Monday, December 31, 2007

First Annual Year in Review :o)
(although I will celebrate four years of blogging tomorrow)


We started out with a lot of snow, sledding and streaking. Remember the streaking. Wasn't that fun?
I streaked for 118 days. I didn't lose weight streaking, but I had wonderful endurance on our trip to Europe.

Here is Emma's Garfeld Goose cast.


February brought talk of awards shows, American Idol and Grey's Anatomy.

And Fine Art Friday was humming along

I cried when I saw this in person.
This and the Pieta made me cry.
Totally different reasons.


On March 4th, I found Ree @ Confessions of a Pioneer Woman. Staci @ Writing and Living was celebrating her birthday and she blogged about Ree's Chocolate Sheet Cake. I followed the link, as I do all the time, and I found the most wonderful surprise. The cake, it was good.
But Ree, she is remarkable.

Her pictures and witty, silly dialog drew me in. (Like I know she draws everyone in)

Because of her, I decided to get a camera instead of a dog.

And that's the truth.

So thank you Staci.
And thank you P-dub.
And thank you, hubby, for the camera.

Matthew asked Melinda to marry him in March!!!!

I planned and prepared for our trip to Paris, Florence and Rome.

First picture with the D80.


Oh la la.

April was a month to remember.

For all my life....I will remember April in Paris.

Just go click on the archives and go to April.


Oh my.

May brought wonderful warm weather and green grass.

Prom and graduation and bike riding and pictures.
prom fun

AND painting. Lynn helped me paint our family room!

(p.s. The family room always looks like this. Doesn't it Amy and Lynn?)


Matthew and Melinda get married in June.

Now that was fast planning, Melinda!!!

This is another month that is so full of pictures and fabulous blogging.

I'm sorry. You will have to go and read all about June in the archives :o)

What else do you have to do today?

And don't tell me your New Years Resolution is to spend less time on blogs!!!


Emma left for a mission trip in July!


And I signed up for Flickr. (This is where I found the tool to make these mosaics :o)

(I love the Flickr community! Amazing photographers and lovely, generous people to meet :o)

Katie played baseball and swam and played with her friends.
We went to pie baking contests, the Greek picnic and the famers market.

I tagged along taking pictures at every turn.


In August I wrote an About Me page for the blog.
Took a ton of pictures and generally goofed around.

good show
I won a blog award.
And tried to make you laugh.

(Okay....I am losing steam. I have been doing this blog for over two hours. Mercy me)


You all make September a record breaking month.
You gave me 168 comments on my 50th.
Thank you and bless your sweet hearts.

The Packers gave my husband something to do on Sunday's....and started the Superbowl run.
I predicted it. And I was right. So far.
It's all there on the blog.

I also predicted that Helio would win Dancing with the Stars.

Too bad I don't get paid for this stuff.

Photoshoots came my way...

Yes. All girls in Wisconsin are this beautiful.


Nancy picked me up and took me to a big birthday bash in Missiouri.

Happy, happy, joy, joy.

And then this happened.

And I took this picture.
20071029_0886 copy


Foto Booth Fun

Thanksgiving and family and laughter.
That is November.


Thank you Lord, for December.

It is the end of the year.

It has Christmas, and snow and love!


Happy New Year!!!!

You all bless me.

Every single day.

Encourage one another,

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Warming up...

Nothing to do but edit photos and watch the Pack....

(Well, laundry too, but there is a lot of time inbetween loads :o)

But man, I could use a little sunshine.

And so .....

I found some in Katie's face.

Sending you some warmth,

Saturday, December 29, 2007

This and That

Yesterday, thoughtful reader Linda, emailed and offered Patrick and I tickets to a Badgers Hockey game.

I have always wanted to go to a Badgers Hockey game!

So, yes! Thank you Linda!!!

My husband on the other hand is not too sure about a hockey game.
He has never been to a hockey game.

I have assured him hockey games are a blast.

And much more fun than a Diana Ross concert.

(Which he went to with me when we were dating.)

You can all laugh now.


Dana asked if we had gotten anything handmade for Christmas.

This beautiful handmade set of note cards are from Lynn.

She has a gift for design and packaging.

A perfect little piece of red and white yarn graced that little hole in the bag.

I lost it.

Lynn, come tell us in the comments how you made your design.

There was a hard material and a sharp object involved.


These pretty cards are from Florence Italy.

I bought them in April.

Seems I forgot to show them to you.

So on the Fifth day of Christmas.

I present to you....

Adorable Italian Cards


Again, Dana requested something.
And I aim to please.

"Wherefore art thou food shots?"


Leftovers, Baby!


Earning my wings.
We celebrated Katie's birthday with some of her girlfriends yesterday afternoon.


And if you haven't met Dana yet, you really must go over to meet her,

Dana @ Hidden Art

She blesses me with ideas and comments and cards and love.

So that's all I know.

We had another six inches of snow yesterday and I shoveled my brains out.

Wisconsin is nearing the state record for inches of snow.

You should come and see it :o)

I'll cook a tenderloin.

Encourage one another,

Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday's Feast

Name 2 things you would like to accomplish in 2008.

With which cartoon character do you share personality traits?

What time of day (or night) were you born?

Main Course
Tell us something special about your hometown.

If you could receive a letter from anyone in the world, who would you want to get one from?

Some good questions there.

I share many character traits with Winnie the Pooh.

Friendly, chubby, humble.

Me and Pooh.


Project Katie

Project Katie

I just don't fight it folks.

And sometimes she puts something together that I happen to think is adorable.

Tell me she isn't rockin' those boots with the tights and little mini skirt.

I just had to smile....and take a picture.

Both of my girls have their own styles.

I just check for modesty and suggest nylons.


And one more thing on the photography business homefront.

Blu Domain had a crazy sale on the Audrey template yesterday. So I bought it.

I think they are super swamped so it may be a while. But I'll let you know how it goes with the whole web design thang.

Are you sure all this learning is good for the brain?

I don't want to hurt myself.


Katie the Schoolgirl


If Patrick and I were to go to a movie this weekend....what should we see?

Don't forget the Feast, baby!

Encourage one another,

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Do you remember the little hat I knit for Audrey Woulard?
That hat that I wrapped so pretty and took to Chicago with me?

And do you remember how I stood outside the loft and cried?

Member that?

And I don't think I told you.
I sent that little hat in the mail to Chicago, to Audrey.
The kind and brilliant photographer who so generously offered me a spot at her next workshop.

And I didn't hear from Audrey about the hat.

I figured the hat was lost or in a pile or on the head of some little stranger baby toddling around the Windy City.

But four weeks later, I heard from Audrey.

She finally had gotten the hat. The folks who collected her mail that week...had forgotten to give her that little package.

And, well, she loved the little colorful hat.

Audrey said she had a commercial shoot coming up and they wanted her to use hats.

She would most definitely use it.

Well. How exciting is that?

So I stalked, I mean visited her website everyday. Thinking perhaps it would be the day a little baby in a Noro hat would smile back at me.

But not yet.

Is there a saying that says "Patience has it's own reward" or something like that???

On Christmas Day Blu Domain ( a designer of websites for photographers) promised to debut the new Audrey Woulard website.

I have a coupon for a discount and was waiting to see if I liked it. Perhaps I would use the Audrey for my professional photography business website.

But Christmas came and went and still no debut.

Yesterday, I checked again. Still no debut.

And then.

Last night.

Blu Domain debuted Audrey's website and what to my wondering eyes should appear on the main page....

But a baby in a lovely Noro hat!

Blu Domain and Audrey and a baby in a Noro hat ......

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Thank you for all the special birthday wishes.


I think one of my most favorite things in the whole world are Katie's eyes.

Another favorite thing of mine is Beef Tenderloin with béarnaise sauce.

I am going to write how I cooked this so I don't forget.
Every time I cook this meal, I have to look it up on the computer.
So I will place it here and on my recipe blog so I will have it forever.
Or until the computers crash round the world.

I usually choose a 2.5 lb beef trimmed beef tenderloin.
Let it sit out and warm up a bit.

Set the oven to 450.

Place it on a pan and salt and pepper it. (I put butter on it, but this just caused a ton of smoke. So I won't do that again.)

Cook for 1/2 hour.

Temp of roast should be around 120 for medium rare)

Take it out of the oven and put in foil for 15 min.
(It needs a rest)

Our tenderloin turned out wonderfully last night. I must say that Miller's sold us a very nice piece of meat.
And only $18.00.

I mention the price because Patrick and I finally went out for our Anniversary dinner last week and we paid $33.00 each for a nice filet mignon. A la carte.

And it was very good. But mine was just as good :o)

And to tell you the truth....I like my bearnaise sauce better than most restaurants.

It's the Knorr béarnaise sauce from the package.

Isn't that a simple meal to prepare?


Also on the food front. I made Ree's Pasta Primavera for Christmas Eve.

It was a bit thin at first. And I'm not sure what I did wrong.

But the left overs are fabulous heated up in the microwave.

Did you know I am still leery of the microwave?


On Friday I am going to ask your for your Bucket List.

You have a few days to be thinking of it.

What is a Bucket List?

It is the list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket.

I learned this from watching coming attractions on the telly.

The Bucket List is the name of a movie that has just been released.

So start thinking. Whether I will ask for 5 is still up in the air. :o)


What will you do today?

Encourage one another,

Monday, December 24, 2007


not feeling so well
(Not feeling so well, yesterday. Daddy took this picture.)

Our baby is eight years old today.

"Tomorrow when you wake up, you will be eight." I chirp as I settle Katie into bed.

"Well, I won't really be eight yet."

"Yes you will. You will turn eight in the night while you sleep."

"Oh goody."

It's funny how those details matter to a little girl.

Here are some more detail about our spunky little eight year old.

1. Katie was two weeks early.
2. She weighed 5 lbs. 6 oz.
3. She was seriously jaundiced and re-hospitalized.
4. She would not/could not nurse.
5. She has been dramatic from the start.
6. She has an open heart, filled with love.
7. Her favorite books are the Junie B. books.
8. She forgives just as easily as she loves.

We love her beyond measure and are thankful every day for our little girl.

It makes me cry to think that other children are not as wanted and loved.

That is who I will remember today.
The children who are in need of love, and warmth, and shelter, and medicine, and attention and a Savior.

That is who I will pray for on my Katie's birthday.

And I will say thank you, Lord, for your abundant blessings to us.


Our Christmas Card

Merry Christmas!

I wish this card said Merry Christmas.
I wish I had written out our names.

Next year. The boys and Melinda will be in the picture. Some way....some how.

Christmas love and blessings to one and all!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Here's Ree!!!!


"..From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit; Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership and Mercy.

-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit; Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control.

-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed."

I lifted this right off of tj's blog. Isn't it great!
I really never liked this song. At all.

But I love this idea.


Another idea I love is the fact that Ree (Pdub, Pioneer Woman) is going to be on television today!!!
And on the internet if you don't have cable.

So here's the dealio.

CNN 12:30 and 5:30 Eastern.

You do the math.

And here is the internet link!
It is not up yet. But it will be, I am sure.

News to Me

And speaking of Ree, I received my calendars yesterday.

She sent me a few extra, by accident.

I have been blessed with an abundance of Pdub calendars.

Mine has an inscription that says we are BFF.

Well. Not really. But something equally nice.


Thank you for the quotations, yesterday. I liked reading those very much!
We will have to do that again some time.

Perhaps my cred will go up.
I see that I am blogging at a Junior High level. (Thanks to a link at Dana's blog)

Perhaps if they looked into the comments I would make it to the high school or college level!


See you in the comments....folks are chatty and busy here in my quiet little space this morning.
Can't think.

Wishing you peaceful planning, happy gatherings, safe traveling and much love!

Encourage one another,

Friday, December 21, 2007


"Money is a needful and precious thing, and when well used, a noble thing, but I never want you to think it is the first or only prize to strive for. I'd rather see you poor men's wives, if you were happy, beloved, contented, than queens on thrones, without self-respect and peace."
~Little Women

I think I need to read Little Women again! I love that quote!

The Friday Feast is off this week.
So how about if you did deep and write a favorite literary quotation in the comment box.
Something that will inspire, that will make us think, or even...make us laugh.

Purdy please?

I think it would be so fun... and educational.

Typically Katie

"Hey! Unto you a child is born!"

Encourage one another,

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Elisabeth Elliot says:

It is unbelievable that God humbled Himself to come into our world and we were not ready to receive Him.
Is there room for Him in your life?

The Bible says:

"He came to His own,
and His own did not receive Him."
John 1:11

I heard in church recently that perhaps the reason He has not returned yet,
is because He is waiting.
Waiting because He is merciful.
Waiting because He loves us.

Waiting so that none are lost.

Is there room for Him in your life?

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How we have changed.

Katie got her little almost eight year old ears pierced yesterday.

She has been asking.
And asking.
And asking.

We had a rule.

Teens, you must be in your teens.

And then I started wondering why I had this rule.

Our grandmother had her ears pierced as an infant.

Our mother said, no, no, no.

Emma had to wait until she was fifteen.

But then, I just decided that this little happiness for Katie was what I wanted to give her.

And I asked Patrick. He thought. no no no....

and I said, look how happy she is at the idea.

And he talked with her.

And saw how happy she was at the idea.

And he thought...why am I saying no.

Neither of us could think of why we were saying no.

So we let it go.

And gave Katie the gift of pierced ears for her eighth birthday.



The earring shots.

Ha! Ah well. It's early. It's the best we can do this morning.

Which picture do you like better?


Did you watch Biggest Loser Finale last night?

Holy cow! I love seeing the amazing weight loss results.

I really, really, really wish the little blonde mom would have won!

She looked amazing.

They are all winners in my book.

Could you leave your family for three months?

I couldn't.

Although my husband said last night, he could order out just as well as I can.



Are you watching the Choir show?

Patti LaBelle is my choice for winner.
I wish the focus was not so much on the soloists.

How fun is that Blake Shelton?

Tonight they will all sing Christmas songs. It should be quite nice!
Check it out!


Each indecision brings its own delays and days are lost lamenting over lost days...What you can do or think you can do, begin it. For boldness has Magic, Power, and Genius in it.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A little encouragement for those of us who have a hard time deciding :o)

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Welcome to our World

New Friend
Katie's birthday is fast approaching.
A gift came in the mail for her yesterday afternoon.
Her first Webkinz.
She named her beagle, Boston.

Thank you Aunt Sue for the perfect gift!


We also made a trip to the beautician.
Can you believe, five inches cut off!?
It looks so much healthier and prettier.
I hope it doesn't mat as much!

That's my Christmas wish :o) Not.


Here is an artsy, fartsy picture of the tree. It is a fine, pretty tree.
Patrick and Katie went to get it on Saturday and the girls and I decorated it on Sunday.

You may notice, I have misplaced the tree skirt.

I have also misplaced the Nativity.

Do you suppose they are together?

German Angel

Here is one of the first ornaments I ever bought for myself.

This little choir angel is from Germany. I really like that little choir angel.


And to balance out this post about stuff.
Here is a video of my favorite Chirstmas song.

Lynn's brother sang it for Christmas last year.

Welcome to our World by Chris Rice.

Perfect Son of God.
Perfect Son of God.

I am exceedingly thankful for God's gift to us.
His Perfect Son.

Encourage one another,

Monday, December 17, 2007

My fave

The annual showing of my mother's ornament.

How I love this 60's treasure.

I have a vague memory of the kitchen table in Elmhurst covered with pins and beads.
I made something similar.

I kind of think mom went somewhere to make this, like a friends house or something.
Or she made it at night.

I don't remember her making it, but I do remember her setting things up so we could make something similar.

Mom liked to work with her hands too.

She did crewl.

She made little pictures.

And she sewed.
She sewed little plaid wool jumpers. A-line.

Simple plaid jumpers that were worn with cable knit tight.

I wore my jumper (it was gold and brown plaid) to school five days in a row.

Our mom didn't notice that I wore it every day.....but I did it on purpose.

Thus began my habit of wearing the same outfit day after day.


When I moved to my first apartment in Wausau, Nancy brought me a box of ornaments for my tree.
Nancy was the keeper of our parents things for year and years.
In fact, she is still, I am sure.

She gave me the greatest gift in that box of ornaments.

Every year at Christmas time I get a visit from my mom.

It's happy and a little wild and makes me smile and remember.

I love it.

Encourage one another,

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Muffy the Red-Nosed Reinbear

Muffy the Red-Nosed Reinbear makes a visit to the snowy front yard.

The earth has grown old with its burden of care,
But at Christmas it always is young.
~Phillips Brooks

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Today you will I will try to explain in a non verbal way how to knit a thumb.

Chocolatechic is dying to know.

And if she lived here in town. We would go to the local yarn store and I would show her and we would drink hot chocolate.

And it would be oh so easy to do.

It's a little harder in print. At least for my learning and teaching style.

But here's my attempt.

And if you don't knit and have no interest in knitting a thumb....

Scroll down and I'm sure I will come up with a brilliant and inspiring poem or quote to send you on your way :o)

p.s. That little homeschooler must has told all her pals to vote....cause this morning I am way behind.

Ah well.

That's how it goes, and snows and grows and flows.....

What am I talking about?

So knitting....

blog-knitting a thumb
Is this too big?
Largest picture ever posted on my blog.

Following your mitten pattern you will come to a section that says (something like this)

First increase row for thumb gore--right side-K 15 stitches (on two needles this will get you to the middle of your hand)
inc. 1 st. in next st., k 1 , inc. 1 st. in next stitch. (I wrote a 3 in my first increase row in the picture)
knit to end of row.

Work even. (for as many rows as you pattern says. You will not do a thumb increase row every row. You will knit past it two or three times depending on the size of the mitten)

2nd increase row--K 15
inc. 1 stitch in next st., k 3, inc. 1 st. in the next st. ,
knit to the end of the row.

Work even.

3rd increase row--Knit 15 and do the increases like before but knit two more in between from now on.

7,9,11,13,15...and so on. Usually you stop with the thumb increases around 17 stitches.

Look up at the picture.

Can you see the increase dot...the number 3 and the other increase dot.
That is showing what the pattern says to do.

After you have knit around and around you will slide the 17 (or so) stitches on to a stitch holder.

Now you will continue to knit round and around or back and forth until your mitten is long enough.

Then you decrease in a round. Many ways to do this.
You know how to do this right?

So after the top of your mitten is done.

Go back to the thumb stitches that are waiting for you on the stitch holder.

Slide those on to your needles.

Knit until it is as long as your thumb....and decrease like you did for the top of the mitten.




I'm sorry I don't have a thumb in progress to show you the stitch holder.
I'll be doing that soon and will post a picture then. Stay tuned.

I hope this helped.
Email me and I will answer any questions.


Here is a line up of mittens knit in the last few years....that I can find....and Im not promising that they all have matches.

I heart the red, white and green ones. They are my most favorite mittens I have ever the whole wide world.

The little tiny one is covered with burrs.

the line up

And this is the ugliest scarf I have ever knit in my life.

This yarn is yummy to knit with because it is soft....but, holy cow, it's so ugly knit up.

Beauty and the Beast

You knew it was going to be ugly, didn't you Lynn. Admit it.


It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness. ~Leo Tolstoy

Now. that. is. deep.

I hope you have lost your good looks, for while they last any fool can adore you, and the adoration of fools is bad for the soul. No, give me a ruined complexion and a lost figure and sixteen chins on a farmyard of Crow's feet and an obvious wig. Then you shall see me coming out strong.

~George Bernard Shaw, to Mrs. Patrick Campbell

I don't really know what was going on with George and Mrs. Campbell....but man, that's a funny quote.

"Heirloom" is knitting code for "This pattern is so difficult that you would consider death a relief.
~Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much

Really, all you need to become a good knitter are wool, needles, hands, and slightly below-average intelligence. Of course, superior intelligence, such as yours and mine, is an advantage.
~Elizabeth Zimmerman

That last one is a repeat....but I love it so much.

Now, off you go...

It's a new day.

Be a blessing :o)

Encourage one another,