Saturday, December 31, 2011


We have a tradition in our family. At the end of each year we gather around together, and we write down the important things that occurred in our lives that year. Then we write down the things we hope to take place in the coming year. Of course not all of those things come true, but the majority of them do! They don't always have to be positive things either...just life events.

For example, this year I would write that my niece, Donna, passed away.

I would also write how old each of our grandchildren turned, and that Darci and Jack were born.

I probably would include that Pat continued to be employed...a huge blessing in this economy.

Of course I would include that Rach ran a half marathon and that she moved to Oregon.

I would definitely write that I began writing on this blog on a daily basis. This has been an uplifting experience for me. Hopefully it has benefited others as well. :)

You get the idea...

I am grateful for 2011. I am grateful for the positives, not so much the negatives (even though I realize they are growing experiences, they are still hard.) I am grateful to have the family we have, to enjoy the many blessings that we enjoyed, and that I can express my gratitude daily, no matter what year it is.

I hope you all have a Happy 2012 and that you learn and grown from the positives and negatives in your life.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Getting away...

Pat and I are heading to Yosemite for the day. I think the last time we were there together was last summer, with Rachel. (we will miss her today) My husband + Yosemite = a child at Christmas! He is giddy with excitement. Super cute. He is especially excited that we can drive up to Tuolumne Meadows and to Glacier Point at this time of year. There is no snow [ :( ] right now, but that is okay, since it means we can drive up there. (I think we will soon be praying for moisture though, it's not looking so good right now - third driest December on record - ouch!)

I am grateful that we can get away from Manteca for the day, and enjoy one of God's greatest creations on earth.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ease of returns.

I ordered a Cricut for myself, then found that it isn't what I want it to be. So, I am returning it. Thankfully the company pays for the cost of shipping and it's a no hassle kind of thing. All that is required of moi is to tape it up, add a shipping label, take it to the UPS store, and off it goes.

Ease. I love it when companies make things a tad bit easier for us, and am grateful to those that do.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Uplifting gifts

Our friend, Corinne, asked me the other day if she could come over and see me this morning, before she leaves to go home to TX tomorrow.

Of course I said, 'yes!'

She had something she wanted to give me.

It is one of the sweetest gifts I have ever received. It's about 2" in diameter, flat and round. On one side it's a mirror, on the other it has my name, with a crown.

She said she was giving it to me to remind me that I am a daughter of a King. And then she became emotional. She shared with me that I have helped her to realize that she is also a daughter of a King. (Heavenly Father, for both of us, in case you didn't know)

I am humbled to know that I can be a positive influence in the life of someone I love; to know that I can make a difference.

I am grateful for those in my life who serve to remind me of my true worth...because sometimes I forget.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Our eldest grandson, James, turns three tomorrow! THREE! Where, oh where, did the time go?

Here are a few things I love about this little grandson of ours:
* He is a love. He loves to cuddle and give kisses to all of our family.
* He makes me laugh. He has this wonderful imagination where he becomes characters  from cowboys to Superheroes.
* His laugh is HIGHLY contagious! Once he begins his real (as opposed to imitation, because he does that too) laugh no one can keep from laughing.
* He loves his brothers. He loves having brothers and being a brother. He loves everything about it.

I am grateful for James. He has been a joy in our lives. I am grateful for all the times he has put a smile on my face. :D

Monday, December 26, 2011


News Flash!
I love our family.
Wait, that is nothing new, right?
Anyone who reads my blog, or knows me, knows this about me.

As much as I talk about how important my family is to me,
it really hit home yesterday.
Christmas is obviously about celebrating
the birth of Jesus Christ,
whom we all love and are grateful for.

I am the first to admit that this is what Christmas is to me.

However, the other side of that is that Christmas
is about family - 
showing our love for one another through spending time together,
giving each others thoughtful gifts,
making special meals to celebrate the holidays together.

Only this year we didn't have that. 
I am not here to complain about it, really, I am not.

I was struck by a thought yesterday
during our Christmas program.
I am not sure how this thought crept into my heart
and mind during that time.
I think I was pondering
the importance of the Savior in my life, my family's life,
and mingling that thought with Pat and I
being alone this Christmas.

I love my husband dearly, more than I can express.
I can't believe that this is our first Christmas alone
without any family member
in 33 years, 
which was our first married Christmas together,
since I was expecting Sam soon after.
I married my husband for eternity,
and am so grateful that I did. 

So, here is the thought that struck me:
We only have each other for the eternities, 
that is the way this all started out.
Then these people started joining our family.
First Sam,
then Craig,
then Amy,
and finally,

They are each amazing individuals,
with all the imperfections, individuality, and quirks
one would expect in a family unit.
And I love them with all my being.
Yep, every single part of me, loves them.

Eventually they grew up and began bringing others into our family -
Sam brought Linzi,
then Rylee, Sadie and Chloe.

Craig brought Angie,
then Lucas and Darci.

Amy brought Brad,
then James, Gavin and Jack.

Rachel -
she hasn't brought anyone yet,
but when she does,
my, oh my, 
will he be one lucky boy!

So, here is the thing.

I want them all.
With us.
In the eternities.


And that is the point that was brought home to me
so forcefully yesterday.
While I sat alone in Sacrament meeting.
(Pat was on the stand - conducting)

For all the love Pat and I have for each other -
 it is simply increased
with every individual that joins our family unit,
for the eternities.

Here's a look at all those I missed so deeply yesterday...

Sam, Linzi, Rylee, Sadie and Chloe

Craig, Angie, Lucas and Darci

 Amy, Brad, James, Gavin and Jack

 And finally...our Rachel

We are blessed to have the family we have.
We love each of you.

The beginning.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Joy to the World!

We attended our ward's Christmas Sacrament meeting today. Since over half of our choir was gone they opted to have narrators, two songs sung by two of our youth, and the congregation sing the rest of the hymns/songs. Can I just say how wonderful it was? I do love listening to ward and stake choirs, but being able to sing the songs together just lifts my spirit so much. It's as though we are able to testify to and appreciate more the birth of Jesus Christ through song. I loved it.

I am grateful for the joy we have in our world because of the Spirit's presence in our lives.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Chloe and Christmas

There are two births our family now celebrates today and tomorrow.

The first is little Chloe Ann Dell - who is one year old today. She is a joyful addition to our family and we are grateful for her. We only wish we could know her more and live closer to her family. Happy Birthday Chloe! We love you!

Second, of course, is the birth of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. He is our example, He is our foundation, He is everything that is anything of importance in our lives. Without Him we could not be forgiven, or have eternal families, or the Plan of Happiness/Salvation. He has made it possible for us to return to live with our Heavenly Father and Him. I am grateful I can celebrate His birth, His life and mission, and all the many, countless blessings He gives to each of us every single moment of every single day.

I am grateful our children are teaching our grandchildren the importance of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. They are laying the most important foundation that they can for them.

Friday, December 23, 2011

I Know the Scriptures are True

I am finishing up the Book of Mormon, in part thanks to the Facebook Challenge. I have been reading about the days prior to Christ's visit to the America's, and now am in my favorite section of the Book of Mormon, as He has come and is bestowing blessing upon blessing on those who have awaited his arrival, and kept their faith intact.

As I read these precious words I am reminded of the truths that are contained in the Book of Mormon, and how they truly are for us. We have so much to gain from their experiences, so much to apply to these, the latter hopes of making our lives better and keeping our faith intact.

I am also amazed that people can believe/assume that Joseph Smith wrote this book. (How grateful I am for him... I can't even begin to tell you.) How on earth could anyone write such an account without actually having been there? No, he did not write the Book of Mormon - he translated it. The Prophets kept record of their experiences so that they could share them with us. This book is a gift from a loving Heavenly Father, and our Elder Brother, Jesus Christ.

I am so very grateful for my testimony of the Book of Mormon, for the truths contained within, for all of the Prophets and their willingness to share their experiences with us...and finally for all of those who show/showed me how to remain faithful, and to endure this life so that we can achieve exaltation, and glorify our Father.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Traditions

Tonight we drove around and looked at the Christmas lights on all the various homes. The one huge spectacular one that we usually see wasn't there this year. :(  Times have changed, people have moved or things are just too expensive, whatever the reason, it was missed.

I am grateful for our family's Christmas traditions:
drives to look at the lights
cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning
opening a present on Christmas Eve
sending Christmas cards and letters
baking, baking, baking
sharing, sharing, sharing
etc, etc, etc.

I love the sights, the sounds and the scents of Christmas and I love that our family has time honored Christmas traditions. I am grateful for our family's Christmas traditions and how comforting they are.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

the wonders of Roku!

I have been considering ordering a Roku for quite a while now, probably over a year. I finally caved and purchased one. The tipping point for me was realizing that I could watch General Conference, and other church related programs via the Roku. What's not to love about that?

After it arrived yesterday I waited for Pat to come home so that he could set it up, but all he did was take it out of the carton, read the instructions, warn me about the hazards of them having our cc information, and that was it!

So, this morning, after I accomplished everything else I needed to get done I took the contents of the box, read the instructions/directions myself and went to work! A few minutes later the Roku was up and running.

Since I have Amazon Prime I can now watch those movies on my TV without having to see them only on my kindle! It's genius, simply genius. For all of you out there who already have a Roku or Wii or Playstation that you use for watching movies and such, I am happy for you, truly. Just, I plead, don't judge me that I wasn't in the 21st century yet...I am married to Pat, after all, and he is not a joiner. (however he is a supporter, of me, so it works!)

I am grateful for Roku and enjoying movies and such, because I am a Breed and that is what we do!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Good news is always welcome!

Sam and Linzi have been having car problems lately...almost to the point of being ridiculous. Their van had to go into the shop yet again, yesterday. Today she called me with the news that it isn't the transmission! It's only the spark plugs. Hallelujah!

I so love getting good news, and am deeply grateful for every bit of it.

Monday, December 19, 2011


sounds like an odd subject, right? but here i am typing with my right hand due to an accident last night. sometimes when life happens in a negative form it causes humility, and that is what happened to me.

story -
my temple recommend expires this month, and i was going to wait until January to renew it since the holiday season is one - crazy, and two - cold. my reasoning may sound kind of dumb, but there you have it. yesterday i realized that our stake temple night is January 6th, so i needed to take care of my recommend. first i met with the second counselor in our bishopric (pat felt like someone else should interview me), then in the evening i met with president smith.

all was well, i went home with my recommend.

after getting home i put on my jammies. while doing so our phone rang, pat was beckoned to church to take care of someone else's recommend. problem was that Missy was in the garage already and we knew she'd be difficult to get back in. pat thought he could scare her in by opening and closing the garage she ran out and under our neighbors camper. pat came in and had me get some tuna in hopes of coaxing her again.

unfortunately Diego, the cat that hurt Missy a few weeks back, was over on the other side of the house. so, there i was in my nightgown, with a bowl of tuna trying to get Missy. i was going to just go inside and let her be, knowing that Missy would come home, but pat was worried about the whole Missy/Diego thing, so i went over to chase him away. did i mention that it was dark out? yeah, it was. as i approached Diego i didn't see the sprinkler head sticking up six inches out of the ground, it blended in with the rocks that i met with my face, wrists, and knee. i would say that we became fast friends but that would be a lie, it was more like fast enemies.

fortunately, as i lay there wondering when i would feel well enough to get up and get in the house i noticed a car backing up, it was knight in shining armor. he was looking in the rearview mirror as he was pulling away, and noticed that my nightgown was on the ground, not moving.

he helped me up, took me in the house, calmed me down, got me some ice...all the while i was telling him that he needed to leave. he did, but not until he had taken care of me. with his shoulder gone (not able for me to cry on) i texted the girls, and cried on their shoulders instead. i don't think they've ever heard me cry so much. (thank you amy and rach)

i am feeling a lot of things today; pain is one of them, humility is at the top, for sure.

it's humbling to have to get help from my husband, and daughters. it's humbling to realize that i am dependent on my body working well so that i can do simple tasks. it is humbling to know that life can change in an instant and that we are not always in control.

so, why be grateful for humility? because it brings me to my knees and serves to remind me of who is really in charge and just how much He has blessed me. pat gave me a Priesthood blessing last night also; it made all the difference.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I love Sundays.

I love attending church; partaking of the Sacrament, seeing people I love, serving in callings, singing the hymns, hearing the speakers, attending Relief Society.

I love the quiet of the day. It seems that while I am concentrating on spiritual matters (scriptures, the meaning of Christmas, music, etc.) that our home also becomes in "Be still and know that I am God."

I love that Pat serves faithfully in his calling, and that I can support him. I love it when I have a calling and am able to serve (soon, I am sure).

I love our hymns - and walking into the chapel with the organ playing, inviting reverence and worship for each of us. I especially love it when we have themed hymns - like Christmas or Patriotic type of hymns. Love it.

I love Fast and Testimony meeting, where tummys are rumbling, and brothers and sisters are sharing their testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ and it's truths.

I especially love feeling the Spirit. That comforting, testifying, loving embrace that you cannot see, but you can most certainly feel.

I love Sundays, and am so grateful that God in His wisdom provided a day of rest, a day for us to be strengthened so that we are able to face whatever comes our way during the coming days.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Wrap up.

As I was pondering what to write about today I decided that my gratitude involves a culmination of things:
* Missy is doing better. Yesterday as I pulled my car out of the garage I had kitty hairs flying off the windshield, a sign that things are back to normal!
* Our landscaper came with a bid today, which was right around the price we had in mind, and I like what we heard about his plans.
* My new cell phone now has my old phone number, quite the accomplishment.
* Having lunch out with my mom, sister and niece today went well, always a blessing.
* Taking treats to our Home and Visiting Teaching families, love visiting them.

So, you can see that I have many things of which to be grateful for.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wonderful Friends

Today I was able to go to lunch with our former RS presidency. I miss my calling, but mostly because I miss them, being with them, all at the same time. We really enjoyed each other's company, and talked a great deal; not just about what our responsibilities were, but about our families, and our lives, and our likes and dislikes. We became good friends.

So, yesterday, as we sat and ate and had nonstop chatting I was reminded of how wonderful each of these women are; how much they have taught me by their example, how much I want to be more like each of them. They are wonderful friends, and I am so grateful that I can call each of them my friend. That will never change.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


I spent a good portion of the day making treats to share with our HT and VT families. Yesterday I made super yummy Peppermint Popcorn (Our Best Bites), then today I was set to make Jan Hagel cookies, Guy Fieri's Blondie's, and then I was going to finish it off with fudge. After finishing the baking I had everything out, ready to go, to make the (Our Best Bites) fudge (which is more time consuming than what I usually do).

I realized that I needed to add more sugar to my container, since it was low from baking the other goodies. I grabbed the recently purchased 10 lb. bag of sugar that is in our pantry. As I was pouring the sugar into the container I noticed there were little black things in it that surely did not belong! Eeek! I quickly stopped the pouring process, and ran the bag out to the trash. The other contents that had actually gotten into the container I poured into a trash bag and threw it out in the trash. So disgusting.

I gave up on the idea of making fudge today, figuring I would go tomorrow and get more sugar. A little while later it dawned on me that I had actually purchased the ingredients for the never-fail, always smooth, yummy Eagle Brand Condensed Milk fudge. I was set! The best, very best, thing about this recipe is that it takes literally minutes to make, it's super, duper easy!

I am grateful that 1) I had purchased the ingredients, and 2) that I actually saw the little critters in the sugar before using it in a recipe, and 3) that I could make fudge afterall, which Pat will take to Sacramento for a meeting tomorrow and then we will disperse them to our HT and VT families!!

Since it saved me today I figured I should at least share the recipe with you...ya know, in case you have any unavoidable mishaps when you get to making fudge! ;)

Eagle Brand Condensed Milk Fudge
1 can Condensed milk (doesn't have to be Eagle)
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 - 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Line 8 or 9" square pan with foil, so the foil goes over the edges.
Melt chocolate with condensed milk and salt in saucepan over low heat.
Remove from heat, stir in nuts and vanilla.
Spread evenly into prepared pan.
Chill for 2 hours. Remove from pan by lifting edges of foil. Cut into squares.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Because I Have Been Given Much

One of my favorite hymns, as you can now probably tell, is "Because I Have Been Given Much." There are multiple reasons for this ranking as a favorite of mine...1) The lyrics are simple yet the meaning is great, 2) it always reminds me of my mom. I can still remember sitting in church with her and whenever we sang this song she always got teary, every single time, and 3) I have been given much and it is a sometimes gentle, and other times (when needed) in my face, message.

Pat and I were discussing helping someone out recently, and I have to say (because I am oh so far from perfection) that I struggled a bit. On Sunday when I was home alone, and the house was still, this song came into my mind, and I began humming it. I was immediately humbled. THEN to top it off, in Sacrament meeting a youth that was supposed to speak a few weeks back, but couldn't because she had the horrible flu (like what Rach had in September, seriously, she ended up at the hospital because she was so dehydrated), then volunteered to give the talk when she felt well again, gave her talk. The subject, you ask? "Because I Have Been Given Much." I honestly have never heard of anyone being assigned to give a talk on that hymn before.

Was it for me? Indeed. Was it for others? I am certain it was, but I have no idea who.

I am grateful for the sometimes quiet nudging of the Spirit, and for the times when I am humbled into submission, and can take stock of the many blessings I have in my life, and then can freely, and happily, give.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Socks

I grew up in Southern California, and spent most of my growing up years either barefoot or wearing flip flops, otherwise known at the time as a)thongs or b)jap flaps...neither of those sound very good now, do they? It's all about being pc!

Now I am a middle aged adult wearing socks, many months of the year. I still wear sandals, but not usually flip flops, or the like. When I was in my teens they began making what I call 'fun socks'. Those were right up my alley. If I have to wear socks then why not have them be cute? So, that is what I did, and do, most of the time. Yes, I do have socks that are plain, and they are fine, but I prefer the other.

During the month of December I break out my Christmas socks which brings a smile to my heart and to my face. There is just something about having red and white striped or blue socks with penguins and snow flakes on them that make me happy inside. One of the best things about them is they don't cost much so you can purchase quite a few, which I have done, over the years.

Perhaps this love of colorful socks is a way of holding onto the child within. Whatever the reason it really doesn't matter - because it makes me happy. I am grateful for my Christmas socks (and Valentine's Day, Easter, St. Patrick's Day, Fall, Halloween, etc). They are just plain fun!

(disclaimer - not my socks or my feet in the pic...thanks google!)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Missy update

A week or so ago I wrote about Missy, taking her to the vet, all of that. She continued to not be doing well. She seemed to perk up for a couple days and then took somewhat of a nosedive. All she wanted was to sleep, under a bed, away from us, and to not be bothered, one bit.

Yesterday before leaving for church I decided it was time to bring her out from under the bed, and make her be around us...she loves us after all, and she needs us. Dumb cat! After I got home from church I began cooking dinner, Pat came home just before five, and noticed drops of blood sporadically placed around the kitchen floor. Yikes! Needless to say we were worried. But not Missy, she was sleeping contentedly under the Christmas tree.

Let me backtrack for a sec here, a few days after taking her to the vet Pat noticed a scratch on her. We felt it would heal and didn't worry about it. Turns out that scratch is the culprit of this whole (pricey) ordeal.

Back to yesterday - Pat decided that since she wanted to go outside he would let her out. BIG mistake. Does he not remember that Diego is out there (neighbor's cat who thinks he lives here, but they do NOT get along)? I worried about her, seriously, I did. (Diego is probably the owner of said scratch)

Finally around 11 something PM she came in, after Pat spent multiple times trying to coax her with food. Finally he decided to make one last effort. He knocked on our front kitchen window (she was residing at the time in our neighbor's camper wheel well). She hopped down and walked in the house and acted like, "What? I was only out for a bit!"

So, then she climbs into bed with us. Mind you we don't normally let her in the house at night because she is a huge pest, but considering the circumstances and how she has been sleeping for the past week, not disturbing anyone, we let her. After days of acting like we don't exist she suddenly wanted both of our attention. She took turns going from one to the other all night long. Needless to say, not much sleep was gained last night.

This morning as she was lying on our bed and we were both up and about getting ready I went over to pet her and noticed a huge somewhat crusty and bloody wound on her. We decided to call the vet, which I did. A few hours later Missy and I went to the vet's. They decided that the whole cause of this sudden 'illness' was this injury, and that it had abscessed, and then ruptured. The doc said that it was good that it ruptured because otherwise he'd have had to drain it and such. Instead, they shaved the area, gave her antibiotics in shot form and fluids, and sent her home.

She is now happily sleeping in my closet on top of my little dresser in there. I am letting her. I am so, so grateful that we finally have a diagnosis and a cure. Thanks heavens! Literally - so many prayers said by me.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

My ward.

After having been missing in action, not activity, for the past few years in my ward, due to my calling, I am grateful that I can be 'home' more. It's nice to get to know the sisters in our ward, and to renew the friendships I already have. I love the church - change is always in the air, we adapt and move on, and become better in the process.

I am grateful for my ward, for the friendships and love I feel there.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


For years Pat has been doing our yard work. For the most part he has done a good job. However, this past year our yard has been looking, shall we say, shabby, and not as in chic. It's not like it's horrible, but it doesn't look well maintained. Much of that is due to his work schedule, a lot is due to the fact that our yard is huge and has become a bit overwhelming. I can't help in the yard any more (due to my back, knee, etc.), so he ends up doing 99.9% of the work. Hence, it's not looking so good these days, folks.

We have been planning on getting some new trees, a few of ours have died (farewell cherry, apple and camphor trees), and one we had taken out since it was beginning to get huge and we didn't want it to infringe on our neighbors, break up their cement, and then have to pay to repair it (because that is how we roll). So, for the past, oh, I'd say year and a half, we have made numerous visits to various nurseries in our areas...all in hopes of figuring things out. We have decided on crape myrtle - they are pretty and non-invasive, oh, and another cherry and a lemon. =)

A while back I had a frank heart-to-heart yard discussion with Pat. I pleaded with him to break down and hire someone to come and take care of the yard. Today Steve visited us and now the ball is going to begin to roll. He is actually back now to take pictures and measure, and all of that garden/yard stuff that needs to be done.

Am I grateful? YOU BET I AM! I am thrilled that we are hiring someone with a good reputation to come and fix our yard for us. It is going to be so much better. Mind you, our yard isn't horrible, it's just not us. I know the yard and I will both be happy once this project is completed. Our savings will dwindle a bit, but it is worth it, knowing that Pat doesn't have to be overwhelmed any longer and it will be done! YAY!!!

Friday, December 9, 2011


Today Brad 'officially' graduated from The University of Oregon with his Master's in Economics. That is quite the feat. We are proud of him for all the work he did to achieve this goal, and grateful for his dedication, not only to his studies but to his family as well.

When Pat graduated with his Bachelor's in Engineering from BYU I was awarded a "PHT" for Putting Hubby Through. Now, I didn't think I had really done anything - we were starving students after all. I stayed home and took care of Sam, and when Pat was there I took care of him. It wasn't until I received that award that I realized that Pat needed my strength, my support during that time. His degree was not just for him, it was for me, Sam and our future family. It has made all the difference for us. I am grateful to Pat for all the hard work that went into his accomplishing his degree, truly.

Brad's achieving his Master's Degree will make a difference in their family as well.

I am grateful also for Amy's support for him while he achieved his Bachelor's and his Master's. It has been a long road, with many sacrifices along the way. They accomplished this together, hand in hand, sometimes the road was smooth, but often it was not. They did all this while having 3 children in the span of less than 3 years. If they can accomplish this they can do anything...look out world!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


As I was leaving the house this morning to run errands I realized I needed something to listen to, other than Rush Limbaugh or random AM Christmas music. I ran in and grabbed my Josh Groban "Noel" CD. Perfection. Honestly, I could listen to him any day of the week. I especially love his song 'Grateful'. It just speaks to my soul, really. Now, that may sound cheesy to you, and that is okay, but somewhere deep inside me it really moves me. The combination of the lyrics and music make me want to be a better person, to stop worrying about any petty problems real or imagined that I might have. It makes me want to give of myself and to be so much more than I am.

That sounds as though I think little of myself, admittedly I have those days where that is true, but for the most part I know that I am trying, every moment of every day to reach higher. I am grateful for music that teaches me how to do that and just makes me happy and humble, all at the same time.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas is in the air!

Last night I decorated the house for Christmas. While Pat and I were straightening the tree I held onto it in order to keep it up and not let it fall. While doing so I could smell the pine. It made me think back on a book the kids received for Christmas when Sam was little from Grandma and Grandpa Dell - "The Sweet Smell of Christmas." I think I have actually given that book to Sam's family. (which means I should to the others as well, right?) In that book they had scratch and smell's throughout the book - peppermint, oranges, pine and hot chocolate are the ones I remember. My, how they loved that book.

I am grateful that our senses can work in such a way as to remind us of important things. When one really considers all the symbolism involved in Christmas decorations we can't help but think of our Savior, Jesus Christ, which is who Christmas is really supposed to be about.

A few Christmas Symbols:
candy cane = the Shepherd's
evergreen/pine trees = eternal life
stars = the star of Bethlehem
candles and lights = the light of Christ
gifts = the gifts from the Wisemen

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Pat took in his car today to have some minor maintenance done, which meant that I was without a car all day. There are pluses and minuses to this. First, I was able to stay home and accomplish much. Second, I was able to stay home and not spend money (because what else am I going to do given a car to go shopping in at this time of year?) Third, I thought I would be bored, but I wasn't. And nearly all of the Christmas presents are ready to send, now I just have to get to those Christmas cards.

I am grateful to have a mandatory at home day, it works, once in a while. ;)

Monday, December 5, 2011

It IS a wonderful life!

The other night one of very favorite Christmas movies was on..."It's a Wonderful Life" with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. Oh, how I love that movie - the heartfelt storyline, the acting, the message, it all works.

You know how you can see things repeatedly and sometimes something just hits you between the eyes? I didn't even really watch the movie, just the beginning. I figured we have it on DVD and I will watch it later, minus commercial interruptions, whilst sipping hot chocolate, and being cozy.

As I said, I watched the beginning, when they introduce Clarence, the angel. This experience so reminds me of reading the scriptures where you can read a passage so many times and then wham! it hits you right between the eyes. And you wouldn't think that I would derive something spiritual from a movie, but it happened.

The movie begins with two angels discussing the prayers that are being sent to heaven on behalf of George Bailey, who is down on his luck. George's friends and family members are praying for him, asking for heavenly help to assist him during this dire time. Now, here is what struck me. All those people that were praying for him didn't stop there. At the end of the movie they all came to his assistance, happy to serve, to give of their means and their love and support for George and his family.

Now there is a lesson that bears repeating - faith without works is dead. We need to not only pray for people but to do whatever we can in our power to help them.

I am grateful for the wonderful life I have and for all those who have come to my aid when I needed it. I am also grateful for the opportunity to help and assist others when I can. Service is something that means a great deal to me, I love that we can become more like the Savior as we reach out to others.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


I haven't been eating much lately due to being sick. Today I felt like I really, really needed a boost, so I cut up some carrots, peeled a few oranges and juiced them together. After drinking my juice I felt a bit rejuvenated, and I am grateful for that, and the yummy-ness of it all.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Oh, Christmas Tree!

I am grateful that we could go out and get our Christmas tree today! Now, we just have to set it up and decorate for Christmas! :)

Friday, December 2, 2011


our cat, missy, hasn't been feeling well since yesterday. since i really didn't want a repeat of what happened to our cat, bagheera (who died 3 years ago), i took her to the vet.

i am grateful i could take missy - even though she was not a happy kitty. i am grateful that they could see her so quickly this morning, help her feel better, and lastly i am grateful that we can afford to pay for it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

34 years

I realize most people don't celebrate their anniversary of becoming engaged, but we do! Thirty-four years ago today my hubby proposed to me in Provo, UT, as we sat in my VW bug (Gladys) next to the Provo temple. It was snowing outside, and it was cold...but we had our love to keep us warm! ;)

(sometimes cheesy just comes out, sorry!)

I am grateful for my husband, who started out as my friend, and became much more. I am grateful that we prayed and fasted about whether or not we should be married (for eternity) to one another, and that we followed the direction we received. I am grateful that Pat continues to be a strength in my life and that I love his quirks, his intelligence, his sense of humor, his hugs and kisses, his dedication to and love for us, the gospel and family, that he helps bear my burdens and that we stand strong together as we face life's difficulties.

I am grateful for the family that we are - with our children, children-in-law and grandchildren. We wouldn't be complete without them, they have helped shape who we are, and make us want to be better. While we aren't perfect by any means we are certainly striving for perfection together - taking it one day at a time.