Sunday, January 18, 2015

On a Sunday Afternoon

Two Things I Am Grateful For:

1). Good friends who cheer me up when I am feeling down.

2). I am LOVING our later church time slot!

From the Camera:

Me as a little girl on my Grandpa's lawn mower at my Grandparent's home in Farmington, Michigan.  ~smile~

From the Heart:

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

Holding the door open for someone is something they just do in old movies, right? Guess again. Holding the door open is a polite and thoughtful act you can easily do for your family, friends and even strangers, every day. Whether you’re at school, the grocery story, at work, or at home, those around you will certainly appreciate your good manners.


How you treat others can also say a lot about you as a person. If actions really do speak louder than words, what are you telling others about yourself? Besides, everyone appreciates a polite act, like having a door held open for them. Hold a door open for someone and give them a smile. A small gesture on your part, like holding the door open for someone, will certainly brighten their day and may even turn around a bad mood.

Step It Up

Go out of your way whenever you can to hold a door open for others. If you are about to enter a door, and you notice that there are people behind you, hold the door open for them until all of them are inside.

Keep It Simple

Remember to hold the door open for others whenever the occasion arises.

From the Kitchen:

Frozen Cookie Dough Wrapped Banana Pops

8 medium firm but ripe bananas
16 wooden Popsicle sticks
For the peanut butter cookie dough:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 pinch of salt
1 tablespoon whole milk
For the chocolate chip cookie dough:
3/4 cups butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-4 tablespoons milk
1/2 to 3/4 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips
For the coating:
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup coconut oil

Chopped peanuts for coating the outside

Cut bananas in half horizontally and carefully insert a wooden pop-sicle stick into each one, then place on a wax paper-lined baking sheet and freeze until firm.
To make the peanut butter cookie dough:  Cream the butter, peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract on medium speed.  Beat in the flour and salt and milk until mixed, and 1 tablespoon of milk to make the dough soft.  (The milk can be adjusted if you think the dough is soft enough or if you think it is too hard.)  Set aside at room temperature.

To make the chocolate chip cookie dough:  Beat the butter, brown sugar, sugar, and vanilla extract on medium speed.  Beat in the flour and salt and enough milk to make a soft cookie dough consistency. (If you don’t use all the milk, it’s okay.)  Stir in the chocolate chips (however much you think).  Set aside at room temperature.
When the bananas are frozen, press a small amount of cookie dough around each banana using clean, slightly moist hands.  Remove only a couple of bananas at a time from the freezer because they will start to soften.  If hands get sticky, take a break, wash them, then start over with slightly moist hands.  Just press a thin (but not too thin!) layer of cookie dough around the banana.  Place back on baking tray and freeze until firm.

To make the coating:  Place the milk chocolate chips and coconut oil in a glass or metal bowl that has been placed over gently simmering water (or use a double boiler).  Stir until melted and smooth.  Spoon the chocolate over each frozen banana, letting the excess drip off, then place back on the baking sheet.  If desired, sprinkle with chopped peanuts immediately after coating in chocolate.  The chocolate should harden quickly because the bananas are frozen, but place in the freezer if they don’t.  Obviously, store these in the freezer.
I got 6 peanut butter cookie dough bananas and 10 chocolate chip bananas out of my batches of cookie dough, but results will vary according to how much cookie dough is used on each banana.

Tip:  During the assembly process, I like to place everything in my deep freeze with freezes it very hard.  For storage though, I like to keep them in my refrigerator freezer, which is set to a higher temperature so things like ice cream will be frozen but not rock hard.  These are best when they are a little soft. Still frozen, but a little soft.
-I like to freeze everything in my deep freeze during the assembly process, but I like to store them in my refrigerator freezer because I have the temperature set to where things that are supposed to be soft like ice cream, do not freeze rock hard.  There is nothing worse than rock hard ice cream.  The cookie dough and banana were on the soft side of frozen and it was quite an awesome experience.
From the Spirit

Jesus Christ
When we understand everything the Savior does for us, He becomes the most important person in our lives.

The Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He has felt and borne our individual burdens,” said ElderDavid A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “And because of His infinite and eternal sacrifice (see Alma 34:14), He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy.”1
Jesus is important to us because through His Atonement, teachings, hope, peace, and example, He helps us change our lives, face our trials, and move forward with faith as we journey back to Him and His Father.

Jesus Makes Repentance Possible

One of the reasons Jesus is so important to those who sincerely try to follow Him is that all of us fall short and need the gift of repentance offered through the Atonement.
When we stumble and fall, Satan wants us to think we’re not good enough to get up and get back on the right path. He also wants us to forget that the gospel is “the gospel of repentance” (D&C 13:1; emphasis added). But we know that “the grace of Christ is real, affording both forgiveness and cleansing to the repentant sinner.”2
The power of Jesus Christ’s Atonement is available to each of us, but we have to choose to let it work in our lives. Imagine giving a special gift to a friend—something your friend really needs and something you prepared through personal sacrifice. Then imagine your friend responding, “Thanks, but I don’t really want your gift.” How would you feel?
When we don’t invite Jesus to help us become clean through repentance, it’s as if we’re rejecting His gift.

Jesus Teaches Truth

You can find the Savior’s “words of eternal life” in the scriptures, the teachings of the living prophets, and the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. They offer a foundation for “happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come,”3 and they guide us safely back to our Heavenly Father and our Savior.
What are some of the great truths the Savior taught? President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, listed four in a recent general conference talk:
    “Our Father has given His children the great plan of happiness.”
    “Through the Atonement … , we can live forever with our loved ones.”
    “We will have glorious, perfect, and immortal bodies, unburdened by sickness or disability.”
    “Our tears of sadness and loss will be replaced with an abundance of happiness and joy

Jesus Offers Hope

The gift of the Atonement gives us the hope of eternal life—something we need when we suffer trials or the death of a loved one.
“Our loving Heavenly Father gave us the gift of His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, as our Savior,” said President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency. “That great gift and blessing of the Atonement of Jesus Christ brings a universal inheritance: the promise of theResurrection and the possibility of eternal life to all who are born.

Jesus Offers Peace

When we feel the Savior’s peace, our hearts need not be troubled or afraid (see John 14:26–27).
“Only the Master knows the depths of our trials, our pain, and our suffering,” said President Thomas S. Monson. “He alone offers us eternal peace in times of adversity. He alone touches our tortured souls with His comforting words.

Jesus Sets the Example

Throughout His ministry, Jesus doesn’t just point the way to happiness—He leads the way. Through His Atonement, He leads us to love. Through His teachings, He leads us to eternal truths. Through His perfect life, He leads us to the path of obedience.
“The greatest example who ever walked the earth is our Savior, Jesus Christ. His mortal ministry was filled with teaching, serving, and loving others,” said Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The Savior, he added, “invites us to follow His perfect example.”10
When we understand that the Savior makes possible repentance and resurrection, teaches vital truths, offers hope and peace, and sets the perfect example, He becomes the center of our lives. And with Him as our friend, we have the courage to cast out fear and move forward with faith.

From the Schmidt's:

Danielle got to meet her boyfriends mother yesterday!  Yeah!  I'm glad she got that opportunity.  You see, Chance's parents live in Montana.  Mom is down here visiting and caring for her sister who just underwent heart bypass surgery.  So, we totally understand why getting to meet was difficult.  BUT, it happened.  I am happy for Danielle.  Not to mention, Chance too.  He really wanted his Mom to meet Danielle.  Which is a good thing.  I have feeling we will be including Chance as a part of our family and Danielle as a part of his very soon.  Danielle says she wants to wait until next year, but I bet we have a wedding announcement sooner than that.  Chance moved into a 2 bedroom, 3 bathroom condo this weekend.  Danielle said when he made arrangements with the owner he made sure they would allow them to have a pet.  Meaning Danielle's dog that lives here in my home now.  That was awesome news!  I like the idea of the dog having a place to call home.  PLUS, Chance is all ready making arrangements for the transition from single life to married life.  He is planning ahead which is great.  Now the clock is ticking.  We will see if they really do wait.  That just means I have more time to plan.

Yesterday Danielle sent a couple of hours tutoring a little 5th grader with her math.  I guess the little girl is way behind in her math skills.  She is at a 3rd grade level with division.  I found it interesting that Danielle was tutoring someone with their math.  Math was never Danielle strong subject.  BUT she has certainly turned that stumbling block into a blessing.  She is a good teacher.  She is great with kids.  I'm anxious to watch her in action after she finally graduates.  As I have mentioned before, she wants to be a high school English teacher.  Frankly, I think she is nuts!  She is going to be grading papers every night.  Not what I would call a good thing.  She better start investing in some glasses now.  LOL!

Danielle said the mother of the 5th grader must have been about the same age as Danielle....26.  Danielle was asking the mother if she has done anything at home to help her daughter with her math skills and the mother said that was the school's responsibility.  Plus the mom kept interrupting throughout the two hour session too.  I guess it took all the patience Danielle could muster to NOT say anything.  I guess her daughter had had enough of it because she told her mother to leave so they could work together.  I have a problem with parents who believe the job of teaching their children falls on the part of the school teachers.  That bugs me!  Sure, I am not a perfect mother.  I certainly would have trouble teaching the "new math" being taught now, but I don't put the job of totally teaching my child on the part of their teachers.  Not isn't fair at all!  If it was their job, I would expect teachers to paid a whole heck of a lot more money then!  Talk about responsibility.  That would be far too much to put off on a teacher!  Parents are the ones responsible!  Not the teachers.  Although the way the schools are set-up with all the requirements on teachers these days, I can see why some parents seem to think the way this mother does.  Did you know if a child does poorly in a math class then the teacher ends up paying the price?  How sad is that??  What if the child has a learning problem or was out sick?  That shouldn't reflect poorly on the teacher.  That is wrong in my opinion.  Wouldn't it be interesting if that feel on the shoulders of the parents if a child did poorly school or didn't do their homework.  What if parents started to get a report card and had to answer to the school for the grades their children received?  I bet you would see a big change in the amount of time and effort placed on homework and the studies their children make time for.  Something to think about, right???  

Well, we would have a mission call this week!  We are super excited!  The Bishop stopped me in the hallway today before church started to remind me he will let us know each step of the way as he tracks the call.  How cool is that??  Technology is awesome!  

Kevin stayed home from church today.  He is in a lot of pain and just needed to stay down.  He is finally sleeping now.  Curtis is at mission prep.  Lexi and Kyle are relaxing in the family room, and I am about to start dinner.  Other than that, we are having a pretty easy Sunday afternoon.  Tomorrow I have plans for all of them.  Chores, chores, chores.  ~chuckle~chuckle~chuckle~

Mom is the one that cracks to whip.  Dad gets to be the enforcer, though.  It works.  

Well, I hope you all are having a perfectly lovely weekend too.  Take are and we will talk again soon.

Quote of the Day:

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