Monday, April 20, 2015

Manic Monday!

Two Things I am Grateful For:

1) Co-workers who agree to work the late shift at the last minute so I don't have to.  Thank you!

2) My health.  Yes, my right knee is killing me, but it could be much worse.  I am grateful for my health.

Goals for the Day:

1) Get through the day.  As I mentioned before, we are a team of 8 people.  Well, today we were down 5 people.  One retired (we thought about calling her back today, but we thought better of that idea), one is in the hospital, one on vacation, one called out sick, and one only worked til 10:30 each day as she transitions back from being out.  PLUS, our manager was out of town as well.  Fun times!

2) Dinner

3) Do a few things around the house like take out some garbage, pick up a few things

4) Run a few errands with Kevin.  Pool chemicals and stuff.  Fun times!

5) Laundry

6) Get things ready for tomorrow.

From the Camera:

The other day I posted a photo of my daughter's quilt top and promised to show you mine.  Danielle did hers in greens and purples and used a black boarder and it turned out so nice.  
I decided to go a little more Old looking Americana,....or at least so I thought.  I went with blues, reds, and off whites with a red boarder.  So here are few shots of my quilt top in the making....
This was a photo as I started to add the red boarder around each block....
And while we are on a role, I will show you all the photos of Danielle's too.  It's really pretty, I think.
This is a photo as she is constructing the blocks with her black boarder....ignore the mess on my floor.  This is what happens when you start to quilt.  Your house becomes a sewing room.  
Danielle added a purple boarder around the whole thing and I just love it!  
Here is another shot of the whole thing.  Isn't it pretty?

And one more....
Danielle and I (Danielle did most of the work) also made one of these for my niece as a last minute wedding gift.  We Schmidt's (with Zimmerman blood....In all fairness, I can't speak for the others) seem to work best with a deadline and under pressure, or so it seems.  My nieces colors were teal, yellow and gray.  We also added a block in the middle with the last name and their wedding date.  Take a look....

We had a lot of fun making these quilts.  We still have yet to complete the first two you see.  They are just quilt tops for now.  Some day we will find the time to complete them.  The last one was a completed quilt.  

From the Heart:

In keeping with our theme, acts of kindness, here is another idea....
Most people don’t eat enough fruit, which is a great natural energy source full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. But who can pass up such a delicious and healthy food treat? It’s good for your body and your soul!

Benefits

  • Fruit contains fiber which keeps your digestive system happy and healthy.
  • Eating fruits may reduce your risk of disease.
  • Fruit is a great source of vitamins and minerals.
  • Fruit contains disease-fighting antioxidants.

Step It Up

Adults can bring fruit to work to share with coworkers or make sure they are serving enough fruit to their families at home! Kids can share fruit with their classmates at school.

Keep It Simple

Share your fresh fruit with a friend at lunch. Or, take a piece of fruit for yourself!
From the Kitchen:

Pecan Pie Bars


1 can crescent rolls (they now make it without seems)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, beaten
Heat oven to 350°F.
Unroll dough and press in bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of a 9x13-inch pan. Firmly press perforations to seal. Bake 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Pour filling over partially baked crust. Bake 18 to 22 minutes longer or until golden brown (mine took exactly 20 minutes).
Cool completely, about 1 hour, and cut into bars

From the Spirit:

RESOLVING CONFLICTS

By M. Sue Bergin (BA ’78)

Steps we can take to increase family harmony and foster spiritual growth.

A number of years ago, emeritus law professor Gerald R. Williams participated in a panel discussion about religion and conflict resolution. A Jewish scholar explained his culture’s approach to disagreement over religious doctrine, saying that “we relish conflict because out of vigorous debate comes truth.” Williams, on the other hand, told the audience that many “in the Mormon culture avoid conflict like the plague.”

The wisdom in the LDS approach, Williams believes, is that it preserves harmony and unity within the Church while opening the door to revelation. A downside, he says, is that Latter-day Saints may overlook the fact that conflict in homes, families, and other relationships is a necessary and valuable part of mortal experience. You could say it is part of the Lord’s plan.

Conflict is part of the plan? Doesn’t the adversary use conflict to drive wedges between family members? He uses contention, says Williams. Contention arises when two or more people allow a conflict to fester and grow. Conflict is an early warning sign of contention. It is a mirror, showing us where we need to repent and improve. In Ether 12:27 the Lord makes this promise: “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”

How does the Lord show us our weakness? One of the ways, Williams says, is by permitting conflict, and to ensure a steady supply, he gave us families—parents, brothers, sisters, spouses, children, aunts, uncles—and family reunions. Conflicts are mirrors, reflecting back our weakness, our need for humility before the Lord, and our need to change.

Williams is an internationally ac­claimed expert in negotiation and conflict resolution. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and has taught seminars for dozens of organizations, including the U.S. Department of Justice, Apple Computer, and General Mills.

During his more than 30 years of experience, he has observed that when conflicts reach a point of contention or impasse, resolving them involves a five-step process. In mediating legal cases and in his own life, Williams has come to believe that taking these steps can move people from division toward harmony. An example of how his ideas might be applied to a struggling couple is provided by an LDS counselor who is familiar with Williams’ work.
A Couple in Conflict
Dean and Helen have been married for 22 years of mostly misery. He has a domineering personality and can be harsh and unyielding. She is more passive and has learned to exert power through manipulation, such as overspending and withholding affection. They fought frequently early in their marriage, but Dean almost always prevailed. Helen finally gave up having a say in decisions or even bringing up most problems. They live in a cold pattern of avoidance, punctuated by brief explosions on the surface that never get to the underlying problems.

Helen wants to end the marriage but cannot bear the thought of breaking her temple covenants. In a meeting with their bishop, Helen complains that Dean is a dictator while she works hard to be a good wife and mother. Dean insists he is behaving as an LDS man should—presiding and leading and making decisions. They appear to be at an impasse, but Williams’ five steps can help them transform their relationship. (It should be noted that no approach resolves every conflict. Also, in situations where either or both parties have a serious emotional disorder, professional help should be sought.)
The Five Steps
Denial. When conflicts come up, most of us believe the other side is the problem. It’s natural for us to think this, just as it’s natural for the other side to place the blame on us. If we remain stuck in these positions, we are refusing to let the Lord show us our weakness.

Both Helen and Dean are in denial about their part in the breakdown of their marriage. Helen conveniently failed to tell her bishop about her intentional manipulations of affection, her resentment of Dean, and her exploitation of family finances. Dean refuses to admit that he is not living gospel principles of kindness, gentle persuasion, and equality in marriage.

Acceptance. To reach resolution, the next step is to admit to ourselves the possibility that we are part of the problem. “If we can’t imagine that we’re part of the problem, we are unlikely to learn or grow from the conflict” says Williams. When the conflict is within our family, and is alienating us from an important person in our life, such as a spouse or a child, it’s all the more critical to be willing to shoulder our portion of blame. Even if we’re entirely innocent, we can accept the possibility there is something we can do now to move the conflict toward resolution.

A powerful way for Helen and Dean to move from denial to acceptance is to follow the pattern of Ether 12:27 and humble themselves before the Lord and petition him to teach them their weakness. Both will need the Lord’s help to discover the subtle ways they are contributing to the problem. A third party such as a bishop or an LDS counselor might be needed to help them overcome denial and recognize their negative patterns.

Sacrifice. Accepting our share of the responsibility is difficult. We prefer not to be the one who needs to change. In this sense, moving toward resolution requires sacrifice. “That sacrifice might be my pride. It might be my need to always be right,” says Williams. If a person tends to accommodate others too much, the sacrifice might be to give up the pleasing behavior and assert his or her needs, while a person who takes advantage of others might need to give more and take less. Pride in all its forms is almost always a necessary sacrifice.

To heal their relationship, Dean and Helen will both need to humbly ask the Lord for the strength to change. Helen will need to give up her manipulative behavior just as Dean gives up his domineering behavior. By pondering D&C 121 Dean might recognize his unrighteous dominion; then he can decide what to sacrifice in order to live more in harmony with gospel principles.

Leap of Faith. The fourth step is to take multiple leaps of faith for the relationship. This is risky, because the other person may not be ready to reciprocate. “Suppose I swallow my pride and apologize. It’s possible the other person will say, ‘Well, you darn well better apologize, because it’s all your fault!’” Williams suggests when we’re unsure how the other will respond, begin with small leaps of faith to test the water. “Leaps of faith open us to the chance of being exploited or ridiculed, but also to the opportunity to change, forgive, and be forgiven.”

Helen’s vulnerability will be exposed if she shares with Dean what it feels like to be controlled and to hide her feelings from the person she once loved so much. It’s risky, too, for Dean to communicate the reasons for treating Helen with disrespect. Each might take advantage of the newly expressed vulnerability of the other, but if they both keep trying, the chances are good that these first leaps of faith will begin to bridge the gulf between them. They will need to make more leaps, such as giving up power, apologizing, and forgiving. This process will take time and the road may be rough—even very rough—for a while, but continued effort will yield improvement.

Renewal. It may take many tries, but Williams believes that this process can bring a change of heart toward our loved ones and that our relationships can experience a healthy renewal. He has found this to be true in his own marriage. “I have noticed that when my wife and I are out of sorts with each other, and we work our way through this process, trust is increased and our bond is strengthened.”

As Dean and Helen persisted in their determination to learn from their conflicts, they eventually built a partnership more satisfying than either thought possible. Neither changed overnight, but over time they learned to talk more openly, to trust each other with their thoughts and feelings, and to be, more often than not, truly of one heart and one mind.
Learning from Our Conflicts
If we can move through these steps, our hearts will open to new possibilities and we will gain insights into building stronger relationships. As Helen faced the conflict in her marriage, she discovered she was not as honest as she thought she was. She learned that resolution means giving up hidden agendas and subversive behavior to become a person of integrity. When Dean was willing to join this process, he was able to give up his unrighteous dominion and became a person more like the Savior—both gentle and strong. At the end of the journey from conflict to resolution was a strong and loving marriage.

From everyday conflict to deeper discord, Williams believes these five principles can work: “The Lord can bless us by helping us become conscious of our own fault in our conflicts and giving us courage to repent and change. As we learn to let go of our weakness, trust is increased and relationships are renewed.”

From the Schmidt's:

This has been a busy day.  Work was strange with just 3 of us taking calls and a supervisor, no manager.  We were missing 5 people which had not ever happened.  But we handled it and did the best we could.  

Before I got home Kevin sent me a text telling me he needed to get out of the house for a bit.  We ended up running a few errands.  Nothing too crazy.  Just pool chemicals and stuff like that.  It's that time of year again when we are shocking the pool once a week instead of one a month AND adding chlorine every single day.  Or so it seems.  The hardest part about this time of year is the number of hours the pool pump has to run in order to keep the pool clean and clear.  During the summer we have to run the pool pump one hour for every 10 degrees of heat.  So if it's 100 degrees out that pool pump runs for 10 hours a day.  This is why we try to have it run during the night so it's not running when everyone is trying to swim.  

Have a pool pump run along with the air conditioner really hikes up the electric bills in the summer.  It wasn't uncommon to have a $400 monthly electric bill last summer.  Especially during the month of August...our hottest month of the year.  The electric company had a rate increase recently, so it won't surprise me if we end up with a $450 monthly bill this summer.  Fun times!   Add that to the cost of pool chemicals each month it isn't worth having a pool, in my opinion.  Don't get me wrong....I love having a pool, but it is expensive and a lot of work.  We have talked about a pool service, but we have never really checked into it yet.  Maybe down the road sometime.  Besides, Kyle is going to either move out or get married soon, he won't be around to help as much as he is now....we may have to hire someone.  Kevin knows what to do, I just would prefer NOT for him to have to do it.  He isn't in any condition to be out there fooling around near a pool.  What if he fell?  I don't even want to think about it.  

The pool is a good thing for Kevin.  It helps sooth his sore back and that is good thing.  I guess I should consider it his therapy.  For that, it's worth every penny it costs us.  

Lexi has asked me to schedule a dental appointment for her.  It's sad when your children ask for one, isn't it?  LOL!  She has a tooth that is bothering her that needs a dentist's attention.  I'm just glad she let me know.  So, I have to call and get that scheduled.  Thankfully, they have evening hours so I can get her there after work.  I want to reach out to that friend of mine that retired though.  I would prefer to switch dentists before I take Lexi in.  It won't take long.  Just a phone call to the dental plan.  I didn't care for the long laundry list of things our dentist wanted to do on our sons teeth before he left on his mission.  No wonder that poor boy thought he was never going.  If we would have proceeded with things the way our dentist wanted Curtis would still be home trying to get dental work done.  Thank goodness for ward members and a Bishop who helped us get in contact with other dentists to get the work done.  What a blessing!  So, I need to get busy and reach out to my friend from work.  She sees a dentist in Tempe that has evening hours and she seems to really like that group of dentists.  That will work.

I also need to schedule an appointment for myself.  I am toying with the idea of calling my chiropractor and seeing him before I go the the medical doctor.  About 4 years ago I was in a car accident. I was on the freeway and my car was hit by two other cars from behind.  I was at a stop in rush hour traffic, the cars behind me were going about 45 miles and hour.  Needless to say, they hit hard and my right lower back and hip, as well as my head were hurt the most.  I had a headache for weeks and my back and hip hurt for weeks too.  So, every so often my back will hurt and now my lower leg or knee hurt too.  I wonder if it's because my back needs an adjustment or something.  My knee hurts so back that if I go to pull my foot out of a shoe the pain radiates down my leg to my foot and I have to stop and take my shoe off with my hands.  It's not good.  When it really gets hurting it's all I can do to lift my right leg into the car to drive.  How sad is that?  I just need to stop complaining about it and get it checked out.  I guess I keep hoping it will fix itself.  Apparently that isn't going to happen.  Darn, darn, darn!

To be perfectly honest, my back and knee problems could be from a combination of things....car accident, fall in the bathtub and sleeping on the couch.  When Kevin had his last back surgery we moved our bed into the extra room near the kitchen and dining room so we could hear him and be closer to him.  When he was back in our bedroom no one could hear him whenever he called out to us.  It just made sense to move him.  AND since I was tossing and turning (it was during the hot of summer) I decided to move to the couch so I didn't bother him.  My tossing and turning was making his back hurt more.  So, it's time to move Kevin and I back into the bedroom.  As you can imagine, my sleep every night has been rough and my body is telling me it's time.  Know what I mean?
Now that you know a little more than you really cared to know about our life.....LOL!

Well, I need to get...
It's that time again.  Time to get ready for another day.
Take care my friends.  I hope you had a wonderful Monday, and I wish you a terrific Tuesday as well.
Talk to you soon.

From the Missionary:

Nothing from Elder Schmidt today.  In a day or two maybe.
Check back for more from Curtis, and thanks for stopping by.

Quote of the Day:
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