Friday, May 31, 2013


While there are many reasons to be thankful for jars, today I am thinking of just one. Basically, to contain things in. While I am at it, I might as well be specific. You may think I'm a little odd after this, but that's okay.

One of my great loves in life is the ocean, the beach, the sea. You name it, I pretty much love all things ocean. I don't know if that comes from my having grown up mostly in Southern California, or if it's the Swede in me. Whatever it is, I'll take it. Actually, I don't have a choice. I just love it.

For a few years now I've been contemplating an ocean theme in one of our rooms. While I'd love to make our great room into an ocean theme I just can't quite justify it, since we live 90 miles from the ocean now! What I have opted to do instead is to turn our bedroom into an ocean theme. Now, don't go thinking I am going crazy with this! That is so not me! No, I'm just adding a few things here and there (that we have around the house mostly) to make our ocean theme work. Believe me, I'm not going overboard (ha!).

One of the things I did about a year ago, and this is where you might think I am crazy, was paint seashells that we've collected various colors: blue, yellow, green, and purple. The reason I did that was because of something I saw on Pinterest. What I first thought were painted shells turned out to be cupcake liners in a jar. While I still thought it was a cute idea, I liked the shell idea even better. Here is what I saw on Pinterest:

Imagine my surprise when I figured out that they were cupcake liners! Silly me! Even so, I still decided I wanted to paint shells and put them in a jar. Unfortunately I didn't have a glass jar handy that would fit a few of my shells. Now I do. :) I have to say, it turned out pretty good too! I'm grateful for my new jar (like the one pictured above) that now contains my painted (and unpainted) shells.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

More family members!

Recently I told you about how I found Pat's great uncle on his dad's side while doing family history. Last night as I was researching a tad more, this time by using his great grandparents names, I discovered something we had no clue of...there were two other brothers! They had three sons besides Pat's grandpa! That really surprised me, and made me grateful for the ease of doing family research online.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pie crust

 Our cherries are all in, and Pat picked all of them... there was an abundance. (which we happily shared with many) Due to the Memorial Day holiday, and what I thought was going to be our BBQ dinner, I decided, on Sunday, that I would venture out of my comfort zone and make cherry pie - completely from scratch. (Pat ended up being sick, no BBQ for us) Baking from scratch is nothing new to me, however, I have never even considered making cherry pie filling for homemade pie! Once I got the idea into my head there was no getting rid of it; I was going to be making a cherry pie!

What is the next step following that type of decision? Research on the internet! The first recipe I came to was from Food Network, and it seemed pretty simple. The others all seemed to involve more work than I was willing to do, and sometimes even canned cherry pie filling. In this case, that would not work!

One of the suggestions it gave was, "use your favorite pie crust recipe." The only  recipe I could possibly even consider my 'favorite' was one that ends up with five pie crusts! I did not want that. So, I turned to my 'favorite' place for recipes: Our Best Bites. Sure enough, I found a great pie crust recipe. BUT, the best part was that they explain, step by step, how to make pie so that it is nice and flaky. Who doesn't love a flaky crust?

I've made a decent amount of pies in my 57 years, but none that compare with how well this pie turned out. Imagine how grateful I was when the crust turned out AMAZING, not to mention the fresh cherries were the best! (I'm not a great fan of cherries, so that's saying something!) Mu suggestion - if you have a desire to make any kind of pie, and want a really great pie crust, go to Our Best Bites, you will not be disappointed!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Family History Success!

Pat and I are piecing together his family history as we go along. This new Family Tree is, well, new, and a bit trying at times. However, I think I found his great uncle, but I'm not sure because some census takers either hear wrong, and spell what they hear, so it leaves much to be desired. However, on that note, I am pretty positive that there was only one Charles Addison (Anderson, according to the census taker) and Maggie Singleton who were married on the same date in Welland, Ontario, Canada!

Pat's grandpa died at a fairly young age, in his early thirties, I believe from emphysema, so we don't know much about his immediate family. We do know that he had a brother that lived in Buffalo, but we have no idea what his name is...until today, that is. We also know that Pat's grandma and dad were living with them when Pat's grandpa died and he basically kicked them out, with no place to go. So, not so very nice, but still he's family and we need to take care of his work. (hopefully he has repented of that action)

At any rate, the guy's name is Irven Wilbert Dell. Looks like he went by the name "Irve", interestingly enough. And, he and his wife didn't have children until their mid to late thirties. Also, it looks like he was a golf pro and owned a golf shop, back in the day (1940's)...who knew that golf would be that big of a thing back in those days, especially in Buffalo!

Also, their mother, Margaret Singleton (Maggie), was born in England, and we know when, but that's about all. However, now I have found multiple Maggie Singleton's that could fit her description in an England census...the problem is we would only be able to guess. She was an orphan, and her records were destroyed in a church fire. So...we'll just leave that one for another time, like the eternities...unless Maggie wanted to visit us and tell us what she now knows! BUT - that would just be scary, to me at least. (Oh, ye of little faith!)

I am grateful for the success I am having working on Pat's family history; especially since it belongs to our posterity, and I'd do just about anything for our kids, and grandkids.

Monday, May 27, 2013

In Memorium

Raising the Flag at Iwo Jima

Today is Memorial Day in our country. It is a day to remember those who gave their lives for us, or suffered on account of our freedom being jeopardized. It is also a day to remember loved ones who have passed on. On this day we honor them by remembering what service they have given to us and our country.

When I was in seventh grade one of my friends, whose mother had passed away, talked about Memorial Day and how their family always put flowers on her grave. For some reason that stuck with me. I knew that we had celebrated those who gave their lives for our freedom, but really didn't pay much attention to it. After all I was only twelve, what did I know? I'm certain my parents talked about it, but it just didn't sink in, until my friend talked about visiting her mom's grave. No, her mom hadn't served in the military; but she still deserved being remembered by those that love her.

One of the things I love about our city is that there are flags all over the city on the main streets. It's uplifting to drive down the road and view all those flags. That really hits home. I love our country, I am so grateful to be a citizen of our country. I am grateful for each and every person that made our freedom possible, all the way back to the Revolutionary War through the current war on terror.

Our dads both served in the military as young men. My dad joined the day before WWII ended (lying about his age, he was only 17). Pat's dad served in the Korean war. Neither of them were in harms way, thank goodness. Then, Pat's brother and nephew both served in the military. They sacrificed a great deal of time away from home on our behalf. I am grateful to all of them for the service they did give.

I am also grateful for the families of those who serve. Those families who lost time with their loved ones or lost their loved ones. What a sacrifice. It's not one I've ever been willing to make.

We all remember where we were and what we were doing when 911 happened. That was scary. We had no idea what was happening. Our country, the United States of America, was being attacked! That was difficult to comprehend. Then to hear about innocent people losing their lives, and the police and firefighters who willingly went in search to save the lives of others, only to lose their own. Heroes, each and every one of them, whether they were in a plane that they chose to crash land, or at the Pentagon helping others, or at the Twin Towers; all of them should be remembered this day.

When 911 happened I felt a need to gather a few things and save them for our posterity. We have two Newsweeks; one where they are raising the flag, and the other where the Twin Towers are a blazing inferno. Then I also went to the post office and purchased the 911 stamps (of those raising the flag). They have been sitting around for nearly twelve years and I finally decided to do something with them. I had them framed with the magazines flanking the stamps. It turned out quite nicely. One of these days I'll take a picture and post it on my blog...maybe on 911.

This has been a really long-winded post, only just to say how grateful I am for those who have served on behalf of our freedom, and those who currently are serving in this capacity. We are blessed.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Today is our city's Memorial Day celebration. It's a big deal here, and rightly so. Unfortunately it is always held on Sunday, which means we don't really get to participate. This year is different, at least for Pat. Our Stake hosts a booth every year...regarding family history. They have computers set up so that those who have served in the military can have research done. It's kind of cool when you consider that those volunteers working at our booth are assisting those who volunteered to serve our country. I'm so grateful that Pat is able to be one of those volunteers and, knowing him, will be able to express his gratitude to them for their service to our country.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Back roads

We went shopping in Livermore this morning at their outlets. We left home at 9 since they open at 10, wanting to beat the rush...which we did. Success!

Then, on the way home there was a two lane, 5 car crash, in the Altamont, which meant that things were really slow going. So, we opted to get off the freeway and drive around the back way to get home. It worked! Pat insisted that he'd never been that route before, but he had, I know because I was with him at the time. :) We both enjoyed the country drive, where there were a good number of cattle, and vineyards to see. The stress was diminished substantially, and I'm pretty sure it was quicker for us to go that route.

I am grateful for a) my smart phone with the map on it so that we could b) take the back roads and get off the dreaded traffic-crowded freeway!

Friday, May 24, 2013


This morning I ventured out looking for garage sales in our area. Turns out most of them are tomorrow. Oh well. However, I did come across one that was just two houses down from Brad's house that he grew up in. That felt a little strange!

The main reason I am going to garage sales is NOT to buy junk. Nope! I'm looking for more books for my mom to read, since that is mainly what she does. AND I don't want to pay high prices for said books, because why would I?

So, I went to the yard sale, and they had a ton of stuff. It was somewhat organized but I did have to do some digging. At any rate, I found a few books for her, and then some for our grandkids to enjoy when they visit. (because they ALL love books!) (like they visit often, but one can hope, right?) All together I chose somewhere around 8 - 10 books, I don't remember exactly. I went up to the lady and inquired, "How much for these books?" She looked at them, counted them and said, "$10!"

I must have looked surprised, because I certainly was! Usually at a garage sale I will pay up to 50 cents a book. No more. She must have been shocked when the first thing that came out of my mouth, was - "Nope! I'm not paying that much!" Then she said, "How much would you pay?" I replied, "$4.00!" Then she met me with a counter offer - how about $5? I said sure, and then added that I had seen a few other things that I wanted, which she said would be $1.50 each. (there were three of them) I told her I had $9.00 in ones, that I would give her that. She happily accepted it and off I went.

I am grateful that we can barter at places like garage sales, and pay a fair price for things. I'm also grateful for shows that I love watching on TV like, "Market Warriors" and "Flea Market Flip", where they basically teach you how to barter and get good deals. And if you know anything about me, you know that I love a good deal!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Used book store

We have a used book store in town that I've had an account with for years. I've "given" many books to them, and purchased many as well. I have several favorite authors - mainly mysteries - that I enjoy reading. Turns out I've read all of their books and now am in search of new authors to add to my list! Only, I don't want to spend a lot of money on new books only to discover that I don't like their writing, or that it's (or should be) rated "R". This afternoon I ventured over there (after perusing amazon for ideas) and found three books to read, all for a mere $6.00!! I'm grateful for used book stores, especially the one we have in town...just because it's close by. :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Love and support

Yesterday was a bit difficult for me. I won't go into what happened - that's not important. Gratefully, Rach called having no clue that I had been having a bad day, and shared some sweet feelings regarding Pat and I being her parents.

So, here's the deal...I talk to Heavenly Father all the time. He knew just what I was going through. He knew that I needed to feel that love and admiration at that time. I can't express how grateful I am or how humbled I am to know that not only my daughter loves me, but that Heavenly Father does too.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Easy peasy

We have several savings accounts. One of them we had to have for our former equity loan, another is attached to Rachel's checking account, and another is simply ours. I've been wanting to close the equity loan one, since we paid that off a few months ago. I also felt that Rach should have just her money in her savings account. Naturally we wanted to keep our regular savings account - the one that is not connected to our ATM card. (Did you know that if your ATM card is linked to your savings that if someone were to use your card and withdraw your savings there is no recourse to get your money back? So not cool.) This morning I decided to close the one account, so I gave our bank a call and before hanging up it was taken care of, in just a matter of minutes! Yay! I'm so grateful that it was so easy to take care of. I love it when that happens!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Good news!

Linzi called today to say the baby's head is now facing down. I'm so grateful for answered prayers. Now we're just praying that he (yes, I am referring to the baby as "he", just because I can) stays that way. No more gymnastics for you, kiddo!!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Happiest of birthdays Angie!!!

Happy 24th Angie!

We are grateful to have Angie in our family. She has been so good for Craig! She inspired him to go back to school and get his degree, and supported him the entire time. I know I used this on Friday about Sister Monson, but the saying really is true that behind 'every good man, there is a good woman.' Angie is Craig's good woman. :)

Angie is a wonderful wife, mom, daughter, sister, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, aunt, and friend. She is always willing to go the extra mile, and often does.
Things I love about Angie:
She is compassionate.
She is giving.
She loves her family (and ours).
She is a hard worker.
She makes us feel welcome.
She loves the gospel of Jesus Christ and is dedicated to living the gospel principles.
She has a good sense of humor.
But mostly, what I love about Angie is that she loves Craig, Lucas and Darci with all her heart. And that she does a wonderful job taking care of them.

We love you Angie! Happy Birthday!!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

United prayer

On Sunday a friend of ours commented in RS that one of the things she loves about facebook is how it connects you with family. She then told about how their extended family has heard about her health issues, and the many messages about how they are praying for her and putting her name on various temple rolls. She was comforted in knowing that she was being prayed for by hundreds of people. I'm not going to lie, I was a little jealous that she has extended family that are active in the church. Unfortunately we don't have that blessing in our lives. What we do have, for which I am very grateful for, is our family that is active, close, and truly care about each other. The reason I bring this up is that Sam and Linzi's baby is transverse, which means that he/she is laying sideways. Linzi texted us last night, asking for our prayers. I'm grateful that she knows that she can count on all of us to do that for them. I am praying that all goes well and baby Dell decides that tumbling is fun, and adjust him/herself accordingly.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Frances Monson

"Behind every good man, is a good woman."

Our Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson knows that quote to be true from very personal experience. This morning he lost the love of his life, for a time. How grateful I am to her, and to the other prophet's wives, who have stood by their side, and often behind them, giving their support, encouragement, and love along the way. Frances Monson was a wonderful example to us of how we should be: faithful, loyal, loving, etc., to all of their family members. She was also Swedish, which endears her to me even more. She was never in the spotlight, and she seemed to be happy where she was.

Thank you, Sister Monson, for all that you did, all that you were, and all that you are. We love and appreciate you.

An article from Deseret News:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The nature of blessings

This morning I woke up early with a thought about blessings which was prompted by an experience I had years ago. When our children were living in Utah and Idaho I had a thought that stuck with me, and remains with me today whenever I am 'tempted' to do something I shouldn't. (by tempted I mean that the thought comes into my mind, not that I am going to act upon it) We were driving through Nevada frequently. If you know anything about Nevada you know that it is legal to gamble there; pretty much in any fashion. You discover, on a drive through that state, that slot machines are pretty much everywhere. Everywhere. For example if you go into a gas station, they are there. Sometimes those "in your face" temptations put thoughts into your head, like, "it's not a big deal to might even win some money to help your kids out, or your mom, or even pay down your mortgage", etc, etc.

I can say that I did not succumb, though I was tempted. The thought that came to me at that time was kind of interesting considering it was the thought of more money that was driving this temptation. The thought was, "What blessings would you be robbing yourself of if you were to gamble, and even to win?" Robbing. Hmm. Now, I know that I am a reasonably intelligent person, but can honestly say that I am not that intelligent. That  thought came directly from the Spirit, to help me, and others in my life, to not succumb to temptations. It continues to work to help me.

Now, onto the thought I had this morning. What if blessings were measured in monetary value? What if when we did something right we received money. Say we chose to be kind to someone when we were tempted not to, and by doing so money magically appeared in our checking account? Or we decided not to smoke, drink or do drugs; and then money was deposited into our account. Supposing it went something like this:

Obeyed word of wisdom when choice was put there not to: +$1,000
Paid tithing, even though it was a hardship: +$2000
Served in calling; did home or visiting teaching for month: +$2,000
Served in temple (baptism, initiatories, sealing, endowment, or as temple worker): +$5,000
Played with children: +$5,000

Can you hear the cha-ching? I can! Well, you get the idea. I wonder how many people in the world would choose to do the right then?

Then, on the flip side, I thought, what if we chose not to do the right and money was deducted from our checking account? This is what that might look like:

Told a lie: -$1000 - 10,000 (depending on severity)
Disobeyed word of wisdom, and got someone else to: -$10,000
Gambled: - $5,000
Yelled at a family member: -$15,000

Again, you get the idea. I'm just kind of throwing out numbers, but think of the things that you do in your life. Are you robbing yourself of any of the blessings that you want you or your family to have? We lose so much when we choose to do the wrong, that is why I evaluated the monetary part high on those choices.

Anyway, that is the thought I had this morning that I thought I would share with the few of you that read my blog. I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me throughout the years. I truly am grateful for the blessings I have in my life. Some of them are monetary, for which I am grateful; but the blessings that are eternal, those are priceless.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Happy 32nd Brad!

Happy 32nd Birthday Brad-ly! aka B-Austin!

Brad joined our family nearly nine years ago, officially. He actually became a member of our family almost a full year before that! Once he saw Amy he was smitten - heart and soul. When they began dating he became a permanent fixture around our house. He was here when he wasn't sleeping or working; and sometimes he was even here when he was sleeping! We actually started setting a place at dinner for him nearly every night! Yep, he joined our family long before they were married!

I am grateful for Brad, for the man that he is, and the man that he is striving to become. I know his heart is in the right place. I know he does his best to provide for his family, and to teach those little boys, the mister's (or rascals, however you want to perceive them) what is right, and what is good, and what is honorable. He loves them and treats them accordingly.

I am grateful that he loves our Amers; that he is good for her, and they are happy together. That means the world to me. There is something different about trusting your daughter to a son-in-law than there is in trusting your son to a daughter-in-law. Not that you don't care deeply about both, but letting go of your little girl, who needs to be cared for and loved differently than your son does, is hard. You want the best for all of your children, for them to be happy; and you need to trust that their spouses will be that person that helps bring them the happiness they are deserving of.

So, yes, I am grateful that Brad is that person for Amy. He takes care of her and gives her the love and support that she needs. They are good for one another, and that makes me happy.

Happy Birthday Brad! We truly are grateful to have you as part of our eternal family. :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cool mornings

We are in that summer phase, where going out in the afternoons is not fun. It's just too hot! We are also now, well, I am, in the phase of getting up earlier than usual so that I can get things done before it gets too hot out. I'm okay with that. I actually like getting up early...just not too early! I prefer that to sleeping in, it's just how I roll.

This morning I was able to get up and exercise, get ready for the day, and then run errands. I'm not going to say it was cool out, since I had the AC on when I was driving home from Costco at 10:30ish. By then it was already in the mid to upper 70's.

While I am not looking forward to the ridiculously hot summer we are bound to have, I am grateful that I can get up early and get moving on my day, and get all my chores done before it's too hot. That is a plus.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy 32nd Craigers!

Happy Birthday to our Craigers!

One of the first things that comes to mind when I remember Craig as a child were his dimples. They were as deep then as they are now! I thought it fitting since he was named partly after his dad, which is who he got those dimples from. (certainly not me!)

As a child Craig was known for his creativity. He could sit for hours playing with his action figures and legos. He loved books and could get lost in them for hours. He learned to speak at a rather young age. His first sentence, when he was just over a year old was, "I'm hungry, I want a cookie!" Pat and I just looked at each other and said, "Did you hear that?" He loved dressing up as Superman or Batman, and he and Sam would play Superheroes together. Later, he loved playing dress up with the girls; they loved it too. :)

Some things I love about Craig -
* He has a great sense of humor.
* He loves his family; ours, but especially his own.
* He has a desire to be close to his siblings.
* He loves the gospel of Jesus Christ, and along with Angie, is raising their children in the gospel.
* He is a good friend.
* He is grateful for the blessings in his life.
* He is a hard worker.

I love and am grateful for Craig, for the joy that he has brought into our lives. We are blessed to have the family that we have.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

I wish I were more computer savvy! However, I am not. What I am is able to cut and paste! So, I've cut and paste this link from It's a beautiful tribute to mothers, without saying a word. I'd strongly recommend that you enjoy it; it's uplifting and honest, and makes you grateful for the blessing of being a mom.

...speaking of which - One of the greatest blessings in my life has been to be a mother to our four children. They have taught me to enjoy life, the finer moments of life! They have brought me joy and sorrow, but mostly, thank heavens, joy! They have taught me the importance of family, and why I want it to be eternal, more than I already knew. Simply put, I love them and am grateful for them.

The stages of motherhood are interesting. At first you fall in love with this newborn whose every need you are there to fulfill. Then you fall in love even more deeply as they experience all of their 'firsts'; smile, laugh, word, rollover, step, walking, etc, etc, etc. They continue to win your heart as they string their words together into sentences, or do things you never thought they would, like crawl into a fireplace and get charcoal all over them (thank goodness the fireplace hadn't been used in a very long time, Craig!) Then as they learn to explore the world around them, learning their colors and the alphabet, discovering their talents, or dressing up as Superheroes, petting ladybugs, flying kites, learning to ride bikes, being in plays at school, learning Primary and other songs, learning to read! Oh my! Onto the next stage where they learn better reasoning skills...'if I do this, then this might happen,' and they learn to choose the right all on their own, sometimes they choose the wrong, and learn the hurt that inevitably comes with that. Then they discover true, lasting, friendships; believing that their friends will be with them throughout life and being fierce in their loyalty to those friends. Eventually they move away and those friends change, but their loyalty never does. Somewhere during this time they gain a testimony of what is truly important to them - and they begin to nurture it, and you get to watch it grow, and sometimes even take part in it! Before you know it they are off to college, or missions, or marriage. In the blink of an eye they are all gone, one by one.

Before you know it, you end up where I am... with everyone moved far away, and loving them all from a distance, including all the grandkids that you get to grand-mother.

Yep, I miss my babies. Each and every one of them.

For those of you that find yourself in the midst of those years I just described above - I am happy for you. Enjoy this time. I know you hear this all the time from us old folks, but seriously, hold your kids close, they go away far too quickly. Enjoy your Mother's Day with them; let them give you all those hugs and kisses they want to give you, each one is a stitch in your heart that binds you to them...for which you will be forever grateful.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Day date

The last time we went to Half Moon Bay was two years ago when we took Sam, Linzi, and the girls there. It seemed that everytime we planned on going something would happen to prevent it. The other day Pat asked if I'd like to go today. Naturally I was willing! We left home around 10 am, since he was getting things done. By then it was 80° outside. We knew it would feel refreshing to have the cooler temperatures as well as feel the sea air. (Which it was on both counts.) Our first destination was Barbara's Fish Shack, one of our favorites. As expected there was a long line of people waiting to be seated. We gave our name and they said it would be ten minutes! Ten minutes?! Now, admittedly, I am deaf and it was rather noisy so I seriously wondered if I had heard correctly. Five short minutes later we were being seated. Yay! We decided not to get our favorite fish and chips since we both have less tolerance for fried foods. I had delicious fish tacos, and Pat had broiled fish with coleslaw (he thought he'd get the chips part though.) Our food was great! After eating we drove south for a few miles, we stopped and walked to the edge of a hill/cliff. Below we saw baby seals with their momma's. So cute! Then we drove home. I'm grateful for the beauty of the ocean, yummy food, and time with my sweetheart.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Rocky Mountain

We love Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory chocolate dipped apples. Every year, in the fall, when we go to apple hill we get one or two and split them with whomever is with us. Last weekend when we were at the outlet stores in Lehi, Pat spotted a RMCF, and said that he wanted to get some apples for us to share. (We all loved them!) Fortunately, we also have one of their stores here in Manteca. Which is a lucky thing for those I'm close to because it's a really fun gift to give! Fortunately for my mom they also have sugar-free candy, which she will be getting for Mother's Day! I'm grateful for their oh-so-delicious apples and that I can share them with others!

Thursday, May 9, 2013


This morning as I perused the few blogs that I follow I was pleasantly surprised at "Our Best Bites" and their remarks about motherhood. Their thoughts took me back many years, to all the demands that motherhood entails, and to my feelings of inadequacy as I tried to be a good mom. (I never understood anyone that looked at our family and thought we were what they wanted to emulate...seriously.) I am grateful for those experiences; they have helped mold me to be the person I am today. Amy, my daughter, has said on her blog that motherhood at times has 'kicked her trash.' I know just how she feels. I felt the same way.

Along with reading the blog article I also finished (finally) last October's General Conference and was grateful for the words of our Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. He shared these thoughts in his concluding remarks, which I found quite reassuring and uplifting.

"May we ever watch over one another, assisting in times of need. Let us not be critical and judgmental but let us be tolerant, ever emulating the Savior's example of loving-kindness."

He continues, "Let us be of good cheer as we go about our lives. Although we live in increasingly perilous times, the Lord loves us and is mindful of us. He will helps us in times of need. Difficulties come into our lives, problems we do not anticipate and which we would never choose. None of us is immune. The purpose of mortality is to learn and to grow and become more like our Father, and it is often during the difficult times that we learn the most, as painful as the lessons may be. Our lives can also be filled with joy as we follow the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ."

As I thought about those thoughts and feelings that were expressed in "Our Best Bites", I also thought about the words of President Monson. Being a mother is the best thing I have ever done - did I do the best I could possibly do? Probably not...but I tried, and I did pretty good. All of our kids know that we love them, that what I want most for them is not the success that the world would have them believe is important. No. What I want most for them is that they are truly happy, that they not only have a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but that they are converted and live their lives accordingly. In my Patriarchal blessing I am told that my posterity is valiant - that means our children and grandchildren and so on. That is what I want for all of them to be - valiant, and to be happy because of being so.

One last thought - I am deeply grateful, and honored, to be a mom, and a grandma. I am grateful that I can visit them on a regular basis (once or twice a year), but that we talk frequently, and that I never doubt their love for me and their dad. Our family is awesome, and I love each and every one of them.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Today, as I have contemplated what I should share that I am grateful for many things came to mind. They weren't anything new, nothing I haven't already expressed on this blog. That is when it occurred to me that I am grateful for those blessings that are repeated throughout my life. Like - a reliable car, my health, my family and friends ...along with so many other blessings. Sometimes those blessings go unrecognized because they happen day in and day out. Often we take them for granted until something occurs that forces us to recognize them. I'd much rather appreciate the sameness and be grateful for that, than to be reminded in an unpleasant or unhappy manner. That, in itself, is a blessing.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


This past weekend we went to Utah for two things. First, Craig graduated from UVU, and began his new job at EMC on Monday. We felt it appropriate to celebrate with he and Angie... and to enjoy a visit with our grandkids as a bonus. ;) Second, I went to lunch with two of my former roommates, which was also great.

Most importantly - Craig is now able to move forward in his life. He will be doing what he wants to do with his career, at a company where he wants to do it! Angie earned this every bit as much as Craig did, and we are grateful for her influence in his life and the sacrifices she made. We are so happy for them, and for the future that lies ahead of them. Congratulations Craig and Angie!!!

I am grateful for those times in our lives where we realize we can move forward, and do so happily.

Monday, May 6, 2013


One of the bonuses we experienced in Utah was cooler temperatures. I knew that weather was predicted but didn't believe it for a second. For a change I was proven wrong, thankfully. Today we are experiencing cooler than expected temperatures...for which I am grateful. It won't last long, but I'm still grateful for it, or should I say that is why I am grateful for it!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Fun, busy day!

We have much to be grateful for today, which I'll list from beginning to end, that way I shouldn't forget anything! 1) delicious Crepes for breakfast at Craig and Angie's; served not only with love, but strawberries, bananas, chocolate hazlenut spread, fresh whipped cream, and with scrambled cheesy eggs. 2) a trip to the outlets where just about everyone got something! (2 shirts and 2 pair of shoes for me!) 3) swimming pool time for Craig, Angie, Lucas and Darci. So much fun! 4) a celebratory dinner at Magleby's (Craig's graduation and new job) 5) chocolate fondue at Craig and Angie's...yum! Mixed in with all of that fun there were plenty of giggles, tickles, hugs, kisses, and lots of love. How wonderful that we can spend time together. While goodbyes are no fun, the hello's are great!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Memory lane

Today my former roomies and I went to Brick Oven Pizza for lunch. We spent several hours catching up on each other's lives. We enjoyed chatting, and laughing together. After lunch we drove to our old apartment only to discover that it's now inhabited by boys! My, how things have changed in 36 years! I'm grateful for the bonds of friendship that were formed so many years ago, and for the influence for good we've been in each other's lives.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

So you had a good day!

This morning we woke up bright and early to the normal sounds you hear in any hotel. Admittedly it was a little too early for my taste, but we went with the flow. We decided that we might as well finish the drive and get here earlier than planned! We ended up getting to Craig's by 12:30...which meant lunchtime and a trip to Zupas! One of my favorites. After lunch we were able to check into our hotel. We waited so that we could get a quiet room. At first we were a bit chagrined as we noticed it's proximity to the elevator. I really, really, did not want to contend with anyone! As we walked into the spacious bed-less room we both wondered where the bed was. Then we noticed the adjoining room. Aha! There it was! What a pleasant surprise to realize that I had booked a suite for us! So nice! (Could easily have another king bed in the front room...easily.) When we got back to Craig's my former roomie, Lizzie, called and we talked about our lunch reunion that's taking place tomorrow. Then, we went to Costco with Craig, Angie, Lucas and Darci. (Have I mentioned how adorable our grandkids are?) There's something comforting about Costco's sameness - aside from the crazy busy that Orem's is)...It's like being home, but not. While at Costco we decided to invite Lizzie over for Angie's homemade asparagus pizza. (Yum) We had a wonderful time visiting, eating, and just spending time together. All in all, a really good day, for which I'm grateful for. :)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


I am grateful for the freedom that we enjoy in The United States of America. In other countries I might not have the ability to freely travel to visit with family. That would be horrible, to be kept from your loved ones. I'm so looking forward to travelling to see Craig, Angie, Lucas and Darci...I am thanking my lucky stars (and stripes)! :)