Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Start of Christmas Carols

Even though it is still November, I think of it as the Christmas season and Christmas music is one of my favorite parts of the season. This carol is my favorite as well as my brother's.

What Child is This
by William C. Dix

What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce
Him through,The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

“She brought forth her firstborn son, and
wrapped Him in swaddling clothes,
and laid Him in a manger; because there
was no room for them in the inn.”
Luke 2:7

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers
Felicia Dorothea Hemans

The breaking waves dashed high
On a stern and rock-bound coast,
And the woods against a stormy sky
Their giant branches tossed;

And the heavy night hung dark,
The hills and waters o'er,
When a band of exiles moored their bark
On the wild New England shore.

Not as the conqueror comes,
They, the true-hearted came;
Not with the roll of the stirring drums,
And the trumpet that sings of fame;

Not as the flying come,
In silence and in fear;
They shook the depths of the desert gloom
With their hymns of lofty cheer.

Amidst the storm they sang,
And the stars heard, and the sea;
And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang
To the anthem of the free.

The ocean eagle soared
From his nest by the white wave's foam;
And the rocking pines of the forest roared--
This was their welcome home.

There were men with hoary hair
Amidst the pilgrim band:
Why had they come to wither there,
Away from their childhood's land?

There was woman's fearless eye,
Lit by her deep love's truth;
There was manhood's brow, serenely high,
And the fiery heart of youth.

What sought they thus afar?
Bright jewels of the mine?
The wealth of seas, the spoils of war?
They sought a faith's pure shrine!

Ay, call it holy ground,
The soil where first they trod;
They have left unstained what there they found—
Freedom to worship God.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Thanksgiving Book to Read

An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott is about the Basset children making Thanksgiving dinner when their parents go to take care of "Gran'ma" who is sick.


Do you have a Thanksgiving book that you like?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fall Delights

Fall is such a wonderful time for... cake

...hay rides game nights with coffee and pumpkin pie

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Count Your Blessings

This Thursday is Thanksgiving. Every year we put a thankful tree up on our front door. All through the month of November we write what we are thankful for on leaves and hang them on the tree. The leaves have said things like a loving God, family, pets, God's protection on Poppop when he fell and broke his hip, family game nights, etc. I think it is a good way to "count your blessings" and we look back year to year to see what people were thankful for.

Johnson Oatman, Jr.

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.


Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
“Blessings crown the head of the righteous.”
Proverbs 10:6

Sunday, November 15, 2009

For the Beauty of the Earth

For the Beauty of the Earth
by Folliot S. Pierpoint

For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour,
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon, and stars of light.


For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind’s delight,
For the mystic harmony
Linking sense to sound and sight.


For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild.


For Thy Church, that evermore
Lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love.


For the martyrs’ crown of light,
For Thy prophets’ eagle eye,
For Thy bold confessors’ might,
For the lips of infancy.


For Thy virgins’ robes of snow,
For Thy maiden mother mild,
For Thyself, with hearts aglow,
Jesu, Victim undefiled.


For each perfect gift of Thine,
To our race so freely given,
Graces human and divine,
Flowers of earth and buds of Heaven.


“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of His glory.”
Isaiah 6:3

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
by Henry Alford

Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field, fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown unto joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day all offenses purge away,
Giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store in His garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified, in Thy garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come, raise the glorious harvest home.

“Let us come before Him with thanksgiving,
and extol Him with music and song.”
Psalm 95:2

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cake Decorating

Recently I was asked by Amanda, from i am baker and i am mommy, to share some pictures of cakes I decorated.

Last summer I took a cake decorating class at Michaels. It was four Tuesdays in June and we learned how to decorate cakes with roses, beach scenes, clowns, and different kinds of flowers and leaves. We took a cake each week to decorate in class.

In August, our family has a very busy birthday season. I made one or more cakes every week. I got to practice decorating cakes for my family, who didn’t care if I made a slight mistake. At the end of August, my friend and her father had a big joint birthday party and I was asked to do the cakes for the occasion. I was delighted to make the cakes but I knew that I was getting paid to do this and that it had better be perfect. Well, to make a long story short, I did the cakes, I was happy with them, I had a stressful car ride over to their house with the cakes on my lap in cake carriers cringing with every bump and turn in the road, and they LOVED them.

After the August birthday season, I took a break in making cakes. I was sick of eating so much cake. We made pies, cookies, and sweet breads for Sunday desserts for a while after that. For my birthday I made my own cake but I didn’t decorate it. I figured that pink decorators icing didn’t go with pumpkin layer cake. I enjoyed my cake after a break in eating it every day for a month. {Well, maybe I am exaggerating a little there. ;-)}

The first cake that I made at the cake decorating class...

Clown cake...

My first cake with roses...

I did the wiskers and mouth. Kristin made the cake and put on the eyes, nose, and ears...

A beach cake I made for Kristin's birthday...

On of the cakes I made for my friends...

The other cake I made for my friends...

Pink polka dot cake that I made for my grandmother...

I can only take credit for part of this one. Kristin made the cake and put the sprinkles on it. I wrote Benjamin's name...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

We Gather Together

Since it is now November, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. This Thanksgiving hymn is one of my favorites...

WE GATHER TOGETHER (Thanksgiving Prayer)
byAdri­an­us Va­ler­ius

We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known.
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, were at our side, all glory be Thine!

We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our Defender will be.
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!

“Gather together in one the children of God.” John 11:52