Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sneak Peek


The last time I saw these little guys was last Memorial day.
My client wanted to get some new pictures of her grand babies.
So I drove out to their house on a hill yesterday afternoon.

She wasn't home this time, but the children's parents that was fun to meet them and watch
their sweet interaction with their active, beautiful boys.


The little guy was sleeping when I arrived so he needed a little waking up time.


What a big change in six months!
Lots of hair and walking all around.

Usually away from me :o)


Yay! A smile!


Oops. I didn't edit this one yet.
Remember when your children would get those little chap places near their lips?

Thank goodness for photoshop.



Big brother really made his little brother laugh.
It reminded me of Matthew and Patrick.

From the youngest days, Matthew only had eyes for his big brother.
He would stop nursing so he could watch Patrick.

Did you ever notice that?

Children just really adore other small children.
Especially their big brothers.

Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.
~Marc Brown

The highlight of my childhood was making my brother laugh so hard that food came out his nose.
~Garrison Keillor

Encourage one another,

Friday, November 28, 2008

Six degrees of separation

Now that Dancing with the Stars is over....what will we watch to get our dancing fix?

May I introduce to you,

April and her husband.

April is the sister of Rechelle from The Country Doctors Wife.
I met Rechelle after reading her funny comments at Ree's about a year ago.

Then I met April, cause she and Rechelle are the nuttiest, funniest sisters.

AND my first flickr friend Mrs. Mama is good friends with April.

I have so many friends in cyber space.

Most of them don't know it.

But I think of them as my posse.

If you go to April's website you can see the dance that she and her husband are learning;
It was the Lance and Lacey Mambo.

April Showers

I tell ya.....

they are inspirational!

And I rather prefer their costumes :o)

Dance till the stars come down from the rafters
Dance, Dance, Dance till you drop.
~W.H. Auden

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
~Kurt Vonnegut

Encourage one another,

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving!

Just wanted to say 'hi' today and wish you a fantastic day!
Whatever you are doing...

serving at a food kitchen
visiting relatives
watching football....

whatever you may do...

may it be with love and joy and thanks :o)


Two or things things I thought were pretty cool for today.

I just got an email from our oldest son, Patrick Jr.

He lives in Washington State.

He wrote to tell us that he was having Thanksgiving dinner with his cousin, Ellie, and her husband in Oregon.

The fact that those two young cousins are able to share this day together makes me so thankful.

I am thankful that family is important to them.
I am thankful that they are getting together without anyone orchestrating it.

It just makes my day. I don't know why. But it does.


And then there is our pumpkin pie.

We are bringing pumpkin pie and graham cracker cake and dinner rolls to our thanksgiving get together.

I have made the pie's from scratch in the past. And they are fine and good and my husband likes them.

But last weekend we were wandering the aisles at Costco and we saw the biggest pumpkin pie we had ever seen.

It must be 12 inches across. Huge.

But it looked good. And Patrick being an ex-bakery owner knows about this sort of thing.

So we bought one to test it out.

It only cost 5.99 so we were not taking a big risk here if it was icky.

And to our surprise and delight, the pie was really good.
In fact, Patrick says it is the closest tasting pie to the one he used to make at the bakery.

(Boucher's Bakery, for the curious)

So after our lovely anniversary dinner last night we ran into Costco to pick up
a fresh, un-tasted pie.

What a sweet deal!

Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.
~Theodore Roosevelt

O Lord that lends me life,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.
~William Shakespeare

Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.
~William Shakespeare

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Today is our anniversary.

Patrick and I have been married for 28 years!

It's especially fun that it is the exact day of our wedding.

Yes. We were married on a Wednesday evening.

Lake Forest Illinois.

Just Patrick and me and the minister.


We have come a long way since that quiet November night.

We are stronger and more thoughtful and more kind and more loving than ever before.

True love is but a humble, low-born thing,
And hath it's food seved up in earthenware;
It is a thing to walk with , hand in hand,
Through the everydayness of this work-day world,
Baring its tender feet to every roughness,
Yet letting not on heart-beat go astray
From beauty's law of plainness and content=
A simple, fireside thing, whose quiet smile
Can warm earth's poorest hovel to a home.

James Russell Lowell

For our husbands.

from Elisabeth Elliot

Lord, grant me that vision of a true lover as I look at ____________. (Patrick)
Help me to see him through Your eyes, to read the thoughts he does not put into words,
to bear with his human imperfections, remembering that he bears with mine and that You are at work in both of us.
Thank you, Lord, for this man, Your carefully chosen gift to me,
and for the high privilege of being heirs together of the grace of life.
Help me to make it as easy and pleasant as I possibly can for him to do Your will.

Can I hear an Amen?

And on a totally different level....
we just happen to love this...

Not so much humble and low born.

But wildly romantic and lovely.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails;

1 Cor. 13


The most wonderful, difficult, soul stretching, heart growing thing I have ever done.

And I am more determined than ever.

Encourage one another,

(I was my own wedding photographer :o)
Nikon was sitting atop my car.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Giving thanks.

The history.

"There is one day that is ours. Thanksgiving Day is the one day that is purely American."
O Henry


"I do not think of all the misery, but of the glory that remains. Go outside into the fields, nature and the sun, go out and seek happiness in yourself and in God. Think of the beauty that again and again discharges itself within and without you and be happy."
- Anne Frank


Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.


What a noble holiday.

Setting aside a time to reflect and be thankful.

And eat.

Very good.

Little thanksgiving meme.

1. what are you thankful for?
2. what is your favorite thing to make?
3. do you have a special tablecloth?
4. what is your favorite thing to eat?
5. what time do you eat?

Encourage one another,

Monday, November 24, 2008


Katie took this picture.
And I like it because I think it looks how I think I look.

But, I didn't know my highlights were looking so ugh.

And I have to tell you what a bonehead I am.

Last night as I was closing my eyes to sleep....

I realized that I had forgotten all about a birthday party that Katie was invited to...

I got up and searched the house for the invite to confirm my stupid-ness.

But I never found it...and didn't find it this morning.

I feel so terrible.

I told Katie this morning that we had missed it and she wasn't too sad.
She is not as volatile as her momma.

I'll run to the store and buy a gift today and deliver it at the basketball game tonight.

Oh... I just dread making social mistakes like this and being rude and inconveniencing others.



I look like this too.

Off to drive in the snow, serve at the food kitchen and look for my marbles.

I seem to have lost them.

Encourage one another,


Did you see this on The Amazing Race?

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Katie came home with a cheery smiley face band on her wrist.

"Where did you get that?" I asked.

" I got it because I made someone smile this week?"

"Who gave it to you?"

"My teacher."

"That's so nice, does she give those out every week."

"Yeah. About six people got them."

That's great Katie. I'm proud of you. Now come outside, in the 10 degree weather, and put on a hat,
and let me take a picture of you and your wrist band."



Last night, after dropping Katie off at a friends house, Patrick and I went over to a new pizza place.

It's not really so new...but it is new to us. They open last December, I think.

School mom, Katie, said this was her favorite pizza ever. And she is not a pizza lover.

So I couldn't wait to try it.

They make the pizza's right at the counter as you order and then slide them in a brick hearth oven.

We were hoping for a Roman style pizza and this came closer to Rome than anything we have tried since our visit to Rome last year.

The small restaurant is super family friendly. Booths and tables with benches.

Warm and not snooty. But the food is actually kind of snooty in that it is prepared with
all the best local ingredients. And it is not inexpensive. But, they were fast and the pizza was delicious.

So after many culinary disappointments, Patrick and I hit the jackpot at Pizza Brutta.

If you come to Madison, you really must go.

Call me. I'll go with you ;o)

Pizza Brutta


Paying bill with spider drawing


Big church Bazaar this weekend.
We stopped in after school yesterday.

My goodness! What a party.

People selling things.
Bake Sales.
Book Fair.
Brat Fest.


We bought books and entered raffles (Wii, Kit doll) and bought the famous
Cinnamon Bread baked by the nuns from the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters.

I thought it felt a little dry and heavy in the bag....
And the fact that they had thousands of loaves lining the friary kitchen counters,
how good could it be?


Really. Really good.

There you go. Now that I've made you all hungry....

Have a great weekend!



Encourage one another,

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Fill-ins

1. The last band I saw live was _____________.
2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is _________. (if you don't celebrate thanksgiving, insert your favorite holiday)
3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is __________.
4. Thoughts of _____________ fill my head.
5. I wish I could wear ______________.
6. Bagpipes ________.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _____, tomorrow my plans include _____ and Sunday, I want to _____!

Thank you, Janet, from Friday Fill-ins


"Are those bagpipes I hear?"

20081120_2982-2 le

Hello floating face.

"We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep."

"I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself."
~Oscar Wilde

"Nobody can spoil a life, my dear. That's nonsense. Things happen, but we bob up."
~John Galsworthy

That just makes me want to say,

Chip, chip, Charlie, by jove, good show.

See you in the comments!

Encourage one another,

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Katie is writing out an assignment tonight.

Her teacher would like her to write the qualities that a Pope should possess.

She writes.

1. He should be holy.
2. He should love God and Jesus.
3. He should be Catholic.

Man, I love that girl.
Other than Katie.....

My greatest photography inspiration these days is Anna Kuperberg.

She has great command of her camera.

Must be tons of fun.


Has a tremendous imagination.

Visit Anna

A few days ago Anna posted a few photography projects that have interested and inspired her.

The following was my favorite.
Patrick enjoyed it too.

Days with my Father

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Katie worked all afternoon on night on school homework and Awana.

Last night, she checked her backpack and found that she forgot her Math book.

Crying ensued. Then she formed a plan.

She found and called the number of one of her classmates and carefully wrote them
all out.

I am proud of her problem solving.

It's important to know how to problem solve.

Cause if she's anything like me,
she will forget lots of stuff.



One year ago, I tried to make a Quiet Life wall calendar.

I tried really, really hard.

But. I just couldn't figure it out. My pictures were not loading onto the site properly.

But just last week....

Not only did I figure out what I was doing wrong.

I created a sample,
had one sent to me,
was happy with the quality and quick shipping...
so now have a 2009 Quiet Life wall calendar For Sale at Cafe Press.

Quiet Life Calendar


This is on the cover.

If you follow the link, you can see the pictures
for each month.


It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.

When the solution is simple, God is answering.

--Albert Einstein


Prayer Request.

Our blog friend, and my long time family friend Kris S, had back surgery yesterday.
I am sure today is a hard day for her.

Please pray for healing and comfort and as little pain as possible.
She has a long hard road ahead of her.

Thank you.


When you encounter a big problem, do you?

A. Cry
B. Tell Everyone
C. Live in Denial
D. Meet it head on
E. Pray
F. All of the above

"If you want favor with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don't ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success."

Proverbs 3:4-6, The Living Bible

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale
a tale of a fateful trip,
that started from this tropic port,
aboard this tiny ship.

The mate was a mighty sailin' man,
the Skipper brave and sure,


two passengers set sail that day,
for a two hour tour,
a two hour tour.

The weather started getting rough,

the tiny ship was tossed.
If not for the courage of the fearless crew
the Minnow would be lost.
The Minnow would be lost.

The ship aground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle

with Gilligan,
the Skipper too.
A millionaire and his wife,
a movie star,


the professor and Mary Ann,

here on Gilligan's Isle.

The real lowdown on the trip to Racine...

*Left Verona 4:00. Arrived Racine at 7:30
*Amy J was greeted by THE SQUALL early on and went home.
*Went five miles in one hour.
*Snow squall that lasted less than ten minutes created ice covered, treacherous roads.
*We were turned away from our intended path by a sheriff, downed power lines, and a bridge that was out.
*Missed 90% of Steph's song leading.
*Mrs. Jill Briscoe was reading Psalm 139 when we arrived.
*It took me 20 minutes to be able to listen.
*Jill's voice and message soothed my heart.
*Steph's voice is truly gorgeous and strong and perfect.
*Met Jeanne from A Hen's Place; long time blog sistah and delightful woman.
*Met Steph. Hugged frequently and long.
*Drank punch. Ate a cup of nuts and a teeny piece of carrot cake. Went back for a second teeny piece and more punch.
*Took a few pictures.


*Oh how I love the way Jill is looking at you, Steph!


*We are now friends IRL.

(That's text/blog code for 'in real life')

*When Steph told Jill we were her blog/Internet friends, she said, 'such modern women'.
*Nancy and I were nearly last to leave.
*Drove home on dry roads, escorted by the most lovely half moon, lying on it's side.
*Arrived home just before midnight.
*Thanked God to be home.
*Visited with dear hubby for half and hour and then watched DWTS.
*Went to bed and read Psalm 139.
* Jill's talk made more sense.

Even in the darkest pit.
God is there. He is near.

Encourage one another,
Donna aka the Skipper

Visit Steph:
Stephanie Seefeldt music page

We're coming Steph!

We're coming!

Story at Ten.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tonight I will be traveling to far Eastern Wisconsin to listen to Jill Briscoe speak and listen to and sing with
Steph. Steph is a famous worship leader and I have sung with her before. But she doesn't really know it :o)
Nancy and Amy are coming too! They both loved Steph's song leading when she was at Blackhawk Church a few years ago.

And here we have all connected at the blog.

(I am still holding my breath that my Lynn is going to come too.....)

So we are making it work.
It takes some adjusting and arranging for all of us,

but we are really looking forward to a peaceful, encouraging message and some really
uplifting music.

If you are in Milwaukee or there abouts check out this link.
Come on down and meet us :o)
And enjoy a time of encouragement.

St. Michaels Racine

We look like this.

Maybe not.

We are much cuter.

Encourage one another,

Saturday, November 15, 2008

POS-headed back to Nikon

Well, I finally did it.

I sent the Nikkor (Nikon) 50mm 1.4 back to Nikon.

The Camera Company that sold it to me is taking care of the shipping.

And now I will wait and see if they will either fix it or replace it.

It is an expensive little lens and as you may recall, it gave me nothing but blurry pictures 98% of the time.

I did a little experiment at the dentist the other day while Katie was having her teeth cleaned.

I took a picture of some little beads on a toy. First, I shot it at 1.4, then 1.6, and then 3.2 and 5.6.

The higher numbers were clear and perfect. The 1.4 and the 1.6 were still clearish...BUT they had a white halo
around the beads. What is with that?

Lots of times people don't like to shoot on those "wide open" numbers. (the 1.4 and the 1.6)
But this is why I bought the lens. To use those numbers.

Audrey Woulard shoots on those numbers and another fave photographer on Flickr just posted a
perfectly focused and non-fuzzy shot of her daughter shot at 50/1.4.
She shoot wide open all the time too.

So I finally decided it wasn't me.

And got the nerve to return it.

Now we shall see if Nikon makes good on their warranty and stands behind their product.

I am so thankful that I have two other lenses now. Last year at this time, I only had one lens.

I put my trusty 50mm 1.8 on the camera yesterday and Katie asked to stop my the park on the way home.

You can guess my answer.


little dutch girl

The hat looks dutch in the second picture doesn't it?

I really like dutch things.

Did you know that?

And yes, I knit the hat.

One of my faves because it is so soft.


"November always seemed to me the Norway of the year."
- Emily Dickinson

"The stripped and shapely
Maple grieves
The ghosts of her
Departed leaves.

The ground is hard,
As hard as stone.
The year is old,
The birds are flown.

And yet the world,
In its distress,
Displays a certain
- John Updike, A Child's Calendar


(this was taken on the way to pick Katie up at school. So dark at 2:30.
when did we move to the north pole? Even in Nov. , it's my favorite part of the drive.)



Look who just popped in the door!
Surprise visit from our college girl.
She and Katie are off to the movies,
then we will meet at church and then out to eat.

Sounds like a really fun night!!!


Encourage one another,

Friday, November 14, 2008

Over ten years ago...Ally McBeal featured a young geeky teen on the show.
Ally went to the prom with the young geeky teen.

He sang a song.

And as they say...

the rest is history.


Friday Five


1. What situations make you the most bored?
2. What do you do to alleviate boredom?
3. On long car trips, what do you to to keep things fun?
4. On airplanes, what do you bring in your carryon to entertain yourself?
5. Are you the sort of person who complains when feeling bored?


Katie wrote her teacher a letter of love and admiration the other day;

"You are the best teacher I have ever had!"


Love is not easily offended ;o)

Encourage one another,


Nancy from the comments just wrote to me and asked for prayers for her family and the
people in the Santa Barbara area. Her in-laws have been evacuated and the fire is right behind their house.
The nearby college has already lost it's chapel among other buildings.

AP story

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A, B, C, D, E, F . . .

A - Age: Seriously!
B - Band listening to right now: All I hear are footsteps.
C - Career future: world famous portrait photographer
D - Dad's name: Jim
E - Easiest person to talk to: I have a few friends. But my friend Karen and I talked every day while we walked for 45 min and we would stand at the corner after our walk and talk for 45 minutes more. Never a lull or dull moment :o)
F - Favorite song:

G - Gummy Bears or Gummy Worms: Gummy Bears Vitamins
H - Hometown: Wheaton Illinois ( or Elmhurst Illinois)
I - Instruments: knitting needles
J - Job: wife and mother/photographer
K - Kids: four
L - Longest car ride ever: Marinette to Kiawa. 20 hours
M - Mom's name: Esther
N - Number of jobs you've had: ten
P - Phobia[s]: ?
Q - Quote: "I love two things; Everybody and Television" Kenneth on 30 Rock
R - Reason to smile: My new planner made me smile.


S - Song you sang last: Glory and Praise to our God
T - Time you wake up: 6:49
U - Unknown fact about me: I'm a little obsessed with Sarah Palin and asked my husband if he wanted to move to Alaska.
V - Vegetable you hate: lima beans
W - Worst habit: over eating
X - X-rays you've had: teeth, tummy
Y - Yummy food: onion rings
Z - Zodiac sign: Libra


Katie brought home her first report card yesterday! She was really looking forward to it.
And then she was a little scared to open it.

To my surprise they are awarded numbers and not grades.


And checks and plusses.

She did just fine.
No threes. :o)

This afternoon I will go to the parent/teacher conference.

Should be fine.

Katie is learning and growing and adjusting and loving it.

I am thankful for this school.

It seems to be 'the school that time forgot'.

I love this about Blessed Sacrament.

The children are really obedient and respectful of the teachers. The schedule is unusual but I can't image any teacher not
enjoying these students. It's an orderly, happy place where children are cared for and taught with creativity and purpose.

Such a blessing.


Emma is taking on more and more babysitting jobs at school to earn spending money.
She really likes her room mate and has signed up for her spring classes.


My dear daughter in law in having health troubles and is having an ultrasound today.
Could you pray for Melinda, please?



What do you think Katie saw in this, her piece of white bread?

Encourage one another,

How do you spell 'plusses'?