Tuesday, August 9, 2016

When the going gets tough, count your blessings

This is one of those days that I would love to say something profound or humorous or sweet. But, I don't have it in me today.  The car issues continue around our home and it's beginning to feel a little unbelievable.  I keep saying to myself, "This is only a test. Things like this only happen because big blessings are coming our way.  In the not so distant future." When I say car issues, this time it's Kyle's car.  It overheated while he was in Tempe yesterday, so I left work early to go and rescue him.  He just bought that car too.  Needless to say, we got a hold of the dealer we bought the car from and they had it towed from Tempe to their shop and they are checking it out and will hopefully get it fixed without it costing to much.  Needless to say, I am not liking this and I have all kinds of things I could say about that dealer, but we aren't going to allow ourselves to go there today.  I can't let this drag us down.  My prayer is that it will be something simple to fix like a thermostat switch or something. 
And on that note, I've decided that I need to count my own blessings.  A post of gratitude from me.  Today, I am thankful for: 
  • A loving, gentle and kind husband who treats me like a queen.  No, he doesn't worship me, but he treats me like an equal and values my opinion.  We are a team and both of us know we could never do this without each other. 
  • Children who, though not perfect, light up my life in every way possible.   
  • A testimony and faith that leads and directs my every thought. EVERY thought.
  • A home that is warm and that houses the comforts of my life and those that I love.
  • The health to do all of the things that I dare or desire. No, I'm not in what the world would call perfect health, but in the grand scheme of things, I'm doing pretty good.  
  • Friends and family who bring me laughter and joy, comfort and security.
  • God-given gifts and talents that I've been blessed to develop into some of my life's biggest fulfillment.
  • A beautiful part of the world to live in and a country that keeps us free from the outside world.
  • And my top ten little things that really don't matter but make my life a lot more pleasant: 1. my microwave 2. my cellphone 3. my computer 4. DVR 5. craft stores 6. rolled tacos 7. hot showers 8. Target 9. Chocolate 10. Netflix movies.

These are the things that brighten my day. For each of them, I am thankful. 

I took the day off today and tomorrow so Kevin and I could get down to Social Security and so I could get some things taken care for Lexi too.  I received all the documentation we needed from our attorney so we can present it to Kevin's case worker.  I am so grateful our attorney acted quickly to get me what we needed in such a short amount of time.  I'm not sure if you recall this or not, but some time ago Kevin filled a workman's comp claim and received a settlement back in 2014, and Social Security just wants to see the documentation.  I now have several pages of documentation to present to them.  Once this is done, Kevin should be all set to get approved for benefits.  Everyone in that Social Security office just might hear a big shout out if they tell us he is finally approved.  That would be the best news ever! I wish they could cut us a check immediately, but as usual we will have to wait their 2-4 weeks for any initial payout.  The good thing is that Lexi will also get benefits as well. That is a great thing!  We are so close!

I received a message from Curtis yesterday. I've been asking and asking him what he wants for his birthday next month. Our second son is the type of young man that always says, "just get me whatever, I don't want you to spend a lot of money."  He has always been very considerate that way, always thinking of others instead of himself. I know he suffered through a few "wardrobe faux paws" because he knew how tight our budget was. BUT, because he never tells us what he wants, it makes it hard to shop for him.  Well, yesterday he actually gave us an idea of what to get him for his birthday.  I was completely shocked!  I guess he needs a new suit.  From what Curtis said, the suits he has been wearing are really worn out.  We bought him two before we left.  One he wears all the time, the blue one.  (After all, he has "grown" a bit since he left.) Thankfully, this gift will be a combined effort with all of the family pitching in to get him a new suit. I don't plan to purchase the suit here. I think Curtis's big brother was a little bummed that we won't be doing any suit shopping here. Kyle loves to shop for suits, ties, shoes, and shirts, socks, and he is really good at it too.  We plan to just deposit the money into Curtis's bank account and let him pick it up.  It's easier that way, and we don't have to pay shipping fees.  That's always a good thing.  We have a little less than a month away to plan and prepare for his birthday.  I'm hoping Kevin's social security starts before Curtis's birthday, but if it's after we will just get him the suit a little later.  We will still send him a package of some kind with a few other things.  We have a couple of things already set aside for him. Kyle picks things up from time to time. 

Lexi has two job interviews coming up.  She is determined to get a job.  Her older brother Kyle and older sister Danielle are the only other Schmidt kid that had a job while they were still in high school.  
Coincidentally, Lexi and Kyle are my only left handed children.  Curtis and Danielle are right handed.  Over the years we have found all kinds of things like being right or left handed that are common with our four children.  It's funny how those things happen. Things like Danielle and Curtis look more like me, while Kyle and Lexi look more like Kevin.  Lexi and Curtis were very close when they were younger, while Kyle and Danielle were very close when they were younger too. Curtis and Lexi seem to be more witty and funny, which Kyle and Danielle seem to be more serious and level headed.  Then there are the similarities with the boys verses the girls.  Kyle and Curtis are thick a thieves.  I believe the two of them will be long time friends for years to come.  When they are home, they do everything together. Danielle and Lexi are close but not quite like Kyle and Curtis.  They aren't each others best friend like I see with the boys. I'm sure that has to do with the age difference with my girls.  There are many many other things like this about our children, but what matters most is that I know that my kids have each other's back.  If something or someone threatens one of them, then the others step in the defend and rally around the one.  I have seen it happen time and time again. It's a good thing.  I love the bond that my children have with one another. Our children are bring us a lot of joy and I know our lives would be incomplete without each and every one of them.  I love them each individually for all that they are and collectively as well.  And that's enough about that for now. ~smile~smile~

Since I am home today, I thought about making Stromboli today, but Lexi wanted meatball subs again.  So, here is my recipe for Stromboli and maybe I'll make it later this week.  

Easy Stromboli

(Prep Time: 15 minutes, Cook Time: 20 minutes) Serves 6-8
  • 1 (11-ounce) can thin crust refrigerated pizza dough. 
  • 1/3 cup pizza sauce (plus extra for dipping)
  • 1/2 cup sliced pepperoni (about 2.5 ounces)
  • 1 cup cooked crumbled ground Italian sausage
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Open the can of pizza dough 
and stretch it thin and even in a square on the parchment paper. 
 Top with sauce, 
 cooked sausage, 
 and mozzarella cheese. 
 Starting on one side, carefully roll the dough like a jelly roll. 
  Slide to the middle of the parchment paper so that the seam is on the bottom.  Cut several diagonal slits into the crust. 
 Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until deep golden brown.  Served warm with extra sauce for dipping.

Note:  Add your favorite pizza toppings as you see fit, just keep in mind that adding too much may result in a soggy crust.
We make this all the time, except we had always used Rhode's frozen bread dough, until now!  The pizza crust is so much easier and we don't have to wait for the bread to thaw and rise.  That's always a good thing.  
My upcoming project.... Stenciling and staining the top of my coffee table. 

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