Wednesday, August 30, 2006

ernesto chases us to nc

School let out early today and we were on the road. We looked forward to spending time with Tricia and her family and especially Isabella's blessing on Sunday.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

1st semi-annual conference of the leesburg stake

This weekend we had stake conference. Saturday night I arrived about one hour early with Doug. I sat in the chapel reading and chatting with the people sitting near me while waiting for conference to begin. About ten minutes before the meeting began, I felt like I needed to get up. So I did. I walked down the hallway and back, and there, standing at the door of the chapel was Tricia Desourdy, Brianna's fourth grade teacher. Tricia hasn't been to church for a very long time. I said to Tricia to come and sit by me. She did. I sat in my seat and thanked Heavenly Father that I was in the right place at the right time. She is a wonderful person. It was great to be there with her.

In spite of all his worries, conference was great and Doug did a wonderful job. I personally enjoyed his personal stories that underscored the teaching. I think everyone else did too.

family canning

I went with Mary Gronlund and Debbie Peeler to the family canning facility in Orlando. I canned white wheat and red wheat, sugar and flour.

I decided that I want to be a church service missionary and work at family canning. I will play fun music and have a good ol' time with people when they come to family canning. It will be so great that couples will want to come to family canning for date night, friends will want to come and work together and everyone will want to bring their non-member buddies. All the participants will be so happy when they finish knowing that their family is well-prepared, and they had a good time doing it.

Friday, August 25, 2006

it's friday

I worked all day today. My class is so much more fun and easier this year than last year. I can work all day and not be as tired as I was working half a day last year. I just hope that it stays like that!

There is a boy in my class that got in trouble with me last week. His mom was upset and came to see me on Thursday. Thursday afternoon even after I had warned him, he stuck pencil grippers up his nose and was modeling them for the class while I was teaching a science got to write a note home about his behavior himself. Friday, I had an apology note from him and he was a "model citizen." (I picked up that phrase from Tanner this summer.) Friday afternoon I wrote a note to his mom in his journal about his great day. His big eyes lit up when he read it. He could hardly wait to tell his mom that she had a note from me. And he was planning on making her think it was a bad note. And then surprising her with the good one. He cracks me up!

Friday night Brianna joined us on our date. We ate dinner at Ruby Tuesdays and went to see the movie Invincible. It was the kind of movie that makes you feel good. I don't care that the critics didn't care for it. I liked it!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

red roses

My husband went to the store tonight and came home with a dozen red roses for me. No special reason...just I love you and thanks for being you.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

sewing with my laurels

Tonight the Laurels made pillowcases. If you do not sew you should know that this is what is says on the interent about making pillowcases.

There is nothing simpler to make than a pillowcase. It is a wonderful "first project" for you to do with your child.

So...I was quite surprised that:
1. When we were ripping the fabric to straighten the edge, one of the girls ripped the selvedge side instead of the crooked side, because she didn't like the white edge.
2. One of the girls pinned her fabric with the two edges that she was sewing together with the edges not at all together.
3. None of the girls could sew a straight line, which really makes me wonder about their driving ability, since my sewing machine has numerous guidelines that I kept trying to help them use.
And finally, in spite of 1-3,
4. All of the girls pillowcases turned out adorable.

I was happy that:
5. No one cried.
6. No one gave up.
7. We all had a great time.
And finally, because of 5-7,
7. The girls are pleased with their pillowcases.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

shooter knows what's up

Shooter was sick last week. I thought that he was going to die. He didn't eat...anything, at all--not for 5 whole days. I took him to the vet on day 4. The doctor couldn't find anything wrong with him and did some blood work that was also inconclusive. The doctor told me that our dog seemed a little lethargic. Ya think? After five days of not eating?

My friend Cindy at school is the best vet ever. She told me to feed him cheese and chicken. He ate 3 bites, and it was 3 bites more than he had eaten all week. The next morning he ate about 10 bites. He continued to increase the amount he ate at every meal. After a few days, Cindy told me that he really needed dog food to get his vitamins. She told me to buy him canned dog food and mix it with his regular dry dog food. He eats the canned dog food and leaves the dry. But, at least he is still eating.

Although Shooter is normally an outside dog, we wanted to keep an eye on him. Now he sits in the air-conditioned laundry room all day and watches Doug work on the three conference talks that he is giving this weekend.

I am thinking that Shooter is never going to be fully well again.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

helping mom

I love my mom for many many reasons. Tonight we worked together on the phone for 45 minutes to get her onto our family weblogs. She kept trying until it worked. And when it worked we had such a good time together talking about the pictures. No doubt she will go back and look at the pictures again tomorrow and again on other days. I may need to help her again...she has made a lifetime of helping me. I am glad to do it! My mom is awesome.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

saturday night at the temple

Tonight we went to the Temple with the Priesthood leadership of the Leesburg Stake. Next week is our Stake Conference. It is a wonderful feeling that everyone in the room is serving the needs of the people in our stake. Doug, of course, knows them all very well. I enjoy meeting them and having memorable moments to think about later on.

Friday, August 18, 2006

the goodbye party

Some of the people that Chez and Tanner hung out with this summer got together tonight and had dinner at Tijuana Flats. It was a nice evening and we ate outdoors. We had fun talking about our adventures this summer and future plans.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

book club

Book Club met tonight. We had fun reading our favorite parts in These Is My Words. Tonight we decided to read a book that I have never read, which I am happy about. We are reading To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

ella's blessing dress

Cathy Seguine made a beautiful dress for Courtney to be blessed in out of her wedding dress. So it was my turn. This one is for Bella...made out of my wedding dress.

Monday, August 14, 2006

apple basket

I bought my french apple basket at a wayside antique shoppe near Haywards Heath when I went to visit Tricia and Dan for Courtney's birth. I loved it from the moment I saw it. The basket just barely fit inside my largest suitcase and I ended up packing my things inside the basket that was inside my suitcase. The basket has been a favorite with all the grandkids. Nowadays it is filled with artifical apples. Shooter and occasionally a guest try to eat one without success.

It is Clarks's turn to figure out the apple basket. Everyday... the minute he is on the loose... he goes straight for the basket. His intentions are clear! He wants an apple.

Today, he got one.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Chezzie was talking at dinner tonight. Brianna THOUGHT she asked her if she was in the smartmouth group at school.

What she ACTUALLY asked her was if she was in the smart math group.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

fifth grade

Brianna loves school. Today is the first day and she is ready to go.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

remembering Mel Varela

giving and receiving

I had the strongest feelings that I should go to south Florida to give our support to the Varela family. Mel is a friend who has made extraordinary effort to keep in touch with Doug through the years. He has helped him on numerous projects, both in business and for BYU even though he is not a member of our church.

Brianna agreed to come along, and the past two days went something like this for me:

Go to work
Drive 3 1/2 hours to south Florida
Change clothes in the restroom at Nordy's in the Boca Towne Center
Meet Susan and Amanda Current for dinner
Attend the viewing
Drive by our home in Parkland
Spend the night with the Lake's
Attend the funeral
Drive 3/1/2 hours back home
Meet the parents of my students at Back to School Night
Go to ward council

There was nothing in the events of the past two days that was unexpected and I knew that the days would be long and full.

What was unexpected however, was how renewed I felt. I loved visiting the people and places in my past. And even more, I appreciated the conversation that I had with Rolain Lake. It is one of the paradoxes of life that when you think you are giving, you often receive much more than you actually give.

I am so thankful for this experience.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

school blessings

It has been the tradition in our family to have "back-to-school" blessings from Doug at the beginning of every school year. Even when I wasn't teaching school, I normally also received a blessing at the same time. They have always been a source of strength and direction for me during the come year.

Today my blessing focused on strength. It was a beautiful blessing and just what I needed to be reminded about at this time in my life.

cleaning the garage

Tanner and Chezzie gave Doug a wonderful Father's Day gift. They said they would organize the garage. Anyone who knows the state of our garage can only begin to appreciate the enormity of the project. Tanner has spent numerous hours out there this summer, and the tractor and a car both fit easily into place now. While working yesterday, he found a box of Melanie's old gymnastic clothes. Evidently "something" else had discovered them first. But what? We can't decide if these cute little guys are baby rats or baby squirrels. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

playtime with shooter

When we were looking for a doggy, we said that we wanted one that would be good with children. We ended up at lab rescue with Shooter. He has been very nice to all our babies, which we are grateful for. A few times he has accidently whapped one of the kids with his tail which is not pleasant, but they seem to cope...even better than their parents.

Clark loves Shooter and laughs his big full belly laugh when he is around. Shooter, however, seems quite intimidated by Clark and normally goes someplace to get away from the baby. We watched him cower under the kitchen table while Clark did his push/scoot/crawl over to where he was to continue their playtime together.

You're a good dog, Shooter!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

clark at bealls

He sits and enjoys the ride in this extraordinary stroller.

He's getting a little bored with the whole shopping thing and decides to practice his pull-ups.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

goodbye laren

Laren Lowder has been the MiaMaid advisor this summer. She is leaving this week on a mission to Bulgaria. We will miss her!

Back row: Missy Wise (Laurel advisor), Ayla Schaffer, Andrea Gronlund (hiding), Tori Peeler, Alaris Lowder.
Front row: Jordan Mathews, Laren Lowder, Melissa Schaffer.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

back to school

It's back to school for me today. The place was quite empty as the students don't return until next Thursday. Nevertheless, I was busy all day getting ready. We have ten second grade classrooms this year. Thank goodness for pre-planning.