Category Archives: music

Friday 5: birthdays, chocolate chip cookies, and Rod Stewart

me with my dad in May 2008

1. Today is my dad’s 75th birthday. True to form, his card is late (what happened? I used to be so good about mailing cards on time!) but I will call and wish him a happy birthday.

2. Today is also my nephew’s birthday. How can it be that the little 2yo boy who stuck his fingers in our wedding cake is now a husband and father?

3. I finally took the cat in for her annual appointment (only running 4 months late on that one). The veterinarian and the technician and I all agreed that she is part-Abyssinian, which explains her gorgeous caramel coloring. I doubt it explains her perfect behavior throughout the exam, but I was glad for that, too.

4. This morning my friend ~P~ is coming over to learn how to make chocolate chip cookies (not exactly a national treat in China).  Last Saturday, I was at her house learning how to make a few easy, healthy dishes. I think I have the better end of the deal!

5. I’m in love with the Rod Stewart Great American Songbook CD collection. Unfortunately, there is no money in the budget for buying CDs just because I like them.   😦   But at least the next time someone asks me what I’d like for a gift, I can actually name something!

Musical Monday: The morning after

Easter Egg Hunt

Easter Monday

Back to school after Spring Break and sleeping in for a week (well, some of us slept in) — I think this song might be needed to get boys moving this morning!

The Breakfast Song (by The Newsboys)
[lyrics by Steve Taylor, music by Peter Furler]

Hold the milk, put back the sugar
They are powerless to console
We’ve gathered here to sprinkle ashes
From our late friend’s cereal bowl.
Breakfast Clubbers, say the motto
That he taught us to repeat:
“You will lose it in your gym class
If you wait ’til noon to eat.”

Back when the Chess Club said our eggs were soft
Every Monday he’d say grace and hold our juice aloft
Oh, none of us knew his checkout time would come so soon
But before his brain stopped waving, he composed this tune:


Breakfast clubbers, drop the hankies.
Though to some our friend was odd,
That day he bought those pine pajamas
His check was good with God.

Those here without the Lord,
How do you cope?
For this morning we don’t mourn
Like those who have no hope

Oh, rise up, Fruit Loop lovers –
Sing out sweet & low
With spoons held high
We bid our brother, “Cheerio!”


Friday mish-mash

It’s been a busy week:

1. SuperDad played the part of a famous international lover when he acted as Master of Ceremony at the church Valentine dinner last Saturday night. Truly, he performed wonderfully and people are still talking about it.  My introverted husband is having a difficult time fading back into obscurity (his dearest wish).

2. SnakeMaster had his first piano lesson on Tuesday and loved it. Yay!
We continued the music theme for the day with a band and orchestra concert that evening;  Humorous-Juniorous performed with the wind ensemble.  This was a “pre-festival” concert, playing the pieces they will perform for judges at the end of the month.

3. I’ve now been to 3 knitting group meetings and have graduated to the purl stitch.  Or rather, I’ve been taught to do this stitch and I seem to make fewer mistakes with it.  (When left alone with a knit stitch, I start by casting on 20 loops and end up with 40… I can’t really explain why, but it sure looks strange.)  However, my right shoulder, arm, and elbow has been hurting ever since Wednesday evening. I think I might have a knitting injury. How pitiful is that?

4. It was 60° F (16°C) last night at 10pm. Today we are supposed to reach 72°F  (22°C).  I’m pretty sure this will melt the remainder of our snow.  Time to get out in the garden and prune some of the plants. Do you think they know it’s still February?

5. I’ll be up early in the morning tomorrow. I’m headed up to NYC to see Mamma Mia! with 3 friends.  😀  I can’t begin to express the excitement of this trip, especially since it came together so quickly and easily…  “For one night, and one night only!”

Musical Monday: Holding on to The Dream

When my kids were young, they assured me that they weren’t white. They pointed out that they were “beige” and some of their friends had “light brown” or “dark brown” skin.
We are all Colored People.

I love this video — both the music and images.  (Unfortunately, you’ll have to click through. EMI and Vevo make things a bit difficult.)


Colored People

Pardon me, your epidermis is showing
I couldn't help but note your shade of melanin
I tip my hat to the colorful arrangement
Cause I see (the) beauty in the tones of our skin
We gotta come together, and thank the maker of us all

We're colored people, and we live in a tainted place
We're colored people, and they call us the human race
We've got a history so full of mistakes
And we are colored people who depend on a Holy Grace

A piece of canvas is only the beginning
It takes on character with every loving stroke
This thing of beauty is the passion of an artist's heart
By God's design, we are a skin kaleidoscope
We gotta come together, aren't we all human after all?

We're colored people, and we live in a tainted place
We're colored people, and they call us the human race
We've got a history so full of mistakes
'Cause we are colored people who depend on a Holy Grace

Ignorance has wronged some races
And vengeance is the Lord's
If we aspire to share this space
Repentance is the cure
Repentance is the cure

Well, just a day in the shoes of a color blind man
Should make it easy for you to see
That these diverse tones do more than cover our bones
As a part of our anatomy

We're colored people, and we live in a tainted place
We're colored people, and they call us the human race
We've got a history so full of mistakes
'Cause we are colored people who depend on a Holy Grace

We're colored people and they call us the human race
We're colored people and we've all got to share this space
We're colored people and we live in a tainted world
(red, yellow, black, and white)
We're colored people, every man, woman, boy, and girl

A Fond Farewell

Christmas break is over for MusicMan — he gets on a plane this afternoon to head back to college. Classes don’t actually start until Monday, but I felt obligated to build in a few extra days of travel time into the schedule “just in case” the weather became a factor in getting him back to school.

Here is our group of musical college students playing “We Three Kings” on handbells. One young woman is in her last year of college, 2 of the other young women are college sophomores, and the remaining 4 ringers  (including MM who forgot to wear white, so he’s the one in blue!) are first-year college students. This group practiced one evening (the Tuesday prior to Christmas) and once again Sunday morning before performing at 11am.  As the director says at the beginning of the video, the music being played was written for 11 ringers but is being played by a choir of seven.

Pretty good, aren’t they?  🙂

Musical Monday: New Year’s Eve edition

I couldn’t get my family to budge from the house on NYE, but a friend kindly invited me to ride with her to a bluegrass concert, er… CD release party for one band, with another band as their opening act. I failed to video the event, but here are a couple of  YouTube videos to enjoy featuring each band:


That banjo player? He’s 16 years old.

And here is the band that headlined the event. They just released their 2nd CD titled “Soul Bucket”.  Yes, I bought the CD. Now I’m itching to buy a harmonica.

This is The Acoustic Burgoo. They will be famous someday, and then you can say you heard them here first!  😀


Musical Monday is a meme I discovered over at Thom’s place.

If you want to be an official participant, you can get the instructions by clicking on the badge.

Musical Monday: Small Town Saturday Night

This is the band I went to see in concert on Saturday night. They were recording for a live album. (Do we still call them albums?)

Yes, there is a bassist there behind the mandolin player! He was home from college over the weekend and I saw him sing some backup vocals.
The young man on the right plays a variety of instruments, sings vocals and writes original songs. The mandolin player sings, plays guitar and banjo.
And the banjo player, who is only 15 years old, also plays the fiddle!

What a talented bunch of teenagers!

My family hopes I’ll outgrow my bluegrass phase soon, but I don’t think that’s likely… I expect these guys to be famous someday.

Giving Thanks

I’m counting blessings today — a baker’s dozen for good measure.

1. GOD
2. SuperDad, my dh
3. My 4 sons
4. A secure job for my husband. I do not take this for granted.
5. Friends
6. The undeserved blessing of being born into a country where I have many freedoms.
7. Family that lives beyond our walls:  grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, sisters, brothers, in-laws and out-laws.
8. Faith Family — blest be the tie that binds.
9. Education — not everywhere in the world has free education for all children, but it’s there for my children, and I am grateful.
10. Beauty in the world around me — may I always take notice of it.
11. Food and Shelter
12. Music — it brings joy to my life.
13. I’m thankful for the new guy who showed up to practice on Sunday morning with his banjo and his fiddle.  There was joy on the faces of the rest of the group when he started playing along with us.
For him, we’re just a fun side gig, a way to enjoy church. He’s already in a real band. I’m headed over to the local concert hall (also known as “The Barn”… have I mentioned I live in the exurbs?) on Saturday evening to hear his band play. I suspect there will be a Musical Monday post about them soon.  🙂


Musical Monday: golden

I’ve probably said this more than once before, but I cannot get over how incredible the colors are this Fall. With the first bit of cold weather, yellow tinged the green leaves. The rest of the color seems to come in waves: orange, rust, red, scarlet, and gold.  A week ago, I was nearly a danger behind the wheel of my minivan, so arresting were the reds and scarlets.

The color I’ve been following these past few days has been a bit safer, since it perfectly matches the yellow lines down the center of the road, the caution lights of the school zone, and even the school bus that stops to pick the kids up for school.

Marc Cohn has a beautiful song called “She’s Becoming Gold” on The Rainy Season CD. I searched for a link on YouTube but since it never had the popularity of “Walking in Memphis” (from his first, self-titled CD) I’m unable to provide you with an easy way to hear it now.  You can listen to a very short bit of the song here, and the complete lyrics are below:

She runs down the staircase
And into the yard
And she goes down to the end of the drive
With her friends on the phone
And her angels on guard
She’s just recently feeling alive
After all of the tears and the changes
Now there’s something that’s taken ahold
She’s becoming gold
She’s becoming gold

She thinks of a boy
That she knew back in school
And she wonders if he’s doing all right
The man of her dreams
Isn’t all that he seems
And the baby don’t sleep through the night
Something is moving inside her
And the weather is turning so cold
But she’s becoming gold,
She’s becoming gold
She’s becoming gold (I’ve seen her)
She’s becoming gold

She can hear in the distance
The sound of the cars
And she sees the snow falling down on the hill
Now the trees and the houses
Are white as the stars
And she doesn’t wanna cry
But she probably will
As she thinks about all of life’s mystery
And how slowly the answers unfold
She’s becoming gold
She’s becoming gold


Is there a song that you connect with this time of year?

Musical Monday: strength

This is one of my favorite bands. Kutless hails from Portland, Oregon.
[lyrics below video]

What Faith Can Do

Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache
You think it’s more than you can take
But you’re stronger, stronger than you know
Don’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard
Impossible is not a word
It’s just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody’s scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
But it’ll be alright
Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

Overcome the odds
When you don’t have a chance
(That’s what faith can do)
When the world says you can’t
It’ll tell you that you can!

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do
That’s what faith can do!

Even if you fall sometimes

You will have the strength to rise


What gives you strength?