Wednesday, August 24, 2016

This week!

Saturdays are typically a day for me to sleep in a little bit. Today I slept until about six, let the dogs out, watched an episode of NCIS, and then fell back asleep after the dogs came back inside, until about ten. I must have needed the sleep. Besides, everyone else in the house was sleeping, so it was a good time for me to recharge my own battery too.  

I received the results from my recent mammogram. All is well.  Thank goodness. I love being able to get it done while I'm at work. It's so convenient and they notify my primary care doctor and let me know as well what the results are. I love that! You can bet I will be doing that again next year for sure!

Yesterday we had a potluck at work. Everyone in our department was having one. We were doing a big event across the department. One of the things one of my co-worker's brought in was a homemade lemon meringue pie. It was so good! She made a graham cracker crust for the pie crust instead of the normal crust. It was absolutely my favorite thing! She said she used the standard Betty Crocker recipe in her cookbook.  Here is that recipe....

Classic Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

Ingredients

Pastry

1

cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour 

1/2
teaspoon salt
1/3
cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
2
to 3 tablespoons cold water

Filling

3

egg yolks 

1 1/2
cups sugar
1/3
cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2

cups water 

3
tablespoons butter or margarine
2
teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/2
cup lemon juice
2
drops yellow food color, if desired

Meringue

3

egg whites 

1/4
teaspoon cream of tartar
6
tablespoons sugar
1/2
teaspoon vanilla

Directions 

  • 1 In medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).
  • 2 Gather pastry into a ball. Shape into flattened round on lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.
  • 3 Heat oven to 475°F. With floured rolling pin, roll pastry into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pie plate. Fold and roll pastry under, even with plate; flute as desired. Prick bottom and side of pastry thoroughly with fork. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown; cool on cooling rack.
  • 4 Reduce oven temperature to 400°F. In small bowl, beat egg yolks with fork. In 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch; gradually stir in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute.
  • 5 Immediately stir at least half of hot mixture into egg yolks; stir back into hot mixture in saucepan. Boil and stir 2 minutes; remove from heat. Stir in butter, lemon peel, lemon juice and food color. Pour into pie crust.
  • 6 In medium bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with electric mixer on high speed until foamy. Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time; continue beating until stiff and glossy. Do not under beat. Beat in vanilla. Spoon onto hot pie filling. Spread over filling, carefully sealing meringue to edge of crust to prevent shrinking or weeping.
  • 7 Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until meringue is light brown. Cool away from draft 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate cooled pie until serving. Store in refrigerator.

Graham Cracker Crust Recipe








Ingredients

1 1/2

cups finely crushed graham crackers (20 squares)

1/3

cup butter or margarine, melted 

3
tablespoons sugar

Directions 

  • 1 Heat oven to 350ºF. Mix all ingredients. Press in bottom and up side of pie plate, 9x1 1/4 inches. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown; cool.
One of these days I will have to try making this recipe myself. It was so yummy! I love it when the lemon is tart, and this was certainly tart for sure.

After Kyle left for work I took off and ran a couple errands. I had books and movies to take back to the library. Kevin wasn't feeling well. The pain is bad. Tonight it got really windy and my phone says we are in for rain around nine tonight, so that could be some of the reason Kevin is having such a rough time of it. He is our build in weather predictor and he is right every time. 
Lexi had a job interview this weekend. We will know more next week on if she got the job. She is hoping that another job comes through first. Time will tell.

I found another Meme and thought I'd share it. Here goes....

1. It's National Waffle Day (August 24th)...what decision are you currently 'waffling over'? (or share one you've recently 'waffled over')

When will social security finally make their decision and set up monthly payments for my husband and my daughter and why is this taking so long? I feel like our lives are on hold until they finally come through. Frustrating!

2. It's the middle of August, but I'm already seeing lots of autumn-related posts. Do you think we rush the seasons? If so, does that bother you? I saw (here) an end of summer bucket list that included-

make s'mores, read a new (or favorite) book in the park, eat something delicious and bad for you at a state fair, be a tourist for the day, have a pot luck picnic, book a last minute summer getaway, relax by or in the pool, take a hike to watch the sunset, have a day on the lake, try a new summer recipe

Which activities on the list might you squeeze in before summer officially comes to a close? 

I live in the middle of the desert. Rushing the seasons with cooler weather is part of the territory. No, it doesn't bother me to rush fall or even Spring. Honestly, I cannot wait for fall! BUT, rushing things like Christmas and overlooking things like Thanksgiving to do it, well that does bother me. 

Bucket list item....Our state fair actually takes place in the fall and I would LOVE to add that to our list of things to do this year.  I think Kevin would enjoy it too.  OR be a tourist for the day would be fun. Taking a day trip to one of our states many attractions would be awesome. 

3. Your favorite summertime 'art' found in nature?  

Arizona is full of beautiful art found in nature.  Here are just a few....

           

4. Stephen R. Covey is quoted as saying 'We judge ourselves by our intentions, and others by their actions.' Agree or no? Do you define yourself based on your intentions, your actions, or something else? 

Very true.  I find myself wishing others would understand me better and realize my intentions, while I hold them accountable for their actions or lack there of.  I guess you can't have it both ways.  In fact, with all that has happened with Kevin over just the past year I have come to realize exactly what others think about me.  Some of it hasn't been very nice and I was surprised to learn these things. Some of it was pretty incredible and I was blown away by these people I never dreamed would be there for me.  It's funny how you really come to realize who your "people" are when you go through a major trial in your life.  The one thing I have come to understand most is that I hope I am more like those people who have been there for me.  They are amazing!

5. Are you useful in a crisis? Elaborate. 

I think it depends on the crisis.  One time I just went back to work after having Kyle and I worked in admitting at a hospital.  Inpatient admitting.  A patient came in and was admitted by a co-worker and then the patient and her husband were moved to the waiting room until the orderly arrived to wheel her upstairs.  She was sent to inpatient admitting by her doctor instead of the emergency room.  Well, in the short couple of minutes she sat in a wheelchair waiting she past away.  My boss at the time immediately called the code blue and everyone came running.  In the mean time my boss asked me to go console the family while the code team worked on their wife and mother.  By that time I was a wreck and was not able to hold it together to even speak to the family.  Of course, I was brought back and my boss sat with the family.  This time I was of no good in that crisis.  That one just really got to me even though that was not my first crisis situation while working at the hospital.  

BUT,

Most times in a crisis I do whatever needs to be done at the time and then I react.  

6. What's been your go-to dish this summer? Is it something you'll continue making as the seasons change?   

We have a few go-to dishes and they aren't just summer dishes either.  Lately it's been tacos, macaroni and cheese, and baked potatoes.  These are our go tos most weeks.  My kids are sick of tacos.  Can you believe that?!!

7. Adult coloring books are a thing now. Have you jumped on the bandwagon? If not is this something you think you might enjoy?

We got our oldest daughter one for Christmas, but NO I have not gotten into them.  I remember as a kid I use to LOVE those coloring books.  My Mom would get me one every once in a while.  That was when they weren't so popular.  I still enjoy looking at them, but I still haven't pulled out the colored pencils to actually color one yet.  What I like lately has been grid paper.  I remember making designs with manila grid paper when I was in Elementary school.  I loved doing that.  Now as days I do the same or I use them to make other designs and doodles.  Grid paper has become my go to paper lately.  I especially love those grid composition books the best!

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

It's now Tuesday....I'm home today with Kevin.  He is in a lot of pain.  It's been a rough day for him, but we know this will get better eventually.  His doctor's are hopeful too.  I have to say, I am so grateful for his pain specialist and doctor responsible for Kevin's after care.  (After care meaning after the butcher surgeon did his damage)  More on Kevin later.

Tonight we will be taking care of Kevin and doing a few things around the house.  I did receive an interesting phone call from a group in Maryland who have agreed to handle a few things for us.  That was awesome news.  Now to get the final word from Social Security.  I'm on hold with their office as I type right now trying to get an update.  I'm hopeful we will get a positive response.  Key word being hopeful, of course.  It usually takes a good 45 minutes to actually get through to a human being. 

Wednesday...Lexi doesn't have mutual tonight so we don't have many plans tonight other than to make sure Kevin is comfortable. It doesn't look like we are in for rain anytime soon, so that should help with Kevin's pain some.  

I received a call from a group in Maryland that has agreed to handle a few things for us. That was awesome news. More to come on this as we hear more. 

I called social security. The representative informed me that it could take another 30 days!!! for them to let us know where we stand. I cannot believe that!!!  I'm beyond frustrated.  They have made a decision and it seems to be in Kevin's favor.  The reason I know this is that I doubt they would take information to consider benefits for our daughter as well which are based on his case if they were not intending to decide in Kevin's favor.  AND they have had Kevin's claim since April in this limbo status under quality review.  Frustrating! The whole time our lives are in limbo as we wait.  Arg!  

Enough about that.  We received a letter from Curtis today.

Hey Everyone, 

This week was great!  We have been taking with our members about sharing the gospel with their friends.  We really want them to just invite their friends to activities.  The branch has so much potential for missionary work.  They all have tons of non-member friends that fit in the age group and that would be a huge benefit to the branch. (Mid Single Adult Branch)  The basketball tournament went really well and it got everyone pretty excited for these events.  We're working with the branch council to kind of cultivate our activities into missionary efforts.  It's sort of working.  They want to help out, but we think it won't really work until they see someone else do it first.  So, we're working with a few people first and then getting the rest of the branch involved.  

Well, I have to get going.  Talk to you all next week.  :)

Love,

Elder Schmidt
Sent from my iPad
His letters are getting shorter and shorter which is a sign he is busy with the work he was sent to do.  I'm a-okay with that. I want him to do what he was sent to do.  I refuse to place any demands for details or long letters because I want him spending all of his time working hard, even if that means on his P-days too. Short letters are our proof that he is actually fully involved and loving what he is doing. What more could a parent ask for? We are honored to have another son serve a full-time mission and while we are anxious to hear everything about his mission, we can wait for all of his stories.  Besides, Curtis is a great story telling so I'm sure he will have some good ones.  Just a few short months and he will be home. There is anything quite like having a missionary son. It's the best!  

Life is good.

Take care my friends and we will talk again soon. 


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