Thursday, December 10, 2015

Silent Night!

Two Things I am Grateful For:

1) The opportunity to get off work early.  Today was a nice change to my normal work schedule.  I opted to take the last shift and it's been hard going to work when it's dark outside and returning home just when it's dark too.  It makes it hard to schedule any kind of appointments I would normally schedule for after work with my old schedule.  That is why I so appreciate days like today.  Thank you!  Thank you!

2) Awesome co-workers that are totally amazing in all that they do!  I work with some a bunch of great people.  They make going to work each day that much more enjoyable.  Thank you.

From the Camera:

I always laugh every time I see this photo.  
This was taken December of 2013 when we did a family Christmas light scavenger hunt.  One of the things my husband insisted that we place on the list of light displays we got photo evidence of was of someone on your team kissing the bum of the camel in the middle of the temple grounds.  This photo is of my husband doing exactly that.  That man!  He cracks me up.  So silly, but it brings a smile to my face every time I see it.  

From the Craft Room & Other Things:
This was the post my husband shared on Facebook last night.  I can't believe him.  I manage to keep the crafts contained.  My bathrooms and kitchen do not have any craft supplies in them, or anything that could be mistaken for such.  Honestly!  When do I possibly find the time these days?  LOL!  (He knows me all to well.  I seek out opportunities to do something crafty all the time.  I cannot deny it!)

Speaking of crafts.  I remember a long time ago when I was fascinated with paper.  No, not the scrapbook craze that one use to, but even before that.  I remember spending time in paper stores like Paper Plus here in town looking for the right size, width, color, and thickness of card stock to cut out these huge Victorian houses I had patterns for.  I wanted to put them in large frames and hang them in my home at the time.  Well, I never did find the right size of paper.  You see, I wanted a ridiculously large piece.  Needless to say, I never got my house but I still have the patterns stashed away in my craft files, which are actually in a box that I have yet to unpack from our move several years back.  You would think I would at least open the box or something.  Oh well. 

Well, my paper fascination is something I think I inherited from my Mom.  She would totally understand it and gets it, because I have had paper conversations with her in the past.  Today is a paper fetish kind of day.  Take a look at a few of the things I found.  I Love how detailed all of these are!  And to think, someone spent hours and hours with tiny scissors or an Exacto knife cutting and cutting.  I wish I had time to try to make something like any one of these.  They are so beautiful!  






From the Heart & Spirit:


From the Kitchen:


APPLE PIE CUPCAKES
Servings 8
Ingredients
APPLE FILLING
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced in to 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
TOPPING
Juice of half lemon (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
BASE
1 can (12.4 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated cinnamon rolls
GARNISH
whipped cream (from 7oz aerosole can)
caramel-flavored syrup (from 22oz-bottle)
Directions
1. Heat oven to 400°F. Lightly spray 8 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray.
2. In 10-inch skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add apples; cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons brown sugar, the cinnamon and salt. Cook 5 minutes longer or until tender. Stir in lemon juice.
3. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix Topping ingredients with fork or hands until crumbly. Set aside.
4. Separate dough into 8 rolls. Flatten each into 4-inch round; place in muffin cup.
5. Divide Apple Filling evenly onto rolls in muffin cups. Divide Topping evenly over Filling.
6. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until bubbly and tops are lightly browned. Cool slightly before removing from muffin cups. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
7. Serve cupcakes topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of syrup.
From the Schmidt's:

Here are couple of things you could share with friends or family during your holiday get together.  

Holiday Quiz

What's the best gift you've ever received?
What was one tradition from your childhood that you plan on carrying on through generations?
Is there a must have in your stocking each year?
Did you have any special traditions about opening the gifts?
How old were you when you knew the "truth" about the Magic of Christmas?  How did you find out?
If money were no object, name three things on your wish list this year?
Is there a gift that you've wanted for a long time, but, never received?  
Are you more of a Grinch or Griswold?
What's your favorite Christmas song?
Share a "feel good moment" from one of your Christmas'.
Do you come from a Conservative during the holidays Christmas family or an over the top Christmas family?
What's your favorite Christmas movie? Why?
Are you a Last minute shopper or ready months before?
What's the most special gift you've ever given?
If you were to write a brag letter for the past year, what would you include in it?
When you hear the song, "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer", what memory comes to mind?
What's your favorite Christmas song? Why?
What's the most special gift you've ever received for Christmas?
What's your favorite Christmas tradition?
Did you know your gifts before you open them?  (Do you buy your own?  Do you sneak peak?)

And here is another fun thing......

A Fun Holiday Game Idea

All you need are sturdy paper plates and pens for each player.
The host tells the players to put their paper plates on their head.
Then the host will give a series of instructions for the players to draw on their paper plates (that are on their heads)
Without looking.

Here are the instructions:

1)      Draw a line for a floor.
2)      Draw a Christmas Tree.  Add decorations if 
you feel so inclined.
3)      Draw a star on top of your tree.
4)      Draw a fireplace with a mantel next to the tree.
5)      Draw a stocking hanging from the mantel of your fireplace.
6)      Draw a present below the tree.

After the six steps have been given, let everyone look at their plates.

Then have players count up how many points they received by following this rubric:

2 points if the tree touches the floor
2 points if your stocking is touching your mantel
1 point if your star touches your tree
1 point if your star is above your tree
1 point for every Christmas ornament ball that is ON your tree, etc.
1 point if your fireplace doesn’t touch the tree (it’s a fire hazard)
1 point if you actually drew something decorative on your stocking (or something
Cute, like a tiny kitten peeking out.)
2 points if your present is under your tree

And more games....


GAME #1
Supplies:  a present wrapped multiple times, a pair of dice and a pair of winter gloves preferably without fingers.
Get a present, it doesn't have to be anything expensive, something that would be good for anyone....old, young, male or female.  Wrap the gift multiple times with different kinds of paper, tape, plastic, so there are several layers and so its easy to tell the different layers apart.
Have all your guests sit around a table.  Each person takes a turn rolling a pair of dice.   When someone rolls doubles they have to put on a pair of snow gloves to unwrap a layer of the wrapping.  The last person to unwrap the present wins the gift.
GAME #2
Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt

A). You and yours take a drive or walk through your neighborhood and see how many of these you can find.  Make it harder by not using the same house for more than one thing.

B). You and yours go up against another group in a photo relay.  How many of these can you find in an allotted amount of time?  You will need to provide photo evidence.  Again, you can only count a house once for one item on your list!
Happy Hunting!!!!
 
List #1
1). A Nativity Scene lit up by a flood light
2). A yard with at least 5 Reindeer
3). A house with only white lights
4). The Grinch
5). Rudolph the red-nosed Reindeer
6). Giant candy
7). A snowman with a top hat
8). Christmas music playing
9). Disney Characters
10). A decorated mailbox
 
List #2
1). Snoopy
2). A white Christmas Tree
3). Mr & Mrs Claus
4). Blinking lights
5). 3 Inflatables in one yard
6). A Train
7). Blue Icicle Lights
8). A Camel
9). Santa on a Roof
10). An Angel
 
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and I hope you have fun.  Let us know if you play these games OR let us know if you have another game to share.  I would love to hear your ideas.
 We played these games on Christmas Eve a couple years ago.  They were a lot of fun.  For the Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt we did not use two separate lists, we combined the two lists and even added one other item.  Every year they do Christmas lights at the Temple.  In the middle of lawn in front of the visitors center are 3 camels.  We added a picture of someone kissing the camel at the Temple.  We allowed both groups 1 hour to find all 20 items (keep in mind we took off the other camel on the list) AND.....no one could use our street to find any of the items on the list.  Everyone loved the games and want to play again next year.  Next year we will change up the list a little and possibly the area of town we can find the items in.  

And last but not least, our blog challenge question:  Do you have a family get-together during the holidays with extended family?

Of course we do!  We use to get together with my family, meaning my parents, Grandparents, uncle, brother, and sisters.  Then things changed after my Grandparents passed away.  We had Christmas Eve at my parents house for a few years, but it recently changed to my house and once in a while at my brother's house.  Then on Christmas Day we would all hurry and open our presents here at the house and leave for breakfast at my in-laws and more presents. Eventually that changed to brunch and then an afternoon meal when it got harder to pull the kids away from their presents at the house.  We still get together now, but not on Christmas day all the time mostly because our families have grown up and some of the kids have families of their own, so each brother (there were three boys in my husbands family) does their own thing with their children and grandchildren.  And although Kevin and I do not have any grandchildren as of yet, I'm sure our time is coming soon enough.  All in all, we have fond memories of past Christmas's spent with extended family and we enjoy our times together now too.  

Kyle took me to work today so he could get a few things done.  He had a follow-up appointment with the cardiologist and to take a few things down to his new employer.  He only has a couple weeks left before he is calling work his new home since he will be spending so much time there.  

The cardiologist has decided to place Kyle one some medication to help with his issue.  The doctor called the prescription into the pharmacy, but it's still sitting there.  I don't think Kyle is very happy about having to make the changes the doctor suggested or the fact that he needs to take this medicine.  Honestly, it's a good thing.  This little medication could literally save his life.  I don't know that Kyle really understands that, but in time hopefully he will.  Ultimately, some of the other changes the doctor suggested might help to get Kyle off of the medication and possibly reverse things.  I feel better knowing that Kyle is getting the proper care and attention he needs.  After all, your health is not something to be taken for granted.  It can literally be taken away from you without any warning as we in this family have witnessed first hand.  

When I got to work today one of my co-workers asked me if I got my 10 year anniversary gift at the house yet.  I told her that I did and then she said she received a nice letter, a big certificate, and a silver key chain in this big box yesterday in our team meeting.  She showed it to me.  It was awesome!  She said I would probably get mine in our next team meeting.  I can't wait!  You see, I was off yesterday and I missed our meeting.  I also missed our team Christmas party and team lunch too.  I was bummed that I missed it all, but I was glad to hear that everyone had a good time.  That was nice to hear.  

As soon as I got home from work today we let the dog out back.  He was out there for about 15 minutes and then he just started barking.  He barked for about 10 minutes and then I went out to find out what the fuss was all about.  Come to find out, the dog was barking at nothing.  He must have mistaken a bush moving in the wind for a cat or something because he was all worked up about it.  I couldn't get him to move to save my life.  I even tried bribery with a dog treat, but nothing worked!  That dog was dead set on catching the ficticious cat even if it meant he would be out there all night long.  Eventually I came back into the house.  Kyle could hear me and came to my rescue.  He went out and finally got the dog to backdown and come inside.  Darn dog!  I don't mind the dog barking once in a while, but when it gets to be outright annoying it's time to put a stop to it.  If you know what I mean??

In a house somewhere behind us they have several dogs that must live outside because these dogs bark and howl at all hours of the day and night.  No joke!  And they are not quiet at all!  I can be in our living room at the front of our home and hear the dogs as clear as day.  I remember an old neighbor standing at their back door yelling at the house with the dogs, quite loudly, requesting that they "shut those dxxx dogs up!"  So, we are super careful that our dog does not cause any early morning, late at night noise that would cause the neighborhood to turn on us, or to mistake our dog for the howling once over the fence.  All in all, our dog is a good dog and he is a part of our family and we love him, even if we are just foster parents for now.  (The dog belongs to our oldest daughter)

The house is pretty dark and quiet tonight.  Lexi has another headache, Kyle is asleep, Kevin is asleep, and we haven't even turned on the Christmas lights yet.  Honestly, I could see myself falling asleep right now and not waking up until it was time for me to get up for work tomorrow.  I had a hard time falling to sleep last night.  I think I was tossing and turning in bed until at least 12:30 a.m.  Not exactly my favorite.  Now I am tired and grateful for a nice quiet evening.  

Here's to hoping your evening is peaceful and quiet as well.  Take care my friends and we will talk again soon.  Enjoy your Friday tomorrow!

From the Missionary:

Elder Schmidt and his old companion Elder Larkin.  Curtis enjoyed every minute serving with this young man and will miss him, but the work is most important and the Lord felt it was time for a change.  

Elder Schmidt's new companion is the missionary shown below to the far right.  Elder Nutal.  Curtis, said this young man served as a spanish speaking missionary when he was in the Bronx, but has switched to English speaking.  Curtis loves this young man too, and I'm sure before long we will receive letters about how awesome Elder Nutal is too!  Enough said.

Quote of the Day:

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