Sunday, December 24, 2006

O, come let us adore Him!


Friday, December 22, 2006

dinner @ the toronto's aka hemingways

Last night Suzy and Al Toronto invited us over for dinner. They live in a beautiful home that Suzy started designing about fifteen years ago. The house captures the essence of traditional Florida. The ceilings were high and gabled with white wood. The floors were pale wood. The rooms were open and inviting. The patio almost became a part of the house when all the doors were open, which they were all night as it was a lovely evening. Suzy is a swimmer and the lap pool was marked by several fountains. Candles were aglow everywhere. We ate shrimp and fettucini alfredo with salad. Dessert was apples and cranberries accompanied with vanilla creme. Everything was delicious!

Best of all, however, was getting to know the Toronto's. Suzy and Al are charismatic and charming. We had a great time.

to Clark from Nanamoo

Merry Christmas!

school party

Here are the cute faces that I teach. They will be having a great holiday for the the next couple of weeks. See you next year!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

the new linda

My new teaching partner's name is Linda Woodall. So at least I don't have to remember a new name. It appears that in my generation, if you didn't name your child some version of Debra, then you named her Linda.

These first two days have been just terrific. When I arrive the classroom is tidy. The kids are well-behaved. She has a calmness about her. I have high hopes for the future.

Monday, December 18, 2006

father and son

Thanks to Tim and Lori who included these pictures from last month in their Christmas card!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

saturday night events

Last night Brianna went to Natalie Teet's Christmas Party. Twelve girls went out to dinner at the Olive Garden and then to see the Charlotte's Web movie. She had a blast! I want to see the movie...maybe I can talk Courtney and Carter and Jonah into it during Christmas break.

Doug and I had a very nice and festive evening walking and eating at Millenia Mall. They have changed the decorations this Christmas to an updated Dr. Seuss look that they call Hollyville...very cute!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

holiday music

Last night Doug and I went to the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas concert. We had fun!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

decorator help needed

Acknowledging that the knot garden is minus the knot at the moment...should we go with the natural post or paint the post white that is under the birdhouse in the center of the knot?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

yw holiday dinner

Emily Mathews, Lauren Sage, Megan Berge, Jordan Mathews, Melissa Schaffer, Tori Peeler and Ayla Schaffer

Here are my cute girls! We had a great time eating yorkshire pudding with roast beef, of course. Amy's aunt made us trifle for dessert. It was a fabulous dinner. All the girls shared favorite Christmas memories. Such a wonderful evening.

Monday, December 11, 2006

my secret garden

The bricklayers came today!

Stay tuned for more developments in the backyard in the coming weeks/months.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

mr. gatch's magic oranges

My neighbor's name is Mr. Gatch. He is very old. He could be as young as 75, but he is probably older than that. He tells me great stories about the old days in Florida whenever I go to visit him. I have good intentions to visit him more often that I do, because I enjoy him very much, sadly they are only good intentions at this point.
This time of year, I see Mr. Gatch on a regular basis. That is because he sells magic oranges. He grows them in the groves on his property, and he sells them for $3 a bushel. That would be $3 for about 40 or 50 oranges. He tends the trees all year, along with all the other growing fruits and vegetables that he takes care of on his property. He doesn't walk very well and when I see him with a rickety old ladder leaned against a tree with a saw in hand and he is like 8 or 9 feet in the air, it scares the living daylights out of me. He has probably been doing that for about 65 years and so he probably thinks he is just fine!
I was feeling especially tired this morning...was I coming down with something or was I just exhausted from the week behind me? Nethermind...I will go and buy some magic oranges and I will feel great!
"Hello, Mr. Gatch!"
"You come huntin' oranges."
"Yes, Mr. Gatch. I would like juice oranges."
(You need to know that he posts a sign in his front yard advertising navel oranges for sell.)
"I don't have any juice oranges picked."
Then Mr. Gatch says, "I guess I could go pick some."
(I jump out of the car.)
"I'll help you."
(We pick oranges together. He pulls 5 for every 1 that I pull. He tells me a story about how in the olden days they made them cut the oranges from the trees with clippers. Sometimes the orange clipper people didn't cut right next to the orange so that there was a little bit of stem. The stems would sometimes poke another orange and then people wouldn't want to buy it because it was damaged. Some man came to him and learned about pulling oranges and now all oranges are pulled--as opposed to picked or clipped. I get this story because I pulled an orange and managed to leave a little bit of stem endangering my bushel!)
(We are back at the car now and he is loading my oranges into the backseat.)
He says, "If I don't see you before Christmas, have a merry one!"
"Oh you'll see me before Christmas."
"Well, don't come back too soon."
(I laugh and leave.)
I've had three glasses of magic orange juice today. It turns out that I am trying to get sick. The magic oranges are fighting brazenly. Nevertheless, I sent my husband to the Temple alone tonight and Brianna joined the Bishop's family for the ward Christmas party. I stayed home with my magic oranges and read a book that one of my guests wrote and gave to me last night. Then I made some soup from a recipe that was included in her book. It's done now, my oranges are waiting and Brianna has just come in to tell me the tales of her evening.

high council christmas dinner party

Last night was the event that we have been working toward all week. On Sunday, Doug and I laid out a map of what needed to happen and when it needed to happen by. Come Monday, Doug was 24 hours behind schedule. The good news is that he stayed 24 hours behind schedule all week, which didn't get any worse. When I got home from work on Friday, my exhausted husband said, "This is a lot of work!"

This is the first year that I didn't cook. That was a huge benefit to me personally. I sent my husband to Millenia Mall to pick up dinner. As he was going out the door, I called after him. I haven't paid for the Italian food at Brio, but I have already paid for the dessert from Cheesecake Factory. To which he responds, "It's a good thing that you said that. I wasn't planning on going to the Cheesecake Factory." He made it home with dinner and dessert looking and smelling wonderful and only a few of the guests had arrived.

The house looked great. The women were gorgeous! The men were handsome. Dinner was delicous. We were having such a wonderful time that I completely lost track of the time and was truly surprised at how late it actually was when our last guest left.

Doug and I walked to the breakfast room where my three servers sat after having worked all evening, serving and then cleaning everything up. Melody and Ashleigh (who I never spell her name right and can't remember now how she does spell it) answered my pleas for help on Monday. I was overwhelmed by their charity since Ashleigh is pregnant and Sick! And Melody has 5 children and a husband's new business who keep her very busy all week and I know that she looks forward to her evening off on Friday. Mary volunteered weeks ago because she is my friend. Yes, the three of them were sitting there and I thought at I entered the do I thank these women who truly MADE THE NIGHT?

So this is what happened...I walked into the room and they looked up and said with one accord,"If you don't invite us to serve this dinner next year, we are going to be mad at you." It took my breath away. I feel so very blessed to know these three wonderful women.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

school holiday dinner

We had our holiday dinner tonight. They had a present for every teacher. My name was the very last one pulled out of the basket. I got a $25 gift certificate to Outback! Wahoo!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


You would think since this is the third time that I have had the High Council for Christmas dinner that it would just be a snap. Some things are easier this time around for sure. But there have been some today when we decided to put 12 at the dining room table instead of 10. That meant a trip to Wal-Mart and JoAnn's to see if I could find something suitable to make into a tablecloth. I finished the tablecloth after YW tonight.

The girls were wondering why I had so many tables around...I am hosting a dinner party for THEM next week. Tonight they made Christmas cards (at one of the tables) with our ward stamping expert. They turned out adorable!

(Actually, these are the cards that I made at Relief Society, but the girls made similar ones tonight.)

Monday, December 04, 2006

o christmas tree

O Christmas tree

O Christmas tree

Much pleasure doth thou bring me!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

payton neveah wise

Payton was blessed today at church. She looked very beautiful in her white dress. This evening we went to a little get-together at the Teets home, and I took this cute picture of her and Missy.

We are thankful that she is doing so well after her traumatic three week stay in the hospital.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


For my Christmas present, Mary took me to see "Ice" at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando.
We had a great time. As an added benefit, we also got to see a cute variety Christmas show and a light show. Mary took pictures and I will load some if blogger gets itself sorted out.

Friday, December 01, 2006

flat tanya

Brianna received this adorable letter in the mail today from Courtney. Brianna named the girl Flat Tanya as she thinks that she does not look like a Stanley. I especially liked the freckles that Courtney put on her nose. In actual fact, I think that she looks like Flat Brianna. You will note in the letter a request to take her bowling (boln) and added long hair and a bowling ball to the predesigned picture from her teacher. What a creative child!
My favorite sentence: duw not lat htor get et
Translation: Do not let Shooter get it.
P.S. Not to be prideful or anything, but I do think that being a second grade teacher helped with the translation.

oven adventure #2

So, I talked with Dacor and they told me the part we needed to fix the problem that I explained. I then called a company in Georgia to order the part. This morning I had a big box sitting on my front porch with a bake element and a new temperature sensor. In spite of Doug's need to prepare for Saturday's Stake General Priesthood Meeting. He spent two hours installing the bake element with his able assistant (that would be me.) I had to leave for school when it was time to test the oven, but Doug assures me that it works perfectly, and I cancelled the service person scheduled for Wednesday next week.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

it's that time of year

This is what I did before school......and this is what I did last night while Doug was at Bishopric Training.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

it's raining

It rained almost all day...

...and at our house it rained water and sawdust. We are getting ready for our backyard project.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

chat club?

The book club met tonight...we talked about the book for about 30 minutes and then we just talked for the next hour and a half. It was great to relax with people so different than myself in life experiences and realize how very much alike we all are.

Monday, November 27, 2006


We are getting close to the end of the science project. I was "tempering" the chocolate in two pans that I own that I put together for a selfmade double boiler. For some reason a vacuum was created and the two pans were inseparably connected. I confessed to Doug and with a lot of brainstorming on the part of both of us, he finally got the pans apart thanks to WD-40 and a hammer!
Doug suggested that I not do that again.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

happy birthday B

Tonight we went to "Light Up Mt. Dora". Rolf from the Sound of Music was the MC and as it turns out he has quite an impressive singing voice. We spent a little over an hour watching and listening to the local talent before they flipped the switch.
When we got home, we ate dinner and then Brianna opened the rest of her birthday presents. She had an early birthday with some clothes before we went to California. Today she was thrilled with her karaoke machine and the Karaoke CD's from Mel and Chez. Tricia sent her a game for her gameboy which she was delighted to have as well.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

teacher's pet

Kerstyn told her mommy that I would be at the baptism because on Tuesday (the last day of school before the Thanksgiving break) I said to her as she was leaving the classroom, "See you on Saturday."
Kerstyn was absolutely thrilled to be baptized. I was thrilled to be there.

Friday, November 24, 2006

oven adventure #1

Since the right side of my oven--that would be the larger side--was not working on Thanksgiving, I decided to try and get someone out to have a look. We don't really live in Timbuktu, but unfortunately, there are no Dacor people who are willing to come out. The Dacor office is closed until Monday, so we'll see what they have to say.
But we went out with the Hewitt's tonight and they suggested that it was a heating element problem. Sure enough, when we got home, we opened the oven, lifted the panel and the heating element was in 4 pieces. How does that happen?
Stay tuned for more exciting oven adventures...


My Thanksgiving Bag:
Blessing - to celebrate 30 years of marriage
Accomplishment - to keep up with my blog for 9 ish months now
Goal - to finish uncompleted projects
We had Thanksgiving with the Ingalls clan. It was a wonderful day inspite of the fact that one of my ovens would not hold a temperature...dinner was delayed but in the end it all tasted great and afterwards we had fun playing dominoes, pool, pingpong, and dance dance revolution until nearly midnight.
Doug's blog:
Blessing - me and the grandkids (sorry girls)
Accomplishment - finishing the first year as a new stake
Goal - staying on track with the scripture study program
Brianna's blog:
Blessing - (I can't remember exactly...I will check with her in the morning)
Accomplishment - being more responsible at school
Goal - to be "terrific kid" at school

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


You can hardly move these days without seeing some kind of commercial, so I don't think my blog should be any different.
I just love my floormate. I know that they have newer models and when this one wears out, I will upgrade, but in the meantime...
My machine will vacuum and mop and nearly dry all my hardwood floors. It is awesome.

Monday, November 20, 2006

welcome to the birdhouse

Here is the beautiful antique (circa 1870) acid-etched glass that we purchased at Rennigers this weekend. It was four inches too tall for our opening. When I called the glass cutters this morning they told me that they would not cut the glass because it is illegal not to have "safety glass" in the doors. I told her that we would sandwich the glass inbetween the safety glass, so she made the appointment and the cutters showed up around noon. They told us that as long as we didn't ask them to install it, they would be glad to cut it...if they could. No guarantees of course. They didn't feel comfortable cutting it at the house so they loaded up the doors of which the glass was a part and attached them to the OUTSIDE of their truck. (I am talking like the doors looked like they were riding on the running board.) They called around 4:00 and we spent the next hour shuttling back and forth between the glass cutters and our house twice. It is now 6:30. Doug has just finished installing the glass. We are thrilled!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

a picture of B for Grandma B

Grandma says that she doesn't have a current picture of Brianna. she is on Sunday, November 19, 2006 at 8:06 pm.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Today was the extravaganza at Rennigers. 117 acres of antiques and junk...mostly junk. I think I walked all 117 acres today and a large part of it I walked more than once while I waited over an hour for Doug to show up and give an opinion. He loved it! Hope you do too...but you'll have to wait to see what!

Friday, November 17, 2006

stranger than fiction

Well done Emma!
Go see it.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

let's make a deal

Doug was supposed to help me clean the house today. But then I said, if you will hang the window treatments, I will clean while you work. He's a smart man. He knew he would have to hang them sooner or later and he might as well get out of the cleaning job for his efforts.

You may be wondering why we are putting up window treatments after six years. The answer to that is that we got a new carpet for under the table and we don't want it to know how one project leads to another...which is why he is now going to have to hang another matching set on the other side of the room. I bought four more tonight.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

conversational dilemma

Rachel used this interesting little video clip for a Young Women's lesson on Sunday. Before you read the rest of this blog you should watch it. on Sunday, I ran into a man that I worked with at my dad's office when I was newly married. I haven't seen him for 30 years. He said to me..."I could almost recognize you."
My question is this...what was my response supposed to be?

California is the state of beautiful people. And I am thankful for the ones still standing beside me who are beautiful on the inside--where it is real.