Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday Sunday!

Two Things I am Grateful For:

1) The gospel in my life.  What a blessing it is!  I know exactly where I could be without it and I do not want to try that ever.

2) My job. I am grateful to be employed.  Enough said.

Goals for the Day:

1) Get my things ready for work tomorrow.
2) Make sure Kevin has what he needs for his appointment tomorrow.
3) Make sure Lexi has what she needs for tomorrow.
4) Dinner for the family
5) Get Lexi to her Fireside tonight

AND....AND.....AND
whatever comes up

From the Camera:

I love this time of year.  All the spring flowers in bright colors along with all of the pastel colors too.  It's so much fun to bring those colors into my home and brighten everything up.  Spring flowers are my absolute favorite season of flowers!  
I love everything about Spring!  
I even like the earthy side of things this time of year too.
So, since Easter is just around the corner,
and this is usually a time to get together with
family and friends....here are a few 
Spring or Easter table setting ideas....
(Remember I said just a few.  Ha Ha)




























From the Heart:

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

Have you hugged someone recently? Hugs can communicate a number of things: A hug is a great way to let someone you care about them; It can be a way to comfort someone who has experienced loss; or it can be a way to say "hello" to a friend.
Whatever the situation, giving a hug is a simple act that’s sure to brighten someone’s day! Plus, research shows that hugs release dopamine, lower blood pressure and heart rate. Who doesn't want to be relaxed and happy?

Benefits

There are many benefits to giving someone a hug! In addition to lowing your blood pressure and heart rate, hugging can:
  • Help someone open up emotionally
  • Make someone feel accepted
  • Improve your immune system
  • Relieve stress

Keep It Simple

If you’re not comfortable with hugging strangers, just make an effort to hug your family and friends more. When you see a relative or friend, greet him or her with a hug.

From the Kitchen:


Jalapeno Bacon Cheddar Deviled Eggs


Ingredients:
Makes 24 Deviled Eggs
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

12 eggs
4 slices bacon
3 jalapeno peppers
1 Cup finely shredded sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/3 Cup Mayonnaise
1/4 red onion, minced
2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
1 pinch paprika, or as desired

Directions

  1. Place eggs in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and let eggs stand in hot water for 15 minutes. Remove eggs from hot water, cool under cold running water, and peel.
  2. Place bacon in a large skillet; cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain bacon on paper towels; crumble when cool enough to handle.
  3. Remove seeds and stems from jalapenos; mince 1 pepper and slice remaining peppers into very thin strips; set aside.
  4. Cut eggs in half lengthwise; place yolks in a bowl. Mash egg yolks with a fork; stir in minced jalapeno, Cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, red onion, and mustard.
  5. Place egg whites cut-side up on a serving platter. Spoon yolk mixture into egg white halves; sprinkle with crumbled bacon and paprika.











From the Spirit:

The Garden Cycle – Spiritual Gardening

For those that may not live in the south-eastern United States, let me give you a little glimpse into the world out here.  There is something amazing and beautiful about nature in North Carolina.  You see animals, bugs and other creatures crawling, scampering, running, hiding, jumping, slithering, and pretty much every other verb you can think of.  Only second to the wildlife are the remarkable forests!  They are amazing and beautiful… from a distance.  But a close inspection reveals an intricate system of trees, plants, vines, shrubs and noxious weeds!  Abandoned lots quickly become overgrown and impassible, providing a living warning of the effects of neglect to all those who pass.


It just so happens that we to live in one of these beautiful forests, complete with vines and dozens of 40 ft. pine trees.  As you can imagine, it can sometimes be overwhelming to keep on top of the yard.   I have found that there is a sad pattern I follow every year with my yard and garden that I am going to call it the garden cycle.  Every Spring I spend countless hours in the yard.  I clean up the left-over leaves from the winter.  I gather the left over pine needles from the trees.  I mulch around the trees and bushes.  And I spend days tilling the garden and putting in an awesome and amazing vegetable garden.  I straighten all the brick borders from around the yard.  I round-up the weeds growing in the sidewalk and other places.  I venture into the woods and hunt out the poison ivy and oak and kill it using what ever means necessary.  I sow seed and mow perfect lines into my perfect lawn.  When it is done I sit back and I admire the labors of my hands, for it is good! 

For a couple of weeks it is so exciting!  I look forward to mowing the lawn and bringing that shine back to my yard.  We go out to our garden every day to see the progress of our seeds.  We rejoice as the bean’s push their way through the soil to toward the sunlight.  We look forward with anticipation at the day when we get to enjoy the first fruits of our labors.
And then the weeds come.
And the excitement dies.


Before I know it, the weeds have taken over all but the strongest plants and they aren’t producing much any more.  The bricks are all messed up from the kids playing soccer in the yard.  The weeds are pushing up through the mulch around the trees.  The And most of all… I am tired.  I let it go, telling myself I will start again next year.
This story repeats itself again the next year, and to some extent that is okay, for each year I make some improvements and I get a little better.  Some years are better than others, but I have not given up.
You surely have already begun to see the similarities between the garden and our lives.   Our personal gardens, our bodies and our souls, are wonderful and amazing!  But in this life there are many poison vines, weeds and other noxious plants that are constantly trying to find their way in.  With constant vigilance we can protect ourselves from the buffetings of Satan and those that labor with him.  Sometimes we don’t get those weeds out when they start to creep in, and if we are not careful, they will begin to take over.


Remember, if we ever find ourselves in a place where the weeds become too much and we just want to give up, The Master Gardener is waiting to help us with our chores.  In the most famous garden of all, He paid for our negligence.  Because of that great sacrifice, He can come into our lives and, as we repent, remove those weeds.  He can till the earth up and make it perfect again.  What a wonderful blessing that has been in my life.  Just like spring, I can start over again, and with His help, each season I can become a better gardener of my soul.

From the Schmidt's:

Today was a good day!  Lexi spoke in church and she did an excellent job!  Go Lexi.  Her topic was the resurrection, which I thought was a deep topic for a youth.  Even so, Lexi did an amazing job, if I do say so myself.  She was asked to share how the resurrection effects her personally.  She shared a story about a little girl that has a brother that passed away when he was very small and how because Christ was resurrected we will all be resurrected to.  The girl in the story talked about how because of this she will get to see her brother someday in his perfect state.
Lexi shares some things from a book called True to the Faith and a quote by Elder Dallin H. Oaks.  Then she talked about how the resurrection effects her personally.  She mentioned that when she was 5 years old she had open heart surgery and she has a big scar on her chest and that because of the resurrection that scar will be gone and she will be perfect.  This was the point that Lexi began to cry.  Then through the tears she mentioned that just like the little girl in the story her dad will be able to see his older brother Kurtis and also her Grandpa Schmidt.  She brought out the point that ALL MEN will be resurrected, bond or free, good or bad.  All Men!  
And she shared a scripture or two as well.

After Lexi spoke several people came up to me to tell me how well she did with her talk. They all said she almost made them cry too.

After church Lexi also mentioned that several people came up to her to talk about how much they enjoyed her talk and they too mentioned that she nearly made them cry.  

Even though Lexi wanted to spirit to be in our Sacrament Meeting today, she didn't want to cry, nor did she intend to make others cry.
But, she did exactly what she set out to do.  She planned and prepared her talk all by herself.  That alone was wonderful!
I love that the most!  Then she prayed that the Holy Ghost would be with her and with everyone that heard her speak.  It was great!
I love that too!  I love that she took the time to pray and to pray that Heavenly Father would send his spirit to be with us.
That to me is the most important part about speaking in church.
Good job Lexi!  

As I mentioned before, Kevin wouldn't be able to make it to church today.  He was bummed about missing Lexi's talk, but she knew her dad would be there if he could.  He never misses anything our children do unless he has no choice.  He would be bleeding and in the worst possible pain and he would still be there for them.  How he does that, I do not know.  It's amazing!  Love that man for the example he sets for me.   

I fell in the shower last Monday and the whole left side of my upper leg is bruised and sore.  Then my right knee has been killing me too.  I'm not sure what I did to it, but it can really hurt.  I tried to kneel on the tile floor and that about sent me over the edge.  It hurt so bad. (I'm a big baby) BUT, I am able to deal with it.  It's just more proof that I am getting old and could stand to drop a few more pounds.  If I just take a little Motrin I am good.  BUT, I complain.  My pain is nothing like what Kevin is dealing with.  Yet, he still helps me through my pain.  He has so much compassion for someone suffering.  Even though their pain may be so much less then the pain he has ever experienced.  It is amazing.  I would have thought he wouldn't have much compassion, but he does.  I have to give it to him.  It is something to see.  That man!

Well, Kyle went to help out with the Weight Lifting Competition at Skyline High School yesterday.  He spent the day hanging out with his old High School Football Coach and his Weight Lifting Coach.  It was good for him.
He gave up lifting for a while there due to school and work.
Now he wants to get back into it.
As I've mentioned before, his Weight Lifting Coach is 
the USA Olympic Weight Lifting Coach.
In fact, he was at the last Olympics with someone from Arizona.
Pretty awesome, right??
Kyle has a lot of work to do if he plans on ever making it to the Olympics.  It's been a dream of his since High School when his high school coach taught him the correct technique for Olympic style weight lifting.  Since then, he has loved it.  
In fact, at the tail end of Kyle's mission he searched for a gym and a coach that he could train with her in Arizona.  
He found the very man that would coach him if he makes it all the way.

When Kyle walked in his coach was happy to see him.
Kyle plans to get back to weight lifting either Monday or Tuesday this week.  He needs this.  He needs to keep busy.
With school, work, and weight lifting...that should keep busy at least until his little buddy returns home from his mission.

I love that my children are close.  I asked them one time if they thought they would still get together to hang out with each other if their Mom and Dad were gone.  They just looked at me and said, that's a stupid question, Mom.  Of course we would.  Then they said, they couldn't wait for that day.  Can you believe that? 
 Ornery kids!  LOL!

Well, Lexi has insisted that we cut up fruit.  She cannot wait to eat it all.  I tried to get her to wait for me, but this girl has no patience.
Ha ha!  Lexi got a visit from her camp leader this afternoon.  Lexi will be a 1st year YCL this year.  I can hardly believe it.  WOW!  Time flies.  

I must go.  The watermelon is calling my name.
Take care friends.  We will talk soon.  I promise.

From the Missionary:

Hey,

I sent a letter to dad that was for the whole family, but I got more time, so I will write some more to you. Ha Ha.  The MTC is awesome as always.  Oh yeah, I forgot to say who is all in my district.  I will send pictures after the MTC if I can.  My companion is Elder Nelson.  We are staying in the same room as Elder Green and Elder Martin who are awesome.  Elder Green is super smart but can get annoying and Elder Martin is pretty cool.  He just has been on edge being companions with Elder Green and all.  Oh yeah, and they are serving in Gilbert, AZ so that was cool to hear...I forgot to tell you that.  Ha Ha.  I always tell them how much I wanted to leave Arizona for two years.  Ha Ha.  But then there are the Sisters.  Sister Zalaya who is going to the same mission.  She is companions with Sister Bishoff who is also going to AZ, and then Sister Harman who is going to Canada, and Sister Lawrence who is going to Los Angeles.  That is everyone in our district, but as a Zone Leader I am sort of over our branch along side Elder Nelson and I am over the new 8 Elders and Sisters in our branch/zone.  It was crazy when they came on Wednesday and I got to kind of see how much I've changed.  Anyways, life is good.  Let me know how everyone is. :)  I love you all.  Ha Ha.  Not really but sorta.  Ha Ha.

Love,

Elder Schmidt

Quote of the Day:

Because He Lives!
Jesus Christ lived.  He walked the Holy Land, working miracles and teaching truth.  Then He was crucified.  But His death was not the end.  Because of His Resurrection, we will live again.  Because of His sacrifice, we can rise above sin to experience true joy.  Because He lives, we can find His help and healing every day of our lives.

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