Thursday, March 28, 2013

matters enormously

“We must be careful with our lives, for Christ's sake, because it would seem that they are the only lives we are going to have in this puzzling and perilous world, and so they are very precious and what we do with them matters enormously.”  

~Frederick Buechner

I may not have anything to say.... but this dude does.  :D

I'm always happy to see Katie after school!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I'm going to take a short break.
I'll be back.

Encourage one another and Happy Easter,

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A day in the life of Ginny.

Katie fell on the floor and bumped her head. She blamed Ginny.
It wasn't really her fault.

But then...Katie does not like when I tease Ginny about going places....

This happens around here a lot.
I read that the ears back and paw up means submission.
That's good.  She needs to know I am her leader.
But I think she is acting a little needy.


Hot diggity dog :o)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Bonhoeffer Book Club

I'm choosing this first question because I don't like it at all.
I think it will be a good question for encouraging discussion tho.

The question just comes off judge-y to me and lacks grace.

Here goes.

Do you think that if there was a stronger faith commitment Mrs. Bonhoeffer might have been able to handle the tragedy of loss more effectively?  Why or why not?  How have you or your family and friends handled tragic situations?  Have you "folded" as Mrs. Bonhoeffer did for a while? What lesson(s) did you learn from the situation that helped to strengthen your faith?  If your faith was not strengthened, why do you think that was the case?  

These did not rile me up so much.

Bonhoeffer wrote, "It's much easier for me to imagine a praying murderer, a praying prostitute, than a vain person praying. Nothing is so at odds with prayer as vanity."  Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?

"Is there such a thing as a necessary lie?"
How would you answer this question?
Can you think of an example of a lie that would be "necessary"?
Would God condone it?  Why or why not?  Support your answer with Scripture.

I look forward to your comments and wisdom.

NEXT WEEK: chapters five and six


Mashed Potatoes. Interesting marketing. LOL

We went to breakfast at The Coppertop on Sunday after church.  This ad was on the back of our check.

We could not get over the choices of food they are obviously proud of...
mashed potatoes and soups.


It is almost as good as the billboard for a restaurant up in Marinette that screams....


What are they thinking?
Odd. Definitely odd.

Encourage one another,

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fine Art Friday

Inspired by this pretty piece to bring back Fine Art Friday

Mother and Baby, Elizabeth Nourse.
American (1859-1938)

Elizabeth was from a large Catholic family in Cinncinatti.  She was a twin.
She went to Paris to continue her studies when she was 28.
She lived there, making art,  with her older sister Louise until she died of breast cancer.

(Remember our discussion about whether doctors recognized breast cancer
when Mrs. Hughes suspected she had it in Downton Abbey.)

This piece is called "In the church at Volendam".

Endimanche Brittany

(endimanche means 'in one's Sunday best'.)

Can you imagine the clothing?
So beautiful.

Imagine being so brave to leave your home to pursue art in Europe.
Such an interesting life.
I read she was in love with the light.

Happy Weekending!!

Encourage one another,

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The boys.

Yesterday's post ended up being a little 'for the girls'...
and well my boys....

Just look at them!!!


I have always been and will always be crazy in love with them!

With a full heart,

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Once upon a time

as in 2001


We were newbies to Madison Wi.


Oh little bitty Katie Gracie.

Her life has been a unique one....

She is finally catching up to her sister.


Encourage one another,

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

In which I make light of the situation...

A new app.

seven seconds.
shorter than a short film.

I had to give it a try.

My accent is not this strong. I promise.
I was being funny.

The timing is just a little off...but 15 tries was long enough.

Being a film maker is harder than it looks.
I actually don't think Vine will catch on like Instagram.
These things are work!

It did, however, make me giggle and smile all day.

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It's probably the most important thing in a person.” ~Audrey Hepburn

Encourage one another,

Monday, March 18, 2013

Bonhoeffer: The Book Beginnings.

Hi!  Today we will start our book discussion.
I will be using the questions given at the back of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy as the prompts for us.  (Thank you editor for writing these questions.)  If you have a burning question or thought as we go along, please feel free to email me or leave it in the comments during the week and I will post it on Monday for everyone to see.  (If the question is answered in the comments before Monday, I may not post it.  Kapeech?  (Ha!  How on earth is that spelled?)

From the Prologue:

"In the Prologue, the author wrote that "Winston Churchill fused the Germans and the Nazis into a single hated enemy, the better to defeat it swiftly."  Who is our nation's "enemy"?  In our own society, are we, like Churchill, ever prone to fusing another group of individuals with this enemy, thus creating a 'single hated enemy"?  What do you think about this kind of grouping?"

Chapter 1

"In chapter1 we learned that during Dietrich's childhood, the Bonhoeffers rarely went to church.  Their faith was "mostly of a homegrown variety,"  Is God satisfied with a homegrown-variety faith, or are Christians meant to attend church, living out their faith together?    What Scriptures support your view? Can a person still be influential for good while practicing "home-grown" faith? How?"

Next week we will cover chapters 2, 3, 4.
It is not many pages but perhaps it material will be great.
We shall see how it goes.

Please leave your comments and thought, quotes and ideas in the comments!
I look forward to hearing from you all.

Even if you are not reading the book you may have opinions on the questions asked....join in anyway!


Lemon tart at La Bagette

Are we being photobombed?
This is up for debate.  :o)

We went to Le Baguette on Saturday afternoon.
Katie had a lemon tart and I had french onion soup.

Both were yummy.

On Saturday afternoons a group of people come and sit together at a long table, they eat and speak French to one another.

Just thought you might like to know.

Also.  You must bring cash to Le Baguette.
This always causes much trouble for Katie and me.
We never have enough cash.


Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!
Just one more volleyball tournament and then we are done with club volleyball for the season.

Thanks for coming around and saying 'hi'!

Encourage one another,

Saturday, March 16, 2013

a splash of green

March marches on...


A splash of color is always nice.


I wonder if the grass turns brown and is covered with snow in Ireland.

For some reason I think that must be against the rules.

Wishing you cheer this festive weekend.  Happy wishes to all of our Irish friends.
It's good to have something to celebrate in the middle of March.

We have lots of  March birthdays! That's fun.
Jimmy, Gunnar, Aunt Betty, Diana Williams (today!), Ashley, Janice and Janet and Emma Jeanie Jelly Beanie.

And then sweet Esther on April 8th.

Babies and birthdays and Erin Go Bragh, all to welcome the fresh new season.

Encourage one another,

Friday, March 15, 2013

And then the sun shone....




It does not take much to make me happy.
Some beautiful light.


A few props.


Fun in the sunshine.

I love pretty light.
It makes my day.
Even when I don't get a piece of pie.

This was so much better.

Springing ahead is the bomb.
Spring in Wisconsin...not so much.

But the extra light MAKES ME SO HAPPY!!!


"Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography. " - George Eastman

"A good photograph is knowing where to stand." - Ansel Adams

Tru dat boys.


Happy Friday!

Encourage one another,

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Happy π Day!

Happy Pi day!! #forschool

Pi day is sweeping the nation.
Katie asked me to make a pie for school.
My husband even said they were asked to bring pies to work.

We homeschoolers have been doing this for ages.

Funny to see the masses join in with the mathematical nerdiness.

Katie tells me that Super π Day is right around the corner: 2015.


(anything to make math more fun, that's what I say!)

And if you want to make a pi symbol with your Mac.

Click option > p


been schooled.

BTW, the pie I made is Pioneer Woman's chocolate pie.
It is Katie's favorite.

Delicious Chocolate Pie aka French Silk


“Thank God for, as I posted earlier, the glow of work accomplished. Because a few seconds later, someone on the internet mentioned pie. I don’t blame them. It’s a good subject. But pie was mentioned and I remembered there was strawberry-rhubarb pie in the refrigerator. So I went there. And pie there was none. I suspect the teenaged boy has inhaled it. And now I cling to life and hope as best I can, because my world is dark and pieless.” ~Tad Williams

I do not know who Tad Williams is...but I liked this funny quote.

Happy pie day!

I hope I get a piece.

Encourage one another!

~~What is your favorite pie?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New Recpie. Pictures. Bonhoeffer.

Pasta with chicken, lemon and white wine.

I made this yesterday.  It was very good.
If you click on the picture.  Then click on the picture one more time on my Pinterest it will take you to the recipe.


Generally, cooking chicken is a big fail for me.  It turns out tough.
I tried this method that is included with the above recipe.

Oven temp 500º
30 minutes.

sprinkle olive oil on the bottom of the pan.
sprinkle olive oil and salt and pepper and herbs on the chicken
place skin side up.

This made my kitchen ridiculously smokey...but other than that the chicken was cooked well and tasted good.


With more daylight comes more opportunities to take pictures.


The snow fell slowly, gently, gracefully.




For the curious:
85mm, 400 ISO, 1.8, 1/400 shut.sp.
The pictures with the greenish tint were edited with MCP Fusion/charming.


About the Bonhoeffer book.
I spotted question in the back and will use those as my guide for our book club.
On Monday March 18th I will post the question for Chapter 1.  I expect you will read the forward and prologue...and you may comment on anything you would like but the question I will pick will be mostly about Chapter One.
Week two we will cover Chapters 2 and 3.

This will be the most informal book club evah.
But I sure hope it turns out to be interesting and fun.

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

You can go your own way...

This morning on the way to school a Fleetwood Mac song came on the radio.
Katie sang along.  Yes.  She knows the words to Fleetwood Mac songs.  It's uncanny.
Many times I ask her how she knows the song...but this morning I just smiled.
I smiled and said, "This song was popular when I was at Hillsdale. Probably 1978."

(While I may have the foggiest memory this side of Madison, I can tell you the year of a song and imagine myself where I was while I was hearing it.  I am popular music savant.  I usually don't know who is singing it or the words.  But I know the year.)
(Oh and BTW, this morning I shopped for ingredients for a new pasta salad.
I forgot the pasta.)

I then told Katie that the Fleetwood Mac album was one of the highest selling records of all time.
I said, this was before Michael Jackson.  But then I corrected myself...because Michael Jackson was in the Jackson five when I was a child as The Jackson Five.  I loved their records and would see them on American Bandstand.

Easy as 123.

And then Michael was on his own and took the world by storm with BAD and then Thriller.
I remember dancing to his album Off the Wall in 1980 in my apartment in Lake Forest.
By myself.

This was one of the first music videos I had ever seen.

But here is the interesting part of the story.

I went to see Michael Jackson in concert in 1975 in the round somewhere near Glenview Illinois.
The place was not even half full and I swear we were at the matinee.
Why was I there?  I was invited to go by a woman I had become friends with over the summer in Mincoqua.  I babysat her little boy a few times and watched their house up north a little bit.  I stopped at her house in Glenview at the end of the summer for a day or two on my way to college and she had tickets for this little concert.
A mom, a teenager and a little boy.

Michael and I are the same age I think...he looked so skinny and tall and much younger than me.
I don't remember much about the songs.  I just remember him spinning.
A lot.

So I saw Michael Jackson in concert.

But in true Donna style, I saw him when he was at his least popular.

And you know what it makes me think about?

It makes me think of all the people who love doing something and they keep doing it.
Even when the room is only 1/3 full.

They keep trying.

I admire that kind of perseverance.

In any field.  In any form.
No matter what.


I think of this....

Romans 5:3-4 
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Encourage one another,

Monday, March 11, 2013

Springing ahead....gladly

Source: via Donna on Pinterest

Isn't this the prettiest wreath you ever saw?

Katie went shopping with her girlfriend on Friday night.  She bought this cute top at Forever 21.
It was in the sale bin.  $10.  She is taking after her sister.  Good shoppers.


I have a new app on my iphone called PicTapGo.  With this app you can apply actions to your photos.
It's a whole lotta fun for $1.99.  This app was created by the Totally Rad you know it's totally rad.

#PicTapGo #newbie

I edited this picture of Ginny with PicTapGo.
I like the colors.


Katie played volleyball all Sunday.  We are so proud of her.

This is the book I am reading right now.  Maybe we should read this together and talk about it on Monday's.  I'm not very far yet but it might be really lovely.

What do you think?

Encourage one another,

Saturday, March 09, 2013

My pins this week.

The Royal family was in the news this week.

Catherine was feeling well and made some visits around London.

She and William and Harry went to a wedding in Switzerland.

Harry went to Africa and visited a deaf school.

I pinned some recipes

Source: via Donna on Pinterest

And one cute decorating idea...that I could actually pull off.

I am always on the lookout for beautiful fashion photography.

Source: via Donna on Pinterest


Don't forget to Spring ahead tonight.

Let there be light!!!

Encourage one another,

Friday, March 08, 2013

and that's the truth

I can not post anything better than what I posted yesterday.
I read Steph's comment out loud to Katie this morning and played Sara's lovely song again
and cried and cried.

She wondered why I was crying.

I said, 'it's so beautiful and Stephies words made me think differently.'

Here in the north, in the winter, when the skies are gray and the snow won't stop falling it is easy to fall into sadness and self pity.

(in which i blame the weather and not my sorry soul)

But I needed that gentle reminder.

as unto the Lord

Elisabeth Elliot reminded me of this very thing daily when I listened to her
on the radio and on the tapes I bought.  I listened over and over and over.

Elisabeth scrubbed toilets to help pay for room and board when she was away at school.
She did it 'as unto the Lord'.  (probably in a skirt and sweater set)

So I am looking up and not in and writing a new poem

driving driving
all for jesus
driving driving
i surrender
driving driving

We all need to get together, don't we?

One day we will have a QL meet up....

Encourage one are all so good at it!
Donna Elsie


dad, sue, donna
california 1960

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Redemption comes in strange places.

I had nothing to say.
Then I looked in the comments and read this.

I love you guys.

I'm a stay at home mom, I guess, by the standard description - who is SO BLESSED to be able to do these gigs that support our family, without having to do a 9-5 or 7-7. I work lots of nights at the supper club, but the kids are at dinner and bedtime by that point. When we adopted our first two boys, I was working full time in a consuming job at a growing church, and my husband went to part time on Intervarsity staff so that the kids were home with a parent every day... So I guess I've been on both 'sides' of the conversation.

I am with the rest of you, though. We have to stop picking on each other and choosing sides. I think this really does fall into the category of adding to the beauty - of singing with grace the song that The Lord calls us to sing season by season. I remind myself regularly that It's all worship. It's all sacred, no matter how you slice it - when done with the desire to honor The Lord and create a loving and safe environment for your family, no matter the season. So you,Donna, are going to be the best darned school commuter there could possibly be. And you, dear MS, while you're hatching a new one, are going to, fully redeemed and with grace on your lips, work that night desk with all the glory you can muster, making it a sacred and holy place. And I am going to fold that mountain of laundry in Jesus' name. 
It sounds a little corny, I think. But then again, redemption comes in strange places. ;)
Love you QLCS,Stephie

Thank you Stephie.

Your words and thoughts bless me.

Thank you God for leading Steph to this blog.

The perfect song.

It comes in helping a soul find it's worth.

Add to the beauty,
tell a better story,
shine with a light that's burning up inside.

with love

Home today. #onedayhh

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

I wrote a poem. It is my life.


The snow is snowing all around,
It snows on field and tree,
It snows on the evergreens near,
And all too often, me.

~Hat tip to Robert Lewis Stevenson

On my way to school...except the streets are not plowed in Madison.

Emma was home for the blink of an eye....
Her hair does it's own thing.
You know she had lovely sweet curls when she was a toddler.



Impromptu iPhone shoot in the bathroom.
Yes. She knit her scarf.
(so proud)

Today I will drive back and forth to school three times and then to volleyball and home from volleyball.
I will be on playground duty today and tomorrow.

Sometimes people tell me I should get a job.
I don't know who would take care of all the driving and school responsibilities if I did.

I think I have a job.

Donna Elsie aka the accidental chauffeur

p.s. here is another poem

driving driving
driving driving

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

The scarf and I....and the Electric Slide

I think my neck is too short for my pretty new scarf!

My cute polka dot scarf is SO FLUFFY.

Tying it the usually way will not work.


Here is how I wore it at the wedding.

Emma said. "There are a lot of blonde's here."

I took a video of a favorite dance at weddings for our family.
One fantastic guitarist and a fantastic band played for the reception...but in between...
certain songs brought the ladies out to the dance floor.

Here ya go Janet!


That's how we roll :o)

Encourage one another,

p.s. Thank you for sharing your stories.
p.p.s. Stephie, did you do the Electric Slide?
p.p.p.s.  Darcy, check the comments.  Carol from Oregon is trying to say hello to you :o)