Friday, August 31, 2012

Safe & sound

Rach drove from Eugene to here today by herself. I am so grateful she made it here safely! I'm also simply grateful that she is least for a few days! :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Following Counsel

Our Prophet, Apostles, and church leaders have counseled us over the years on many subjects. One of those subjects is to get out of debt and stay out of debt. We have, throughout our marriage, followed that counsel. Truthfully, it wasn't always easy. We saw many friends that we knew were in debt taking extravagant vacations, buying things for their children that we knew they couldn't afford. Sometimes our decision not to purchase things or go on extravagant vacations for our kids were difficult.

I am a saver. I save for rainy days. When we moved back to California it about killed me to pay so much for our home. I strongly felt that the market could crash, and that we would be on the losing end. Now, that is where we find ourselves - upside down in our home. However, we are making great strides to remedy that situation.

Pat has been unable to work for over a week with this illness. His company doesn't offer sick leave, so whatever vacation time we have is being eaten up, hour by hour. I stress about several things, one is family, the other is money; even though we have plenty in the bank, I am always feeling the pressure...if it's spent, it is gone, never to return.

At any rate - today I got in my car to go to the store and as I turned the key I heard this struggle to start..."click, click, click", and then nothing. I called our auto shop and they said to either tow it in or drive it in, whichever one works. (I did not want to take it shopping since I didn't want to be stuck in the parking lot at the store, of course.) So, in an hour or so I will try to start my car again, and if it runs, Pat and I will take it to the shop where we are hopeful that it is just a battery, or something simple.

I am grateful that we follow the counsel of our church leaders, and save our money, most of the time. Because, even though we will have to pay hefty medical bills, and my car is having problems, we have the money saved for that. It is in the bank, waiting to be used for such an occasion as these are. I am so grateful for the wise counsel from our leaders.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Last night Ann Romney gave a great speech. She talked about the wonderful attributes of women, praising us for our role in this world, and sharing her understanding of the daily tasks that are required of women. If you didn't hear her speech you should take a bit of time and go and read it. She also talked about being a newlywed and the struggles she endured, and of course about her husband, because, really, he is what the convention is all about.

I am grateful for the positive influences of the women in my life, which of course first began with my mother. Then I had several other women outside my family that influenced me for good. Now, I have friends, church leaders, my daughters and daughters-in-law, that all play an important part in my life. I am grateful for them, not only for the positive influence they are to me, but to others as well...especially my children's children.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The process

Today 'began' the Republican National Convention. I remember 'watching' it when I was growing up, thinking how boring it was. Once I became more interested in politics (thank you Ronald Reagan) I began taking it more seriously. I have also watched the Democratic Convention; at least parts of it. (I was curious as to what they would say, I think last time I watched President Clinton was running, so it's been awhile, though I may have caught a little of Obama's speech last time around...probably won't this time. Go ahead, judge me!)

My point...there is something reassuring and comforting about watching history in the making. I watched today as a large majority of the delegates voted for Romney. When Pete Wilson, former Governor of California, spoke on behalf of California I felt pride. There are many things I dislike about my home state, but I loved that he spoke with such conviction and enthusiasm. When Romney's brother from Michigan spoke for their state he was all choked up, which caused me to get a lump in my throat, and shed a tear or two.

Pat thinks it's funny/amazing that I am so 'into' politics. He has heard me talk to the TV more times than not when I agree or disagree with someone politically. It is something I am passionate about. I love my country, I feel privileged to live here, I want our country to be successful. I want for our grandchildren to enjoy the blessings of living here. I love the process we have, and am grateful for those who made and make it possible, for us to enjoy this process, this freedom, that we should never, ever take for granted.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Old standbys

Yesterday, as I stated in my previous post, I was super bored. At one point in the day I knew I needed to do something in order to fill in the time, and feel as though I accomplished something, no matter how minor.

One of my favorite things to do is bake. Somehow it relieves stress, takes my mind off of things, and keeps me focused on something I enjoy. It's amazing, really.

As a result I chose to bake yesterday, only it's a little hot here, and I didn't want anything that took much time. (I am sure our kids can guess what I made!) I also wanted something that I knew Pat would enjoy, since he is still recuperating.

So, I went to an old standby of ours. We first got this recipe when Sam and Craig were little; I think we've had it for about thirty years. Friends of ours in our ward in Sacramento had invited us over for dinner, and she served this for dessert. It's been a favorite ever since. Don't you love recipes like that? The ones you will use over, and over, and over again? And they never lose their appeal? I am grateful for those kinds of recipes. In fact, I will share that recipe with you, right now!

Angel Squares
2 c. brown sugar
3 c flour
1 c. hot water with 1 t baking soda dissolved
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. baking powder
2 eggs
1 c. margarine
12 oz. chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients until well mixed by hand, add the chocolate chips last.  Spread on lightly greased cookie sheet (I decided to try it on a jelly roll pan, I liked it even better!)  Bake at 350 for 20–30 minutes.  While hot add glaze.

1 c. powdered sugar
1 – 2 T milk (if need more add, but shouldn’t; can also use water)
Mix well, drizzle over top while bars are still warm, then spread.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Today was one of those days. I had planned to stay home today to take care of Pat and to avoid being around germs to make sure he doesn't have anything more to fight. I ended up not feeling well myself. Along with not feeling well I was fighting a serious case of boredom. Don't you dislike it when you are soooo tired of being at home, yet you don't feel well enough to go anywhere or do anything? Then throw Sunday into the mix and there is not much you can do about it! That was my day. Finally I decided to check out movies on Amazon Prime. Fortunately one of my favorites is on there, "To Catch a Thief" starring the wonderful Cary Grant. Boredom solved. I am grateful for the tried and true classics.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Running errands

It was good to get out for a few minutes today and run a few errands. I'm grateful that things in our town are pretty close by so that Pat (he sat in the car) could get out for a few minutes and have a change of too, for that matter!

Friday, August 24, 2012


I am grateful for our family members that fasted for Pat yesterday. His fever went away, finally. His headache is improving, thank goodness. His color is coming back (reminds me of "while you were sleeping") and his strength is improving. I am so very grateful. We still have a bit of a road ahead of us, but it is doable.

Today we found out that a friend of ours has liver cancer. We are keeping her and their family in our prayers.  It sure keeps things in perspective.

We have much to be grateful for.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Our friend that came over to give Pat a blessing volunteered to mow our lawns. Then our neighbor also volunteered. (it's not looking terrible, it just creeped into our conversations) I am so grateful for their kindness. I believe we are going to ask one of the young men in our ward to mow the lawn, and pay them, that way we can help them out as well. Nevertheless, I love when kindness is shown by friends, neighbors, and makes me smile inside...and out.

PS - our friend called again, he is currently mowing our lawn. My, we are blessed. :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Family love and support

We are going through a bit of a trial over here. One of the greatest blessings is how supportive our kids are, and how they are showing their love for us. Rachel thought of having a family fast for Pat. That, I think, will take place tomorrow. (he's not dying or anything, don't worry; just an unexpected illness that will take it's toll on us in multiple ways, and a basal cell carcinoma that came out of nowhere.) Craig, Angie and family nearly jumped in their car to come and visit. (so kind and thoughtful). Amy has been texting me and offering her support and encouragement (I am positive Brad is supportive as well, he loves us too). Sam called, Linzi texted...all worried about their amazing and wonderful dad and dad-in-law. All in all, we are feeling the love and are SO grateful for each of them, for their love and support.

To all of those mentioned above - I cannot express how you have touched my heart. We need your love and your support more than you know. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Priesthood Blessings

I grew up in a family where I witnessed and partook of miracles. My father was a worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holder. When we were ill one of the first things that took place to help us get well was a priesthood blessing.

I remember one time as a teenager when I had a serious case of strep throat. My air passages were blocked, I was gasping for air. I wasn't able to call for help and my mom happened to come in to check on me. She quickly realized the seriousness of the situation. Fortunately my brother-in-law was visiting so he and my dad administered to me. Miraculously my lungs cleared instantly and I was able to breathe.

Today Pat had to go to the ER. He wasn't doing well at all. We were there for six hours!!! We were both exhausted by the time we got home. Our bishop is our hometeacher and we didn't want to burden him, so Pat called our former bishop, whom we are close friends with. He brought along another close friend of ours and they happily gave Pat a wonderful, and much needed blessing.

I am so deeply grateful for the miracle of Priesthood blessings in my life. It is something I thank Heavenly Father for daily.

Monday, August 20, 2012


I made it, all the way from Eugene to Manteca! Yay! Unfortunately I came home to a very sick hubby. 103 fever, possible kidney stones and nausea. I'm guessing I arrived in the nick of time - to take care of him! I am grateful to be home, especially since he needs me. Now, I need to go and help him get better!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

So long, farewell

Tomorrow I leave for home. I will drive the long 9 hour drive home, all alone. I am not looking forward to leaving. :( I don't like "good-byes", especially when it comes to our kids, and grandkids. There is just too much time between visits, always. The best part about returning home is that Pat is there, waiting for me. I am grateful I could come, and am grateful to be going home. Can I also just say how grateful I am that our family is eternal? (There, I said it!)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Darci is ONE!!!!!!

Happy birthday to one of the sweetest, happiest, smartest, lovingest, funniest little girls I know!! We love you so much Darci!! We are grateful for you, and that we are so lucky to be your grandparents!!! Happy birthday!!!


This year has been rather busy with visits to family. We have only had visits from Amy and Rach at our house, so we've traveled a great deal to see our kids and extended family. I am grateful that we were able to spend time with everyone. But I think we will restart our family reunion so we can all visit together. I'd be grateful for that too!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


One of the reasons for my visiting Amy & Rach at this time of year was to escape the sweltering temperatures in the central valley. Unfortunately that did not happen, they too, are experiencing the heat wave that has gripped the U.S..

There are many homes/apartments here that do not have central heat and air. Amy's is one of those. With the temperature being so high she and Brad purchased ac units, one for downstairs and the other for the boy's room ...bless their hearts!!! I am so grateful for their new air conditioners!!

On another note, when Pat returned home he found that our ac needs to be fixed. Thank goodness we have an abundance of fans!'s to hoping it will be fixed by the time I go home!! (And not toooo expensive!)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy 4th Craig & Angle!

Craig and Angie were married four years ago today! We are grateful for their happy marriage and family. We are happy that they have added Lucas and Darci to our family as well! They are each a blessing in our lives! Enjoy your day Craig and Angie!! We love you! :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Girl's Night Out

My girls took their momma out for a birthday treat tonight!!! First we went and saw "Brave", which we really all enjoyed. Then they took me to a Eugene favorite for dessert...DELICIOUS!!! (We all ordered something yummy) The best part? Spending time with my girls. Now that is something to be very grateful for! (And it doesn't happen often enough) I love (and like) my girls! :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Google +

Craig and Angie wanted to have a hangout tonight on Google + with Amy's family. Pat wanted to see everyone too. So we all hung out for about half an hour. One of these days we'll have Sam's family join us too! I am grateful for Google +, it helps us stay connected. :)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Family time

Every time we visit with our children it makes me all the more grateful for our family, and each and every member of it. We are blessed. :)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Happy birthday Gavin!!!

Our grandson, Gav celebrated his second birthday today. We all went to the Oregon coast to enjoy his birthday. We enjoyed the aquarium there, especially the seals, sea lions and the sharks. We then attempted to enjoy a picnic on the beach, which we would've were it not for the 30 mph winds!

On to plan b--to find a restaurant that serves yummy seafood, minus the sand! That we did! We all enjoyed our meals, the company and our surroundings.

More than anything we all are grateful for Gavin being an important part of our family. Each of us remember the circumstances of his birth, the danger he and Amy were both in, and continue to be grateful for Gavin's miraculous journey here.

Some things I love about Gav: 1) he has a great sense of humor 2) music moves him - just play the theme music from star wars, Indiana Jones or superman, and watch him go into action! 3) he loves books, and stuffed animals 4) he loves being outside, whether it's going for a walk, picking up rocks, or playing with bubbles and chalk Where Gav is concerned there is much to love.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Oh, happy day!

This morning we left Yreka, CA, for greener pastures up yonder...called Oregon. As we were driving Pat even commented how this scenery really fits who we are. Interestingly enough I had a similar thought as we drove through northern California, which feels so much more like home to me than the central valley ever could. I love. Love. LOVE that area. It truly speaks to my soul, much like the ocean does. There is just something about the mountains, the rivers, the pine trees that make me want to run away and dwell in a cabin, with a much simpler lifestyle. Oh well, at least I can admire it from time to time up close and personal!

Speaking of up close and personal, last night as we drove through the small town of Yreka two deer almost hit our car! Yes (for those Gilmore Girl fans out there, you know what I mean!), they were just about to jump into our car...not literally in our car! Thankfully they didn't or this would not be a happy day!

There are reasons for me to have had a happy day, for which I am truly grateful for. They are (in no particular order): 1) little boys that love me, even Jack, who was not sold on the idea at first, 2) my sweet daughters - celebrating my birthday by going to the Scandinavian festival (because we are Swedish), going swimming at the hotel, and eating oh -so -yummy chocolate eclair cake, 3) being in Oregon, simply enjoying it's beauty, 4) really liking our hotel, 5) goodnight stories, hugs and kisses, and, 6) safe travels Not bad for one day, right?!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Good neighbors

I love our neighbors, Jim and Laura. They are such good people. Laura and I talk much about today's society; she is on the same page as us, as is Jim. A year or so ago we asked them to watch our house/Missy for us while we went away. She was hesitant at first, but it worked out well and she volunteered to do so anytime we need them. Well, we need them. They are taking care of everything while Pat is with me in Oregon. Fortunately (or not) Pat will be returning earlier than I am, so he can care for everything then.

But how grateful are we that they are SO willing to help us out? Of course we offered them to partake of our fruits and veggies while we are away! (bribe? nah!) At any rate, I am grateful that we have neighbors we can rely on, and that know we are there for them as well.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Good friends

My friend, Jolene, lives in Utah. Every year we exchange birthday and Christmas gifts. This year her package arrived a few days before my birthday. I am really good about not opening gifts early, I patiently wait until the proper time to open them. However, yesterday, since I was sick, I didn't open anything but a card from Pat. (he got me a vacuum cleaner and is going to be getting me a new kitchenaid - yay!) I totally blanked on opening my gift from Jolene.

Today as I was cleaning and prepping for our trip I glanced at our pass-through counter and there sat Jolene's gift! Oops. I opened it and was happily surprised to find a charm bracelet from her. It's super cute and I know that I will be wearing it.

I am grateful for good friends, that we can think of each other on special occasions and show our love and support.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Birthday wishes!

Today I turned 57! FIFTY-SEVEN!!! How in the world did that happen???

This morning as I was waking up I thought of my parents, and felt grateful to them for giving me this life. I was born on their ninth anniversary, which means that they were married 66 years ago today! (too bad my dad was only around for 45 of those, but that's another topic) My mom called a little while ago to wish me "happy birthday", and I in turn wished her "happy anniversary!". When I expressed my gratitude for her she said she looks back and realizes all the mistakes she made, and she is amazed that we all love her. Who wouldn't? My mom is amazing. Truly. She makes me laugh, she makes me feel better about who I am, and she has been known to help me through difficult times. I love her, and my dad.

I am grateful for those who care about me and have taken the time to wish me a 'happy birthday'. I have received phone calls, emails, texts, and Facebook messages with expressions of love and happiness. All of that, makes my birthday happy... it's all about the people who love you, and who you are grateful for.

And this...

is the closest I will get to having a birthday cake today!
Instead I am going to celebrate with Amy, Rach, etc. in Oregon on Friday!

Monday, August 6, 2012


We are getting ready to go and visit with Amy, Brad, the boys and Rach. Rach happens to be in the process of moving into her own place! (Yay Rach!) Along with her move comes the need of some of her things from our house. She has sent me multiple lists of things to take her. I am happy to report that nearly everything is ready to go!

I really am grateful for lists; I keep several ongoing ones weekly. I am always moving and adjusting my 'to do' list, or 'to buy' list. I am also very flexible with our menu, because we just work better that way. Then there's my budgeting 'list', I just keep tabs on that for peace of mind. All in all, lists make me happy - they help me to feel organized, and remind me of what I need to be taking care of, but allow me the flexibility I need to manage our home/family. If you aren't a list maker, I highly recommend it. :)

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Summer colds are no fun at all. I don't remember the last time I had one. From what I've heard this strain lasts about a week. That doesn't work for me!! There isn't much I can do about it, except take cold Meds, rest, drink lots of fluids, and literally blow through a box of tissues. Which is why I am grateful for tissues. Where would we be without them? I don't even want to know!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Birthday month!

This month is full of birthdays of friends and family members! Today is Chris's birthday, tomorrow is Marissa's, next Saturday Gav turns two, then Darci turns one on the 18th!! Savannah, and Kim's birthdays are on the 26th. Oh! Along with that both Linzi's and Angie's dads birthdays are on the 25th! (Amazing, right?) Lots of birthdays! I am probably leaving someone out (sorry), but it's not intentional! Happy birthday August-born people! I am grateful for you!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Striving for EXCELLENCE

Along with many of you I have been enjoying the Summer Olympics. The first time I remember really watching them was when I was a teenager and Mark Spitz was all that me and my friends were talking about. We were glued to the TV! There is just something wonderful about watching world class athletes achieve their dreams that brings joy; while our hearts go out to those who don't. We admire their abilities, their dedication, and we wish we were more like them in our lives. I am grateful for all those who strive for excellence, even if they don't "win".

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tried and true

Our ward is taking dinners into a family twice a week. This family currently has three children, ages 2, 5 &6. Their dad is in the military and will be in Kosovo for the next year. They are expecting their fourth baby in a few weeks. They have had a lot of trials lately so our RS presidency began making assignments. :) Tonight was my night to take dinner in. Since they have young children I opted to make nachos, since our kids and grandkids love it. (I've been making it for over thirty years) After we came home and had our own dinner I checked my emails. This friend had written to thank me for all that we did (so sweet). She said her son said she needed to get the directions so she could make it! (Cuteness personified!) I am grateful for tried and true recipes that we can share with others. :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Comfy couches

We have been fortunate enough to have one of the comfiest couches/love seats on the planet. We purchased this set when we moved to Idaho, believing at the time that they would reside in our living room for many years. Little did we know. Thankfully we chose well. A year later we learned that we would be returning to California, and buying a home with a great room, and not a LR/FR combination. This set has become a favorite of many, in fact our children have all claimed that they would like them when we retire them. Unfortunately they have grown tired and a little worn. However, they continue to be quite comfy! I am grateful for that!