Sunday, February 28, 2010

catching up with the chef

chefOn my way to making 5o new recipes this year, I have so far actually made 12 new ones. There was only one that I didn’t like. It was for pumpkin pancakes. I like pumpkin muffins and pumpkin bread, so I figured this could be a winner as well. Brianna and Doug thought it was okay. But I tossed out the recipe.

Of the other 11, several recipes have already seen a repeat performance in my kitchen…

like these Yorkshire pudding pancakes with fresh berries:DSC06690


And for my daughters who love Yorkshire pudding and say I never use a recipe, here it is:

3 C assorted berries, 2 t lemon juice, 2 T Earth Balance or (butter), 1/2 C egg beaters (or 2 eggs), 1/2 C flour, 1/2 C 1% or (whole milk), 1 t lemon zest, 1/2 t vanilla. Preheat oven to 475. Melt butter product  in 9 x 9 dish in oven. Whisk eggs, flour, milk, lemon zest, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Pour in hot pan and bake until golden brown and puffed, about 15 minutes. Fill with berries and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Brianna gives me extra credit if I make it “gourmet” by decorating the plate with powdered sugar and raspberry sauce.

Breakfast has been much more interesting around here the past month. I want to make a new granola and then I think I’ll move on to a different section of my collected recipes.

*original recipe in parentheses, but I included what I actually did

Thursday, February 25, 2010

missionary memoirs

OpenBook[3]One kind of freaky thing about being a new FamilySearch missionary is that your calls and emails are randomly monitored…ie you never know when someone else is listening in.

One night when I had a particularly difficult call and it went particularly well, I hung up and later said to my husband somewhat facetiously, “I hope someone was listening in on that call!”

I had kind of forgotten about the email monitoring until today when I received this message:

Quality Assurance Missionary: Elder Hatch
Evaluation Date:2/25
Case ID #:1487633

Dear Sister Carter,

The response was friendly, concerned and very quickly resolved after you accepted the case. Telling the patron which KD to use and explaining what you had seen in the patron's pedigree was excellent. The patron knew exactly what needed to done.

We appreciate the service you are rendering to the patrons. Many lives on both sides of Veil are being blessed because of that. May you continue to be blessed.

Elder Hatch, QA team

Of course, I had hoped that I was, but it does make me feel good to know that I am doing ok.

Monday, February 22, 2010

my beautiful daughter/friend

13Today my friend, Linda, and I went to celebrate her birthday by taking a tennis lesson together. As we were preparing to start, a woman from the local tennis shop ran up to me, calling me by name. I didn’t recognize her out of context, but she reminded me of her store. Then she asked, “Is this your daughter?”

(I am just vain enough to believe that she really doesn’t think I am 70-something years old.) No, I answered, this is my beautiful friend. And what could be a better birthday celebration than to have a complete stranger think that you are 30-something? My friend, with four children and almost 6 grandchildren,  is beautiful inside and out.

When Doug was first called as the Stake President and Brianna was 6, Linda always made sure that Brianna was taken care of during stake conference weekends. Those are stressful times for a stake presidents family, and I will always be grateful for her thoughtfulness. That was the first that I remember, but over the years I have seen and been the recipient of numerous other acts of service, which she is so wonderful addressing. Then, a year and a half ago, she got me playing tennis, which has turned out to not only benefit my health, but my husband’s and a couple of my daughters’ as well. Doug and I really enjoy playing doubles with her and her partner. Over the past year, I have often told her that I am taking “nice” lessons from her. Doug and Rick get upset when they are her partner when she wants to throw a point because she is worried that the other team is getting too far behind. Although I don’t recommend that strategy on the tennis court nowadays,  I am grateful to realize that she did it in the early days to encourage me. That kind of attitude permeates her life as she is always in the service of others. Best of all, is her abiding testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I am blessed with four beautiful daughters, and as a bonus,

a beautiful daughter/friend.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

the winter olympics


This is the best reality tv!




There is a huge cast of characters, but, of course, these are the ones I enjoy watching the most…



and Torah Bright.


 What an inspiring Latter-day Saint girl!


Friday, February 19, 2010

ditching preschool

DSC06595 Today Izzy ditched preschool to hangout with her Papa, Aunt B, Aunt Chezzie, and cousins, Clark and Andrew. They all went to the park together and afterward lunched at Five Guys.

   DSC06644  DSC06657 DSC06666  DSC06650 DSC06622 

DSC06652Then was time for naps. (Actually, I wasn’t feeling well and had been napping all morning. ) But the park crew had to rest up before…




the scholars came home from school to join in backyard playtime.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

her first tennis tournament

DSC06556Supporting a neighbor, Tricia joined with a group of women in a tennis fun(d) raiser this morning.   She donned some extra warm tennis gear to help cope with the 30 (thirty!) degree temperature at the start time. It never got too warm.




Cherylyn and I bundled up to go over to watch one of the matches and be Tricia’s paparazzi.


DSC06586She and her partner won their division.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

hanging out with my birthday kid and her kids

It’s your birthday, we wish you many more…DSC06540

DSC06521Today is also the day for Carter’s gymnastic lesson.DSC06526


And the day for Jonah’s swim lesson.



It is the day that kids eat free at McAlistars.

(Papa is playing a jeopardy style game about The Birdhouse with the kids. Who knows what color Brianna’s room is?)


Happy Birthday dear Tricia!


We are so happy we could spend the day with you.

Monday, February 15, 2010

the whisperers


I haven’t seen much of them, but in between their youth conference adventures, they have come home and pretended to sleep.




Rebecca, Jessica, Sarah, Alison, Katie, Shelby, and Shea




Other youth conference pictures:

web 4 6 8 web[3]

Sunday, February 14, 2010

happy valentines day

DSC06501When Doug and I were shopping recently, the woman helping us asked how long we have been married.

Coming up on 34 years. DSC06499

She was incredulous, but in a good way, that was really more congratulatory.

It is truly wonderful to love and be loved…even though it is seldom perfect,


it is beautiful.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

black and white dance

It’s youth conference this holiday weekend for our group of kids. Of course, that means for me that it has been youth conference around my house for quite a while now and that’s all that I will say about that.

DSC06496Brianna and I went shopping as she wanted to use her babysitting money to enhance her wardrobe. I got invited to the black and white dance. DSC06490

Apart from the decorations, which were gorgeous, (the entire place looked and smelled like “Candyland”),

I was so impressed that fifty girls DSC06498

could come up with fifty different, cute and modest

black and whites to wear!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

missionary memoirs


I received a phone call from a woman that identified herself as a service missionary. She said that she would like to learn how to use new FamilySearch.


When I asked her if she had an account, she told me that she didn’t. So, of course, the first step, was to get her one of those.

A lot of times people know their baptism date, but not their confirmation date, so I usually pull up a calendar and scout the date of the Sunday following their birthday, or the first Sunday following their baptism, which generally works. Her family had not been totally active in the church when she was growing up so, although she had been baptized as a child, the dates were not quite predictable. In the end though, we were able to sleuth out the right date.

She was so thrilled to see her ancestors and told me of plans she has for her grandchildren when they come to visit this summer. Eventually, I asked her about her mission. Her response was quite unexpected.

“I am embarrassed to tell you.”

I gave a little laugh and said okay, now, Really Wondering about her mission.

But then she decided to confess that she is a temple matron. All of a sudden, I understood her comment. It is so impressive to me that people will go completely out of their comfort zone and learn new things with enthusiasm and joy to better serve the Lord.

I am sure her grandkids are going to love  their experience at


“Temple Camp”.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

winter garden update

DSC06503Blooming in my otherwise decimated flower garden…it is so funny how I have never had any luck with gerbera daisies before, but this one is quite happy to show off on the nearly blank stage. DSC06505

Most of the herbs came through our coldest of winters in fifty or so years. At the moment the pots are holding some favorite bloomers.

DSC06506DSC06508 DSC06509 DSC06510 DSC06511

It’s still going to be a while before I can tell if the hibiscus trees and cordylines have made it through.