pure love of Christ. If something is buried in the past, leave it buried. Don’t keep going back with your little sand pail and beach shovel to dig it up, wave it around, and then throw it at someone, saying, “Hey! Do you remember this?” Splat!
Well, guess what? That is probably going to result in some ugly morsel being dug up out of your landfill with the reply, “Yeah, I remember it. Doyou remember this?” Splat.
And soon enough everyone comes out of that exchange dirty and muddy and unhappy and hurt, when what our Father in Heaven pleads for is cleanliness and kindness and happiness and healing.
Such dwelling on past lives, including past mistakes, is just not right! It is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. In some ways it is worse than Lot’s wife because at least she destroyed only herself. In cases of marriage and family, wards and branches, apartments and neighborhoods, we can end up destroying so many others.
Perhaps at this beginning of a new year there is no greater requirement for us than to do as the Lord Himself said He does: “He who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more” (D&C 58:42).
You can remember just enough to avoid repeating the mistake, but then put the rest of it all on the dung heap Paul spoke of to the Philippians. Dismiss the destructive, and keep dismissing it until the beauty of the Atonement of Christ has revealed to you your bright future and the bright future of your family, your friends, and your neighbors. God doesn’t care nearly as much about where you have been as He does about where you are and, with His help, where you are willing to go. That is the thing Lot’s wife didn’t get—and neither did Laman and Lemuel and a host of others in the scriptures.
This is an important matter to consider at the start of a new year—and every day ought to be the start of a new year and a new life. Such is the wonder of faith, repentance, and the miracle of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I love this and I love being able to read the words or our General Authorities any time.  I need to keep this in mind.  These are things I need to remember and learn. These are the things my Husband keeps trying to remind me of.  This is what he means be rising above it, you are better than whatever it is.  I love that man, that husband of mine that cuts me off when I am trying to vent to him.  He is trying to teach me to let it go and become something more, even when I have failed to see it all the time.  His lessons always come at some of the most difficult moments in my life and I am not ready to hear what he is trying to teach me.  He is such an example to me.  I love that man.  He knows me, and I know he loves me too.  That husband of mine.  ~smile~smile~
From the Schmidt's:
Lexi went to the movies last night with her best friend and ended up spending the night at her friends house.  Kyle and Curtis had a friend over to play card games and video games.  I spent the evening watching a movie, while Kevin was recovering in his bed and watching TV too.  He spent the day trying to get my children to do dishes for me.  Most of which were done when I walked in the house after work.  Thanks to my husband's determination to encourage my children to get it done.  He wanted this to be a peaceful weekend for me, and for all of us.  Thanks Honey!

Today we are playing card games and watching a football game.  I thought about taking down some of our Christmas decorations, but we will wait until after the first of the year.  Why rush it, right?!

Tomorrow we have church and the boundary changes in our stake to hear about.  I just hope that whatever happens does not effect our son and his preparations for his mission.  I don't want this to set him back at all.  Kevin and I spent a little time contemplating the possibilities.  You know how that happens as soon as you hear the words, boundary changes.  I think that is just human nature....to speculate.  When what we really need to do is trust.  It's hard to do, isn't it?  Well, that is enough about that....

This week will be a busy one.  Work for me will be completely nuts!  We are under a vacation blackout, meaning no one can take any vacation time from December 26th until after about the 4th or 5th of the new year because of our "charitable gifting season".  This is our busiest time of the year.  This is the time of year we "baton down the hatchets" and dive in with all we have.  Making sure gifts are done by year end.  Making sure any issues are resolved by year end.  AND the escalations.  Well, lets just say, pretty much every phone call brings with it some form of an escalation we have to spearhead through to it's resolution, and then some sometimes. We are gladiators, the fixers in our office.  We fix problems, manage crisis, save reputations, and do it in such a way that it looks effortless to those on the outside looking in.  This can be a brutal time of year, all around for all involved, but we are very good at what we do.  Every day and every year.  BUT, we all breath a sigh of relief around the 15th of January when things calm down some.  Hence the reason my husband words so hard to make the weekends peaceful for me.

Enough about me....Tuesday Curtis gets his wisdom teeth pulled.  Danielle will be taking him, but Kevin plans to tag along to take lots of pictures and record video if need be.  Kyle will be at work, so he will miss all the fun.  I cannot wait to get home from work to see all the photos and videos.  Curtis is pretty funny when he is under the influence of pain medicine.  This should be good.  I'll post the photos and the video for you to see.  

Wednesday I have a late doctor's appointment.  It always seems weird when I leave the doctor's office and it's dark outside.  But, I am very grateful they have late appointments.  That way I don't have to take more time off of work.  Love that and I am looking forward to my next appointment.

After that, we don't have much planned.  Just the norm.  Turning in those mission papers!  Hopefully it will be to the same Bishop we started this process with.  We will hate it if we lose Bishop Duke!  
We can't even think about that right now.  

I should go.  I need to get going on a few other things.  Oh, one thing....have you noticed I haven't had anything to say about my MIL or BIL and SIL lately?  Well, it looks like my MIL is doing pretty good.  She took back her car at the beginning of this week, and has been feeding her dogs all by herself.  That's right folks, she is driving again.  She could be home now, but she has decided to not go home until after mid January.  Frankly, I think she would love to stay exactly where she is for the rest of her life.  Let's face it, she was lonely living alone.  Sure, we all knew it, but she would never tells us that.  Instead she would act out in the form of late night phone calls, tantrums, and fights.  I think she would love to live with my BIL and SIL.  It's easy for her there.  She is completely taken care of and no one expects anything of her, and besides...they have the means to do it.  My MIL would never come to live here with us.  Frankly, I think she is too afraid to come here.  We have lived with her before and she was not nice.  She was mean and rude and flat out awful to me.  There are things she did or said that I should never forgive her for...things no one will ever know about, but I let it go.  I let it go because that is my husband's mother.  I think she is afraid that if she moves in with us that I will take the chance to pay her back for all that she did to me.  She knows she was not nice.  She knows she was mean, and rude, and said and did things that are unforgivable.  She knows she even lied about things to others too.  But, I have never said anything.  Why?  Believe me, I have wanted to.  But, that is not me.  I usually keep things in and bury them deep down.  I am learning that this is not good for me, and will eventually consume me.  These are some of the things that have contributed to my lack of self-esteem.  So, eventually they will have to come out.  They will have to be dealt with.  But, not in the way my MIL may think.  Sure, I may get upset.  But I am not the type to need to get even to feel better.  I don't keep score.  I don't have to be a "tit-for'tat" kind of person.  
I'm rambling.  Enough.  You get the idea.  

Have a great day!  Talk to you soon.  Take care.

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