Saturday, October 31, 2015


Two Things I am Grateful For:

1) The daily blessings that come from reading my scriptures, for they have been MANY!  

2) My children!  It just cannot get better than that!  Don't get me wrong, I will be the first to admit that my children are in no way perfect.  BUT, they are perfect for us, and continue to blow me away with their gifts and talents each and every single day.


3) My husband!  I love that man.  He challenges me.  He frustrates me.  BUT, he is my best friend.  He knows me and still loves me with all of my flaws.  He is such a blessing in my life.  

From the Camera:

Kevin sent us a group text this morning showing us his Halloween Costume with this comment below....

It feels good to almost be back to normal. Love you all. Happy Halloween.

That man!  Even when he is not feeling well he still manages to have a sense of humor.  I love his costume!  It's actually a mask.  Funny man!
From the Craft Room and Other Cool Things:

I made this for my Halloween Costume today....

I worked hard on it.  LOL!

I have to tell you a little funny...
I went to the Dollar Store to purchase the funny glasses last night.
My intention was to make a quick stop there, get gas in my car, and then get home in time to see my favorite show....Scandal.
While I was waiting in the check out line at the Dollar Store, the customer at the head of the line I overheard her ask the gal at the register if she could run her debit card as credit.  I thought to myself, "Seriously!  Credit for the things you are purchasing at the Dollar Store?!!"  I was a bit shocked at first.  Then she explained that she just got her card from her bank and it was told it had to be run as credit for the first 24 hours.  So, I let up on my criticism, even though she was holding up the line, and me from making it home in time for my show.  
Well, I quickly learned that I needed to check myself!!!
When it was my turn to check out at the register the gal rang me up and I pulled out the card I thought was my debit card and quickly learned that I grabbed the wrong card.  I couldn't believe it!  
So, I ran back home.  Grabbed my card and rushed back to the Dollar Store to make my purchase.  I had to go back.  I had the LAST pair of goofy glasses in the store, and I needed them!!

My costume was a big hit at work today!  I'm glad I took the time to put it together.  It was fun!  Even the Senior VP came to see it and loved it!  

This morning when I talked to Kevin the plan was to go to our Ward Halloween Party tonight...costume and all.  BUT.
When I got home from work Kevin had changed his mind.  He wasn't feeling well.  In fact, he has a doctor's appointment scheduled for Monday.  He thinks he has a bladder infection.
I knew it!  So, he has some medication to take for it that will last until he can see the doctor.  Thank goodness!  Bladder infections are not good for someone like him.
From the Heart and Spirit:

A friend at work shared this with me.  She said her husband sent it to her and that he uses this as a guide to pray for these things in her.  I thought that was very sweet, and thought I would share.  

From the Kitchen:

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, sliced  (I used salted.  Worked fine.)
1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
1 cup caramel squares, cut into 1/4's 

For Rolling the Cookies:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Sea salt, for sprinkling on top of cookies  

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. 
2. To brown the butter, heat a thick-bottomed skillet on medium heat. Add the sliced butter, whisking frequently. Continue to cook the butter until melted. The butter will start to foam and browned specks will begin to form at the bottom of the pan. The butter should have a nutty aroma. Watch the butter carefully because it can go from brown to burnt quickly. Remove butter from the heat and let cool to room temperature. 
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the brown butter and sugars. Mix until blended and smooth. Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt and mix until combined. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. 
4. Form the dough in a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. You can chill the dough overnight. 
5. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Measure about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into balls. Flatten the ball with the palm of your hand and place a piece of caramel in the center of the dough. 

Wrap the cookie dough around the caramel, making sure the caramel is completely covered with dough. 
6. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Roll the balls in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place dough balls on a large baking sheet that has been lined with  parchment paper. Make sure the cookies are about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle the cookie tops with sea salt. 
7. Bake the cookies 8-10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. The centers will still be soft. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, or until set. Transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.
Makes 2 dozen cookies

From the Schmidt's:

This week has been FULL of changes!  Some good.  Some not so good.  I guess you have to be careful what you pray for.  As I mentioned in my last post, I've started to read my scriptures 
(The Book of Mormon) again first thing in the morning and say my morning personal prayers again.  As I have been praying I have asked for "change" in my life.  Little did I know what I was doing and I have quickly learned that you have to choose your words carefully when offering up prayers to your Heavenly Father, because I have experienced some strange changes this week that have not been exactly what I had in mind.  Here are the highlights...

1)  With my personal reading and prayer routine I have been waking up about 1/2 hour earlier every morning to give myself time to read and pray before I start my morning routine.  That simple change has cost me some valuable sleeping time.  Don't get me wrong, it's well worth the sacrifice.  BUT, when you include all of the changes I've experienced this week, it has really taken it's tole on me!  You will see what I mean as I share the rest.  Trust me.

From the first day, things seem to be working together for our good because I have been doing this.  That is a blessing indeed!

2) Normally four times a week my oldest son is leaving the house as I come home to go to his weightlifting training sessions.  All week he hasn't gone for one reason or another.  That has totally thrown me off my afternoon routine.

Thank goodness Kyle has changed his routine, even if it was for his own personal reasons.  Because he changed his routine Kyle was here to help me with a few things too.

3) The doctor switched up my medication on Monday for my Kidney infection and also prescribed something that would help with the pain.  That change up alone has made me forgetful and a little loopy and off my game.  It's been bad!  Side note....because of this illness or infection I have, I have become very worn out and run down right around about 10 a.m. every day.  To the point that I have come very close to asking to go home each day.  It was bad Tuesday through Thursday.  Luckily today was the first day that huge drop in energy and pain didn't happen.  

I am glad they switched up the medication.  I am grateful for my doctor who always seems to save the day and get me back on track.  This doctor's office has literally saved the lives of all of my family. We count this doctor's office as one of our greatest blessings all the time!  I love them!

4) Every single night this week I did not make it to bed until at least 10:30 p.m.  A couple of nights it was midnight or 1:30 a.m.  That with waking up at 4:30 a.m. has contributed to my loopiness this week.  It's not been good.  Thankfully work knows I was sick and has cut me a little slack this week.  

It's not a normal practice for my director to give me a "pass" on not completing all of my work on time like I always try to do.  I was shocked that she came over and told me to ease back into things because the team was here to help pick up the slack.  That normally NEVER happens!  I love her!  She is totally amazing and I count her as one of my blessings!  

5) Wednesday when I walked into work I learned that I would be attending a public speaking class.  You know, the kind of class that you have to give impromptu speeches three different times throughout the class....AND record each speech.  Can you say, Yikes!  I was so not up for that!  I even went to my boss and told her that I might be coming back to my desk and skipping that since I was just coming back after being ill.  I was not down with that!  Not that day!  Not feeling sick with an upset stomach.  Public speaking ALWAYS makes my stomach ache on a normal basis.  That combined with being sick, I thought, was going to be the death of me for sure!  

Before the class I went down to the training room and talked with the instructor.  She said I could opt out of the speeches, but she encouraged me to still attend the class because it had a lot of good information to offer.  Well, as it turns out, she was right.  I even ended up doing half of the speeches.  I would have done more, but that 10 a.m. energy drop and pain kicked in and it was all I could do to hold it together through to the end of the class.  All in all, I'm glad I attended.  I learned a lot and hope to attend the second session when it's offered again.  

6) We had our annual holiday team photos on Thursday this week.  That meant that we had to dress up in our best Business attire and pose as a team for photos.  Not exactly our favorite part of our job for sure.  None of us enjoy having our photos taken.  We take these photos to include in the literally thousands of Christmas cards we sign and send to each of our advisors throughout the United States.  You should see the stacks and stacks of cards we have piled up this time of year around our office.  We hand sign each card too.  It is quite a sight to see.  Especially for our team...this being our busiest time of year with charitable gifting in full swing until the last day of the year.  Back to the reason I mentioned this.....while I was out picking up black socks at the store, I ran over something and my tire immediately began to flatten.  Thankfully I was just around the corner and made it home with no problem.  I called Danielle because I remembered that she was off work on Thursday and might be able to give me a ride to and from work.  As it turns out, she dropped her car off to me so I could drive myself to and from work.  My thought was to have Kyle run my car to Discount Tire to have the flat fixed.

When I got home nothing had been done with the flat.  I had Kyle switch out the flat tire with the donut tire and we drove over to Discount Tire together.  I keep all of the invoices for repairs, maintenance and tires.  So I had the invoice for our last tire purchase.  When we got to Discount Tire they looked at the tire and at our account and told me we had a lifetime warranty on each tire, so they would either fix the flat or replace the tire for free!  I was prepared to have to buy a new tire.  Thankfully I didn't have to and my budget is most grateful!!!  With being out sick this past week I have a much smaller paycheck this week.  So budgeting a tire was not at all going to work at all!  Thank goodness we had the warranty!  I didn't pay a dime.  Blessings!!

7) Speaking of paychecks.  When I logged in to review my future paycheck on Tuesday after returning to work it showed that my check was going to be $62.  As you can imagine I became sick to my stomach immediately and I was a little freaked out.  BUT, I knew I needed to make a few calls.  My biggest fear was that my normal automatic check would not happened on the normal day, and my check would be late.  Since I was out sick for an entire week and a day, I had to file FMLA.  Not exactly my favorite thing to do, but it had to be done.  It took a few phone calls to our FMLA administrator and our payroll department, but everyone assured me that I would have my little check by Friday.

As it turns out, my FLMA was approved in record time and my payroll department had a check to me on Wednesday!  Two days before everyone else gets paid normally!  No kidding.  I was totally shocked by this.  AND, even though my check was only half of my normal pay, I have another check coming for about 6 hours too.  Getting that check two days early saved the day this week!  I totally let my payroll department know as I was standing in the middle of their office that I appreciated all their help and I knew that they had gone above and beyond when they got me that check early.  More blessings!!!  

8) I mentioned in my last post that I had to run to Danielle's house to pick up Lexi.  The reason Lexi was at her sister's house was to use her Internet to do her school work.  (Lexi has been withdrawn from Mesa High again.  She is taking her classes online again.  She has had too many migraines and missed too much.  This way she can get her work done around her migraines.  She will still attend Seminary in the mornings.) You see, our Internet was down because flat out, I didn't have the money until my upcoming payday.  So, thankfully, Danielle was able to help her little sister out.  

With my paycheck coming early I was able to get the Internet back up and working again quicker than I thought.  Keep in mind, with my husband's recent spinal cord injury, I am the only one working right now.  As you can imagine, money is a little tight.  You know how it takes two incomes to sustain this household.  Thank goodness for our Ward family and the help they have provided.  As well as the help of family and friends too.  

Funny story....I bought hair color several months ago with the intent to touch up the grey hair on my head.  Wednesday night, the night before our team photos, I decided this was the time to color my hair.  I followed the package directions and left the solution on for the recommended time.  To my hair turned out bright yellow.  No joke!  It was 11:30 p.m. and I had crayon yellow hair!  Needless to say, I wasn't going to step foot into my office with hair that color!  Or anywhere else for that matter.  So, thankfully I had another box of color a little darker to counter act the yellow.  I stayed up until 1:30 a.m. changing my hair back to the color you see above in the Halloween costume photo.  Thank goodness I had that in the house!   

9) Driving your daughter's car all dressed up in a suit and heels isn't fun!  I was totally out of my comfort zone as I drove to work in that get up, in the rain, and in the dark of night because the sun wasn't up yet.  I felt like I was in a wind up car.  Don't get me wrong....I am most grateful Danielle offered to let me take her car.  BUT, I am just not use to driving such a small car and I felt discombobulated!  

10) We adjust our schedules beginning next week.  As it turns out, I volunteered to work the later shift during daylight savings for the next four months.  It's not exactly my favorite schedule, but I will make it work.  I would LOVE to work 7 to 3:30 all year round, but that isn't realistic.  Normally I work 7 to 3:30 during the summer months and 8 to 4:30 in the winter months.  I use to work 6 to 2:30 during the summer which was great for getting home early, but it was so hard to get up that early, so we changed it.  Well, for the next few months I will be working the latest shift possible on my team which is 8:30 to 5.  No I won't like coming home when it's dark outside, BUT....

The benefits are that I will be able to and hopefully from A hour Seminary in the mornings.  This schedule doesn't exactly work best for Kevin's appointments and things, but we will figure out a way.  My main concern was making sure Lexi could complete Seminary first and foremost!  

11) I actually wore a Halloween Costume this year...TO WORK too!!!  That is a huge change for me!  I normally just wear my Halloween T-shirt and leave it to that.  

I'm glad I wore a costume, even if it didn't take too much effort on my part.  It was fun and I got to talk to a lot of different people in my office that I don't normally talk to.  One girl came in all dressed up in the Ghostbuster's get up!  It was incredible!  She had the entire backpack with working parts, and the belt with all if it's working parts.  She even had theme music that played when she hit a button.  She said her and her boyfriend worked on their costumes for months to get it right.  They even hand tooled the Ghostbuster's emblem on the black leather belt.  It was awesome.  I wish I had a picture to share.  Anyway, her and I talked a lot about all the work that went into her costume and as we talked I got to know her better.  

I mentioned the word Discombobulated earlier.
I think I said that word more in the past week than I ever have in my entire life.  I kid you not!  This week I have felt like I stepped into the Twilight Zone and have totally been out of my comfort zone in more ways that I care to admit.  Thankfully, I didn't make any major mistakes or step on do anything too embarrassing. At least as far as I know, right??!!  Needless to say, this is why I say you have to be careful and choose your words carefully when offering up prayers.  At the beginning of the week I can remember asking for changes in my life.  These last two days I changed that word and rephrased my request to ask for improvements in my life.  I'm confident that this will do the trick and things will begin to get back to what I call normal. LOL!  You know, step out of the Twilight Zone, if you will.  LOL!  

It's getting late.  I should go.  Take care my friends and we will talk again soon.

From the Missionary:

Hey Everyone!!!,

Today is transfers!  We get to drive to Ossining, New York today and see who's getting transferred where.  Our whole apartment is staying the same, so we will have a great cycle.  This week was awesome!  We met with a recent converts Dad who has Alzheimer's.  It was a very interesting experience.  His Dad wrote the entire English curriculum for Wilton High School, which is a very highly ranked school.  He had all these awards for teaching.  When we met with him he started off saying that he felt like he was going insane over and over.  By the end he was actually holding a discussion with us.  It was a good experience.  The week Elder Larkin and I went to our weekly Service activity at a Care Center where we get to work with people with dementia and Alzheimer's.  I'm getting pretty good at helping people who want the craziest stuff, but I could never be someone who actually works there because we always tell the people that we will get them a doctor or nurse.  I don't know what I would say if I was a doctor or a nurse.  

It's starting to get colder here.  I have to wear a sweater now during the day.  I'm getting nervous for snow now.  Ha Ha.  Everyone says it's terrible here, but I know that's just because they have been in this for years.  Every once in a while we get flurries of snow but nothing is sticking yet.  Anyways, I got to go now.  I've got a nice hour long drive to make now.  Byyye.


Elder Schmidt
Sent from my iPad

Quote of the Day:

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