Sunday, June 30, 2013


Seems kind of silly to do a post on fans since I just posted about having AC yesterday! The thing is our ac pretty much has stopped working. Not good. It was 106 when we were leaving church today, it is currently 98. At least it's an improvement, right? So, yes, today I am grateful for each room's ceiling fan, along with the other five that are currently running! (And that we carry a home warranty policy! Sooo worth it!) Oh! AND that we still have power! (Hope I didn't jinx us!)

Saturday, June 29, 2013


As I stated earlier, it is HOT here. H.O.T.

I am so grateful for our AC - it makes such a difference!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer Evenings, and Mornings

When I was young I loved summer time. It meant playing outside with my friends, and going camping with my family. Then, as a teenager, it meant spending time at the beach with my friends, or at their homes, just hanging out.

These days I'm not such a fan of summer. (Perhaps because the beach isn't right down the road?) I'm figuring it's due to being a grown up, plus the HEAT of this valley. We are experiencing 100+ degree weather these days, of which I am not a fan. The best thing about this heat (usually) is that we do have cool nights (unless the weather is super hot). With that comes the experience of sitting outside in the backyard on our porch swing, enjoying the scent of the jasmine, and the beauty of the agapanthus (which I have decided should be called something like "fireworks" since they spread out into a massive ball of flowers). It is not only a great way to cool off, but a great way to relax, to take time from the hustle and bustle of the day and just be.

Then, in the mornings I love to get up and open up all the windows, curtains, and blinds around our home to let the cool morning air in. There is something about it that just makes it a great way to begin the day.

I love these little traditions I have, and am grateful for the peace they bring, along with the gratitude that fills my heart.

PS- sitting on the swing also reminds me of Rach and the countless talks we've had there...makes me miss her. :)

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Our neighbors went fishing about two weeks ago and caught 18 trout! They cleaned them, then froze them, and then they shared them! I put them in our freezer to be cooked after our trip. That I did tonight. I salt and peppered them, put a little olive oil on them, added a few lemon slices, wrapped them individually in foil, then popped them into the oven (400 degrees - 15 minutes). My! Were those trout ever yummy! I'm grateful for our kind neighbors sharing their catch with us. Mmmmmm.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The right touch

By now you realize that we went to Oahu the other day. Here is the story:

Garrett, the CEO, of NOA called Pat two weeks ago yesterday, telling him that they needed a job done on Oahu, and then asked if he would go and take care of it. (It had to be done quickly, so we had to decide fast, and leave fast!) He told them they had enough in the budget for me to go along. (Yay!)

Honestly, we almost turned it down. We weren't sure if he could get away from the levee job, and who we could get to take care of my mom on such short notice (thank you Melanie, and our neighbors - Jim and Laura). AND, it wasn't like Oahu is our favorite island, plus my knee hasn't been doing well, etc., etc, etc. In fact, Pat had decided we wouldn't go, because all we were doing was finding excuses not to go! The morning he made that decision I texted him and told him that I wasn't happy about it; that we should go, and that it was a great opportunity!

We still hadn't made a decision by Wednesday night, for sure. Pat had tried to call Garrett, but he was busy on a project of his own, so he wasn't able to talk with him. He talked to the guy that is managing this project and asked him how much budget there was. Turns out there was just enough to cover a flight, hotel and car rental, but that was about all! We figured we'd be paying a decent amount out of our own pocket, but getting to Oahu, or any other island for that matter, will never be as inexpensive for us as this was.

All day Thursday I researched, researched, and researched some more. I found good flights, and before I knew it they were gone...poof!(Thank you soccer teams; but really, thank you, because of you we got the convertible Mustang to drive!) Finally we found a good flight, with a nice hotel on Waikiki beach, and a car rental for the right price. Pat kept coming in and telling me things about what we wanted, etc. Finally, I told him that he needed to be a part of this, instead of me taking care of it all, because I was getting to where I couldn't remember what flight was best, what hotel was best, etc. He got on his laptop at the kitchen table and went to work also. I told him let me know how things turned out; whether or not we were going.

A little while later he came in and said, "We're going!" I was shocked, because I thought we'd discuss the final decision. Then he told me what happened - turns out, he was at the accepting part of the process, and was going to come and talk to me, when his finger brushed across the mousepad on his laptop, and he accidentally accepted it! It was a done deal! We were going to Oahu whether we wanted to or not!

Of course we aren't crazy, we wanted to go! We just had to work things out.

We were only there for four and a half days, but it was super fun! I am so grateful for that slip of his finger, that allowed us to go. Perhaps it was meant to be.

Our hotel - Waikiki Marriott.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Happy Birthday Miss Rylee!!!

How grateful I am for this little sweetheart! She is our first grandchild, and opened up a whole new chapter in our lives for us as grandparents! I knew from the moment I held her that she had an amazing spirit - kind, sweet, loving, generous, and thoughtful. She is truly a special daughter of Heavenly Father's. She has brought so much joy to our family, and to the Cazier family. We are truly blessed to have her in our lives!

Happy Birthday Miss Rylee! We hope your day is just as wonderful and amazing as you are. We love you!

(P.S. I like your new My Little Pony shirt...super cute!)

Monday, June 24, 2013


Our friend, Melanie, has been bringing in dinner for my mom while we've been gone. She is so wonderful for being willing to serve our family in this capacity, I am so grateful to her. She really is the best.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The same

We attended Sacrament meeting in Honolulu this morning. I'm grateful that wherever we are in the LDS church things are the same. The faces are different, but the Spirit is always the same.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Pat and I don't do "late". It goes against our grain...BIG time. So, the other day, when we drove to SFO to catch our flight we figured we had plenty of time leaving home at 7am, for our 10:45 flight. Not even. We barely made it on time. Yep, we were THAT couple that everyone believes took their sweet time getting to the airport for their flight. If only they knew! I found myself grateful for any little thing that went our way; the great parking spot, no one waiting for the shuttle ...and my personal favorite - getting to the gate seconds before the last section were to board! Seriously, the flight attendant was getting ready to make the announcement when we walked up. Timing can be everything, but blessings are even better. :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fresh fish!

One of my favorite foods to eat is MahiMahi. While we can get it in California, it's not quite the same as getting it here, in Hawaii. One of the things I told Pat that we HAD to do while here was to get fresh seafood. There are many seafood restaurants here, some of them are very pricey. Even I have my limits, so today, when Pat went to work he asked the locals where a good place to eat was. One of the guys recommended "Uncles". We went there and shared calamari (Pat said it was the best ever), and we shared (we don't have a big appetite) a dinner of MahiMahi with scallops on top. Oh my goodness! Now that is something to write home about...or blog about because I'm so grateful!

A day late!

We have been a little busy, so I am a day late in posting this. Oops! I honestly thought about this post yesterday as we were at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Then, as we drove back to the hotel Pat actually brought it up. When you are at the PCC they often talk about their heritage. (Hawaiian, Tongan, Fijian, Samoan, etc) The thought we both had was (and I had it last time we were there) how wonderful to have such a strong heritage ...and we both wished we had that. And then we realized that we do. We discussed Pat's family's family history (mostly English and Irish/Scottish; and mine (Swedish, English, Irish/Scottish). We talked about how the girls have embraced the Swedish part mostly (since it is more "pure"). I am grateful for our heritage, our ancestors, and that they contribute to who I am, who our family is. On that note, when we were done at PCC we drove over to the temple, just to see it (we didn't have the energy to attend a session), to take pictures and to just be there. Just being on the grounds brings me peace and helps me to feel "centered". Somehow this is all related -because if the temple is about anything, it is about family...which is what I am really grateful for.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Maybe by the title and picture you can guess what I am grateful for today...more to come later. :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Last night when we skyped with Sam's family we were discussing Rylee's 7th birthday in one week! (SEVEN!!!) We talked about her birthday cake, and later Linzi and I texted about it. The theme for the year  in their family is simplicity...which I love and appreciate.

When we were living in Ripon, raising our four children, life was pretty crazy. We were always on the run; someone had to be somewhere at sometime! ALWAYS! Then, it hit me like a bolt of lightning. Maybe, just maybe, I could do things differently on my end, to simplify our lives. I've always been pretty organized (as long as I remember everything I need to do!), so that part was in control. But, it hit me that I could simplify the world around us, meaning our home.

While the 'thing' at the time was to decorate country, which meant find everything cutesy that you could and hang it on your wall, or build shelves to store all those cute little country things on, I abstained. Oh, at first I was caught up in it. Admittedly, I had a few things that were countrified - but they were usually homemade things from Homemaking! What I did instead was choose to be me. I like simple, I run on simple; it makes me happy, happy, happy!

Down came everything, up went very little. That continues to be a running theme for me. Less is better. Understated is just that. No need for frills! I can honestly say that it makes me happy. Clutter drives me crazy, while being organized brings me great joy. And really, isn't that what simplicity boils down to? It's life minus the fluff, and I am grateful for that.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Kaiser and medication

I frequently order medication for my mom. One of the things I do appreciate about Kaiser is that I can order her medication online, and they deliver it to our home. Easy peasy! I love it and am grateful for that service.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Today is Father's Day! I woke up this morning and went to work in the kitchen making one of Pat's favorites...breakfast cake! (actually coffee cake, but our family renamed it breakfast cake so as not to confuse the kiddies when they were younger) After the breakfast cake went into the oven I went to our bedroom where Pat was lying in bed, and I exclaimed, "Happy Father's Day!", to which he chuckled.

Then I gave him a card (purchased) and one I made as part of his gift from our family (with various kids, grandkids and kids-in-law) expressing their appreciation and love for him. He liked that a lot. :)

Then he opened other cards from the kids, finding that Craig's family did something similar to what I did, so he really enjoyed that too! Then he opened the pants, large can of peanuts (I'm nuts about you!), and a fishing tackle box with a Bass Pro gift card inside. (funny that Craig and Angie had the same idea, and gave him a BP card also!) He was and will be a happy camper, or fisher, which is something we both are interested in taking up.

Then we were off to Stake Conference where we had a reorganization in our Stake Presidency. Presidents Crockett, Smith and Maxfield were released. Our new Stake President is President Maxfield, his counselors are Steve Brown (serves with Pat on high council), and President Norman (current Bishop in Tracy). All of these brethren are from Tracy. I have no problem with that - they have a stronger force of Priesthood leadership there.

I'm grateful for Pat, for the great dad he is, mistakes and successes, and all. I'm grateful for our boys, Sam, Craig and Brad, who work hard for their families, and love their children fiercely. I am grateful for their dedication and devotion to their wives, and to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; that they are trying to raise their children in righteousness; as we tried to raise them. Well, we didn't raise Brad, but that was so Amy could marry him!

Twenty-one years ago today my father passed away. I am grateful for his ever present influence for good in my life. I'm grateful that he loved me. I don't have any misconceptions that he was a perfect man; he wasn't, and would be the first to admit it...but he loved us, and he did his best. The greatest blessing he gave me was to embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, to turn his life around, and to give me the opportunity to have a testimony of our Father and Jesus Christ.

Finally, I am grateful for my Heavenly Father; who is always an influence in my life. So many of the things I do because of Him. I choose to be kind, because of Him. I choose to go to church, because of Him. I strive to live my life the way I should, because of Him.

I am grateful for these wonderful, imperfect, men in my life. I love them more than I can say.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Temple

Tonight (Friday) we attended our Stake Temple night. Due to illness and a bum knee I hadn't been in a while. It sure was great to be back! I am grateful that I was able to go tonight. I love attending the temple, but I especially love being there when there are so many people there that I love. The meaning of the temple covenants become even more meaningful as you see friends you love; but even better than that is when I am there with my family. Nothing beats that!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Early bird

This morning I woke up extra early...apparently that is what happens when you go to bed early! ;)

As a result I was able to run errands early, and get much accomplished! I'm so grateful for this early morning; I think I could get used to this!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Being prepared

Amy and her family are sick with colds. When we were texting this morning I was quizzing her as to whether she had juice or soup. Yep, they do! (thank goodness...nothing worse than going to the store when you feel awful, well, of course there are worse things, but it doesn't feel that way when you are sick!) I was relieved to know that they will be okay, and that she has the understanding that rest is the only thing they need to do today. None of them have much of an appetite, so rest is good!

I'm grateful that she is a smart, well prepared, momma! They all need that right now, and to get get better!!! :)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I hope they call me on a mission!

One of our dear friends/couple have decided to go on a mission. They are a few years older than us, and were expecting to go on their mission when he retired. During General Conference Linda looked at Rex and said, "I think I'm ready to go on a mission." So, they sat down and figured how much they could afford; how long they could be away from having an income, and went to work getting things ready.

They have decided to serve a twelve month mission, because that is what they can afford. Prior to this their thought had been: Work, retire, mission. Instead what they are doing is work, mission, work, retire. That is just how it is working out for them.

I am so happy for them! They have been called to the Detroit, Michigan mission to serve in the Employment Department. They leave somewhere around the end of July.

These friends are amazing people. Talk about a power couple! Rex was our Stake President for nine years, in fact he called Pat to be a bishop. Then, Linda served as our Stake Relief Society President for five years. I was blessed to be her first counselor for over three of those years. Now, Pat and Rex serve next to each other on the High Council. You should have seen Pat's face when Rex was called to be on the High Council - it was like his best friend had come to join him! He couldn't stop grinning!

In all actuality, I am humbled that we have both been able to serve beside these wonderful friends. They are amazing people. The people in Detroit are so blessed to have them, and they have no idea what is coming their way. I am so grateful for the example that Linda and Rex have been to me for the past eighteen years; and for the example they will continue to be to me.

Here's how they have handled their mission call:
1) In their ward they invite those who have received their mission call to come to the front and share where they are going. When Linda went up to tell everyone the first thing she said was, "I'm so glad they lowered the mission age!" She is so funny!
2) When they received their mission call in the mail they had family come over and open it with them. They had their fourteen year old son open their mission call, so that he would know what it felt like to receive one. How great is that?

So, their example means a great deal to me. I am grateful, beyond words, for these wonderful, dear friends. I feel truly blessed that they are in our lives.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Chloe too!

Linzi texted awhile ago...Chloe had gone on the potty! How exciting for these little two year olds! She did this all on her own, which is amazing! Hopefully she'll keep it up. That'd be so wonderful - especially with baby coming soon! One in diapers is a win! I'm grateful she's decided to potty train herself! :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Drastic drop

This weekend it was 106 degrees here. Blech. It went from 85 to 106 in two days! Fortunately, and gratefully, so gratefully, it went from that 106 to 75 yesterday! The weather decided to wake us all up in the middle of the night with thunder and lightning as well. That's okay with me! I'd rather miss sleep and have cooler temps than miss sleep because it's too hot!

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Kids really do say the cutest things! I love their innocence and enthusiasm! Gav is potty trained (yay!), and is very excited about achieving this amazing goal. Tonight when google chatting with them Gav had to go potty. When he was finished he came up to the screen and exclaimed, "Papa! Papa! Papa! I went poop!!!" After we expressed our joy for him he happily ran off to play. I'm not only grateful for him being potty trained, but also for how happy he is about it!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Happy Sam & Linzi!

Eleven years ago today Linzi joined our family, I can't believe it's been that long! They were married/sealed in the Billings Montana Temple; it was a beautiful day for a wedding.

We are grateful for Sam and Linzi, for the love they have for each other, and for the nearly four children that have joined our family through them. Each of them is a blessing in our lives, and we can't wait to see who this new baby will be! (not just what, but who!)

Happy Anniversary Sam and Linzi!
We hope your day is wonderful! We love you both!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Summer salads

This weekend is going to be HOT here. At first they were saying it'd be 110 tomorrow, but have (thankfully) cooled that down to 106. That isn't a lot to be thankful for, since after 105 it all feels the same to me - uncomfortable!

So, this is going to be a salad eating weekend - pasta salad mostly. However, tomorrow night we have our ward (indoor) luau (with a pig even)! We have been asked to bring Hawaiian type food, so I'm making another salad (frog eye/acini de pepe) for that! The best part about all these salads - I make them in the morning, and then there is nothing I have to cook for dinner. THAT is what I am grateful for, besides the yummy salads! :)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Aunt Dimity

There is a very strong possibility that I have posted on this in the past, but I honestly don't remember. Years ago, back when Rach was attending BYU and working in the bookstore there, she 'happened' upon this book and decided that she would read it. It was 'Aunt Dimity's Death'; at least that is how I remember the story. That is where this love story began. A girl, in a bookstore; sounds like a pretty good read to me!

The other day I posted about how I love a good mystery; which is absolutely true. However, odd as it may seem, I happen to love Nancy Atherton's writings the most of all mystery writers. There is something homey and simple about them, which is not what one could usually say about a mystery, but there you have it. You can't help but love the characters, along with the settings. In fact, one of our favorite recipe heralds from one of her first books, Uncle Tom's Butterscotch Blondies... reader beware, they, and the books, are addicting!

Rach shared her addiction with me, and now here I am today, admitting that I am rereading the series. In fact I began reading yesterday and it's been a challenge to put the book down! Summer is a wonderful time for an addiction, a healthy one, for which I am grateful.

Oh, and here's the recipe for the blondies (which I am positive I've shared on here before, but they are worth repeating):
Preheat oven to 365 degrees.
½ c. melted butter
2 c. dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1½ c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. vanilla
¼ cup butterscotch chips - optional
¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips – optional

Butter a 9” square cake pan.  Mix all of the ingredients together in large bowl, combining them well.  Spread mixture in the cake pan and bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until dry on top and almost firm to the touch.  Let cool for 10 – 15 minutes, and then cut in 2” squares.

Sandy's tip: add a bit of chocolate or butterscotch chips - enjoy!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Busy beaver days

Today began pretty good, I actually had a good night of sleep so I woke up with plenty of energy! I had an errand to run (father's day is soon upon us), and managed to check four major things off my list before heading out the door at 10 AM. After I came home I finished up some more things I needed to do, and then started more that I hadn't planned on tackling today. All in all, it's been quite a productive day! Now, I'm off to finish pitting the remainder of the cherries from our tree. (I'll be glad when that's over!)

I love busy days, especially when I can keep up with them, that is something to be grateful for.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


(Looks like a fun shop!)
Our family is and always has been, as far as I know, avid readers. Today I went to the used bookstore to find books for my mom. I asked her which kind she likes, she immediately responded, "James Patterson". I've never actually read any of his novels; maybe I'll give one a try. I actually love a good mystery or espionage book. They hold my attention (as long as the plot line and the writing are good) more than any other genre does. I love figuring things out, solving the puzzle of 'whodunnit?' Perhaps that is why I also love Alfred Hitchcock films...well, not all of them - you can have "The Birds" and "Psycho", I have no use for those.

I'm grateful for my love of reading which began with comic books, then moved on to Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, John Grisham, and Mary Higgins Clark, to name a few. Books are a great way to be entertained, especially on hot summer days, or cold winter ones. Curling up with a good book; now that's my kind of fun! ;)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Oven bacon

The weather is warm here, actually it's 90 out right now. That means I don't really want to cook too much today, because it just serves to heat up our home. Not appreciated. Our daughter, Amy, cooks her bacon in the oven. I've never really done that before, but thought since we are having BLT's for dinner tonight this would be the day to give it a try!

I am grateful that I can cook things in the oven. (400 degrees on center shelf, in cold oven, for 15 - 20 minutes) This is a win.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Easy ice cream!

For Mother's Day Pat got me a KitchenAid ice cream maker/attachment. I've used it twice so far. The first time the ice cream was a little rich, I am hoping the batch I 'made' today will be less rich. Since it's Fast Sunday I wasn't actually able to taste the creamy goodness, but I will later! I'm grateful for the ease of using this ice cream maker. No salt, no ice, no fuss, I love it! Fortunately I was able to make the mixture yesterday then refrigerate it for today, so all I had to do was pull out the ice cream attachment bowl, get it started on my KitchenAid and twenty minutes later ice cream was made! Yay!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Amazon = Amazing!

Sometimes it's the little things that win your heart, or your devotion, over. The other day I ordered a one gallon size jar from Amazon (much like the ones pictured on yesterday's post). Problem was the picture depicted it as being tinted blue...which was perfect for my kitchen! It was NOT blue. THEN, I discovered yesterday, when I purchased my shell jar at Target, that the jar was less expensive there, by several dollars. I then contemplated returning the Amazon purchase, but wanted first to find out how much they would charge me for sending it back.

This morning I went online (I feel like Meg Ryan in "You've Got Mail" - only no guy at the other end of an email, which is good, since I am happily married!) to figure out whether or not I wanted to hassle with returning the jar. Once I said that I did want to return it, they kindly popped up a window saying, no worries, keep it, you get your refund, this is on us. Yay!

I am in love with Amazon, seriously. I am so grateful they, like Costco, make things so much easier to deal with. Life is good! :)