Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Hello September

Two Things I am Grateful For:

1) My family.  Over the past several weeks we have all grown closer and learned new things about each other.  In my opinion, that is priceless.

2) My co-worker Corina.  She is such a hoot to talk to and she makes the day go by so much easier as we talk or laugh together throughout the day.

From the Camera:

From the Craft Room and Other Cool Things:

At a recent wedding reception we went to the bride's mother made all of the flowers on each of the tables out of fabric.  She had about 6 different small clear vases on each table and filled each vase with several of the flowers she made.  I thought the idea was extremely clever and quite unique.  I love it.  I know each flower took a lot of time to make.  I know this because if any of you have attempted to make fabric flowers you know just how tedious the process can be.  Now anytime I find a unique way to make flowers I am intrigued and think I might try that.  Below is a new homemade flower with all the "how-to's" I came across the last time I searched Pinterest.  
Bunch of lavender beads. He is simple, fast and fun. It happens that urgently needed a symbolic gift. Here is a case where you can make a night of beads souvenir. And spectacular looks. 
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It will take beads lavender flower stalks, as well as glue.
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As seen in the photo, stick to the prepared glue is applied
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and until he froze to omit the cup with the prepared beads.

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We took out, her fingers forming the shape of a flower of lavender

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Better This procedure was repeated several times, then the flower will be more dense and voluminous.

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When the flower is ready to lower it in cold water and … voila!
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Why not mountain lavender?
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From the Kitchen:

 Best Ever Sloppy Joe's
2 pounds of ground beef
1 medium onion (we use purple), diced
1 large green pepper, diced
2 or 3 stalks of celery, diced finely
1-2 tbsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 cup water
2-3 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. mustard
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp. Worstershershire sauce
1 can tomato sauce
Tabasco sauce (I used 3-5 shakes)
salt and pepper, as desired
Brown the beef with the veggies.  As the beef is browned and veggies are tender, add the remaining ingredients.  Simmer for about fifteen minutes and serve! 
Also, we have gotten into French fries lately.  I didn't eat a fry for the past several years, until a few months ago.  We have discovered this "oven baked" recipe and it's fantastic!  And simple, once the fries are cut.  I use a large crinkle type cutter and it simplifies the process.
Amazing Baked Fries
Cut your potatoes into 1/4" strips, then cut those strips into 1/4" squares.  (Ours are never quite that thin.  We do them more into  flat wedges.)  Soak in a large bowl of ice water for 30 minutes.  (Make your sloppy Joe's while they soak!)  Grease a baking sheet with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Set it aside.  Pour the water off the potatoes and drain them well, then pour them out onto a towel or paper towels.  Dry them off for a few minutes and dry the large bowl.  (I use the large Fix and Mix bowl from Tupperware because it has a lid.)  Put the potatoes back into the bowl, then drizzle about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top.  Cover with lots of salt and pepper.  Put the lid on the potatoes and shake them until all are covered well.  Pour them out onto the baking sheet  in one single layer.  Do you stack the potatoes.  Use two pans if necessary.  Cover them in foil and bake in a 475* for about five minutes.  Remove the foil then lower the temp to 425 for about fifteen - twenty more minutes.  You can stir them a bit, but we like them crunchy, so we leave them be.  Remove from the oven and cover in Parmesan cheese.  The cheese will melt onto the potatoes like a coating.  Oh my!  SOOOOO tasty and really not a lot of work!

From the Heart and Spirit:
From the Schmidt's:
Yesterday was a busy day.  On my way home from work I picked up Lexi and took her home and then as soon as she stepped into the house Kyle stepped out and we were off to get him to his weight lifting.  After dropping Kyle off I went home for a bit and checked on Kevin.  We talked for a bit and then I was off to my appointment.  My appointment ran late and when I walked out of the office at 7:20 p.m. it was dark and off in the distance to the west you could see these extremely dark clouds and further in the distance a sheet that spanned the entire length of the clouds, of what had to be the rain coming down.  We were hit with another microburst.  I had no choice but to drive towards the darkness because I had to go get Kyle, luckily we missed the storm.  We made a stop on our way home, but by the time we got to the house it was starting to rain.  By the time we were finished with dinner it was coming down pretty good, but not hard enough to keep Lexi and I from venturing out to try and pick up the stuff to say "yes" to her Homecoming Dance invite.  As we got closer to the shopping center, the rain was coming down really hard and Lexi and I decided to come back home.  Neither of us wanted to step out of the car.  We drove to our house the long way so we could see if there was anymore damage.  At that point it looked like nothing major had happened.  Thank goodness.  Once we got home Lexi had reserved herself to the fact that we would not be able to get her YES answer to the Homecoming Dance done in time to get it to the young man that did the asking before the night was over.  

Eventually the rain calmed down enough and Kyle and I went out to the store to pick up the things Lexi needed to get it done.  We picked up a big bag of tootsie pop suckers, I had an apothecary jar back at the house, tons of ribbon, and lots of paper.  I tried to get Lexi to let me cut some vinyl letters or print something out on the computer, but she insisted on a hand written note.  The note said, "I'd be a SUCKER if I didn't go with your to the Homecoming Dance.  YES!!!  - Lexi"  Then she folded the note up as small as she could and placed the note in the jar along with all the suckers, but she made sure you couldn't see the note from the outside.  Then we added a bow to the top of the jar.  Kyle then took the jar over to the young man's home, rang the bell, and took off running.  Thankfully Kyle didn't have to go very far.  The young man that asked Lexi to the dance is our former Bishop's son and they live across the street.  Caleb is an awesome young man and we couldn't think of anyone better for our daughter to go to her first big dance with, as well as her first date too.  That is if Lexi doesn't get asked out by another boy between now and the big dance.  Caleb and Lexi are good friends.  They have been ever since Elementary School, so this will be good and I know it will be a good experience for both of them.  

Later that night I received a text from the young man's Mom.  We both talked about how much fun it has been to watch each of our children go through this.  There is a theme for the dance so eventually Lexi will be given some information about colors and things.  So, it looks like we will need to find a dress for the dance.  

Kyle is getting ready for his National Weight Lifting Competition in Logan, Utah at the end of this month.  He will be flying up with his team and staying in a home with the team over the weekend.  The only thing that could throw a big proverbial wrench into the whole thing is his new job.  He is pretty sure it won't start until the beginning of October, but we will know more after next week when he goes in for his background investigation.  We are thrilled for Kyle!

Kevin is sick!

He started feeling a little bad on Sunday.  Then yesterday he felt a little feverish, but today he has a fever and has been throwing up.  I told him that if he doesn't start to improve by tomorrow we will not let this go and he will be in the Emergency Room.  We just can't take a chance.  So, his spirits are down right now, which we understand.  I am not a happy camper when I get sick either, so he is totally allowed to feel this way.  

What you may or may not know is that Kevin live in 4 hour blocks of time.  Without going into to much detail, Kevin has to make himself go to the restroom, each and every single time, every 4 hours.  This means he wakes up twice every night to take care of business, so-to-speak, and it takes some time.  Time out of his sleep cycles.  Time out of his normal evening.  Then there is all the therapy he goes through each week.  He is in therapy 4 times a week and these are not easy sessions.  They work him hard for two or three hours.  Just imagine working to your full potential, pushing yourself to the extreme for 3 hours a day.  Do you think you would come home ready to collapse?  Of course you would.  Well, this is what happens each day for Kevin.  The poor man is ready to drop as soon as he comes through the door, but he can't, he has to take care of business.  As you can imagine, it's been hard.  Hard for him to work at this level each day, hard on our family to do the things that Kevin can't or needs help with 24/7, and he is frustrated.  He has left the perfect hospital bubble he was in under the watchful eye of CNA's, Nurses, Doctors, and Therapists who knew how to care for Kevin.  Now we are home living in the real world and things are not like the bubble.  Needless to say, it's going to take time to get to the point that we all feel like we have this down.  This takes some adjusting on everyone's part.

Our first adjustment has been how to deal with having to take the doors off the bathrooms and our bedroom.  All privacy has gone out the window for all of us.  At least for a moment.  We have since put off-set hinges on the bathroom doors.  Believe me, that wasn't going to wait.  We had to put up a curtain the first night until the off-set hinges came in the mail the next day.  Did you know Home Depot and Lowe's do not carry off-set hinges?  I was shocked too.  It kind of left a bad taste in my mouth, if you will, for our local home improvement centers who claim to have it all.  Wrong!  Amazon had what we were looking for, thank goodness!

We ask for your continued prayers of support for Kevin as he continues to do hard things.  He needs all the help he can get.  As I am typing this I am reminded of that quote by Elder Jeffery R. Holland about the countless numbers of horses and chariots riding up to come to your aid.  I believe this is the quote...

I know this is not exactly what Elder Holland meant when he said this, but I get a visual of this very thing each and every time I put a name on the prayer rolls at the temple.  I believe this quote to be very true.  I know that there is help beyond the veil that we do not see working for our good.  I know this because I have felt that strength.  It was something tangible and amazing to experience.  This is what I do not want Kevin to lose sight of.  He has to know that there are people like his father and grandparents riding these horses and chariots riding recklessly to come to his aid.  I also believe that my family members are riding as well to do that same for Kevin and for me.  This is what your fervent prayers can do for my husband.  This is all I need.  This is how you can help us get through this.  A simple prayer.  Nothing more.  Just pray.  

 We love each and every one of you.  Those that we know and see each and every single day, as well as those that read this blog that we barely, or may be reading for the first time.  We cannot thank you enough for your love and support, kind words of encouragement, and all that you do for us.  We appreciate everything and pray for you as well.  Thank you.

So, my other point in sharing this with you is to explain something.  If we are not eager to invite you into our home right now, or we turn your down on your offers to help, or do not accept your invitations to whatever it is, please try and understand and maybe put yourself in our shoes for a moment.  Please do not alienate us.  Yes, we may have battened down the hatchet for a bit, but we will bring down that so called wall eventually.  We need you.  All of you.  We just need some time to allow Kevin to get use to him home environment again.  For us to get use to things with Kevin home again.  It's a process and hopefully as things progress eventually Kevin will be stronger and able to do certain things without making them happen or will be up and about more than he is right now.  The poor man needs his rest.
We appreciate your understanding.  

Well, it's late and I need to be up super early.  Take care my friends and we will talk again soon.
From the Missionary:
Quote of the Day:
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