Saturday, August 31, 2013


When we lived in Idaho for two short years we went to Yellowstone several times. The last was the day after Sam and Linzi were married/sealed eleven years ago. We took the route from her hometown southwest to the entrance closest to our former home. Today we took a route/loop we had never been on. It was beautiful! (Naturally) I'm grateful that we could a) spend time together with our family, and b) see such a gorgeous area and become re-acquainted with it. Thanks Linzi for sharing your favorite place with us!

Friday, August 30, 2013


This afternoon Craig, Angie, Lucas and Darci arrived. :)

When we met them outside of  the hotel Lucas looked up and said, "Is this where you live now?" No, buddy, it is not where we live! He couldn't contain his excitement as we took them to their room and then he saw ours. You'd have thought it was a mansion! He was very impressed.

We then met up with Sam's family for dinner, and had a great time. All the children behaved themselves, and the adults actually did as well. Imagine that!

After that we went back to Sam & Linzi's to celebrate Darci's 2nd birthday. One of the cutest things was that Rylee had written a birthday card for "Drsee" wishing her a happy birthday from her 'scrt amyr' (secret admirer) and telling her that she loves her 'sosososososososo much'!

We had birthday cake, and then the kids went out to play on the swingset/playground equipment. At one point when I was swinging Darci I asked Chloe if she wanted grandpa to swing her, Darci softly replied, "Yeah". So cute.

Soon birthday presents were opened and everyone was happy about that; especially Lucas who secretly knows that he will be able to play with Darci's puzzle and pony. ;)

The fun thing was to watch the cousins interact with each other and have an automatic love for one another, just because they are family.

Now - on another note. We divided up most of the children's books at our house to give to each family. Rach took Amy's family's home with her last weekend. Yesterday she took the books to Amy's. Apparently it was as good, if not better, than Christmas! In fact, this morning James went to Gav and said, "Want to go downstairs and read books?" first thing this morning. Gav's reply, "No."

They are all so cute. We are blessed to have each of them in our lives.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Date with Rylee

We are in Idaho! We arrived in Twin Falls at 12:30 am. We spent the night at a La Quinta for the first time ever! I have to say I was happily surprised and impressed. Fortunately I had a decent night's sleep...wish I could say the same for Pat. Months ago when we began planning this trip it was about the time Rylee's summer vacation started. In order to help Rylee improve in her reading over summer we told her that if she read daily we would take her on a date when we came. Tonight was the night!! We let her choose where to go and she was determined to go to Pizza Pie Cafe (formerly known as Craigo's.) She was ecstatic to have pizza, pasta, soda, and dessert pizza! She really enjoyed herself! And now Sadie can't wait for her date! Start reading. Sadie! We'll be on a date before you know it! PS - our newest granddaughter, Maci, is Adorable! :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

School days!

Today is the first day of Second grade for Miss Rylee, and the first day of Kindergarten for Miss Sadie! My, how they grow so quickly! I'm so excited for them to have this new beginning; a new door to learning and growing and becoming who they will be. I'm grateful for both of them, for the beautiful granddaughters they are, and for all the joy they have brought to my/our life/lives. We are blessed to have them!

Happy first day of school girls! We cannot wait to see you! XOXOXOXOXO!!!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Friends and Neighbors

Whenever we leave home we let our neighbors know... we all keep a close eye on each other's homes, which I am very grateful for. With us leaving my mom here it is particularly comforting knowing that our neighbor will be checking in on her, and taking care of her if there is a need.

Along that same thought; I mentioned to a friend that we are leaving and she insisted on bringing dinners over for her.

I am grateful for the kindness of others.

On another note, I am grateful when happy dreams come true. More to come later! ;)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Getting ready!

Today and tomorrow I will be finalizing our plans for getting ready to go to Maci's blessing and to spend a good deal of time with Sam and Craig's families. Yay! I'm looking forward to just spending time with everyone, going to Yellowstone (fires permitting), taking Ryles on a date for doing such a great job reading, celebrating Darci's birthday, and just seeing Rylee, Sadie, Lucas, Chloe, Darci and meeting Maci (and their parents of course! ;) )! I love our family!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Backyard talks on the swing

Our backyard porch swing is one of our favorite places to be. Isn't it great that we can have an area that we love to be in our own space? I am quite positive I've written about it before. While there are times our neighbors can be noisy, even raucous, those aren't the norm. Usually it's a pretty peaceful place to be.

It also happens to be one of Rachel's favorite places. So, this morning, when I got up at 7:30 I wasn't surprised to find her out on the swing, wrapped in a soft velvety red blanket that my niece gave us. Soon we were both swinging, enjoying the scent of the jasmine, the beauty of the roses, the white puffy clouds against the blue sky, and definitely the chill of a California morning. It was heavenly.

Even more heavenly was our conversation...all about home, and being here, and what it means to her. I am grateful that she loves us, and our home.

I love that our children, children-in-law and grandchildren love our home, and being with us here. I love that they know they are always welcome to be here, and that we cherish those moments with them.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sacramento temple

We had the opportunity to attend a session in the Sacramento temple. We are not used to such a small temple! Due to the temple just reopening and something new going on in the temples it was very busy there! We actually saw patrons being turned away, and they asked if some people could give up their seats for others. I am so grateful we could be at the temple today for many reasons, but mostly because we were there with Rach. (: I love being in the temple with our children.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Morning company

Rach arrived late last night after attending class/lab yesterday and the long drive. It was wonderful to have her here, safe and sound. This morning Pat had to leave early for work, and I hadn't gone to sleep until 2 AM, so I was being a little lazy. I had gotten up, opened the blinds around the house, then gone back to bed (since we have to share a bathroom with her since my mom occupies the other one). A minute or so later I notice that Rach has come in to use the bathroom, and once she comes out she plops down on my bed, and starts telling me about her day yesterday.

I've missed her.

I'm grateful that we could have a morning to just talk for a bit before getting on with our day. Tomorrow we are going to the Sacramento temple (her first time to go through a session there) so we will have no time for lingering. Then on Sunday she is planning on leaving fairly early; again, no time for a morning chat. So, I'm especially grateful that we could just spend a little time together in our jammies, on my bed, chatting it up. :)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Unexpected visitor

Today Rach is driving down from Oregon, she is going to be bringing some of her things home since she is moving to a smaller place. While I'm excited to see her I also worry about her driving home by herself. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful we get to have her here for two whole days...but I'll be even more grateful when she is safely home.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cool down!

I always have to express my gratitude in the summer when the temperatures cool down here! Since it is cooler tonight, I have to post it... If you lived here you would understand completely! ;)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


For several weeks now I've had a tooth that is sensitive to cold, or eating. Since we are going to Idaho soon I figured I'd have it looked at before we leave. This morning I called our dentist's office to see when they can get me in...half an hour later I was at the dentist's office. They took an x-ray, then the Dr. did a few things to determine which of my teeth were affected. Once he put the cold mist on my tooth I felt it immediately (I actually 'tested' it again last night, sure enough it hurt!). He determined which tooth it was, and I now have an appointment to get a crown in September. Oh boy!

Even though this whole business of going to the dentist is not fun I am grateful they could get me in quickly, and that we have the finances to pay for our portion of what my bill will be.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Multiple things

Yesterday Pat spoke in Ripon ward. He always gets choked up when speaking there. As he looked over the audience he saw several 'families' that were youth when he was Bishop there. Here they are with active, happy families. Interestingly enough his topic was 'happiness in family life.' He did a wonderful job; told a few personal examples. But the best part is always the preparation when you give a talk. He and I discuss at length his topic, and this one was particularly rewarding. As we talked about being happy vs. unhappy he said he doesn't recall a time when he wasn't happy in our family, in our marriage. Yes, we've had trials, we've had moments of anger, disappointment, all of those things every family experiences. Yet, he has always been happy with and loved our family. If nothing else, our children, children-in-law, and grandchildren should find comfort in that. They are deeply, and completely loved, by us.

Hence, my gratitude is for Pat and his feelings about our family.

Secondly, I'm grateful that Rachel got the chemistry class that she needed to go forward with her education at OSU. She will be moving to the Corvallis area in about five weeks. I'm excited for her to be able to get another degree; only this time it will be to become a Dietician. Good job, hon! We are happy for you!

Third, since I mentioned going to Ripon ward - I am grateful for the lasting love that we feel for others there. We have friendships that will last throughout the eternities. There are only a handful of people in our current ward that I feel 'close' to, so going to Ripon ward is truly like going home.

Finally, I have the flu today. That always makes me grateful for my health. I'm also grateful that the flu doesn't last long, it's not a debilitating illness, and that I actually do have the time to rest. :)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Happy Birthday Miss Darci!

Little Miss Darci is two today! Why is it that I'm always amazed that those years have gone by? Why do I always feel like... wasn't she just born? Yet, it seems like she has belonged to our family always. Fortunately, she always will belong to our family. Thank goodness!

Darci is a little sweetie. Don't get me wrong, she can give her mommy and daddy a difficult time, but all in all, she is sweet. I love when we skype/google with her and she gets so excited to see us. However...the cat wins over us, she is especially excited to see Missy, just like her cousins are. So cute! Last time when we skyped she was pretending to be a puppy, and did these cute little barking noises. Then she decided to be a kitty and she suddenly had this very deep sounding "MeOW"!! It was pretty funny!

I'm excited that we get to celebrate her birthday with her in a few weeks when we are in Idaho for Maci's blessing. We don't often get to see our grandkids on or near their birthdays, but this year we get to see Darci near hers. Yay!

I'm so grateful for Darci being in our family - she is smart, sweet, loving, friendly, beautiful, funny, and kind. She and Lucas are best friends, which is so heartwarming. What a blessing she is to us.

Happy 2nd Birthday Darci! We love you!

Saturday, August 17, 2013


My smart phone has become very useful - not only as a means to communicate, but as a reminder for me. The other night just as we were going to sleep Pat asked me to do something the following day. I knew I wouldn't remember it, just because of the sleepiness I felt, so I whipped out my phone, went to the calendar and typed in a reminder. The funny thing was that Pat then whipped out his phone, and put in the reminder also. I began laughing... we have become 'that' couple!

Seriously, I am grateful for the reminders on my phone. Sometimes, it may seem a bit ridiculous, but it works, which means I function better. Sounds like a win to me!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Coconut oil

Rarely do I watch Dr. Oz, but about two weeks or so ago I did, probably because I was recuperating from my back going out. :)

At any rate, the show was touting the wonders of Coconut oil; so I decided to try it out. Okay, so I bought it at Costco (can we say large container?), and it's been in my pantry for two weeks now... This morning I chose to make cookies with it; the big oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from OBB. I just have to tell you that baking with coconut oil makes your home smell divine! I could seriously eat that scent! Yum! Now, it wasn't without some doubt on my part that I used coconut oil, I wondered how they would taste, even though I love, love, love coconut, Pat does not. And, truth be told he is the major cookie consumer around here. Definitely.

Imagine my delight when I pulled those cookies off the cookie sheet and placed them on the cookie cooling rack and decided to try one. Oh my goodness. It doesn't hurt that I love this recipe already, but they certainly are even just a tad better tasting than they were with the butter in them...and healthier for you...according to Dr. Oz. Bonus - they don't really taste like coconut, just a bit sweeter in a good way.

I'm grateful for coconut oil, for the healthy wonders it brings to our lives. I'm pretty sure I'll be exploring other ways of using it as well.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Happy 5th Craig and Angie!

Happy Anniversary to Craig and Angie!

We are so grateful for your relationship, your family, and you! We are grateful that you are striving to live the gospel and that you are faithful in your callings. We are grateful for the love you have for your kiddo's and how you are trying to be the best parents you can be. We are grateful that you are each other's best friend! We love you both, and again, we are grateful for you. Have a wonderful anniversary!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Oh my, it is warm here today! I am grateful for shorts - they sure help to make things cooler!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Rachel and I are planning a trip through Washington state in mid-September, before she returns to school full-time to get a new degree at OSU. Fortunately for us Angie is from Washington state and she knows all the cool places to go! So, between her suggestions (which she sent me today - Yay!) and Rachel's friend's suggestions we are certainly sure to have a great time! I'm so grateful for others who are knowledgeable, especially a member of our family that knows us and what we like. Thanks Angie! :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Vista Prints

Pat's calling requires him to be over the Stake Family History program. He meets with the new elders every six weeks and helps train them to bring investigators to the FH Center so that they can get to the temple quickly once they are baptized.

One of the things he hands out to the elders and sisters are business cards with the family history hours in Manteca and Tracy. The nice thing is that we can go online and order them without any hassle. The best thing is that they come in a timely manner; they say it'll take about two weeks, but it has only taken one so far.

I'm grateful for the ease of ordering from Vista Prints - it helps Pat fulfill his calling, and that's always a good thing.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Happy Birthday to the Gavinator!

Gavin is three years old! We are so excited for him to be three! When I was visiting at Amy's recently I found out just how much he loves to dress up - usually it's with a hat, a cape, boots, and a mask! Talk about personality...this kid has it in spades! If he had his way being dressed as a superhero is how he would spend most of his life, if his mommy would let him. Actually, she does, because when we went to Costco with him 'in character' people were asking him and James which Superheroes they were. Of course James carried on a conversation about it, but Gav, he just said he's Spiderman...of course!

Gav is a lot like his Uncle Craig was as a little boy - fiercely independent, vocal about his opinions, happy, loving, and sometimes a bit on the grumpy side. He embraced his terrible two's with gusto; and everyone will be grateful when that phase of his life is done! He is a really great brother - who can tumble with the best of them, or fight, and then make up.

I love this little guy and am grateful for him in our lives.

Happy Birthday Mister Gavin!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Peach ice cream

Some twenty years ago a friend of ours in Ripon gave us her recipe for peach (or berry) ice cream. She moved away shortly after sharing her recipe with me (we still exchange Christmas cards!) Back then making ice cream was a big production, and it was so much easier to get ice cream at the store, that I only made it once. We really liked the recipe so I hung onto it...all these years. Finally, the other night, I pulled out my kitchenaid ice cream maker and made that recipe! It was every bit as good as I remembered. I love recipes that we can count on, and I'm grateful for friends that share theirs. DEEE-LISH-OUS!!!

P.S. Yes, I know 'delicious' is spelled wrong, I was just spelling it like our grandkids say it! A bit of a tribute to Gav - whose birthday is tomorrow! Woot!

Friday, August 9, 2013


For my birthday Pat gave me a Ninja blender, thanks to our daughter's suggestions. I'm excited to use it, and am grateful for his thoughtfulness.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Baby Steps

This morning I ran several errands, after exercising. :) I also knew that I needed to go for a very short walk around our culdesac a couple of times, so I figured I'd do that when I came home. Mind you our culdesac has only 5 homes on it, and while there is a good deal of room between houses it's not like Idaho or Utah where there is a lot of space in between. However, in my case, for now, a walk is a walk. My Chiropractor told me to take a few short walks around the culdesac (and yes, he's seen where we live) just to see how my knee and hips react.

So, I did that, this morning.

Another thing you should also know about me is that I love to walk. It really is therapy for me. Not only physically but emotionally and mentally as well. I have missed being able to go for walks - so much so that I am literally jealous when I see other people out walking. Who knew?

Which brings me to this - even though it was a short walk, it was a walk. I felt great being able to do that much because it is much more than I've been able to do in quite a while. You know how everyone always says 'baby steps' when they talk about getting back into something or making an improvement? Well, I'm grateful for my baby steps today, or 'baby' walk, it just felt so great.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Birthday Wishes

Today is my 58th birthday. I am having a hard time comprehending that one. I kind of started today feeling a little glum due to my age. I know, it's silly, but it is what it is. If you were 58 you'd be glum too! ;)

Thanks to expressions of love, along with acts of kindness and generosity, I can honestly say that the glum is gone. I'm grateful for all who have excitedly, happily, and calmly wished me a "Happy Birthday!" I'm grateful for all the expressions of love I have received from: my number one fan, Pat; our family; and dear friends. Today reminds me just how lucky, and blessed, I am. Truly, I have much to be grateful for.
P.S. I couldn't decide which picture I liked best, so I chose both...hey, it's my birthday, I can do what I want! :)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Cool August

August is a great month, though usually I'm not in favor of the weather. Fortunately (so far) August is cooler than normal. Yay! (Personally I'm considering this a fantastic birthday present!) Yes, it's only going to be in the 80's this week instead of the high 90's or 100+. Boy, am I grateful for that!

Monday, August 5, 2013

"Give, Said the Little Stream!"

My favorite primary song when I was little was "Give Said the Little Stream!" Apparently I sang it as loud as I could. That message still resonates with me, and definitely has a place in my heart.

Today ended up being the last day of our peaches. I'm so grateful that we have two trees, and that their picking seasons are two weeks apart! We were able to freeze quite a few Ziploc bags of peaches, but we were also able to give many away. Pat picked six grocery sized bags tonight and we immediately drove to a few of our friend's homes to share with them. They were happily received! Pat was especially gratified to be able to serve others, he works so hard to make sure we have good fruit - it's nice to see the fruit of his labors.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Yes, you read right! I am grateful for my personal trials. Today at church I talked with several friends who are experiencing major trials, plus in testimony meeting quite a few people shared their trials. Then in RS the topic was trials, where many shared their personal trials, again. I didn't say a word. All I could think was how grateful I am for the trials I have. Yes, they are difficult, but they are mine and they fit my life.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

L & L

Several years ago they had a Hawaiian restaurant/fast food place in town, but it went away. Pat and I were sad; and we missed this place. Then, when we went to Hawaii we were able to eat there. Since coming home I thought I'd do some research and find an L & L closer to home. Imagine my surprise and delight when I found one in Tracy! It's a mere twenty minutes from our house!

Last night we drove to Tracy to get our 'fix' of Hawaiian goodness. Yum! It's so nice that there is one close by, and that it tastes delicious! We loved it!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Friends liking friends

I was just on facebook for a few minutes and noticed that two of my friends (Teri Stephensen and Kim Higgins) like or commented on one of their friend's facebook page. I'm pretty sure they don't know each other; and they certainly don't know that they both know me really well! I love it how facebook makes the world, and the LDS culture, seem even smaller! :)

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Our home is nestled between I-5, Hwy 99, and 120. Living where we live is great for getting around.

Today, when I went to Ripon, I drove down Hwy 99. There is a lot of construction going on, and the 'speed limit' is 55. (ha!) That means everyone is going around 65+. On the way home I opted to take country roads, and since I wasn't paying that much attention, I ended up turning sooner than I had planned. So, I came down Main St instead of Union, but didn't really want to go down Main, since it is more crowded, and has a lot more lights. To avoid that I hopped onto 120, and took it to Airport (in case I decided to go to Costco), which is 3 miles from our home.

I ended up not going to Costco, but it made me think about the multiple options we have here for taking roads to our destinations. We can choose city/busy, or country/light. It's nice that we have so many options, I'm grateful we are centrally located.