Saturday, June 30, 2012

Super Heroes!

Haven't we all been thankful for super heroes in our lives? While growing up it was way fun to watch the Superman TV show, and then later to swoon over Christopher Reeves as he went soaring through the air. I remember being at Niagara Falls with our three oldest children; Sam was 5, almost 6; Craig was 3 & 1/2; and Amy was 8 months old. We were trying to get the boys excited about seeing the falls, because who knew when they would be there again? (they haven't since) But they were having none of it. Finally Pat said, "This is where Superman saved the little boy!" You'd have thought they were Superman, I never saw them move so quickly! They were pretty jazzed about seeing that!

Then we have superheroes in our lives that are just normal, every day folks; they go about doing good, making a positive difference in our lives because of their kindness. I am grateful for those superheroes as well...truth be told, even more than the fantasy ones.

However, there are some Superheroes in our lives that capture our hearts, and hold them captive, for not just this life, but the next. We have some of those in our family. First, were Sam and Craig (wish I had their pics handy from changing from Clark Kent to Superman...use your imagination!) Next are the younger generation of Superheroes...they have definitely stolen my heart. My, how I am grateful for them. Here are two in particular:
Batman Lucas!!
 Super James!!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Successful Experiments

Yesterday I decided to try out another recipe for lemon zucchini bread, since we had an extra zucchini hanging around from our garden. I had tried one a few weeks back and wasn't overly impressed with was kind of dry to me. I wanted one a bit more moist. The recipe I opted to try called for vanilla, but I opted to put in freshly squeezed lemon juice instead. I was not disappointed! It turned out pretty good!

However, I still like our stand-by, made for years, zucchini recipe. It is quite moist. (I don't add butter to my breads to help them along in that area, maybe that is why I am so picky?! Or I am just plain spoiled.) Next time I am going to try to adapt our recipe.

At any rate, I am grateful for having made the attempt of changing up a recipe and having it turn out well. It's a win.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fresh Linens

I love the scent of fresh linens when they are newly cleaned. There is nothing quite like the feel and scent of clean sheets, or clean towels. It's just one of my favorite things, one of the simple pleasures in life. I am grateful for fresh linens.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


You might think that I am talking about a body of water when my subject is 'Lakes'. However, I am not. The Lakes I am grateful for are Breanna and Caryn, who are going to be house and Missy-sitting for us while we are away.

 I love that we have people in our lives that are willing to come and take care of Missy when we leave to go and visit family, or just go on vacation. It gives us one substantially less thing to worry about. Plus, I am grateful for the Lake family - we have known them for nearly twenty-one years. They were neighbors of ours in Ripon, and were also in our ward. I still consider them part of our 'ward family', even though we are no longer in that ward. Ripon will always be 'home' to us, especially the ward. :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


The other day our neighbor, Jim, came over asking if we would like some fresh trout they had just caught. We happily took two! Tomorrow we will be having those trout for dinner. When I was growing up every summer we would spend one week camping, and would eat fresh trout frequently...I loved it! The other thing I am grateful for is our cast iron pan, purchased for $5.00 at a garage sale a few years back. Cooking the fish in the cast iron skillet will be wonderful, there is just something about the combination that is amazing. I am looking forward to it, and am quite certain to feel grateful after partaking of this upcoming meal.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Six years old!

Happy 6th Birthday Rylee!

Where has the time gone?
Just yesterday you were born!
Rylee is and has always been a blessing in our lives.
She is kind and loving.
She came to earth with a sweet spirit and disposition.
She is so easy to love!
She is funny and smart.
She is beautiful, inside and out.
She is a wonderful big sister,
daughter, niece, and granddaughter.
We love her so very much.
Happy Birthday Rylee-kins!!!
One month old!
With Grandpa in Monterey - 15 months old
Rylee and Sadie at our family reunion.
3 years, 2 months & 18 months old
Rylee - 5 years  old

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Old and New

This weekend was our Stake Conference. There are numerous things for me to be grateful for (our leaders, the speakers, the music, and the Spirit.) How I love being there. However, one of the other wonderful blessings is that I get to see, and hug, and talk to old (and newer) friends. It is a home away from home kind of's wonderful to feel so much love.

Friday, June 22, 2012


Rylee's sixth birthday is on Monday. Linzi posted on facebook the invitation they made. Ryles loves the "pinkalicious" books, so she is having a pinkalicious party! Sam did the artwork for the invite cute! He has sn amazing talent, I have watched it grow throughout his lifetime, and am grateful, and in awe of his talent.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A few things

I couldn't decide today which blessing to share, so I figured I could share several.

1. Yesterday was the first day of summer and was HOT. Today the low pressure decided to make it's presence known (and felt) in the Pacific, which is lowering our HOT to warm. Yay!
2. Our Camry is in the shop today; we hadn't had it in since we bought it nearly two years ago (other than oil changes), and since we are soon driving to Idaho and Utah I wanted to be sure there were no surprises waiting for us on our trip. So, today the front brake pads are being replaced, the air filter, and the serpentine belt. We should have a great trip and no worries about the car! Another "Yay!"
3. Yesterday we finally were able to get our taxes finalized. Thinking that we were going to owe we paid $1,000 to the IRS back in April. Fortunately, we don't owe (except the state, a whopping $72...there you go Jerry Brown - you got us!), instead we are getting even more money back! Hooray!

I will stop there. I have much to be grateful for, and these are just a few that I have chosen to share.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"I'm so glad..."

This afternoon I called Angie to see how Darci is doing, since she's been sick. While talking with Angie, Lucas decided that he wanted to talk to Grandma. So, he gets on the phone, and he tells me about swimming lessons, watching "My Little Pony", popsicles (so many colors to tell about!) and finally he talks to me about Father's Day and singing "I'm so Glad When Daddy Comes Home!"...and proceeds to sing it.

And that is the way to this Grandma's heart, seriously. I know I've commented on here recently about James calling, and now I get to add to that list, with Lucas serenading me. How sweet is he?

I love my grandkids, in case you haven't noticed. I love skyping with them, talking with them on the phone, seeing them in person. I love getting text pictures, reading about them on their family blogs, and being with them. I love, Love LOVE being a grandma. I am so grateful that they each make me one. :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Costco chicken

Several years ago Rachel's roommate introduced her to buying precooked chicken from the store and use that to make various meals that require chicken. Shortly after that I saw Rachael Ray mention that on her show. Then we had a Costco built just three miles from our home. That was when I decided to implement that idea into my cooking. Not only does it make my life less complicated, it is also delicious. I simply bring the chicken home, take the skin off entirely, take the meat off the bones, refrigerate it, or freeze it, then use it in whatever I'm making for dinner...anything from chicken noodle soup to chicken salad. No matter how it's used, it's wonderful. One of the other bonuses - it's inexpensive, less than what I'd pay for a whole chicken that isn't cooked. Oh, Costco, you give me so much to be grateful for!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Miscellaneous chores...check!

Does anyone else out there ever put off taking care of menial tasks that need taking care of? That is what I've been doing lately. The important ones, they are taken care of, the others...not so much. Today I vowed that I would tackle all those silly little things that need to be taken care of, but are of little importance. (to me) So, I paid 'bills', as in making a donation to scouting; I emailed people that needed to be emailed; I filed previously paid bills (I think that is the job I hate the most, for someone that loves paper, I hate paper/mail!) Yep, I did all those tasks that I did not want to do, so I am guilty of putting them off, until today, that is.

I am grateful for the 'check' I can put next to having completed multiple annoying tasks. Why? They are done. I don't have to worry about doing them again for quite a while. Yay!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pat, Sam, Craig and Brad

I am so blessed to have wonderful men in my life.
 First, of course was my dad.
The next most important that came into my life is Pat,
my husband and eternal companion.
We were blessed to have Sam and Craig
join our family in the early years of our marriage.
Finally, thanks to Amy,
we have Brad as a part of our family as well.

All of these men are wonderful.
They light up my life and bring me great joy,
for which I am very, very grateful.

Pat, Craig and Sam at Darci's blessing
Brad and Pat at Pebble Beach

I am also grateful for the little men in my life
who will someday be fathers...
James, Lucas, Gavin and Jack.

What a blessing they all are!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Eternal blessings

Twenty years ago today was one of the most difficult days of my life. My dad unexpectedly passed away. He had suffered a massive heart attack eight weeks earlier, had bypass surgery, and was home and healing. He had to go in for a procedure, then spend the night in the hospital, he actually wanted to go home because he felt fine. Around midnight we received the call that he went into cardiac arrest. By the time we got to the hospital (in record time driving from Paradise to Chico) he was in neuro intensive care. Amazingly enough the hospital had no clue when it happened since they failed to have a heart monitor on him...they weren't sure if his brain would be affected, but it didn't matter, he continued to go from bad to worse. By 9AM he had officially passed away.

 Don't for a moment think that I am in any way grateful for that experience, I definitely am not. What I am grateful for is the knowledge, not just the belief, that our family is eternal. That means everything to me.

On this Father's Day eve I have to express gratitude for my dad. I love him and miss him every day. I am so lucky he is my dad forever.

Friday, June 15, 2012


We all have difficult experiences during our lifetime. They could be of a physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual nature. These experiences allow us, someday, to be able to relate to others; to be understanding and empathetic that we would not be had we not experienced what we had. Case in point: I saw a friend from our ward at the grocery store today. He was hanging onto the shopping cart out of necessity. I knew that he hadn't been at church last Sunday because his back was hurting him...I just had no idea how much it was hurting him. As we talked in the produce section for about ten minutes (that is where I tend to see various people from our ward, it is on the way to the checkout so I guess that makes sense!) he shared with me this trial he is enduring, and how difficult it has been for him. (his wife is out of town, coming back today, but I didn't know that until that moment)

I felt horrible for him. He told me how he knows that Pat has had sciatica through the years, and he knew we'd understand what he is going through. We sure do. He also stated that if it wasn't for this incident he would have no idea what others were talking about when they express how badly it hurts, or how uncomfortable it is.

While I dislike intensely having a bad back, and the fact that Pat has had a bad back for 31 years, I also understand that it allows us to be understanding of others and that particular trial when they are going through it. It's like we've all been through this battle together, and can relate to each other more as a result.

I am grateful for the experiences we have, even those that are difficult, that allow us to learn and to grown, and to have empathy for others, and hopefully to help them in some small way...even if it's just to let them know we care.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Luscious Lemons!

I kind of think it's funny that when there is something wrong with things (like cars) we refer to them as "lemons".

When you consider the wonderfulness of lemons, why would one think of them as a bad thing? Just because they are sour? They make such an amazing contribution in the culinary world! They have a freshness, a special zing, that few ingredients have to offer. In fact, I am so 'sold' on their goodness that we planted a lemon tree this year.

Lemons can even be romantic, and I'll prove it!

One of the first indicators I had that my husband was interested in me was when he knocked on my door one night, with a jar of honey in one hand and a sack of lemons in the other. He knew I had a cold, so he walked to the store, then came to my apartment, and proceeded to fix me a mug of honey and lemon. (I had never even heard of that concoction!) What a sweet thing for him to do! He won my heart.

So, why am I compelled to express my gratitude for lemons today? I was supposed to go to a pinterest party tomorrow night, but my friend who was hosting the party became ill, but not before I had made my contribution, lemon crinkle cookies! Yuh-Ummmm! They are amazing!!

So, yes, I am grateful for lemons and their zesty goodness...they are wonderful.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Little voices

James is suddenly interested in talking on the phone with us; yesterday he called Pat, and today when I called he answered the phone. He kept saying "nana, is this nana?", as if it was unbelievable that he could be talking to me! He is adorable. I love talking to our grandkids on the is one of the BEST things in the world! I am grateful for their sweet little voices, it's music to my ears.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Online Shopping

I ordered a few things online today. I don't do that often, but when I do I am reminded of how grateful I am that I don't have to drive to Stockton, Tracy or Modesto, in order to make purchases. It saves me so much time, and gas money, that it is worth it to shop from home! I especially love that I often get free shipping! Yay! (though I did not on some purchases)

I am also grateful for Amazon where they have just about anything you could possibly want! I've been 'searching' for a styptic pencil for when Pat cuts himself shaving (which is rare) and could not find them anywhere...but Amazon had them! I also discovered that they have a cream for when girls cut their legs shaving also. Might be a future investment for some girls I know that do that on a regular basis! ;)

Monday, June 11, 2012


It may sound a bit shallow that I am grateful for games, but honestly I love playing games with family and friends. Currently I am playing 'words with friends' and occassionally, 'draw something.' Our family is all far away so it keeps us in touch with one another in a fun way. I also love when we play games and we are together. I am grateful for games and how they can serve to build relationships.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Lately I've been watching a few favorites on PBS ..'Downton Abbey', and 'Phantom of the Opera', (the 25th anniversary.) I love them both. You, like me, may not agree with all that PBS brings us these days, but I continue to be grateful for the quality that they do bring. Afterall, because of them I fell in love with "Anne, with an 'e'" How I love that girl.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Get togethers

Our family lives a good distance from one another, except for Amy and Rachel, that is. Other than that the closest in proximity are Sam and Craig. Since it is Sam and Linzi's anniversary they decided they would escape to SLC this weekend, with the girls. Today they were meeting up with Craig's family and going to the zoo together. It warms my heart knowing they are spending time together. I am grateful for them making that effort, it brings a smile to my heart. (And I sm completely aware that it wouldn't happen were it not for Angie and Linzi. ;))

Friday, June 8, 2012

TEN Years!?! Wow!

Ten years ago today Sam and Linzi were married in the Billings, MT temple. Wow! I can't believe ten years have gone by so quickly! One of our greatest blessings from their union, well, three, that is, are: Rylee, Sadie and Chloe. It is wonderful how our family has grown so much these past ten years, through trials and blessings, it's all been for our good. I am grateful for their marriage and for the addition Linzi has been, and their three girls, in our family.

Happy Anniversary Sam and Linzi!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

My car

We bought my Camry nearly two years ago, for a really good price. We have only had the oil changed during that time. I've been thinking I should have it taken in and looked at since we are going to be driving to Idaho and Utah during fourth of July. Today I took it to our mechanic who said the "problems" are minor...yay!! I am so grateful we were able to get this car with such low miles, and in such good condition! It is a great blessing.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Close calls

It's been an interesting week...we found out last week that Linzi did not have a molar pregnancy, that my mom did not have a heart attack, and that our friend that was diagnosed with melanoma has now been pronounced cancer free! I have said a lot of prayers for all of these loved ones. I know that there are many times in our lives where the answer to our prayers that we hope for are not what we receive. I have experienced the sorrow and heartbreak of those answers; now I am overjoyed to bask in the happy answers to these prayers, and I'm not alone! I know many others prayed for the same blessings I hoped for, and now we can all celebrate together.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Thoughtful notes

Lately I have been blessed with receiving some very thoughtful notes via mail or email. That someone would take the time to send a thank you, or words of support/encouragement, means a great deal to me. I am not deserving of such kindness and find myself grateful not only for their kind words, but also for those wonderful people in my life.

Monday, June 4, 2012

June Showers!!!

Today is twenty degrees cooler than yesterday! And we had real, honest to goodness rain!! I love June showers, they are such a fun and welcome surprise...just the kind I am grateful for!

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Yesterday Pat and I were assigned (with several other people) to clean our church building. It's one of those things that you really don't get excited about beforehand, but when you are in the process it is so rewarding! I am grateful for 1)the opportunity to serve, 2)the beautiful building where we meet, and 3)the Spirit that is found there, no matter what day of the week it is.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Fresh fruits!

We have been enjoying some of our favorites lately - strawberries & watermelon, along with other fruits. It's strange to me when we visit other areas where fruit stands aren't the norm, and what they offer in the supermarkets are a poor excuse for fruit! At those moments I find myself grateful for the beautiful produce that is grown locally. My, it is Delicious!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

books, books, and more books!

I have been enjoying reading quite a few books lately. I have many stored on my kindle. It's so nice to have so many choices! I am grateful for books, and for the talents of others. :)