Friday, February 20, 2015

Hymn of the Week

How Can I Keep From Singing
author: unknown, attr. to Robert Lowry
Arranged by: Matthew Culloton

I cannot wait to hear the Singers tomorrow night at House of Hope Presbyterian Church in St. Paul! Matthew Culloton is the director, an acquaintance of mine from The Concordia Choir days.  We sang together in choir for a couple of years.  He and his brother Michael are both professional choral directors in the Lutheran Choir tradition.  The music tomorrow night will be performed in honor of composer and director, Rene Clausen, our conductor from The Concordia Choir.

Ethan and I heard this song on Minnesota Public Radio a few months ago, arranged by Culloton.  It brought shivers to my skin and tears to my eyes.  The words are powerful! God is so awesome and powerful.  Jesus is risen from the dead.  

...No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that rock I cling, Since Christ is Lord of Heaven and Earth, How can I keep from singing?

My life flows on in endless song;
Above earth’s lamentation
I hear the sweet though far off hymn
That hails a new creation:
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul—
How can I keep from singing?

What though my joys and comforts die?
The Lord my Savior liveth;
What though the darkness gather round!
Songs in the night He giveth:
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that refuge clinging;
Since Christ is Lord of Heav’n and earth,
How can I keep from singing?

I lift mine eyes; the cloud grows thin;
I see the blue above it;
And day by day this pathway smoothes
Since first I learned to love it:
The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,
A fountain ever springing:
All things are mine since I am His—
How can I keep from singing?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Recipes for a Growing Boy (Manboy?)

OK, it is official! PJ is now taller than me.  Five feet nine and a half inches tall as of yesterday!  I need to kick up the calories in our meals.  So, my oldest daughter and I have been baking up a storm.  Yesterday, she made a lovely Day Cake with strawberries, and she made Monkey Bread also.  Today I am working on Grandma Blomberg's Excellent Rocks, a most excellent oatmeal raisin cookie recipe.

Here is the recipe, transcribed word for word from my sister, Kirsten:

Grandma Blomberg's Excellent Rocks
serves 4 dozen

1 c. sugar (brown is better)
1 c. shortening (butter is better)
1 c. raisins, cooked in ¾ c. water
2 c. flour
2 c. oats
2 eggs
5 Tbsp reserved raisin water + 1 tsp. soda
1 tsp salt (or less)
1 tsp vanilla (2 is better)

Mix oats, flour and salt.  Set aside.
Mix butter & sugar, add eggs, add vanilla & soda water.
Stir together wet and dry ingredients and drained raisins.
Cook 10 mins. in 350 degree oven.

I added an extra cup of rolled oats to the recipe (3 c. total) to make it a little healthier for afternoon snacks.  This made them more chewy and less cakey, too.  However, they are delicious with only 2 cups oats.

For dinner I plan to make a one-pot meal with barley, vegetables, tomato sauce, and a combination of ground beef and ground turkey.  Making enough food to fill these growing children's tummies is a challenge, because they can be picky eaters, too.  I enjoy making casseroles or one-pot meals made in the crock pot or on the stove.  I do not cook with a lot of meat because of the high cost of meat, so we must supplement with vegetables,  grains, and legumes.  My favorite cookbook for this is More With Less.  

This cookbook emphasizes conserving the world's resources, so it has been very helpful for me during lean years because the recipes are so inexpensive yet healthy to make.  

Recently I borrowed a book from the library called, How to Feed a Teenage Boy

The recipes were not earth shattering, by any means, but it did give me a few ideas.  These boys need lots of protein, carbohydrates, calcium, and vegetables.

How about you?  What are you feeding your son?  I need some SERIOUS RECIPE IDEAS and soon!  Feel free to leave a recipe or two in the comments or on Facebook.  Thanks!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Hymn of the Week

Jesus, Lover of My Soul
words: Charles Wesley, 1740

  1. Jesus, lover of my soul,
    Let me to Thy bosom fly,
    While the nearer waters roll,
    While the tempest still is high.
    Hide me, O my Savior, hide,
    Till the storm of life is past;
    Safe into the haven guide;
    Oh, receive my soul at last.
  2. Other refuge have I none,
    Hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
    Leave, ah! leave me not alone,
    Still support and comfort me.
    All my trust on Thee is stayed,
    All my help from Thee I bring;
    Cover my defenseless head
    With the shadow of Thy wing.
  3. Thou, O Christ, art all I want,
    More than all in Thee I find;
    Raise the fallen, cheer the faint,
    Heal the sick, and lead the blind.
    Just and holy is Thy Name,
    Source of all true righteousness;
    Thou art evermore the same,
    Thou art full of truth and grace.
  4. Plenteous grace with Thee is found,
    Grace to cover all my sin;
    Let the healing streams abound;
    Make and keep me pure within.
    Thou of life the fountain art,
    Freely let me take of Thee;
    Spring Thou up within my heart;
    Rise to all eternity.
  5. Here are two versions of these beautiful words:
  6. Jesus, Lover of My Soul new melody by Elysia
  7. Jesus, Lover of My Soul sung by Fernando Ortega

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Classical Music Goes to the Movies

I enjoy listening to classical music on Minnesota Public Radio while driving the minivan from place to place.  Twice in the past week, my kids have recognized pieces because of their interest in the comics, of all places.  Here is Charles Gounod's "Je Veux Vivre" from Romeo and Juliet sung by "Bianca Castafiore" in The Adventures of Tintin. A fantastic operatic piece!

Then driving the little ones to school yesterday, one of the girls shouts out that the song playing on the radio was called "The Barber of Seville Bugs Bunny!"  I had to laugh.  It was actually called the overture to The Barber of Seville by Rossini but you may enjoy "The Rabbit of Seville" by Looney Tunes here:

Monday, February 2, 2015

Hymn of the Week

This hymn came up in conversation with friends who are grieving the loss of a loved one this past week.  Other family and friends are experiencing trials of various kinds.   Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! Psalm 146:1 Christ hath regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It Is Well With My Soul

Words: Horatio G. Spafford, 1873
Music: Philip Bliss

  1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well with my soul.
    • Refrain:
      It is well with my soul,
      It is well, it is well with my soul.
  2. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
  3. My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
  4. For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
    If Jordan above me shall roll,
    No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
    Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
  5. But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
    The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
    Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
    Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
  6. And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
    The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    Even so, it is well with my soul.
The Concordia Choirs and Orchestra at a Christmas rehearsal singing "It is Well"