Wednesday, May 31, 2006

charlotte airport

It was a quick trip and we felt very fortunate for all the things we were able to accomplish. The only minor hitch was the fact that both of our flights were delayed leaving...but who could complain about getting stuck at the Charlotte Airport?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

decorator moo

Tricia invited me to come to Charlotte to help decorate her house. It was so much fun! If my students get the better of me next year...maybe I will go back to school???

Actually, I think it was mostly fun because I was hanging out with pregnant Tricia who kept me laughing all day long.

Monday, May 29, 2006

garden update

Our baby plants have grown enough for us to add mulch to the garden without losing sight of them. Two of our locals came by to check out the updated garden. Then they raced off to tell all their friends.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


Melanie prepared a wonderful talk about hope for her Sacrament meeting today. Both Cherylyn and I used her text as the basis for our Young Women's lessons. My favorite quote was one she found by Elder Maxwell.

“Hope helps us to walk by faith, not by sight. This can actually be safer. When unaided spiritually, natural sight often shrinks from the odds. It is immobilized by improbabilities. Mauled by his moods and intimidated by his fears, the natural man overreacts to, while hope overrides the disappointments of the day.”

Saturday, May 27, 2006

a relaxing Saturday

Today we spent time relaxing down at our little lake. It was lovely.

Friday, May 26, 2006

party time for Mom

After school today, I invited the second grade teachers over to the house to waterski and jet ski. It turned out to be a very fun and humorous afternoon. Almost everyone tried waterskiing. We were successful in getting my teaching partner Linda Stewart up and Cindy Monell. Andrea McDonald skied for a few seconds. It was her first time ever. Linda and Cindy had not skied in years and were pleased as could be at their success. For the rest it was just a good laugh and a pleasant afternoon after a very stressful year.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

party time for B

Tonight Brianna went to her friends Natalie's house to celebrate the end of the school year. They went to the movies

and out for pizza

to the Coldstone Creamery for ice cream

and swimming with her friends. She met her teacher's husband who lives in the same development where the pool is and right next door to Natalie's sister-in-law, Rhea. He was a little worried that the whole 4th grade was going to show up at his house!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

last day of school 2005-2006

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye
I leave and heave a sigh and say goodbye
-- Goodbye!
I'm glad to go, I cannot tell a lie
I flit, I float, I fleetly flee, I fly
-- Goodbye!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

4th grade awards

Brianna has had a terrific year with Mrs. Desourdy. She has helped her develop her natural talents to excel academically, and she has gone the extra mile tutoring after school to help Brianna and other students strengthen their math skills. We are all grateful for this wonderful teacher. The only thing that would have made it perfect is if we could have talked Mrs. Desourdy into coming back to church...maybe in time.

Mrs. Desourdy finished her master's degree this month as well. Brianna and Bevrline threw her a surprise party yesterday; even Dr. Moxley, our principal was in on it. We are pleased that Brianna is thoughtful and makes the extra effort to acknowledge the accomplishments of others. Mrs. Desourdy was thrilled and amazed!

Good job Brianna on a wonderful end to a wonderful year!

Monday, May 22, 2006

my early birthday party

Today at school the 2nd grade team had a surprise party for me at lunch. We ate razzleberry pie and they gave me garden-ish gifts--a watering can, three seed starter kits, a plant pot and cutest of all...

dragonfly lights!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sabbath gifts

So the true confession is this: For years, I didn't send my husband with a lunch on Sundays in the hope that he would come home sooner. After quite a while, I realized that it wasn't working. So I made him a few lunches here and there to show my support. But he didn't eat them. Someone came and had something on offer more interesting, or maybe it was just harder to refuse their generosity.

Doug put in another 15 hour Sunday. At seminary graduation, one of the sisters told me about a wonderful meal "someone" had prepared. Suddenly this scripture came to mind that had always seemed a bit odd to me before.

"And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind...your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things".

I am thankful to know that Heavenly Father is taking care of my husband. I wish I had words to express how grateful I am for all the people who have ever thought of my husband on a Sunday and followed a prompting to care for his physical, emotional or spiritual needs.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

handicapped mowgli still doing his job

Mowgli has a bald spot on the back of his head, a dirty face and scuffed chest and legs. He is missing a thumb and and the end of his nose. At some point his right leg was amputated about mid-calf. Actually he is in pretty bad shape for a young man in his midteens. We think that we bought the camera with Mowgli as a purchase incentive while traveling in the south of France. Cherylyn remembers that we were playing "O Blank" and she was losing badly. As she got more frustrated we felt sorry for her and wanted to cheer her up. None of us ever could stand to see our Baby-Doo sad and fortunately she wasn't very often. As we were busy conjuring up the scheme to give her Mowgli, she became even more irriated that we were whispering about "something." At the end of the game Dad ceremoniously bestowed the "Big Loser" consolation prize. Chezzie was not amused. In spite of its tenuous beginning, Mowgli has traveled with us all over the world and everyone has had their turn with Mowgli. The last two nights, the Scooby-Doo cards have failed Dad and I at Pinochle against Tanner and Chez. It's okay...their luck won't last, and then we will be happy to have Mowgli back where he belongs.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

checkup time for shooter

We took our boy to the vet today for his annual exam. It is a completely frustrating experience since our vet will not take appointments. We just have to go and wait in line to see him. They will let you check in and come back later--so that was my plan. I arrived at the vet at 7.40 am twenty minutes before they officially open. There was already a line ahead of me, and it quickly lengthened behind me. When I checked in they said that there were only three dogs ahead of him and to get him there asap. I was home and Doug and I were back with him in under ten minutes. No dogs were called while we were gone. One hour and 20 minutes later, we were still there waiting to be called. Finally, for our patience and endurance, we did find out the he weighs 89.2 pounds. Shooter received four shots and had his heart checked for worms. He took all the poking and prodding like a good boy. However, I don't think he wants to go back there any time soon...and neither do we! See ya next year Dr. Webber!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

grater technology

I love my cheese grater. It is older than my children. It works perfectly and has been a part of my kitchen almost since the day I got married. Doug's dad worked for a kitchen supply company. We got to go to the showroom one night and I was able to buy this great stainless steel grater, which is pretty common these days, but wasn't then. The problem now, is that I often need to use it again before I have run the dishes in the dishwasher. This requires handwashing, which is annoying at best. Surprised by the fact that I only owned one grater, Melanie bought me another one for Mother's Day. Tonight I used it for the first time. It was amazing! Even grater technology has improved vastly over the past thirty years.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

if at first you don't succeed...

Three years in a row I have purchased sunflowers at local garden centers. They have lived a few weeks and died. It has been a completely frustrating experience to see rows of sunflowers growing in my neighbors' gardens. I first remember fields on sunflowers on a trip that the girls and I took to Austria. I thought they were incredible. This year I purchased a packet of sunflower seeds, only because it was cheaper than buying the flower later on. I confess, however, that I planted without faith or hope. Still, I planted the dozen seeds and watered and waited. Only one grew. It grew and it grew and it grew. I might mention that at this point, my sunflower is the tallest sunflower I have ever seen. Today it bloomed it's first flower, but all the way down the stalk at every leaf point, I can see the beginnings of another flower. Wow!

Monday, May 15, 2006

bush addresses nation about immigration

Growing up in southern California, immigration has been an issue for as long as I can remember. I asked my dad why we couldn't just let everyone who wanted to come to the United States come in. I still feel that way--except for the scary people who want to hurt us, of course.

A third of my class are children that were born outside the US. One of my students, Jackie, tells me how lucky her family is to live here. She goes to bed at 5.00 pm and wakes up at 3.00 am. She is a straight A student. I don't know what her parents do for a living that necessitates those kind of hours, but I do know that they are doing something right.

I wish that all the people who want to come to the US felt that they could change and improve their own governments. For all the ills in America, we have so much to be grateful for.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

mother's day

I'm glad I'm cutting the distance between us in half. I'm glad you are always in my heart no matter where I am. I love you! Tricia

Dear Mom,
This Mother's day I want you to know how much you are loved. Not only do I love you, but so does my husband and my two little boys. Truman and Elliot love their Nana. I am grateful that they have someone so wonderful to look up to and is such a good example. You have always been someone to follow after when it comes to such important things like reading the scriptures and praying and being supportive of your husband when he spends so many hours doing service and doing service yhourself. I am thankful every day for the things that I learned from you and continue to learn. I have been so blessed by your love. I am not sure if I always understood how much you loved me...but now that I am a mom, I feel like I have a much better understanding. It is a little overwhelming, but I am so grateful to have that blessing in my life. Thank you for loving us and supporting us! You are a wonderful mother and we love you. Happy Mother's Day! Love, Melanie, Spencer, Truman and Elliot

Happy Mother's Day! I am so glad we get to spend my first official one together! I now have a better understanding about the love you have for each one of us now that I have my own and also all the time, patience, and prayers that are a necessity for successful motherhood and I am so glad I have a great example to look to in you! I love you! Love, Chezzie

Love, Brianna

You are the best! Love, Doug

Saturday, May 13, 2006

mother's day eve

Let's see...after Doug spending last Saturday at Woodbadge and spending the week in Argentina, I felt like I hadn't seen him for quite a while. I left at 7.30 this morning to spend the day at Lake Weir with the youth in our stake, so although Doug returned later in the morning, I didn't see him until this evening. We went to eat at a restaurant that we have not tried before and both really enjoyed our food. Then we went over to Anthropologie, and he bought me some cute white pants and a navy shirt.

It's good to have him back!

Friday, May 12, 2006

soccer season ends

Brianna has learned to play soccer this spring. She runs around and goes after the ball with enthusiasm. When a member is missing on the red team or gold team, they always ask for her first to be the substitute player. The green team has had a lot of fun and she has enjoyed being part of it.

For me, I have enjoyed sitting on the field and enjoying the warm evenings. Sometimes I have been so relaxed that I've fallen fast asleep. No reflection on the team, of course; just my lifestyle.

Well done, B!

lake nettie

May 11, 2006
We began the purchase of this beautiful acre of land on
Lake Nettie.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

mia maids

chezzie gets a calling

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

guerilla warfare

The baby chicks are growing up. We still have to leave their cage inside the coop so they can be protected. The black chickens want them gone. When we have tried to introduce them, it has usually been a disaster within minutes. The babies have fared okay when it is the both of them and only one black chicken. Melody is our peace-loving chicken.

Yesterday, I opened the top of the babies cage to see if they would venture out on their own, even though everybody was home. They spent most of their time atop their cage. However, when the big chickens come by they peck them heartily from above. When they come down the black chickens are after them immediately and we hear a series of painful sounding peeps. They quickly hop back up to the top of the cage and take the offensive again. I even saw them land on the back of one of the black chickens to do more serious damage...although the black chicken was obviously only annoyed, not hurt.

Why can't everybody just get along?

Monday, May 08, 2006

they're here


Sunday, May 07, 2006

can i have a lift?

From time to time we are asked to give someone a lift to or from church. This generally happens in a way that is planned in advance, but there is also the odd occasion when we are called upon at the spur of the moment, and we are generally able to acquiesce. We have noted that generally our riders are more than grateful and very polite. Today, however, was an exception. Our rider did not ask for a ride, but just got in the car. He then caused havoc the whole way home. When we finally arrived, he refused to get out of the car. As far as I know, he is still sitting out there...

... any suggestions for getting rid of a wolf spider?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

my Easter lilies

I think I first fell in love with Easter lilies when we lived in London...not that I wouldn't have loved them sooner, only because that is when I became acquainted with flowers. The English love their gardens and with so many dull days, they keep fresh flowers in their homes almost as a necessity to keep their spirits bright. It helps that many flowers are cultivated in Holland just across the channel and you can often buy flowers for a few pennies...seriously, pennies.

One year during the Easter season, and in England, Easter is a season rather than a day, as in the U.S., I found a wonderful book written by Brian Wildsmith called The Easter Story. I was delighted with the pictures and particularly the picture depicting the resurrection.
I have always had liles in my home at Easter since that time. Now I grow them in my garden. Sadly, they are never open for Easter. I actually had some hope this year as Easter was late, but nevermind...they arrived in full bloom yesterday to the delight of all of us.

Friday, May 05, 2006

thank goodness it's friday

My favorite TGIF is at 25 Coventry Street, Greater London, SW1. When we were living in the UK and were so homesick for the good ol' USA, we would take the train to Picadilly Circus, have a meal at TGIF's, catch the cinema nearby in Leicester Square and finish the evening with a Haagen Dazs ice cream. Although I never loved the food, I always loved the experience. Nowadays, TGIF stands for

Thank Goodness It's Florida.

We have enjoyed a beautiful late winter/spring season this year with plenty of mornings and evenings on the porch.

Today TGIF stands for thanks goodness it's Friday...I am grateful for the weekend. This week I am thankful that the plants in the front yard are still alive and that Shooter seems to have figured out where it is safe to run in the yard without getting zapped and is enjoying his freedom (although he still spends the vast majority of his time either on the porch or under the porch.) I am thankful that there are only 13 more days of school and that 4 of them are minimum days...AND that I have the weekend to rest up because the second graders are as anxious for summer as I am!

Thursday, May 04, 2006


When Melanie, Brianna and I lived and worked at the Birdhouse together, we woke every morning to the jackhammer sound of a pileated woodpecker pecking on the rain gutter. "Get up, get busy!"

We were delighted to have woodpeckers sharing our pine forest, especially since they were on the endangered species list at one time. The past couple of years we haven't seen them. Maybe we took them for granted and just stopped noticing...I don't know.

Today I looked out my window to see this interesting bird hammering away at a tree in my backyard. I was thrilled that at least one family is still here making their rectangular holes in the old pine trees that the carpenter ants have hollowed out. Tonight the dad takes over the babysitting responsibilites, and the mom will go out for some adventure until she takes on her shift again in the morning. They will find plenty of ants to eat no doubt, but they better beware because we also seem to have plenty of snakes this year; and I don't want a black racer to eat their babies!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

happy birthday Fred

I was thinking about my brother today. My memories of Fred center around him being annoying when I had friends over and particularly dates. One night when I was with my boyfriend, he hid under the giant bearskin rug that we had on the floor of our family room in front of the fireplace. After about half an hour he rose up and scared the living daylights out of me! He still has that fun sense of humor. Happy birthday, bro!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

the book club

The Eustis Evening Book Club met tonight. There were three of us, Melody Shipley, Debbie Clayton and myself. We decided to read The Red Tent.

Monday, May 01, 2006

may day

I was thinking today about the movie Camelot. It was my favorite movie when I was 15. I even bought a ring like Guinevere's. There is a huge celebration in the movie for the month of May, complete with maypole dancing. When I was in elementary school, we all learned how to do the maypole dance with ribbons. We don't teach that at our school. Doug says he never learned how to do it, but maybe he just doesnt remember it because he didn't think it was as cool as I did. I bet there are a lot of little girls out there how would still love it!

Today it felt like a day for celebrating life. Anyone have a maypole?