Wednesday, April 30, 2014

birthdays and graduations and chai


We are going to Omaha for Malachi's first birthday soon.

I can't wait!

Graduation outfit. All her.

Katie has graduation pictures taken today with her 8th grade class.  She chose everything about this outfit and made the flower headband...or as I call it...her crown.

Now.  The scoop may be too low and the hem too short for her Principal's taste (and rules).
I have washed my hands of it. I sent her with a sweater and said, "Don't call me."
She loves it.
I think she's darling.
But da rules are da rules....and I'm letting her take the chance.
I told her I will not buy anything else if she is told she can't wear this. She will have to wear something she has already worn to school.
(I think it is plenty modest for what it's worth...but then I don't mind the costumes on DWTS...heh...cough cough.)

So we shall see...I'll let you know if she gets the go ahead.

I would never bend the rules.

I would just be a bonehead.

Remember the time I was told to wear a dark skirt for a concert and I took that to mean...dark orange.

Boy was my mom mad.  I was just about Katie's age.  Edison Jr. High School.  Choir Concert.

"to dream the impossible dream....."


My tooth is much better today.  It was infected and it was not going to get better without a root canal.
My dentist is super speedy.  His assistant played the best music from her Pandora.
If you are in the Madison area and you need a great, fast dentist, let me know.
I recommend him and it seems the ladies at the office all go to him and think he's the best.


Oprah has a new chai at Starbucks and I was losing sleep over the fact that I was not going to get my drink...the same.... like I have had it for three years.  Turns out that at the Starbucks I go to will keep both.

Katie says, "You don't like change do you?"

"No".  Say I.

"Why would they change it?" I cry.

"Because they think you will like it."  Says my little wise one.

"Oh.  That's true." Says the real baby in the family.

I love that little girl.  She is smart and funny and very lovable.

Thanks for stopping by!

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Stuck in the car. I'll go shopping another time.


Fun times


How is your week going?
Just kidding. :op

I'm fine.
Tooth is sore but it will be fine...eventually.



I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers. ~Claude Monet



Monday, April 28, 2014

CBS Sunday Morning. Jane Pauley and Mitch Albom.

I knew about this man....
but I didn't know the best things about him.

God Bless you Mitch.

Encourage one another,

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Saturday morning.

Good morning!

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” ~Dickens

Charles did not live in Wisconsin.

It was one of those April days....

Love ya,

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Goodbye Girl

"I don't like the panties drying on the rod."
"Do I charize you?"
"Cute, definitely cute."

Richard Dreyfus.  Elliot.

The Goodbye girl.

"He is coming back!!"
"I never doubted it for a minute."

This movie came out when I was in college (1977) I loved it.


Emma's boss needed some new pictures so I met them at the office near Daley Plaza in Chicago.
I had never met Erik before and had only see a little picture of him on the Internet.  Let me just say...that little picture was terrible.

Here are some pictures I took.  We had a great time. Erik is as handsome and easy as he is smart and professional.

We started out inside.  I used Emma to make sure the light was right.  We had to walk around the floor to find a spot with the best light.   I used my 50mm Nikkor lens to shoot all of these.

This spot was occupied at first...when we came back to it I took some fun silhouettes.  Without a flash you can not get the city and the subject properly lit.  That's why I thought of a silhouette.

Erik liked the buildings in the background so I made him walk toward me a few times.  People thought he was famous.  We like how these turned out.

We walked over to the sunshine to get another 'look'.  These are my favorites.  Now I don't know how professionals think....But I like making Erik Miles Attorney at Law look like a model.  Erik's friend Wilfred Newman is a designer and made this beautiful suit. 

That was last Friday.  Man, time flies.


We have a beautiful day here in Wisconsin.  The sun is shining so bright...I think Ginny and I will go to the dog park.  Katie has a dance tonight and then four softball games this weekend.  

Baseball is almost the only orderly thing in a very unorderly world.  If you get three strikes, even the best lawyer in the world can't get you off.
~Bill Veeck

Encourage one another...and PLAY BALL!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

I love music and miss Sue.

In 2007 I turned 50.  My sister Nancy (in black) picked me up and we drove down to Missouri where Sue and Cindy lived.  We had the BEST time; Pedicures, a facial, a visit to a vineyard, shopping in a quaint old town and lots of talking and laughing.  What a treat!!

I"m so happy and thankful that we took the time and fit this trip into our lives.

Today is the fourth anniversary of Sue's passing.

I love you to pieces Suzy Q.

Love you.
Mean it.

Donna Elsie


We all love music in our family.
Jimmy is a rocker, Nancy is Motown, Susie was Barbra Streisand and Willie Nelson,  Cindy is Michael Jackson and Dean Martin, Janet is dance music and Janice is alternative.

Me.  I'm all of it.

Here is why I am so excited about Idol this year....

I never like songs the first time I hear them...but I enjoy everything this kid does!!!

Two girls are left on the show.  Jessica is my far.
She is a soild, great singer.

Keith Urban did not like the arrangement.  Harry did.  I love her voice.  How about that makeup?

And that is why I am watching and enjoying American Idol.

(Besides the cute judges.  "Cute, definitely cute.")

Name that movie folks..............     ^^^^^    I will be shocked it someone comes up with it!!!

Love you.
Mean it.

What happens matters.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

support. encouragement. love.

My homeschooling friend, Nancy, sent me a link to an article in U.S. New and World report.
She knows I have been concerned about Katie's high school days.  I have, however,  been blessed to get wonderful support and encouragement from everyone.

Here is a screen shot of the article Nancy sent;

And there at #6 is Katie's high school.  Isn't that something?
What a really neat thing!!!!

So thank you for saying....She's going to be fine...because that means so very much to me.

Thank you for encouraging me!

Love,  Donna


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

DWTS Maks and Meryl

Last night on Dancing with the Stars,  Maks and Meryl (Olympic Ice Dancer) danced a fantastic tango to a really cool song.  I loved it.

I liked this too...

Katie and I always want a romance to blossom on Dancing with the Stars.  But I don't think it ever has.

Back to school...thirty four days until 8th grade graduation.
We are pretty excited!

God bless,

Monday, April 21, 2014

keep rolling


we all have them...
money troubles...
health issues...
personal issues...
death of loved ones...
unexpected surprises...

crumbling teeth...

Oh dear.  

It can be overwhelming.  Frightening. Paralyzing.

But like this little doggie we saw in Chicago on Saturday...

I'm determined to keep rollin'.

I encourage you to keep rollin'.

There is always something to be thankful for...someone to love....

everything is going to be alright...

Encourage one another,

Friday, April 18, 2014

Lamb of God

Agnus Dei 1635-1640
Francisco de Zurbaran 

God bless you all this Easter 

With love,

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Have you heard of these pretty succulent gardens?  This one hangs on the wall.  It is called a vertical succulent wall garden.  I NEVER thought of succulents as pretty...or colorful.  But they are and I love them.

If you go to Etsy and type in succulent wreath you will find many choices, including do it yourself projects.

from Style Me Pretty

Who'd a thunk it?

My friend Ryan posted this quote on FB yesterday.  Thanks Ryan.

"Snow in April is abominable, like a slap in the face when you expected a kiss."
~LM Montgomery

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I'm sorry I've been tardy this week.  I have had appointment after appointment.

Katie and I stopped at Michael's yesterday and she made this pretty flower headband.
We do not know our way around this store at all....but her first hand made project turned out so well.
She just loves it!!!

She's crafty

I'm really proud of you for making your first hand made flower crown!!

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, April 15, 2014



Still loves chalk.

THE chairs #union #madison

It won't be long now.....


 Do everything without complaining or arguing,  so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe ... 
Phil 2:14-15

Encourage one another,

Monday, April 14, 2014

New Shoes

Is there anything better than new shoes?

Not for Katie.

She needed something that would go with her graduation dress...and since I steer her away from HIGH heels.... these cute red Toms will do just fine.

Katie has spring break this week. 
It snowed last night and it stuck.

I think we will go to the movies today.  I hear God's Not Dead is good.
Then it's softball practice.  Inside.

I like baseball....and movies...and being with Katie....

Life is good.
Even when it snows in April...

Encourage one another,

Friday, April 11, 2014

Definitely NOT a blast.

Faith is a really personal thing.  It is changing and growing and ebbing and flowing.
The older I get the more I see how huge the realm of faith and belief truly is.

And the older I get, the more I am okay with it.

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when is is old he will not depart from it.

 I totally and completely took this verse to heart.
 I thought it was a promise.
But I'm not sure if it is a promise or if it is just wise, hopeful advice.

In growing up we go thru so much.
I am still growing up and trying to take it all in.  Life experiences sometimes make me feel stronger and sometimes weaker.

I guess that's what helps me understand how others may feel.

I tell you about this because of an exchange between Katie and me this morning.
She was moaning about her half day of school today.  She would have rather have stayed home.
Mass, Lenten retreat and then stations of the cross.

Big lent celebration before Easter break.

Many of the girls in her class as skipping and heading to Florida.
She wishes she was one of them.
But we are not going to Florida and she is Mary in the 'stations'.
So school it was for her.

Of course I don't want her to have a bad attitude.  Her teacher's work hard to make it nice and for heaven's sake...this is Easter.

But when you are 14 you want to have fun.
Rarely is church fun.

And so I said,  "Dying on the cross was not a blast."

That's all I could come up with.

But there really was nothing fun about dying on the cross.    It was horrible.
I will remember what Jesus did for me a sinner on that day so long ago.
And I will remember that he rose.

It's as simple and hard as that.

Encourage one another,

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Hat heard round the world.

A few months ago Pharrell wore this hat to the Grammys.

Every one laughed.
His hat went viral.  Which means Twitter Blew UP!
Which means everyone who saw Pharrell's hat was talking and laughing and exclaiming about his goofy Dudley Do Right Mounty-esque hat.

Now.  Pharrell has been in the music business since the early nineties. He produced big hits with Snoop Dog, Kanye West. Jay Z and Destiny's Child.  People in the industry knew Pharrell.  The general public did not.

 I had never heard of him until last summer when his name came up a few times.  He of Blurred Lines and Lucky. Both of these songs were nominated for Grammy's.  Both of these songs were my summer favorites along with Safe and Sound.
Also last summer Despicible Me 2 featured Pharrell's joyous song Happy.
The song Happy was nominated for an academy award earlier this winter.
We saw the movie...I was not overly impressed with the song Happy.  Nor was the public...and it was not played and didn't catch on...until after Pharrell wore the HAT.

Happy was not being played on the radio.  It did not play all summer.  It did not play in the fall.  In fact, it has just become wildly popular since Pharrell sang it at the Oscars.  Wearing another hat.

I do not think his song would have been nominated for an Oscar if he had not worn that HAT to the Grammys!

I read that Pharrell has had this hat for years.  He wore the Vivian Westwood design to an event in London four years ago.   Nobody I know noticed.

Everyone is noticing now.

A new kind of 'cat' in a hat.


The only other hat I can think of that changed a person's life was possibly this one...

Harrison Ford donned this great hat in Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark and there was not looking back.

Other notable hat wearers.....

Isn't life something?

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Royal family in New Zealand.

Princes William and Catherine are in New Zealand with baby George.  
What fun I will have in the next few weeks watching for pictures to come across the web;
pictures of the happy couple and mostly to see what Catherine is wearing.

I call her Catherine because I have heard that is what she prefers....but Kate is easier isn't it?

George is an earnest baby, isn't he?

Here is George looking the happiest I have seen him.  I would spend all day trying to get that boy to giggle.  Wouldn't you?

This is the nanny, her name is Maria.  She does not look like much fun.  
She does not spend the day trying to get Georgie to giggle.

I watched Saving Mr. Banks yesterday.  I didn't love it.  The story telling was slow and sad.  Mrs. Travers was very unlikeable.   It was too long a wait to get to any joy whatsoever. I did however really like the last half hour.  Isn't that strange....I loved two movies that were much more depressing and dysfuntional than this one....but this one just didn't work.  (August Osage Co and Nebraska)  
Go figure.

I wanted to like it.  But I didn't.

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Esther Jean



mom and janice 1972

She had every gift but length of years.

How she is still loved and missed.

She'd like this.

Happy Birthday Esther Jean!


Love Always,

Monday, April 07, 2014

Whatever it takes.


We love to laugh and we love to make one another laugh and anyone else....if you must know.

The other day I was being especially weird and Katie was making faces at me....

I said, "Whatever it takes, Katie.  Whatever it takes."

And that is how we roll.

As Katie says, "We will do whatever it takes for you to pee your pants."

Both of my girls like to make crazy faces in pictures.
I don't like to do that.  I don't need to look worse, thank you very much.

But everyday Emma snapchats with me...pretty Ariel hair shots and crazy face shots.


Both of these make me laugh so hard.

She knows it and continues to send them my way.

I am super lucky, I know.

Encourage one another,

P.S.  I am trying to analyse why the Ariel pictures make me laugh.  I haven't pinpointed it yet!
P.P.S. ahahahhhhhh...ahahahhhhhhhh....

Saturday, April 05, 2014


Apparently... This is fierce.

This weekend is Katie's final weekend of club volleyball and our Wisconsin Badgers play in the final four.

We're sporty.

Have a relaxing, delightful weekend!

Encourage one another,

Friday, April 04, 2014

Esther Jean

I suppose if I was a smart blogger I would wait until Mom's birthday to post this picture of her since her birthday is just a few days away.  Esther Jean Hansen was born April 8, 1934.  I think she is about 14 in this picture.  The same age as Katie is now.  If you can't find her, mom is the very pretty girl in the back row, far left.  Look at that red lipstick, those long limbs, that sweet face!  
Grandma Hansen gave this picture to me when I was in my early 20's.  She said that she made mom's costume and helped with another.  This was a school dance performance...not a private dance class.
I come from a long line of dancers.  :o)

(Esther and Janet 1972ish)

Mom looks happy and proud in this picture.
I think she was.  I hope she was.

All she had time to be was a girl and then a mom.

How fortunate I was to have such a mom.
I love her more and more as the years go by.
True love sticks.

“I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.” ~Mitch Albom

With love,
Donna Elsie