Friday, September 19, 2014

Cute, definitely cute.


 Click to link above to visit a wonderful illustrator/artist.

She even has fabric which is totally adorable!!!

This is the Swim Team line!

I need to make something with this fabric!!!  It's the cutest ever!

I'm inspired and delighted!

Encourage one another,

Thursday, September 18, 2014


It's really funny what you remember.  We forget so much.
But for some reason certain things stick.

I forgot I was in a wedding.  A whole wedding.

I was visiting a good friend quite a few years ago and
while she was in another room I started looking thru her wedding album.
To my surprise, I was in the wedding.  I did not let on to her
that I had forgotten this.  I mean.  That's a big HOLE.
So when she came in the room I said, "Those yellow dresses
were so pretty."  And she said, "You picked them out!"
"Oh!"  hahhaha....

I was dying inside but never let on.

So yesterday when we were talking about songs, Stephie mentioned that she liked
Anne Murray.

Our mom liked Anne's song Snowbird.  It was her favorite.
But sister Sue...she did not like that mom liked this song so much.
I think she thought mom wanted to fly away from her (us)(dad).
She was a sensitive girl.  As I read the words now I can see what
she was thinking.
I can actually remember the exact moment she told me that she didn't like it.
She would have been about Katie's age.
I'm sorry she felt scared that mom was unhappy and wanted to fly away.

When I was young my heart was young then, too.And anything that it would tell me, that's the thing that I would do.But now I feel such emptiness within,For the thing that I want most in life's the thing that I can't win.

Spread your tiny wings and fly away,And take the snow back with you where it came from on that day.The one I love forever is untrue,And if I could you know that I would fly away with you.


Sue and Donna #40yearsagotoday #nancybinky

 “There are moments when I wish I could roll back the clock and take all the sadness away, but I have the feeling that if I did, the joy would be gone as well.” 
~Nicolas Sparks

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Inappropriate Wedding Songs

Our friend Southern Gal asked for help in finding music for a mother/son wedding dance.

I have been thinking about this and I think I would pick a song by my son's favorite group.
So for Matthew it would have to be something by Cold Play or Mumford and sons.

Matthew and Melinda did not do special dances at their wedding so I've never really thought about it.

I was thinking yesterday of the WORST wedding songs as I was looking thru lists of the best wedding songs.

So for Matthew I thought Fix You by Cold play would be hilarious....
and one of my favorite songs...
Until you come back to me by Aretha Franklin.

Wouldn't those be perfectly inappropriate!?!?

I'll do anything to play this song!

If you have an idea for Southern Gal please leave it in the comments!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tens but not tens


All nines.  They just can't give tens the first night, can they?


I can finally show you the finale dance from SYTYCD!
I love this song and dance so much!!
Sweet Disposition.

Happy Tuesday!

Did you watch Dancing with the Stars last night?
Who did you like?

I liked Leah, Alfonso and the big wrestler.

Encourage one another,

Monday, September 15, 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014

Soup. My way.

Donna's Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

Donna's Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

4 chicken breasts
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1-2 stalks of celery
a little onion
some carrots
medium egg noodles
Water, up to the top

Put everything but the noodles in the crock pot.
Cook all day. One hour before serving, shred the chicken and toss in a big hand full of noodles. Finish cooking and serve.

I'm making this today.
The crock pot will warm up the kitchen nicely.

I only put in one chicken breast because I just want a little chicken.



Miz Boo's Potato Soup

6 potatoes
2 stalks celery (chopped)
1 carrot (shredded)
1/2 onion (chopped)
2 c. water
2 cubes chicken bouillon
salt, pepper
2 c. milk
1/3 c. flour
cheese (real cheese or 4-8 pieces of American cheese slices)
bacon (as much as you like)
a little sour cream on top

Boil veggies in the water until soft with the bouillon. Add 1 2/3 cups of milk and make a paste out of the other 1/3 cup of milk and flour. (I don't always do the flour thickening)
Add cheese and bacon. Heat through.
Sour cream and chopped scallions are yummy plopped and sprinkled on top too.


 I love soup.
Yum. Yum. Yum.

Hey!  My food blog celebrates it's tenth anniversary in October!

Recipes I have known and loved

Encourage one another,


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hello Fall. You're kind of early, aren't you?


Or on Sept 10th.

Yeah.  It's 49ยบ right now.

The leaves are still green as are my tomatoes.

I will still choose joy because being bummed by how things should be is
really a bad way to go.

So many things we don't have any control over.

So on a cold September day I will not fret.
I will let it go.
I'll drop that expectation in the river and watch it float away.

And I will think of Elisabeth Elliot and Amy Carmichael and remember the phrase that has come to mean so much to me.

"In acceptance lieth peace."

Do you all give yourselves pep talks?

I do it constantly.

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, September 10, 2014




 Katie's team is the Wildcats.
They won last night.  All three games.
It was really wonderful to see great improvement in one week!

 I took these pictures last fall.
This cat/bat hat has been used by all four of our kids.

It is still so super cute....and I still have the bat wings of course.....I imagine one day a grandchild or two will don the family famous costume.

Suzo.  Costume Co from the 80's that went out of business before Halloween became the HUGE.
I miss Suzo every time I think about these gorgeous velour pieces.


Encourage one another,

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Monday, September 08, 2014

late start

Katie's school has late start twice a month.
Today was the first late start day.

Of course we forgot this.

Katie remembered just as we were heading out the door at 8:15.

You can be sure that we will remember next time.


1940's chicken

I took this picture with my phone yesterday.  I was goofing around with the edits and all of a sudden this looked very 1940's life magazine black and white to me.  Katie's friends have chickens. I'm so jealous.  They live in Madison where having chickens is allowed.  I live in a country suburb...where chickens are not allowed.  I would sure love to have chickens and fresh eggs. 
Wouldn't you?


 I took Senior pictures for my friend Amy over the weekend.  We ended with a few pictures of Andrew in his grandpa's truck.

I love how relaxed and happy he was in Grandpa's truck.



Wishing you a great week ahead!
We've already gotten our first mistake out of the way!
Isn't that brilliant!?

p.s. The Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine and her hubby William are expecting baby #2!!!

Encourage one another,

Friday, September 05, 2014

It's all about the bass, don't cha know.

All about the bass by Meghan Trainor along with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots.
I think this may be my favorite so far.  The guys seem to love this song!


The locker has been conquered!
First try yesterday morning!


Katie's first game was last night.  She had fun, played well and encouraged her
team mates!


The Brewers have lost nine in a row and have finally fallen out of first place.
I am ignoring them.

The Packers lost.
I'm ignoring them too.

I get too worked up.
Ain't nobody got time for that!

“Instruction does much, but encouragement everything."

Lots of love,

Thursday, September 04, 2014

it had to be. it had to be.

The stars who will be dancing on Dancing with the Stars were announced this morning.

After 18 seasons...Alfonso Riberio will be a contestant.  Alfonson played Calrton on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air along with Will Smith. 

Carlton's dorky dancing was the high light of the show for me.

And then there is this...

Oh!  How Carlton loved Tom Jones!

Because to me, people dancing is either hilarious or beautiful.

Last night my favorite dancer won on So You Think You Can Dance.

His name is Ricky.  He is the most beautiful dancer!



Katie has her first volleyball game tonight! We are all so excited.
School is going great. Except opening the locker.  She can not do that.
I hope today she succeeds!!!
Packer's first game is tonight.  Not quite as excited about that.

It rained and rained and rained and rained last night. I was awakened at three.
In four hours we got four inches of rain.
The thunder was loud and went on and on.
 I may need a nap.

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Of course I have this.




fun with the flash!
I never use the flash on my D700. 
But I did not have a up popped my flash and I tried very hard to use it.
They turned out okay.  



“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.”
~Eudora Welty

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, September 02, 2014


First day of high school. Color of the day is blue. Parting words "start making your piles of good!!!"

Katie starts high school today.  She is sad that summer is over but looking forward to lots of friends and fun.  The grind of so much.

So I told her to have a good attitude.  And she said she does.

When she jumped out of the car this morning I yelled,
"start making your piles of good!"

and I laughed and laughed and laughed...cause I'm so funny....

and she giggled a little and walked off.

And that's the truth.


We all went to Omaha to celebrate Asher's 4th birthday!  Asher is one of those children who say the darnedest things.  My sister Janet's children were like this.  Mine not so much.  But Asher says terrible cute things.

He is happy to be four and is working on his fingers.
Going from making threes to fours is harder than you might think.

Four kisses when you wake, Four candles on your cake.

Melinda, Asher ... And Katie

Birthday Selfie....with photobomb.

Auntie Katie and Malachi

Asher and Malachi

I know!  They are ridiculously cute!!!

Emma #westernbowl #omaha

Emma flew to Omaha from Chicago.  She is starting a big adventure today too!
Her 'counseling' internship for grad school begins this morning.
Go Emma!  So proud of you!

Matthew and Malachi

Birthday bowler

The Birthday Bowler.

Bye, bye!  Love you! Thank you! Mean it.

So long!
Love you.
Thank you.
Mean it!!!

"Let your pile of good things grow."

I love that so much.

Encourage one another,

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Five. James Lipton. Your turn. Go.

Do you remember the Friday Five?  If you do you have been around here since at least 2007.  

The questions below are asked by James Lipton on his television show Inside the Actors Studio.
It is always fun to hear the answers.

What is your favorite word? 
What is your least favorite word? 
What turns you on [creatively, spiritually or emotionally]? 
What turns you off? 
What is your favorite curse word? 
What sound or noise do you love? 
What sound or noise do you hate? 
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? 
What profession would you not like to do? 
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? 

Give them some thought and answer in the comments!  

You can pretend you are Meryl or Julia or Sandra for a moment.  :o)

See you in the comments!

Encourage one another,


seven years ago...also.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

This and that.

#faceq look! I'm a cute cartoon :o)

I made this darling cartoon with FaceQ . 
Of course I learned about this free app from Katie.
It's very fun.


Here is Emma :o)
She loves bananas!


Hello lil' fox.  My husband took this picture from his office on Sat morning. He knew I'd love to see it!!

Patrick took this picture the other morning at work...right outside his window. 
Every once in a while we are reminded that we live in the country.


New dress for school. #lovesclothes

Katie was voted to be Co-Captain of her volleyball team. 
We are pretty darn proud of her.

We have been school shopping in the last few weeks.
Somebody is very excited to wear her new things.


I added a step tracking app to my phone.  It's called Withings.  Emma's friend Jen told her about it....
I'll let you know how it goes.  I am currently at 73 steps. 

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Emmy Red Carpet 2014

Matthew's beautiful wife always looks wonderful.  Last night she looked perfect. Her name is Camila.

"You're never fully dressed without a smile."  Or something like that.
Julia Roberts just looked so happy and beautiful in her Elle Saab dress. Very few of the actresses smiled.  I hope others follow her lead.

 This is Allison Williams.  She is Brian Williams daughter.
Her dress looks great on her.

This is Lena Dunahm.  Most people hated this skirt and top.  I LOVE that skirt.
I'm afraid it just didn't look the best on her because she is shortish and normal sized.  
But why shouldn't she wear something she loves and is so what she doesn't look like her buddy Allison?  How many of us are 5' 10" weighing 125?  

I LOVE this look. Oh how I love that neck line and the crop and the full orange skirt.  
(this is sarah hyland from Modern Family)
Oh. And her makeup and hair.  Probably my favorite.

 Kaley Cuoco and her stunning dress.  Winner, winner chicken dinner.
But Kaley.  Smile...and spin around.  Have fun!

The show was quite good.  Mostly funny and clever.  I laughed out loud a hand full of times and that is saying a lot for an award show.  Sarah Bareilles sang during the memorial portion.  It was beautiful (she sang "Smile").  Breaking Bad won many more awards and I am a fan of that. So many shows I have never watched.   But did you know, I didn't watch the first season of Downton Abbey until it won an Emmy in 2011?  The day after the Emmy's I downloaded season One out of curiosity.  I'm happy I did :o)
I'm curious about a few new shows.  Fargo and House of Cards.  I'll let you know if I try them out.
Seth Meyers was quite good as a host.  I like him. 

So it was a fun night of people watching (as Emma calls it) and laughs.

 Do you like these dresses?
Did you see other dresses you liked better?



Monday, August 25, 2014


Bounty. One. Only. Summer'14. Three plants. Farmer donna.

My sense of taste is coming along nicely. 

Just in time for tomato season here in Wisconsin. 
Yes.  Our tomatoes do not redden (is that a word) until Aug/Sept. 
And because of the weather.  Sometimes they don't ever even redden.

The above tomato is my first and only red tomato. 

Feel free to call me Farmer Donna.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Shake it off!

In which I take advice from T-Swift.

Both my sister Janet and my daughter Emma texted me asking if I liked this new song from Taylor Swift.  This morning Katie and I watched the video.

We think it's pretty cute and funny.


Guess what?

It feels like summer has finally arrived!


We stopped to watch the sun set on this beautiful summer night. And then the girls danced.

Encourage one another,

Thursday, August 21, 2014



She made the team.

The tryouts were conducted over three days. 
After night one, Katie was asked to come to the JV tryouts with five other freshman.
She was honored to be asked to do this.  Tuesday and Wednesday she went to the JV tryouts.
Wednesday the coaches took the girls one at a time to tell them where they would be playing.

Katie was told she would be on the Freshman team.  The JV coach told her that she is a good setter but they have enough setters already.  He told her that she will get a lot of 'touches' on the Freshman team and can be a team leader. (I can't tell you how grateful I am that the coaches took the time to talk to each girl.)  Then Katie talked to the Freshman coach who said how excited she was to have Katie on the team. 

We are all glad that Katie was considered for JV, but we know that Katie will play much more on the freshman team and make friends with the girls in her class. 

Practice starts today! 
I can't wait to go to a game :o)

Go Wildcats!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I love music. All kinds.

 August makes me want to listen to Greg Brown.

Emma's friend, Carolyn Marcotte,  released this adorable and catchy tune last week!
We love it!
(Carolyn went to Stevens Point for college.)

 If the link does not show up below, here is a link to click to listen.
Just Be Sweet To Me

Enjoy these great songs!!!

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

growing things

We are not called to be great.
Be we are called to reach our our hands to our brothers and sisters,
and to care for the earth in this time we are given.

~kent nerburn

Waters elementary school. Lincoln square Chicago. #citygarden #thankskids #thanksteachers

In Emma's neighborhood, smack dab in Chicago, sits a tidy looking elementary school.
One side of the school yard is a massive garden.  Just before you enter the garden path you will see a kindergarten potato patch.  Inside the garden you will find sunflowers and tomatoes, beets and corn, wild flowers and grasses.  It's lush and overgrown.  It's peaceful and damp. It's earthy and really quite a blessing.  Thank you teachers and students at Waters Elementary school.


Grasses on a hill in Wisconsin.

Don't you love to watch grass and fields blow?
I do.

Happy Tuesday!