Wednesday, October 28, 2015

And then some!

Two Things I am Grateful For:

1)  Good friends.  Friends at work, friends close to home, and friends not so close to home.  I appreciate them all.

2)  Good doctors and care givers that work hard for my family.

From the Camera:

Our missionary.  Curtis has been on my mind a lot lately.  I love that he is absolutely loving his mission.   Love this young man!

From the Craft Room and Other Cool Things:

Aren't these super cute???  

From the Heart and Spirit:

From the Kitchen:

Meatball Sub Casserole


  • Loaf of French bread or ours*

  • Butter or margarine

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt (omitted from photo)

  • 8 oz of cream cheese, softened to room-temperature (omitted from photo)

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning

  • 1 pound of frozen, fully cooked, thawed Italian meatballs (NOTE: it is often sold in 2 pound bags so use only 1/2 a bag.)

  • 1 can Hunts Spaghetti Sauce (any flavor, our favorite is Garlic & Herb)

  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

*At a local discount bread outlet, they sell these loaves of pre-sliced, sesame seed covered bread for only 25 cents! I swear it is the same bread that Raising Cane’s uses! So check out your bakery discount shops. You can save a lot of money! It’s not like the baked goods are “expired” but usually within days of expiring. So we either load up and freeze the bread or we just buy the amount we need right now. It’s a great way to get those gourmet breads at the same cost of regular breads at major grocery chains!


Turn oven on to broil. Slice the French bread into thick one inch slices. Butter one side lightly. Place on a cookie sheet with buttered side up. Repeat with the remainder of slices. Very lightly sprinkle the bread with garlic salt. Broil until toasty on the edges.

Turn oven down to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 metal or glass pan with cooking spray. Place bread (toasted side up) into your 9×13 pan. Fill it up leaving very few gaps; cut one slice into pieces if necessary to fill large gaps. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise and Italian seasoning using an electric mixer until smooth (be sure to scrape down the sides of your bowl). Using a spatula, spread the mix over all the bread slices creating a sheet of the cream cheese mix.

Cut the thawed meatballs in half sprinkling them all over the cream cheese mix.

Pour your can of spaghetti sauce evenly over the meatballs.

Evenly sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the spaghetti sauce.

Bake for 30 minutes until heated all the way through and cheese is golden and bubbly.

From the Schmidt's:

Tell me the truth.  Did you think I died?  I know it's been a while since I have posted anything and I apologize for that.  Please know there were circumstances beyond my control that kept me away.  The good news is, I am back, and I am very grateful for that.

Do you want to know what I have been up to while I was away, or what was keeping me away?  Here goes....

1) About a week ago I got sick.  I woke up on Monday with what I thought was some kind of stomach flu until the pain in my right side started.  And I don't mean, just a small twinge of pain.  I mean the kind that you are doubled over.  The kind of pain I remember with my gallbladder.  My gallbladder was removed years ago, so I knew it wasn't that.  My appendix was removed too, so I know it wasn't that either.  I also had other stomach flu like symptoms so I waited and didn't go to the doctor immediately.  By Wednesday when nothing had changed I knew I needed to go to the doctor.  At that point I was worried.  My doctor ran a test on my urine.  When she came in to give me the results she said there was blood in my urine.  In fact, there was quite a bit.  I had no idea because there were no signs.  Looking back, I am so glad she ran that initial test.  Come to find out, I have a very bad kidney infection.  A rare type of infection that left untreated could cause me all kinds of problems.  The doctor said it was a good thing they caught it when they did.  If it would have gone any further, she would have been admitting me to the hospital.  

As I thought about that possibility of being admitted to the hospital I remember the words of my Bishop a few weeks back.  If you recall, he was concerned that I might end up in the bed right next to my husband.  Who knew, how true his words and concerns truly were.  It is things like this that remind me that my Heavenly Father is very much aware of me.  Sondra Schmidt and the day to day business of my daily life.  Because of this.  My Bishop basically giving me a warning to take care of myself because he was prompted by and through the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and also because he has stewardship over me as a member of our ward, that I cannot deny that we do have a Heavenly Father.  That He loves me and wants to help me find joy in my life, and ultimately help me return to live with him some day.  What an awesome blessing that knowledge is.  

That being said.  As you can tell, that does not mean that I am exempt from struggles in life.  I wish it did.  Believe me.  I wish I could skip through all of that stuff.  But again.  I was taught that trials and struggles are the reason we are here on this earth.  This is the reason I wanted to leave my Heavenly home and come to this earth.  I wanted to have this experience.  We all did.  The fact that we are all on this earth means that you also wanted this experience too.  AND....because we ALL lived with our Heavenly Father before this earth life, we all knew Him very well.  We knew Him and we knew His plan and agreed to follow the example of His Son, Jesus have this earthly experience.  When I look around at the people I know that do not have the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives, I cannot help but look at them in a different way.  Some times I even wonder if some of the friendships that come so easily here on earth come because we were friends before.  Think about that.  It's pretty incredible.  

I'm getting carried away.  Sorry.  I really do have a point here that I am trying to make.  Or something I am trying to say.

What I mean to share with you is that even though I was going through a rough time being ill for a full week.  In fact, I am still not 100% better.  (Today was a rough day, and I found myself in tears in the bathroom stall at work because I was just not feeling well.)  BUT, I know I will get better.  I just need to give the medications and my body time.  What I mean to say is that while I was down and out and home sick something happened to me.  Something pretty amazing.  I had the chance to ponder and pray about a few things, and read a few things. As I did this it became very clear to me what I needed to do.  You see, here I was wanting all these things to improve or get better in my life.  In my husband's life.  In the life of my children.  And so on.  What I realized was that there is one sure way to make these improvements happen in my life.  It was clear that I needed to start doing the things my Heavenly Father has asked me to do.  Study my scriptures and say my prayers.  AND, don't get me wrong.  I do these things all the time.  BUT, the difference is that I do not always do this first thing in the morning before I begin my day.  AND, I did not always read the Book of Mormon.  I read scriptures here and there.  I read Conference talk, after Conference talk.  (Modern day scripture)  As I studied, prayed, and pondered a few things here laying down on my couch I was reminded that there is power in reading one book of scripture, and that book is The Book of Mormon.  Sure, I was aware that a man could get nearer to God by reading the pages of that book.  I know this.  I believe this and YES, I do want that!!!  I just wasn't doing the things I needed to do to invoke the power and blessings for studying that book.  AND that is it in a nutshell.  I knew at that moment exactly what I needed to do.  From that moment I have got up each morning, read my scriptures and started each day with morning prayer.  AND,......from the moment that I started this, I have seen things happen in my life.  Things that normally do not happen.  Things that I never dreamed possible, but I know they are blessings for desiring to change, making the change, and making two way promises with my Heavenly Father.  

Keep in mind, I am just an average every day LDS woman, and I am merely trying to make improvements in my life in a way that I know will bring about mighty changes in my life.  This I know to be possible through this small change in my life.  

My favorite scripture has always been Doctrine and Covenants 64:33
Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.

I have LOVED this scripture for many years now.  This scripture reminds me that small efforts can bring about a mighty change in my life.  I would remember this as we tried to raise each of our children and they would try my patience.  OR when I was trying to do what's right, like now.  I use to have it hanging up in my kitchen because I loved it so much.  It would hang on my refrigerator as a daily reminder to me.  

Something else happened just yesterday too.

Something I call pretty amazing!  Danielle came over to pick Lexi up so she could complete some school work at Danielle's house last night.  When I got there we all talked for a while and Danielle explained a few things she was dealing with to me.  She then said something that blew my mind!  Keep in mind, every parents dream is to have their children realize the sacrifices they made for them were worth while and had a lasting effect for good in their children's lives.  OR, at least, I think that's what every parent wants.  At least, this is something I wanted.  Well, last night Danielle let me know how much she appreciated everything we taught her and shared with her growing up.  She said now that she is living away from home, she is very much aware of just how much those things have helped her handle herself and the challenges in her own life, as well as be able to help others with theirs too.  

I have to say, that was amazing!  I told Danielle that I worried that I shared too much with her.  Some times I think sheltering a child from the struggles is a good thing too.  BUT, at the same time, I know my parents did not shelter me from everything in their lives, and I do believe that because of this, I am a much better person for that.  I learned a lot because of this.  Because of the way my parents taught me.  My parents were NEVER the type to tell me what to do. Except if it meant that I was making a choice that would put me in harms way.  For the most part, I was free to make my own choices, with their influence, of course, but the ultimate decision was mine.  Kevin and I have tried to teach our children in the same way.  Now, that doesn't mean that we haven't all had a heated discussion from time to time about right and wrong, and what we expect.  BUT, what I am saying here is that we tried to give our children the tools to make their own choices growing up.

Anyway, you get the idea.  I know I am rambling again.  Sorry about that.  

I do have one more thing to share that has been a long time coming....

I've been working for weeks now on a  101 in 1001 list, and today feels like a good time to add it to my blog. If you're not familiar with what that means, it's simply a list of 101 somethings you'd like to accomplish in the next 1001 .

FYI:  I dream big, and sometimes my dreams are bigger than my wallet.  

Not every dream needs to be big. Small accomplishments are rewarding in their own way. Overall I put more thought into this new list, jotting down ideas as they pop into my head, and saving them in the notes section of my iPad. I also went back through my first list, considered all the items I didn't check off, and weighed whether or not they were still relevant, possible, or interesting. Some are back on the new list, others I've bid adieu. 

Since a lot has changed in our personal life, it might take longer than 1091 days for us to complete this list, but we need to start somewhere, right???
We are rolling with the changes.  Some of these items will be repeated over and over again, like scripture study and journal writing.  You know, the important things.

I will add too, that I do not plan to obsess about my list during the 1001 day period. I will look it over from time to time, remind myself of my hopes and dreams and short term goals, then refocus my energies to make a few items a reality. If you decide to make a list of your own, let me know and I'll cheer you on.

Okay...on with the new...

Start date:  11/1/2015
End date:  7/29/2018

1. Create a scrapbook for each child
2. organize my photos in the new format on my Computer
3. Read the book I was given as a gift for my birthday
4. crochet something - maybe a necklace
5. Bring some kind of treat into work.
6. Visit the new Phoenix Temple
7. Bake a German Chocolate cake from scratch again. 
8. Clean out the spare bedroom
9. Clean out the garage
10. Find a new couch for our living room
11. Fix the door knob on the door to the backyard.
12. Buy a new threshold for the front door
13. Get the car washed, using my free car wash coupon
14. Rearrange my bedroom
15. Catch up on all the laundry
16. Get better at my personal scripture study
17. Take a jewelry making class
18. Read one article in the Ensign Magazine each week
19. Update my recipe and missionary tab on my blog
20. Send thank you notes
21. Start visiting venues for daughters upcoming wedding
22. Drink at least 6 - 16oz bottles of water per day
23. Visit the Cardiologist
24. Go for a walk every week night
25. Begin the de-clutter process
26. Learn calligraphy
27. Paint an old bed frame
28. Make time to read my scriptures every morning instead of in the evening
29. Perform random acts of kindness every day the week of my birthday
30. Stick to my diet for a month
31. Take a jewelry making class
32. Visit the antique shops close to my house
33. Go see a Broadway production at Gamage
34. Ride the Light Rail all the way to the end of the line and back
35. Make homemade ice cream
36. Visit the state of Montana
37. See a Phoenix Suns Basketball game 
38. Plan a birthday surprise for hubs
39. Make a birthday cake for each member of my family
40. Visit the San Diego Zoo
41. Learn how to make the perfect rose out of cake frosting
42. Take a family vacation
43. See the Kirtland Temple
44. Make a quilt out of old jeans
45. Do something special for each of my siblings
46. Visit my parents more often
47. Memorize 30 verses 
48. Stop drinking soda
49. Learn to grow my own produce
50. Read more and learn about LDS pioneer women
51. Travel to a state I've never visited
52. Make a play list of my 100 favorite songs
53. Go to the shooting range
54. Take a self defense class
55. Visit three museums or galleries I've never been to before
56. Make homemade rolls for a holiday meal
57. Visit the Sacred Grove
58. Write a letter to someone I admire
59. Open a savings account
60. Swim more in the summer
61. Find a great lipstick
62. Organize my closets and pantry
63. Stay in a B & B
64. Fly a kite
65. Host a holiday open house
66. Attend an ASU football game and tailgate
67. Spend a girls only weekend with my daughters
68. Make at least ten of the recipes and/or crafts I've pinned on Pinterest
69. Finish redecorating our bedroom
70. Vote in the Presidential election and state races 
71. Do something creative with my daughter's wedding bouquet
72. Visit a state park I haven't seen 
73. Take a mixed media class
74. Try a Zumba class
75. Organize and sync all my contacts, update all address books
76. Go to a concert
77. Attend General Conference
78. Take a road trip to El Paso and go to lunch at Smokey's with my husband.
79. Memorize the LDS Prophets in order and learn more about them, and share what I learn with my family
80. Memorize the US Presidents in order
81. Make homemade spaghetti sauce like my grandmother and my Mom make 
82. Complete paperwork to move our trust files
83. Host a brunch
84. Bake cranberry nut bread for our neighbors
85. Take the time to tell someone how much you appreciate them in person
86. Visit the Phoenix Temple grounds
87. Write one letter a month to Curtis instead of emails
88. Collect emergency preparedness supplies 
89. Get better about doing Sunday dinners with the family
90. Go to the movies
92. Participate in at least one blog writing challenge
93. Work on collecting my year supply 
92. Make something new to sell on Etsy
95. Take a family vacation
96. Make Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls
97. Write in my journal daily 
98. Perfect my own salsa
99. Sign up for the flag service in my ward
100. Blog about ten items on my list
101. Inspire someone to make a list of their own 

Take care my friends.  I appreciate you and we will talk again soon.  It's nice to be back.  Enough said.  

From the Missionary:

October 21, 2015

Hey Everyone,

 I'm sorry this email is getting out to you guys so late.
Today was a busy day of service. It almost didn't feel like a P-Day.   We 
did manage to squeeze in some long-boarding time in between service
opportunities, but I dropped the ball. I'm sorry. Lately we have been
teaching that man from Haiti named Wilson. We invited him to be
baptized in November. He said he will pray about it and that he will
consider it very seriously, but he has been baptized before in another
church. We had a powerful lesson with him and some members in our ward
on Monday.  It was so great, the members had us stay after and the wife
was bawling her eyes out talking about how much she could feel the
spirit it was so cool. Elder Larkin and I are getting nervous for
Saturday.  That's when shot calls are tonight is trainer calls but no
word from president yet. That would be a scary one, but I
don't think it's coming. I think Elder Larkin might be transferred out.  
Anyways, I have to go again.  I'm sorry for how late I am.  I will send an
extra long one next week I promise!!!!


Elder Schmidt
Sent from my iPad

Quote of the Day:

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