Thursday, December 31, 2009

preparing for new year’s eve



It is so great to be 14 and getting ready to go to your first dance on the eve of New Years with a blue moon in the sky.





DSC06324 nine girls

party on music playing in the background

only three hours until the dance begins DSC06323 DSC06325  DSC06338

So beautiful!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

stringing more lights


Doug and his counselors spent 6 hours at the church today with the stake youth council decorating for the party tomorrow night. I understand that my husband spent a considerable amount of time on the ladder,  and he has the sore shoulder tonight to prove it. Sadly, the picture doesn’t capture how impressive it looks in person.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

2010 scripture study program,18744,312053,00.pdf

Our stake is not  printing the scripture study booklets this year, however, you are welcome to download it from the above link and print your own.


From the booklet:

2 0 1 0
In the Book of Mormon, Nephi explains that the brass
plates, recovered in Jerusalem from Laban, contained the
writings of many of the ancient prophets, including the
prophet Isaiah.
Although the words of Isaiah and other Old Testament
prophets often may seem difficult to understand, they
testify of the coming of the Savior of the world, Jesus
Christ and are necessary if we are to fully comprehend the
plan of our Heavenly Father. Nephi declared: “And now I,
Nephi, write more of the words of Isaiah, for my soul
delighteth in his words. For I will liken his words unto my
people…” Nephi taught his people in plainness, knowing
that the words of Isaiah would be difficult to understand
“save it be that they are taught after the manner of the
things of the Jews.”
This declaration sheds light on the importance of studying
both the Old Testament of the Bible that we may learn the
things of the Jews and better understand the prophecies of
Isaiah and other ancient prophets. In so doing, we will gain
a greater understanding of the promised Messiah and His
sacred calling and infinite atoning sacrifice.

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
This reading program is designed to help you by providing
a specific outline of consistent scripture reading that will
enhance your study of the gospel throughout 2010. We
encourage all members to participate in this reading
program or another program of your own design that
provides daily immersion in the scriptures. If you choose
to follow this program you will read the entire Book of
Mormon, The Old Testament, Gospel Principles lessons 1
thru 24 (third hour course of study for 2009), and the
General Conference talks for April and October 2010. This
program requires an average of three or four pages of
reading on a daily basis. Consistent study of the scriptures
and the words of both ancient and modern prophets will
guide us along the path of righteousness and bless us with
the Spirit on a daily basis. May the Lord bless you in this
endeavor is our prayer.
Faithfully Yours,
Douglas B. Carter
Clair G. Erickson
W. Michael Ingalls
Leesburg Florida Stake Presidency

Saturday, December 26, 2009

boxing day

GetAttachmentI don’t know why I persist in calling the day after Christmas Boxing Day, except that there is a soft spot in my heart for many English traditions.






It is a time for family, parlour games and sports in the UK. The traditional recorded celebration of Boxing Day has long included giving money and other  gifts.

In the UK,  it certainly became a custom of the nineteenth century Victorians for tradesmen to collect their "Christmas boxes" in return for good and reliable service throughout the year on the day after Christmas.


Today, I celebrated boxing day with the Claytons. We went searching for boxes and exchanged gifts we found with gifts we had. We also dropped our trackable coin that is traveling to states and countries bordering oceans. So…geocaching has some things in common with boxing day. We cached several of the Mt Dora Ghost Walk series, including number 5 called Diving Into Eternity. Thankfully, the only thing that took a dive today was Debbie’s glasses.

Friday, December 25, 2009

christmas morning

DSC06314I love Christmas morning. Again, I was the first one awake. So after I woke up Doug and then Brianna, we all had breakfast of leftovers from last night. (I ate rolls with pumpkin pie, which I would love to have for breakfast once a week, but then I would have to make rolls and pumpkin pie once a week, wouldn’t I?) So after breakfast it was on to gift giving. ks360-silver

Brianna loved all of her presents. But when she opened her cell phone, (texter’s delight)  she actually cried for joy! She has been texting ever since. She wanted me to post her number, but I’ll just leave it up to her to give it out.


I would love to think that Doug’s favorite gift was something I gave him, but in reality, I think it was a scouting coin from the Ingalls family. It commemorates 100 years of scouting in the United States.



A present that was a complete surprise was the Life Is Tennis bag that my husband chose and ordered online for me. He always has been an excellent shopper and now he has added a new dimension  to his shopping repertoire.


We spent the rest of the day relaxing. In fact, I wore my pjs all day long. Doug and I worked on a puzzle and we even engaged Brianna for while. DSC06368 We loved talking with the family and sharing all their joys.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

dinner christmas eve


We enjoyed our time with the Lamberts and the missionaries. I was surprised to learn that in Scotland, where Leon and Myra grew up, they never had Christmas trees in their home. Both of them remembered their fathers decorating the living area with streamers and such. It had been many years since the Lamberts had enjoyed crackers at dinner and the missionaries didn’t know about this English tradition. We talked about favorite Christmas memories. Brianna reminded us of the years that I gave her a yard of numerous colors of fabric and her dad used one of them as a superman style cape to play with her. She loved creating stories and costumes with her fabric.

Monday, December 21, 2009

holiday sleepover

DSC06308 DSC06310

My brother came tonight. We toured the lights of Mt. Dora, Eustis and Tavares, ate cinnamon rolls and hung out.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

christmas past




image_request 1 first christmas

Monday, December 14, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009


DSC06285It has been a busy week at the Birdhouse for the occupants.
EveryThing has been cleaned and decorated. Don’t you just love Christmas from the outside looking in?
Brianna has slaved for Doug and I the past two days. There is no amount of accolades that would be sufficient for her beautiful attitude and willingness to carry  on despite overwhelming weariness. At last on Thursday night when the only things left were  the five crockpots waiting to be disgorged into the refrigerator for the night…even then…she entertained me with favorite memories and songs until we were able to leave the kitchen together. DSC06287

We had a Victorian Repast complete with beef pot pies and trifle.DSC06302
I didn’t make the trifle however. It was spectacularly huge, beautiful and delicious!

DSC06295 DSC06304
We cleared all the furniture out of the former porch, now, sitting and casual dining areas of our house to accommodate our thirty guests.

They were  festive and lovely…I would have liked a picture of all of them.
Mary Gronlund helped out in the kitchen for the 6th Time, and this year Monica Rasband, bless her heart was there to help her. I don’t know what I could say about these two women besides the fact that They were Both Invaluable.
When the last party-ers  left sometime after midnight, I was just a little sad—but only because it was over.

President and Sister Carter

Extend a cordial invitation

To the Birdhouse for a

Victorian Repast

On Friday, 11 December 2009

at 7:00 in the evening.

Victorian or Holiday Dress RSVP to

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

disneys very merry christmas party


so excited and on their way




Tuesday, December 01, 2009

b(i)g event

DSC06259It turns out that Charlotte is the home of the Reverend Billy Graham.


Tonight we went to view the live nativity DSC06240at the Billy Graham Library. DSC06248

Then we listened to a holiday story




before continuing on to McAdenville, North Carolina.


It is a small town that would likely be called a village if it were located in the UK. The residents decorate and the  owners of the “village mill” , Pharr Yarns,  pick of the electric bill for them during the month of December.


33 trees on the lake make a beautiful scene as well as




all the charming houses.

Monday, November 30, 2009

getting ready for christmas

Tricia and I ran around town today collecting bits and pieces to amp up the Christmas-ness at her house. I love spending her money, and she is sweet enough to make me feel like I have great ideas.

DSC06237But tonight it was the kids turn at decorating, with a little help from their Papa.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

transiberian orchestra

tso1Dan is off to India, but the rest  of us started the holiday season off tonight attending this fun concert.