Wednesday, February 29, 2012

24 Extra Hours!!!

Today is leap day! Am I the only person who conjures up visions of the streets being filled with people leaping through the streets? Everyone always wishes for extra hours in a day...well, here we are with an extra day (an entire day!)in a year! What will you do with it? I am grateful for this extra day...and that people aren't actually leaping in the streets!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I came down with the stomach flu on Sunday. I am finally feeling normal and getting my strength back. I am so grateful that I am NOT feeling sick any longer, or like a raggedy Ann doll! I love it!

Monday, February 27, 2012


I just spent the week at Amy's house. So loved absorbing these three little guys! My heart has a special place for each of them...but I could eat up little Jack-Jack on the left. He is the chubbiest little guy! I adore him. Sometimes I cannot believe that Amy has such a chunky baby since she is so tiny! But there he is, as you can plainly see.

I am grateful for our little chubbers, Jack-Jack.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Missionary Farewells

A young man from our ward is soon leaving on his mission. He is going to the Czech Republic. Interestingly enough his family originates from there. Isn't that wonderful? He will have the opportunity to go and teach in the land where his ancestors came from. I can honestly say that no one in our family has done that!

I am grateful for missionary farewells. I am grateful for the spirits these brothers and sisters have; for their dedication to the Lord, and their desire to do His work, bringing souls unto Christ.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

More trees!

Last year our cherry tree a matter of days. It seemed fine, then suddenly it took ill, and then it was all over and there was absolutely nothing we could do about it. Then there was our apple tree. It never produced many apples, and seemed to shrink rather than to grow, well, it finally bit the dust also.

So, today we went and purchased (and planted) a new cherry tree, and a lemon tree! A lemon tree!!! I am so excited I can hardly wait to use those tasty lemons!

I am grateful for the fruit trees we have that produce, and the new ones that I hope will bring us many years of fruitful happiness.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Home Sweet Home

I had a wonderful time visiting Rach, Amy, Brad and the little guys in Oregon. We had a great time celebrating Rachel's birthday, eating out a few times (yummy...sushi...thank you Amy & Brad), and rewatching "Downton Abbey". I loved building Levi castles with James, playing with Gav and being cooed at by Jack-Jack. All in all my visit was fabulous, and even though I miss them I am grateful to be home with my honey. =D

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Lately I have experienced rain, clouds, and cool weather more than I am used to.  It's fine with me, since I am in Oregon, it's actually expected. Today, however, we are blessed to have sunshine. It feels wonderful! It is nice to get into the car and have it be so warm you actually want to roll down your window! Then there was Rachel who was standing by the sliding glass door for an unusual amount of time...catching some rays. Not to be outdone we had Gavin saying in his own little one-year-old language, "Sunlight!" And basking in his delight.

I appreciate and am grateful for rain; but when I've been in it an unusual amount it makes me even more appreciative and grateful for sunshine. And today is one of those days that just makes me want to smile because of the sunshine. =)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

soup and breadsticks!

The girls and I were out shopping today in cold, rainy weather. As we were walking through Target the thought of going to lunch at Olive Garden grew on me. We love their soup and today is the perfect kind of weather for it. It was Gavin's nap time so I was pretty sure Amy wouldn't go for it. However, when I presented the idea to her she went for it. :) Yay! We did go to Olive Garden, James was well behaved, Gav slept while I held him, all in all it was great! I'm grateful we could get nice warm soup and breadsticks for lunch.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Disney films

At the moment we are watching "Enchanted" at Amy's house. Since I am a baby boomer I grew up as a fan of everything and anything Disney. I am sure it helped that we lived so close to Disneyland. (A child's dream come true.) I still recall the joy of becoming acquainted with Cinderella, Snow White, Pinocchio, Peter Pan, etc. I loved raising our kids with Disney films, past and current ...and I love that they are doing the same with their children. I am grateful for the wonderful world of Disney and for the tradition in our family.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Rachel...our baby girl

26 years ago today we welcomed to our family our baby girl, Rachel Evon Dell. She came to our family least as far as timing goes! She is and has been a joy in our lives. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for having such a wonderful daughter. Happy birthday sweetie!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Girl Scout Cookies

I haven't purchased girl scout cookies in years. I must be un - American! Actually it's because we are trying to eat healthy. Since I am visiting in Oregon I broke down yesterday and lent my support to the girl scouts to the tune of a box of thin mints. I caved and happily ate one after church. I am grateful for delicious gs cookies.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

it's raining, it's pouring!!

Apparently I'm rain deprived living in California! I am loving the rain here in Oregon. I am grateful for the rain...and would be even more grateful if it were in CA!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Leaving...on a plane

I have no idea if I am going on a jet plane or not, but I do know that it is a plane! I am leaving today for Oregon to spend Rachel's birthday with her, and see Amy's family as a bonus. :)

I am grateful for several things regarding this trip -
1) Pat is so supportive of me going and visiting our children (I told him a while ago that if we are going to stay in California then I need to go and see our children every so often; he agreed.)
2) That they have inexpensive flights from Oregon to Eugene (soon for Idaho Falls too!)
3) That I will be able to see half of our children in one excursion! (and 3/8 of our grandchildren, plus Brad!)
4) That I am celebrating Rachel's birthday with her.

Those are my top four things I am grateful for at the moment.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lunch out!

This morning Pat called and asked me out on a lunch date. It was so nice to be out with him at one of my favorite lunch places in Manteca, Main Street Cafe. What a great break from ordinary everyday life! How sweet of him to take me out to lunch, and how nice it was to have the time together.

I am grateful for my sweet husband taking me out to lunch today.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Move it!

I like to move it, move it!

I am beginning to go for walks again. My, it sure feels great! I am not walking a great distance, but plan on building up to doing so. I love being out and about, thinking and just enjoying the elements around  me. Pat and I are going to also be taking walks after dinner in the evenings, starting when I return from Oregon.

Aren't we odd creatures? We never seem to forget how much we love eating certain foods, being with certain people, or going to certain places, but for the life of me I always forget how much I love exercise. I always have. I just forget.

I am now beginning to remember how much I enjoy it. I guess that is in thanks to me doing my back exercises/stretches regularly and now going for walks. I can hardly wait to pull my bike out and get moving on that again!

I am grateful for walking, and other exercises. My favorite song for exercising is 'I Feel Good!' Now that can really get you moving!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Lovintimes Day

Today I give thanks for every person in my life that I love...especially my wonderful husband, each of my children, children -in -law, and grandchildren. Also for my amazing parents, extended family, and dear friends. Happy Valentines Day! =D

Monday, February 13, 2012

Forget Me Nots

We all have times in our lives where we doubt ourselves. Will we ever reach perfection? Will we ever be the person we know we can be? That has been my struggle lately. Every once in a while I am compelled to be humble, this is one of those 'once in a while's'.

I love and am deeply grateful for personal revelation. It has made this life so very much easier and worthwhile. Today as I felt the stinging self-criticisms coming from my own mind, and my own imperfections I was led to President Uchtdorf's talk he gave in the General Relief Society meeting back in September. At first I was going to read it, then I realized I could watch it. How I love President Uchtdorf for his strength, his testimony, and his love for each of us.

I was reminded of who I am; who I will become. I was, again, humbled by the love our Father has for each of us, His daughters...and I am grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord that serves as reminders of that love. May we always remember, and never forget who we are - Daughters of a King.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


We live a great distance from Pat's family. They are on the east coast, while we (obviously) are on the west. So, today when we received a call that his mom was in the hospital there was little we could do. All we could do was have a prayer on her behalf. How grateful I am that prayer knows no boundaries, and that God, our Father, sends peace to our matter the distance.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sadie Bug!

Sadie, our granddaughter, turned 4 today! I cannot believe she is already four years old!

She is our little firecracker! She is full of energy, and life, and knows no bounds!

We are grateful for Sadie - for her individuality, her independent nature, and her love of life. She is a blessing in our lives.

Friday, February 10, 2012

sammy j

sam is 33 today! wow. i mean, really, W.O.W. where did the time fly? seriously! our baby is 33 years old! amazing.

as i was driving around today i started to think about how i felt when i had him, what were my first impressions. i was so grateful he was here safe and sound. i was so amazed at his size (9 lbs. 6 oz., 22" long) and how i held him inside of me for so, so long. but mostly i was in awe of this tiny little being that came into our lives - to enrich our lives, to make us better people, and to help us grow up.

it was love at first sight, sound, scent and touch.

how grateful i am for our sammy j. i love him with all my heart.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

8 more days

Rachel left for Oregon this morning. If she isn't there yet she should be, to Eugene, that is. I am so grateful she could come. Pat was concerned that I would be really sad this morning when she left. I would have been, if I didn't know that I'd be in Oregon myself in eight days.

I am grateful for the unexpected visit we had from Rach, and that I will be with her, Amy and family, in eight days to celebrate Rachel's

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

little adventures

Yesterday when Rachel and I finished at the temple we thought it'd be a good idea to get us some lunch. We debated about where to go...San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, or to Berkeley? Since it was already after one and still cold and stormy out we opted to eat lunch at nearby Berkeley. For me that is an adventure ...I had no clue where to go, or how to get there. (No GPS for me!)

Fortunately we had our handy little smart phones with us, and Rach immediately whipped hers out, pulling up a map of Berkeley, and Oakland, and figured out how to get there.

Once we got to Berkeley (a mere six miles away) then we started seeing all of these interesting places to eat. Which one to choose? No idea! Finally we settled on a little pizza place called The Cheeseboard. We had no idea what we would be getting in to, and kind of figured it'd just be your normal average pizza place. We pulled up and parked right in front of the place. It was a bit busy! So, we figured it was going to be good.

We walked in and noticed that everyone in front of us were paying and receiving their pizza instantly. How does this work? We saw that the menu had one kind of pizza only listed on the board. Hmmm. Now this could be interesting. The 'pizza of the day' was a combination of roasted potatoes, roasted onion, gruyere, mozzarella, fresh herbs and garlic olive oil. They offered three options: for a slice - $2.50; for half a pizza - $10; for a full pizza - $20. We opted for the half.

Oh my, my, my goodness! It is truly one of the best pizzas either Rach or I have ever had. It was kind of fun to go there, sit outside under the heater and watch people pass by. What a great little adventure for us. I loved it! Oh, and they had a band playing inside! If you ever get the chance you should go.

So, I am grateful for fun little adventures. It just knocks the plain out of life. :)

Here is their website, in case you want to investigate -

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Today Rachel and I went to the temple. It was wet, cloudy and rainy. At first we walked around outside so that she could take pictures for a friend of hers. It was sure nice to get inside where it was warm,and light. What a contrast!

It's much like life - we can choose to walk around where there is darkness or we can bask in the light. It was wonderful to be in the temple with Rach,to perform ordinances for family members and to feel the Spirit.

How grateful I am for the temple and all the blessings being there brings us.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Target Run

One wouldn't think that running to Target would be something to be grateful for. But if you stop and think about it, really think about it, how lucky are we that 1) we can drive in our cars to get to a store, 2) we can afford to buy things at said store, and 3) that store is sufficiently stocked so that we can get the items we so desire? I am sure there are other things to be grateful for, like sales, and decent prices...but that isn't really what this post is about.

Nope, this post is about going on a target run with someone I love. Someone that loves shopping at Target even more than her mother does! This is kind of an extension of yesterday's post...Rachel's home! We got to go to Target today (among other places)! (can you hear the crowd cheering in my head? I can!)

Seriously, though. It was so great to do something normal during a weekday with someone I am close to. Since she moved away I pretty much go shopping alone. A.L.O.N.E. Period. Pat and I have the occasional Saturday run to a store or two, but otherwise, I am on my OWN! It is wonderful to do things with others, to spend time together, to peruse the items at the store, to talk in the car on the way there and the way home. I love it. I miss it.

I am grateful for Rach, and the sense of normalcy she brings into my life. (those lucky boys she is living with!) ;)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Rach is home

Rachel drove from Oregon to California yesterday and arrived safely. How grateful am I for that? Words cannot express.

I am grateful she is home, even if for only a few days. I am also grateful she loves Oregon and is enjoying her life up there. That is as it should be.

How I love when our children are happy.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Friends, Food and Fun

Last night we had what was supposed to be game night. Well, one of our friend/couples had to cancel. Then Pat received a phone call to go and give a sister we home/visit teach a blessing in the hospital. I called the other couple that we invited over and asked if they wanted to reschedule or come a little later. They came half an hour later than planned, about two minutes after Pat got home.

Our 'dinner' was to be the snacks supplied by us and whatever our friends brought. I made these bbq phyllo rolls from Costco (very tasty), some mozarella cheese sticks from Skinny Recipes (really tasty, but ended up being cheese melts...oh well, still delish), cookies, and then I had some 'hanky panky' from WinCo, and some M&M's. Our friends brought cream cheese with olives or pickles wrapped in salami, some apples and caramel sauce.

What we ended up doing was eating and talking. We never did play a game, and they were here for three hours! It was super fun to have them over, and we hope to start doing this on a monthly basis, and ask other friends/couples over also. I am grateful for fun time with friends, oh, and food! ;)

Friday, February 3, 2012

A new look

Oh, if only the title of this post were about me! No such luck, folks! A few weeks back I mentioned how we were getting new trees, and making some much needed improvements on our front and back yards. Well, today it is finished! Our front yard, the mow strip, and new trees all look wonderful! I am so grateful we finally got the face lift we needed...well, our yard did, that is.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Rare Breed

I was thinking the other day, wondering why I love to bake so much...where did this love come from? It got me to thinking about my roots, my heritage. My maiden name is BREED, once known as'Bread'. Why? Because they were bakers...and that is probably where this love for baking came from. I am grateful for my heritage, for the love of baking, plus many other reasons.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Family Blogs

I love perusing our family blogs. They are fun, informational, and I get to see our grandchildren! I am grateful for them and the time I can spend seeing those I love. :)