Thursday, March 31, 2011


I am grateful for the inspiration that comes just when I need it - like when I have to give a talk or teach at a leadership meeting! So grateful for the Spirit and the promptings received.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Never giving up

Tomorrow night is our Stake RS leadership training meeting. In feeling that I should prepare for this meeting I watched the Worldwide Leadership Training meeting that was held in February (we unexpectedly missed it). While I was watching I was impressed with many thoughts, but the portion at the end where it talks about a Priest in Australia going astray for a bit really struck me. His bishop never gave up - he called, and called, and called. Finally, after what seemed like months of him trying to get a hold of this young man he received a text in return. He wanted to meet with the bishop.

As the story goes (and you can watch it online if you go to - serving in the church - WWLeadership training - youth) the young man was beginning to make wrong choices. No one told the bishop - he just saw it in his countenance. So, the bishop went to work. As a result the young man began serving more and more and more, until his testimony was more cemented. A loving bishop reached out to a struggling young man - never giving up on him - and the reward was great.

I am grateful for those who never gave up on me, namely my parents. They always believed in me, that I would one day live up to who I was meant to be. I strive every day. Some days I fall short, but I am always grateful to those who influenced my life for good and for them never giving up on me. Thank you.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Our friend, Nancy, passed away this past week. She was in Ripon ward with us. When we moved to Ripon she was our RS president, and I quickly became her secretary - which was great for me for many reasons. Later I served as her 2nd counselor. Nancy was one of the most intelligent women I have ever known. She was a southern girl and I remember her telling me about a family member that she knew that was alive during the Civil War - - imagine that!

As I made the journey to her funeral today I found myself among some choice friends - Linda & Ken Hicken, Janet Chance, Carolyn Waldon, Hallie Cotrell, along with members of Nancy's family. I was grateful to be in such wonderful company. I have shared many experiences with these sisters of mine, and we share memories that I am so very grateful for.

Monday, March 28, 2011


sometimes we become grateful for things we take for granted on a daily basis. today i am grateful for word because right now it isn't working! *sigh*  :(

i have a stake meeting on thursday night and i have all of my thoughts (because how can i possibly store those in my brain?!) on a document in word - which i cannot access!

so i am grateful for word - just not that it isn't working right now.

UPDATE: Craig had me open a new user account and now Word works...a headache, but i am still grateful. :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The blessings of living in the USA

Today I attended the Monte Vista Branch for their ward conference. President Levy spoke on being obedient and the blessings that come from obedience. He shared with us that when Elder Costa attended our Stake Conference five years ago he met with their branch. He told them in that meeting that if they were obedient and faithful they would be blessed. President Levy shared how the branch has progressed so well because of that counsel that the members have followed. He also stated that he knows that his children have received their degrees in high school and have continued on to college due to that blessing.

The humility he showed was pure; he was so grateful to be here in the US where his family can receive the education they need. It made me realize how much I take for granted. I am grateful for the education I have, even though I didn't graduate from college I still appreciate all that I learned there. I am also grateful for Pat's degree which has made a huge difference in our family. I am grateful for the children and children-in-law who have degrees or are working on them, and who hope to one day return to school to get theirs.
Only in America...I am grateful.

Rachel graduates from BYU - April 2008

Sam graduates from BYU-I - July 2010

Saturday, March 26, 2011


We, like many others in our country, have had a great deal of winter weather; rain in the valley, snow in the mountains. Right now the Northern Sierras have 161% accumulation of snow. That is an enormous amount. I am grateful for all the rain (including the serious downpour we had today), yet, I am grateful for the forecast this  coming week - sun, clouds with zero rain. We need this break so we don't have flooding, which is the main reason I am grateful. Floods are no fun.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Stake Dinners

Yes, you read that right, it is not a mis-spell. While I am grateful for steak dinners (which is rare - no pun intended) tonight I am grateful for our Stake dinner. We are having a luau with yummy Polynesian food! The best part is that I don't have to cook... :)

I am grateful for Stake Dinners!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


this morning i have spent a bit of time viewing others blogs. i love their creativity! and am grateful they share their fun ideas with us. they seriously inspire me to make my home more 'me' and 'us' then it is right now. i am grateful they have opened their creativity to the rest of us so that we can take a peek and see what we can do to improve our lives. so nice of them! thanks bloggers!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


confession: i am not perfect. shocker, i know.

let's face it, we all have need for self improvement. here are a few areas i am focusing on in my life right now.
first - to be less judgmental
second - to be more positive
third - eat right and exercise consistently - a constant battle

i am grateful for the nudges i get from the Spirit, and the support from Heavenly Father. They help me in being determined to become who i was meant to be. i also love it when you get that feeling deep down inside that lets you know you are on the right path at this very moment in your life. such a great reason to be grateful!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

zero chain controls

All the kids have gone, which is not something to be grateful for...but none of them had to use chains on their exit out of state, and that is DEFINITELY something to be grateful for. I love small blessings. =)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Half Moon Bay

Sam, Linzi and girls are visiting and they have never been to Half Moon Bay. So, we took a chance with the weather that was supposed to be rainy all day long and drove there. On our way it was a bit stormy. When we arrived there was a smattering of rain. We opted to get our lunch at Barbara's Fish Trap where they serve the BEST fish and chips. Lunch was, as usual, amazingly delicious.

After lunch we wandered over to the bay where the waves were enormous and there was very little beach for us to walk along due to the high tide. The wind was blowing, the sun was shining, and everything was gorgeous!

The girls had fun finding shells and watching the waves crash on the shore. Half Moon Bay as usual was not disappointing! All in all it was a great time, certainly worthy of my gratitude today.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Priesthood Blessings

Today Sam gave Chloe her name and blessing at church. I am so grateful that 1) we have the Priesthood of God on earth, 2) the men in our family are worthy Priesthood holders, and 3) that we can be there today for Chloe's blessing. What a wonderful blessing. I am grateful.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday was blogger silence day in honor of all that has taken place in Japan. Also, a reminder to donate in order to give them much needed aid. If you are LDS and would like to donate simply write "Japan" on your donation slip under Humanitarian Aid, it should get the money to them rather than somewhere else. I am grateful others are aware of the difficulties their fellow beings are going through and are so willing to give. It just makes me smile inside.

Today my gratitude goes to these little people that have been around me lately (two of which are missing). I love their smiles, their giggles, their love for grandma and grandpa, and their sweetness. Rylee gave our dinner prayer tonight and she did such a great job! I love everything about these little people that have joined our family. So, tonight I am grateful that we have six of them at present in our lives, and am looking forward to the next due in August! Life is simply grand with grandkids!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Thirty-three years ago today Pat and I were sealed in the Provo Temple. I am so grateful for this wonderful man in my life. I feel the Lord blessed us to find one another. Words are inadequate to express my gratitude; so just know that I am truly, deeply grateful for my eternal companion...he is the best.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Craig, Angie and Lucas arrived today. They were expected yesterday but due to the storm in the Sierras they spent the night in Reno, which made for better travel today. It is so fun to have this little grandson around. He 'tells' the cutest 'stories'! He gets all serious and with hand gestures tells you about things that happened before. I can pick up words like 'kitty', 'slide', 'bonk', 'bad' as he shares with me the things that are so important to him! But it's goes something like this: "and like kitty, and then slide, then like bonk, and no, no! and like bad..." Super adorable.

Amy happened to send a really cute text of Gavin making noises and Lucas watched with great interest, laughing as we watched his baby cousin. Then, naturally, he had to tell me stories about it! "Like baby..."

So far since they have been here he has enjoyed walking around in the backyard and playing with the swing, touching the bikes and looking over the fence at the farm next door and running around the house naming many articles and people's names in the pictures..."Grandpa, Rachel, Mommy, Daddy, Brad, Amy, Sadie, Rylee". Those are a few of the things he has enjoyed!

Just wait until tomorrow after we have been at the aquarium! He will have new stories to tell!

I am grateful for our grandson, Lucas. :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

weather reports

Craig, Angie and Lucas are traveling to our home as I write. Apparently there are chains required on i-80. I am grateful we can get weather updates on or on the news that helps us to know just what to expect and what they should do.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Today is pi day... or in our family (and around the USA) it is PIE day! Yay and Yum! Pie is probably my very favorite dessert. I prefer it to anything else. That is why I rarely have the joy of eating pie - it is just too good! So, in honor of pi day I took myself to our favorite fruit stand and purchased a peach pie - that was still warm from being baked! =) Ah, the joy of freshly baked pie! And, I was good and did not get a cream pie, as in coconut or banana, which I Love! I chose peach and THAT will make my sweetie oh so happy!

I am grateful for pie... and self restraint!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

1 PM meetings

Today daylight savings time begins... that meant we sprung forward an hour, which ultimately means we lost one hour of sleep, in theory. So, today I have simple gratitude for our meetings beginning at 1 PM, because had it been our 9 AM schedule I would be really tired right now! So, I guess I am grateful for this year's meeting time, for getting up at my 'usual' time (had the time not changed), which means I slept in until 8:30. Just picture me smiling...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

hubby getting better

Pat has been sick for the past 3-4 days. he is on the mend. i am grateful he is getting better.

Friday, March 11, 2011

2 year old birthdays

Next week we will be celebrating our grandson Lucas' birthday. He turns 2 a few days after they visit us. We had thought of getting a Costco cake for him with a dragon on it because that is his current interest. However, after realizing that Costco no longer makes cakes the way they used to (with options of fillings and frostings) we have decided to abandon that idea. As Craig, Lucas' daddy, and I were talking about our new plan (to make chocolat creme cake and cupcakes) we realized that Luke doesn't really 'care' about what his cake looks like, or cupcake... all we have to do is put some sprinkles and some m&m's on them and he will be as happy as a clam. I am grateful for two year olds and how easy it is to make them happy!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Don't you just love it when something special is on the horizon and you can hardly wait for it to happen? They are those rare events that give you that thrill of excitement and anticipation... you would think I am referring to a roller-coaster ride, or a fun-filled trip to Disneyland. Nope! While those are definitely exciting, fun and wonderful in their own right my anticipation right now is that two of our children's families will be visiting with us next week. We get to spend days with our kids, kids-in-law and grandkids!

Definitely looking forward to spending time with Lucas =)

Cannot wait to meet Miss Chloe...
and see Rylee and Sadie!
I am grateful for anticipation. :) AND I am grateful for all the times we have the opportunity to experience it, especially when it involves our children...

My only regret is that they won't all be here - truly.
I am missing these guys--

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fish Tacos

I have been craving fish tacos for a solid week now...

Today I went to Sacramento and visited with my mom and sister. We ended up going to lunch at Marie Callendar's. Usually that is a good thing, not so much today. Food was so-so, service poor, and mix-ups happened... like when our server asked if I wanted pie I said I was sharing with my mom, so what shows up? Cherry pie. Apparently sharing = cherry there, oddly enough. And if you are in our family you will understand  what it means when I say that even Grandma heard me say sharing.

At any rate, I was looking for something lo-cal yet delicious. I happen to have an honest to goodness love for fish tacos (thank you Miss Joy). Today I did not get great fish tacos. So, I am grateful for good fish tacos - they are a legit love for me. Someday I will hit the place Guy Fieri told us to go on Embarcadero in SF...someday. And believe me when I do I will post on how grateful I am!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I am grateful for our pretty tulips that are showing off their beauty! What a happy ending to our winter...Oh, so pretty! :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sweeping Air

Today it is windy outside. That means that our air is getting swept clean. Anyone who knows me knows that I love cleanliness - it is just a part of who I am, there is no other explanation for it. I love windy days that take away all the murky air and bring us blue skies and the ability to see the Sierra's and the snow on the mountains! If only I had a kite, I would take advantage of this wind! I am grateful for windy, blustery days like today.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Last month we had the elders over for dinner. Just prior to their leaving they issued us a challenge to add our testimonies to the others that you now find on This is President Monson's challenge to us so that others may learn more about our beliefs from each of us. It is a way of inviting them to listen to what we believe in. I am grateful that I am a Mormon - and that I can leave my testimony, along with many others, for those who don't know or understand what we believe in to learn more.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Today we are enjoying warm weather - it is in the 70's! That made us begin thinking about our backyard and the trees we want to plant there. We lost a tree this past October, our camphor tree. :( I loved that tree. So, Pat and I went to the nursery today to take a gander at what they have to offer. We are considering getting 3 birch trees to replace the camphor. Now, that sounds like a LOT but it really isn't. The camphor was supposed to get HUGE, but it didn't. And we planted it with the intention of it providing shade for us during the HOT summer months we experience here. Well, that is not going to happen now! So the guy at the nursery suggested we get 3 birch and we can plant them near one another, but they won't get nearly the size of the camphor and will cover the area of our home that needs shade, desperately! I think we will take him up on it. 

In the meantime, we are enjoying our trees that we do have. And yes, this is a lilac bush, directly beneath this paragraph, but it is about the size of a tree and it's almost in bloom, so you are getting a preview! Lucky you!

Our Lilacs - they smell just as pretty as they look!
 Apple blossoms - not quite out yet, but soon, very soon...
 Peach blossoms are just beginning to show - so pretty! I can't wait!
At any rate, today I am grateful for our trees and trees in general. They just make home even more homey.

Friday, March 4, 2011

guy fieri

rach is out with friends tonight, pat is in the study probably doing indexing or researching something or other... i am in my room on rachel's laptop, well, lying in bed, using rachel's laptop, and watching triple d -- diners, drive-ins and dives on food network. his hair might be a bit weird, but he has the best personality, and knows so much about food and cooking. may sound weird but i am grateful for guy fieri - he just makes me smile. and he knows the awesomeness of disneyland's red wagon corndogs... which makes him even more appealing. =)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cream Soda

Today my tummy is feeling topsy turvey...not fun. So, I had a can of cream soda - which helps a bit. I am grateful for the soothing effects of cream soda. I am not much for drinking soda, but every once in a while when it is needed I am grateful for it.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Food Storage Blogs

I am grateful for food storage blogs that give me amazing ideas on how to use my food storage! I am starting to get excited about the prospect of using what we already have and making it edible-y enjoyable! Here are the sites I frequent:

Not only am I grateful for them, at the risk of using a Rachel-ism...I heart them.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Good Reads

I have a few authors that I enjoy tremendously. I am thankful for the hours and hours of enjoyment they have brought to my life. I will begin with the favorites of my youth and proceed from there:
Agatha Christie - love Hercule!
Rosamund Pilcher - decent love/life stories
Mary Higgins Clark - in honor of my mom, who loves mysteries
John Grisham - in honor of my dad, the family attorney
Nancy Atherton - LOVE Aunt Dimity series! Delightful!
Joanne Fluke - a recent discovery of whodunit's with recipes!

Books I love:
Anne of Green Gables series
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
Fablehaven Series
Percy Jackson Series
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Work and the Glory

Those are my favorites, thus far. I hope you pick up a few and enjoy them also! If any of you have good reads worth recommending let me know! :)

I am grateful for good reads!