Saturday, March 28, 2015

Fond Memories

Two Things I am Grateful For:
1) A Heavenly Father who hears my prayers, especially when I am frustrated.  I am so grateful He is there for me.  To help me through those tough times, especially when He does not take the problem away.

2) My children.  They continue to amaze me....and make me proud too.  We have been blessed with awesome kids.

3) The covenants that I have made with my Heavenly Father.  What a blessing they are in my life!

Goals for the Day:
1) Clean.  Things came up and I didn't get it all done yesterday.

2) Help Lexi with her talk - listening only as she reads it.
She wrote the talk all by herself.  She came up with the quotes, stories all on her own.  This is why I mentioned that I am grateful for my children above.  She amazes me!  Love that girl!
3) Get clothing ready for church tomorrow.

4) Dinner.  Something with Chicken.  Maybe my Chicken and Rice...not sure yet. Decisions, Decisions.

From the Camera:

Kevin with his Dad...just before Kevin left on his mission relaxing sipping a soda.

My Father-in-law with his children

My Mother-in-law and Father-in-law

My In-laws with MOST of their Grandchildren....I say most because Lexi isn't in this photo.
I can't seem to find a photo of ALL of them.  I know we have taken that photo, but as a family we take lots of photos, but we don't seem to get the photos out to everyone.  Know what I mean?  It's a lot of work to maintain the family photos.  I'm sure someone in the family has that photo.  I just don't have a copy.  I need one, so Lexi will stop complaining that she just wasn't important.  It's not fun being the last one all the time.  It's hard being the youngest.  Poor Lexi.  ~smile~
Check out Kyle's face.  Yikes!

From the Heart:

In keeping with our theme, acts of kindness, here is another idea.
(frankly, this is one I would have NEVER thought of.  I learn something new every day.  ~smile~)

Driving can be a stressful activity, especially when you live in a high-traffic area or do a lot of driving during rush hour.
Between soccer practice or ballet, taking kids to school and driving to and from work, it often seems like our lives are devoured by the time we spend in the car every day. What's more, every mile we drive contributes to polluting the air we breathe. Even if you’re too young to drive, you can still play a part in reducing the air pollution caused by traffic in your community. By organizing carpool for your sports team or a school field trip, you'll be helping cut down on gas, a costly resource, and reducing pollution.

Benefits

Carpools can be a great way to care for our air, but they also have many other benefits.
  • Save money on gas and car repairs
  • Reduce traffic congestion
  • Help parents with busy schedules organize their time

Step It Up

Kids can help organize a carpool system to get to school or soccer practice. Make it easier for your busy parents by arranging for them to alternate driving with a friend, classmate or teammate’s parents. College students can create a “ride board” at their school, to help students without cars to find transportation. Adults can organize a carpool system in their office.

Keep It Simple

You don’t need to organize a carpool to be a part of one. Find out if there’s an existing carpool at your office you can join, or ask about a carpool system at your child’s school.

From the Kitchen:
Homemade German Chocolate Cake


Ingredients:

PARCHMENT PAPER
(4-oz.) packages sweet chocolate baking bars (We prefer the Baker's Brand German Sweet Baking Bars)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar 
large eggs, separated 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

AND....Coconut Pecan Frosting (recipe below)

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease 3 (9-inch) round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper, and lightly grease paper.
2. Microwave chocolate baking bars and 1/2 cup water in a large microwave-safe bowl at HIGH for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until chocolate is melted and smooth, stirring once halfway through.
3. Combine flour and next 2 ingredients in a medium bowl.
4. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.
5. Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form; gently fold into batter. Pour batter into prepared pans.
6. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cake layers to loosen from sides of pans. Cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks; discard parchment paper. Cool completely (about 1 hour). Spread Coconut-Pecan Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish, if desired.


Coconut-Pecan Frosting

2 cups chopped pecans
(12-oz.) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter 
egg yolks, lightly beaten 
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut 
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract



Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool completely (about 20 minutes).
2. Meanwhile, cook evaporated milk, sugar, butter, and egg yolks in a heavy 3-qt. saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 3 to 4 minutes or until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cook, stirring constantly, 12 to 14 minutes or until mixture becomes a light caramel color, is bubbling, and reaches a pudding-like thickness.
3. Remove pan from heat; stir in coconut, vanilla, and pecans. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Let stand, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes or until cooled and spreading consistency.

From the Spirit:

We Don’t Know the Lord’s Purposes

By: Jeff
Last week my sweet mom invited me to lunch.  I consider it one of my greatest blessings to live close to this matriarch of a woman and am grateful for her every day!   I’ve never talked about her before on here so let me give you a little background.
My mom is a convert to the church.  She has served in many, many callings including Stake RS president for like 7 years.  She stayed home and raised us, but about 10 years ago after my youngest sister graduated from high school she went to college with her to get a degree in social work.  She figures she has about 30 years of experience working with kids and marriage.   About 1/2 way through her schooling (about 5 years ago) her sweetheart, my wonderful Dad, passed away. She finished her bachelors and got a masters degree as well.
After she finished she was looking for a job for a while.  During this time I used to urge her to just go serve missions.  There was no need to go to work.  She could sell her house and serve missions the rest of her life.  In a way that only mom’s can do, she looked and me, smiled, and said: “Not right now.  It’s not what I’m supposed to be doing.”
Eventually she got a job and worked for the state for a while, but at the beginning of this year felt (and I stress felt) it was time to open her own counseling business.  So she quit her job and started her counseling business.
As we talked over lunch she told me of some of the wonderful work she was doing now in counseling.  Nothing specific about people, but just that she was making a difference.  The glow in her eyes and, more importantly, the Spirit that I felt testified that this was why she was not to serve a mission before.  Her mission, at this time in her life, is to help people in a way that only she can help them.  The Lord needs her counseling here now.
What a wonderful testimony to me about the importance of doing things in the Lord’s time and ALWAYS asking him what he would have us do before we do them.
Elder Bednar recently spoke (and I actually got to go and be an usher) here in Arlington.  He said this: “I do not know all of the reasons, all of the purposes, and I do not know everything about the Lord's timing.”  And then just a paragraph or two later he says “Though I do not know everything about how and when and where and why these blessings occur, I do know and I witness they are real. I testify that all of these things are true--and that we know enough by the power of the Holy Ghost to bear sure witness of their divinity, reality, and efficacy.”
How grateful I am for the power of the Spirit that testifies to me of his plan for each of us.


From the Schmidt's:
Today is a hard day all around for our family each year.
Today marks the anniversary, if you will, of the passing of my Father-in-Law.  He passed away 12 years ago today and our family hasn't been the same since that day.  We miss him and think about him all of time.  He was a wonderful man.  Some my fondest memories of my Father-in-law were of the times he was found making a mistake...not exactly his favorite moments.  Like the time we were riding the Verde Valley Railroad and his hat fell off and they stopped the entire train so my Father-in-law could get off the train to retrieve it.  He didn't want the entire train to have to stop or make a big fuss over his hat.  That reminds me of another thing.  If you were around him and he was not in a suit, he had a baseball cap on his head.  He wore them all the time and had quite the hat collection.  He spent a lot of time in his yard and had an amazing green thumb.  He could grow anything.  He worked hard.
He joined the church just a few short years after he married my Mother-in-law.  They raised 3 boys together. My husband being the youngest of all of their children.  There was NEVER a doubt just how much my Father-in-law loved his family and did anything for them.  You could always find him spending his free time with his wife, children, and grandchildren.  He really enjoyed those grand kids!
My Father-in-law hit the ground running after joining the church and served in many many callings.  Most of his time was spent serving the youth through the Scouting program.  He loved scouting!  In fact, back when they use to rank scout troops his troop was ranking in the top 50.  There is a photo of this troop that hangs in the Mesa South Stake Building of his troop.  In fact, the same photo hangs in the family office of this scout troop too.  It was even in the newspaper.  It was quite a thing to be ranked so high.  BUT, it wasn't the ranking that meant so much to my Father-in-law.  It was the time spent with the youth that he cherished and the youth cherished time spent with my Father-in-law too.  That was evident to everyone when this troop came to my Father-in-laws funeral wearing their scout uniforms.  Wearing these uniforms was symbolic.... it was an outward expression of the love and commitment that these young men had for their troop, leader, and friend.  They loved my Father-in-law.  
My Father-in-law went on to serve the youth and the entire ward as a member of the bishopric in his ward.  He served as counselor for many years.  Later he went on to serve a service mission with his wife at the Bishop's Store House.  They served there for just under a year before my Father-in-law became ill and passed away.
My Father-in-law owned his own business too.  You could say my Father-in-law was a hard worker and loved by all who came in contact with him.  He also had a memory.  He could remember people, places, and events.  It was amazing!  But you could also say he was a wonderful husband, father, friend, and colleague.  I was always amazed where ever we went, we would ALWAYS run into someone that knew this man.  We would run into people at the grocery store, at the gas station, in other cities, on family vacations, you name it he knew a lot of people and they all love my Father-in-law.  
We all have fond memories spent with Gene Fredrick Schmidt.  We love him and we will miss him until we get to see him again.  
Today is a hard day.  BUT it is a day to reflect and remember wonderful times spent with our Father and Friend too. 
We know that whatever he is doing he is working hard and doing his very best to make a difference in others.  That is what he does best.  Helping others.  What a blessing he is in all of our lives.  What a legacy he has given to us.  Once in a while we talk about our name....Schmidt with our children.  We talk about how important that name is.  We owe my Father-in-law so much for showing us all how he would like us to treat his, and his father's, good name.  May we always remember how important this man's good name really is and be found worthy to be called by it too.  
We love you Gene Schmidt and miss you too.
I hope you all have a wonderful day.  Take care my friends.  
~smile~smile~

From our Missionary:

-nothing today...more tomorrow from Curtis-

Quote of the Day:
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