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.