Sunday, September 30, 2012

Relief Society Broadcast

Last night was the General RS broadcast. We heard from each member of the new presidency, and they did a wonderful job! Then we heard from President Eyring - whose talk was music to my ears, and spirit! He spoke about the service the sisters perform, and about visiting teaching. I am so grateful that we are blessed to live in a time with a living Prophet and Apostles. I can hardly wait for General Conference this coming weekend! :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The end is in sight!

Which really means, the beginning is in sight. We have been busily preparing things in our home for two things. 1) Amy and Craig and their families are coming to visit soon...YAY!!!! and 2) My mom is moving in with us! Yep! That is why we are getting things prepared around here. Once the kids go home  :(  we start really winding down in getting things together for my mom. There will be furniture moving, food storage moving, etc. Fortunately, like I said, an end is in sight. We have as much prepped as we can for now, and believe me, it's a great deal!

I have been thinking this morning about my mom moving in with us. I am grateful that we are able to give her a home that is comfortable, and has a happy atmosphere. I am grateful that she can come and feel love and accepted by us. My mom is a wonderful person. She has given SO much to our family, and I'm not talking about temporally, I am talking spiritually. She is the one that allowed the missionaries to come into our home when I was a baby, and convinced my dad that he had to listen to them. She accepted the gospel when it was first presented to her, and has embraced it ever since. She has loved our family unconditionally, and given our children one of the best gifts she could give them - a loving, warm, accepting grandma. While she was at it she also taught me how to be a pretty good grandma.

While I am really grateful that our work is almost complete, I am even more grateful for the opportunity we have of having my mom live with us. We both love her dearly.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Oh, the internet!

The internet...funny how one can have a love/hate relationship with it! There are so many good and wonderful things about it, and some that are not. I am grateful for the good things. For instance, on facebook today I saw that my old roommate posted a link to watch the first episode of season three's Downton Abbey. Once I saw her link I couldn't resist! It was so great to get caught up on the Crawley family and all the happenings in Downton Abbey! That is a good thing about the Internet; choosing a "healthy obsession"! ;)

Thursday, September 27, 2012


This morning I learned of a tragic accident. Our former sister-in-law, Kate, lost her mother to a bus accident. Apparently her mother was out for a walk, and a bus driver that was intoxicated, and had 15 children in the bus with her, hit and killed her. She was out on $50,000 bail a few hours later. (ridiculous)

Fortunately, for Kate's family, they had a wedding last weekend, and her mother was there. What a blessing to know that they were able to celebrate a joyous occasion together prior to this happening. Oh, the frailty of life. We never know from moment to moment what will occur, which is why we need to count our blessings daily, and hold those we love close, leaving no doubt of our love for them.

I am grateful for this life, the trials, the blessings, the love we have for family and friends, and finally that our families can be eternal.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I've been cooking dinners for our family for 34+ years. Sure, we have eaten out from time to time, but over 99% of the time we eat at home. It's a great way to save money, and often it tastes just as good, if not better, than restaurant meals (plus, there's no tipping). As a result, I am tired of Since that is the case Pat and I are going out for dinner tonight. I am grateful that we can do this, I am happy that I don't have to plan or cook tonight, I truly am.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


This morning turned out to be a bit more eventful than planned. Pat went out to start his Pathfinder only to hear the familiar click-click-click. It wouldn't start. He was running late so he nicely asked if he could take my car. Of course I let him! Whatever I needed to do could wait. 

After considering this for a few minutes it occurred to me that we have AAA, have had it for 28 years, and have seldom used it. I figured it was about time we took advantage of their services, seeing as how we pay for them and all. :)

Before calling AAA I called our auto mechanic to see if they could fit us in, if necessary, and to inquire as to whether or not I had to come with the tow truck. Since they know me well they said I did not have to come, and that if it were something simple they would work us in.

Then I called AAA and asked them to either come and jumpstart our car, or possibly tow it in. They said they would first try to jumpstart it, and then tow it, if needed. They also said it'd be 45 minutes before they would be here. They lied, 15 minutes later they were knocking at my door! Nice service!

After the guy pulled the car out of our garage, worked on it a bit, he came knocking at my door again. The battery was dead and needed to be replaced. Before I could even begin thinking about the process of getting the car into the shop he kindly said, 'Did you know we can replace batteries for you?' 

This little bit of information had come as a wonderful surprise to me. He told me that he could have someone else come in half an hour (15 minutes, he meant) and replace the battery, all for a nice little price. And I do mean nice, it was reasonable, in fact it was less than I had expected to pay. I was thrilled and pretty much told him how grateful I was that they offer that particular service! Yay!

Soon after he left I called our auto shop and let them know that it was all taken care of. They were sure sweet about it all.

While today wasn't fun, to deal with a dead battery, it was certainly wonderful and gave me pause to be grateful that AAA is a company that we do business with. Their service is worth every cent.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Saving pennies

When our kids were growing up my parents started a change jar for the boy's missions. We added to that as well. We actually saved quite a bit by doing that! We continue to have a change jar (we actually have a dollar jar as well, I don't like carrying one's around!). In following our recent organizing theme I decided it would be a good idea to go through our loose change. I willingly put quarters and dimes in paper sleeves to be deposited at our bank. I draw the line at nickels and pennies, coinstar will do that work for me! I am pretty sure we have quite a bit in nickels and pennies, we had well over $100 in quarters and dimes. I love saving our pennies and am grateful that we do.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Our ward conference was today. Our Bishop spoke about choices. He shared a quote a coworker has on his wall at work, "Life is hard; it's harder when you're stupid." Then he related it to our choices. Another quote that I really liked was, "Pain is inevitable, but often we choose misery."

Then in Relief Society we talked about President Eyring's talk, "Mountains to Climb", where he shares his thoughts and experiences in life regarding the choices we make. Will we have a firm foundation of faith through our personal integrity? Will we serve our Heavenly Father and His children with love? Will we make the choices we need to make to be happy?

We are always talking in the church about agency. How very important agency must be to our Father for Him to lose one-third of his children right at the start, before this mortal existence even began. Our Stake President emphasized that today; he also shared that teaching our children how to make correct choices is one of the greatest gifts we can give them.

As parents we tried to follow the counsel by Joseph Smith, "We teach them correct principles, and let them govern themselves," to a certain extent. Sometimes we failed to do it well; fortunately our children have turned out well. Rachel and I have had many deep discussions of late regarding choices, and it has all been positive. She brought up the same quote from Alice in Wonderland last night that was brought up by our Bishop today...
Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don't care much where.
The Cat: Then it doesn't matter much which way you go.

We all know that we need to care where we want to get to, because it does matter which way we go. There are always forks in the road, knowing ahead of time what our decision will be when we get there can make all the difference.

I am so very grateful for the choices, positive and negative, that I have made throughout my life. Some of  them brought me great sorrow, most of them brought me great joy. All of them taught me the lessons I needed to learn.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

FALL is here!

Today is the first day of Fall! I am so grateful it has finally arrived! My only wish regarding it is that it felt like it outside here...but I can't have everything! Rach texted me and wished me "happy first day of fall", suggesting that I go and get some caramel apples. I just may do that.

We have had a rather busy, productive day. Pat and Ethan Woodall put together our new shed. It will be great to have. I organized and categorized our books throughout the interior of the house. We have five bookcases, so that should tell you something. There are many books! :) (which I am also grateful for)

All in all, it's a great first day of Fall, for which I am grateful.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The mighty dollar

Oh, the dollar, the mighty dollar. So many trials and blessings come because of it... I know, we've had our share of both. One of my favorite things about the dollar is Target's dollar aisle. Oh yes, I am addicted! Rachel has even attempted an intervention! It nearly worked! ;) Yesterday as I perused the dollar aisle I came across some cute notecards to pass around in Relief Society to inspire sisters to do their Visiting Teaching. I also happened upon Halloween stickers for grandkids to play with when they visit. I am grateful for the mighty dollar's aisle at Target, and I promise I hardly ever shop there now. :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Everyone has the agency to change their minds, whenever they want, about whatever they want. It could be regarding politics, religion, about relationships, their future, or even as simple as the food they like or choose to eat. It's true that I am grateful for that...really.

However, what usually bothers me is when the weather is fickle, and it ends up being much hotter than expected. Here, in the Central Valley...not fun. This week is a different story. Last week they were predicting that we'd have temperatures in the MID-90's. I was so not happy about that. Why? I am ready for fall. This has been a long, hot summer. Imagine my delight when, on Sunday or Monday, they changed their predictions! No longer would it be in the mid-90's! No! (and YES!!!) This week, it's all about the mid to upper 80's!!

If you have ever lived in an area where it's rare to see 80 degrees in the summer, or anything lower, you can completely understand just how very grateful I am. SO very grateful. And - I am loving this weather.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Top Chef Masters

I've always enjoyed cooking. Apparently I also like reality TV shows. I've been watching Top Chef Masters the past month or so. I love watching chefs in action (and in competition). I always believe I will cook some of their dishes, but I never do. I am grateful for their talents and in awe of their abilities.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A birthday and an anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to Brad and Amy!
Look what eight years has brought your way...three little misters!
We love you and are grateful for your family, and your marriage.

Also, a Happy Birthday shout out to my niece Debi,
who I am grateful to know and love. :)
(this is her with Caitlin in December 2009)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Unexpected friendships

I remember moving into new wards, looking around, and wondering, "who here, will be my friend?" Sometimes they come in unexpected packages, and through unexpected means. Many of my dear friends are those I've served with in callings. We often didn't know one another well beforehand, sometimes not at all. As time progressed, and we shared experiences we found that we shared common interests, or a similar sense of humor, and almost always our testimonies, especially as we came to rely on the Spirit together. I have a long list of those friendships, some that I've lost contact with, but are still among my favorites. I am grateful for the kindred spirits we find as we serve together, and the love we share for those we serve.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A little child...

Today a 10 year old boy was confirmed in our Sacrament meeting. (Baptized yesterday) Just prior to his confirmation one of the missionaries leaned over asking the Bishop something. After they were done and were leaving the stand, the elder tapped this young man on the shoulder. I thought he was asking him to go back to shake everyone's hand, but I was wrong. Instead this young man walked up to the pulpit, took out a piece of paper and began reading his hand-written testimony. He went into great detail of the Savior's role in our lives, the importance of our baptism covenants, and how they relate to us. He spoke for a good five minutes, while all of us were amazed at the testimony and knowledge this young man shared. I am so grateful to have heard his message, and to know we were in the presence of a future leader.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

RS Activity

Our ward held Super Saturday today. There was a great deal of work that went into it. I was recruited to teach the exploding scrapbook, which turned out to be really fun. We also had a wonderful lunch (zuppa toscana)! There were a lot of sisters, chatting, and laughter. I am grateful for all that made this activity so successful.

Friday, September 14, 2012


We purchased another shed from Costco today. It was either that or rent a storage unit, and renting a storage unit here is pricey! Since we don't own a truck, Pat asked Chase (who works at NOA also) if he would mind taking him today to pick up the shed. Chase was happy to help him out, so today I am grateful for Chase. :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tax free

Tomorrow (I think) Amazon will begin charging taxes on our purchases here in California. I love Amazon, I am always ordering something from them. In fact I often forget what I've ordered and Pat will ask if anything more is coming and I say 'no', only to have something delivered the following day. I've been ordering things all week long...a new printer, CD sleeve/storage containers, a bread maker, and something else I can't remember (go figure!).

I have been grateful for the tax exemption, while it lasted. I am pretty sure my orders will take a nose dive here, pretty quickly. I considered getting a kitchenaid mixer, but decided to wait for it to go on sale, somewhere. Sorry Amazon!

P.S. It was a megaphone! Curious now? Hmmm?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Pat and I haven't been to the temple in a while, several months in fact (well, me, I think he went in June). We had all the best intentions, and would have it planned, and then my stomach would act up and I would just want to retreat to our bedroom...and did. So, no temple. Today that will change! He will be coming home somewhat early from work so that we can get to Oakland for (hopefully) the 6:00 session; if not we'll go to the 7:00. :)

At any rate I am looking forward to another temple date with my honey. I love being in the temple, for the opportunity to a) get away from the world and all it's troubles, b) do the work for one of our ancestors, and c) to feel the Spirit.

The temple is truly the 'happiest place on earth'. I am grateful we can go, and do.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

To be an American

Eleven years ago today a tragedy struck our country. Men from foreign lands came, hijacking planes, with evil in their hearts. As the news unfolded not only did we see the terror that was on our soil; we also saw the bravery of others. We saw Americans at their best. They rescued, they died, they prevented more from dying in giving their lives, they went in willingly even though they understood they may not make it out alive. Many of them didn't.
I am proud and grateful to be an American - home of the brave.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A favorite

One of our family's favorites, when we aren't feeling well, is toast with cinnamon and sugar. Today I am grateful for this family favorite.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Catching up

It was nice to be at church today for the entire time. I am grateful that I was able to talk with a lot of friends and catch up on their lives, that always feels great! :)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Day date

Pat has been cooped up far too much lately, so I suggested we do something 'fun' today. After we finished our chores around the house we took off for Jackson. I had scoped out the restaurants there and decided on one in particular. We were not disappointed! The food was really good, service a tad slow, but everything was made there so it was worth the wait.

After we finished we went to the original part of Jackson, with the old buildings and stores. We have an account with the used bookstore there so Pat wanted to go and pick up some more Louis L'Amour books. Then we headed over to the kitchen store across the street and browsed.

I am grateful that we were able to spend some enjoyable time together today, getting out of Manteca, and even trying a 'new' restaurant!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Memories and inventions

I well remember when I first came to being around a VCR. It was amazing. My dad, an attorney, had done some work for a client that owned a video store. Back in those days you couldn't actually purchase a VCR unless you owned a store. It was amazing, simply AMAZING, to be able to watch movies at home, that weren't televised! I fell in love immediately, and longed for the day our family would be able to own one as well. First movies watched on the VCR? "Annie", and "Popeye". (there weren't a lot available back then, but then, who cared?)

Fast forward several years, and Rachel would soon be born. I knew it'd be a time when I'd need some 'assistance' in recovering from yet another c-section, and taking care of 3 children plus an infant. So, we splurged and bought our first VCR. I think it was somewhere in the neighborhood of $200. Believe it, it's true, yes, indeed. It was worth every penny.

When Rach was an infant, and we had our new, and much-loved VCR, we had learned the joy of recording television shows. We love/d anything Disney, so we happily recorded "Winnie the Pooh", and the kids loved it! In fact, Amy loved it so much, that one night about 8:30, she climbed out of bed, came to us and said, "mo pooh?" We had no idea what she was talking about, so she walked over to the VCR, got a tape in hand, and repeated herself. AHA! Puzzle solved. With cuteness like that how could we turn her down? Of course she was able to watch one episode of her then favorite show! Then she climbed happily back in bed.

As I mentioned yesterday I am organizing, moving things around, readying things... in doing so I found a bunch of favorite movies on VHS. Titles like, "To Catch a Thief", "Arsenic and Old Lace", "White Christmas", to name a few. Rach and I discussed these oldies last night and it brought me to my next question, what to do with our B of M videos? She said to give them away, but who in the world owns a VCR? Wait, we do. Yet, I will be getting rid of them...sadly enough, and the VCR.

I am grateful for all the hours of entertainment the VCR brought us. When I was growing up I'd never have dreamt that it was possible to show movies in our home, yet alone record TV shows! I am also grateful for DVD's (and BlueRays - which we don't own), they sure cut down on storage space!

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Most of you may think that 'preparing' means emergency preparedness, but not this time! :)

We are going to be having changes in our home in the near future. As a result I am busy preparing our home, moving things around, packing up some things, in order to get ready. Since I can only work for a certain amount of time I am beginning in advance so that I am not completely worn out by the time this change takes place. (I will let you know what it is, in a month or so; it's not exciting so don't get excited about it!)

Rach has officially moved out. :( That means her room, closet, everything, are fair game. :( I really am happy for her, just sad for me. (I know, she's been gone for nearly ten months, so? She really has moved out officially, into her own place, where she needs her own things. I am supportive, just sad!)

So, today as I packed up her books, cleared out half of her closet, put one of her bookcases in one half of the closet and filled it up with family history material/info from another closet. I was grateful...not for her being gone (in case you hadn't figured that one out). No, I am grateful for the fact that I can prepare in advance, and become organized in the process...and that's about it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Rainy Day!

It is uncommon in the Central Valley to get rain in September. Imagine my delight last night as I watched the news and they predicted rain, and then this morning to wake up to thunder! Thunder! In September! I LOVE it!

While I went shopping this morning it rained. When I got home and was chatting with Amy on the phone, it rained. Then, as I ate my lunch, it down-poured rain!

I am so grateful for the rain! The only drawback - it makes me miss my kids - they love rain-dancing! :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

All better, we think

Pat finally saw the specialist today...hooray! and finally! This has been an interesting two weeks, that will hopefully never be repeated! The Dr prescribed medication for him that should help, in time we will know. If that doesn't work, surgery will be required.

For now I am grateful to have our normal back. It's just nice.

AND - I am grateful for all the prayers; they sure made a difference.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Mixed blessings

Rach left for home today, and is still on the road. Do you know how tired I am of saying "good-bye" to our family members?? On the flip side, how much do I have to be grateful for? a) I get to see our family from time to time, b) we have a strong attachment to each other, and c) we really enjoy being together. The only thing I don't like is the sadness it brings me as I, or they, drive away.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Defining moment

Today in Sacrament meeting, as I watched the Aaronic Priesthood holders, prepare, bless, and pass the Sacrament, my thoughts turned to my husband. I thought of him at that age. Of course he wasn't perfect, who is...especially at that age? Then I thought of how Pat has chosen to live his life. I realized that he chose, and continues to choose, to have the Priesthood define him. I am sure somewhere inside of me I knew that, but to have it come with such clarity was amazing. I am so grateful that somewhere, during the course of his life, he had that defining moment, and has lived up to it.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


You can always tell when Rach is home because sure enough we will spend time shopping! By now you know that I am not a huge fan of shopping! But, when I get to spend that time with one of our kids, it makes it enjoyable! I'm grateful to have spent time shopping with Rach today, because that means she is here! (And I miss my shopping partner) ;)