Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Today I am making refried beans in our crockpot. They will be very yummy! Hands down they are way better than store-bought canned refried beans!

But crockpot's are great for cooking SO many things! I have been using one since we were first married. One of my favorite meals in a crockpot is roast, with potatoes and carrots! You just put in all the ingredients, cover it, turn it on, and walk away. Hours later you have a scrumptious meal! Who can beat that? In fact I made that just recently. We usually cook that meal in a dutch oven in our oven, but it's just been too hot to have that much heat on in the house, so I opted to cook it in the crockpot. We both loved it! Yum.

Crockpots are wonderful, and I am grateful for them.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Linzi is 30!!!

Seems like just yesterday Linzi was 19! Wow! The time flew by! We are so grateful to have Linzi in our family; she brings personality, fun, a sense of adventure, dedication, empathy for others, spirituality, and a world of knowledge on anything regarding being a mommy! (though she learned all of that along the way  ;) ) Linzi is a great mommy, wife, sister, daughter, and in-law on all counts. She is forgiving, loving and kind, and does whatever she can to make our family better.

Have a wonderful birthday Linzi! 
We all love and appreciate you!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Family Home Evening

Why, you may be asking, would I write about FHE on Sunday? My answer? It's the fifth Sunday! During the third hour FHE was discussed. It reminded me of when our kids were little and how excited they would get every Monday night, anticipating the fun we would have! (For our kids - remember doing show-and-tell?) What an amazing program we've been given, that serves in strengthening families and building testimonies. I am truly grateful for it's blessing in our lives.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Bargain shopping, that is! I know I've posted about shopping at Carter's in Tracy, but wow! It's great! We were able to go and pick up some birthday presents for some little people today that are turning one and two! (adorable little people, I might add!)

Pat likes shopping, way more than I do. However, when it comes to getting clothes for the little ones he usually stays out of it, not today! I thought I was done, and before I knew it he was grabbing clothing and giving me more. He had a fun time shopping for Gav and Darc. I love it when the Grandpa comes out in/of him and he just can't resist things. It doesn't happen very often, so I tend to savor it, and then I put a stop to it, because, well, enough is enough!

We also headed over to Van Heusen where he took the same approach, only this time it was for him. He makes me smile...two ties, a pair of khakis, and a shirt later, smile! That's what our clothing budget is for, right?

At any rate, I am grateful that he enjoyed shopping today. It's not something he does very often. (and don't worry my children & children-in-law, it's not that many things!)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Jury duty - not!

Stockton is one of the worst cities in the US, according to some. I admit it does have it's challenges! There have been many more shootings there this year, plus it owns the proud title of the first city in the US to go bankrupt! Honestly, it has never been a place I felt totally 'safe' in. So, when I was sent a notice that I am to be available for jury duty this week there were two things that concerned me; 1) my safety, (Who would want  to spend time in Stockton? Not I.) and, 2) it could have interfered with our planned trip to Amy's house. (selfish, no doubt, but it is what it is)

I don't know about you but I have a pretty good imagination when it comes to thinking up possible scenarios of what could take place. In my mind I figured that with Stockton's current crime rate I could easily have been put on some jury regarding a murder, and who knows how long that would take? *Cringe*

I don't want to sound un-American...I probably do, but I don't want to. If the jury summons had been for Tracy or Manteca I would have happily gone, well happier-ly gone. I believe in our court system; that we should be tried by a jury of our peers. I am grateful for the fact that I did not have to serve on a jury this week (in Stockton especially), but I am also grateful for the system that is in place. When I am called to serve on a jury one day I will do so happily and proudly...let's just hope it isn't in Stockton. :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Relief Society Presidents

Lately I've been having meetings with our RS president. She happens to be a good friend of mine, but we have been working on visiting teaching together. (getting routes reorganized, etc) I remember my hectic lifestyle that revolved around being a RS president many years ago. There was always someone or something to take care of...always. I am so grateful for those sisters who are willing to serve in this capacity. It's not an easy 'job', at all. Most that are called to be RS presidents don't seek after it. If you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I urge you to stop and tell your RS president 'thank you', they give us much to be grateful for.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Promptings & Prompted

One of my friends has been on my mind a great deal lately. I have been thinking of doing something for her, but hadn't gotten around to it. Yes, I am guilty of not following a prompting. Guilty as charged. In my defense I will say I haven't been feeling well lately, and felt that there were a lot of other people that would be looking after her as well.

Then, last night, I received a text from another friend, and talked with our RS president who mentioned something that had happened. That was when I decided that no matter how I felt this morning I would bake a loaf of banana bread and take it over. Pat also suggested I pick some peaches and nectarines, which I did.

When I arrived at my friend's home I found that the Spirit kicked into high gear...telling me what I needed to know to help her. I spent three hours with her, listening, crying, talking, and helping her with a project.

One of my favorite quotes is 'Never suppress a generous thought.' I had, and I am sorry that I had, but I also feel that the timing was what it was meant to be. She needed my help then, not before then, but right then. I am grateful for the spiritual promptings and the nudging I received from other friends. She will need our help in the future, of that I am sure. I pray that I can be close enough to the Spirit to follow the promptings I receive on her behalf.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A natural healer

This morning I was watching Dr Oz. I don't recall who was on the show, but at the end of the interview (that I saw) they talked about a book the guest published. I think it was entitled, "the art of happiness". He went on to share how one of the greatest remedies for depression is in finding gratitude. I can attest to that. I began this blog because of a hardship in our family. At the time, I needed to see the sunny side of life, and I have known for many years that, for me, recognizing blessings, then pausing to appreciate and express them, lifts my spirit. I am grateful for the incredible healing found in gratitude. Simply put - it makes me happy! =D

Monday, July 23, 2012

Early rising

This morning I woke up earlier than usual. No, I'm not sharing the time with you, I don't feel like being judged! Let's just say that after being up a while I decided it was the perfect time to go for a bike ride, which I then did, before 7 AM. (Okay, go ahead and judge me.)

Since it's been so hot out lately and this morning felt so cool I figured it was the best time of the day to go for a ride. I loved it. There weren't many cars out and about, there were a lot of people walking (enjoying the time of day as well), and it was definitely nice out.

I am grateful I woke up early this morning, and felt inclined to go for a bike ride. I think this will become a habit, at least until school starts. Once school starts, 7 AM is out of the question! (too many teenagers driving to the high school by our house)I will have to figure out a better time when that happens...which is way too soon around here!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

All is Well

In Sacrament meeting today we sang "Come, Come, Ye Saints". This was one of my dad's very favorite hymns. I can still hear his off-key voice in my head whenever we sing it, though it is fading a bit. Still, I am grateful for 1) the pioneers, and the trials they endured on our behalf, 2) for my parent's and the pioneers they were in our family - to leave all that they had (lifestyle) behind, and embrace the "Mormon" way of life, and 3) for the legacy given to both Pat and I by our parents, and now being passed from one generation to another. That song truly embodies the pioneer spirit, and I am very grateful for it, and that for the time being, 'all is well'.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Good job!

Today is Saturday and Pat is working. It is crunch time for one of the levee projects he is involved in. Usually we spend our Saturdays together, running errands, and doing projects around the house, but not today. Even though I miss him, I am grateful for his job, and that he works hard at it. He has always had an amazing work ethic; whether it is for his job, his calling or our family. He is respected by many, including our children, who know the man that he is, and I am pretty sure they are grateful too. :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Goodness of others

A terrible tragedy took place in Colorado today...a senseless, horrific act. I, like you, will never understand how someone could do this. What I can understand and be grateful for are those who are good, those who have a desire to be kind, loving, compassionate, who have a soft heart. Let's not forget that we are the majority, and be grateful that we are.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Today is a cloudy day...and I love it! Not only does it bring cooler temperatures, but it is a lovely change of scenery. I have always enjoyed cloudy days. Remember those days as a kid when you would lay on the grass and look up at the sky figuring out what shapes the clouds were? Or on road trips (like through boring Nevada) where you would look out the window and figure out the shapes? It really allows one to use their imagination; I love it! I am grateful for cloudy days - for the imagination they prompt, for their change of scenery, and for the cooler temperatures they bring. I know it won't last long, so I'm soaking it in!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fire fighters

The U.S. is experiencing what seems to be more than normal fires. Much of it is due to the droughts in our country, mixed with people acting unwisely, sometimes negligently ...sadly enough. We have seen many interviews over the past few weeks on the news concerning fires, some of them were with the firefighters. They have always impressed me, their attitude of service, their dedication gives me great reason to feel gratitude. They are truly amazing.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Carpool Lane

Pat had a meeting in Sacramento this afternoon. I went up with him to visit my mom and sister. He was supposed to be finished by 4 PM. That did not happen. I sat in the car and read (thank goodness for my Kindle!), then I became sleepy, so I rested for a bit. Then I began to get a little restless...I'm not the most patient person in the world. Finally around 4:45 Pat texted me to say that he was on his way.

We were closer to 99 than to I-5 so we took 99 home, plus they have a carpool lane. At that time of day that is definitely a WIN! We were able to pass many others vehicles who were not fortunate enough to be in the carpool lane. Thank goodness we were!

We had a similar experience when we drove down I-15 from IF to Orem to visit with Craig and Angie. It was 5 PM, in SLC, and that could have been horrible! But it wasn't! :)

I am truly grateful for carpool lanes, especially when we can be in one and avoid going oh-so-slow.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Stephen R. Covey

Many, many years ago, once upon a time, I was a student at BYU. My favorite subjects had to do with family, and understanding the way others think and react to circumstances. One day my roommate, LeeAnn, shared with me that Stephen R. Covey, a BYU professor, was having a seminar and all students were invited to attend. It was held in the ballroom at the Wilk (which is also where Rachel's graduation took place; wonderful memories). Previously I had read "Spiritual Roots" and loved it. I went to the seminar, not knowing what to expect. I was very impressed, and he made a positive mark in my life. I have admired him ever since.

Later, when "Seven Habits" was published, we purchased a copy. We also read it, and worked on improving ourselves as a result. I also remember driving by his 'house' in Provo canyon, wondering how big it actually was, and what it was like inside. I know, because of my former roommate, Elizabeth, that Brother Covey was amazing in his personal life, as well as in his outward one. She had the privilege of growing up in his ward.

You may wonder why I would write a post about him today. Unfortunately, he passed away this morning. Apparently he had been in a bike accident in Provo canyon back in April, and had never fully recovered. Things took a turn for the worst while they vacationed in Montana, they rushed him to the hospital in Idaho Falls, where he passed away early this morning.

A wonderful man has passed away; a man who was an influence for good in the lives of many. I am so grateful for his influence in my life.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Inspiring talks

Today is High Council Sunday. A close friend of ours, who is our Stake YW president, spoke in our ward today. I think her talk was written just for me. I needed it. It's as simple as that. The words she shared, her message, it was all for me. I am so grateful for those who follow the spirit when preparing and sharing their talks. They touch my heart, and I am completely grateful.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Saturday is one of my favorite days of the week. It's a day where Pat and I can usually spend time together, doing things around the house, running errands together, you know the drill. I love spending time with him when we have things to do, but are around one another. We don't have to be chatting all the time, having in-depth conversation, but it's just nice to have his presence near. Good thing we are each other's greatest fan!

I really am grateful for Saturdays. :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lathrop Target

Some might think that one Target is just as good as another, that's like saying that all Walmart's are the same...so not true. If you've ever been to Manteca's Walmart you would definitely understand that. Ours is like the ghetto, and has been since it was built. But, that's another story for another day, which really wouldn't "fit" in the list of things I'm grateful for. Heh. Oh well!

Today I went to the Manteca Target since it's located near other errands I needed to run. After walking through the aisles I quickly surmised that they did not have what I needed. Soon I was driving to Lathrop, where the newer, less busy store is located. It's soooo much better! I found the items I was looking for and headed home (we actually live closer to the second store, a plus). I am grateful for the Lathrop Target; it works for me.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Clean windows!

The past few months I have really been wanting to clean the outside of our windows. Years ago I would make my own solution and scrub them down, rinse them off, and let the air do the rest. They turned out beautifully every time! A few years ago...not sure when, Windex decided to make a spray bottle that attaches to your hose, you simply rinse, spray with soap, rinse again, and you are done. I LOVE that stuff! So much easier.

Even though our house isn't that big (1920 sq. ft.), we have a decent amount of windows. This morning I headed over to Orchard Supply and picked up a bottle of Windex cleaner, returned home and went to work. I wanted to finish it before it got too hot. (mind you I began cleaning around 9:45; it was somewhere in the high 80's by then, I finished around 10:20) There was a lot of attaching and detaching the bottle to hoses throughout our yard, and moving items so they wouldn't get soaked, like bikes.

My efforts were completely worth it. Now I walk around our house, feeling grateful for clean, shiny windows!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Zucchini has become one of my favorite veggies. Can I tell you how easy it is to grow? SO easy! We were out of town for a week, and by the time we returned home the three zucchini we had in the garden GREW! They are not the size the ones in the picture are, nope. They aren't huge either, and believe me I've cooked some huge zucchini in my lifetime. They were about as long as these, but a bit broader. This morning I decided to make use of one of the zucchini and made some zucchini bread. My, it is delicious. I also love zucchini in marinara sauce, over pasta, and in fried rice.

Soon I will try some of the recipes I've seen on pinterest for zucchini, like Homemade Zucchini Parmesan crisps...doesn't that just sound so good? I am grateful for zucchini and the myriad of tasty eats you can make with it!

Here is the Zucchini Parmesan Crisps recipe:


  • Cooking spray
  • 2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound total)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (3/4-ounce)
  • 1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet withcooking spray.
Slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch thick rounds. In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini with the oil. In a small bowl, combine theParmesanbread crumbs, salt, and a few turns of pepper. Dip each round into the Parmesan mixture, coating it evenly on both sides, pressing the coating on to stick, and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake the zucchini rounds until browned and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove with spatula. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


We discovered in a very unhappy way that our car, though registered, did not have a current registration card or the tags proving it's registration. How did we fail to realize this? (You might ask) I am asserting that it was due to the fact that I was sick more often than not the first six months of the year...and when my body is sick my brain tends to go on vacation as well. Also, I am the person in our family that takes care of those types of business items.

So, today as I spoke with the DMV, the gentleman on the other end of the phone suggested I go to AAA to take care of this problem, which I did. A few minutes later that part of my problem was solved, thank goodness!

We have been members of AAA, since we lived in Paradise, some twenty-eight years ago. They have always given me something to be grateful for.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Above and Beyond

Every once in awhile you find a gem, it might not be a very shiny gem, but it is there.

We have such 'a' gem in our lives, in Caryn and Breanna Lake. They watched our home for us and did an AMAZING job! They washed the towels, cleaned the sheets, watered brown patches in the backyard, and I am sure they did much more that I am not even aware of. The point is this --- they went the extra five miles. Imagine how delighted I was to come home and find a note from them sharing all this information with me. Truth be told, there was an occurrence on our trip home that did not make me a happy camper. I was not looking forward to taking care of all the duties I had waiting for me. They will never understand how much it meant to me for them to do all of that for us, for me.

On top of that their uncle passed away on Friday, so they have that to contend with also. You know how we are supposed to serve others to forget our troubles? They are a shining example of that... I guess this gem is shiny after all.

If you girls ever read this, all I can say is that you lightened my heart, at a time it was needed. Thank you, for being a gem in my life.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Baby steps

When we arrived at Craig and Angie's on Friday Craig expressed his certainty that Darci would begin walking while we were there. Yesterday as she was playing with me I saw her take an unexpected step, she didn't even realize she had! Then, today she took a step several times. Eventually she took four! We were all so excited! I am grateful we were present for this "milestone" in her life. It was so fun!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Plan B+!!

Craig and Angie made plans for us to go "camping",which is Lucas' definition of having a campfire in the canyon. Unfortunately, due to the recent fires here in Utah we discovered that our planned adventure would not come to pass! Fortunately we quickly came up with a plan B! We opted instead to go to our hotel, where they provide a grill with a nice, somewhat enclosed patio area. It worked out perfectly. We even had delicious, very marshmallow-y s'mores! A great time was had by all! PS -today is my dad's birthday, he would've been 85. :)

Friday, July 6, 2012


If you haven't figured it out by now, we are on vacation visiting half of our children. We were in Idaho until this afternoon, where we had a wonderful time with Sam, Linzi, Rylee, Sadie and Chloe. We had fun talking, laughing, seeing sites and fireworks, eating out, picnicking, and eating in. We are so grateful that we could spend that time together, and were both disappointed to leave. The absolute best part of leaving them was coming to Utah to visit Craig, Angie, Lucas, and Darci! The drive didn't take as long as expected, and it was pretty beautiful ...we also saw the newly constructed Brigham City Temple. Gorgeous. After arriving in Orem we checked into the hotel then rushed over to see Craig and family! We were excitedly greeted by Lucas at the front door, followed closely by Darci, who took to us immediately! We are grateful for our family, for the joy we share when we are reunited ---such an amazing blessing.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


We had the opportunity to go to Mesa Falls in Idaho today. It was a beautiful drive and I can't believe we had never been there before, we didn't live that far from it! We also enjoyed a simple picnic, which would have been better minus the mosquitoes! We walked to the lower and upper falls, and enjoyed the views immensely! There was one particular area that was especially gorgeous. It truly made me grateful for the beauty we've been blessed with.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Fourth!

Today we celebrate our country's independence. I am grateful, especially at this time in our country, for the founding fathers. Their task was not an easy one; but it was a God-given one. Our country was prepared for us, so that we might not be in bondage, but enjoy the freedoms Heavenly Father wanted to bless us with, especially religious freedom, otherwise how would Christ's church be restored in these latter days? I love this amazingly wonderful country that we live in. I am deeply grateful for the blessing of living here, and raising our family here.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

About to leave!

We are leaving for Idaho today, driving part way, since the trip is rather long, and Pat needed to work. We are excited to go and see our children, children-in-law, and grandchildren! We are so blessed that they all live within driving distance. (even though much of this drive is not 'pretty', thank you Nevada) I am grateful that I have been able to get things ready for our trip in a comfortable fashion. There has been no 'rushing', I am just calmly going through my checklist and getting things done. I love that feeling of success, especially when it isn't driving you crazy! I am grateful we can go and spend some time with our family; I do wish we could all be together, but I am grateful for those we can see. (next month, Amy, Brad, Rach, and boys!)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Just in time!

You may have noticed that gas prices have decreased lately. This is a bit unusual for us, since generally when we leave on vacation they are on the rise! Gratefully, this time they aren't! It just makes me look forward to our vacation that much more.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Individual worth

Sometimes I worry that this blog can come across as misrepresentative of my life. If that is the case I apologize... my life is far from perfect, as am I. In fact I have periods of time when I doubt my worth, I struggle with my imperfections. This happens to be one of those times. The other day our daughter, Amy, and I were having a discussion and she shared with me that she is choosing to be happy. When she said that I thought of this blog that I am striving to write in daily. It is my way of choosing happiness. When I share the many things that I am grateful for, from small things to greater and anything in between, it serves as a reminder of my worth, that I am indeed blessed by a loving Father, as are you.