Saturday, May 30, 2009

A year ago today...

May 30~ My official "blog birthday" It's hard to believe a whole year has gone by since I decided to 'try' writing a blog. I wasn't sure I would keep it up for fear of having nothing to write about.But I have found it to be therapy to sit and share my heart (& quite easy to share it all much to Steve's dismay) But I have always been an open book, and I'm glad that my family will be able to remember these precious days long after we are gone. I am incredibly grateful to have met new friends and reconnect with friends far away.I wish I could invite you all over for cake and coffee to thank you for taking the journey with us.To celebrate the gift of your friendships I thought it would be fun to have a give away! I now have 8 followers and will add their names to a hat and have Steve pull the winner. If you don't "follow" join on the side column of my blog or just leave a comment to this post and I will add your name to the hat. It wont be BIG prize but a fun little "serendipity" as my mom would call them. And any package in the mail is always fun I say! So here's to another year~ I am excited about what life will bring and how I will fill the pages of my blog once again. I truly thank you all for stopping by and sharing in the adventures of the Carter family.....

*drawing will be held on June 10~my sweet Moms birthday!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bragging Rights...

(That's my boy! )

Below is the article written and sent to everyone at the city of San Diego rescue departments! Chad is quite the guard and we are so proud! I know this braggin stuff is so "June" but I cant help myself. I am one proud Momma!
Chad Carter, Mike Gilmore, Juan Gonzalez, Jeff Hatfield, and Patrick Malloy, Lifeguard Services Five of our City Lifeguards are in the spotlight for an amazing rescue, the second mass rescue of the day, made in the early evening of Saturday, May 16th. The rescue as described by their Lifeguard Sergeant follows: At approximately 1950 hours (7.50 p.m.) on May 16th, a group of six people walked straight into one of San Diego's most dangerous rip currents. The location was on the South side of the Little Rock Jetty at Ocean Beach. The group was instantly swept out and were actively drowning. Juan Gonzalez was in the main tower and spotted the rescue. The sun was setting and the Guards were going off duty in ten minutes. Juan is one of our most experienced and disciplined Lifeguards. His years of service and experience allowed him to immediately recognize the gravity of the situation and react appropriately. He alerted the downstairs Guards who were cleaning and parking trucks. Juan was able to convey the urgency of the situation by calling for "all Guards in at Little Rock." He also informed Lifeguard dispatch and requested a surf boat to respond code three. Lifeguard II Jeff Hatfield was working as the OCA sergeant. LG II Mike Gilmore, LG I Patrick Malloy and LG I Chad Carter were also on duty. The four Guards tore off their clothes and jumped into two trucks. The victims were swept out to the end of the jetty by the time Lifeguards drove the short distance. Two of the victims were clinging to the rocks while the others were struggling to stay afloat. All four Lifeguards entered the water to effect the rescue. They were able to get the most critical victims on the rescue boards and get them to the beach for evaluation. After being treated for exhaustion all the victims were released. Had this incident happened ten minutes later or had Juan and the OB crew not acted as consummate professionals there would have been a major tragedy. The Guards involved completed their jobs with no fanfare. It was another day on the job and a rescue that may make it into their top ten. Congratulations to all of these Lifeguards for their quick, lifesaving actions and thank you for all you do to serve the community every day!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sunday Six...

Wow what a week! I'm a day late because its taken this long to digest all the fun this week held! I feel so blessed this morning and overwhelmed with gratitude. Here's this weeks six~

1-Started the week with a visit to see my best friend Sandy. We had lunch, manicures and pedicures, and shopped for a bathing suit. Now remember this is the same girl who helped me with my mother of the groom dress, So I owed her one. There is nothing funnier than two friends trying to decide on a cute swimsuit (of course I was not going anywhere near that challenge) I was there for moral support. Speaking of support we found if you get those little "support" things and put them in the top it really helps. In fact at one point we used two pairs! I suggested duct tape as it would have been much cheaper but she left with the cutlets.(so funny) Sandy is darling and I thought she looked pretty darn cute for a mom of three. Poor Jamie our sales girl at Nordstrom was dying laughing at us. I'm pretty sure we were good birth control for her. After babies thing are just never the same.

2-The Bonnie Hunt Show!! This week I got to see two shows! One with the fun book babes Casey and Kathy and our friend Linda. And the next one with Chloe. We saw Dick Van Dyke and he was amazing! He danced between every segment and was so young at heart. I grew up watching him and LOVED him in so many roles. What a thrill to see him in person. I once again shook Bonnie's hand and chatted a bit.We talked to Holly her BFF too. Its going to be a long summer with no new shows. If I were to sign her yearbook it would say "you're bitchin, thanks for a great year, stay cool and don't ever change.See you in September"

3-Chloe's graduation!!! We went to her ceremony and in true Greek style were the loudest cheering section there. Her sweet friends brought air horns and we all let Chloe know just where we were seated! Then off to a wonderful lunch with her besties and then home to our house for a little family party. We are sooooo P.R.O.U.D of her and can hardly wait to see whats in store for her.

4-A slumber party with Travis and Ashlyn. We celebrated Ashlyns birthday along with the graduation.So we were able to give her the fun gifts we had for her and celebrate her special day too. They spent the night after the party and we just loved having them here. We also loved our grand puppy Bentley! We walked to sweet bean for coffee,played cards, went to dinner, the boys played guitar, and us girls went shopping.It was just the perfect weekend!

5-Last week I blogged about how much I love the Claim Jumper artichoke. Well I got a sweet comment from someone at their corporate office thanking me for the kudos. She was darling and wanted to send me a gift card to enjoy the next time we go.I thought it was the sweetest gesture and the gift card came on Friday! Another reason to love that terrific restaurant because they really do appreciate their customers!

6-Lastly a great tip I got from my friend Kim at work.She told me she bakes her bacon in the oven! I hate to cook bacon because of the mess that it makes, but love to have it when we have company because it smells like a yummy morning. She taught me to lay it out in the pan and bake it at 350 for about 25 minutes. It is PERFECT! You can do the whole pound at one time and it is crispy and yummy with really easy clean up!

Wishing you all a beautiful week filled with love,joy and lots of giggles!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Happy Birthday~

Today is Ashlyns 25th birthday! I love to do birthday tributes so I thought it would be fun to list 25 things I love about my precious daughter in law. It should be really easy to do because she is perfectly perfect. "June Cleaver" has been known to brag, but Karen Carter is telling the truth,straight up. She is one amazing girl!

1-She is extremely creative
2-She loves to cook
3-She loves the Lord with her whole heart
4-And loves my son the same way
5-She has the cutest little bird legs
6-She loves to be silly
7-She always sends thank you notes
8-She loves the Greeks! They sometimes take some getting used to, but her love for them "took the cake" (there's a story there trust me)
9-When she thinks something is cute she makes this little grunt sound & pounds her fist
10-She loves us! What a blessing to be loved and accepted for who we are
11-Her smile lights up the room, and her shoes fill the rest of it
12-She adores her family and has the utmost respect for her parents
13-She is precious to Chad and watches out for him like a sister
14-She has more vision for detail than anyone I know
15-When I call her she answers the phone with a smile and always says "Well Hello"
16-She is delightfully modest
17-She is a tender heart, and has so much empathy for others
18-She remembered every single gift people gave them for the wedding. I once used a towel at their house and she said "your friend Kim gave me those"
19-She is up for a challenge! She LOVES to shop and married one of the most frugal boys I know
20-She is a 'girlfriend' kind of girl. Her friends mean the world to her and she will always carve out time for them
21-She grew up watching Seinfeld, That fact alone made us know she would fit right in
22-She always smells so good
23-She was the oldest sister and can be bossy firm. Perfect for Trav
24-She loves babies and has such a mothers heart. It will be so fun to see her as a Momma.
25-She LOVES my boy! I know for every mom there is nothing that brings you more joy than seeing your kids happy. And Travis LOVES his new life as her husband. They are cared for, protected, nurtured, prayed for, and cherished by each other. She is the biggest blessing to ever come into the lives of the Carter family. I truly prayed and dreamed of a wife like her for Travis and God answered our prayers more than we could ever imagine. We love you sweet DIL and wish you the Happiest of Birthdays! Mom and Pop Carter

**And as a bonus she loves cupcakes...white with white frosting~ perfect!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Six...

Another week and again I pause to say "thank you" for all things! Nothing really big happened this week, but its fun to share the small things too,
1- Kensay (Ken & Lindsay) called Friday and said they were going to come out for a sleepover. I told them I was supposed to meet up with Chad for dinner but they could come and I would be home around 7. So they got on their way....Then Chad called and said "stay there Mom I am coming home" So they all arrived here around 5 and we had a big sleepover! We BBQ'd burgers and I made beans and apple pie.We enjoyed each others company so much! I had plenty of food on hand and made a big breakfast the next day! My mom would be proud.She always had enough to feed a crowd at any time and Greeks think that is of utmost importance! It was a fun surprise and we love visitors!

2- Trader Joes frozen mini croissants!! These are a MUST have to have on hand. They come in a package of 8 and you let them proof overnight. You bake them in the morning and have the most flaky, yummy, big french croissants. There is just nothing better with jam and butter.

3- My yard is in full bloom. Today while I was out watering and weeding I smelled the most amazing smells in my yard. We have night blooming jasmine by our porch and it is so aromatic! I was thinking how man with all our technology can not improve on Gods handiwork. There is no way to duplicate the sweet smell of His creation!

4- I saw an interview with Bob Woodruffs wife on Bonnie Hunt. Bonnie was saying how great Lee Woodruff's new book is and I added it to my "to read" list. She was sharing that after her husbands brain injury they learned the importance of being in the moment and being thankful. She sugessted at least four times a week just stand still and soak life in.Little truths, simply shared, but those nuggets sink deep in my heart. I know that blogging has helped me do that. It makes you aware of the 'moments' in your life. And for that I am so thankful!

5-My moms group met for dinner on Tuesday. We always have so much fun and I leave feeling so happy. Its often hard to make the time to meet up but it's so worth it! I love you all so much!
And Claim Jumper has grilled artichokes on their menu and they are amazing! I ate every leaf

6-Travis had a accident surfing that could have been so bad.It is such a fear of mine and I pray for he and Chad so often because they live in the water! He was going quite fast and hit his head on a shallow reef. He had a mild concussion but that was all. I thank the Lord for watching out for my kids and for teaching me to trust and not be afraid.The problem with me knowing these things is that I play them back in my mind 100 times and imagine what could have happened. But I continue placing them in Gods hands and trust He has them in His mighty grip.I just love my 3 kids so darn much!

I wish you all a sweet week filled with happy moments. Enjoy your family, friends and many blessings!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fluff and Fold

This is me tonight. I just put the last load in and I have been doing laundry ALL day.
For the life of me I do not know how two people can create so much laundry.For starters Steve never uses a towel twice and has a "thing" for fresh sheets (he thinks we shed skin while we sleep, I think he watches too much Dateline)But even with all that how can I possibly have 12 loads of wash?
My friend Nancy loves laundry and I have always admired that about her, but I certainly cant wrap my head around it. And now to make matters worse I have returned to ironing! Our new uniforms are much cuter but they need to ironed. I thought irons were a little archaic? I am more the "throw them in the dryer with a bounce sheet to get the wrinkles out" kind of girl. I remember when we were little my mom had a ironing lady who came in once a week and helped her iron all our clothes. Her name was Adeline and she lived down the street in the most perfectly manicured house. She wore hose and a dress every single day.She also would do our "mending" (I once threw away a perfectly good pair of pants because I didn't want to sew on the button) Funny the memories that come back when you have been on your feet all day with an Oreck and Spray Starch in your hands. I do love the way clothes look when they are pressed. I have always appreciated getting them back that way on hangers from the dry cleaners. Lets see at 1.99 each x 12 loads = oh never mind. It might be cheaper to hire an Adeline.But something tells me ladies like her are a thing of the past too. Like Mrs Trimble who used to babysit little Ricky for the Ricardo's and Alice who helped out Mrs Brady. Maybe I can learn to love ironing?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I &hearts Artichokes!!!

Have you met my favorite vegetable of all time,The Artichoke? As I was cooking one tonight my friend said she has never had one? What? Never? How does someone get to be"50 something" and never have an artichoke? She wanted to know what they taste like? I don't know they just taste like artichokes. And I have been a long time fan. When I was pregnant with Travis it was the only food that I CRAVED! I had to have one almost every day & I remember they were about 5 dollars each. But I didn't care because they were my pickles & ice cream. I still don't look at the price,I would pay ten dollars for one of these leafy, yummy treats. A customer years back told me a secret about cooking them and I would thank her today if I could. I used to steam them for almost a hour, watching the water level and making sure they didn't scorch. But she taught me to cut off the top of the leaves, cut off the stem and put them leaf side down in a bowl of water. Cover tight with saran wrap and microwave for about 8 minutes. You need to let them sit for 5 minutes, pick them up, squeeze out the water and they will just fall open. My family loves them dipped in a little mayo(it has the be Best Foods) and my daddy loved them with butter. But I seriously can eat them plain. One leaf after the other. And I always split my heart with Steve....
If its been a while since you had one, they are amazing this year!! Be sure to let me know what ya think.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Just thinking...

Here I am home at last, sitting at my computer getting caught up on blogs! I loved reading about everyone's fabulous week and how you all spent Mothers Day~ After checking email,the next thing I do is check in on my friends! I only have time for a quick post before the laundry beckons me and the suitcases need to be put away. But my heart is full of thoughts and thanks.So here's a few ....
I loved seeing Chloe! We ran to each other like a movie scene, eyes filled with tears and big hugs. A reminder of how blessed I am to have family that being away from is so darn awful!
Five days with my family and we NEVER tire of each other.

Arrived home to a precious "Mothers Day" card from Abby. Abby is the daughter of our friends Vicky and John. Somehow I got lucky to have Abby love me and think of me as one of her moms. I have done nothing to deserve this title or overflowing love from her.But I sure am thankful for it! I am greeted with hugs and love every time I see her. The thought of her taking the time to drop off a card just warmed my heart. Thank you sweet girl...

I loved being away but realized it isn't the same without seeing my own kids on Mothers Day! Last year when we "went away" we went to San Diego to spend the weekend with them. So this year without them felt kinda empty. I spoke to them all a few times that day,laughed and shared "mom memories" but I have decided I will spend the next 50 Mothers Day with my kids. I will always miss my own mom on that day but I know she would be happy for me to have the love and attention.

Steve took me to see "Phantom of the Opera" and it took my breath away. The theater, the costumes, the love story, but mostly the amazing live MUSIC. Spellbinding!

Came home to a huge pile of mail! For me that is always so fun!!!!

Well I am back to work at 5 am, the life of a princess sleeping in & being waited on has come to an end. But I still have my Prince,and a family that blesses and nourishes my heart.And this girl could not be any more thankful!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thoughts from my heart...

We are off for a long weekend trip! The best part Kenny is riding with us and we will meet up with Lindsay and Chloe tomorrow! It feels weird to be away from my kids on Mothers Day but we have a celebration on the calendar for a day really soon. Steve actually started this "tradition" of going away the first year after my mom passed. And it works for me....
Mothers Day is probably the hardest holiday without her. Even though I am a mom it feels like it should still be all about my own Momala. I read a great quote about loss and it said "suddenly you wake up one day and it isn't the first thing on your mind" I am thankful for that truth and can attest to it,but it sure never really gets better. So I am glad we will be away making new memories.
I have shared before about the rose bush in my yard that always blooms on Mothers Day! The last three years it has had four blooms and I've said its for each of her 4 kids.But this year surprisingly there are FIVE amazing pink roses! This year it must be for the "Carter 5" since this is the first Mothers Day that Ashlyn has officially been part of our family. So I am thinkin my sweet mom is blowing the Carter family kisses from heaven! Silly maybe, but I find it sweet and comforting. And YaYa would sure have loved our girl! To all of you who are moms I wish you the sweetest day! There is seriously NO greater joy to me than being a Mom. And I am overwhelmingly grateful to have such amazing role models of motherhood in my life....

I cannot forget my mother. She was my bridge. When I needed to get across, she steadied herself long enough for me to run across safely~

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sunday Six... Things for which I am grateful!

Its been a week filled with blessings galore! I feel I am beginning to train my eyes and heart to look for the blessings~Because there are always so many things to be thankful for! Here are six that come to mind.

1- The girls at work and I decided it would be fun to meet up once a month for dinner. Work is so busy it gets hard to really talk. So this week was our first dinner and we had a blast!! There was a really good turn out and we sat and chatted for hours. We are all so different and have such diverse backgrounds but have formed sweet friendships. It was a huge success and we already have our next one on the books!
2-Friends of the library! We have the best used book store next to our fabulous new library. I just love to go in there and browse. The ladies who volunteer are big readers and always know good books to recommend. I left with two new books and only spent $2 dollars! Such a bargain and such a good cause. It's also a great place to donate the books you longer need or want.

3-Chad called Saturday night and I am so proud of him its crazy! He rescued a six year old little girl who was drowning at the beach. He has many rescues in a day but when he rescues a child it really sticks with him because the kids are the ones who are most apt to drown. He always tells me how he remembers me watching them like a hawk when they were little and how he wishes more parents were more careful. He always thanks us for being good parents. So thoughtful and grateful! I really hate to sound 'June' ish but my three kids amaze me!!

4-Steve and I watched "The Ultimate Gift" The girls at work were talking about it and were surprised I had not seen it. I try not to watch movies with James Garner because he reminds me too much of my dad. But my friend brought it and I'm so glad she did.It was a little corny but had such a great message. So many movies are trashy but this was just sweet the whole way through.And James Garner still brings back loving memories of my sweet Daddy. A kind, burly, loving, tender heart bear.

5- Sara did great at the Special Olympics!! She is such a good swimmer and loves to compete and win ribbons. She called to make sure I got her voice messages telling me about her big wins! (Of course and I saved every single one) She is so proud and we are too! Good Job Sara!! In our hearts you always win the GOLD6-Gods Favor! Without going into detail there were a few things really weighing on my heart this last week. And we received notice that one was completely taken care of. And I KNOW that it is only the hand of God that worked this out. So many times I am able to look back and see His hand all over situations in our lives. And what a blessing that my kids have always been able to recognize His working all things together for good. What a comfort to know that the Lord always has us in His mighty grip.

Wishing you all a week filled with wonder, joy, giggles and Gods AMAZING grace!