Monday, May 28, 2012

CD Review: "O What A Savior"


O What a Savior (CD) B2103

 There are certain things that one associates with the South: fried chicken, humidity, open-armed hospitality and foot-stompin', hand-clappin' music. "O What A Savior" is 10 songs of that kind of music.

These are not "put you to sleep" hymn renditions. They are much better at waking you up! I didn't love everyone song on this album, but I freely admit that instrumental hymns are not my typical genre of choice. I did, however, appreciate the skillfulness of the musicians, and there were several tracks that I  thoroughly enjoyed.

I was a bit surprised at the variety of the arrangements-they are definitely not monotonous. My favorite track was "There's Something About That Name". That is one of my favorite hymns to sing and this rendition made me fall in love with it all over again.

There is also an incredible variety of instruments, including the mandolin and bass. It gives the music personality and vivacity. You can picture yourself in a little white-steepled church, fanning yourself  with an old-fashioned paper fan, while clapping  and singing along with the musicians.

If you are a lover of Southern gospel music, this is definitely an excellent choice. How can you go wrong with beautiful reminders of the glory that awaits us in our heavenly home and the power we have through our Savior here on earth? This CD is kind of like a musical big tent revival- it will get your blood flowing and remind you that earth is passing and heaven is the place to be!

I was graciously provided a copy of this CD to review by Discovery House Publishing. If you would like to find out more please check it out here!

Monday, May 7, 2012

A "Thirst Quenching" Thank-You

 My children attend a marvelous Awana program. If you are not familiar with Awana, it is worldwide Scripture memory organization. Kids memorize Scripture, learn about missionaries and play games. They earn awards based on their performance. It requires a ton of workers, and this year my kids both had wonderful groups of  leaders.

I think it is so important to thank your children's church teachers. Everyone remembers their children's school teachers-and that is great, too. But I am so appreciative of the people that work hard to teach my kids about the Bible and how to love and obey the the Lord.

Our budget is really tight right now, and I was hard pressed to come up with an original idea. Candy or baked goods are so frequent, and personally, I am not overly appreciative of all those extra calories! I would have loved to have given each person a gift card, but even then, not everyone likes Starbucks as much as I do, and that was definitely not in the budget.

My sister suggested giving out bottles of water with packaged drink mixes. I would have needed to re-label the bottles, and I learned from Carson's party last year that labeling water bottles is a pain! However, I took the kernel of her idea and expanded on it.

Part of my difficulty was that I needed at least 12 gifts, for both adults and teenagers, and men and women! I wanted something memorable, that wasn't expensive and would be fun.

This is what I came up with: the Dollar Store had fun reusable island themed water bottles. I filled each bottle with two ice pops (unfrozen, of course!) two packages of Hawaiian punch drink mix, two expandable sponges and some bubbles. Then I attached a water gun on the outside.

It might seem like that was a bunch of silly things, but I knew almost all of the adults had kids, and that the kids would enjoy  the toys. I knew the adults could use the bottles. I thought all the teenagers (there were four adult leaders and eight teens) would love the water guns!
 I filled the bottles with all the things, and it was easy to get the ice pops in there, I just bent them at the bottom since they were still liquid. I looped the rubber band through itself around the handle of the water gun, and then placed it over the bottles. It made them look even more fun and colorful.
 All ready to go, but there was something missing. I wanted to let the leaders know how much I appreciated their hard work...
 So I grabbed my trusty mailing labels and printed off some thank you stickers! Each one says,

" Every good and perfect gift is from above..." James 1:17
Thank you for being a gift from God to me! Enjoy your summer and have fun!
                                                       In Him,

The each child drew a picture of themselves with each leader and signed their name (I helped Carson with his, can you tell?)

 I could have done a variety of verses, such as:

"And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.” Matthew 10:42  with "You gave far more than a cup of water, so here are some "refreshing" things to say thanks!"

but I have always been partial to James 1:17, so that is what I went with. I know that child of one particular teacher was thrilled with everything- he thought it was fantastic that there were popsicles in it! It would be so easy to put a variety of things in there, and it ended up costing me less than $2 per gift. I have a feeling I know what the VBS teachers will be getting...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Wonderful "Wicked" Time

 Waaaay back in November my dear friend, Kristan, said, "Do you want to go to "Wicked" with me?". I had really only heard a few mentions of the play, but immediately I agreed. It is fun to do...well pretty much anything and everything with Kristan. And this was no exception!

We drove up to Denver and were so excited to see all the banners advertising it! I didn't bring my camera because I didn't want to drag it around all night, and I knew we wouldn't be able to take photos in the theater. So, you are privileged to get more not-so-great phone pics. You can still see Elphaba's green face though!

We made sure to leave *really* early to avoid traffic. And we did such a good job that we had plenty of time to enjoy wandering 16th St. It would have been more fun if it had not been "National Legalize Pot Day"- really! I am not well experienced with marijuana...but I am pretty sure we were treated to the smell more than once! Oh well, it definitely made it unique...

 We decided to have dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. I had a very tasty burger, and as a joke I took a photo of it-because isn't that what bloggers do? The burger was good, but the fries were delicious! Kristan and I had a great time cracking up over the music- especially when they dragged out Depeche Mode, and a Beastie Boys song. See, I said she makes everything fun!

We even had time to run into H & M. If you have never been to one, it is basically the Ikea of clothing. Fashionable, European, and cheap! I really restrained myself and only purchased a couple of things for Josie. But I will definitely be going back.

 Then it was time for the main event! I had to snap a shot of the iconic poster. If you are not familiar with the story it is about the Wicked Witch of the West- before she was wicked. It is absolutely delightful and I would go again in a heartbeat!
 Always having fun! I was so amused that I could reverse the camera on my phone to get a semi- decent (and very smiley) pic of me and my BFF.
The show was fabulous- although Glinda absolutely stole the show. She was charming and funny and just adorable. The set was gorgeous and we had wonderful seats. Good job, Kristan!  All of the performers did an terrific job, and I love, love orchestra music. Kristan bought the sound track and we enjoyed a "repeat" performance on the way home. I am ready to buy tickets to see something else...hint, hint, Kristan!:)


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