Saturday, September 19, 2015


Two Things I am Grateful For:

1) Friday Afternoons!  Love that!

2) My oldest son who sometimes says the most amazing things!  He reminded me of a few things recently that I needed to be reminded of.  Thank you Kyle. 

From the Camera:

The day has finally arrived!  This little girl is all grown up and will be going on her first official DATE tonight!!!  Yikes!  I'm not ready for this.  They grow up too fast.  

From the Craft Room and Other Cool Things:

Aren't these cute?  I think I have a jars around the house that I can use to make these.  I also have orange paint and vinyl pumpkin faces too.  As well as wire for the tops.  Love it!

From the Heart and Spirit:

Learning through Trials   I have often pondered, “Why is it that the Son of God and His holy prophets and all the faithful Saints have trials and tribulations, even when they are trying to do Heavenly Father’s will? Why is it so hard, especially for them?”I think about Joseph Smith, who suffered illness as a boy and persecution throughout his life. Like the Savior, he cried out, “O God, where art thou?” (D&C 121:1). Yet even when he was seemingly alone, he exercised his agency to wait upon the Lord and carry out his Heavenly Father’s will, like the Savior.I think of our pioneer forebears, driven from Nauvoo and crossing the plains—exercising their agency to follow a prophet even as they suffered sickness, privation, and even death. Why such terrible tribulation? To what end? For what purpose?As we ask these questions, we realize the purpose of our life on earth is to grow, develop, and be strengthened through our own experiences. How do we do this? The scriptures give us an answer in one simple phrase: we “wait upon the Lord” (Psalm 37:9; 123:2; Isaiah 8:17; 40:31; 2 Nephi 18:17). Tests and trials are given to all of us. These mortal challenges allow us and our Heavenly Father to see whether we will exercise our agency to follow His Son. He already knows, and we have the opportunity to learn, that no matter how difficult our circumstance, “all these things shall [be for our] experience, and . . . for [our] good” (D&C 122:7).     BY:  Elder Robert D. Hales, October General Conference 2011

From the Kitchen:

Coconut Chicken with Apricot Sauce

Yield: 4 servings

1 egg

1 cup sweetened coconut flakes (I've never baked with flakes before)

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

4 boneless chicken breasts

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup apricot preserves

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Lightly beat the egg in a medium bowl; set aside. Mix the coconut, flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Working with one chicken breast at a time, dip the chicken in the bowl with the beaten egg and then coat with the coconut mixture. Place on the baking sheet. Once all chicken breasts are coated and on the baking sheet, evenly drizzle with the melted butter. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, flipping once halfway.

To prepare the apricot sauce, mix the apricot preserves and the Dijon mustard in a small bowl. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Freezer Friendly: After baking the chicken, let cool completely then freeze in a freezer bag for up to 1 month. To reheat, bake in a preheated oven at 400˚F for 20 minutes.

(note:  I thought that ratio of mustard to jam was a little strong.  I'd start out with just 1 T. and add more to taste.)
From the Schmidt's:

Here are a few things I've recently been reminded of...
from surviving trials and challenges:

1) You will survive and your attitude determines how well.
2) When right smack dab in the middle of sore trials, other issues, that might otherwise be disturbing, don't really matter one bit.

3) Someone ALWAYS has a worse trial than you, at any given time, so count your blessings and be grateful for your own. 

Enough about that!

Other ramblings:

1) My daughter, Lexi, has been "getting ready" all day for her first official date this afternoon.  You'd think she was getting ready for some big dance or something, not the Amazing Race date, with all the primping, brushing, fixing, and curling going on.  
{love you little Lexi Lou Lou}

2) I love my new co-worker!  She makes me laugh and I enjoy talking to her all the time.  She is awesome!

3) We have a ramp in front of the house now, thanks to our wonderful Bishop and Bro. Greeley in our Ward!  This is amazing!  Thank you so much.  Now, Kevin and I can go for walks/rides in the evenings.  Woo Hoo!  
I had a conversation with someone about this topic.  Some of you may have heard this....
If you were to gather a stadium, theatre, auditorium of people together, then ask then to take all of their troubles, challenges, problems and put them into a backpack, then ask them to label their backpacks and put them into the center of the stadium...Then, have everyone in the stadium come down to the center and give them the option to choose the backpack of their choice, most people would go home with their own backpacks.

I believe this with all my heart.  Over the past few months, I've talked with several different people who have shared their personal stories.  Some of them briefly, some in great depth.  I love these people.  All are wonderful, blessed people, who are dealing with very serious challenges in life.  A friend of mine shared a situation a friend of theirs is dealing with.  I couldn't believe it.  These people are multi-millionaires and have a lifestyle that includes lots of luxury items, having servants...a lifestyle that I've only seen in the movies.  Yet, they are lonely and still seeking happiness.  Other friends who seem to have it all, experience struggles that, based on my own personal experience and understanding, are unmatched.  Another friend shared, just yesterday, that they are going through a life-changing experience.  I had to sit down to listen to it.  I would never dreamed they were going through so much until she explained things to me.  

Recently, I have learned that life is good!  I believe that totally and completely!  It is!  BUT.  Life is hard.  None of us have it easy.  Every day, every struggle is a learning process.  AND. No amount of money or toys or travels or people in our lives is going to take those growing experiences away.  The best thing we can do is be kind to those around us, pray for ourselves and each other, look through every challenge for "what we can learn from this".  Life is good, but it's hard too.  My faith gets me through the toughest times.  Others depend on friends or family.  O couldn't live without either of them.  I'm just saying, be kind, be cheerful, look for the good.  There is always something to smile about, even on the darkest day.  Look for ways to serve those you love and those around you.  There is always joy in service.  No matter how small.  I know, I'm rambling.  But, I do believe with every fiber of my being, that trials make us stronger, better and YES....even happier in the end.  No matter how tough, life really is good!  

I mentioned before that sometimes as you go through some of life's toughest trials certain things tend to fall aside and only those things that matter most in life remain.  This has happened to me.  This has happened to us.  What matters most is my relationship with my Heavenly Father, my husband, and my children.  It's interesting to me how things happen and how certain people drop out of your life when things get difficult.  I've been shocked at certain people who have totally turned their backs to us, and I have been completely amazing at those who have rallied around us.  You really do learn who your true friends and even family are (believe it or not) when you go through trials like the one we are experiencing right now.  It's sad, but very true.  Even so, life is good!  We are so very grateful for our daily blessings as we begin counting them at the beginning of each day.  Life is very good!  

From the Missionary:

If you look on the left side of this photo, on the back behind the guy standing in the front of this photo, you can just barely see Elder Schmidt's head.  Do you see it?  This is him at the recent transfer meeting.  ~smile~smile~

This is the only photo of Curtis, so we will have to get him to send us a photo of him and his new companion later.  He didn't seem to get in any of the other photos the mission provided.  I guess he is just riding under the radar.  
Quote of the Day:

The true measure of a man is not how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience, but how he stands at times of controversy and challenges. 
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