Thursday, October 31, 2013


I hope your Halloween has been happy! We've been enjoying seeing all of our grandkid's costumes! What fun to go trick or treating! I'm grateful we could contribute treats to others, and that so many people loved Pat's pumpkin!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pumpkin Bars

Tomorrow Pat's "office" (Kleinfelder) is having a Halloween party. It's a potluck where everyone is bringing soup. Why, then, am I posting about pumpkin bars? The answer is that I'm also making clam chowder but that I had planned on making the pumpkin bars for our neighbor, Laura. (She wants to learn how to bake for the holidays and I'm going to teach her, just trying to figure out which recipes she wants to learn.) Pat seriously loves these pumpkin bars so when he found out that I'm making them he asked me to hold off for the Halloween party. I'm grateful for this easy, quick, and delicious recipe. I'm also grateful for my friend, Genie, for sharing it with me! It's already a family favorite! If you'd like the recipe let me know and I'll post it on here. :)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Yesterday they had snow in the Sierra's! That is a plus for us! While I wouldn't want to be driving in it I'm certainly grateful for it. I am actually praying for much more of the white stuff to come this year...otherwise we face a serious drought. Having lived through those many times I can honestly say it isn't fun. I remember when we lived in Paradise and there was a drought, there were a lot of water usage restrictions. So, I am grateful for the snow in the Sierra's and am hopeful for much more this coming season...oh, and some rain for us too!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Top Ramen

Back in the day when we were starving students we had many dinners that were often repeated - mostly due to them being inexpensive. Top Ramen was one of those. Then, when the kids were growing up we'd have it every once in awhile. We haven't had it for years. Today was a busy day, my back and knee were in pain so Pat volunteered to make dinner for us. Recently when I went grocery shopping I picked up a few packages of Top Ramen. (Amy actually had some recently which made me think of getting some) So, when Pat asked what I wanted, with the weather having dropped twenty degrees, it sounded good! Pat added an egg, some veggies, and voila - we had dinner! I'm grateful for all those years ago when we had Top Ramen to help supplement our food bill, it really made a difference.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lazy morning

This morning I took my time getting out of bed. I didn't actually get up until 9 AM. That never happens, unless I am ill. (thankfully I am not!) It felt so good to just relax this morning... I am grateful I was able to. In a few months I won't be - we start church at 9 AM then! (Yay!!! :) ) (no, seriously, I am excited about that!)

Saturday, October 26, 2013


During my lifetime there have been eight Prophets. These are men I admire, respect, and honor. I am so grateful for each of them in my life; what made me think of this is a picture that hangs near our computer of all the latter-day Prophets, minus President Thomas S. Monson. In thinking of them I thought I'd leave a few quotes on here by each one:

President David O. McKay - whom I considered to be 'my' prophet, since he was the Prophet from April 1951 - January 1970, I was 14 when he passed away, and my parents joined the church when he was the Prophet. They attended the Los Angeles Temple dedication and while there saw him. :)

"Motherhood is the greatest potential influence either for good or ill in human life. The mother's image is the first that stamps itself on the unwritten page of the young child's mind. It is her caress that first awakens a sense of security; her kiss, the first realization of affection; her sympathy and tenderness, the first assurance that there is love in the world.”
President Joseph Fielding Smith - he was the Prophet from January 1970 - July 1972. So, he didn't serve for very long. I don't remember much about him, other than what is printed. Here is a quote from him:

“We believe that worship is far more than prayer and preaching and gospel performance. The supreme act of worship is to keep the commandments, to follow in the footsteps of the Son of God, to do ever those things that please Him. It is one thing to give lip service to the Lord; it is quite another to respect and honor His will by following the example He has set for us.” 
President Harold B. Lee - he served as our Prophet from July 1972 - December 1973. There are two things I really remember about him; 1) our former Bishop was one of his Seminary students in Idaho, and 2) he died completely unexpectedly - he had been in for tests in the hospital, was pronounced healthy, and then died. It had to be his time, that's all there is to it.

“Never is the gospel of Jesus Christ more beautiful than in times of intense need, or in times of a severe storm within us as individuals, or in times of confusion and turmoil.” 
President Spencer W. Kimball - one of my personal favorites. I was able to be in attendance at a BYU devotional, and General Conference with him there. I will never forget the feeling that I had as we rose to sing, "We Thank Thee, O God, For a Prophet" as he walked in the room. There was no doubt in my heart and soul that he was indeed a Prophet of God. He served as Prophet from December 1973 - November 1985. I remember thinking at the time of how sad I was that Rachel would never know him as a prophet. He truly made a difference in my life.

“A true Latter–day Saint family is a haven against the storms and struggles of life.” 
President Ezra Taft Benson - served as our Prophet from November 1985 - May 1994. The most significant thing I remember him talking about was Pride. That was a life church-changing event. To me it is one of the most historical talks in the history of my life. He also had quite the career - in Washington DC; he was outspoken, but humble.

“Pride is a sin that can readily be seen in others but is rarely admitted in ourselves.” 
President Howard W. Hunter - He is the Prophet that served the least amount, yet he had a profound impact. His main focus was on temple work. He served from May 1994 - March 1995.

“Let us be a temple-attending people. Attend the temple as frequently as personal circumstances allow. Keep a picture of a temple in your home that your children may see it. Teach them about the purposes of the House of the Lord. Have them plan from their earliest years to go there and to remain worthy of that blessing.” 
President Gordon B. Hinckley - There is so much to be said about our dear Prophet, President Hinckley. He had a love for others that was unmatched. He made such an incredibly positive difference; with the media, with the youth, in the building of temples, encouraging us to read the Book of Mormon, and to become prepared for the trials that were to come. I remember seeing him in the Marriott Center when attending BYU Women's Conference. The spirit was so strong in that room that when everyone was leaving I wanted to just stay and soak it up. I miss him.

He served as Prophet from March 1995 - January 2008.

“The time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” 
President Thomas Spencer Monson - our current Prophet, who has served as our Prophet since January 2008. This year marks his 50th year of beginning his service as an Apostle. He is 86 years old. His beloved wife, Frances, died earlier this year, in April. His legacy is all about serving others. A few years ago I attended a meeting in our area where we were able to meet with a member of the General Relief Society Presidency of the church. In that meeting this story was shared: President Monson had a dear friend in the hospital. He, due to his duties, was unable to go and visit with him. He called one of the members of the Quorum of the Seventy and asked him to go in his stead. Then he was to report back on how President Monson's friend was doing. The Seventy then called the hospital, spoke with a nurse, got detailed information as to how this friend of President Monson's was doing; I think he even spoke to the man himself, expressing President Monson's concern and love for this man. After the phone call the Seventy then called and spoke with President Monson's secretary, reporting his findings. A few minutes later President Monson called the Seventy, and asked him - did you go and see him? When he said 'no' he asked him to please go and see how he is doing, and express his love for him in person. That he did.

It's interesting to me that our grandchildren are enjoying President Monson as their Prophet. As a young girl he was my very favorite speaker, since I loved his stories. It's just incredible that he was sustained as an apostle when I was 8 years old.

“Faith precedes the miracle. It has ever been so and shall ever be. It was not raining when Noah was commanded to build an ark. There was no visible ram in the thicket when Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac. Two heavenly personages were not yet seen when Joseph knelt and prayed. First came the test of faith–and then the miracle. Remember that faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time, for one will dispel the other. Cast out doubt. Cultivate faith.” 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Movie night!

Tonight we watched "Iron Man 3"! It was nice to spend the evening together enjoying a good, action-packed movie! I'm grateful we could enjoy this together. :)

PS - we also watched the Duck Dynasty Halloween special - hilarious!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Being adventurous!

Okay, so honestly, I'd love to be more adventurous than I am, but for the time being, this will do.

I've never cooked spaghetti squash before. In fact I didn't know that people ate squash until I was married. It's simply something we never ate at home while growing up. I'm trying to try new things. As a result I bought some spaghetti squash today at the fruit stand (which seems funny since it's a vegetable!). I'm excited to try it; and am, once again, grateful for the abundance of fruits and veggies found here in the Central Valley. It's a great blessing for us! (, I didn't buy pie, in fact I wasn't even tempted!)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

He is home!

Pat went away on a business trip, returning late last night. I'm so grateful he is home. I love having him here. :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Yesterday I went shopping at Costco, trying to get things before their coupons expire this weekend. I was busy putting the supplies in my car, then putting the cart away. I hadn't noticed that I had forgotten something in the cart. In fact I didn't notice it until I came home and was putting things away. That was when I realized I needed to get back to Costco...quickly. I didn't know whether or not someone would just take what was left in my cart or turn it in. Once I pulled into a parking space I checked the carts...not there. I went into Costco to the front desk and there, sitting behind the counter, was my item. I simply told the clerk that I was there to get this item. She handed it to me with a smile. I, said a prayer of thanks for whomever turned it in. I am so grateful for those who have integrity. They brightened my day.

Monday, October 21, 2013



I cannot believe that it was two years ago that we were in Oregon for Jack's birth. He has been such a wonderful addition to our family. He is full of happiness, and fun. He reminds me a lot of his mommy at times for when he is happy he is super happy, and when he is upset you'd think the world had just come to an end. He can be a bit of drama King. :)

I'm grateful for Jack's personality, his laugh, his joy, and his love. 

Happy Birthday little Mister!


This morning I was perusing Pinterest, just because I had time to. :)

While doing so I came across this pin about clearing your house of 40 bags of stuff in 40 days. I am in. Obviously we are attempting to do just that around here, only my mindset has been this: if we were moving what would we really want to take with us?

That was what lead me to this gem of a quote by Matt Walsh:

"Yes, my wife is JUST a mother. JUST. She JUST brings forth life into the universe, and she JUST shapes and molds and raises those lives. She JUST manages, directs and maintains the workings of the household, while caring for children who JUST rely on her for everything. She JUST teaches our twins how to be human beings, and, as they grow, she will JUST train them in all things, from morals, to manners, to the ABC’s, to hygiene, etc. She is JUST my spiritual foundation and the rock on which our family is built. She is JUST everything to everyone. And society would JUST fall apart at the seams if she, and her fellow moms, failed in any of the tasks I outlined."

I love this. Seriously. He summed up motherhood so well. How I remember feelings of inadequacy because I wasn't doing anything but being a mom. Sometimes I felt small; other times I felt noble - realizing the importance of my calling as a mother. In a world where success is defined by how many degrees you have, where you work, how much money you make, etc, etc, etc., I find it refreshing to know that others feel about their wives the way my husband feels about me. Yes, our children have all grown and left home; but in some ways they still need me. We find that I need to be available for them - whether it is through a phone call, or Skype, or me visiting them because they have a need - I continue to be there for them; and hope to be as long as I am living in this earthly estate.

On another note - I do keep busy with personal pursuits, along with caring for our home and family. That includes getting my mom's breakfast and dinner to her daily, seeing to her needs, running errands on her behalf, and cleaning up after her. I don't know why I am going into this; I guess because what I do means something to someone else, even though our children are no longer here with us. Sometimes I feel a need to justify why I don't have a job, why I remain a stay-at-home mom/wife/daughter. This is my life - what I do does matter, and it does make a difference.

I can only hope that Amy, Linzi and Angie realize their importance as they continue to care for the mundane task of raising children, keeping their homes in order, and their family functioning normally. To each of you - I applaud your choice to be at home with your family. That sacrifice is worth more than anything money or prestige can buy. In short, I am proud of you, and love you for your efforts in caring for our grandchildren, and your spouses. You are so much more than 'just' a mom. From the bottom of my heart I thank you.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


The High Councilor's in our stake were assigned to speak on Obedience today. Pat spoke in Tracy ward, and later we attended our ward, and heard a similar talk. It's amazing how the Spirit can direct them to be basically on the same path, but have a few differences meant for the ward they speak in. Both talks were excellent; both made great points; and both had the Spirit with them.

I also loved the topic of Obedience. I am grateful that they talked about the fact that there are two types of obedience - faith, and blind. I also loved that we were taught that the best way to be obedient is to do so out of love rather than fear.

We came to earth to gain a body - check. We all have done that. We also came to prove ourselves - through our obedience to God's commandments - that is a work in progress. But, isn't it better to be obedient to God, our Father, because we love Him rather than because we fear Him?

I leave you with this quote from President Boyd K. Packer:
"We are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see."

I am grateful for the principle of obedience, for the moral agency we enjoy, from a loving Father.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Family Memories

Currently we are trying to purge, organize, and condense our belongings. It is quite the ordeal! Thankfully we are doing it s-l-o-w-l-y, but it's still a lot of work. Today Pat found a box partially filled with pictures! The year was 1998, when Sam went on his mission to Uruguay. I'm grateful we have part of that family history recorded in is fun to look back on one of the last years our family all lived together. Do I miss that time? You bet! However, I'm also very grateful that our children are happy in their lives. It's exactly what we want for them.

Friday, October 18, 2013


Just prior to us leaving for Oregon my mom let me know that she's been craving popcorn. Problem was we didn't have any on hand. I picked some up the other day, buying the kind Amy and Rach like. The other thing is - usually we can't cook popcorn in the microwave on the popcorn setting, it will burn it. I decided to give it another try...and it turned out perfectly! I'm grateful that we are once again enjoying delicious popcorn. :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Everyone is a-buzz about their Halloween costumes this year! I remember, back in the day, when we would figure out our children's costumes. If I couldn't make it we thrift stored it! Probably one of the most unique costumes was Rachel's 'bow girl'. I think she was four and had this idea that she wanted to be a 'bow girl'. That meant that she wanted a bunch of bows all over her clothes. I attempted to sway her with other ideas but she stood firm. A bow girl it was! I wish we had a picture of that one!

My favorites of our kid's costumes were: Indiana Jones, a mummy, Bat Man and Bat Girl (which I made myself and have since lost, actually lost quite quickly, darn!), and the various super hero and princess themes. Those were fun times!

I'm grateful that our grandchildren can now experience the thrill of Halloween. I know what some of them are going to be but the others haven't told me yet. I can't wait to hear! :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Before you get the wrong idea and think I'm referring to my height let me make it clear that it is seafood that I am grateful for. Tonight I am making shrimp curry, a recipe I've been making since our BYU days. In fact I got this recipe from our singles ward there. It is simply delicious. The other point is that I just love shrimp and have all my life. It is one of my favorites.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Happy, Happy, Happy!

This morning I had an appointment with my Chiropractor in Ripon. As I left home my stomach wasn't feeling that great. I have no idea why, it may have been what we ate on the road yesterday has come back to haunt me. At any rate, I decided I needed to get my mind off my tummy problem, so I started listing out loud in the car things that make me happy. The thing is my tummy felt better after a few minutes, which was great.

That made me happy too! :)

Monday, October 14, 2013


We are home! It feels so good to be here. I love seeing and spending time with our family...but I also love being home. I'm grateful for our safe journey, our family, and our home...and for an almost two year old's plea of "don't go." :)

Sunday, October 13, 2013


One of my favorite lines in, "You've Got Mail", is "Aren't daisies the friendliest flowers?"

This afternoon we joined Amy's family for Sacrament meeting in their brand new ward. I don't think I've ever been greeted by so many people in a ward where no one knew us! Apparently there are a lot of daisies in their new ward. That does a mom/grandma's heart good. I love it when I know that our family member's are in good least when they appear to be. :)

We'll see how friendly they are in the future, and we will hope that Brad, Amy and boys find a happy place here.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


The colors of Fall leaves are beautifully vibrant here in Oregon. While we have beautiful trees in California also, the colors are not as vibrant. Pat and I have been oohing and ahhing while we've been here at their beauty. I'm grateful we could be here at this time of year. (I'm also grateful to be with part of our family! :))

Friday, October 11, 2013


We made it to Amy's with the piano successfully! I am very grateful for that.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Helping hands

As I mentioned, we are going to be taking Amy's piano tomorrow to her, so that she can enjoy it with her family. I'm grateful for those friends that we can count on to help us Pat to lift and load that piano onto a trailer. I don't know what we would do without their service. Well, I guess we wouldn't be moving a piano, now would we?! Thanks to them we are. :)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cool down!

Fall has arrived! I'm so enjoying these mild temperatures! I'm also excited that we are delivering Amy's piano to her this weekend. Obviously I'm excited to spend time with them, and to see their new home, but I'm also excited to see the abundance of fall foliage. I'm grateful for the beauty each season brings and that Fall is definitely one of my favorites.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Rice with cinnamon and sugar

Tonight I am making fried rice for dinner, which meant that I needed to make some fresh rice earlier today. I don't know about you but when the rice is steaming fresh it just makes my mind wander to my childhood days of when my mom would make me rice with cinnamon and sugar (and a bit of milk). It has always been a favorite of mine, and our family's. So, what did I do? I put a little rice aside in a bowl, added a little cinnamon and sugar, with milk, and enjoyed.

I am grateful for simple memories like that, they just feel so homey. But, don't worry, I won't be eating any butter and sugar sandwiches...I outgrew those many years ago! :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Figuring things out

Today has been one of those days, it seems if it could go wrong, it has. Actually, I'm not exaggerating...that much. I had to run a few errands, and maybe people are just crazy, rude, or perhaps just plain thoughtless, but there were a lot of people not driving very well today which caused me a bit of angst. I'm grateful I made it home safely. Phew!

On another note, which is what my post is really about, I'm grateful that I can figure things out. Last night I was unable to sleep, so after tossing and turning for a solid hour I decided to get up. I thought it'd be a fantastic idea to do our budgeting - because that's what I like to do late at night, no, seriously, I do.

However, I thought I'd look at my mom's account as well, and get everything up to date. After looking at my numbers, then looking at the bank's numbers, it was obvious someone had made an error. It was me. I couldn't figure out the error, after going through her entire account since last October, it just didn't make sense. I must have gone through it at least four times. By the time I finished my brain felt like mush. However, after persevering I finally went through each and every deposit - figuring I'd find the culprit. AND I did. By then it was 1:30 AM, and not only my brain but my body felt like mush. I needed sleep, and I needed it badly. So, off to bed I went, with the resolve to take care of this problem today.

This morning, after getting myself ready for the day, and taking care of  few things I looked for a blank check register, only to find that we have none. (I always keep them on hand, always!) That brought me to the thought that I needed to head to the bank, because believe me the check register that I was working on last night was a scribbly nightmare! There was no way I could continue to use that. I needed a nice clean slate register.

Gratefully I was able to talk to a banker and he went and picked up the register for me. Before long I was home and was able to 'fix' what was wrong. I'm grateful the mistake was in my mom's favor, since I apparently didn't add in one entire Social Security check for her. That's a whole lot better than having too many! At any rate, I'm really grateful this problem is fixed.

I'm also pretty sure I'm not going to love doing budgeting late at night any more. We'll see.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Be a Rock

Many people know that my husband is a Civil Engineer that specializes in soils. He makes sure that foundations are stable enough to hold up whatever is being built; roads, buildings, levees, you get the idea.

Children in Primary learn the song, "The wise man built his house upon the rock, and the rains came tumbling down."

Basically the rock is our personal foundation, our testimony, of the gospel of Jesus Christ - which includes SO many aspects, but I won't go into those.

Today during Conference one of the speakers quoted this, "You must become the rock the river cannot wash away." I love that quote. Too often I find myself being sand, and not the rock I think I am. Not in drastic ways, but in simple things. Perhaps I watch too much TV, or I don't spend my time wisely. I know I don't go to the temple often enough... etc, etc.

My goal is to become a rock that a river cannot wash away. I won't share right now how I am going to do this, but it will happen. I've had a lot of thoughts and feelings regarding this the past few months, now is the time to put it into action. Wish me luck, or pray for me, that is even better. :)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Change of Heart

Today my heart was changed regarding the ending of my blog. You may ask why...well, be prepared for a slightly lengthy answer. To you that do read my blog (friends and family) you know most of what I'm about to say...however, it won't hurt for you to read it. :)

We belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have spent most of the day watching General Conference (four hours). General Conference is where our church leaders speak, giving us counsel regarding topics they have been inspired by the Spirit to share with us. Tomorrow we will do the same.

I love General Conference. I love knowing what the Lord has in mind for us to know. I love being reminded of things of a spiritual nature that are truly important, and life changing. I love knowing that our Father loves us and is mindful of us; of me, and of you. He truly knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts.

There were a few things that really struck me today, and I knew I had to mention them in the post.

First, Elder Bednar stated, "A grateful person is a person rich in contentment." I loved that statement. As we are grateful for the blessings that we do have and choose not to focus on what we don't we are content, and find we are not lacking. Blessings become magnified - which is what this blog has proven to me.

Second, "Doubt your doubt, before you doubt your faith." How I love President Uchtdorf, so much. He had words of wisdom that I am looking forward to reading, re-reading, and re-listening to.

Third: Missionary work - if anyone got anything out of Conference today it is that we are to work with the missionaries to rescue, and to share our faith with others. This is the reason I've had a change of heart. Being a 'stay-at-home daughter' (my doctor quipped that the other day) leaves me little time to be out and about with others. How can I possibly share my beliefs, my testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, with others when I'm not really around others that much? This is my way. Perhaps I won't reach many here either, but I will at least try. I loved that Elder Ballard mentioned that if we all just reach out to one person, just one, before Christmas, millions will feel the love of the Savior more. Now, that would make a great Christmas, wouldn't it?

While my blog is purely about things that I am grateful for, and will continue to be so, the things that I am most grateful for are abundantly clear, and what I will always address: my family, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the blessings I've been given - whether simple or great, small or big... they all come from a loving Heavenly Father, for which I am deeply, and humbly grateful.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Spinach smoothies

The past few months I've been having spinach smoothies on a regular basis, usually about three times a week. There is no way to tell if they are making a difference but I still like them, a lot! On the other days for breakfast I usually eat one egg... just so I'll have some protein. The spinach smoothies are really easy to make, especially since I learned from the girls that I could freeze the spinach!

Here is how I make my smoothie:
1 cup milk
6 ice cubes
1 T peanut butter
1/2 tsp chia seeds
a dash of cinnamon
2 cups spinach (previously frozen)
1 sliced banana

You just throw it in the blender, and then blend away. I usually use the ice crushing setting first, then the pulsing, and then blend. Soon you have a refreshing, delicious smoothie! I'm grateful for this great way to begin a day! And, if you don't like the thought of drinking something green, just put it in a cup where you really don't notice it! :)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Cogs in the wheel

Today I am grateful for those Visiting Teaching Supervisors that are getting back to me in a timely manner; as well as those Visiting Teachers that are giving them their reports in a timely manner. October is a reporting month, which means I have to get my report into our RS president so that she can report to our Ward Clerk, who then reports to our Stake Clerk, who then reports to Church Headquarters. It's a well-oiled machine, I tell ya, it is! All the cogs in the wheel fit together perfectly. I'm so grateful for all those 'cogs' that do their part. :)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


For some reason the other day I was thinking about our family; number of girls vs boys. I guess I'm kind of quirky because I enjoy similarities. For example: Sam and Rachel were born exactly 7 years and 10 days apart. Sam's daughters (currently their oldest and youngest, which is what Sam and Rach are) Rylee and Maci, are also exactly 7 years and 10 days apart. Interesting, right? So, I thought about how we have five granddaughters and four grandsons, and it dawned on me how we have that same amount of adults in our family - there are five women, and four men. It strikes me as funny that we have odd similarities like this, but I'm grateful for them, since it really adds up to our family. :)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Moving on up!

Tonight Brad and Amy are moving into their first home! I'm so excited for them! I'm grateful for this time in their's wonderful!