Sunday, May 31, 2009

missionary badge

My nephew, Tyler, who is from southern California, served a Spanish speaking mission in south Florida. One day while shopping at a local store in Cali my sister found this skirt. Thinking of him, she liked to wear it, but when he completed his mission, she sent it to me. It seemed particularly fitting to wear “the missionary skirt” my first Sunday with my missionary badge.DSC04951




Of course, I will have to keep the skirt forever now, no matter what Stacy and Clinton from What Not Wear have to say, because it is part of my “wardrobe journal”.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

last goodbyes


I went by my old classroom on Friday to see my kids for the last time before they grow up to be third graders. They made me feel like a celebrity with their joyful shouts—Mrs. Carter! Mrs. Carter!

This picture was taken on Wednesday at my last YW activity.DSCF2153

I have been the President of the Young Women’s organization in our ward for nearly five years. It has been a challenging, growing, inspiring, and fun experience.  I will miss working with the girls, but they will always hold a special place in my heart…and after all, like Melissa said to me…we can still go shopping together!

Friday, May 29, 2009

angels watching over me


When Brianna was little and she saw a sky like this one she would say, “Look Mommy! Heavenly Father is talking to Jesus.” Since then, I have especially loved the clouds splitting the  light into sunbeams. It is my visual reminder that They live.

Today I was reminded that Heavenly Father has a plan for me.

I came walking out of Lowes and a car was facing the store waiting at the end of a row of parked cars. As I crossed toward him, I saw a look of panic on the driver’s face. In that moment time seemed almost to expand as I hesitated for a second and wondered…

in another instant there were screeching brakes and a horn honking and my hand was hit by the car speeding through the parking lot knocking me off balance and into the side of the previously speeding car…

I no sooner righted myself than he raced away.

Dazed, I continued to walk toward the panicked driver in the direction of my own car. As I approached him, he said to me at least three times…that was not your fault.

I sobbed all the way home.

I called Doug when I got to a stoplight and asked him to meet me at home. He did and he comforted me.

I am grateful for each and every day and thankful that I have been protected this day and have the blessing of looking forward to another.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

called to serve


With grateful appreciation to my daughter, Tricia, who made me aware of this wonderful opportunity, I am looking forward to serving “far and wide” as a remote missionary.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

i won


I mean


I WON!!!!!!!

I am talking about the tennis set that Doug and I played this morning.


approximately one hour

Although we did take a little bit of a break about half way through the game when Doug inadvertently hit himself in the face with his racquet. The ball nearly tagged him, and in the process of swinging for it…what is there to say?


I found the fire in my racquet. I believe that you gotta have a dream, and my sports dream was to beat my husband in tennis.

Now my dream is to do it again because anyone can get lucky. Since I am an especially lucky person, I want to win again so that I KNOW it was really and truly skillish after all.

When we finished today, he said, “Good game, Deb.” I wanted to be really, really happy and scream and yell so the whole world would know. But he looked so pathetic and he didn’t sound all that happy about it, and I can’t be really happy when he isn’t. But I am still pretty happy!!!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

having a blast with people in our past

DSC049281992--                            Christine Gallimore was in our ward in the UK. Doug, as the Bishop, married Christine to Jeff Bean, a former missionary in the Crawley, England Ward.DSC04930


Fast forward 12 years--                               In 2004, while watching the between conference programming, they spotted Doug on the Florida hurricane segment.

Forward 5 more years--                                                                                 During their visit to Orlando this week, they decided to see if they could find us.DSC04931 Brianna was wondering what we would have to talk about with people that we hadn’t seen for 17 years. Plenty! We had such a fun three hours. The Beans now have three cute and talented kids... Lizzie (14), Ethan (12) and Sophie (10). They live in Layton, Utah.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

hello rainy days

I like to get up fairly early in the morning. My favorite days are when I have the opportunity to play tennis with my friend, Linda, and work in the garden for a while. Then I try and get some housework done. I like talking with my girls on the phone because I love them and it distracts me from what can sometimes seem like mundane tasks. Errand running is often part of the afternoon as is preparing for church service responsibilities. I love an half hour nap when possible. Then it is time to think about dinner. There are a few shows that I like to watch on TV, but normally my evenings are spent reading or doing computer-related activities. 

With 13 1/2 inches of rain at my house already this week my days have not been the same. I am getting up later and talking about the weather more. I miss my outside time. The start of the rainy season was  “predicted” for May 27 this year. It came early, actually beginning on May 11. In the subtropical climate here in east central Florida, the two seasons of wet and dry are quite distinct. We need the rain. We are still in D3 (extreme drought conditions).


More drought relief is expected next week. I turned off my new automatic sprinklers days ago. The dry season is over, but summer is here and there are great things to look forward to and do this rainy season.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


 DSC04898 DSC04904

These visitors are trying to stay incognito in the Birdhouse Gardens but  I did capture them…on camera.

Friday, May 15, 2009

may garden


Hebrews 6:7

For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:


The four corners of my garden:


Some leaves and DSC04881







some blooms for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day:DSC04891DSC04889  DSC04883   

I am happily enjoying my garden.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

a present


from the Lake County SchoolsDSC04934

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


In general, a nickname is a descriptive name given in place of or in addition to the official name of a person, place or thing. But in our family the word nicknackname is we use the word ever since Brianna gave nickname a nickname.

My husband is “the nicknacknamer.” If you spend much time with him, sooner or later you will find yourself with one. For him, they are terms of endearment although the receiver might not necessarily love the moniker or even like it for that matter.

Sometimes they are inspired by the person’s own given name as in the case of Roxa-tawny for Roxanne or WOw for Wiley Orton. They can have something to do with talents or professions as in the case of Metal Badge for Brother Cash. (I believe it came about in relation to Woodbadge, though I don’t fully understand the leap.) The nicknames can also be seemingly random as in the case of my own nicknackname Face. All of our girls have several nicknacknames. My personal favorites are EEEEEEsha, for Tricia; Bird for Melanie; Cheed for Cherylyn; Non for Brianna.

The nicknackname gene was strong in his family growing up. Among his brothers, it seems they all have a talent for it. In our own family, however, it appears to have skipped a generation. We are eagerly waiting to see if it reappears among our grandkids. Although they are all still young, we do have our first suspected nicknacknamer…


At age two, she already has her first two nicknacknames under her belt.

Although my grandkids generally call me Nanamoo or Nana, she calls me NEEEEENA.

She has also dubbed her sister, Courtney, as CoCo.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

day of celebrations

Today Brianna and I went to lunch together at the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate Mother’s Day. When the waitress brought the bill and handed it to me, I shook my head and told her that my daughter was paying. Brianna had the cutest smile on her face! She is appreciating her babysitting jobs…me too :)



One of more than two dozen state virtual schools recognized by the North American Council for Online Learning, the Florida Virtual School offers more than 90 Web-based classes for users not just in Florida, but across the U.S. Founded in 1997, FLVS is the nation's first state-wide, Internet-based public high school.

Yesterday Brianna finished  7th grade  with Florida Virtual School. She ended up her semester with 3 A’s and 1 B. Well done, Brianna!

This afternoon on our way home from Millenia Mall the temperature dropped 30 degrees in less than 10 minutes and we had what I think was our first official summer storm. The lightning and thunder were spectacular, albeit terrifying for the driver, ie me. I kept the flashers on and cautiously motored along. Although I prefer to be home, I do love our tropical rains.

briannaLast the best of all…Today we also celebrated Brianna joining our family. Nine years ago today her adoption was final, and she was sealed to us in the Florida Orlando Temple.  That was a wonderful day!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

mother’s day

garden rocker

Cherylyn gave me this amazing stool called a Garden Rocker. I didn’t even know that such a thing existed! Unbeknownst to her, I have been having some back issues from so much time in the garden. I am really looking forward to using it.panera


Melanie gave me a gift certificate for one of my very favorite places to eat. I can look forward to that when she comes to visit in 5 weeks and 3 days…

…yes, I am counting.img004



Tricia gave me the 7 part mini-series from HBO called John Adams. I  loved the book by David McCullough and was really disappointed that it was on HBO since we don’t subscribe to that channel. I can’t wait to watch it!

 cheesecake factory


Brianna gave me a gift certificate for Cheesecake Factory.  She also bought me a  beautiful orchid corsage to wear to church.DSC04902






The Young Women sang a special musical number at church. Here they are practicing on my front steps the previous Wednesday evening. I have been working with this age group for nearly five years now. I often feel like a mother to them. And they did a  beautiful performance on Sunday.



My husband, who really doesn’t think he should give me a present, because I am not his mother gave me a beautiful Asiatic Lily for my garden and a funny card. He barbequed dinner, but he does that pretty often.

I love that man!

My family likes to say that they never know what to get for me. They always surprise me and give me meaningful presents that I wouldn’t have even thought of or known about for myself.

Their surprises are the best!!!

I enjoyed laying  on the couch having long and lazy conversations with my girls. They mean the world to me. I am so grateful to be a mom, and I am especially grateful to be their mom!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

watching the sprinklers turn on

We have never had automatic sprinklers. I finally decided that I really needed them! I did all the research and put forward my plea. My husband has worked on them a little bit most days this week. He worked on them a lot today. This afternoon I just loved watching them turn themselves off and on and off all by themselves.



I have this brand new gadget all programmed and set up in my garage. It is all so very exciting to me. I might have to watch them again tomorrow!

Friday, May 08, 2009

if this was my husband’s blog

 tourn_bkgrndHe would tell you about his very awesome day on the Stadium Course at the Players Championship. The only part that wasn’t perfect  was that they wouldn’t let him take in a camera nor a cell phone…so, no personal pictures to post.17thHole-795418

He would tell you how he spent the day walking these courses and watching amazing golfers making amazing shots.


And then he would thank my brother, John, for the ticket and the shirt that he gave him as a souvenir.

He is a very nice brother!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

feeling like snow white

It is hot! At the first bird chirp, no matter how tired I am feeling at that moment I jump out of bed. After a quick bowl of cereal, it is straight out to the garden. Those morning minutes are precious indeed. I spend a lot of time working in the garden. I certainly enjoy the views of the herb garden from the backside of my house.

But I wanted to spend some time enjoying my garden, in the garden. Genuine relaxing. (If you don’t count the fact that I did get up and get my camera.) There were so many birds of various  kinds to-ing and fro-ing between the fountain and the feeder. Insects were buzzing about. The lizards were running around unsettling the leaves. I almost felt like singing


Saturday, May 02, 2009

an engagement party for mercedes

img001 DSC04857

We enjoyed meeting Aaron this week.  And, it is always great to see my cute niece, Mercedes, but to see the two of them so happy together was a special joy for us.

DSC04859 DSC04862DSC04858  DSC04826 DSC04823 DSC04821