Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunday

The other day I was listening to the radio as we were driving. Pat had it on some San Francisco station since we were heading to Oakland and wanted to hear the traffic report. We only heard a tiny bit of what was being said, and someone had called in questioning why the Mormon's, since they are so religious, don't make a big deal about Good Friday. The radio host didn't really address it that much, except to say that we were a fairly new church, and we hadn't been 'in practice' since the New Testament times, so it only stood to reason that we didn't observe it.

My thought was that we don't because we celebrate the Life, Atonement, and Resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ, rather than focus on His death.

I am grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for all that He has given to each of us...

  • That he followed our Father's plan, for us to have the Plan of Happiness
  • His willingness to take upon Himself our sins through the Atonement
  • His Resurrection
  • His Life - His example of who we should strive to become
  • His Love for each of us, His brothers and sisters
  • His Gospel; which affords us many blessings which are too countless to name here
I am certain that you find yourself pondering on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ today, and finding gratitude in your hearts as well. Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Paragon and Chinese Food

We have new outlet stores in our area, well, in Livermore. The outlets are the Paragon outlets (hence the title). Amy wanted to go there since most of the outlets that were in Tracy are now gone. (thank goodness Carter's has survived, thus far) While we were there the boys were feeling a little bit antsy, wanting to run and play. Who can blame them? After we shopped at their Carter's Amy wanted to go to Gap, to get there we walked through the food court. Since the boys were antsy and I was feeling a bit hungry, Pat and I took Gav and James to the food court.

We decided to get some Chinese food and just share it. I wasn't sure how the boys would react to the noodles, beef with broccoli and orange chicken. The noodles were a huge hit - even with our fussy eater, Gavin. Then Papa went and got us a smoothie and frozen yogurt to share. Yum! The boys sure enjoyed all of that food, and it helped them to focus on something other than mommy and daddy's (and Jack-Jack's) absence.

We had a great time together sharing our little feast. I am grateful that we could go to the outlets, and then partake of delicious food... and have fun with the little Misters. (before long mommy, daddy and Jack came also!)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Lions and tigers and elephants!

We ventured to the Oakland zoo today for the first time ever! The boys loved it and so did the adults! I'm grateful we could enjoy our time together admiring all the animals there. A fun time was had by all.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Not alone

For the past year or so we've been spending the holidays alone, together. While we enjoy the peace and quiet (at times) we sure do miss spending those holidays with our children, children-in-law and grandchildren.  Fortunately for us Brad's family is having a reunion beginning this weekend. Brad's parent's home is not large enough to hold another 12 adults and 18 Brad and Amy have been assigned to our house. Not a bad deal for us at all.

While we don't get to have Easter dinner with them, we at least get them for the morning on Easter. Hooray! In fact, Brad and Amy are at the present time on their way to our house from Oregon.

I am grateful we don't have to spend the entire Easter holiday alone. I really dislike doing that.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Our 6 year old granddaughter, Rylee, earned her certificate for reading 100 books! Go Rylee! We are so proud of her! I think one of the best things a person can learn in this life to promote their education, self-esteem, and sense of wonder is reading. How well I remember learning to read, "See Jane and Dick...". Back then there weren't a whole lot of children's books to be had in elementary school (perhaps that is why we learned to read at a later age?), so it's no wonder that us baby boomers remember reading about Dick and Jane.

When Rach was pre-kindergarten one day she just exclaimed, "They are so lucky!" I had to inquire as to who she was talking about... why, her brothers and sister, of course! And why were they so lucky? Because they could read. She could not wait to get her hands on books and begin her adventure into the world of reading. She remains an avid reader today, as do most of her siblings.

In fact when Craig was little he was a bit of a troublemaker at times. One day when my parents were visiting I was scolding him and said, "If you don't take care of _____, no reading for you tonight!" My parents were astounded, especially my dad. I had to explain that it was one of the few privileges that Craig had that would make an impact on him, to the point of having him take care of whatever it was that needed taking care of. That said, he did the chore, and that was that.

So, I am especially grateful that Rylee has accomplished such a wonderful goal. To learn to read - opens a whole new world, and what a wonderful world it is.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Yeah, the idea of having paper as something to be grateful for probably sounds a bit boring to you. Not to me. I love paper. I always have. I love writing on it; using it for journaling, making lists, letters, cards... I just love it. I also love the fun paper(s) you can find today at craft stores - they are so useful! And then there are note cards, in all kinds of variety. Fun stuff! In fact, I love paper so much I have to not allow myself to purchase it otherwise I'd be one of those people on those hoarding shows. You know the ones...the kind that can't walk in their house because they have a ridiculous amount of stuff. So not me.

Today I am grateful for paper - for all of it's wonderful uses, like books! (who can live without good books?) Or the scriptures! Or the Ensign (yes, we still subscribe, even though we have them on our Kindles.) As you see, I could go on and on about the many uses of paper. It's amazing.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Safe travels

Rach left this morning, arriving safely in Eugene just after 8 am. Traffic going to the airport was crazy - even at 4:30 am! Going home was smooth sailing! I am grateful we all enjoyed safe travels.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


While Rach has been here we've been able to video chat with Craig, Angie (and kids), and with Sam, Linzi (and girls) . She's really enjoyed catching up with her brothers and their families. I'm grateful they could catch up with each does a mother's heart good. :)

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Yesterday we were able to spend some time at Yosemite. We saw eight deer, a coyote, and multiple small animals. The day was beautiful, the park the least crowded I've seen it in years, and the food at The Awahnee was amazing. The best part? Spending the time (and the views) with Pat and Rachel. I'm so grateful we could go to Yosemite together!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Happy birthday Lucas!

Today Lucas turned four!! I was able to talk to him for a little bit this morning...he was so excited! He told me he was going to Red Lobster for lunch, having cheeseburgers for dinner, and getting red, blue, green and purple cupcakes! Then he told me he was watching "super why", which meant that it was time for me to get off the phone! ;) I am grateful for our Lucas. He is one of the smartest, cutest, nicest, funniest boys that I know. I am so grateful for him in my life. He is a love. Happy birthday sweet boy, we love you.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Rach is coming!

In about six hours Rachel's plane will be landing in Oakland! I can't wait to see her! I am so grateful she is coming! :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Life brings a lot of changes with it. Some of them are wonderful, and some are not. We, actually, aren't going through any big changes, but others are. I am grateful for the hope we can have in the future, and how it can change our lives for the better.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Last night Pat and I finally went on our anniversary date! We both love seafood, in fact I'd choose that over steak any day. So, last night we went to Red Lobster, where he had crab, lobster and shrimp; and I had shrimp and lobster tacos, and lobster. Yu-um.

While we can afford to take ourselves out for a nice dinner, this one was on my mom. I don't even know when the last time was that someone sent us on a date and paid for it! Mom wrote a note to me the other day telling me that we should go to dinner - her treat. How generous is that? So kind.

We sure enjoyed our dinner! I am grateful for my mom's generous heart, and giving nature. She taught me well. :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Lower gas prices

Sometimes it boggles my mind that we pay so much for gas. Oddly enough, and amazingly enough, I was grateful today to fill my car up at Costco for $3.79.9/gallon. That is actually lower than we have paid for a while now. Personally, I think it's ridiculous that we pay so much for gas; however, I can honestly say that I am grateful for the lower priced gas. I would be even more grateful if it was the price I my dad paid for gas when I first began driving... $.23 a gallon! Yep. That is just how old I am. OLD.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy Anniversary to us!

Thirty five years ago Pat and I were sealed together for time and all eternity in the Provo, Utah temple. That was one of the greatest experiences in my life...and has had the most impact on who I've become. I'm so grateful that we chose the right person, in the right place, and by the right authority. I am deeply grateful for Pat. He is such a good, humble person; a great example to many, a loving father and grandpa. We aren't perfect but we try, together we make a pretty good team. I am grateful for these thirty-five years, with all the ups and downs of life. I am grateful for the love we share and look forward to our future.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Tomorrow we celebrate our 35th Anniversary. Thirty-five years! Wow. Gratefully, we continue to be happily married, and we both married our best friend. There is a lot to be said for that.

With years comes maturity...hopefully. What once would have bothered me greatly, doesn't. For example - since tomorrow is Sunday we had planned on going out to dinner tonight. Unfortunately, due to some unexpected circumstances, we will not be able to go out tonight. Partially because Pat is in Sacramento regarding his job; and partly because that cold that acts like a boomerang, has once again returned, rearing it's ugly head. So, neither of us is available tonight.

We 'plan' to go out on Monday night now. We'll see just what life has in store for us, though. Let's just say I'm not counting my chickens before they hatch. Even if we aren't able to go out, it's okay. Rach is going to be here on Thursday, and our plans to go to Yosemite on Friday work in perfectly with a celebratory lunch at the Awahnee. (very nice restaurant/hotel in Yosemite) Who says anniversary's have to be romantic? Nothing wrong with celebrating with one of our favorite people! ;) (after all, we did that two years ago by taking Craig and Angie to Monterey for the day!)

I really am grateful for the maturity and wisdom age brings with it; without that I might be one sad person today.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Green lawn

It's been unseasonably warm here lately, not record-breaking, but warm, nonetheless. As I write Pat is out for his first lawn mowing session of the season. Our grass is a beautiful green, and very lush. I love it, and I'm grateful for it's beauty!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Security Door

Several families in our ward were robbed recently. At least one was semi their fault (left front door unlocked), another one was home and thinks they know who did it, but the police won't look into it. (Seriously?) The other one I don't know who it is, but I know that it happened. At any rate, Pat and I decided a few years back that we wanted to get a Security Screen Door. We (he) just didn't act on it so many other things! ;)

Saturday we went in and began the process. First someone had to come out and measure our door, to make sure it wasn't a special order/construct type of thing. Second, we had to go in and pick out the door, and the handles (which we tried to do on Tuesday evening, but no one came to help us...sigh). So, today I went and picked everything out, ordered it and paid for it. It won't even be at our Home Depot until April 4th. (glad we decided to take care of it before really warm weather hits - 76 degrees today!)

I think it will be good for us to have this new screen door, for several reasons. 1) a nice breeze through our great room, 2) security. (I know, stating the obvious) I am grateful that we finally took care of this!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Eight wheels!

Pat's Pathfinder has been in the shop since Tuesday. That means he's been using my Camry. Finally, we picked it up today after my Dr appt. Yay! It's one of those things where you welcome needing to stay home (since I had things to take care of) until it becomes too much of a good thing. I was so ready to have my car back! I'm grateful that life is back to "normal" now.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pot of Gold

We are expecting some wonderful visitors in the next few weeks. First, Rach will be visiting us for a weekend. Following her stay Amy, Brad and the little misters will be visiting us for a few days while they attend Brad's family reunion. However, we get to steal them away for a day and go to the zoo! The zoo! James is so excited he can hardly stand it and wishes he was already here!

So, we are getting things ready for their stay. We still have a few things to do (to keep Jack-Jack from getting into EVERYTHING! ...little stinker!), but I am enjoying the process of getting it all together. Why? Because it's like riding the rainbow to that pot of gold. The rainbow, in this case, is organizing and putting things away, oh, and baby-proofing...but the pot of gold...spending quality time with our loved ones. Nothing is better than that.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Muppet Man, and his sister

Last night we Google-chatted with Craig, Angie, Lucas and Darci. They are so much fun to watch! Lucas still tells us stories about things, but not as much as he used to. Instead he was occupied with sliding off the couch countless times. The other day he told Angie he was a Muppet, so I asked him if he was a Muppet  and he said, "I'm a Muppet Man!" He is adorable. :) Darci couldn't stop blowing kisses, and loves any sighting of our cat, Missy. She squeals with delight upon seeing her. (she is excited to see us as well, but let's be honest, kitty's are way more impressive!)

It was fun catching up with them, hearing about how things are going, and seeing their excitement over Craig's new job. We are looking forward to visiting with them in May when I go out for my roomie reunion; which will entail lunch, but still... it will be fun!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sigh of Relief

Today I gave my talk. My spirit felt a huge sigh of relief. I am grateful. :)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Unexpected, wonderful phone calls

Last night we received two unexpected phone calls. The first was from Rylee and Sadie (and I think Chloe was in there somewhere). It was so fun to talk to them for a few minutes! I love our girls so much! Rylee told me about her being sick (I hope she feels better soon), and that she's going to be in a school play. Sadie told me that she heard the baby's heart beat, and that she had a visit from the tooth fairy! So exciting! A few hours later James called to talk to Papa. He wanted to talk about playing with the new Mickey Mouse pirate ship we bought, and that he's going to wear his "Jones" hat when he comes to visit (that's Indiana Jones since we are going to the zoo!) Thanks for the unexpected phone calls...they made our night!

Friday, March 8, 2013

General Conference talks

As I mentioned the other day Rach shared her talk on Faith with me, since I am speaking on the same subject this Sunday. One of the stories she shared in her talk I will be sharing in mine - Elder Holland's talk back in 1999 when he told of his family leaving for graduate school and their car breaking down, not just once, but twice. Then, 30 years later he drove by that exact spot, and he couldn't help calling out to his old self saying, "Don't give up boy. Don't you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead - a lot of it - 30 years of it now, and still counting. Keep your chin up. It will be alright in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come."

Rachel sending her talk and some other GC talks to us, and Amy, prompted Amy to ask me to share with her some of my favorite Conference talks. I did that just a few minutes ago. While I didn't take the time to read the four that I sent, I read a little from several of them. They made me smile...inside and out. Even with just that brief interaction with those words, the counsel received from the Lord's servants, it brought joy to my heart and my soul.

General Conference will soon be upon us. I am so looking forward to soaking all that they have to say up, and then reading their words and striving to apply them to my life. They lead the way, they light the way, for us to become closer to our Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ. How could I not be grateful?

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Today one of my goals was to go through the box of magazines in Rachel's room and dispose of some of them, or to figure out which ones were worth keeping. It took me awhile, but I am just about done. You wouldn't think it'd be that difficult, but they are 'Better Homes and Gardens', and 'Family Circle', with a few others mixed in. Since I obviously paid for them I figured I should at least figure out which ones I really wanted to keep...turns out, not many! I doubt I will be ordering them again. I don't know why I thought I'd enjoy having them so much. Oh well. I am grateful I can dispose of them and get rid of clutter!

(Kind of funny that I chose the 'get organized' issue! Didn't even really realize it until after I saw it on here!)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Right this very minute our new generator is being delivered! Yay! I'm so grateful that we have a generator now...we've talked about getting one for years. Goal achieved. :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


The past few weeks I've been flirting with having a full fledged cold. It comes just enough for me to feel tired, sniffly, headachy, and sore throaty. I guess it beats getting really sick like so many others have. Today was another one of those days. I just didn't feel well. At one point in time I actually laid down to take a nap. Suddenly I just could not be in this house for another second. So I escaped. I ran a few errands, brought home my purchases, and then escaped again. Before long I found myself at In and Out ordering a hamburger, then driving through the countryside enjoying the almond blossoms. That was my great escape! I may not have felt better physically but I sure did otherwise! I'm so grateful that I could escape today!

Monday, March 4, 2013


Today Pat had a follow-up appointment regarding the health issues he experienced last August. So far everything looks good. Needless to say, I am very, very grateful.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Our Children

Honestly, I don't recall if I've written a post about our children specifically in the past before. I am doing so now. Why? Because I love them...each and every one of them. But this is what made me think of them -

Next week I am speaking in church. As I talked with Rach this morning she said she would share her talk that she gave a week ago, on pretty much the same subject...Faith. Her talk was amazing. I wish I had been there to hear it!

I've been working on my talk a little this week. One night I worked on it a great deal. Throughout my talk I thought of events that helped me to be who I am today. Many of those events involved one or more of my kids. That might sound like I'm boasting about who I am. Actually, I'm not. But, as I've written, each of their faces, and their love, has come to my mind and into my heart. I am grateful for the important part each of them has played in my life. They are awesome.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Water storage and a hose/pump

Several years ago a good friend of ours moved to Boise. When she moved she sold us three 50 gallon water drums. Since that time we've started purchasing Shelf Reliance food storage. Recently we were at our friend's home that got us started in Shelf Reliance; she had purchased a pump but realized it wouldn't work on their water drum (200 gallon). So, we bought it from her. Today Pat is recycling our water storage and was happy about how great the hose/pump worked. I am grateful that we have water storage, it simply gives me peace of mind.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Baking mats

Our ward is having their annual scout fund raiser tonight. Along with selling pulled pork sandwiches they are having a bake sale. I volunteered to make something for the bake sale. I decided to make Chocolate Chip, M&M Cookies. Back in December I noticed that Costco had baking mats on sale. I've been wanting some for awhile now, I just didn't like the price. So, when I saw them at Costco I snatched them up! Whenever I use them (like today) I find that I continue to be grateful for them. They work wonderfully and much better than foil, or even parchment paper. Such a great buy!