Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Teach us to be merry with clear hearts...

The following is for Christmas Eve.
I am going to use it today.
It's my almost New Year Eve's prayer.

Christmas Eve Prayer

Loving God, Help us remember the birth of Jesus, 
that we may share in the song of the angels, 
the gladness of the shepherds, 
and worship of the wise men. 

Close the door of hate
and open the door of love all over the world. 
Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. 
Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clear hearts. 

May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children,
and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, 
forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake.


Robert Louis Stevenson

Ralph Hulett

I wrote this at the end of 2010;

How can we possibly live in world with so much pain and delight?

I suppose we do it because it is what we are called to do.
It is our trek on this earth. This beautiful, exciting, lovable, temporary earth.

We are called to learn God's truth and pass it on.

We do it with gentle and generous spirits.
We do it with forgiveness and compassion.
We do it with love.

Mean it.
Donna Elsie

Monday, December 29, 2014

Good things

The sun came out in a bright shiny way yesterday.  (You may think this is an odd thing to be happy about, but we have not had a bright sunny day in a month.)  I drove Emma to a little town nearby where she would catch a ride back to Chicago.  The drive is thru farm fields mostly.  It's the best.
We listened to country music on the way.  (Emma was in charge of finding a station).

On the way home I stopped at a cemetery that sits on top of a hill.  I've passed this spot a hundred times but never stopped.  I thought I would take a picture of the sunshine.

The favorite picture I took was of myself.
Well.  That sounds like an conceited thing to say.

Sunny. Happy. Portrait.

But I like it because I look calm and happy.
It was a good moment
The picture reminds me of that
sunny, happy stop on the top of a hill.

Letting my pile of good things grow.

Encourage one another,

Friday, December 26, 2014

The sun came out on Christmas day.

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!! #babyjesus #familylove

Sunset walk. Wisconsin.  4:20 pm Christmas

We had a very quiet Christmas day.  We went to church on Christmas Eve so we didn't need to rush out in the morning.  Mid morning Katie, Emma and I went off to see Into the Woods.
It was absolutely wonderful.
It's a grown up fairytale about wishes and consequences, parents and children.

Even tho they could not put every song in the movie that was in the brilliant play,
it is still EXCELLENT in every way!

I recommend this highly!
Not for small children tho.
It's more Grimm than Disney.

Isn't it nice to know a lot?
And a little bit...not.


p.s.  What beautiful Christmas cards we received this year.  Of course the year
I have to skip them....we get so many pretty ones!!!  Thank you!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

words and music


This is my favorite.  I heard it for the first time at church with my friend Lynn.
Her brother sang it.
It was moving and memorable.

Merry Christmas,

Saturday, December 20, 2014

short dark days

Baby Ginny says "Merry Christmas friends."

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
Lewis Carroll

 “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”
Edith Sitwell

Just sending a little happiness on this the shortest, darkest day of the year!

Let your light so shine,

Friday, December 19, 2014

Winter concert 2014

Last night was the winter concert at Katie's high school.  I was not just the choirs this time, the orchestra and bands preformed.  Unfortunately  they did not have a program so I can't tell you the names of the songs I loved best.  But gosh, there are talented musicians in our little town!
I was delighted!

Katie's choir sang a funny song about the 12 days after Christmas.  It included hand motions and a little acting by the kids!!!  Too cute!  I bet some of you
may know it.  

They must wear black.  
I wish they wore robes.
Much less drama.
We wore robes in choir back in the day.

They ended with this song.  It sounded just like this :o)


Encourage one another,

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


It can be a sad time of year. 
I'm not going to tell you  to snap out of it.

I can only say,
I know.

Sending love,

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Thursday night I drove down to Harvard Illinois to pick up Emma and Patrick.

I cooked. 
We ate. 
We talked and laughed.
We watched Parenthood and the Packers.

Sunday evening I drove Emma and Patrick back to Chicago to attend a Blackhawks game.
They loved it.

Delicious breakfast with these two. #Tweet #sheridan

My boy Patrick. Thanks for coming to visit! It means the world to me! 12-15-14

Monday morning we went out to eat before I came home.
I loved this restaurant.  A lot.  It's called Tweet and it is on Sheridan Rd in Uptown.
Besides the intersting items on the menu...the simple things like hashbrowns had lovely purple onions on top.  I always ask for onions on my hashbrowns.  Tweet's were spectacular.
Adding to the enjoyment was the wait staff.  
I really can't wait to go back.

Patrick lives far way in California.  I am very thankful that he came to see us!
It was a great visit!  
Thanks honey.

This morning I wrapped presents and got them to the post office and did some picture ordering.

And that, my dears, is where I have been.


Katie and I decorated the tree last night.


Even tho I won't be sending cards out this year....I bought some cute Christmas stamps.

I hope you are all doing well.  
Thank you for the amazing lines from literature!

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Beautiful sentences.

Yesterday I spotted this list from Buzzfeed on my Twitter feed.
I loved reading it!  I think you will too.

51 of the most beautiful sentences in literature: Buzzfeed

But I want to do a QLCS version.

  Because I think, while these are all beautiful sentences, indeed, the commenters from this blog will come up different ones that will be equally beautiful ..but they will have a certain quiet life tone.

Now that ^^^^ is a beautiful sentence!

I want to read your sentences too.

So I will leave this up for two days and then I will post all of the beautiful sentences on this blog.

Then we will all be 10% happier.

Lots of love friends!
I am so excited to read your favorite, beautiful sentences from literature.


p.s. Repeats from the Buzzfeed list are acceptable.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

knock. knock.

I don't call it a quiet life for nuthin.

We don't get a lot of visitors.  No. really.
It's quiet around here.

So when there IS a knock at the door someone gets very riled up and

Oh boy, Ginny!
What did we get?

Merry Christmas from Janet and Dave!
Pretty, cool huh? Gingin.

Outside decorations. 
And done.

Thanks Walworths!

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands.
1 Thess 4:11

From that verse came the name of this blog.
This verse just seemed to fit.

Encourage one another,

Monday, December 08, 2014

God is there.

 Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Where Charity and Love are, God is there.

Again, Jep shares an amazing quote with us.

What a sweet dog!

Ginny is holding Katie's hand.


I want to thank you all for your prayers for Emma.
This morning she was blessed with a totally unexpected scholarship
from her college.  She did not apply for it.  

It comes in the same amount (extra) she was going to have to borrow
for next semester.  

We know this is a gift from God and I sincerely thank you wonderful 
prayer warriors for always remembering our Emma.

Every good and perfect gift is from above.


Friday, December 05, 2014


 is responsible for
 nine-tenths of whatever
 solid and durable happiness
 there is in our lives.

~cs lewis

 There were no tears tonight.  Emma and I were having too much fun.



Affection for the win,

p.s. Emma, check out my mom's fashion statement.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

kaboom. goes my heart

Oh my goodness.

This is Ezekiel with his eyes open!  How adorable is that face!!
Matthew and Melinda's boys usually hit the ground running, not this guy, he was
quiet and sleepy.

My heart's about to burst.

Love you baby boy!

yaya booshay

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

City Sidewalks

Sometimes my phone takes a blooper. And I LOVE it!

This picture, which was an accident with my phone, reminds me of this sweet song;

City sidewalk, busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style.
In the air there's
A feeling of Christmas.

Children laughing, people passing,
Meeting smile after smile,
And on every street corner you'll hear:

Silver bells, silver bells,
It's Christmas time in the city.
Ring-a-ling, hear them ring,
Soon it will be Christmas day.

City street lights
Even stop lights,
Blink a bright red and green,
As the shoppers rush home
With their treasures.

Silver bells, silver bells,
It's Christmas time in the city.
Ring-a-ling, hear them ring,
Soon it will be Christmas day


How are you doing with your Christmas preparations?
I have not started buying gifts yet.
I was thinking of a card idea the other night.
Guess I better get going.

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Annual John Updike December


“December,” by John Updike 

First snow! The flakes,
So few, so light,
Remake the world
In solid white

All bundled up,
We feel as if
We were fat penguins,
Warm and stiff.

The toy-packed shops
Half split their sides,
And Mother brings home
Things she hides.

Old carols peal.
The dusk is dense.
There is a mood
Of sweet suspense.

The shepherds wait,
The kings, the tree -
All wait for something
Yet to be,

Some miracle.
And then it’s here,
Wrapped up in hope -
Another year!


Encourage one another,

Monday, December 01, 2014

Raisin Puffs

We got to talking about raisins the other day.
I don't really like them in cookies.  Emma does. Katie doesn't. Patrick doesn't.

But for some strange reason, I have a recipe for Raisin Puff cookies...
and I really like them, so does Emma.
Well it's not that strange. Many years ago my quilting friend Janet served them at our weekly quilting 'bee'.  I copied the recipe and the rest is history.

Emma and I made them on Saturday.
Emma makes great cookies. I let her lead the way.

Little baker #looks14

Here is the recipe;

Janet's Raisin Puffs

1 cup water
1 1/2 cups raisins
3 1/2 cups flour
1 t. baking soda
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1 t. cinnamon

1)  In a sauce pan, boil water. Add raisins, boil until the water is gone.
Combine flour, soda and 1/2 t. salt in large bowl.

2)  Beat together sugar and butter until combined in a large bowl.
Add eggs and vanilla. Beat well.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
Beat until blended.  Stir in raisins.

3)  Combine the 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon in a bowl.
Shape dough into 1" balls.  Roll in cinnamon-sugar.
Place 2" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

4)  Bake 375ยบ for 8 minutes.
Don't over cook.

Seems short.  But it's correct.

If you like raisins (or don't) you may just love these cookies....

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

November Snow

This is how it looked out my back door yesterday morning.

Without my glasses on.  hahaha

The drive to school takes three minutes now.
If last years driving stress was added to Emma's condition stress,
I think I would drop my basket entirely.

This year..

The snowflakes were pretty and quiet
instead of slippery ice devils falling from the sky.

And for that I am thankful.

There is always something to be thankful for...

I'm still here.

Full of thanks this morning.

Encourage one another,
Donna aka Aurora  (Give My Daughter Her DRUGS!)  Greenway

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together... there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart... I'll always be with you.”
A.A. Milne


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

coming home

drive home

Driving west toward Wisconsin last Thursday afternoon.
The light in this part of Iowa has delighted me more than once.
The road rides up high with farms on both sides of the road, slopping downward.
It's feels like flying a bit.
No trees to block the sun or the view.
It's my favorite place to drive...at the perfect time of day.

There are two ways of getting home; and
one of them is to stay there. The other is to 
walk round the whole world til we come
back to the same place.
~CK Chesterton

Encourage one another,

hat tip to Corey Amaro for the splendid quote

Monday, November 17, 2014

Snow is for the young...at heart.

Let's go play in the snow!! #earlymorningromp

Early morning romp with Katie and Ginny.
Ginny loves snow as much as she loves water.
Which is a lot.



Encourage one another,

Saturday, November 15, 2014





I like this because of the light on the baby's head.
Fresh from the womb.




Benjamin Button: I was thinking how nothing lasts, and what a shame that is.
Daisy: Some things last.

Encourage one another,

Friday, November 14, 2014

Ezekiel James is here!

So tiny! So quiet! Welcome Ezekiel James. Melinda, stop being so gorgeous three hours post delivery!!

Matthew and Melinda had baby #3 on Monday!

 (I went to Omaha to watch the big boys for them.
I didn't want to tell on the blog because Katie was home alone most of the time...and the door might be open.  So I had to be kind of quiet about it. )

Doesn't Melinda look fantastic three hours post delivery?
That's just not right!

Ezekiel is very little. Burping time is a good time to see his sweet face and funny expressions. This is nearly a smile :o)

Burping time is a good time to see his sweet face and funny expressions.

I see a little smile :o)

He loves when I kiss him!! #asher

Here I am with Asher.  He is four now.  I am kissing him and he is trying to get away!
He was very sweet with the new baby.

There we go. All three boys up today. Patty cake with daddy. #matthew #malachi

Malachi is 18 months old.  He wanted to touch everything in the hospital room and push the baby bassinet around.  He is a beautiful busy boy!

Ezekiel is quiet and sleepy.
He weighed seven pounds even but looks so small....especially compared to his big brothers.

My friend Bonnie who also has three little boys told me something sweet she says when people tell her that her hands are full.

She says her heart is fuller!

I'm so proud to be Yaya to these three precious boys and their remarkable parents.

How I look forward to seeing the little person Ezekiel becomes.

More pictures tomorrow!

Encourage one another,

Friday, November 07, 2014

Freshman year upate.

This is my ideal school setting.

But in reality....

The local high school experience has been fantastic so far.

Katie is doing so well in her new school and classes.
She likes French class.

And she likes MATH!

She was well prepared by her little parochial school for the rigor of high school.
She was not encouraged very much...and left feeling kind of dumb, etc.
Doing extremely well at high school is a wonderful thing for her confidence!

I'm so proud and thankful.

So when it comes to our choices we make for our children and ourselves...

I mean it.

Encourage one another,