Saturday, November 30, 2013


Our friends Eric and Paige were sealed together for time and all eternity today in the Oakland Temple. We attended their reception tonight. They were both glowing! I am so grateful for this wonderful blessing in their lives and that we could celebrate with them and their families! Ain't love grand?!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Movie date

Seldom do Pat and I go to out to the movies. Today was one of those rare times. Several months ago Netflix and Amazon started showing The Hunger Games movie. Pat watched it with me. Twice! When I told him that I wanted to see Catching Fire he surprised me by saying that he'd go watch it with me. Yay!! We both enjoyed the movie and I felt it stayed pretty true to the book (though I haven't read it for probably a year). I really am grateful that we had a movie date...I love having dates with my Sweetie.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


I'm grateful that we had a very happy Thanksgiving. I hope you had one as well. :)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Today I (along with many others around the country) am prepping for our Thanksgiving guests and dinner tomorrow. So far I've made the cranberries, and candied yams - neither of which I will be eating. :) However, my mom feels that it is not Thanksgiving without candied yams, and I thought perhaps I will actually eat homemade cranberries, but perhaps not, after all. (No matter how much sugar you put with it they still taste bitter!)

I've also cut up the veggies for the dressing and begun getting serving dishes out. There are a few more things to finalize today, but much to do tomorrow.

I'm grateful that I can prep ahead of time, and that we actually have much to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Staying home

This year we are, once again, staying home for Thanksgiving. I could easily complain about how we won't be with any of our immediate family. However, I won't. With watching the news about all the airport delays or cancellations I find that I am grateful that we are staying home, and that I feel badly for those going through that travel headache.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Online shopping

Most of you know that my mom lives with us. Taking care of her needs could easily send me in 500 different directions, well, maybe I exaggerate! At any rate, she has needs that need to be met, and it is my obligation to meet those needs. When things wear out, or break down, she cannot take care of them. It's up to Pat and myself.

She has a shower caddy that attaches to the wall in our shower (we have a walk in so she needs to use that). It seriously cannot stay up. We've tried reattaching it many times. Finally, after having to put her soap and body wash on a stool that goes under her shower seat (my way of having a temporary fix) I ordered a new, hopefully substantially more powerful, shower caddy for her this morning.

I have no idea where I'd be without Amazon. I've ordered multiple things for her there - her favorite tea, a new mouse pad, a shower seat and caddy, and the list continues to grow.

I'm grateful for online shopping. Without it I'd be running everywhere! I'm also grateful that I can order Christmas gifts online, and save my knee while doing so! :)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Apples and Bananas

When our children were little we had a Raffi in concert video that they loved to watch. When they outgrew Raffi I gave the videotape to DI, knowing that some family would enjoy it. Since having grandchildren I've searched for it several times so that they, too, could enjoy it. I've not been able to find a DVD with him singing "Apples and Bananas" which was a family favorite. I still sing it sometimes to our grandchildren, it always brings a smile.

So, today when I was browsing Amazon, Raffi popped up and I thought I should search once again. Still no DVD with "Apples and Bananas".  So disappointing.

Then I had a thought ---- Maybe, Just Maybe, it will be on YouTube! After typing in Raffi and "Apples and Bananas" I was pleasantly surprised to find it there. Yay!

So, I thought I'd share on here so that our grandkids can view it. They may not enjoy it as much as their parents, but it should hopefully be fun for them, nevertheless. I'm grateful to have found it, for the fond memories it brings to me, and that I can share it with them via this blog.

Here you go!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Facebook gratitude

Unless you live under a rock, or in a foreign country, you realize that this coming week is Thanksgiving. As a result many friends on facebook have taken to expressing their gratitude on a daily basis. I am in complete support of expressions of thankfulness regardless of why or the forum chosen. Being grateful is a wonderful way to be, it makes the world a better place to be, personally, and for those you come in contact with. I'm so thankful for the blessings of being grateful, and for my friend's expressions they share with many.

Friday, November 22, 2013


This morning it was evident that my cold had returned, or evolved, depending on how you choose to look at it. Craig happened to call to discuss something with me while Pat was getting ready for work. Suddenly he walked into our room with a glass of orange juice for me. I'm so grateful for him looking out for me, and delicious orange juice.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Gobble Gobble!

Yes, my Thanksgiving shopping is nearly complete. I am truly grateful for that today! :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Yesterday I went to our favorite farm stand in the area. They always have fresh produce, grown locally. They also have amazing delicious pies! While I was checking out I was chatting with the girl there. As I was about to leave she suddenly said, "Would you like a free pie?" Um, yes! Like I said, their pies - amazing. I could choose from coconut cream, banana cream, lemon and pumpkin. Since we are having pumpkin soon, I nixed that one, since I love coconut cream I nixed that one, since I don't care for lemon all that much I nixed that one. Banana cream won out!

I took that lovely pie home. (We each enjoyed a small piece later.)

One of my sisters that I visit teach happened to call me shortly after I returned home with that pie. I told her about my score, and she was a little envious...just a little! She also loves their pies.

The following morning my mom was out doing a puzzle in the kitchen and my plan was to take the rest of the pie to this friend. I asked my mom if she wanted me to save her a piece, which she did. Of course! Then I took the rest of the pie to my friend who was delighted to have it! (and I am for her since we should not be eating it!)

Maybe it's not pay it forward day like it was last week...but who needs a day to pay it forward? We should all be doing the best we can in sharing what we have anyway!

I'm grateful for pie, and for being able to share it with a friend. :)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Taste test

Admittedly, this will be an odd post. Prepare yourself.

This year we are hosting Thanksgiving at our home for extended family members. Originally, when we weren't doing this, I was going to just go the quick and easy route: turkey breast, homemade mashed potatoes, Stove Top (I know), corn, green beans, and homemade rolls.

However, since we are having company I have had to adapt. Now we are getting a turkey, cooking stuffing from scratch, using Crescent rolls, and continuing on with the mashed potatoes, corn, and green beans.

Truthfully I've never been a HUGE fan of stuffing. It is not my favorite Thanksgiving dish (pass the mashed potatoes, please!). Since that is the case it stands to reason that I don't have a favorite stuffing recipe. Actually, usually I kind of wing it (ha! you know, turkey...wing, get it?). My stuffing turns out okay, but nothing to write home about.

Which has brought me to watching various TV shows that are focusing on Thanksgiving recipes. As a result I watched "The Chew" where Michael Symon made his basic stuffing recipe. Then, I had the brilliant idea that I would choose that recipe for my stuffing. That was followed by yet another brilliant idea - perhaps we should make a half batch and see how we like it.

I did make it. I did taste it. I did not like it. We are no longer using that recipe and I am beginning the hunt for a better one. Yikes!

I am grateful for taste testing - it sure would have been embarrassing to serve a crummy stuffing! :/

Monday, November 18, 2013

I Believe in Miracles

Yesterday I took the time to read the account regarding some of the sister missionaries in the Philippines at the time of the typhoon. How they survived is a miracle... especially when you see the pictures of where the water level was in their former apartment. Then came another miracle as the mission and area presidents were trying to figure out how to evacuate the 200+ missionaries. If you haven't read this account yet, you should. It is found here:

This morning as I was driving around running errands I was thinking about what I had read yesterday. I thought about all the miracles we see all the time, we just don't take the time to recognize them as such. So, I thought of a few simple, but amazing ones:

1.  We are here on this earth walking around with these miraculous bodies!
2.  We have been blessed to have the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives. So many others don't, it's a miracle to me that we do.
3.  Technology. Here I am writing this post on my a few seconds it will be on the internet with immediate access to others. Crazy miracle.
4.  Our cars, or other forms of transportation. Seriously, how does one figure out how to put a car together to make it run so that we can get from one destination to another. Stopping and considering air travel simply leaves me speechless.
5.  We can know through the Holy Ghost what our Father wants for us. Miracle.
6.  We can be a forever family, and we can seal other family members to one another that have deceased.
7.  For me, being able to see without glasses for the past twelve years has been a miracle. Sometimes it still hits me how well I can see now.

I won't go on and on, because that is not my intention. These are just a few things I thought of while driving. Maybe you can take a moment and think of the miracles in your life, it just may make you feel more grateful.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Stake speakers

This Sunday is High Council Sunday. One of our dear friends is our Stake RS President, and we were blessed to have her speak to us today. She gave an excellent talk on gratitude and giving. Then our High Council speaker, who is from the Ripon ward (but is new to us) spoke on self reliance. He did an awesome job as well. All in all it was a great Sabbath day; for which I am quite grateful for. Most especially I am grateful for partaking of the Sacrament, and for my testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


We have several frames that are not currently being used. They had hung in our bedroom housing pictures from Daffodil Hill. Since we have changed our bedroom "theme" we no longer have these pictures in our room. This happens to coincide with Pat returning to his Lodi office, and actually into a new office. One day as I was pondering what to do with these vacant frames I happened upon a fabulous idea! You may know that we love Yosemite ...a lot. We have taken some great photos there. Since Pat loves Yosemite even more than me (shocker) I thought we could get some of those awesome photos printed (thank you Costco) and he could take those to his new office! I'm grateful for beautiful photos that capture moments we've experienced in a place we love.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Master Chef Jr

Last week someone, somewhere, mentioned the show Master Chef Jr. When I was still recuperating from my cold I thought that'd be a good time to check the show out. Having never watched Master Chef I had no idea what to expect. What an awesome show...more accurately - what amazing kids! Truthfully I am a decent cook, but these Jr chefs had more knowledge and expertise than I have, by far! They had great talent, and understanding, regarding food and cooking. This may seem like a silly thing to be grateful for, but I am. I love watching kids becoming aware of their personal abilities and discovering that they can use their talents in a way that makes them happy.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Keeping in touch

For various reasons today I talked with many family members. No matter the reason I'm grateful that we can keep in touch. :)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Old favorites

One of my friends celebrated her birthday two days ago. After texting her "Happy Birthday!" she texted me back, saying that she wanted to take me to lunch today. We have been friends for 21 years now, amazingly enough. We used to go to a Mexican restaurant in Ripon that has since changed names, but not owners. So, today that is where we met up for lunch. It was great being in familiar surroundings with a friend that I can talk to and laugh with. Another plus is that it was Mexican food! Good friend + good company + good food = great time. I'm grateful I could spend time with a few of my old favorites!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


We recently purchased a new Dell computer (of course!) for my mom. The thing is - it has Windows 8, which I am very unfamiliar with. Honestly, I am hoping we can simplify it for my mom. By "we" I mean Craig and me. More him than me, since he is the one with the knowledge, and I so am not. Thankfully, Craig not only knows how to help, he will actually do some of the work remotely. I'm so grateful for his knowledge! What a blessing! (For us!)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thank you!

Veteran's Day is today. There are no words to adequately express the gratitude most Americans, including myself, feel for ALL who have served on behalf of our freedom. Their selfless sacrifice is deeply appreciated. I'm grateful for the Veterans in our family: my dad, Pat's dad, Mike, Eric, and countless others; from the Revolutionary War forward. Thank you!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Priesthood blessings

The other night our grandson, Jack, was suffering from the croup. His daddy, Brad, gave him a Priesthood blessing, for which I am very grateful.

This morning I felt decent. I'm still struggling with my cold, but it isn't bad. After being up for a few hours this morning this sinus headaches hits from out of nowhere. Frankly, I am tired of this cold. The other day I told Amy that it reminds me of someone who sounds horrible, like they are dying, from a cold. You ask if they are okay and they say, "It's not as bad as it sounds." Well, in this instance the opposite is true. I don't sound bad at all; but I'm tired and weak, and congested and feel much worse than I sound. The point is not about how I feel, because we've all been there. The point is that I had to go to church today to take care of something regarding my calling (otherwise I wouldn't have, I don't like spreading germs). Since I knew I was going to at least be attending Sacrament meeting I texted Pat (who was in ward council) asking if he and our Bishop (hometeacher) could give me a blessing during Sunday School.

That they did. I am so grateful for Priesthood blessings, and for the worthy Priesthood holders in my life, that exercise their Priesthood righteously.

P.S. I should feel better soon, now that I've had a blessing!

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Unfortunately, I am a big reactor. Yeah. I can react positively or negatively rather quickly. Perhaps I am a slow learner, or perhaps this blog has taught me, that in most circumstances I need to give things time. What I have found is that when I am slow to react, coupled with putting my trust in God, I feel happier, and more at peace. It's that whole. "Be still, and know that I am God," frame of mind. I'm grateful for the difference that makes in my life, even our life. What a wonderful blessing. I'm also grateful Jack is feeling better today.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Sweet Lucas

Our grandson, Lucas, is 4 & 1/2. He was telling Angie, his mom, how grateful he is for Thanksgiving, and family. Then he went on to express his gratitude for the gospel and Jesus Christ. His declaration melts my heart. He is one special little boy. I sure am grateful for him, and his sweet testimony.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Concerned friends

Yesterday I received an email from a concerned friend of mine. She asked Pat why I wasn't at church on Sunday (I went for the Sacrament and then went home, sick with a cold), and said she'd email me. That she did. I'm grateful for her care and concern for makes me want to be better at expressing my concern to others for their welfare.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


A friend invited me to attend an upcoming get-together. The idea is that you bring five of one of your favorite things that has to do with either health and beauty or crafting. (I chose the health and beauty one.) You cannot spend more than $5 per item, which means you can spend up to $25. Then, you exchange things! You get to take home 5 things that 5 other people brought!

What a clever idea!

I'm looking forward to attending my friend's get-together this coming Saturday evening. I'm grateful for the fact that I do have a favorite thing to share, and that it is healthy, and that I was able to pick up five of them today! Doesn't it just sound like a fun idea?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Some days are hard. Everyone has them. We wonder why is it that we have to endure certain trials. Sometimes we feel weak and unable to bear the burdens that lay before us. If we were all alone I'm certain that would be the case. However, we are not. We have our elder Brother, our Savior, Jesus Christ that bore our burdens in the Garden of Gethsemane. Because of Him we can bear life's trials.

The beauty is that it didn't end at the Garden that night, when He was in agony on our behalf. The beauty of it is that it is eternal, an everlasting blessing given to every person. Every person, ever.

Our Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson said this in October General Conference:

Our Heavenly Father, who gives us so much to delight in, also knows that we learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass. We know that there are times when we will experience heartbreaking sorrow, when we will grieve, and when we may be tested to our limits. However, such difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were—better than we were, more understanding than we were, more empathetic than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before.
This should be our purpose—to persevere and endure, yes, but also to become more spiritually refined as we make our way through sunshine and sorrow. Were it not for challenges to overcome and problems to solve, we would remain much as we are, with little or no progress toward our goal of eternal life.
Only the Master knows the depths of our trials, our pain, and our suffering. He alone offers us eternal peace in times of adversity. He alone touches our tortured souls with His comforting words:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Whether it is the best of times or the worst of times, He is with us. He has promised that this will never change.
Personally, with all the suffering I see in the world, with the sorrow of those I am close to who lose loved ones far too early; with the trials I am enduring now, and you are enduring now, I find peace in the words of President Monson, and those he quoted from our Savior, Jesus Christ. The depth of gratitude I feel for Him, for our Father, and for the companionship of the Holy Ghost, I am unable to express with words. My heart, my mind, my soul, know, without a doubt, that they are there for us. They love us. They want us to be happy. They want us to be successful in living the gospel principles. They want us to return home to dwell in their presence someday. That knowledge is what I am most grateful for strengthens me.

Monday, November 4, 2013


When I was expecting Sam we were living in Provo, Utah. During that time they had the first ever General Relief Society broadcast. My former roommate, Lizzie, her mom, and I attended together in the Marriott Center. I remember Sister Whitton commenting that it was a historical moment - the largest gathering of women ever. We were excited to be there, and anxious to learn what we were being taught. That was 35 years ago. Now there has been new revelation regarding this meeting. We, the Relief Society sisters will be combining forces not only with the Young Women of the church, but all those eight and over. Honestly, at first I was excited, then I wondered how it will be as they strive to teach such a vast range in ages. And then it hit me - this is part of the progression to help those girls realize that they can feel comfortable in Relief Society when they reach age 18. Also, what a wonderful opportunity for mothers and daughters - to share a special night together twice a year. Yes. I am grateful for modern day revelation and how it applies to us.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Last Monday a coworker of Pat's passed away in his sleep. He was in his mid 30's, and left behind a 5 year old and his wife. All those that knew him were saddened by his passing. Everyone at Kleinfelder was in shock...understandably. Last night I discovered via facebook that a close friend of ours passed away, that same day, again unexpectedly. We kept in touch through Christmas cards, and wedding announcements. In fact Rach and I tried to see them when we were in Vancouver, WA in September. Sadly, it just didn't work out. He was only 51, and would've turned 52 on December 28th. (A very good day for a birthday) Keri, his wife, is one of the few kindred spirits I've met in my life. Larry leaves behind Keri, their 7 children, 4 children-in-law, and a grandson. We have no idea what happened, all we know is that it was sudden, and that we are very sad about it. I'm grateful for life, for how precious it is, and the lessons we learn when people close to us pass away. I'm very grateful that Larry is sealed to their family...that is everything.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Unexpected

I am grateful for blessings that unexpectedly come our way! The great thing about these type of blessings is that by nature they are a pleasant surprise. You didn't see it coming, and voila - there it is, right in front of you. (I'm not saying anything has happened in our lives recently that warrant this post; it's just me considering the wonder of unexpected blessings.)

These blessings, to me, are magical. Why shouldn't they be? Aren't they a wonderful way of Heavenly Father saying, "Just thought you'd like to know that I love you and wanted to give you this to show you my love." Not that He doesn't always show us His love, but sometimes that love is shown in unexpected blessings. :)

Friday, November 1, 2013


The past few days I've been fighting a cold. While I did my best to beat it, I think the cold finally won. While I needed to run a few errands this morning, and take care of a few other things, I have spent the rest of the day resting. I'm still not feeling well, but am grateful that I can rest!