Saturday, January 10, 2015

Saturday Night Alright!

Two Things I Am Grateful For:
1)  My family!  They know me so well.  My good parts and my bad too, yet they love me in spite of my bad.  They are such a blessing to me.  

2)  The weather.  It rained today which I don't think anyone expected!  Woot!  Woot!

From the Camera:

This is a silly photo of Danielle and her roommate Brittney.  As I mentioned yesterday, Brittney had to have an emergency root canal.  She is doing much better today.  Still in some pain, but better and we are very glad!  

From the Heart:

In keeping with our theme, acts of kindness, here is another idea....
Do you have a passion for sports? Sign up to volunteer with your local Special Olympics chapter. Special Olympics is a wonderful international organization devoted to empowering individuals with disabilities in more than 180 countries. They offer year-round sports training and competition, and are always looking for volunteers to help.
You can volunteer to coach basketball, track and field, golf, volleyball, tennis, skiing, etc.. They also need volunteers to help plan events, provide transportation and keep score during competitions. There are a number of ways to get involved with Special Olympics.

Benefits:

You are helping to create a world of acceptance; upholding the belief that people with intellectual disabilities can and will succeed if given the opportunity.

Step It Up:

Commit to being a coach and spend a season getting to know your athletes. Invest in them off the field and court, too. Create more opportunities to spend time together as a team.

Keep It Simple:

There are many ways to volunteer with Special Olympics. If you only have a couple of minutes, you can visit their website to donate to their cause, or help raise awareness of the important work they are doing.
From the Kitchen:

Buttery Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients
2½ c. + 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ c. sugar
1 stick (8 tbsp.) butter, room temperature
2 egg yolks
Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
2 tsp. Meyer lemon juice
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Microwave Meyer Lemon Curd

Ingredients
⅔ c. sugar
4 tbsp. butter, melted
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
½ c. Meyer lemon juice
Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
¹⁄₈ tsp Madagascar vanilla bean paste
⅓ c. powdered sugar, for dusting
DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
2. To make the lemon curd, in a large microwaveable bowl, combine sugar, butter, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla bean paste. Whisk in egg, then egg yolk. Place in the mixture into the microwave and cook for 1 minute at a time, whisking after each minute. You will need to do a total of 4-6 minutes or until the curd coats the back of a spatula (it will look jelly-like). The time will depend on the strength of your microwave.
3. Pour the hot curd through a mesh sieve to remove any “eggy” parts. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until cookies have completely cooled.
4. To make the cookies, in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Add egg yolks one at a time and mix just until incorporated. Add salt, then with mixing speed on low, gradually add flour a ½ cup at a time. Mix until incorporated.
5. Roll dough into 1″ balls, place on prepared baking sheets. Lightly pat down to flatten (just a little bit), then using your thumb press little wells into the center of each. Place into the oven and bake for 13-15 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown in color. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cookies have cooled (30 minutes or so) using a mesh sieve, gently dust powdered sugar over each cookie. Place a dollop of chilled lemon curd in the center of each, then place in refrigerator to set up for 30 minutes. Serve & enjoy!
Note: you do not have to use Meyer lemons, although they’re much sweeter than standard lemons.
From the Spirit:

I thought I would share this video.  This video explains what the Book of Mormon is for those of you who may be wondering.  Hope you take a moment to see the video.  Enjoy!

From the Schmidt's:

Make Love Letters at WiddlyTinks.com
Today started out early for me.  I woke up with Curtis as he was getting ready to head up north to play in the snow with some friends.  Hopefully he has a lot of fun.  He was telling the other day that he likes it when its just the four friends together.  One of girls sometimes brings invites her boyfriend last minute and it's just not the same.  He said it's not that they do or do not like the guy.  He says it just isn't the same.  Anyway, Curtis was excited to go to the snow today and just spend time with his friends.

Kevin and I also had a long talk about his situation.  Kevin is frustrated, naturally.  He feels like he has let everyone around him down, mostly his family.  Let's face it, a man's identity is tied into somewhat to what they do for a living and being able to provide for his family.  When that is taken away from him it can severely change the way they see themselves, which will effect everything he does.  This back issue is not something that will get better or improve.  He will eventually get worse.  He spends 24/7 flat on his back in bed now.  

What does our future hold?  Kevin is at a place where he will NEVER work again.  Sure, we have applied for disability.  That is still pending.  BUT, what about the rest?  His quality of life?  He really doesn't have much.  It's the bed, doctor's appointments, and that is it.  That is all his body can handle before it starts to spasm and cramp up.  Then he is back to laying flat in bed again.  What about the excruciating pain he experiences every single day?  He is all ready taking the maximum amount of pain killers a doctor can prescribe to ease some of that pain, yet it does not even come close to cutting it?  What happens when the pain gets worse?  Where do we go from here?  

I am the only one working right now.  My job and the money I make doesn't even come close to covering the basic living expenses.  So, what are we going to do?  A second job you say?  Well, first I have to get permission from my first employer.  Then if I am granted permission to work a second job, what about my children?  As well as my husband who needs someone to cook and clean for them.  That is how I spend my evenings.  Taking care of those things.  How do single parent's do it?  I have always had a respect for the single parent.  Our situation now just makes me appreciate their situation all the more.  It is no wonder a single parent always feels like they just do not measure up.  I so get it and I have a new found deeper appreciation for the single working parent of young children.  It is hard work!

Please do not get me wrong, I am well aware that things could be much worse.  I am very glad and grateful that I still have my husband.  He is still here to get after and council my children when they need it.  He is still here to help me through things and here to help me make tough decisions, and for that I am eternally grateful.  I have even had those conversations with my Heavenly Father.  Pleading with him to NOT take my husband from me because I cannot do this alone.  I need him just as much as my children need him.  We cannot do anything without my husband or their father here.  We need him to lead and guide our family.  It is that simple.  I keep telling Kevin that he isn't useless.  This isn't the end of his life story.  He does make a difference, he is needed, and he can be an influence to his wife, his children, friends and family.  It's just now we have to search for different ways to do that sometimes.  Believe me, we have not lost all hope.  We just have moments where this all really gets to us and we need an outlet.  For me, this blog sometimes is my outlet.  For Kevin, his family has become his outlet.  He needs to talk it through sometimes.  Like we did today.  

There are times I will be honest, I cry myself to sleep thinking about all of this.  It isn't easy watching my husband suffer the way he is, and I know it could get much much worse as time goes on.  I read a description of the condition he has.  The description said his pain will be like the pain a stage 4 cancer patient feels, but they have the release of death.  Kevin's pain will be that intense, but without the release of death.  To visualize that in my head freaks me out a bit and I get discouraged from time to time.  I wonder about how we are going to get through all of this.  That description just sounds horrible, doesn't it?   So, when I think about this, I sometimes break down.  I told my kids to not make a big deal about me crying.  I don't want my husband to hear me or see me, OR even worse, feel bad because I am crying.  I also try not to let my children see me cry too.  Thankfully, I have only had two or three of those times since about April of 2014.  Believe me, I do not know why that is.  Somehow my Heavenly Father has sent his administering angels to buoy he up and stand on my right side and my left side, and sometimes even in front and in back of me.  Those angels have been awesome.  Some of those angels are here walking the earth and I can actually see them and touch them.  They are those people that have been put in place to help me along the way.  People like our Bishop for example.  Then I know the vale is very thin.  I know that because of this trial we are going through.  I know that because these administering angels have walked with me each and every day and have literally lightened this burden from me.  How this happens I do not know.  But I do know that the strength and ability I feel to get through this does not come from me.  It comes from a loving Heavenly Father who knows me, and wants to help me through this.  Every step of the way.  

The other day when we visited with our Bishop he mentioned something about not experiencing these kinds of trials.  I told him I didn't think NOT having to go through them was a good thing.  We have learned a lot as we have gone through this.  Things about ourselves.  Things about each other.  Things about the world.  Things about extended family.  Things about our faith.  Things about so many things!  For that, I cannot say that I would prefer to NOT go through this.  Sure, it's hard, and it just keeps getting harder sometimes, I still would not want to NOT go through our trials.   Enough said.  

I know I have rambled and shared things you probably never wanted or cared to know.  For that, I apologize.  But at the same time, I am not sorry.  I had to get it out.  I had to release a little.  I do thank you for taking the time to read.  I also ask that if you have any advice or words of encouragement, please leave a comment.  I would love to hear from you.  

I also hope you have a wonderful day!  Take care and we will talk soon

Quote of the Day:

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