Monday, December 27, 2010

older and older

My cousin died on Christmas day.

It breaks my selfish heart. He's come to our house immediately after Christmas for the last two years. My kids started asking if he was coming this year as soon as we put up the tree. And I now know the answer to that question.

It is not the answer I would like...

He was a sweet boy/man. I have always loved him and his family.

We lost his mom just after Christmas, almost 2 years ago...and I was devastated. We lost another cousin at almost 30. Charlotte was born on his birthday. We lost another aunt in February, in 2006. I've lost 4 people in about 4 years. People who have been intregal to my life and childhood. People who I had hoped to be intregal to my children's lives.

Life has no guarentees. None.

We've been sick for 2 months. One virus after another. I'm tired of being sick. I'm tired of my kids being sick. I'm tired of getting no sleep. I'm tired of being in lock down from it. I'm tired of having to trudge on and pretend that I am not sick, so I can be a "good mother".

But in the face of this loss. I am glad that my kids are sick. I am glad that they get into my bed snuffling and sneezing, wretching and hot. I get to hold them. I get to make new memories with them, even if they aren't what I want. Because don't we remember fondly our mothers petting our hair when we felt awful? And even the yucky sicknesses are a gift.

I'm tired and I feel old. I am sad, and cannot stop the tears. I am struck over and over again, at how fragile and un-perfect life is...it makes me want to tie my kids to the couch and snuggle them until they cry for mercy. I realize that there will never be enough hugs, there will never be enough words said...there will never be enough time.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Carol Cluster #25: Christmas in a Nutshell

This is the number one thing I was looking forward to posting in this series.

Linus tells Charlie Brown what Christmas is all about:



And to keep to the carol requirement.

My most often favorite carol.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel:



I don't typically like Sugarland...but, I loved their arrangement of this...

Christmas Carol Cluster #24: Away in a Manger

Away in a Manger:



I've just spent entirely too long looking for a perfect version to post of this carol. This is the one.




Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Carol Cluster #23: Good King Wenceslas

LOOOOOOvvvved this song...

If you knew me in high school...I am sure you were annoyed out of your skin listening me to sing this version...what? You don't hear hardly any words? Right you are...that would be why I was so annoying... :D

And frankly, I love that they are showing the LP on this one...as it should be listened to.

Please Enjoy Good King Wenceslas by Mannaheim Steamroller!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Carol Cluster #22: 3 Ships

I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In:



I NEVER figured out why this was a Christmas carol...but I always enjoyed it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Carol Cluster #21: The Holly and the Ivy

The Holly and the Ivy:



I need a candy cane in my hand...ever so slightly sticky...walking where it is miserable cold...looking at Christmas decorations...



NOW it's Christmas...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sorry

For the record, I have been very prolific elsewhere. I got an article published in a local magazine, you can read the article here. And I have written over on Just a Little Bit Downsy.

In fact, just today I was mulling...

But January "should" normalize. I hope. I hope that you are listening to the Carols...I do love them and am sharing my Christmas heart. I am not just randomly posting...

Just a Little Bit Downsy got an incredible opportunity for Christmas, and so I took it...but it has taken away from my reflection times...

I hope to write about all the kids and be more balanced...I did post an tiny collection of Amelia-isms...

I look forward to being back...

Amelia-isms

I know there are more, but I gotta get these down before I forget!

When she saw some horses in a field in their winter blankets to keep them warm:
"Are those horses wearing capes pretending they can FLY??"

The next two are her singing Christmas songs along with the radio and CDs

"Pissing on the Earth!"
"Whoa, baby! I think you mean 'Peace on Earth!"
"Yuh, that's what I was singing!"
Oh, dear!!

"O, O Santa, sing praises to the King! O, O Santa, Let your praises ring!"
Santa? Oh! You mean "Hosannah"?
I'll fix that one next year!! Santa can totally sing praises this year. Actually, it's kinda a cool thought...

Christmas Carol Cluster #20: Bleak Midwinter

In the Bleak Midwinter

Loreena McKennitt

GORgeous!!

And that's all there is to say about that.

Christmas Carol Cluster #19: The Angels Cried

Allison Krauss and Alan Jackson...slow but really thought provoking....and pretty.

The Angels Cried:

Christmas Carol Cluster #18: Bing

I heard the DJ's talking on our local Christian Radio Station, last week. The Fish plays Christmas Music exclusively from Thanksgiving until Christmas. ANYWAY, they said that Christmas music was a cultural education for many kids...that they only listen to their own brand of music all year, but they listen to jazz, big band, ballads, carols, etc over the holidays...and I started thinking...that is probably true for most people...so break out all the genres!!

On that thought...BING, baby!

Joy to the World:


and for good measure White Christmas:

Christmas Carol Cluster #17: Amy Grant

Christmas wouldn't be complete without addressing Amy Grant.

I use to like Tennessee Christmas...but I can't get on board anymore since there are no scratches on the record...stupid CD's...


I used to think I was quite the alternative rocker listening to Emmanuel...but I still love it!!


And I have surprisingly found that I adore Little Town:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Carol Cluster #16: Carol of the Bells

So I know the Trans-Siberian Orchestra gets a lot of play now...and it's about the only version of Carol of the Bells you hear...but I have to say, George Winston CANNOT be topped.

The Carol of the Bells...the right way. :)

Christmas Carol Cluster #15: Mary, Did You Know?

ADORE this one...it may be getting so over done that people are missing the power of this song...but I still get all choked up over Mary kissing the face of God....it is SUCH an amazing thought!!!

Mary, Did You Know?

Christmas Carol Cluster #14: What Child Is This

Martina McBride does an AMAZING job with all the Christmas carols, I've heard her do....Here is my favorite of hers and been my on-again-off-again Favorite Carol for years... Greensleeves is one of my very favorite musical pieces...

What Child is This?


Enjoy!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Carol Cluster # 13 "Two Fer": Allison Krauss and Yo Yo Ma

Allison Krauss and Yo Yo Ma. Bliss...here are two beautiful duets with them...

The Wexford Carol:


and

Simple Gifts:

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Carol Cluster #12: Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring

Doesn't get much better than this.

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring:

Christmas Carol Cluster #11: Ave Maria

I adore Ave Maria!! And I simply could not decide.


Celine Dion's Ave Maria:



Charlotte Church sings Ave Maria:



Bizarre, but gorgeous. Ave Maria by 98':



Andrea Bocelli. Ave Maria:




Fantasia's Ave Maria. Probably started it all.

Christmas Carol Cluster #10: Sweet Little Jesus Boy

And the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. Please bask in the richness of Natalie Cole's voice...and one of my favorites:

Sweet Little Jesus Boy:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Carol Cluster #9 an ALBUM: Nat "King" Cole

As much as I hate to be any part of predictable. The Christmas season gets kicked off with Nat King Cole. He can make me smell, egg nog, cinnamon, candy canes, and fuzzy jammied babies in the middle of a Georgia July!

So in honor of the Christmas Album to take all Chrismas Albums, here's Nat crooning:

The Christmas Song:


O Holy Night:


Silent Night:


O Come, All Ye Faithful:


I'm not sure if I am more in love with his voice, or the fact that while he has the most amazing voice,as he sings, he's not "trying too hard". You truly get to enjoy the songs and HEAR the words!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Carol Cluster #8: Jane, Jane

I don't know if this is really a Christmas song...but I loved singing this at the top of my lungs on my spring horse...at 4 I figured that if it was about "The little bitty baby born, born, born in Bethlehem..." then it was definitely Christmas...so I'm gonna run with it. :)

Peter, Paul, and Mary's "Jane, Jane":

Christmas Carol Cluster #7: Breath of Heaven

Love this song...and this is a beautiful arrangement!

Breath of Heaven:

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Giveaway over on Just a Little Bit Downsy!

Hey! Just a Little Bit Downsy and Band of Angels are doing a 12 Days of Christmas giveaway! 12 giveaways over 12 days! Get over there and get in the giveaways!!!

Today's

The explanation and kick off entry!

These will have lots of incredible items, good for people who have kids with special needs or those who just want to learn how to be better friends to those who do!! :)

Christmas Carol Cluster #6: Hippopotamus for Christmas

I'd never heard this song before about 6 years ago. From Ethan's bosses' wives...they treated me to an improptu chorus of this and I about died..seriously one of the funniest thing I'd ever heard...

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas:

Christmas Carol Cluster #5: Chipmunks

Because we have been in lock-down with sickness this entire weekend, and watched a million hours of kids movies, I thought it would be an appropriate time to post this stand-by:

The Chipmunks Christmas Song:

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Carol Cluster #4: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

I loved both of these carols for as long as I can remember, but heard this arrangement a few years back and fell in love.

Please enjoy this beautiful, but bizarre pairing of Sarah Mclaughlin and The Barenaked Ladies:

We Three Kings/God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen:

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Carol Cluster #3: Jingle Bells

Ethan is still morally opposed to Barbara due to her political activism, but this is too much a part of my childhood for me to part with her over that...

Please enjoy Barbara Steisand's Jingle Bells:


And feel free to imagine a little kid experimenting with how fast it can actually be sung...and turning purple with the experimentation on how many breaths of air was required to sing the song. :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Carol Cluster #2: The Little Drummer Boy

When I was little one of the things that bothered me the most was going to church and singing The Little Drummer Boy with No Drums, I thought it was a real disappointment.

I have since married a percussionist and then gave birth to a little percussionist, and The Little Drummer Boy will always hold a beloved spot in my heart. This year it is officially Gabriel's favorite carol.

I will say though as I was hunting a fun version to post, there is a disturbing lack of arrangements on this one. Which is just pitiful when you think of all the brilliant percussionists that could have a go at it! I would just LOVE to see Cake have their way with it!! So, consider this a challenge all you musicians, PLEASE play with The Little Drummer Boy! :)

Gabriel's favorite version:
Bob Seger's The little Drummer Boy:


I got tickled by Jimi Hendrix playing it at a concert:

Here is the "original" that I remember most from my childhood. Although it's not as good as when you could hear the white noise emitted from the record player!

A celtic band has a little fun:

And highland pipes and drums for a kick:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Carol Cluster #1: One Small Child

To kick off the Christmas Carol Cluster. This is my 2nd All Time Favorite Christmas Carol.

Evie did it, but it never made it to YouTube or her CDs from the records.

But, love Ali Matthews. In hunting this particular song, I found her and am going to have to buy a CD now. :)

One Small Child