Saturday, January 2, 2016

Going Out With A Bang!!!

Two Things I am Grateful For:
 
1) Prompt medical staff at Banner Gateway that go above and beyond even when they are super busy.  Thanks for all you do!
2) My kids for helping me get my husband ready and in the car....again!   
 
From the Camera: 
Love the Arizona sky during the winter.  So many beautiful sunsets!
  
From the Craft Room & Other Things I Love:
15 Smart Tips for Storing & Organizing Holiday Decorations


15 Smart Tips for Storing & Organizing Holiday Decorations

15 Smart Tips for Storing & Organizing Christmas Decorations

15 Smart Tips for Storing & Organizing Christmas Decorations

15 Smart Tips for Storing & Organizing Christmas Decorations

15 Smart Tips for Storing & Organizing Christmas Decorations

15 Smart Tips for Storing & Organizing Christmas Decorations

15 Smart Tips for Storing & Organizing Christmas Decorations


15 Smart Tips for Storing & Organizing Christmas Decorations

15 Smart Tips for Storing & Organizing Christmas Decorations

15 Smart Tips for Storing & Organizing Christmas Decorations

15 Smart Tips for Storing & Organizing Christmas Decorations

15 Smart Tips for Storing & Organizing Christmas Decorations

15 Smart Tips for Storing & Organizing Christmas Decorations

15 Smart Tips for Storing & Organizing Christmas Decorations

15 Smart Tips for Storing & Organizing Christmas Decorations
 
From the Heart & Spirit:
 "We need not visit the Holy Land to feel him close to us. We need not walk by the shores of Galilee or among the Judean hills to walk where Jesus walked.

"In a very real sense, all can walk where Jesus walked when, with his words on our lips, his spirit in our hearts, and his teachings in our lives, we journey through mortality.

"I would hope that we would walk as he walked — with confidence in the future, with an abiding faith in his Father and a genuine love for others."

- "The Paths Jesus Walked," general conference, April 1974. President Thomas S. Monson

 
From the Kitchen: 
Cookie Delight
 
 
Serves: 15-16
Ingredients
  • 1 tube (16 oz.) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 1 (- 8 oz. cream cheese bar, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tub (16 oz.) Cool Whip
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 small box (3.4 oz.) instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 small box (3.4 oz.) instant white chocolate pudding
  • mini chocolate chips for topping
Instructions
  1. Soften Cookie Dough on counter (dough at room temp will make it easier to spread).
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. When dough is soft, gently spread into greased 9x13 baking pan. Bake for 14-18 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Fold in half of the Cool Whip.
  5. Once your cookie base is completely cooled, spread on cream cheese mixture.
Pudding Layer: In a medium bowl, combine chocolate and white chocolate puddings with cold milk. Whisk together until smooth. Let it set for about 2 minutes. Spread pudding mixture on top of cream cheese layer.
  1. Refrigerate until ready to serve (or for at least 30 minutes).
  2. Right before serving, spread remaining Cool Whip on top and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips. ENJOY!
 
From the Schmidt's:
Can you say déjà vu?  Here we are again in the Emergency Room.  Over the past two days, but more so yesterday, Kevin was shaky and a little discombobulated.   I woke up, read my scriptures, said my morning prayer, and jumped in the shower thinking I was going to work yesterday.  From the moment I said, "amen", I knew my day was going to not turn out as I had planned.  That still small voice was prompting me.  While I was in the shower I heard this loud thump.  I had hoped it was someone letting the dog in and not Kevin on the ground next to our bed.  Thankfully it wasn't Kevin on the floor, but Kevin knocking things down as he maneuvered himself and his wheelchair out of our bedroom.  He nearly scared me to death when I found him in our hallway shaky and stumbling over some words.  He wanted water.  I got him a bottle of water and he got himself back to bed, but something wasn't right.  He tried to assure me everything was okay and all he needed was some sleep.  I was almost convinced until he fell out of bed and slurred his words.  I tried to get him to let me take him into the ER then, but he insisted all he needed was sleep.  By that afternoon he was slurring his words, drooling, couldn't even form words clearly, and was shaking like a leaf.  Needless to say, we went to the ER.  Thank goodness Kyle was here to help me get Kevin into the car again.  I don't know what I'm going to do if this happens when Kyle is at work or when he decides to move out.  I guess we will have to rely on ambulances.  
 
This is Kevin in the ER
 
The doctor said they are going to run some tests.  Chest X-Ray, CT Scan, his blood pressure is low and they think he has some kind of infection.  He has a cough so they are checking for pneumonia and a UTI, of course.  

Kevin keeps apologizing for having to come here today.  Frankly, I would rather ayer on the side of caution and not have anything wrong then wait too long.  But.  That didn't happen this time.  My instincts were right on.  Kevin was admitted to the hospital and will be there for a couple of days until they get the infection under control.  A simple UTI would get me a prescription and off I would go, but for a paraplegic like Kevin, a UTI gets you a inpatient stay on the telemetry floor, with a halter monitor, at the local hospital.  They were worried because Kevin's blood pressure was too low.  The doctor said that was caused by the infection.  Scary that something like a UTI can cause so much trouble.  We were warned when Kevin left Barrow's Rehab Center that bladder infections were going to be issues.  Apparently they were absolutely right.  

I get so frustrated with the surgeon every time we deal with something like this.  He bold faced lied to me and to Kevin.  He said my husband must have had a stroke during the surgery and that was the reason his spinal cord swelled up and now my husband cannot walk, or feel, or do all the things he use to do.  So, why didn't they treat my husband for a stroke post-op, do a consult post-op with a Cardiologist, or insist on follow-up appointments after the eight week stay in Barrow's Neurological Rehab Center????!!!!  Something went wrong and we aren't being told the truth.  We need answers!  We need to know  what happened if nothing more than from a health standpoint.  Kevin needs to know if there is something he needs to watch for in the future!
 
I'll step down off my soapbox now.....because it just upsets me. 

After Kevin was settled in his hospital bed, I came home to get some rest before I headed back up to the hospital with the advanced directives we never dreamed we would ever need, but are so glad we had drawn up.  Kevin jokes every time a health care provider asks about them.  He always says, "don't let them pull the plug."  It's funny now, but in the event we should ever really need them, we certainly will not be laughing.  I do appreciate that he tries to lighten the mood for everyone.  That husband of mine!  

 

It's Thursday now and I'm at work.  I talked to Kevin today and it looks like he will be staying another night at the hospital....
 
Wait.....change of plans.

Kevin in his wheelchair, talking to our son, waiting to go home.
 
This is the view from Kevin's hospital room.  It would have been a great place to see all the fireworks if he would have had to stay.  (silver lining!)
 

I got a call from Kyle around 3:30 pm telling me the hospital got the last blood tests back and Kevin can come home!  That was great news!  
 
Kyle went up to the hospital and by 4:30 the hospital still had not got the final paperwork and prescriptions to Kevin.  So, Kyle had Danielle come to the hospital to pick up Kevin so Kyle could come to pick me up from work.  By the time we got to Mesa from Phoenix Kevin still had not been released so Kyle and I headed up to the hospital.  I don't think they were ever coming to escort Kevin down.  We finally had to ask again for someone to take Kevin down since they insisted we not leave without an escort.  We would have been there all night if we didn't ask again.  Crazy!
 
On our way home from the hospital we hurried and went through the drive-through at the Pharmacy so we could get Kevin's prescription of antibiotics filled.  That was part of the deal Kevin made with the doctors.  He had to agree to get his antibiotic prescription filled immediately and take it that night.  We want him to get better and that is exactly what we did!  Unfortunately, because Kevin has to cath himself, bladder infections are going to be something we deal with on a regular basis, and with each one he will have to be admitted to the hospital every time. 
 
Here's the deal.  I'm doing me bet to see the good, and I know my life is incredibly blessed with good things.  But this week I've been slipping on gratitude.  I'm being honest here.  I'm not going to beat myself up over it, but I'm just going to admit I've got a bunch of what they call first world "problems" to deal with that should not be problems in a few months....or at least I hope they aren't!  To help with most of those I decided to open a GoFundMe account. 
 
 
I originally set the account up when Kevin was in the Rehab Center and then I never activated it.  Today, I thought long and hard about it.  We are sinking and it's just going to get worse if I don't do something fast!  So, I activated the account.  I will say this....I never dreamed how fast friends and family would come to our aide!  I am amazed and humbled by this!  What a blessing!   I have so much to be grateful for!  Deep breaths! 
As I recognize all the many things I'm feeling buried by that, if I was in the right frame of mind, could be considered "rich fertilizer"...even if it is crap, that is helping me to grow, develop, and learn new things.  This is good, right?!!  I do recognize that the adversary is working on me double and even triple time right now.  He wants me to fail.  He wants me to call it quits on anything and everything.  He wants me to feel alone.  He wants me to crash and burn, figuratively, of course.  Yet, I put on my happy face and work to try and convince everyone, including myself, that all is good and right in our little world.  For the most part, I pull if off every time!  Some would look and think I have it all, but I am drowning, sinking fast.  Or at least I feel like I tread water for a little while, but then I find myself....sinking fast.  Part of what gets me down is when I compare myself, the parts of me no one else sees, to the shiny, pristine, smiles on everyone else.  I need to stop doing that!  I know we all have burdens that we carry behind our smiles.  Everyone has some kind of battle they are waging. 
 
It's that perspective that I need to remember.  It's that thought that I need to draw from to help strengthen me, to understand me, to help my self discovery.  For that, I smile.  For that is the beginning of my change of heart, and the disappearance of the "why me's", or the "I deserve better" thoughts that begin to change to "how can I help others?", so my problems melt away.  It requires humility, but can bring so much joy!  It's hard to keep that point of view.  To think outside yourself and focus on those around me, to help ease their burdens, and by so doing, I find answers to my own problems, every time!  Sure, I do need to take care of myself and basic needs first!  But, I find that if I trust in the Lord, he can take care of me better than I ever imagined if I will let Him, and that happens best when I do not focus on myself.  That is something to be grateful for indeed!
 
As I mentioned before, I was home from work for a few days while I helped Kevin get the help he needed. (Hospital stay)  When I got back to work my boss came by my desk and talked to me for a bit.  She was genuinely concerned about Kevin and I appreciate that.  Then shortly after I talked with her, my director came over.  Her and I talked for a bit and she was just as concerned about Kevin.  Then she came back by a few hours later to check on me.  She and I talked about some things going on in her life too.  Then she reminded me that I was a hard worker and every client I have loves me and values the work I do for them and enjoys working with me.  That really made my day because I am concerned about missing work and how that effects my co-workers and everyone I work for and with.  I don't want to let them down.  It was great to hear that from her.  It means so much to know that she is there for me.  I appreciate both my boss and my director.  They certainly are not push overs by any means.  They expect a lot, which is understandable!  So, when they both take the time to tell you they value the work you do it goes a long way and I really needed to hear that!  They are awesome!  My heart is full.
 
Let's talk a little New Year's...
 
Lexi had planned on going to a friends birthday party until the party was changed to hanging out with a group of kids at Butcher Jones Beach.  (the beach near on the lakes in the area)  When I heard the change of plans I was glad Lexi didn't give us any grief for saying, "No" to that one.  Instead she just changed her plans and went to the Stake Dance with her good friend, Christin.  I dropped Lexi off at the dance around 9:00 p.m. and picked her up at 12:15 a.m.  When she came out of the church building, Christin was with her.  Lexi asked if I could give Christin a ride home.  While we were on our way to Christin's house, the girls decided that Lexi was going to spend the night at Christin's house.  We don't let Lexi spend the night at many friends except Christin's.  Too much can happen on sleepovers.  Besides, Christin has been an awesome friend and a good influence on Lexi.  This is the girl Lexi did the sign language with at a baptism in Phoenix with.  She has also encouraged Lexi to read more.  Lexi got Christin to go on her first real date when she was certain she was never going to date.  Lexi needed a second couple to go with her on a recent date, so she fixed Christin up with one of their friends.  It worked out well for everyone.  Lexi and Christin have a lot of fun together!
 
Lexi came home from Christin's around 10 a.m. this morning.  Kyle and I stayed up until about 1 a.m. so I answered the door and went back to sleep for another hour.  It was nice to sleep in, but all day I kept thinking today was Saturday.  It's hard to believe!  Tomorrow I plan to get together with my Mom sometime, and then in the evening Danielle and I will attend the reception of a friend of ours.  Attending this reception will serve as a way for Danielle to see a reception venue I've been wanting her to see for some time now...and besides, I'm always a sucker for a wedding reception.  I love to see all the decorations, but my obsession has kind of gone away over the past two years for some reason.  I know I probably drove my SIL nuts with all of the ideas I kept throwing at her.  At the time, I hope she didn't think I was trying to step on her toes.  I merely wanted to help her.  Now that Danielle is getting married, I would prefer to just let someone else handle everything, but realistically, that isn't an option.  Besides, Danielle wants me to do her flowers and I want to do that.  I think I just have too much on my mind lately or something.  It will pass and I will get my act together sooner or later.  I'm just glad Danielle knows what she likes and wants...that's half the battle!  Kevin jokes that he and the kids are going to move out until after the reception because he thinks things are going to be hairy around here until it's all over.  I don't expect it to get hairy.  Besides, we can only do so much and that is it.  I told Danielle that if she wanted to forgo the big reception and use the money she has for a nice honeymoon, then go for it.  I do not need for her to spend her money on a huge reception nor to I expect it.  This is their day!  Use the money however they feel they need to.  As soon as I go those words out of my mouth Danielle said they wanted to celebrate and have a nice reception....so here we go!  Let the fun begin.  So to speak, of course.
 
Danielle bought her dress a few months back, but it needs to altered.  She has a friend that is going to do the alterations and she does not charge a ton either!  Thank you friend!  So, that appointment is scheduled for one night next week.  Then Danielle has a photographer in mind.  I told Danielle that a good photographer was pretty much the most important part of any wedding because those memories need to be preserved.  Those photos are the ones Danielle and Chance will share with their kids, grandkids, and possibly great-grandkids...their posterity!!!  That photographer will be one of the first things secured.  Then the venue.  Then the flowers, cake, and what not's.  Not to mention the bridesmaids, groomsmen, and their attire!  Oh boy!  Just thinking about it all makes my hands start to shake.  I think I might be getting nervous about all of this.  LOL!  Don't ask me what that is all about because I don't get it.  Silly me!
 
Kevin spent the day resting and the kids and I ran a few errands and did a few things around the house.  This evening we played a game of Settler's of Catan...the original version.  I tried to get them to play a second round, but Lexi wouldn't hear of it.  Just when I am starting to get good at it too.  Oh well.  Tomorrow, after the reception, we may try the new United States version, if Kevin wants to play that is!  Lexi is apprehensive about playing the new version because the game is played a little different and the rules are not all the same.  It does take some getting use to, that is for sure!  BUT, I do like the change.  I know, we are all becoming nerds around her.  LOL!  We love our board games.  We can't help it.
 
A good friend of ours, and one of our missionaries best friends, is waiting for his mission call this weekend!  He has been working so hard and is so ready!  We hope it comes tomorrow for him so he can be the first missionary in our ward to announce his call for 2016!!!  We are anxious to hear and cannot wait to share it with our missionary!  I love hearing where all the missionaries go.  Mostly because I know a little bit about the selection process that each call goes through in Salt Lake.  That entire process is nothing short of amazing!  It's not every day that a Prophet of the Lord prays about you personally, by name, to receive divine revelation for you and those you will serve on a mission.  It's humbling and nothing short of miraculous!  Love it!
 
It's getting late.  I really should go now.  Friends...I want you to know I really do appreciate each and every one of you.  You encourage me.  Inspire me.  AND help me in so many ways.  It means so much to know you are here for me and I hope you feel that I am there for your too. 
 
Take care and we will talk again soon.
 
 
From the Missionary:
Hey Guys,
 
How are all of you doing?  Any fun plans for New Years?  Congratulations Danielle!  That's awesome!  This week was pretty fun.  Yesterday my Companion and I went Ice-skating with a member family and their friends who are not members.  It turns out that our members family are all ridiculously good at hockey and I got bruised up quite a bit.  Ha Ha Ha.  It was a really fun day and we got to meet some really cool people. 
 
Today we did some service for an investigator names Yxxx.  That was pretty fun.  He gave us some sparkling cider for the New Year. :)  Ugh!  It's so much fun out here, even though sometimes I just wanna sleep all day, but can't.  Anyways, let me know how you all are doing.
 
Love,
 
Elder Schmidt
Sent from my iPad
 
P.S....
Since we had to be in early for New Year's we are having a movie night.  This is our living room set up with movie theater seating, missionary style!  We will be watching 17 Miracles again! 
 
 
(who knew you could do this with a daybed frame??)
 
(The BIG screen!)
 
Quote of the Day:
   
 photo ae61ba47-7d78-4151-a87a-fbdf53851081_zps246d8efb.png
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