Monday, December 31, 2007

Sunday, December 30, 2007

my ipod

So now I guess I am really cool because Doug bought me an Ipod for Christmas.

It's true that they are really easy to use...however, like things of similar ilk...they are really easy AFTER you know how. Which is what I have been learning. Since I didn't ask, nor even imply that I wanted an Ipod, I was quite surprised! But the even bigger suprise for me is how thrilled and excited I am about it. I have been busy downloading songs mostly from our old CD's. I have done close to 500 which means that I only have room for another 19,500. Oh well, I will have to cross that bridge when I come to it.

I have also uploaded my Windows Contacts list and a podcast. Ta da!!!

It hasn't all been a series of successes however. I still have an audio book sitting on my desktop waiting for me to figure out why it doesn't want to join the Ipod party.

When I registered with Apple, I couldn't help noticing that I was in the very last age group that they listed, which was 55-64. Okay, I am not actually 55 yet, but it will happen this year. I suppose they think that there are no circumstances under which you can be cool enough to have an Ipod after the age of 64? Or maybe it is because the audio book recommendation on their website advertises that you will look and feel 15 years younger after reading it...which drops me to nearly 40. That was a good time, but I am not so sure about going back there.

Brianna keeps asking to borrow my Ipod. No, No, No, No, No.

I tell her, "Sorry dear." I have a pretty short list of things that I don't like to share including my toothbrush, my makeup, my computer and the newly added item, my Ipod. Besides, taking her back 15 years puts her 3 years before birth, and I am VERY sure about not taking her back there. Which means, that Brianna will be getting an Ipod at approximately real age 33, or Ipod age 18, which would make me 76 and even with help from Ipod, I would still be outside their coolness range at 65.

In the meantime, I am enjoying the experiences that all this great technology has to offer!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

christmas day

One of my favorite memories of this Christmas is the delight with which we all watched Clark. Tanner said what we were all thinking, "This is the best!" he exclaimed while watching his son. But for me watching him watch his son was equally great!!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

only one more sleep 'till christmas

Chezzie, Brianna and I made a Christmas Eve meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, rolls and apple pie. Afterwards, for family home evening we:
played Christmas charades with Brianna
Tanner announced the name of their unborn child, "Andrew Douglas Nielson"
(you can imagine the delight with which that news was received)
I organized a scripture excursion looking up symbols of Christmas
Chezzie had us play a word search game
And Doug read to us parts of the Christmas story ala Susan Easton Black.

It was a lovely time!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

saturday fun

Clark is busy entertaining himself trying on shoes.
Brianna went with Natalie to hang out at the kid's club at the Gaylord.
And Doug, Tanner, Chezzie and I entertained ourselves today by playing a marathon pinocle game that lasted 21 hands. Chezzie and Doug won in the end by pulling out a double pinocle.

Friday, December 21, 2007

goblin market

The Goblin Market is a wonderful restaurant in downtown Mt. Dora, that will always have a place in my heart because it was sitting at a table having lunch that Melanie spotted our house in a Homes and Land magazine.

Cherylyn, Mom and I had lunch there today. It was great!

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Last year, my friend, Mary Gronlund took me to see ICE! at the Gaylord Palms for a Christmas gift. It was wonderful, and I loved it so much that I decided to take my mom back to see it this year. When mom decided to have a go on the ice slide, I knew that I was in trouble! Down she came and a few minutes later, I followed. It was actually pretty fun, even though I was afraid.

Afterwards, mom took me out to eat at the hotel restaurant Villa de Flora, where it was Greek night. Loved it!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

dance recital

Brianna did a great job!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

me and my mom

It's been four years since she last visited me in Florida. She arrived safely today. Apart from the fact that we both have brown eyes, we don't look too much alike. That blessing belongs to my niece, Karissa.
However, when I saw her walking down the ramp at the airport, I decided that we are alike in other ways!
P.S. She did notice the draperies!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

what would Jesus see

I have been thinking lately about the popularity of WWJD over the past years. When I was growing up, lessons in church focused on WWJS if he came to your house? We were taught to be clean and orderly, along with a recommendation for good books, magazines and pictures in our homes. Taking it to the next level, I always hoped that if Jesus came to my house, he would find a happy family striving to keep the commandments. Because, like my friend, Amy, says, if you arrive unannounced you will probably only find that the house is "pretty clean" dishes that are "mostly done."

I like having company for several reasons. We seem to get jobs done that have been hanging around the low end of the priority list for a while. Having the high council party at the beginning of December is a bonus because the lights go up and the house gets decorated for Christmas. These things did happen at our house before Doug was called to be the stake president and I have every reason to believe that they will happen after he is released. But I do like knowing (this year for example) that it will all be done by December 7.

My mom is coming this week--December 18 to be exact. The house has been decorated, since December 7 as I mentioned and it is "pretty clean." But then I got to thinking how I had never finished making the draperies for the room that she will be staying in. We've lived here six years now and surely I must have had time to finish that job at some point. But I haven't. So I decided this would be a good time to make that happen.
Here are the draperies laying on the bed waiting to be hung on the naked windows.

The matching twins on the other wall.

We have actually done many projects since my mom last visited. She will see them admire them all with enthusiasm. I don't know if she will notice the draperies or not. In any case, it has given me pleasure to finish them in honor of her visit.

WWJS? A daughter who is glad she came to visit. A daughter who is grateful for a righteous mother who's legacy of faith is currently touching the lives of three generations. I feel sure He'll like seeing that.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

the golden compass

Months ago when our little book club read this fantasy, we planned our holiday outing to see the movie. Tonight was the event. About the movie, it stayed pretty true to the story, although, as is usually the case, the book was better. About the company, I truly enjoy being with this group. Thanks Mary, Melody and Debbie for a fun night!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

rle staff christmas party

As part of the festivities, we were given gifts lottery style. Since I am normally quite lucky, this is okay with me. Last year, my number was the very last one called, but the gift was great. This year, we all drew numbers out of a bag early on and then hunted around to find the number that matched ours. I WAS lucky! My team leader was not...

I got at $25.00 gift certificate for Goblin Market, my favorite restaurant in Mt. Dora. Wahoo!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Saturday, December 08, 2007

it's that time of year

We have been working all week to get the house prettied up for Christmas in anticipation of the high council dinner party on Friday night.

The fabulous friends who served dinner actually asked to serve again. They are so awesome.

We had a wonderful evening together.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

what is a meme?

Fellow Blog Readers: Please copy and post your own meme as I would love to read your responses.

Christmas Meme
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Real.

3. When do you put up the tree? I like to do it the day after Thanksgiving. One year when we lived in the UK, we bought it before Thanksgiving, which isn't a holiday there and they delivered it on Thanksgiving Day.

4. When do you take the tree down? Normally sometime after New Years. I am in no hurry.

5. Do you like eggnog? No. My mom made it from raw eggs in the blender when I was a kid and I always thought it looked and tasted disgusting.

6. Favorite gift received as a child ? My mom doesn't sew a lick. But one year she got together with a friend of hers and she helped her make dresses for me and my sister. They were the kind with big full twirlly skirts...loved it. And I loved that my mom made it.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. Many. I love them all.

8. Hardest person to buy for? Dan, Spencer and Tanner (I don't have boy experience.)

9. Easiest person to buy for? All my girls are easy to buy for.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail. I am also tempted to quit with the advent of blogger, but will probably keep sending out for a little while.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? One year my dad bought some used restaurant chairs at an auction. What do you think I thought I was getting when they took us to the garage to see the present and pressed the remote and there were 4 very used chairs sitting there? We eventually gave them to our apartment landlord who was very happy to have them.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Muppet's Christmas Carol with Polar Express as a close second and I really like The Nativity movie that came out last year.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I buy all year hoping to have most of it done by December so I can enjoy the holiday and also I like the feeling that I bought something specifically for them and not just for the holiday.

14. Ever recycled a Christmas present? Sometimes I get gifts from my classroom kids that get recycled, but only if they are decent and I think that someone will enjoy them more. For example, chocolate, which I don't eat at all.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Homemade cutout cookies.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear.

17. Favorite Christmas song ? Angels Carol arranged by John Rutter and I especially like the Cambridge Singers although MoTab does a great job on it as well.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I love to be with family through the holidays, so whatever it takes.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Yes I can, and I can also do the entire Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore, which apparently my mother taught to me when I was four and I orginally "performed" for my dad's seminary class. I, however, have no memory of learning it and it just seems to be like it is something I have always known.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star ? Angel.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Commercial hype.

23. Favorite ornament, theme, or color? Nativities (see #7 above)

24. What do you want for Christmas this year? I want 3 pictures. One from each of my girls' families with their kids holding their Christmas stockings. And since I have my opportunity would also like someone to do lousy grunt work in the yard under my direction once a week. And I would like...J/K

Saturday, December 01, 2007

a birthday celebration

Happy Birthday, Clark!
Papa is going to give him a couple of months to practice with those pedals before they have a race. However, if Clark is anything like his mom was on her big wheels it won't be much of a contest!

Friday, November 30, 2007

nease football

We attended the high school football quarter finals in Daytona Beach with my brother John and his family. Clark joined us and had just as much fun cheering for the Panthers as we did. They won and will play in the 4A semi-finals next Friday.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

mr. gatch

I wrote about Mr. Gatch last year. Today I saw the sign in his yard. The first magic oranges of the season are available. He wasn't home when I arrived, but pulled into the drive shortly after. When he found out that I wanted 3 half bushels of oranges, he asked if I could come back near sundown. Of course, I agreed. Then an hour or so later I received a call.

"Mrs. Carter?"


"This is the orange man. Willard."

"Hello, Mr. Gatch."

"I got your oranges ready."

"Okay, I 'll be right over."

Today, Willard Gatch, who was born in 1912, precariously placed his rickety old ladder against his orange trees and picked about 150 oranges for me. He is my hero!

Monday, November 26, 2007

happy birthday to B

The first thing she said this morning was, "I'm 12! Finally!"

12 great things about Brianna

1. She always wakes up in a good mood.
2. She loves everybody, young or old, big or little, it doesn't matter she loves people.
3. She has a beautiful singing voice.
4. She has a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
5. She wants to choose the right.
6. She is a great entertainer especially for little children.
7. She is thankful and often expresses her appreciation for things like a fun day.
8. She can think of an art project using almost any thing.
9. She forgives easily.
10. She does loads of errands and hardly ever moans about it.
11. She helps us find whatever we are looking for.
12. She always says, "I love you!" before she goes to bed.
I love her!!!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

it's sunday night

The Seguines are safely home. I am missing them desperately, but counting the blessings of having had them visit for the past 6 days. Besides the day of Thanksgiving, I want to remember helping Courtney make her chutes and ladders game to go with the Magic School Bus Kicking up a Storm and playing it with her and the huge smile on her face when she won! I want to remember Carter watering my garden like a real fireman and wanting me to hold the hose for backup like a real fireman would have. I want to remember Jonah's eyes when he saw that his Christmas present was wrapped in John Deere Christmas wrapping paper and wondering if he could wait all the way until Christmas to open that package. I want to remember listening to Bella yelling Ma Ma from her port-a-crib in the upstairs bathroom and when I went in to rescue her she smiled the most amazing smile and then gleefully yelled Nana!!!! I want to remember that Dan actually rode on the luxury tube with his kids and didn't even seem to mind that he got his shorts all wet before they even left the beach. And, I want to remember how Tricia and I laughed the exact same laugh at the exact same time, numerous times.

early birthday party

It's almost here...and we wanted to celebrate while the Seguines were still around. After cake and presents, Brianna went off for a fun-filled evening at the movies and then overnight with Natalie.
Megan Berge agreed to babysit.
Dan and Tricia took Doug and I out for dinner to the Cheesecake Factory at Millenia Mall. It was a lovely evening and we ate outside. Then we looked around a little bit, which, of course, included Anthropologie!

Friday, November 23, 2007

christmas tree shopping

We went to our favorite lot down on 441 next to the 429 Expressway and picked out this beauty.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

thanksgiving bags

I love Thanksgiving. I love all the cooking and hanging out with family. This year I especially loved Brianna and Courtney and Carter and Jonah who spent a huge part of the morning in the kitchen cooking with me. They helped me make the roll dough and then they helped me make the pies. Brianna is the very best apple peeler! Then they spent ages punching out little pumpkins and acorns and turkeys from the extra pie dough and sprinkling them with brown sugar crystals to decorate the pumpkin pie! Courtney called them cookies even though it was really pie dough. Yummmmmmy!

My brother, John, his son, Gideon, his wife, Joy and her parents, John and Mary joined us for dinner.

So here they are, our 2007



Blessing - a supportive wife

Accomplishment - being a part of BYUTV up and running in South America (they received their first conference in October)

Goal - organize his papers and lose some weight


Blessing - a good mind

Accomplishment - herb garden

Goal - be a better missionary


Blessing - a great babysitting job working for Missy Wise taking care of Payton

Accomplishment - all A's in school

Goal - keep doing well in school

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

they're here

and the first thing they wanted to do was go to the lake...

...the Berges joined us on Wednesday, papa couldn't help himself and drove the kids on loads of wild rides dumping whomever was on board, including Carter!

Courtney learned how to "drive" the Carter Cruiser

And we all had a REALLY good time!

Monday, November 19, 2007


all day Sunday and all day Monday...waiting, waiting

Saturday, November 17, 2007

ym and yw

After the baptism of Brandon Pearson (Melissa Schaffer's boyfriend)the youth came to our house for "south of the border" food and games. It was a fun Saturday night.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

bella's sock

Dear Courtney,
I know you have been a little worried that I would finish Bella's stocking...guess what? I finished it tonight! I will have it ready and waiting for you when you come next week. You can take it home and help your little baby sister hang her very own stocking.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Doug came home from his regional welfare meeting with the news that the price of wheat was going to double by the end of the year. I am wondering what the far-reaching implications of that will be? I decided that for now, it would be a good idea to get to the church canning facility and stock up. We learned that they had sold 16,000 pounds of wheat since obviously someone else has cued in to this news as well.
I personally only brought home 150 pounds of wheat...which I purchased for 20 cents a pound!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

primary presentation

We had a wonderful Sacrament meeting program. Our small primary was mighty in Spirit and they sang with enthusiasm. Brianna and Jensen (sitting next to her on the left) sang a duet early in the program that was lovely. Brianna spoke last and ended by bearing her testimony. I am grateful to all the teachers and leaders who have been an important part of her life. Two weeks from tomorrow, she will turn 12, so I especially enjoyed watching my primary girl today.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Clark's Saturday going to see John & Joy in Jacksonville

So...I woke up Saturday morning to the sounds of Clark hailing help from his port-a-crib in the bathroom. Poor child. It must be so demeaning for him to have to go back to a crib/cage, now that he is a big boy and sleeps in his own beddie at home. Nevertheless, since he is still falling out of his beddie from time to time and our pine floors are far, far away and do not make for a very soft landing--ahhh, better to be safe than sorry. It is still cold, and I asked Doug to grab him. Luckily, we had a few minutes to snuggle before he had business to attend to. And what business is that you might ask a child who is not yet two? Well, first he grabbed my shoes and threw them at me and said something like breh-brah.


Then, he grabbed my jeans, conveniently drapped over the arm of a nearby chair and threw those at me with the same request ie breh-brah.

Think, think, think. Oh my goodness...LOL. He wants me to get up and make him something to eat...something like breakfast! Being the dutiful nanamoo, I did. I got up and went downstairs with him and made waffles with vanilla yogurt on the side.

I next decided to take the tractor down to the curb to pick up our forgotten trash cans. After adding shoes and a coat to Clark's pajama attire, we were off on the John Deere. Well, not really, because first we had to put air in 3 of the tractor tires...which he found extremely interesting and then we were off. I parked next to the road and told him to stay on the driver seat, which, of course, he was happy to oblige. I grabbed the first trash can and threw it in the back. I am making noise,but I think I hear Clark say something, but by now I am getting the next one. As I throw it in I hear him say TWO! and then THREE! and finally, FOUR! (Such a brilliant child!)

We went back up the driveway. I decided to water the garden and he apparently decided to give himself a few tricycle riding lessons. (A good idea Clark since your birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks.) Soon enough, the water was too much of a temptation and he managed to get himself completely soaked running about behind and in front of and beside me.

When I finished I hauled him into the house yelling that he wasn't done...but we HAD to be done because we were off to Jacksonville. Not immediately, of course, because I expected his mother to clean him up and get him ready to go. I like making messes with my grandkids!

We got to see John and Joy's very beautiful brand new house. Then Doug and John went golfing and the girls went shopping. Clark and his dad enjoyed watching the football game on tv. We went to all the trendy little boutiques in San Marco and then met up with all the guys for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory where we celebrated Joy's 41st birthday.

Of course, we stayed too late and I even had to drive the last 45 minutes home because Doug was so tired, which is really saying something, because generally I am the one who does not do the "late" thing. Gratefully, we made it home safe and sound, and we will just have to cope without milk and gasoline until Monday.

Friday, November 09, 2007

does she or doesn't she

The title for this blog comes from an old commercial on tv when I was kid. It was a Clairol commercial for hair color and the answer was, "only her hairdresser knows for sure".
So I told Renatta (my hairdresser) that I needed a change. She said to make my hair color warmer. Brianna says it is red, Doug says it is brownish reddish, Cherylyn says it is kind of reddish. is a little change.
After my exciting morning at Robert & Robert, Doug and I went to the Temple. We had lunch together and then we went shopping. We had agreed to pick Cherylyn and Clark up at the airport. We thought we would have an hour or so to look around. As it turned out, we had over three hours, which was plenty of time to check out the sale room at Anthropolgie and get a new computer. Oh poor Chezzie...more computer help needed!

garden news

My orchid bloomed!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Young Women in Excellence

Tonight was our celebration of Personal Progress. The girls were beautiful, as always. I had hoped to be a bit farther along than I am. Sister Dalton challenged all the leaders to do the PP program at our training this summer. I zipped through "Knowledge" this summer and then school started. It has been sitting on the cabinet next to the couch ever since.

Megan Berge received her YW medallion. She is a good example. I need to get going on that again!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

garden tour

It's fall in Florida!
We woke up this morning to find that the temperatures had dropped into the 50's overnight. It was sunny and clear and Doug was taking me to the Mt. Dora Plant and Garden Fair followed by a Garden Tour of 6 homes. I spent most of the rest of Saturday hanging out in my own garden and enjoying the beautiful fall weather.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

trick or treat

Our first trick-or-treater.
We joined him for a great Halloween party tradition at the Teets home and neighborhood.