Thursday, May 31, 2012


Summer has come to the central valley! It was in the mid 90's today. That means that in the Dell home meals are not hot, not even warm, they are cool. Tonight we enjoyed a lovely cool shrimp salad, tomorrow night will be sandwiches and watermelon. I love these kind of days where cool is the order of the day...for someone who isn't particularly a fan of summer I am looking at the half full side of the glass! Yep, I sm grateful for all "cool" things in my life!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Answered prayers

The near crisis from yesterday has turned into a blessing. Thank heavens!! Many heartfelt prayers were certainly answered. Our family is deeply grateful. I believe this experience has brought us closer together. :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Some days our lives feel filled with trials. A friend of ours spoke in Sacrament meeting on Sunday, on a talk given in April Conference, regarding trials. One of the things he mentioned were the trials that the pioneers went through. I am certain I have thought of this before, but I forget things, so if I've mentioned it prior to this, please forgive me. However, it is a lesson that bears repeating (and remembering!). If the pioneers had not faced the tribulation and the trials they faced would it be much of a story? Or would we just kind of say, "the pioneers walked from Nauvoo to Salt Lake City" in a 'once upon a time', wistful fashion? I believe they endured their trials not only for themselves, but for us. They showed us the way to endure, to have faith, to follow the right, and to do so with our standards intact, and with love in our hearts.

My favorite scripture is found in 2 Ne 31:20, which reads:
"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the words of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: ye shall have eternal life."

We have someone in our family that is experiencing a huge trial right now. My heart goes out to them, and to their family. I know that this trial is difficult, and it seems so pointless right now. I also know that this individual is strong; in faith, in life, and in hope. I know that the trials we have are ours. Sure, others may have similar ones, but the ones we have are for our good, eventually. I also know from personal experience that there are times when we feel alone, and by alone, I mean that you feel that Heavenly Father is not near. I also know, that even though you might feel that way, there is nothing further from the truth. He is there, He knows and understands your pain, your sorrow. He isn't necessarily going to 'fix' things, but He will certainly make you strong enough to stand in spite of them.

You never know what you get when you express certain things, and sometimes that frightens me, because it feels like I am begging for more...but at the risk of that happening, I will say - I am grateful for the trials I have endured in my life (through the help of the Spirit and those who love me), because they have laid a firm foundation - one which I will never be able to question or cast doubt upon. I am grateful that I can look back at those trials and see the hand of the Lord - for He "reaches my reaching", and I am ever grateful.

Monday, May 28, 2012

We Remember

To those who have served on behalf of our freedom, we give thanks. We are mindful of time away from loved ones, lives lost, plans put on hold; in general all the sacrifices made so that our country can remain free. Keep up the good work, and again, thank you. We are grateful for all that you have done.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Union Ward

Due to travelling last week we missed church. I half expected to not attend our ward this morning, because of being tired from our return trip. I was pleasantly surprised when I woke up with plenty of time to get ready. It was wonderful being there again, with dear friends. I am grateful that we feel at home in our ward and for the wonderful Spirit there.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Between the sun and New York City

Here I sit, at JFK, waiting for our flight home. (Wouldn't it be great if they actually dropped us off at home? Ridiculous thought, I know.) As we flew in to the city I was again amazed at the huge population here, which in turn made me grateful for the town we live in. Obviously Manteca is far from perfect, but it's also far from NYC! I am grateful that for the most part we have lived in small cities/towns. It's so nice to know where everything is and not take too long to get to our destinations. Even in Buffalo it took us a long time to get from point A to point B. Yep, I am grateful that my life is less stressed because of where we live. And I am grateful to be returning home tonight.

Friday, May 25, 2012

All you need is love

Tonight we said, "farewell" to most of Pat's family. I am not one who cries easily, so I didn't, but for a moment I felt that I easily could have. It's funny how some people can make you feel loved and accepted in a short period of time. We all said our good-byes with promises of not letting it take so much time to get together again. I believe we will be making our way to Arizona in the near future, and we just might have a few visitors make their way to California! One of the best things that happened today is that we reconnected with Erik, our nephew, met his Becky, and their two adorable little girls, Zoe & Esme, our great-nieces. Family is truly one of our greatest blessings, and I am so grateful for ours.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lost now found

My MIL has told Pat for years now about a Dell cemetery located in Welland, Ontario, Canada. No one knew exactly where it was located. The night prior to this trip I went online and did a tiny bit of research, sure enough I found the site of the Dell cemetery and figured out how to get there. So, this morning after walking around on the American side of the falls with Mike and Dianne then the Canadian side again, we went on the hunt for the Dell cemetery...and we found it! We really enjoyed seeing all those Dell names, especially Bidwell Dell, Pat's great-great grandpa. I am grateful we could find what was lost, that now our posterity will know about this buried treasure.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Burmese food and family fun!

Neil is Pat's uncle, his mom's younger brother. Neil is married to Tina, who came to the USA when she was 17 from Burma. She has several older brothers and sisters. Her sisters are also visiting (they all live in Mesa), together they cook amazing Burmese food and it is nothing short of incredible! They spend all day marinating, chopping, and dicing. It is a true labor of love. We were blessed to partake of this food tonight!! Believe me, we were all very grateful. To top this day off we had more family arrive; Mike & Dianne, and Bill (Pat's cousin) & Gwen. Mike is Pat's brother and I haven't seen him in over 20 years! It's wonderful that we are able to get together. I only wish all our kids could be here, but I am still grateful that we are all together.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Spiritual Sights

Today we had a wonderful day visiting church history sights in Palmyra. We went first to the Hill Cumorah, then to Palmyra Temple, the Sacred Grove, and finally to the Grandin building where The Book of Mormon was first published. It was so wonderful to have the opportunity to soak in the beautiful Spirit that is there. I am so very grateful for the times I have been able to experience where the restoration took place. I am grateful we could share this experience with Rachel also.

Monday, May 21, 2012

An eventful day

Today was spent touring Niagara Falls! We went with the following family members: Pat, Rach, Cheryl, Eddie, Savannah, Neil, Tina, Ada, KinKin, Ramona, Steve (Tina's sisters and br-in-law), and Cheryl's friend, Patty. We were quite the group! We took Rach on 'the maid of the mist" boat ride, which the three of us enjoyed. While we went on the ride the rest walked down to horseshoe falls (the most famous part of the falls). They weren't able to get close since there was a rescue going on, which we had a different vantage point from the boat! Apparently a 44 year old man had attempted suicide just before we got there. We watched as they pulleyed him up to the top. Amazingly enough he survived...he's hurt, but is doing okay. After we finished there we all went to Ruby Tuesday's for lunch, shopped a little then headed back to the U.S.A. :) Tonight we all went to my personal favorite in Buffalo for dinner...Ted's hot dogs! So, so yummy!! Then we went to Anderson's for custard ice cream cones where I had the special of the day, blackberry! All in all it was an eventful day. I am grateful for the sights, sounds, tastes, but mostly the company.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

bed...just about any bed!

We spent the night travelling to Buffalo. We didn't sleep on the plane like we gad hoped to, as in not at all. When we got to Grandma Dell's house we all practically collapsed! As we attempted to carry on a conversation I felt like I was one of my grandkids as I felt my eyes rolling back and simply could not keep them open! My goodness...or should I say my tiredness! We weren't able to check into our hotel right away, but when we finally could we hit the mattresses! Oh, heaven! Pat and Rach continue to slumber even though we need to get back, and I don't have the heart to wake them up. I really am grateful for beds and never want to attempt a redeye again!!!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Happy birtbday Ang!

May has become the second most popular month for birthdays in our family!! Today is our daughter-in-law, Angela's birthday. We are grateful for the wife and mommy she is, for her dedication to the gospel and the family. Ang has a love for cooking and there is always something yummy coming from her kitchen. She loves her books, friends, family and welcoming others into their home...oh! And "murder she wrote"! We are grateful for Ang, for the happiness she and Craig share and her willingness to share that happiness with others. We love you, Ang! Happy birthday!!! :)

Taking care of business

We are leaving for a trip to Buffalo tonight. We are going for a small family reunion and to celebrate Pat's mom's 80th, even though her birthday was in February. :)

As I have been getting things together, trying to tie up any perceivable loose ends, I have found myself being grateful. I am grateful for Eric who will be staying at our home, watching over Missy, and taking care of things here. I am grateful for the computer that allows me to makes lists, check them twice and cross off items as I go along. I am grateful that I was able to compose for Amy information of what to take care of in case something happens to us. I am just grateful to be organized and to feel that everything is in it's proper place at this time.

Now, on to the next phase, travelling across country in a plane! Pray for our safe arrival please!

Friday, May 18, 2012


Rachel is visiting, briefly. She was able to have some of her close friends over tonight. They just picked right up, as if no time had passed. I am grateful for those friends that are timeless...where everything just clicks.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I have spent the last nine months bucking the 'system'. (Thank goodness I didn't spend it being pregnant, that would be bad!) Thankfully I actually have been doing something rather simple - growing out my gray hair. At first I kinda liked it, a lot. I was certain my hair-dying days were over, and I felt pretty good about it. I felt confident that I was doing what would bring me happiness, well, not deep, abiding happiness...I am not that shallow!! Just a smile on my face, simple happiness, you know the sort, right? After nine months I determined that I didn't want to look that old, so today I went and had my hair dyed a darker shade of blonde, had highlights added, clipped off a couple of inches of hair, and voila ...what looked old looks newer again. It feels great and I am grateful for simple changes. (And so grateful I didn't spend the last nine months pregnant!)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Room with a view

We recently moved our computer to another room. I liked the view from the other room just fine, but I like this one a little better. It has two windows, where I can see the jasmine, the orange, tree, our new maple tree, etc. from here. It's nice, and I am grateful for a different room with a different view. It's the little things in life that make us smile. :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Brad is our son-in-law, and today is his 31st birthday! We are so grateful that Brad is part of our family. He is a great guy. He and Amy have been married nearly eight years (September) . We love Brad's adventurous spirit, his forgiving nature, his dedication to the gospel and his family, and his desire to progress. Brad makes us smile and we love that he loves our Amy.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Clean car!

My car gets happy when it gets washed, and so does it's owner. ;) Seriously, I love having a clean car. We went to Yosemite on Saturday where some birds did their business on our windshield. That did not make me all. Pat smeared cleaned it with the windshield wipers and spray, and it was not a pretty sight. So, this morning, first thing, I headed to the car wash. (anyone else have the 'car wash' tune going through their head about now? i sure do!) At any rate, I am grateful for a beautiful clean car! It just makes me happy!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Happy 31st to our Craiger-beggars!

That smile you see in this picture is so him! He has always loved laughing! He has a sense of humor and a quick wit that are just plain fun. I also love his serious side where we can have deep discussions regarding the world and the gospel. He was always a challenge as he loved challenging us when he was growing up. I think on some level he still does! Craig loves his family and is so grateful for them. He has a desire to be closer to them, which is difficult because we are all so far away from each other. He has found the career path that he is excited about and that makes us excited for him! He will graduate next year! Yay! 

Craig is a good daddy, showing love and patience with Lucas and Darci. He is a wonderful husband who loves his wife, Angela, very much. 

We are grateful for our Craigers! Have a happy birthday!!!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

For the Beauty of the Earth

We spent the day in Yosemite today. I have been going to Yosemite since I was a young girl, yet I never tire of it's beauty. Pat and I were discussing my love of the ocean and my like of the mountains. I explained to him that Yosemite is not the same...I love the beauty there as much as the ocean. As we were exploring the park I wondered, why is it that we have such feelings for these beautiful creations we have been given? I thought that perhaps we had similar surroundings in the premortal existence, so we feel at home there. It may sound silly, but I like to think it's a possibility. Regardless, I am so grateful for the beauty we can enjoy in this life.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Tips and Tricks

One of the things I love about Pinterest is the abundance of helpful tips and tricks; for the kitchen, for gardening, and yes, for wonderful organizing! It's incredible. But today I am excited about the helpful tips on cupcake decorating on Our Best Bites. I love it! I've tried to decorate cupcakes and have been somewhat successful, but their tips are sure to help me in the future. (I had no clue what I was doing, hence the 'somewhat successful'.

If you are interested in viewing said tips you can go to


Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Mom

This morning I got up and decided to drive to Sacramento to visit with my mom. She is the greatest. I am so blessed to have her; and our kids are to have her for their gramma. I took a few things up for her, then we went to brunch at the Waffle restaurant she likes. We had a nice chat; I love spending time with her.

I am grateful for my mom - for all that she has done for me, for our family. She is a wonderful example to me and I love her so very much.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New Family Search

Can I just say I am a big fan of new family search? It's wonderful to sort through and organize and straighten out all that needs to be done! It's so simple, and so uplifting to know that you are doing something that is truly serving someone in your family history. What greater gift can you give to someone who passed away that didn't have the opportunity to receive their endowment, or to be sealed as a family? There is nothing that compares.

I am grateful for the inspiration that our leaders receive that help to guide this great work along; and that benefits not only those who are deceased, but us as well. For when we take these precious names to the temple and perform ordinances on their behalf, we are uplifted because the Spirit is in attendance. That I know.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Today is my day to clean bathrooms. Tuesday might seem an odd day to do so, but it coincides with trash being picked up tomorrow. I don't like unnecessary trash, so I clean the bathrooms so that the clorox wipes, and the paper towels can be thrown out with the trash. But I digress. I am grateful for cleanliness, whether it is for trash, bathrooms, kitchen - whatever. There is just something pure about your surroundings being least there is for me.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Green light!

While driving around today I realized how grateful I am for those times when traffic-like happenings go my way. I approached a red light (in the turn lane) and just as I was approaching and preparing to stop the light turned green! Yay! As I continued on my drive, there was a somewhat slow bus driving in front of me. Thankfully he turned and went a different direction than me. I love it when that happens! I am in the habit of saying "thank you", outloud, when these type of events occur. It just makes me happy.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The sun is always there

Today was fast and testimony meeting. One of the sisters that bore her testimony shared a beautiful analogy. Her extended family has had a difficult year, and she has struggled with all that has gone on. In fact their family went through some rough patches a year or two ago when her husband (who was just put in the bishopric) had some serious health issues. Thank goodness he is doing well now.

She was sharing that as she was praying this morning she had this example come to her mind...that no matter what else happens the sun is always there. You may have a cloudy day, that blocks the sun from your sight, but it still is there. It may be midnight, but the sun is shining, somewhere, on earth at that time. She likened it to how we all have trials, and some are seemingly too much to bear, and it is so very hard to get through. However, we know, because He has proven it over and over and over again, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, is always there. No matter what.

We may not feel worthy, we may not even be worthy, but still He waits, to embrace us, to help us, to strengthen us. Perhaps we are struggling with our family, or financially, or with the burdens of unemployment; whatever that trial is, no matter how dark and foreboding it may seem, the Son is always there. Always. He can't not be.

I loved her analogy, her metaphor. I love that we literally know that the sun is always there, and that we can come to know that the Son is always there, and remember that knowledge, and be grateful.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Catching up!

Since I was gone for several days Pat and I didn't get much of a chance to talk. Today we were able to catch each other up even more. I was also able to catch up with Rach and Amy. I am grateful we are interested in each others lives, and love talking to each other. ---I love the adorable things my grandkids do and say. James reminded me of Rylee today when Amy commented that he was wearing his new "USA" jammies, and he said "me-s-a?" It's like when Ryles would say, "my-tah" for Utah...too cute!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Hidden blessings

Sometimes blessings aren't obvious. Case in point: while at Craig's the kids became ill with the flu. Of course that is not a blessing! The blessing came in a strange way. While it is not fun being sick (which I now am), I have found several blessings amongst this trial. 1) I didn't get sick in Utah, 2)while I nearly became sick on the plane, I didn't! and 3)my body held off until I got home to be really sick. Yes, I am grateful for all of those reasons.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Today I returned home from Craig and Angie's. I had a wonderful time visiting with them! I only wish Lucas and Darci had felt better. :( I am grateful to be home with Pat, whom we all missed being there. I am grateful to have gone, but am grateful to be home too.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sushi, Provo and Lucas

Today was a great day! We began this morning with going to Costco to stock up on some food storage for Craig and Ang. We found a great deal on dehydrated foods in a bucket. (I am thinking of getting some next time we visit!) Then we went out for Sushi in American Fork (thank you, Craig and Ang!). It was delicious! My favorite was the California Crunch - my, oh, my! (Amy and Rach, some day you have to try this! You would love it!) After all of that Darci became very tired and needed to get a nap so we dropped off her and mommy so they could get some rest.

From there Craig, Lucas and I went to the Provo Towne Center, hoping to hitch a ride on the Merry-go-round. Yeah, they were closed. Then we thought, well, we had just seen the train pass by us so we could get a ride on that instead. Of course it was time for their lunch break. So, we ended up getting rides for Lucas on the little kiddie rides that require some change being dropped into them. He, naturally, loved it!

After finishing at the mall we drove around just a bit in Provo since Lizzie had told me about the changes made around campus. One of the buildings that was torn down a few years back was the Joaquin Elementary School. Pat and I had just lived down the street from that when we met, in fact our ward met in the building. Now there is a newly developed apartment complex going up. It is amazing! I am sure it will house several thousand students.

We had driven past the former DT area the other day and noticed new buildings going up there as well. They are beautiful and apparently the new freshman dorms. Super nice. Those freshman have no idea how fortunate they are... I am positive many parents will inform them!

I am grateful for a really nice day - enjoying sushi (lots of it), revisiting Provo, and having fun with Lucas at the mall. It has been a great trip and I really appreciate Craig and Angela's hospitality. I don't know when I will return to visit but I hope it will be soon. I also hope Lucas and Darci will soon get over their cold/flu ---very soon!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I was able to go to lunch with my old roomie, Elizabeth. She came and picked me up with her son, Stewart. We went to Zupa's where they have great food. (I love Stewart! He is wonderful.) I am so grateful for my friend, for the enduring friendship we of my blessings from attending BYU!