Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

Two Things I am Grateful For:

1) Good Eye insurance!  I am so glad we got every one's eyes checked....well everyone but Kyle.  He didn't want to go this time.  But the rest of us got the eyes checked and we all got new glasses.  Mine and Kevin's eyes were a little worse this time, but it's been 2 years since our last appointment.  Lexi and Curtis did better.  

2) Good kids.  We have awesome kids!  Now, don't get me wrong....NOT perfect kids.  They make mistakes, they can get on my nerves, like most other kids...but they are awesome and we love them.

From the Camera:

I got one of the statues of Christ for Valentine's Day.  Love that, and it was a great price too.  Love that!  Thanks Honey!  I've wanted one for years now, but the cost never ever fit into the budget.  Well, this one was a special price and it couldn't be passed up.  I'm so happy.

From the Heart:

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

As part of the busy American lifestyle, people tend to rely on processed and fast food, often forgetting about or not making enough time for nutritious eating. It’s no wonder obesity levels continue to rise throughout the country.
Community gardens are a great resource for communities because they offer fresh fruits and vegetables to individuals and families who might not otherwise have the resources to obtain healthy food.


Community gardens often have the power to revitalize a neighborhood, because they create the opportunity for people in a community to come together to beautify their surroundings. They also encourage self-sufficiency and provide families with a cheap nutritious food source.

Step It Up

Make a commitment to volunteer weekly at a local community garden. By taking the time to help plant, care for and harvest food from the garden, you'll be doing a kind act for those who may not be able to afford healthy food.

Keep It Simple

Promote healthy eating in your own family by getting them involved with a garden in your community. Gardening is a fun family activity for all ages and even the pickiest eaters will enjoy eating the fresh produce they helped grow!
From the Kitchen:

Red Velvet Cheesecake Bites
Makes 50 mini servings
Red velvet layer
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) red food coloring
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Cheesecake layer
  • 2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour an 10×15-inch jelly roll pan, and set aside. Add melted butter to a large bowl then add the following ingredients, in this order, stirring after each addition: sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring and vinegar. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and then stir into the cocoa mixture. Fold in the flour just until combined. (Don’t over mix!) Set aside at least 1/2 cup of the batter for the top; pour the rest of the batter in the baking pan, spreading evenly across the bottom.
For the cheesecake layer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth. Carefully spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter in the pan, then plop spoonfuls of the remaining brownie batter over the cream cheese. Drag the tip of a knife through the red velvet and the cream cheese to create swirls. Bake for 30 minutes or just until the center of the cheesecake part is set. Let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.  Use mini cookie cutters to create the bites–I used the heart cutter from this Wilton set.  Save the scraps for your husband.

A couple of tips......
1. I used the red heart cookie cutter in this set from Wilton for my hearts. They are not actually bite sized…and are more a 2-3 bites sized. These brownies are definitely sturdy enough for the bigger size…and I feel better saying I had one brownie, instead of, I had 3 brownies. 
2. Use a heavy duty jelly roll pan! A thin pan will result in the burnt bottoms (hehe). I have this one…and while yes it is more expensive than the cheapo ones at Wal-Mar, it is so worth the money.
3. You are going to have scraps leftover from the hearts. You have two options… One, stand over the sink eating them. Two, come back and check here on Monday to see what tasty treat I whipped up with the remaining scraps! Update: What to do with the scraps!
4. Wouldn’t these be adorable on lollipop sticks? And with a Valentine stuck to them? You know like the kid’s Valentines? Someone please do it & send me photos so I can ogle all the adorableness!
From the Spirit:

Heavenly Father Loves Us With All Our Flaws

Oh, it is wonderful to know that our Heavenly Father loves us-even with all our flaws! His love is such that even should we give up on ourselves, He never will. We see ourselves in terms of yesterday and today. Our Heavenly Father sees us in terms of forever. Although we might settle for less, Heavenly Father won’t, for He sees us as the glorious beings we are capable of becoming.”
–Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Great Commandment”, October 2007 General Conference
From the Schmidt's:

1. Have you ever written a love letter? Have you written one recently? Had one written to you? Did you keep it?

Oh, I don't think I have written a love letter for over 30 years to my husband.  Sure, there have been little notes, but no actual letter in a long time.  Prior to that I would say probably 3rd or 4th grade was the last time.  

2. What's a movie that ends in a way you especially love?

I would say Maleficent was a surprise for me.  I love that movie!  It was awesome.  

3. Something that makes your heart sing? And for those of you who are parents, I mean something besides your childrenthat makes your heart sing?

I'd have to say seeing my husband not suffering in pain.  That makes me happy.  

4. What's the last event you had to attend, phone call you had to make, routine task you needed to complete, or meal you had to prepare, that you did do, but only half-heartedly?

I would say having to see my husband get admitted to the hospital last week was something I only did half way.  I don't like to see that happen and I know he doesn't like it either.

5. Tuna fish salad-yay or blech? If you said yay, how do you like your tuna salad prepared? Hey, this is the Hodgepodge, right?

I like tuna.  In fact, I am the only one in the family that likes it.  I like mine with just a little Miracle Whip and that's it.  Funny this question comes up today because I can go several months without any and then all of a sudden I have to have it.  Well, I had to have it the other day.

6. What's something you 'know by heart'?

Some scriptures, some songs, some hymns, the articles of faith.

7. In the spirit of Valentine's Day, what two or three word phrase would you write on a conversation heart for someone you love? That someone could be a spouse, child, parent, cousin, bestie...anyone at all whom you love.

Love you more

8. Insert your own random thought here.

This has been a busy week!  Kevin in the hospital at the beginning of the week.  Doctor's appointments.  Curtis going through the temple for the first time.  Eye appointments....and lots of errands.  It was interesting going through the temple without any extended family there with us.  But we feel we had some family from the other side of the Vail there with us.  Apparently several of the names people took through had the last name of Schmidt.  That is unusual.  But very cool.  

Curtis had a good time.  They got to meet with the Temple President for quite a while.  The Temple President happened to be one of Kevin's seminary teachers, which was pretty cool.  They talked for quite a while and he even came to the session for a bit too.  He met all of us at the end and we all talked for a while before we left for the night.  It was awesome!

We have a lot to do.  Groceries to put away, cleaning to do, and a lot more.  Take care and we will talk again soon.
Quote of the Day:

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