1) Facebook Groups! I absolutely LOVE them! I have found so much through Facebook Groups and I have saved a TON of money too.
2) My husband. He is amazing and I love him for all he does for me even though he thinks he doesn't do anything. He really does and I couldn't do this without him.
From the Camera:
Being silly as usual.
From the Heart:
In keeping with our theme, acts of kindness, here is another idea....
Take time this holiday season to ask someone about their holiday traditions. What do they do on Christmas Eve? How does their family celebrate Hanukkah? Do they travel during the holidays or do they host their family and friends at their home? Is there a particular game they play or food they eat only during the holiday season? Take the time to get to know your friends, classmates and coworkers and ask them about their holiday traditions!
You will get to know your friends on a whole new level! Learning about someone's traditions and beliefs leads to a much better understanding of who that person is. You will develop a greater appreciation for your friend!
Step It Up:
Think about incorporating some of your friends' traditions into your own! You could even invite your friends to come and celebrate the holiday with you. Then they could show you first hand the traditions that they do. You can even ask your own family; ask your grandparents or older aunts and uncles how they celebrated the holidays when they were your age. You might just learn something about your own heritage in this process! Or you could go to a celebration different from your own. You could visit other houses of worship, or with some planning you could take a trip to a country other than your own and see how they celebrate the holidays.
Keep It Simple:
Don't have a lot of time? Ask your neighbors what they are doing for the holidays when you see them bringing their trash out, or hanging lights on their house or bushes. Just take a moment to invest in those around you, let them know that you care about them and then take the time to truly listen to their responses. After the holidays, ask them if they enjoyed their traditions again this year.
From the Kitchen:
Crock Pot Parmesan Honey Pork Roast
1 boneless whole pork loin roast (4 pounds) 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 cup honey 3 tablespoons soy sauce 2 tablespoons dried basil 2 tablespoons minced garlic 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1/4 cup cold water
Cut roast in half. Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the cheese, honey, soy sauce, basil, garlic, oil and salt; pour over pork. Cover and cook on low for 5-1/2 to 6 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160°.
Remove meat to a serving platter; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking juices; transfer to a small saucepan. Bring liquid to a boil. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Gradually stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Slice roast; serve with gravy. Yield: 10 servings.
5 ounces cooked pork with 3 tablespoons gravy equals 330 calories, 13 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 95 mg cholesterol, 529 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 38 g protein.
From the Spirit:
There is a danger in the word someday when what it means is "not this day."
The thought "Someday I will" can be a thief of the opportunities of time and the blessings of eternity.
Even the Savior, who was without sin, set an example of the need not to procrastinate. He said:
"I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
A morning prayer and an early search in the scriptures to know what we should do for the Lord can set the course of a day. We can know which task, of all those we might choose, matters most to God and therefore to us.
For most of us the temptation to delay will come from one or both of two feelings. They are polar opposites: one is to be complacent about what we have already done, and the other is to feel overwhelmed by the need to do more.
The temptation will be to believe that you will return to serve again, someday.
It is hard to know when we have done enough for the Atonement to change our natures and so qualify us for eternal life. And we don't know how many days we will have to give the service necessary for that mighty change to come.
In the hardest trials, as long as you have the power to pray, you can ask a loving God: "Please let me serve, this day. It doesn't matter to me how few things I may be able to do. Just let me know what I can do. I will obey this day. I know that I can, with Thy help."
For those who are discouraged by their circumstances and are therefore tempted to feel they cannot serve the Lord this day, I make you two promises. Hard as things seem today, they will be better in the next day if you choose to serve the Lord this day.
The other promise I make to you is that by choosing to serve Him this day, you will feel His love and grow to love Him more.
You would not want to delay receiving that blessing. And feeling His love will draw you back to His service, wiping away both complacency and discouragement.
I know that Heavenly Father lives and answers our prayers. I know that Jesus is the living Christ, the Savior of the world, and that we can choose to feel joy and peace in His service this day.
("This Day" Elder Henry B. Eyring, April 2007 General Conference.)
This is another great video that has so much in it. For us, the part that I love most was the part about kneeling down each day and praying and asking the Lord what he would have us do for that day. You'll notice that Elder Eyring says "A morning prayer and an early search in the scriptures to know what we should do for the Lord can set the course of a day." It is not enough to pray. That may seem simple, but often we struggle with consistent personal and family scripture study, but it is essential for revelation, as well as setting the Spirit of the day.
Often we don't see the change that daily scripture study is making in our lives and in our family's lives. It's a slow and steady action and it's not until we look back over a period of time that we see the change and blessings from such a small act. Yes, it's a small act but it reaps big blessings.
From the Schmidt's:
I woke up this morning to find Curtis sitting up on his phone in the dark in our family room. His older brother, Kyle was up in his bedroom too. Apparently the two of them never went to bed last night. They stayed up playing games all night. Crazy kids!
So, I had them run and get me gas in my car so I wouldn't have to stop on my way to work this morning. They even ran to add money to SRP and visited the grocery store too. When I got to work I totally forgot that we were having a potluck today for the Super Bowl. I was to bring something and I had could have had the boys pick up something for me but my head was not in it that early in the morning. So I came to work empty handed. I hate that!
Kevin must have teased Curtis all night last night about the US Postal Service losing his mission call. He would make comments like, "You say your name is Elder?" Just little things like that. It's been fun to hear all the crazy things Kevin was coming up with. We are certain that we will not receive the call until NEXT week just because we are s anxious....and then when Curtis finally gets his call he will find out he has been called to the Gilbert, Arizona Mission, which is within walking distance from our home. Wouldn't that be wild??? Believe it or not, we have heard of missionaries called to serve very close to their own homes. Time will tell. I will say this....Curtis has been talking in his sleep again. Kyle said he said he was chasing bunnies and trying to catch them last night. Silly, Silly boy! I remember one time he woke up, walked into the kitchen opened a bottle of something and poured it out onto the floor. All while he was sleep walking. Then there was the time Kevin had him thinking he was late for school during one of his sleep walking adventures. Oh, that poor kid. He better hope he has some awesome companions that won't mess with him because they are going to have some fun with Curtis that's for sure. I can just see it in print now when Curtis writes home. And we will let your imagination finish that thought......
I have to say, work was crazy today! Oh my heavens! We have three people out and one person worked a later schedule, so we were all super swamped! I'm scared to go back tomorrow. I'm being serious! We will have the same situation tomorrow. Yikes! At least we will have a weekend to recover from all this fun. See, there is a silver lining.....and, we have jobs. That is a good thing too.
One more day and Lexi is officially NOT attending Mesa High anymore. Did we make the right decision? Time will tell. I told her she is going to need a nice quiet place to do her school work. So, thanks again to all those Facebook groups....I found a desk for her. It was super cheap and we will pick up tomorrow. Just in time for class to start on Monday!
Take a look......
I think it's perfect for her....we could paint it whatever shade of blue she wants. (Hint: Blue is her favorite color)
I saw a more modern one with a little cabinet thing on top for about $80.00 on Amazon, but when I can get one for a whole lot less than that, AND it's available locally....it comes down to
It's all good! She is going to LOVE it.
As I mentioned before, we had a dear friend pass away on Monday. Over the past few days Kevin and I have had the chance to talk with several other good friends we have not talked to in quite a while. One good friend was talking to Kevin and as they were talking she says to him, "there is a house directly across the street from us, MOVE BACK!" Kevin and I haven't even been talking about moving or trying to move in quite a while. But every once in a while we will talk to a few of our friends and they will ask us when we are moving back. It was just nice to hear. Nice to hear we are still missed. It meant a lot.
Kevin spent a lot of time with the youth in that ward. He helped a lot of young men with their scouting goals in so many different ways over the years. Kevin was their "go to" guy when it came to scouting. In fact, I remember Kevin even being my "go to" guy for scouting too.
I had been asked to go to Girls Camp at the last minute to be a Cabin Mom with our girls. For some reason our ward was short handed and they needed another person. So, I arranged to take a couple days off work so I could go. We had a great time. Everyone had a blast! I laughed so hard I even peed my pants. (I can't believe I shared that) Oh, the fun we had, let me tell you!
BUT, as I spent time with the other leaders and women at Girls Camp I also learned a few things too. You see, I was the Primary President and one of the ladies had a son that was a new 11 year old scout. This young man was special in every way. He really was. He is still amazing to this day! BUT, his leader didn't see it that way. In fact, he tried to tell this Mom that her son needed to do scouts at home and not attend with all the other young men because of his so called "disabilities". This sweet Mom shared a lot as tears streamed down her face while we talked. My heart went out to her and I suddenly realized why I was at Girl's Camp that year. It was to not only serve they Young Women, but it was also to help this Mom and her son. After Girl's Camp I knew what I needed to do.
It was Kevin I reached out to for help with this Mom's problem. Kevin, who was all ready serving as a Scout Leader for the older boys, YET....he volunteered to work with this young man until a second leader was called for his age group. I remember talking with our Bishop about the issues. He agreed to have Kevin fill in, but he did not want Kevin to be released from his Young Men's calling. My husband was only on loan to me for a short time. Kevin was doing "double duty" and he LOVED it! And I loved it too. AND the young man loved it! And the MOM loved it too.
You see, this Young Man is very special. He was diagnosed with a condition that if not carefully cared for would ultimately result in him harming himself during his teenage years. He needed TLC and leaders that would become actively involved in his life, not send him away because he was a little bit different than the other boys.
(Funny....those words. Words I have often thought about my husband in other ways and times of our lives together.
Think about the words for a moment.
I bet we would consider our relationships in a completely different light if we referred to the other people involved as only "being on loan to us for a little while."
Don't you think???)
Kevin served as a "fill-in" 11 year old scout leader for a while...until a new leader was finally found.
Today, this Young Man has grown into a fine young man. Now, don't get me wrong....Kevin was there helping out for a small moment in this young man's life. Kevin and I cannot take any credit for what this young man has become. BUT, we can say we were there to help when others would not listen or hear the pleading cries for help from this dear Mother.
It's funny where opportunities to serve come up when you just have a simple desire to serve others. I loved that time in our lives. I miss those times in our lives. I never use to think I would ever get to a point where I would be the person slacking when it came to serving. BUT, something is different now. Something I cannot put my finger on exactly. All I can say, is it is noticeably different and I don't like it.
I guess it's time to try and figure it out. Maybe this is what we need in our lives. Time to change again. Time to make some changes. Sometimes that is all it takes, a few small changes to see a huge difference. We shall see....
Well, I do have to go. I hear my headset calling my name again....back to the grind. Until 4:30 at least. After that, it's the weekend! Woot! Woot! I live for the weekends! Really I do. LOL!
You take care. I hope you have a perfectly wonderful Friday and an absolutely glorious weekend too. We will talk again soon.