Thursday, June 30, 2011

Da Cubs.


Perfect day for a game.
We found a great spot in the shade and the breeze was gorgeous.



for it's ONE, TWO, THREE strikes you're out...

at the old ball game.



Kathyb is my friend from the comments. She is honest and straight forward and always makes me chuckle. She has the sparkliest blue eyes to go with her bubbly personality.
What a total blast it was to meet her! So much fun to be around!

I am so blessed to have such great women in my life.


The Friendly Confines of Wrigley field are the perfect place for a friendly visit with a real life friend.

Especially if you can find a spot in the shade....and the breeze is blowing...

Is this heaven? No it's Wrigley.

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Last time I went to Wrigley, Ernie Banks was playing.

Today, Katie and I, head to Chicago to catch the make-up game against the Giants.
It should be much warmer and drier than it was in May.

I have invited my blog friend kathyb to come along. We have never met in person before but have tried to get it together over the years...and today we will.

It's going to be a great day!!!

I always want you all to have what I have...
so today I wish you hugs from a friend, kisses from your family and home runs!

Encourage one another,

Monday, June 27, 2011


It may as well be Beirut.

I have to come to terms with this. Emma living and loving the people in Uptown Chicago is a dangerous thing.
She hears gun shots regularly. Lots of them.

She may get shot.

I don't want her to get shot.

I don't know if the enthusiastic, leaders of this movement...into the cities.... are talking with these young families and women
about the dangers and possibility of getting shot. Perhaps they do...but I don't get to hear about it.

Living with the poor is one thing.
Living in a war zone is another.

Emma and Sher are planning on making friends with the people in Uptown. And they actually already are making friends.
I am not afraid of the poor in uptown. Emma is kind of one of those herself. I am afraid of the punks with the guns.

Katie and I are going to Uptown tomorrow to bring bikes and dishes and to go to a Cubs game.
We will NOT be going out at night. No way Jose.

Hopefully our girls will be street smart.
I know God will watch over them. But that is not a guarantee. Nope. Not a guarantee.
Some things are just more dangerous than other things.
Personally, I try to stay away from those things.


For Our Children

Father, hear us, we are praying,
Hear the words our hearts are saying,
We are praying for our children.

Keep them from the powers of evil,
From the secret, hidden peril,
From the whirlpool that would suck them,
From the treacherous quicksand, pluck them.

From the worldling's hollow gladness,
From the sting of faithless sadness,
Holy Father, save our children.

Through life's troubled waters steer them,
Through life's bitter battle cheer them,
Father, Father, be Thou near them.
Read the language of our longing,
Read the wordless pleadings thronging,
Holy Father, for our children.

-Amy Carmichael, from "For Our Children."

(I put this poem on my blog in January 2004. Seven years later, I continue to pray it.)


I am so proud of Emma. She has a very beautiful heart and spirit.

I just think it would hurt real bad to get shot.

Do I want to know the odds???

Through life's troubled waters steer them.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Warning: Do not go see The Tree of Life.

You think it is going to be about family and pain and beauty and God.
But instead it is just a bad dream with science movies that go on and on.

Patrick and I walked out when the science portion and whisperings to God got too much for us and we started to giggle.

I have read that the clips of nature go on for 45 minutes.

irish twin-ree

This little picture sums up the whole movie.

God's creation.
A story with pain.

What story does not have these elements?

It's everyone's story.

I prefer this picture to The Tree of Life.

However, Patrick and I will never forget the time we giggled in the artsy fartsy movie and high tailed it for the door.

Life is beautiful and painful and thankfully pretty funny.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Katie's Uncle gives her a jaw breaker every morning on the way to school.
On the last day of school her cousin handed her a gift.
It was a red box filled with jaw breakers.

When we go on errands now, Katie pulls out the little red box and finds a jaw breaker.
I ask of a purple one.
The red ones are too spicy.

And then we have a contest.


We suck em until they dissolve completely in our mouths.

At first it is hard not to bite them. But it can be done.

I won yesterday.

And if you think that was obscure?

Check this out.

Something happened last night that was surprising and extraordinary.


I was leaving a comment.

This is not extraordinary. This is ordinary.

But look at the word verification!


I was astonished!

(for those of you don't know this...that is my maiden name)

What is the most extraordinary ordinary thing that's happened to you lately?

Encourage one another,

Thursday, June 23, 2011


What I found does the most good is just to get into a taxi and go to Tiffany's. It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there, not with those kind men in their nice suits, and that lovely smell of silver and alligator wallets. If I could find a real-life place that made me feel like Tiffany's, then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name.
Breakfast at Tiffany's

Love should be allowed. I’m all for it. Now that I’ve got a pretty good idea what it is.
Breakfast at Tiffany's

"...a pretty good idea of what it is."

If you haven't seen On Golden Pond.
See it.

There is romantic love and then there is real love....
of course we want both, don't we?
A little bit.

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The funny face contest has me going thru my flickr photos again.

Can you say...Annelle?

This one screams Annelle to me.

You know the plain girl in Steel Magnolias.


Last night I visited Fire Wife Katie's blog to see some pictures of the Monterey Aquarium.
What I found there, besides her fun pics of the aquarium, was the most beautiful and inspiring kitchen I have seen in a long time.

For most people it takes thousands upon thousands of dollars to revamp a kitchen.

Not for Katie and her husband. Go and see it and tell me if you are not as surprised and amazed as I was!!!

Fire Wife Kitchen

What they did gives me hope that some day we can do something with our kitchen.

Thank you for sharing your great project with us!!



I'm still editing Emily's pictures. It has been a delight!



On the longest day of the year, I go out and celebrate the evening light.
I didn't realize I did this until I was just typing this. Right this second.

Next year. I'm throwing a party. It's my favorite day of the year.



Happy Summer nights to you!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Guess where we were a year ago?

We were visiting our son Patrick in California.


I remember being....not so into it....


I must have been over tired.
It was the end of the trip.

I don't remember sleeping.


Don't cry big sea otter. Don't cry.


But gosh....looking was pretty spectacular.


I was much fresher and sillier on day one of the trip.

I'm glad I took pictures....
You can't tell one bit that I was cranky on day five.

Encourage one another,

Monday, June 20, 2011

Comparing yourself to others is simply a bad idea.

The sooner you can stop doing it,
the better.


Our quiet weekend was just what I needed, I think.
With family one weekend and then a workshop next weekend along with Emma's big move in Chicago coming up.
Watching TV and looking at chalk drawings hit the spot.

Galaxy Quest
About Schmidt
The US Open golf

Have you seen About Schmidt?

The narrative of the movie is told thru Warren (Jack Nicolson) writing letters to the child he sponsors in Africa.
The letters are wildly personal and inappropriate. He pretty much dumps all his problems into his notes to Ndugu.

Warren tells Ndugu in the final letter in the movie that he (Warren) is a huge failure in life and will die without
leaving a mark, without having done anything worthwhile.

Warren is very unhappy and then... he opens a letter from Ndugu.

What happens matters,

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Happy Father's Day Matthew!

It's the best job in the world, being a Dad.
It's one of the most important jobs you will ever have.

You are off to a fantastic start!!!


We are off to the Farmer's Market this morning....
REALLY hoping we miss the Naked Bike riders that are planning on riding thru Madison.

Gotta Run!!!

Have a great weekend!!!


Friday, June 17, 2011


Amy mentioned a few times yesterday that Emily would scrunch up her forehead when she was a toddler,
she would think so hard about things and always wanted to do everything just right.

I listened. But it wasn't until I was home, it dawned on me that Amy was feeling a little nostalgic.
How could she not...watching her baby take her senior pictures.


She sat in a big orange chair...and looks little again :o)

I know you will have a fantastic senior year, Emily!
So many exciting decisions ahead! So much life to live and enjoy!!!

You are blessed.

And you....Amy....
you are The Amazing Amy.

Your girl is remarkable!!

Encourage one another,

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mickey-Lu's redux.


After the wedding on Saturday we headed over the Mickey Lu's.
Mickey Lu's is our favorite hamburger place in the whole wide world.

If you go anywhere near Marinette Wi., I highly recommend a trip to this
restaurant that time forgot.

My long time and great friend Karen stopped by to visit with us!!
Her husband (they) happens to own Mickey Lu's.
Chuck keeps things just as they always were....and we love him for it :o)


No fries with that.


Patrick's brother Paulie lives in Marinette. We picked him up and brought him to Mickey Lu's with us!
He was very excited to see Asher and to get a coke and burger.

Melinda and I always choose the same food. It's kind of weird.
We get The Works. Ketchup, mustard, pickle, onions, pat of butter.

Patrick and Paul and Matthew....just ketchup.
That's ketchup and butter really.....but you don't have to ask for the butter.

And now.
My mouth is watering.



I tried to take a family photo of Matthew and Melinda and Asher on Monday morning.
We drove down to Paoli to get cheese curds for them before they went home.

The cheese store is closed on Monday's. Just so you know.

But I found some open shade and took a slew of pictures, unfortunate thing was how the beautiful stone building threw
very yellow light on everyone. I couldn't see it when I was seemed bright, but I couldn't see the weird color casts.

And so.

I went with black and white.



Back in the front yard...


I am taking my friend, Amy's daughter's Senior Pictures today.
(Did I do that right?)

The sun is shining right now. I have hope that it will still be sunny at 11:00.
I can't wait to see what Emily is wearing today....I hear there are many changes :o)

Super fun!!

It's Thursday already.

How can the days go by so quickly?

It's freaking me out!

Encourage one another...and do something you love today!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


(The Twits by Roald Dahl)

My idealistic self thinks this is the nicest thing I've read in a few days.

You see, my stomach is like this ladies, and there may be a few people who see
the sunbeams, but in general, in our country, our culture, I find that
95% of the people don't even look up at your face to see those sunbeams.

Last night on Million Dollar Decorators, one of the decorators said
he went to the gym every morning, 'because no one wants to hire a fatty.'

I can't say I am able to even look at the sunbeams in my own face and believe Dahl's wonderful

It is a wonderful ideal. It is touching and sweet and sentimental.

I'd like to live in a world where it was true.
I'd like to believe it.
For reals.

Encouraged to look for the sunbeams.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Of all the pictures I saw this week,
including, of course, the ones I took of my beloved family.....


This picture of Gabrielle Giffords made me so happy and made me shout with joy.
I am very happy to see how well Giffords is recovering from the awful gunshot to her head.
The talk was about how the Dr. removed a huge portion of her skull to aid in the swelling of the brain.
It was horrific to imagine.

She is working so hard and recovering well, it appears. Head injuries are brutal and I wish her the best...
and I love seeing her beautiful smiling face.

Prayers for continued healing Gabby.



This guy needs a padded house, that's for sure.
He is at that stage when you fall over and bang your head and face numerous times a day.

He hates getting dressed. (Oh! The agony of getting a shirt pulled over your head!)


He adores his mommy and daddy. (We think he cries, Momma, when he is upset. It sure sounds like it.)


He is a baby on the go now and doesn't like being cradled.


He will happily give you the cheek if you want to kiss him.


I know he looks like a little boy,
but he is really a sponge.

A sponge with the most glorious blue eyes you ever saw.

Encourage one another,

Monday, June 13, 2011

We went to a wedding on Saturday....


Asher was there.


This is my favorite blurry picture this week.


The sweetest, most petite bride.


Another lovely, out of focus picture. :o)
Our pretty Melinda.


Thumbs up!


That's better :o)

God bless!







Best friends.
Family. Really.


Sunday was Patrick Sr's birthday...and hour Hometown Parade.
(Emma came home too :o)

Thank you, Sir.


Love the bag pipes.


Go Team! Go!

Matthew and Melinda are still here....
so I have spent enough time on the computer for this morning!

Enjoy the pics.

Happy Monday!

Encourage one another,