Monday, October 31, 2011


i seem to be following a theme from yesterday's post... i am really grateful for puffs tissues, especially the ones with the lotion in them. we have gone through about 3 boxes (not the square ones, the rectangular ones) the past 4 days. obviously that is why i am grateful for them. they are like a seasonal trusted friend. i actually purchased another 3 boxes today. i sure hope we don't have to use them! but, if we do, i sure am grateful for them.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

warm drinks

we are sick, every one of us (except baby jack) here in the westmoreland household. we all have colds, which began with james, then went to brad, to rachel, to gavin, to me and finally to amy. phew. it is no fun being sick, at all. we are hopeful that jack will avoid this illness completely, really.

back in june our stake presidency let us know that we are no longer able to drink teas in any variety. i am a lover of herbal teas, especially when i am sick with a cold or the flu. i no longer partake of them. fortunately, for me, i had already decided that on my own, for my own reasons, so they just cemented my feelings. still, i miss those peppermint, echinacea, and various other herbal teas.

warm drinks (not hot) make my throat and head feel better when i have a cold. thankfully there is still spiced cider, honey and lemon, or warm orange juice to partake of. i am grateful for those warm drinks that help me to feel better, and that our family has come to rely on.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


i am grateful for those who have, out of the kindness of their hearts, served amy's family this week by voluntarily bringing in meals, thus helping us all out. i am also grateful for those who have volunteered to help her out once we leave and she is on her own...while brad is at school/work.(she is going to have her hands full! these three little guys keep us all hopping.)

i am also grateful for my hubby who willingly went to carter's today since james needed a few warm items for winter. 

what wonderful people...all who serve in the name of kindness. i love that.

Friday, October 28, 2011

halloween fun!

i had forgotten what fun halloween can be...must mean that i am getting old, right? seriously, spending this holiday with little guys, especially james, who is enjoying the halloween festivities makes it w-a-y more fun! we have decorated sugar cookies, making them 'gunkins' (including mickey mouse 'gunkins'), rach made a jack-o-lantern kitty which he thought was amazing, and then we attended the ward trunk or treat party tonight. he had a blast!

watching him discover halloween is fun! i am grateful i am able to experience this with at least one of my grandchildren! and i wish pat were here to enjoy it as well.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mmmmm, Yummy!

I have been wanting to try to make Magleby's buttermilk syrup for years, well, ever since I had french toast with Megan and Amy there. It is incredibly delicious. I am not a huge fan of syrups in general (usually use powdered sugar and fruit), but this recipe won me over! I am a fan!

We are going to have french toast bake at Amy's and I figured this was a great time to try out a recipe. So, I went online and researched and found a great one. I also like the Our Best Bites one, but it sounded just a tad too sweet to me.

So, I made this one:
1 cube butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 T vanilla
1 T corn syrup
1/2 tsp baking soda

Directions: bring first five ingredients to a boil. Add baking soda. Boil 10 seconds and remove from heat immediately to prevent boil over.
Serve over french toast, pancakes, waffles, crepes and even ice cream!

I am grateful for delicious recipes that I can make for and share with my family.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


while we are away i am striving to keep on top of my budgeting...every once in a while. i am grateful for the access i have to various accounts on the internet, for the ease of taking care of necessary bills, knowing how much has been spent, how much is left, etc. how much easier this makes my life - since i am ocd about budgeting! :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


i am such a grandma these days! it's almost like i have 'reverted' back to being a mommy! we took gav and james grocery shopping today. since gav has a tendency to become tired of sitting in the cart rachel (being the smart aunt that she is) brought along a blankie for him. (sidenote: gav loves his blankies, especially the soft fuzzy type, in a way i have never seen a baby love blankies, he practically melts!)

about 3/4 of the way through grocery shopping gav was becoming a little bit unhappy. rach volunteered the blankie that she had tucked away in their 'diaper bag'. i gave it to him, he immediately latched onto it, and melted, right before everyone's eyes. super adorable.

i am grateful for blankies - that all of my children had them, that our grandchildren now do, and for the comfort they give all of us!

Monday, October 24, 2011


obviously not everyone believes in using pacifiers for babies....i, however, do not fall into that category. that fact came home quite strongly to me today as amy and rachel went to fill amy's prescription while i stayed behind with baby jack and gavin as he was napping. shortly after they left jack became quite unhappy, and with his adorable baby voice expressed his discomfort. after twenty minutes of jack's unhappiness i texted amy to find out when they were coming home, and where the pacifier was. fortunately for me she knew where to find it. thank heavens.

my children had pacifiers (except for amy who had her blanket and two fingers) and we always made sure we had plenty on was worth the peace they afforded us. i am grateful for pacifiers and the blessed peace they allow us to have.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Eight is GREAT!!!

Our eighth grandchild was born two days ago, on Friday, October 21st. His name is Jack Austin Westmoreland., the proud mommy and daddy are Amy and Brad...we are half of the proud grandparents. :)

Jack weighed 8 lbs. 2oz, definitely Amy's biggest baby to date. He was measured at 19" but looks more like 20"  to me. He looks like a bit of both brothers, only with lighter colored hair and chubbier. (so cute) He has a sweet little cry, so far! I am in love with him.

I am grateful for Jack, that his delivery went well (scheduled c-section), that he was a welcome surprise to our family, and that Amy is doing well with recovering. I am also grateful that I am able to be here to take care of James and Gavin, and Amy and Jack (when they come home tomorrow). I am grateful that Amy had a father's blessing last week when Pat was here and a Priesthood blessing from Brad the night before surgery.

I love being a Grandma. The other day, prior to Jack's arrival I was at Costco. I went to the front desk in order to pick up a coupon book for Amy. The woman behind the counter asked me if I wanted to be on their email list, I replied no, that we live in California, and that I am here visiting my daughter. She asked me if she was in college, I said no, but her husband is. I explained that Amy was expecting and having her baby on Friday. She was like, "Oh no, that means you will be a grandma!" I shared with her that this was our eighth, and that I LOVE being a grandma. She was shocked, literally shocked. I told her that if she thinks she loves her kids, wait until she has grandkids. She couldn't understand that. I told her they instantly wrap themselves around your heart, I even had tears in my eyes.

Don't doubt for a second that I love each of my children, I do...wholeheartedly. I believe that the amount you love your grandchildren is a reflection of the amount you love your children...and I sure do love each of mine.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


while i am away pat has decided to enjoy his time. last night he drove to yosemite, spent the night in our suv, and got up this morning for a hike. it was supposed to be a simple hike, but he chose to do a more difficult one, above may lake. needless to say i was a bit concerned for his safety. so glad he called a while ago and let me know that he is on his way home, tired, but happy.

i am grateful he is safe.

Friday, October 21, 2011

all is well

amy underwent surgery this morning. she is doing well, as is someone else! ;) i won't say anymore regarding that other person just yet, but will say how very grateful i am that our daughter's surgery went well. it is interesting the feelings you have when your baby gives birth to a baby. there is a mix of anxiety, concern, peace and joy, of great intensity. to see her doing fine, to know that all is well is a great blessing.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Potty trained!

Our two oldest grandsons, James and Lucas, were potty trained recently. Lucas graduated potty training boot camp today...go Lucas! James finished his potty training adventures a little over a month ago. Each of them had to 'wait' to be potty trained due to family moves and new babies coming to their families.

But it is done! They did it! How well I remember when my kids were potty trained and the huge sense of accomplishment for them and their parents! It is great to achieve that...more wonderful than I can say.

I am grateful for potty training grads and for all the extra help parents have these days compared to when our kids were little.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

cell phones

amy is scheduled to have her c-section this friday, which will bring another member to our family. (yay!!!) brad's cell phone has died, it is really dead. so, she had been fretting about being able to get ahold of him while he was on campus or at work. no worries now that we are here! he has her phone and she is using mine, for the time being.

it is so different than how it was for pat and i when we were having our children. pat would call me from school during lunch, or breaks when we were having sam and craig. with amy and rachel he would call me from work. thankfully the only emergency c we had was sam, but pat was home when i went in to labor. the other c's were all scheduled, and that is when they came!

i am grateful for cell phones and how convenient they are, and the blessing they can be in our lives.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Rach is amazing. While we have been at Amy's she has been taking care of everything! She is Gavin's and James' #1 go-to, aka favorite aunt 'sissy'. (and no we never called her that when she was growing up, James pronounced her name that way when he first learned to talk, and it stuck) Rachel has been cleaning up whenever there needs cleaning up, she puts the groceries away, helps with meals or makes them herself. She is our all-around service machine!

I am so grateful for her. I don't have to ask her to do anything, she thinks of it all on her own and goes forward and does it. She even thinks of things I don't think of! Imagine that! All in all, she is the greatest. There are so very many reasons I love her, this is just one of them.  :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

for the love of

i have said it before, and will say it again, and again, and again...i am one lucky girl. i am blessed to be married to literally my best friend. he treats me well, because he loves me, pretty much unconditionally.

he loves me so much that he drove up to oregon with me, and he supports me supporting our children when needed. he also loves me so much that he gave me a Priesthood blessing prior to leaving for home today. not only was the blessing wonderful, but his love for me and our family came through as well.

i am grateful for this wonderful man, for the amazing father and grandfather he is.

i am one lucky girl. =)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

wherever you go, it's the same

today we attended amy's ward here in eugene. i am always amazed that wherever we are in attendance in the church it is the same. the people are different, the building is different, other than that it is all the same. i love it, and am grateful for it.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


there are certain scents, sounds and places that can remind you of a circumstance or a person. today as we ventured to oregon we stopped at the klamath river rest stop i felt such an experience. whenever i am there i can't help think of my dad.

he was an attorney by trade. he was an honest, hard working man who shared much with many. though he was an attorney he had a great love for white water river rafting, and he shared that love with many. he happily arranged for many church members and non members to enjoy a week on the rapids, several times each summer. those who went didn't realize how much he paid for the trip out of his own pocket. he simply wanted to give them an experience to remember...and did he ever!

he and my mom made all the arrangements. you know the saying "behind every great man is an even greater woman"? this was true of my mom. she was the behind the scenes person, figuring out all the menus, doing all the grocery shopping. it was a labor of love for the two of them.

so, while i stood next to the klamath river today i could imagine my dad, where he may have put those rafts into the river; i could see him standing there with his crazy fisherman hat, his plaid shirt and his cut off jeans. but what i could imagine the most was the joy on his face that showed through his excitement at being there.

Bumpa's White Water Rafting adventures were many - but the best part of it was that he was given that name by his grandchildren, and they were what mattered the most to him (besides my mom and the gospel of Jesus Christ). i am so grateful that there are times when i can be where my dad loved to be, and i can feel him near.

Friday, October 14, 2011

fun soap!

about a month ago rach went to bath and body works and picked up some of their foam hand soap. it is my favorite and we have kept it in our home since they were first sold. :) (i have converted others along the way too!)

while she was there she noticed that they come in halloween packaging. so she bought several that are super cute. one has a haunted house on it, the other is a jack-o-lantern, there was another one, i think it may have ghosts on it.

anyway, i love their soap, which is pretty obvious since i am a regular customer. but how fun is it to have holiday ones? i don't care if they are commercializing things, it is just plain fun! i would buy their soap anyway, since i love it so much...why not have fun with it!

i am grateful for fun soaps and for other fun holiday things. simple, i know, but still fun!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

be of good cheer

i am grateful for all the good things in our lives that bring us cheer. we have an abundance for which to be thankful for. and i am not referring only to material goods, but to the things that really matter. we have our family, the gospel, and many friends. we have the ability to walk, talk, think, feel, and just be. we have our senses, some may work better than others, but we have them! we have the opportunity to grow and expand our minds, our spirits, our talents and our love for others. we are blessed to be able to serve others in so many capacities!

indeed, we have much that we have been given that we are grateful for, and that helps us to be of good cheer.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

pest control

the people that know me really, really well know that i have a strong dislike for ants...maybe even, dare i say, hate?! when i was a little girl, probably around 2 or 3 i ran into the house to my mom because i was (grossly enough) covered with ants! i have a reason for feeling the way i do about them...and it began quite young.

we always have pest control, wherever we live. it is one of the few luxuries i allow myself to have. ants are not welcome in my home, really not in my yard, but there is only so much you can do, right?

on monday morning pat announced that we had 3 ants in our bathroom, rach found a few in hers as well. ewww. their presence really gets my blood pressure up! it is one of the few things that does (other than being upset with a family member). he also told me that there were some around the yard, congregating, as if they own the place. i will show them!

i called our pest control place yesterday and they informed me that our tech was super busy and may not get to it until next week. what?! really?! in the meantime we have to live with these tiny creatures invading our space, ever so slowly? no!!!!

i didn't actually let her know how much that disturbed me. i kept my cool...really, i did! she informed me (without my pressuring her in the least) that she would call our tech and ask him when he could come. (i love their service) a few minutes (honestly - a few minutes) later she got back to me, and informed me that he would come in the morning between 8 and 9.

and that is just what he did! talk about a sweet guy - super nice. in fact once pat dealt with our tech personally and he called the office and told them what an amazing guy he is. i finally met him today.

i am grateful for the pest control company we have, and for their prompt service...and for this handy little tip that israel gave me --- should we have any ants in the bathroom again, spray them with windex.

who knew? oh, 'my big fat greek wedding'...that's who! ;)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

a woman's work

i get that people think i am crazy for not working outside the home. i really do. yes, i am 56 and have no 'children' at home. rach counts, but she is pretty self-sufficient. all she needs me for is to keep her company every once in a while. plus, she may be leaving us soon for better circumstances and certainly a much more beautiful location!

i noticed as a stay-at-home mom that when all my kids went to school i became busier. i know, how does that happen, right? suddenly i had errands i could run that i had put off before and i was one busy mama! now that i remain a stay-at-home mom/wife i continue to be busy. honestly, some days i walk around here and think, 'how can anyone think i have nothing to do?' there are children and grandchildren to talk to on the phone or via skype! there are dishes to wash, and put away; there is always laundry to do (though i have a schedule); there are meals to cook, and that food has got to come from somewhere! i also need to throw in exercise - bike riding, or stretching, whatever it is. then there are callings to fulfill, people to visit teach, etc., etc., etc.

yes, i do have a great deal more time to myself, and i have been known to 'catch up' on a program on tv through watching it on demand. but there aren't that many shows that i really have any desire to catch up on! i do enjoy reading (when it isn't putting me to sleep) and have been doing a lot of that lately (not the sleeping part, the reading part). i have become a lingerer while reading - savoring all the words and the meaning - one of the perks of not having anyone else to tend to!

my point is this --> a woman's work is truly never done. i am grateful that i can remain busy, even at my age, and continue to grow and learn and do what i enjoy most - caring for my family, whether they are close or distant in proximity. it is the best job in the world. =)

Monday, October 10, 2011


today is a somewhat stormy day. it isn't very cold out, but it is raining just the same. aren't you so excited to know our weather report? hmmm?

since it was going to rain today i decided to make soup. pat loves himself some homemade split pea and i wanted to try a butternut squash soup recipe from our best bites. the soup is made, on the stove, and ready to eat for tonight! of course we are having french bread with it because what is better with soup than that? (depending on the soup...obviously)

i can hardly wait. i am grateful for soup - it is one of my favorite food groups!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

temple attendance

for years we in our church have heard stories of families that struggle and sacrifice in order that they might attend a temple to have their family sealed together for the eternities. these saints work so hard, sometimes away from their loved ones, so that their lives can be blessed by the ordinances of the temple.

pat's family had to make sacrifices when he was thirteen years old, driving from buffalo, new york to mesa, arizona so that their family might be sealed. they drove across country, in an old car that did not have air conditioning. they had to replace all of their tires while on this journey. they had no cassettes, or cd's to listen to. it was not a pleasant trip. pat and his brother were stinkers and did not make the trip any easier. but on his parents went enduring teenage angst and a toddler. it couldn't have been an easy trip. but they did it. and i am so very grateful to them for doing so, because it means our family has been linked together for the eternities.

so, when President Monson announced last week that there would be a new fund for those who aren't able to attend the temple that we can contribute to it made me smile, so, so much. how grateful i am for this inspiration. for us, as fellow saints to be able to contribute to the general temple patron assistance fund is purely a blessing for all. we can now help those saints without the resources they need to attend the temple once, to have their family sealed together forever. that is a great work, and i am deeply grateful.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


we have been wanting/needing new pillows for awhile. (for us/our bed) today we had a coupon for jc penney's so we went there and got two...bogo free. yay! and we had a $15 off coupon...not bad.

i have also been needing new shoes, lately. i had my new balance, which i love, except they were not nice to my ankle, so now they are rachel's. we went to the tracy outlets and i purchased a pair of reebok's. i am not certain, but i think that store is going out of business since it said all sales were final, and they had an automatic 40% off. nice! so, i bought my $70 pair of shoes for $45 with tax. another yay for us!

i am grateful for sales, and to find the things we are lacking on sale. it just makes life a little bit better.

Friday, October 7, 2011


i have been watching our grandchildren lately and marveling at how they are each so unique from each other. not only in their physical characteristics, but also in their imagination.

rylee's imagination manifested itself in being a 'mommy', she was always cooking in her kitchen and playing with her dolls, or her little sisters! she has always been really artistic as well. she is a sweetie.

sadie is three, and she does art shows. she lines up papers all along the floor (doesn't matter if they are hers or rylee's), then she sets chairs out so that all the people can come and see her art show. she is adorable.

james has a huge stuffed dog that is in a sitting position, probably about 3 feet high. he rides it around like a horse, all over the place, with his cow-boy-hat on! he is precious.

lucas is our star. he shines like crazy! put on 'singing in the rain', 'make em laugh' or 'chim, chim cheree' from mary poppins and not only is he dancing away just like they do but he is mimicking the facial expressions, and the stances as well. he is priceless.

i love seeing their imaginations unfold, just as i watched their mommy and daddy's unfold. sam was our artist, still is. craig was our builder, still is.hence, a career in IT. amy was our musical and animal girl, still is. i guess amy was our dreamer and our collector. rach was our motherer (and a little bossy) and reader - still is (not so much on the bossy part)! i love that watching them with their imagination gives us hints into their futures.

i am grateful for imaginations - what a great gift from our Father.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

a rainy day

it has been awhile since we have had rain (not counting yesterday, of course). i had plans to go to see my mom and sister, but decided tomorrow would be better. i love rainy days at home. rach has been working for rebecca in ripon and so i have been pretty much alone today.

and i didn't have anything that needed cleaning!

so, i ran errands (love browsing the used book store shelves, even though i didn't purchase anything), baked cowboy cookies (only ate a few), and made eggplant spread (one of my new favorite things). then i decided i needed to rest my aching back (which it has been doing since last night, but i had things to do!).

now, here i am catching up on my blog, and about to go and dive back into my current read.

i am grateful for a good rainy day that just allows me to do whatever i want to do. oh, and i like the rain that goes with it too!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

drip drop

as i was driving home from tracy this afternoon and looked north i noticed that it was much darker over in that direction than it was where i the moment. as i drove i came closer and closer to the darkness. soon it began to rain, then it began pouring. i smiled inside and out. i am so grateful for the rain.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

an apple a day

my friend, sue, is visiting from colorado. we have been friends for nearly nine years now. she was my counselor when i was yw's president in our ward, her husband, scott, was our bishop. he also served as our high councilor when pat was bishop in ripon ward, so they go pretty far back.

at any rate, sue did not have any plans today. first i thought we would just hang out around the house. then this morning i thought, 'why would we do that? there are so many things we can do around here!'

so i gave her and rach a few options, one of which was half moon bay, then i suggested the foothills and sue immediately said, 'apple hill!' within an hour we were on our way. we had no idea if there would be much to do on a weekday, but we were in luck! the three main places our family goes to were open, with some of the vendors there, and all of the apple goodies being sold...yay! the weather was a cool 60 degrees, so we were a bit chilled, but it was beautiful there! (as always)

i am grateful that there are so many things to choose from when you want to get out of manteca (and who wouldn't?) and that we could drive to apple hill and have a wonderful time there.

Monday, October 3, 2011


The first 'official' day of fall took place about two weeks ago. You couldn't tell, not if you live here you couldn't! BUT today is a different story! Today marks my official first day of fall! It's almost chilly! I love it!

Rach and I were discussing Spring and Fall today. She said she wanted them each for six months, but I said I wanted them for five each, with Summer and Winter each having a month...that way we appreciate Spring and Fall that much more!

I am grateful that it is beginning to feel like fall! I seriously love it.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


My heart is full of joy from listening to the testimonies of our Prophet, Apostles and GA's today. President Eyring tugged at my heartstrings, Elder Hales spoke to and broke my heart (so grateful he was there and had no idea he was so ill), Elder Ballard touched my devotion, and our dear Prophet, President Monson, spoke volumes to my inner child as well as the grown up in me.

I am grateful for my testimony, and for the testimonies of those I follow with all my heart and soul.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

President Monson

This morning when General Conference began we noticed right away that someone was missing...the Prophet! My mind raced, wondering where he was and when he would show up! I was grateful when he did. His presence makes such a difference.

I am grateful for President Monson, who seemed to be moving a little slower today (anyone else notice? any insights?) He has been an apostle for 48 years now! I was 8 when he was called. Just like my children I remember growing up and looking forward to his stories. Now my grandchildren love him. That is amazing.

Today as James was watching the 'phrophet' he kept saying, "phrophet...funny!" He repeated the same for me on the phone. He also had to mention 'presdent ukdorf' and 'i like him' - so, so cute!