Wednesday, December 24, 2008




Monday, December 22, 2008

Coventry Carol

We had a beautiful advent service at our church last night. Our gifted pianist explained the history behind the Coventry Carol and then played it for us on the piano. It's dark and yet filled with hope. I hope you enjoy listening to these two versions.

excellent website is filled with interesting information:

In The Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors, this gentle lullaby was sung by the women of Bethlehem to their babies, urging them to "Be still, be still, my little child," just before the unwilling soldiers of King Herod came to slaughter their infants in Herod's attempt to eliminate a competitor, the newborn King of the Jews. In the liturgical calendar, those children are commemorated on December 28, the Feast of the Holy Innocents

The lyrics:

1. Lullay, Thou little tiny Child,
By, by, lully, lullay.
Lullay, Thou little tiny Child.
By, by, lully, lullay.

2. O sisters, too, how may we do,
For to preserve this day;
This poor Youngling for whom we sing,
By, by, lully, lullay.

3. Herod the King, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day;
His men of might, in his own sight,
All children young, to slay.

4. Then woe is me, poor Child, for Thee,
And ever mourn and say;
For Thy parting, nor say nor sing,
By, by, lully, lullay

The Cambridge Singers:

This is a beautiful rendition by Phil Keaggy:

Friday, December 19, 2008

Merry Christmas Bloggy Friends

Photo shoot 2008.

It was much less painful this year. A certain boy in this family decided to smile. tee hee.

My neighbor is so talented. Just look at the lighting and pay close attention to the fence in the background. Isn't that cool? I'm also happy that (for the most part) we are all smiling and looking like ourselves. Not an easy task with seven people. It also helped that it wasn't 40 degrees outside like last year.

Here is the link to Jen's business web site.

And here is the link to her blog. She is really excited about launching her new blog some time in January. I'll be sure to let you know when she does.

Sisters and bro, yours are in the mail box today.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

So Funny!

Fox News is our homepage and this was the headline first thing this morning when I sat down at the computer.

It's fitting, don't you think?


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My 22 Word Story

Abraham Piper at 22 Words is having a contest.

Write a story using only 22 words, post it on your blog and his readers will vote for the best. The prizes are two very nice children's books. I don't have either.

Don't worry, we don't have the flu right now. This is what happened last year:

If a five year old with the flu sneezes on your face on Monday morning, you will have the flu by Tuesday.

Challenging and fun!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I Was Forced To Do A Craft

Oh, you know I kid!

A sweet mom from Lauren's kindergarten class is putting together a scrapbook for the teacher as a Christmas present. We were each given one piece of scrapbook paper and told to decorate it however we liked. Of course, it would have been nice to actually have Lauren write something to her teacher but I procrastinated and did it at the very last minute. I sat there this morning and thought; what would Lauren say to her teacher. Most Kindergartners I know would say "I love you" to their teacher so that's what I decided to write/stamp/peel (whatever). I think it turned out well enough but I didn't see any of the other pages and I am very glad about that. It will be a sad day when I do actually see the others. LOL.


Donna told us to post a picture of the oldest ornament we could find on our tree. This dates back to 1984 when I was a freshman at the University of Arizona. Do you wonder why a young lady of 18 would receive an ornament of a football helmet as a gift? Ok, I'll tell you. I was an athletic trainer for the U of A's football team, assigned to the defensive linemen. You can stop laughing now. Here I was a naive, 18 year old girl from Wisconsin weighing all of 120 pounds spending all my spare time on the practice field and game day with giant 300 pound linemen. It really was fun and if it weren't for terrible home sickness I would have stayed with the intern program and gone on to great things in the athletic training field. Ha! I'm kidding. The guys were very good to me. They told me who NOT to date. :)


Happy Friday!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Piper Post

Finally Alive
, a new book by John Piper (pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis) is set to be released in January.

John Piper:
The term born again is very precious and very crucial in the Bible. So our main concern is to know what God intends when the Bible uses this language, so that by his grace we may experience it and help others do the same. It is of enormous consequence that we know what being born again really means.

The Desiring God ministry is offering the book for only $5.00 in a pre-order sale!

Call 1-888-346-4700 for your five dollar book. I was hesitant to ask if I could buy more than one (didn't want to be selfish, you know) but the young lady offered so I bought five! Oh, and I got the "library shipping" and it was FREE.

Desiring God ministries has a blog too with several contributors.

John Piper's son Abraham has a blog. It's called 22 Words. And yes, his posts are all 22 words short. I counted. Don't think for one minute that they are boring or worthless because they are short. He's very funny and clever.

Abraham's sweet wife, Molly, has a blog called The Pipers. She is a young mommy of 3 (2 here on earth and 1 in heaven). I just recently found her blog and commented (of course) and she emailed me back thanking me for the comment. Isn't that sweet?

One more thing.

The Gospel in 6 minutes.

Listen to it.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

"Exceedingly Great Joy"

" This is the donkey with precious load
trudging the long and weary road..."

"This is the Christ child, born to be king
While hosts of heavenly angels sing...."

Lauren is sick today with the stomach flu and this was the first book she chose for me to read to her. It really is lovely.

Matthew 2:9-10 (New King James Version)

9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

My "Sweet" Apple Pie

It was delicious!

Pretty? Not so much.

I need to post this for my own sake/memory and thought maybe someone else might benefit from having these recipes.

I am going to make another apple pie for Christmas. James, my nephew Spencer and I loved it and we must have another one.

Martha Stewart's Foolproof Pie Crust

2 1/2 C. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 C. unsalted butter, cut into 1 T. pieces, very cold
1/4 - 1/2 C. cold water

Put the flour, salt and sugar into a food processor and pulse once or twice. (or put it in bowl and stir it). Add the butter and process until the mixture looks grainy. Then slowly, while pulsing, add the water until you can form the dough by pressing it between your fingers. Decant (I had no idea what that meant but I kept going) the loose dough onto a piece of plastic wrap. Using the wrap, fold the loose dough towards the middle and press with the back of your hands to form dough. Split into two pieces (I'm OCD and weighed mine) and wrap each and chill for at least 4 hours before using. Dough can be made ahead for up to one week.

I admit I had a little meltdown while rolling the dough and transferring it to the pie plate. Dave was talking, the TV was blaring, I had music on in the kitchen, children were talking and skipping and singing, the dogs were circling and it was only 8 AM. I screamed at Dave to stop and ordered everyone out of the kitchen. Ugly, I know. :-O I even cursed Martha.

Classic Apple Pie
America's Test Kitchen

4-6 McIntosh apples, peeled, cored and sliced
3-4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
3/4 C. plus 1 T. sugar
2 T. all-purpose flour
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 recipe for double pie crust
1 egg white, lightly beaten

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position, place a rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 500 degrees. Toss the apples with 3/4 C. sugar, flour, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and spices and set aside.

2. Roll out the top crust to a 12 inch circle. Spread the apples in the unbaked pie crust bottom, mounding them slight in the middle. (I used a slotted spoon) Lay the top crust over the apples, seal and crimp the edges, and cut four vent holes in the bop. Brush the crust with the egg white and sprinkle with the remaining 1 T. sugar.

3. Place the pie on the heated baking sheet and lower the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Bake until the top crust is golden, about 25 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet, reduce the oven temperature again to 375 degrees, and continue to bake until the juices are bubbling and the crust is deep golden brown, 30-35 minutes longer. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and cool to room temperature before serving.

Enjoy with vanilla bean icecream!


Here I am being goofy, waiting for my pie to come out of the oven and acting like Ree:

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Silly Boys

James and two of his friends (who happen to be brothers) were hanging out in the living room the other night. I thought it was nice that they were visiting and enjoying the newly purchased and decorated Christmas tree.

However. (You knew that was coming)

Mom's can always tell when something is out of place.

Here is what I found yesterday.

This ornament was removed from the tree and is now hanging on a little nail in the big picture window. And.....

I noticed something unusual about the top of the tree. First of all, the tree is a little too tall for the room but I will be able to bend the fake branch and make it work. I still won't be able to put a star or an angel on the top though.

I definitely know I don't want Obi Wan Kenobi to be the topper. :-)


And now for some sweet 6 year old decorating.

Wow. I count 9 ornaments in one spot.

Is your tree up yet? Decorated?

Happy December!