Sunday, August 31, 2008

fragrance survey

I like the smell of stale perfume.


Sometimes when I put on something that I wore a while ago that has  been hanging in my closet, I will notice that it smells like my perfume.  And I like it better than my not stale perfume. And, it doesn't make me sneeze.

I didn't wear perfume for years because of the sneezing issue. Some fragrances seem to be better than others in that regard for me. I am also a huge fan of scented lotion that matches my perfume. It seems to last way longer than perfume. Of course, it doesn't get into the fibers of your clothes like a spray will.rose leger

This is what I am wearing most often these days.

Does anyone else like stale perfume besides me? And what are you wearing?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

helping hands


DSC02326 DSC02330





Thank you



Thursday, August 28, 2008

nie nie day

It is wonderful that so many people have bonded to help the Nielson family. Apparently, there are over 300 listed services/goods to be auctioned in support of Stephanie and her family. A side benefit for me was getting a blog facelift. Summer Allen is very talented and easy to work! You can check out her blog if you want a new look too!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


A definition for luck is that which happens which is beyond a person's control.

So it wasn't bad luck that my class was horrible today. Because they are a group of kids about seven years old and I could make them behave...couldn't I?

And it wasn't bad luck that I forgot that I had organized a YW Presidency meeting at my home this evening and then promptly forgot all about it. When the first person arrived, I was completely clueless, although delighted to see her, as I asked, "What are you doing here?" No, I could have written it down and checked my agenda...couldn't I?

664px-Four-leaf_clover But it was my good luck that those wonderful women did not make me feel badly for even one second, in spite of my inefficiency. They put their shoulders to the wheel and plowed through our tasks at hand. They are such a blessing to me! and to the YW in our ward!!!

It wasn't bad luck that they refused to let me vote tonight. I did go to the Mt. Dora Library to vote this afternoon, but they only do early voting and today was election day, so I had to go to my real polling place. But, I could have arrived at that polling place at 6:59pm instead of 7:00pm...couldn't I?

None of these are big things, I know. Its just that I am feeling a little off my game lately.

Monday, August 25, 2008

oh say what is truth?

Doug's Sunday morning talk:

Prior to Sister Ingalls address we sang a song we do not sing much anymore. I don’t know why. In fact over the past couple of weeks I have determined and noted that anyone under about the age of 40 is rarely familiar with the song “Oh Say, What is Truth?”. The song was written by John Jaques, an English convert to the Church in 1845, who soon as his baptism served a mission in England in the area around Stratford-on-Avon…in 1856 with his wife and family he crossed the Atlantic and soon after arrival joined the Martin Handcart Company to cross the plains to SLC. His oldest daughter was among those who died in Wyoming when the both the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies were caught in snowstorms.

While on his second mission to Great Britain from 1869 to 1871 he contemplated Pilate’s question to Jesus Christ “What is truth?” and from that personal study wrote a poem entitled “Oh Say, What is Truth?”. During that mission he served in Scotland for a time and while there taught and baptized a woman by the name of Ellen Knowles Melling. Sister Melling later set Brother Jaques poem to the music we sang today. Later in life Brother Jaques served as the Assistant Church Historian and the first librarian of the Genealogical Society of Utah.

While this story is interesting it is not why I chose to sing the song today. I now want to tell you the rest of the story…approximately 25 years after Brother Jaques and Sister Melling turned the poem into a Mormon hymn, there lived in the city of Doncaster, in the District of Yorkshire in Northern England a man named John Stoker who owned a hat shop. Missionaries of the Church often frequented the store to purchase their hats. During one of these visits the missionaries invited Mr. Stoker to church and he agreed. In fact he came consistently to church each week and was soon baptized. His wife Clara refused to participate with her husband in his new found religion…but noted to a friend one day after much time had passed, that her husband was changing and was becoming a better person and she was interested in knowing what they were telling him at that church he attended each week. Clara and her friend decided to follow John to church the following week without him knowing about it. They did not enter the building where the meeting was being held but instead, chose to listen from outside through an open window. Following the preaching that day, those gathered sang a song entitled “Oh Say, What is Truth?”. It was during the singing of this hymn that the Spirit bore witness to Sister Stoker that what she had heard through the open window that day was the truth. She hurried home and greeted her husband with her story and told him that very day of her desire to be baptized.

The Stokers immigrated to the U.S. with the help of the missionaries who had taught them. They settled in the town of Lehi in Utah county and there raised a large family that included a daughter named after her mother Clara. Brother Stoker served many years as the bishop of the Lehi Ward. Daughter Clara married a man named John Neal who together had one son and a daughter named Barbara. Barbara is my wife’s mother, a valiant member of the church her whole life, who also served a mission as a young Sister missionary in 1950 and then raised six children in the gospel and currently has 24 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.

Who should I be grateful to the most for helping me find a valiant wife who has in turn influenced for good the lives of my children and grandchildren? John Jaques for joining the church, walking across the plains and writing a poem or to Ellen Melling for turning it into a hymn that provided the setting for the Spirit to witness the truth to a woman named Clara who refused to attend church with her husband but, in the end, listened with her heart to the witness of the truth? Maybe… I should be grateful to John Stoker for selling hats to missionaries and agreeing to attend church…or maybe I should be grateful to the missionaries who taught John Jaques or to the missionaries who taught John Stoker??? Or maybe I should be grateful to Clara Stoker Neal who raised her son John and daughter Barbara to love the Lord and be good members of His church in Lehi, Utah. And let’s not forget the brave men who left the October General conference in 1856 at the request of Brigham Young and went and rescued Brother Jaques and his family while members of the Martin Handcart company…He never would have baptized Sister Melling if he had perished. So many contributed to the fact that my wife safely entered this life assured of an association with the truth. I guess I will have to be grateful to all of them equally. Each one for continuing a legacy of obedience and faithfulness that has touched many lives and many more to come.

Like all the individuals in this wonderful chain of unbroken faithfulness, each played a part in influencing the lives of others who in-turn influenced others for good. Each of us has that same opportunity here in the Leesburg Florida Stake of Zion. Our task is no different than theirs…oh we don’t have to walk across the plains and brave the snows of Wyoming...but we do have to match what each individual in the story had in common. They all lived obedient lives, raised valiant families, did what their leaders asked of them and were sensitive to the Spirit of direction in their lives. If we will only do those things we will be missionaries worthy of influencing the lives of those without the gospel. We can all qualify as instruments in the hands of the Lord to bring the truth to others.

Yes, say, what is truth? “Tis the brightest prize

To which mortals or Gods can aspire. Go search in the depths where it glittering lies, Or ascend in pursuit to the loftiest skies:

‘Tis an aim for the noblest desire.

How blessed we are to have the fullness of truth as found in the scriptures and in revealed revelation through the Lord’s anointed servants…even Prophets Apostles Seers and Revelators. How blessed we are to have the Priesthood of God and the ordinances and covenants that bind us together forever.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

thinking of nie nie


Pres. Erickson & Bonnie Pres. Carter & Debbie Pres. Ingalls & Roxanne

Tonight just before the Saturday evening session of stake conference, we joined with others in many places sending our love to Stephanie. She is a friend of our daughter, Tricia. Stephanie's husband Christian was in our daughter Melanie's freshman ward at BYU. Our family has been saddened by the tragic events that have occurred in their lives.

DSC02317 DSC02319 Taking a moment to send our message their way.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

fay floods florida

I found a weather website that gives all the info any weather geek would ever want to know. I especially like the weather history link. 2008_08_19t003836_450x292_us_storm_fay

We received just over ten inches of rain here at the Birdhouse. Our lake, which was sorely in need of a refill, probably picked up at least 15 with the runoff. Brianna and I did a little rescue mission. Two of our watercraft had floated free and were visiting neighbors.

There are all kinds of debris in the yard.


Cleanup started after snapping a few pictures. It will take days. The storms blow down dead branches, fronds, loose moss and leaves.

There is still plenty left to blow in the breezes until Fay's brothers or sisters come along.


I counted 18 trees that have gone down making room for the others to grow bigger.

DSC02309 Mother Nature is busy this time of year in Florida. We keep out of her way. She can get quite violent. Then, we do the work that she has left behind for us...until the rain begins again...and I go back to watching from my windows and the wunderground.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

kudos for two

I went to school today. I had an umbrella in hand. After I walked the 50 yards from my car to my classroom, I was drenched. The squalls sent rain from up and down and from left and right. It was worse when I left to go home. I was terrified driving. After I had been safely in my house for a few minutes, I heard a noise on the front porch. I looked out the window to see that the UPS guy had just delivered my Blurb Book of Blogs, considerately wrapped in plastic, I might add. I ran to the door and yelled out a thank you. He waved as he rode away.

Kudos to UPSups_logo ups-green

And I just have to say how wonderful the Blurberati is.

polaroids When my first book arrived, we noticed that the odd numbered pages were ever so slightly out of focus. They sent me the label for return shipping and encouraged me to make any changes that I wanted and sent me the new book. Kudos to Blurb. I highly recommend their service.

I am so excited about my book!297186-9d21bdbd3b9473de718fe21b3221850d

Monday, August 18, 2008

yes, but no

Yes, we did go back to school today, but no we will not go back tomorrow.

hurrican fay

We will wait and watch out for Hurricane Fay, who at the moment seems intent on driving right up the middle of the state.

School was pretty typical for the first day. Everyone was tired and hungry by 10:30am. But we all had to hang on until 11:31am. Some kids were much better than I had thought they would be considering their behavior at "Meet the Teacher". Others were considerably worse. The best moment came when I figured out that everyone can read. Even the kid who told me that he couldn't!

The funniest moment of the day was when I told my class that I had a note for them to take home, but to please remember and TELL their parents that there would be no school Tuesday or Wednesday. The kid raises his hand and says,"Can I have the note because my parents can't believe anything I say."

Saturday, August 16, 2008



Friday, August 15, 2008

sleep deprivation

The Olympics are killing me. I am watching them every night well past my normal 11 o'clock bedtime. I am watching them until I can't see straight. I hobble off to bed sometime after midnight or even 1AM to be startled awake some hours or minutes later, who knows by that time of night, by the cheering of my husband.

Last night, however, he was sleeping on the couch, claiming to be awake, of course.

When Mark Phelps won this race to tie Mark Spitz's record, I let out a scream and a holler...

capt.aac01ecbb9334d9096646b3619369458.beijing_olympics_swimming_100m_mens_butterfly_oly519 combosmall Phelps__1218874038_0688 After his initial jolt, Doug said to rewind it and play it again, play it again. Because you know that the news casters won't be playing it again and again from now until....

And it is all the moments like these that make spawn those tired days. It was awesome!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

back to school


It is back to school...

for the teachers this week. We have been doing some really interesting things like taking data inservice classes and using out-of-date data. Thankfully, our blood borne pathogen inservice went something like this:

Don't touch it.

Wash your hands.

In addition to the inservice classes, I will spare you the other exciting moments, there is all the politicking that goes on among the teachers, administrators and parents. It's not pretty. I want to stay out of it, but then I get sucked in, seemingly as if it were completely out of my control...offering an opinion here, taking on an issue there.

Meet the teacher is always interesting to say the very least. This year:

I am glad that I am teaching 2nd grade and not the kindergarten counterparts of several of my students.

I am thankful that the blue-haired, tattoo-laden mom has such a polite son.

I am wondering what kind of parent says to you that their son will be the worst in the class. And, approves that he is already sitting at the back, even though I told her that the kids were assigned seats alphabetically by  first name because it helps me learn their names faster on the first day.

I am thankful for parents who volunteer and parents who have read with their kids over the summer.

I am especially thankful for my teaching partner, Colleen.

I hope that all my students have a wonderful weekend, because Monday

It is back to school...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

forever families


A little more than eight years ago, we took Brianna to the Florida Orlando Temple for the first time. I had been miserable waiting. Although the adoption proceedings were uncontested, it took the Department of Children and Families 15 months to take care of the paperwork. On April 26, 2000, when we went before Judge Renee Goldenberg. The paperwork was signed sealed and delivered. We then planned our trip to the Orlando Temple for Friday, May 12. It was the birthday of my maternal grandmother. My mother had flown from California to be with us. We were also thrilled that our other daughters and son-in-law were there. When we arrived at the Temple a couple of hours early, we realized that the paperwork was missing. The Temple President suggested that we do a session. So after we called the wife of our attorney, we did as the President had suggested and tried to be full of faith. Meanwhile, the wife of our attorney contacted her husband, who happened to be at the courthouse. He then faxed the necessary paperwork to the Temple. When we finished our session all of the family was waiting. It was one of the highlights of my life.

img007 - Copy Today, Brianna joined with the other youth in our ward and was able to attend the Temple to bless the lives of others. I was so happy to be there with her again and enjoy her radiant face and beautiful spirit as she took her responsibilities seriously.

1Cor. 15: 29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? 1Corinthians 15:29

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

i looked out my window

this morning and saw this huge limb of a tree on the ground.


This is pretty standard fare after a hurricane, but last night it was just a crazy summer storm. DSC02292(1)

Doug said that he had been meaning to cut it down.
Thank heaven he gets help from his Friend.

Monday, August 11, 2008

my woods


These guys bloom in summer. I don't know what they are, but I think they are so beautiful.

DSC02286DSC02284   DSC02283

Saturday, August 09, 2008

let the games begin


I loved watching the opening ceremonies last night. There were so many wonderful exciting things to see and think about. I especially enjoyed this dancer. It was just a beautiful physical symbol of how dependant we are on so many others.


For other fabulous pictures, go here.