Tuesday, April 30, 2013


As I mentioned, we are leaving on a trip. At first the plan was to just make dinners available for my mom that she could pop in the microwave. After talking to a friend about it, she is now going to bring dinner nightly for my mom, and Sunday dinner for our return home! Our neighbor has offered to look in on my mom, leave their phone number with her in case she needs anything, that sort of thing. Then my VT called today and offered to help out in any way.

I am so grateful for the helpers in my life...that willingly, and lovingly, give service to our family, sure makes going away much easier. They are wonderful.

Monday, April 29, 2013


Yesterday I came home from church early. My knee was in pain and I figured I needed to rest it since we are going on a trip soon. We were also having our home teacher over fairly early so we were having an early dinner. After resting for awhile it was time to make dinner, which was (thankfully) pretty easy. In the meantime Pat had come home. We were sitting together on the love seat when the rice cooker dinged. My legs were folded sideways and when I went to straighten my right leg my knee would NOT bend! Not fun. It was quite apparent that I would not be able to serve our dinner. Thank goodness for my sweet husband, seriously. A few hours later, after icing my knee I was able to limp around, with the help of a cane. Today I rested my knee all day and it is much better...I am very grateful.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Silly cat!

I mentioned yesterday that Pat worked at Mormon Helping Hands. Well, as a result he is quite sore. We both had places to go this morning. Before we left I suggested that I use our hand held back massager to help ease his aching muscles. As I was using it our cat, Missy, decided that she too needed a massage! Suddenly she was rubbing against the massager, purring like crazy. I was sure it would hurt her, if not rattle her brains! It didn't seem to matter...she enjoyed it for a few minutes. I'm grateful for our cat's entertaining silly-ness!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Mormon Helping Hands

Today is Mormon Helping Hands day in California. I'm not sure where else it is, but it is here! This morning I went to a friend's garage sale in Ripon and noticed as I was driving some MHH vests and people working out in the country cleaning up weeds and such. Pat is over right now working on our ward's project - painting the fire station inside. :)

I'm grateful for so many who are able and willing to give of their time, and energy, to assist others in order to make California a better place to live. I am grateful to belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints...really, really grateful.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Train tracks

In Manteca we have trains that go through town, unfortunately. Rach and I even have a standing joke about it. If I'm stuck behind the train tracks due to a train I'll text her. She gets a kick out of it...since she can relate to this unfortunate circumstance. Recently they have been closing an area of road weekly in order to make driving over the train tracks smooth. So far so good! It's nice to drive over a smooth surface instead of a bumpy one - and I am grateful for it! Too bad we still have to wait for trains!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Respectful remembrance

As I mentioned several days ago, a friend of ours from Ripon Ward passed away last Friday. We were able to attend her memorial service today. I'm kind of glad they didn't call it a 'funeral'. While that may have been what it was, I like the term 'memorial service' much better. It's a personal preference, seems a bit more positive to me.

One of the things I 'enjoy' about these type of events is the fact that we get to see people that we have known and loved for years. Craig and Rachel's fifth grade teacher was there, and of course, loved hearing about all of our kids. Former members of the ward that had moved away or that have become less active were there, to show their love and respect for Lori and her family. Three of the four former bishops were in attendance. The current bishop commented on how great it was to have Pat there as one of the former bishops. Then there were the people that we remain friends with to this day and see from time to time. Still, I love to see their faces, get their hugs, express our love. That is the best things about funerals/memorial services.

Also, it was wonderful to have Don, Lori's husband, tell of Lori's life, their children's memories, and her personality. We were able to hear loving words from Karen Ippolito; the Plan of Salvation from Mike Johnson, parting words from Bishop Brown. Rebecca Welsh was able to sing a beautiful solo; she has MS and it was a struggle for her to get to the stand and podium, but she did a beautiful job.

I am grateful for all of the above. Mostly I am grateful for the great plan of happiness that has been provided for us. There is nothing more important in this life, or the next.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Years ago, when my mom lived with us, my friend Janet volunteered to come over and give her a pedicure sometime. I had never taken her up on it, and then my mom moved away. At this point in time my mom can't get around much. She is basically a shutin. (spelled 'shut' wrong at first...that wasn't good! oops.) As a result I had planned on taking my mom out to get a pedicure. She hasn't had one since December. I have been asking her about it and she would just say 'not yet'. Finally, last week I told her we were going to go and get one this week. She agreed.

Then I remembered this tidbit of information, that Janet had volunteered ten years ago to give us that service. So, I contacted her and she agreed to come this morning and give my mom a pedicure. It was great since my mom could lie in her bed as Janet took care of her toes and feet. After Janet was through it was time for my mom to take a nap. That was a few hours ago, and she is still napping.

I am so grateful for a friend like Janet that would come and serve my mom so willingly. My mom had tried to pay her, and Janet wouldn't allow her to. What a sweetheart...what a friend.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Last week was interesting for me. Two women I knew pretty well passed away. The first, my friend's mom; the second, my friend. They were both unexpected, and on some level welcome. My friend's mom, as I expressed last week, would be reunited with her sweetheart. My friend was leaving hers behind, for a time. The first had lived a long, full, happy life. The second had lived thirty years less (at least), nevertheless, her life was full, and happy. They were each relieved of the pain they had been in, which is the welcome part of their deaths. This has given me cause to ponder on the importance of this life, and to evaluate where I am on this road. My life-road is in decent condition, but there are several repairs I need to make so that it will be smoother and less bumpy. While the repairs aren't major, they still need to be made. I'm grateful for the perspectives we can gain from these types of experiences.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Water bottles

Pat and I both make an attempt to drink eight glasses of water daily. Somedays we succeed, some we don't. I have found that if I use a water bottle, that I fill daily, my success improves substantially. As a result I've gotten in the habit of filling my water bottle first thing in the morning. I'm grateful for the difference these water bottles make. Staying hydrated is essential to good health - and that is what we are working toward - so that we can be healthy as we continue to age. Hopefully it works for us!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Unexpected blessings

A good friend of ours passed away Friday night. She had been diagnosed with cancer last fall. At that time she had undergone surgery where they removed the tumor from her liver, they had removed it all. If I remember correctly it was six to eight inches in length.

Lori had been recovering well. In fact I was able to see and talk to her at the end of January at our Stake RS activity. She looked tired but said she was doing great. Then, on Saturday, the 13th, I received a caring bridge email from Don, her husband, who gave a rundown of the last four months. At first I thought it odd that a message was coming through that source, since it's usually used for people that have serious illnesses. As I read about the wonderful times they spent with their family I was happy that all was well. Then the news came that the cancer had returned with a vengeance - not only to her liver but also her lungs.

From the sounds of it she was given four months. But with cancer who ever knows? Friday night she passed away while sleeping comfortably at home, with her husband, sleeping in a chair nearby. We heard about Lori's passing yesterday afternoon. I was grateful that Pat had been assigned to speak in their ward today.

Don came in with two of their children, sitting right behind me. Don had served as one of Pat's counselors when Pat was bishop. How fitting that we should be in attendance today. Don mentioned to Pat that he was certain it was not a coincidence that Pat was there today. How grateful I am for the simple, seemingly meaningless blessings we are given, just when we need them the most. While it may seem a simple thing to some, we know that the Lord is in charge...especially when you realize the speaking schedule was arranged months ago.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Happy 29th Amers!

As a mom it's hard to believe when your kid's reach certain ages. Wasn't I just holding them as a newborn? Where, oh where, did the time go? It went by so fast, I can't even tell you how fast it went. Now, here we are, in middle age living as empty nesters (minus my mom). We knew it would happen, that we would eventually end up here, we even hoped for it; now that it's here on many levels I wish it wasn't. I miss my little family.

However, since this is a happy occasion, I will focus on a certain Mrs' birthday - namely, Amy's. It's funny how I can see certain traits and characteristics of hers in her children, even in some of my other grandchildren that aren't 'hers'! These are some of the things that I love about Amy -

1) her smile - it's contagious
2) her naivety - just plain cute, and kinda reminds me of my mom sometimes =D
3) her love of life - she has always loved living. It's always made me think of the premortal existence; I'm certain when we were choosing who we would follow/which plan, she was raising her hand enthusiastically for the one that the Savior stood for, I think she still is, in her own excitable way.
4) her love of animals and nature
5) her love of history, and family history
6) her desire to bring our family closer as a sister and daughter, and to be a great mom and wife
7) her love of Rach - soul sisters for sure
and 8) her love for Pat and I

I'm grateful for this 'little girl' of ours - that use to pirouette around in front of the mirror! 
Happy Birthday Amy! I'm so glad you are twenty-nine! Right where you belong! :)
Enjoy your day at the beach!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Good fortune

Today as I was switching out my purse I found the fortunes we received last week when we got our Chinese food. For some reason I'm a sucker for Chinese fortunes, but have noticed that some are pretty lame. Restaurants should realize that some of us go back to their place not only because their food is good but also because of the fortunes. That being said I really liked the fortunes we got last week, so, for fun I thought I'd share them. #1 - "a pleasant surprise is in store for you soon", #2 - "you shall soon make a long, overdue personal decision", and #3 - "a new relationship is about to blossom. You will be blessed." Fun, right? Now, I know they don't mean anything, but I'm grateful for the teensy bit of hope they give. So fun!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Less wind!

It's been so windy lately here that it reminds me of Idaho! While I love Idaho I do not love the crazy winds there! In attempting to have a positive attitude all I could think was how much I'd love these winds on a scorching hot summer day here bringing the Delta breezes! I can almost feel the relief and gratitude they would bring. That's something to look forward to!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Amy and I were talking about the Boston Marathon bombing yesterday. I told her that I'm not paying much attention to that news because I'm so tired of the crap that people are doing to others...I just can't watch it anymore. What little I have heard is of the goodness of others, those who run to save other's lives. That, to me, is the only good that comes out of such events as these. Well, that, and the inspiration those people give to others to do good in the world. I'm grateful for that light that shines in the midst of the darkness that others attempt to bring to the world. I'm grateful that there is so much more good in life than bad...makes it all worthwhile.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


One of the sisters that Pat hometeaches has been a widow tor a few years now. When we met her a number of years ago her husband was still living but suffering from Alzheimer's. He didn't talk to us much which was understandable. She has been in poor health for awhile, with unexplained dizziness and other issues. The last few times he called to go and visit she wouldn't allow him to come since she wasn't feeling well. Last week she was admitted to the hospital, then to a care/recovery facility. She is in her nineties so it's not surprising that her health is failing. Pat had wanted to give her a blessing but she wanted her son to. He finally arrived today so Pat is over there now assisting him. I'm grateful for a faithful husband and worthy Priesthood holder that is always willing to serve in this capacity. I'm pretty lucky.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sweet reunions

One of my best friends from high school posted on facebook tonight that her mom passed away last night. Her dad passed away several years ago, so I can imagine their sweet reunion. Her parents meant a great deal to me, always kind and accepting of me, regardless of my teenage ways! I am grateful for their influence in my life. Strange as it may seem, I look forward to my parents having their own sweet reunion someday, they deserve it.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


There are many types of strengths to achieve in life. There is strength of character, physical strength, moral strength, and the strength to endure, to name a few. Yesterday I suddenly became physically weak, quite unexpectedly. I was fine, Pat and I had run several errands, sure I felt a little tired, then after we came home and he went out to finish up some things he wanted to do I suddenly started shaking and felt cold. I felt completely drained. I went to bed and fell asleep for an hour! An hour!! I rarely take naps. That was when I knew that I was sick. With this illness still in full swing today I stayed home from church. Having lost my strength so suddenly yesterday , and continuing to be weak still today, truly makes me grateful for the strength I usually have.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Ghiradelli outlet sales

We are fortunate enough to live near a Ghiradelli outlet, as I've mentioned before. On Wednesday "Our Best Bites" had a printable wrap for friends to use on the large chocolate bars. I thought it would be fun to pick up five chocolate bars ($10) and take some to friends. While at the Ghiradelli store I did some browsing, and happened upon their milk chocolate chips @ 6/$10! We always keep chocolate chips on hand, it's just the smart thing to do. ;) Then I started gathering the chocolate bars - once I had them I noticed a basket beside them with a package of assorted chocolate bars - 14/$14!!! Incredible! Now I can give many friends yummy chocolate bars! I'm grateful to be blessed to give even more! Pretty sure they'll be grateful too.

Friday, April 12, 2013


Today I went to Costco for the sole purpose of picking up some flowers. Originally I had my mind set on tulips, but then I saw some beautiful blue hydrangeas. Sold! I'm grateful for the beautiful flowers that we have access to at this time of year.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Recently I entered a contest on FB to win a purse. Of course  I didn't win...never do! Today I received an email from that company, and found myself to be quite happy when I found their 'one click unsubscribe' button. For some reason, that brings me joy. It's like decluttering without making a huge mess. I sort of wish I could do that with all the mail we receive. Wouldn't that be great? I can't tell you how many hours I've spent shredding and tossing unwanted (and unsubscribed to) mail! At any rate, I am grateful for those who make it easy for me to take myself off of their e-mailing lists...it just simplifies life, and there's nothing bad about that!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Family History

A few days ago I decided it would be fun to make a list of girl names from our family history. Let me tell you, it took several hours to get them all down! Why would I go through all that effort? We are expecting our ninth grandchild in July; and Sam and Linzi have so far produced girls! Plus, they have their boy name all picked out, and have for a while. I just thought it'd be fun to give them a little help! ;)

What I decided to do was to go along each line on family tree. Wow! That turned out to be quite the enlightening experience. We thought Pat's family on the Godfrey side only went back to the 1400's. Apparently more work and connecting has been done and on one line we went back to 36 BC. We are assuming this information is correct, but we aren't positive. However, it was fun to see the famous, or even infamous, relatives that we have: William the Conqueror, Constantine, Kings of Norway and Sweden (huh? on the Dell side?), and Roman Emperors! After we found all of that in his line I told him he is a mutt, but he insists he's European! It's exciting to have a line on his side that goes back a l-o-n-g ways!

On my side we found that I am related to Lady Godiva on the Breed side. Somehow, that doesn't surprise me!

The funny thing is I contacted Linzi to give her the names, and she said on Monday they'd been looking at our family history for names...and that she thought Hepzibah Agnes would be a perfect name! ;)

Then, since Amy is such a history buff I gave her a rundown on the info we figured out. She said she's been thinking more and more about doing family history. Same with Rach. I contacted her because she loves a certain girl's name and hopes, when she has a family, to use that name for a daughter. She had the same reaction...been thinking about family history.

Funny how the spirit works when it comes to family history - it seems the time has come for us to get things more in order! :)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tempura asparagus

We had planned on going out for dinner last Friday but Pat wasn't feeling well so we didn't go. The plan was to get Chinese food at Dave Wong's, our favorite Chinese restaurant. Since asparagus season is nearly over I felt a sense of urgency that we go, but hadn't actually expressed that to Pat. So, last night we decided to go, as we looked over the menu he commented that they had the tempura asparagus ...how could he not realize that was the main purpose we were getting Chinese food? Does he not know me? Finally he exclaimed, "That's why you wanted to come!" Um, yes!! Once our food arrived I am pretty sure that he was more excited than me to have the asparagus!! In fact he's still talking about the asparagus pizza from last week! He isn't a great lover of food, so that is saying a lot! The food was divine. I can hardly wait for next year! ;)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Video cameras

Last night Pat was downloading all the videos he has taken of grandkids in the past few months. SO fun! He had me come in and watch as Jack-Jack was learning how to play patty-cake with me. Then he showed me a video of Darci where she was jumping on the twin bed in the study and was super excited and had this adorable deep laugh! We couldn't help but to laugh at each of them. Funny how something like that can bring you so much joy. We will definitely be getting more videos when we visit Utah in a few weeks, and then when we go to Idaho for the baby's blessing. We are looking forward to that! (I think we will have to squeeze a trip in to Oregon and visit those guys too!)

I am grateful for our video camera, and the joy that it brings to us, as well as our grandchildren and their silly, sweet, amazing antics. They have each captured my heart.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Minor miracle.

Every once in a while I notice a minor miracle in my/our life. Today we had one of those. As I mentioned yesterday we are in General Conference mode around here. Unfortunately, the ability to watch Conference is dependent upon our cable/internet working. This morning it was not. It seemed to be teasing us for a while, though. At first it wasn't working at all. Then when Conference began it started working. THEN - it stopped, only to begin again when President Uchtdorf was beginning his talk, and lasted all the way until we saw the painting he was referring to in his office. Then it was gone.


I finally decided to call Comcast, again. This time I was able to speak with someone. She told me that all of Manteca was out, a major outage. Yikes. She also said that it would be out until 4:17 pm. She was just that accurate. As I was about to hang up Conference was on again - with Elder Andersen speaking for a few more minutes. Hooray!

I have no idea what or how it happened, but I do know that my prayer was answered. I am grateful to have heard the words of wisdom from the Lord's servants - and for our minor miracle.

PS - Later our internet kept acting up. We just chalked it up to be the whole Comcast thing. But the TV was working, so I figured there must be more to it - I totally fixed it by rebooting our modem. I'm so proud of me! :)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

That time of year!

We began our morning watching The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint's semi-annual General Conference. We were able to hear wonderful words of inspiration, beautiful music and heart-felt prayers. How I love, and am grateful for, this opportunity twice a year to hear from the Lord's servants, and to have the witness of the Holy Ghost testify to me of the truthfulness of their words, and the ways I need to improve.

I wish everyone would partake. What a wonderful world we would live in if they did, and how much happier of a people we would all be.

Friday, April 5, 2013

VT Reporters!

April is a reporting month for visiting teachers - church wide. That means that we really need those reports by a certain time, usually the 5th or 6th of the month, so the Stake leaders can turn in their report. I am in the midst of attaining the reports for our ward. I am so grateful to, 1) those who report their VT to their supervisors, and 2) those supervisors that report to me. I am all about getting things done in a timely manner, so, thank you to all of you who report! I sincerely appreciate it.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Tonight we are having one of our friends who is a contractor come over to give us an idea of whether or not we can add on a bathroom to our study. My mom seriously wants her own private bathroom adjacent to her bedroom, and I can't say I blame her (which means she would take over our study, of course). So...if we do end up doing this our home will be topsy-turvy for a while. I am grateful that we are in a position to look into this possible change to our home. It'll be great for my mom if it works out, and in the future for anyone who visits.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sticks and stones

A month or so ago Pat chopped down our nectarine tree (the fruit doesn't last long, and you can't really do anything with it). When he chopped it down I requested that he leave some twigs /sticks for the grandkids to play with, which he did! We also have A LOT of rocks around the yard...which they also enjoy! This morning before Amy, Brad and the Misters left we went out back to get some pictures. When the boys weren't playing with the sticks and stones Papa was showing them ladybugs -which they loved! I am grateful that we have all the sticks and stones a little boy could possibly want!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Asparagus Pizza!

Asparagus season is here, which means that it's time for our annual asparagus pizza! We had planned on having it when Rach was home, but there just wasn't time. Let me tell you, this pizza is amazing! The sauce is hollandaise, and is topped with mozzarella, Canadian bacon, asparagus, and sliced Roma tomatoes! I am grateful we are having asparagus pizza for dinner tonight. As far as I can tell it's one of the few wonderful things to come out of Stockton. ;)


We were a little late in giving the little misters their Easter gifts. (as I am in writing this post... oh well!)We did simple things like a coloring book, a chocolate bunny, squirt guns, a ball, and little packs of cookies. They all liked their gifts, but James was pretty excited to have his own cookies...to the extent of hiding them under our bed at one point. When they came back from their other grandparents home they hadn't had dinner yet (7pm). I didn't realize that James hadn't eaten so I asked him if he wanted a piece of pie. He was excited to have "chocolate" pie. However, we had peach pie. When I explained that to him he was crushed! So, I began throwing other suggestions at him...like cookies! He quickly recovered and said he could have his "little cookies"! (Which were still under our bed.) We went to my room to retrieve them, happily, I might add. He then ate his dinner, and then a few of his cookies. That was when he became generous and went around the room "sharing" with each of us. He was so sweet. I'm so grateful for his generous spirit that is already manifesting itself. What a sweetheart.