Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again.....

Two Things I am Grateful For:
1) Places like Barrow's Neurological Rehabilitation Center.  They are awesome!

2) Our Bishop and his family!  They are all so awesome!  We love them.

From the Camera:

More baby steps....
They got Kevin dressed and in a wheelchair this morning.  Judging by this photo he looks like the same old Kevin.  No one would ever know what he went through just to use the restroom and get dressed today, would they?  

From the Craft Room and Other Things:

Here is an idea on how to set up a "Paperwork Management System" in your home....

Staying on top of the never-ending mountains of paper that come into my home on a daily basis is my biggest challenge, and I'm not talking about the beautiful kinds of paper that I stockpile in my craft room either!  I'm talking about the kind that comes with the mail, our children, our spouses, in packaging, taped or placed on our doors, placed under our windshield wipes, handed to us as we walk the malls, I am talking about the reams and reams of paper we receive at home.  Here is the paperwork management system that I plan to put into action in our home.  No more crazy mounds of paper for this girl and if this works for me, I will certainly let you know.

To get started, you will need an open top file box and some hanging files.  the open-top filing box usually comes with about a dozen hanging files.  Wal-Mart carries them for about $5-$10.  The reason for purchasing the open file without a top is because most people tend to "stack" and if there is a lid on it, you'll just stack things on top rather than putting them inside it.  This is the first big step.  Put things inside the file.

Label your tabs on the files to fit your needs.  This is the beginning of your paperwork management.  Below are the topics for the necessary files and what should go inside....
  • Things to do - anything that will require immediate or near future attention, such as: paperwork to return to the doctor or lab, catalog or online ordering paperwork, UPS return labels....even a blank thank you note or two could be stored here for quick use!  Don't we always have someone to thank for something!?
  • Things to discuss - anything that requires a decision to be made that is not quite ready for action yet. Pamphlet on upcoming changes in insurance, new car brochure, possible future purchase details...
  • Bills to pay - monthly statements as they come in should be opened, take out the trash and store the actual bill and envelope for those that are not paid online or by auto-draft
  • Recipes - this is the perfect place to put them until trying them and then putting them in their permanent spot (that’s a whole other blog entry!)
  • School - directories and phone books, forms that need to be filled out such as upcoming school pix, fundraiser flyers....
  • Church - directory/phone books, extra donation slips, upcoming events flyers, assignments
  • Work - work related papers that need easy access, may need to be returned, such as insurance forms
  • Your name - this is for YOUR active paperwork, things that you don’t want to file away permanently but you need Q&E access to and to KNOW where it is
  • Your spouse - This is a marriage saver! When your spouse leaves someone’s business card or some important gum wrapper with an irreplaceable phone number written on the kitchen counter, on the floor, by the TV, wherever, you place it in his file. When he says, "Hon, did you see that business card anywhere?" You open the file and hand it to him, assuring yourself a wonderful, reward for being such an efficient and wonderful wife!
  • Each of your children’s names - Papers, specific to the individual child, that need to be returned to the school, church, doctor; permission slips....things that need retrieval. This is not for storing the entire years artwork and 100% scored spelling tests. It’s also a great place to keep the lists of their soccer team members, the cheer squad parents, teachers’ class rules that need to be referred to often.
  • Things to file - this is the file for anything that needs to be moved to the permanent files. This file is the most important file to keep on top of or you will soon not be able to fit anything else into the other files because this one is so full!
  • Projects/Upcoming Events - Tickets, paint or fabric swatches, projects and things that you are in the middle of but that don’t yet require their own file
  • Coupons - Junk mail days may delight you with these, but this file needs to be maintained at a high level!
  • Receipts - keep all receipts and warranty papers here UNTIL filing day.
  • Genealogy Basics - the last and most important file... call this one what ever you want but don’t call it what it really is...your mini-desk. I call mine Genealogy Basics in 20 years, no one has ever had any desire to look inside of it! Inside this file, you don’t actually file things, but you store things for your convenience! Keep a few envelopes, a pad of paper, a book of stamps, a zip lock bag with some paperclips, a pack of sticky notes and any other frequently used office supplies in this file. Not so many things that the file needs to be a drawer. Just a few things to save a few steps when you are managing your paper! As long as no one looks in this file and as long as you keep it well stocked, you are in good shape to be able to manage your paperwork, quickly and with ease!
The important thing to remember about this system is that it is your ACTIVE filing system. Store it where you will use it. And USE IT! If you are keeping up on it, it will not be unsightly and overflowing with papers. ONLY open your mail when you are near this file. If you store it in the office and open your mail in the kitchen, the mail will never make it to the file. ONLY HANDLE PAPERWORK ONCE, if at all possible! If your child brings home a permission slip, rather than placing it on the desk where he emptied his backpack, put it immediately into his file. Then three weeks later, when you need it, it’s right where you want it to be. No frantic ripping through the house five minutes as the school bus is coming around the corner!
Whenever ANY piece of paper enters the house, put it into the file or put it into the trash! As your children empty backpacks with 15 completed assignments, look at them, give lots of praise and toss them directly into the trash. If it’s something magnificent that they think they need to keep forever, place it in the permanent school collectible storage spot. (Hey! Another future blog entry!) But, don’t let that paper build up. When it’s junk mail day, go through it immediately and toss everything that you possibly can. If you have a great dinner coupon, store it in the coupon file. If there’s a carpet cleaner advertisement that you may want to try, put it in the things to do. If your husband brings home a 1" stack of paperwork regarding your new insurance or investment portfolio, this is not the place to put them. Those go into your permanent files. HANDLE EVERY PAPER THAT ENTERS YOUR HOME IMMEDIATELY!  Do NOT sit it down anyplace other than where it belongs!
To manage this temporary filing system, you need a set day for paperwork. It can be weekly or bi-weekly. Annually won’t cut it! ;) Pay day is my paperwork day. On paperwork day, pull out your file box and go through each and every file. Pay your bills. Go through Things to do file. Have you done what needs to be done. Are you still going to do these things? If not, toss it. Empty your file by taking action or tossing it! "Things to discuss" papers need to be discussed and filed or tossed. If you’ve not gotten around to discussing what that door to door salesman left for you to review since last paperwork day, you probably aren’t all that interested in the first place. Toss those papers! Remember, most things like this can be retrieved online if you really need them. New recipes should be incorporated into your menu and put in their permanent home or tossed if you really aren’t going to get around to it. How many times have you found a forgotten recipe far from your kitchen? If if sounds great, try it, try it fast! Then file it or trash it! Coupons need to be used or tossed. Check dates on them and make sure you aren’t wasting space to store coupons that expired two years ago! Receipts should be filed on paperwork day either by category or by month in a separate place, so that they can be retrieved if needed, quickly.  Don't take up precious space storing unnecessary papers - that would be precious space in your mind or in your home!  Why have to worry about remembering where you put things?  If they are all kept together in the file, you don't have to give it another thought until you need it!  Generously toss everything possible!
Items like directories and phone lists are perfectly stored in this active file and you’ll not find yourself wasting time looking for the same things over and over again. This whole process of paperwork takes about five to ten minutes, aside from paying your bills. It’s well worth the time spent to keep on top of it and you won’t find your counters, shelves, speakers, tables or anything flat covered with annoying papers. It may not work for everyone but it’s a tried and truly successful plan for this house and many others over the years! Rather than spending the emotional and physical energy in search of what matters while sorting through what doesn’t, get on top and stay of top of your flat surface disease today! Don’t agonize, organize! ANYONE can do this! Hope it helps!
From the Spirit and Heart:

“Just as order gave life and beauty to the earth when it was dark and void, so it does to us. Obedience helps us develop the full potential Heavenly Father desires for us in becoming celestial beings worthy some day to live in His presence.”
–James E. Faust, “Obedience: The Path to Freedom”, May 1999 Ensign

From the Kitchen:

Smore's Dip

Materials you will need:

-1 Cup Chocolate chips
-2 Cups Marshmallows
-2 Tablespoons Milk
-Graham crackers
-1 cup measuring cup
-1 tablespoon measuring spoon
-Oven-safe dish

Step 1: Melt the Chips

Measure out one cup of your chocolate chips and place them in a saucepan. Melt the chips over medium heat while stirring.

Step 2: Add the Milk

Add two tablespoons of milk to the saucepan, and stir the milk into the chocolate. Also, preheat your oven to broil.

Step 3: Melt the Marshmallows

Once the chips are melted add one cup of marshmallows to the saucepan. Melt the marshmallows into the melted chocolate while stirring.

Step 4: Move to Oven-safe Dish

When the marshmallow and chocolate mixture is runny, pour the mixture into a small oven-safe dish

Step 5: Add More Marshmallows

Spread one cup of fresh marshmallows on top of the chocolate mixture.

Step 6: Brown the Marshmallows

Place the dish into the oven for about three minutes or until the marshmallows are golden-brown. While the dish is in the oven break the graham crackers into dippable pieces.

Step 7: Dip and Enjoy

Remove dish from oven and let the dish cool to a safe temperature. Pick up a graham cracker piece, dip it into the marshmallow and chocolate, and enjoy.
From the Schmidt's:

I'm sitting here all alone in my home right now.  Lexi is at Mutual right now...they are going tubing down the river for their combined activity.  Kyle is at the gym working out, and I am here washing clothes to take to Kevin when they all get home.  It's weird sitting here alone.  I got a little spooked when I heard this constant buzzing sound coming from the middle of my living room.  Come to find out, the dog had found Kevin's electric toothbrush and had eaten the end off of it, which started it to buzz.  Talk about a freaky thing!  I admit it, I was spooked!  Needless to say, Kevin will need a brand new toothbrush.  Until then, he will have to use the old fashioned kind.  Crazy dog!

I talked to Kevin a couple of times today.  He text me super early this morning to tell me to have a good day and that he loved me.  Then he text me once they got him dressed and ready for his first therapy session.  He said the nurses told him the first day is always the slowest.  Once they get orders from the doctor things pick up right away.  Later Kevin said the therapy sessions he had really wore him out.  I can only imagine what tomorrow will be like.  I can already see a difference in the sound of his voice.  That is a good thing.

I got a message from an old high school/seminary friend last night.  She said she wanted to come down to visit sometime.  Her and I spent most of our seminary years in the same class together.  We were in the same stake, but not the same ward or high school.  We had early morning seminary together and saw each other from time to time at the church building too.  It was nice to hear from her.  She is a sweetheart.  When I told her that we might be going up to Ogden in September when Kyle has his competition she said she could drive up to spend some time with me.  I told her it all depends on how Kevin is doing, but that I would let her know.  If we do go up to Ogden, most likely we will fly up.  It would be cheaper in the long run, and less of a strain on Kevin.  That is, if he is up to traveling.  Time will tell.  I hope he will be up to it.  We haven't been out of town in years.  Literally, years and this would be the perfect little get away to see how Kevin does with traveling after he gets home from the hospital.  

I have my 10 year sabbatical coming up anytime after November.  Well, I can't take the month of December off, because we have a vacation black out that month.  December is our busiest month with charitable gifting season at work.  I am dreading that even as I type this.  So, I'm not sure when I will plan my sabbatical yet, but a month off with pay, plus up to two extra weeks of vacation time tacked on to it too, for a grand total of 6 weeks off with pay, would be absolutely glorious!!   I cannot wait!!!  

Watch, my two older kids will find something for me to do with all of that time off.  Crazy kids!

Seriously, I was planning on using my Sabbatical for something like that or to take care of Kevin, if he needs me to be there for him.  I would love to take a trip or something, but I take the six weeks any way I can get them.  Love that benefit my employer has!  I get a sabbatical every 5 years.  Love it!!! 

I also get to pick out a nice gift from the employee gift catalog too.  There are some really nice things in that catalog.  Gas BBQ grills.  Fine jewelry.  China.  Just to name a few.  I have already taken a look at the catalog.  I think I might take the camera package.  It comes with a really nice digital camera and lenses and a carrying case too.  That way, we can take some really nice photos.  I don't know....I'm still trying to decide, but this is another nice thing my employer does for each of their employees.  Plus I will get a team lunch with the members of my team too.  How nice is that?  Love that too.  

Well, enough about all of that!  I still have lots to do before I leave to go see Kevin.  He asked me to pack a bag for him.  I started to get things ready for him last night, but I fell asleep while I was doing that.  Luckily, I had already set my alarm clock before that happened.  

I was suppose to have an appointment with my Cardiologist today, but I rescheduled that for late September.  I'm too busy just taking care of Kevin's needs right now to bother with my own.  Eventually I will get there though.  In the meantime, I think I am going to take the necessary two week break from my diet.  Then start back up right after that.  That way, I can be where I need to be when the time comes to do the doctor's appointment.  Trust me, I am so ready for a break.  I need to be able to eat things like cheese again.  No bread, no potatoes, no starches.  Just cheese.  LOL!  Funny how you miss certain things.

I haven't heard from Danielle since Sunday when we all went up to the hospital to see Kevin.  I've text her a little bit, but that's about it.  Not sure when she was planning on coming over this week yet.  I'm sure she will and we will get together soon.  I'll have to send her a message to find out so I don't miss her though.  

Well, it's still just me and the dog here.  Kyle should be home soon.  Then I'm off again.  If I didn't need to drop these things off to Kevin, I probably would stay home.  I am so tired and I don't want to fall asleep at the wheel.  It's hard just being the caregiver sometimes.  LOL!  Probably not as hard as it is to be the patient, right?  Trust me, I wouldn't want to change places with Kevin right now.  Sure, I wouldn't mind staying in bed for a day or two, but after that, I would need to get up and go do something.  I couldn't stand that for very long.  

I should go.  Take care my friends and we will talk again soon.  
From the Missionary:
Hey Everyone,

This week came and went so quickly here!  Pretty soon it will be my fourth cycle here, and I could be somewhere completely different.  Elder Holtom finally called President Smith about his wisdom teeth to ask if he would need to go home for it or not, but of course, President Smith didn't answer.  I don't think he will get sent home for that because other missionaries sometimes get their appendix out like Jed.  Only time will tell.  It would be weird staying in this area for another cycle.  That would be a quarter of my mission in 'da Bronx.  LOL!  

This week we helped a ton of people move out of apartments.  So many people are leaving which is scary.  We have lost a Young Men's President, a Young Women's President, the Ward Mission Leader, and some other people in big callings that I can't remember right now.  The ward feels empty now.  Apparently, this happens every year during the summer.  We should be getting more members moving in at the start of the college semester because they will be attending Columbia University.  The more I think about it, this week feels weird.  Almost all of our appointments were either moving people, or dinner/lunch appointments.  One of the dinners was at a Mediterranean place in little Italy with a member from Manhattan from Elder Holtom's last area.  I thought I was going to hate the food because it is all like seafood, but I got the swordfish and it was so good.  Who knew swordfish was so good?  I think every day this week we had a meal appointment which just doesn't happen in the city.  I thought I would be gaining some weight because of it, but I've actually lost some.  I'm at a total loss of 10 pounds this cycle.  Our whole zone has been in this health kick.  It's pretty fun getting up in the morning and running or playing soccer with some other Elders.  

Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you guys how long boarding went last week.  We found some sweet hills and one of the Elders we were with fell going down it pretty bad.  He fractured his wrist a little bit and cut up his entire left side.  There is a video of it going around and I need to get a hold of it.  Oh, another video that I need to get a hold of is of the riot we saw outside our window.  

Last week someone was shot and killed right outside our window.  We weren't home when it happened, but they build a shrine across the street from us.  The first night it was up a huge group of people were standing around it and all of a sudden these two dudes started fighting.  Then the police swarmed in.  There were about 50 police officers just moving these people like cattle.  It was crazy!  We even saw a dude get taized, which was crazy!  And we got some of it on tape, which is super cool. 

Some other news.....
We got some new neighbors that came up to introduce themselves and to tell us we are being too loud.  Ha Ha!  It was two guys that were married as well.  I had forgotten about the same sex marriage thing until that happened.  It was a little weird when the guy said this is my husband.  Ummmm....Well, today we are going up to Yonkers to meet some of the members Elder Holtom knows and they are probably going to feed us.  Then we are going to the mission office to turn in my driving record because I forgot to do that when I got here, then we are going to hang out with some other Elders up there.  

I hope you all are doing well.  I'm loving it here and I am doing well.  And just so you know, I am allowed to reply to emails.  President and Sister Morgan didn't want us spending our entire P-Day emailing people like girlfriends and stuff because some Elders were doing that.  Anyway, BYE!

Elder Schmidt

Sent from my iPad

Quote of the Day:

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