Tuesday Tunes

So I said I wouldn’t do a weekly music post.  I probably won’t.  But I thought to myself, “Hey, it’s Tuesday.  I could do a music post.” So here it is.

Here’s what I have been listening to today–Fun & Prophets by Jamie Soles.  I am enjoying it, but I am still getting to know it.  I will say that exposing your children to this music may make them more knowledgeable of those little-known prophetic books in the Bible than some preachers!

I highly recommend other music by Jamie Soles, too.   Jamie is a Christian singer/songwriter from Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada, with several albums to his credit. His latest album, Memorials, released in 2006, celebrates the signs God appointed as memorials between Himself and His people.  I am a big fan of his other adult cd, Ascending, and our whole family enjoys his other popular children’s cds: The Way My Story Goes and Up From Here

Jamie Soles performs music for the whole family–adults and kids alike love his Bible-filled lyrics and singable melodies.  He covers a wide variety of genres that appeals to almost everyone.

I think the thing I most like about Jamie Soles’ music is the firm foundation of biblical knowledge it provides for everyone who listens to it.  Kids will listen to it and learn the lyrics.  Before you know it, they will have a biblical knowledge base, and they might not be able to pinpoint where it came from. 

The First Day of School

Today was the first day of school for the three older children at a new school.  There should be pictures to post, but alas, the digital camera’s batteries were dead and we didn’t realize it until we were at the school.  Aargh . . .

 Did we make a smooth transition into our new schedule of getting everyone up and ready and out the door by 7:45?  NO!  Was I stressed and snippy?  YES!  But after we actually got to school, things went better.  Mark and I attended a meeting for middle school students and parents at the beginning of the day.  We are encouraged by the small size of Calvin’s class and the enthusiasm of the teachers.  We are praying for a better year for all the kids, but especially for Calvin.

The reports after school we mostly good.  Calvin tried to think of as many negatives as he could just so we would know who we were dealing with.  Nevin, in his usual Nevin way, reported that school was “fine.”  He likes not wearing a uniform.  (Middle school, BTW, requires a uniform, so Calvin has to keep donning the khakis and polos.)  Evangeline was pleased with her teacher and classmates, but she is feeling a bit overwhelmed at the challenges third grade brings.  She has some focus issues like her big brother, so she will need to be guided a bit to get with the program.

Mark also started a new part-time job tutoring at a local community college.  On Mondays, he’ll be gone for most of the day and evening.  So after school, we headed to the store to stock up on pants for the ever-growing Horne boys.  By the time we got home after a day at work with Charis by my side and shopping for kids’ clohes, I was pretty much spent for the day.

I am glad today is over.  It wasn’t bad, but it took a lot out of all of us.

The New Blog on my Blogroll

The e-bay link from my last post was funny.  So I went back to the blog where my friend found it.  On this entry, I found the link to the e-bay seller’s blog.  She has an astronomical number of hits since she wrote this e-bay listing–77,000 and counting.  I can’t even imagine what that would be like.

As I was browsing around on her blog, I found a couple of really funny things.  She posted some of her favorite comments in one blog entry.  Here’s my favorite of the ones she listed:

In reference to the woman with the kids who always behave perfectly “Her kids only behave because they’re afraid of being beaten by the stick that’s up her butt.”

(Now that April of April Showers is moving to Kansas, I am taking her part-time job.  So I have spent a few hours with her learning how to do the job.  I guess sitting close to her has caused me to be ok about posting the word “butt” on my blog.)

So take some time to stop by because i said so–especially if you’re a mom or a child of the seventies or both! 


Sometimes, I wonder if I ever learn anything.

I mean, it seems like God has been harping on the same lesson over and over again in my life.  It isn’t easy and hasn’t been pleasant.  I am really tiring of it.  I apparently do need to be hit over the head many many times in order to understand (and have my behavior and life show that I understand) certain things.

Here are some Scripture passages that I have read to try to help me learn:

And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. – Deut 8:2

Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years. – Deut 8:4 (If I had been an Israelite, I probably would have whined, “But I wanted new clothes.  Who wants to keep wearing the same old thing?”)

1He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
   will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
   my God, in whom I trust.”

3For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
   and from the deadly pestilence.
4He will cover you with his pinions,
   and under his wings you will find refuge;
   his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
5 You will not fear the terror of the night,
   nor the arrow that flies by day,
6nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
   nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

 7A thousand may fall at your side,
   ten thousand at your right hand,
   but it will not come near you.
8You will only look with your eyes
   and see the recompense of the wicked.

 9Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place—
   the Most High, who is my refuge
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
    no plague come near your tent.

 11 For he will command his angels concerning you
   to guard you in all your ways.
12On their hands they will bear you up,
   lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13You will tread on the lion and the  adder;
   the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

 14“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
   I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15When he calls to me, I will answer him;
   I will be with him in trouble;
   I will rescue him and honor him.
16With long life I will satisfy him
   and show him my salvation.”  –Ps 91

Encouraging words if I can just learn to really really believe them.  I am not very patient.  I have trouble holding on to the end to see how it will all work out.  I whine and complain.  I am worse than a pesky child.  But God is promising to work out everything for my good and for His pleasure.  I need to hold on to this.  I need to learn it.


A couple of weeks ago, Mark mentioned that he wanted to play more cds in our house when we’re just hanging around, doing stuff.  I thought that sounded like a good idea, but nothing was done to implement it.

By default, after the kids are in bed and we’re all in for the night, I have been watching more tv than I really want to.  I feel exhausted, so I just fall into a pile on the sofa and vegetate until I get up 2 – 3 hours later and meander into bed.  I need to break this pattern.  So I have decided that music is what I need to help change my habits.  Perhaps my own personal soundtrack will help me to either be productive or relax with a book instead of the tv.

Thus Mark’s idea of 2 weeks ago merges with my desire of today, and hopefully, new routines will be born.

So today, I took a lunch hour and went to Borders to use what I had left on a giftcard from my birthday.  I just heard a review of a new CD on NPR, and it sounded like just the thing I needed as background music for my relaxing evenings at home.  The CD is Lyrically by Alan Bergman.

Alan Bergman is lyricist who has been writing for stage and screen for decades.  He, along with his wife and writing partner, have been writing the words for wonderful melodies together for 59 years.  On this CD, he sings some of his favorites.  Terri Gross, on Fresh Aire, played a cut of “What Are You Doing for the Rest of Your Life?”, and it made me want the cd.

Now that I have the cd, I will admit that not all the songs are ones I would choose for Alan Bergman to sing.  But several cuts are really pleasant to hear.  These are mostly romantic songs that take you back to those great black and white films from the 50s and 60s.  They are moody and thoughtful.  Listening to them and realizing that the words came from a couple who worked together and have been married for so long makes them even more meaningful.

Alan Bergman can sing, but he is no Frank Sinatra.  Yet the rich history of the lyricists makes each track worth hearing.

Now, I will add that this is not the only cd I’ve been listening to this week.  I decided yesterday that I need to turn off the radio in the van and at work when NPR drones on and on about the downward spiral of the real estate market and the stock market.  I have enough stress in my own life that I don’t need the gloom and doom of the entire global economy laid on my shoulders, pressed down over and over again.  So yesterday I replaced NPR with Sogno, a great Andre Bocelli cd we purchased a few years back.  I can’t understand a word of the latin lyrics, but the singing and music is so beautiful it can improve any mood.

I guess Mark is doing “Music Mondays” on his blog these days.  I don’t think I’ll be doing a regular music post, but if you need some aliteration to make your day, you can call this “Tuesday Tunes.”

Dog Days of Summer

From wikipedia:

The term “Dog Days” was coined by the ancient Romans, who called these days caniculares dies (days of the dogs) after Sirius (the “Dog Star”), the brightest star in the heavens besides the Sun.

Popularly believed to be an evil time “when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies” – Brady’s Clavis Calendarium, 1813.

We are having said “dog days” here in St. Louis and many other parts of the midwest and south.  Today it hit 105 degrees, and it was something like the 6 or 7 day where the temp was over 100.  Languid is the perfect word to describe the feeling around here.

We really can’t complain too much–especially if the heat wave breaks soon.  We had a mild summer up until the recent hot spell.  But after several days of severe heat and the need to be inside most of the time, the kids are going crazy.  Just when you think it might feel ok outside (like at night), you open the door and are greeted by a humid stickiness that makes you run to the car as fast as you can to get the AC going.

Despite the hot weather, we have been busy with a number of things.  The grandparents were here from Texas for the last 5 days.  The kids were happy to have some time with them, and we enjoyed seeing them too.  On Friday, we split up our group and Mark, Granddaddy, and Calvin went to the Science Center while Grandmommy, Evangeline, Nevin, Charis, and I headed to the Magic House.  With the temps this high, our wonderful free zoo was out of the question!

To beat the heat, we took the older kids to the bargain theater on Saturday while Charis stayed with Grandmommy and Granddaddy.  It was nice for me to enjoy a movie with Evangeline without Charis crawling all over me.  We saw Nancy Drew while Mark and the boys saw Spider Man 3

 I know Nancy Drew got some bad reviews, but I really liked it.  I thought it was true to the overall feeling of the books.  The books never claimed to be “high fiction.”  They are just plain fun mysteries geared toward girls 7 – 12 years old.  The movie didn’t have that bratty teeneybopper movie feel that you get from so many of the Teen Disney shows.  It was much more wholesome.  That’s probably why it got bad reviews!

We also went to a “meet & greet” cookout at a local park Monday night for the new 3rd grade teacher at the kids’ new school.  While I didn’t enjoy the aforementioned heat, it was nice to meet a few school families since we are new to the school, too.

As always, we’re in the midst of transition at our house.  The older children are getting ready to head to their new school in a little more than 10 days.  Charis will be returning to her pre-school from last year right after Labor Day.  Mark and I are looking for ways to improve our vocational situation, which involves some swapping around of responsibilities and a certain level of stress.  If you think of it, please pray for us that we would treat each other kindly as we deal with cabin fever from the heat wave and all the transitions of life.

We Are the Beavers!

Angie B. tagged me for this meme.  The picture is just an emblem of my high school’s  chomping mascot.  Go Beavers!  Beat the chucks!!!

1. Who was your best friend? Lisa P.  We had been friends since grade 2.

2. Did you play any sports? Yes.  Freshman year, field events–shot and discus; Junior & Senior year, Varsity Volleyball.

The volleyball thing sounds more impressive than it was.  My junior year was the first year of volleyball at our school, so you didn’t have to be great to play even on the varsity team.  That being said, we were pretty bad my junior year, but we improved by the time I was a senior.  I was a setter, and I did start in games occasionally.  So I guess I was a real high school athlete.

3. What kind of car did you drive? Car.  Did you say car?  I rode the bus to school, caught rides with friends to various activities, and on occassion, my parents would haul me around.  One of my older brothers referred to his truck as “Jennifer’s jitney” because he was often called upon to get me from place to place.

4. It’s Friday night–where were you? At the football game when the team was playing at home.  Working at my part-time job.  Bowling.  Eating and drinking tea at Perkins.

5. Were you a party animal? No.

6. Were you considered a flirt? No.

7. Were you in the band, orchestra or choir? Choir, girls ensemble, junior and senior girls’ trio and school musicals.

8. Were you a nerd? No.

9. Were you ever suspended or expelled? No.

10. Can you sing the fight song? Yes. Well, most of it.  Choir sang it for pep-ralley assemblies.

11. Who was your favorite teacher? Mr. Thompson.  He taught 11th grade American history.  He was a deacon at my baptist church, and I had him for US history in 8th grade before he moved to the high school to teach. 

12. What was your school mascot? A beaver.  Our high school rivals were the Punxsutawney Chucks (Woodchucks, synonymous with ground hog–get it, you know, Punxsutawney Phil from Groundhog Day fame.)  So every year, right around Veterans Day, those big teethy rodents go at each other for the last game of the season.

13. Did you go to the prom? Yes.  I went my senior year with a sophomore guy friend from choir.  He drove his parents 1983 Camaro–a silver blue color.  I wore a powder blue dress.  He wore a powder blue tux with dark blue velvet lapelles.  Oooh.  Yeah.  We were stylin.

14. If you could go back, would you? No.  I had a pretty decent high school experience, but I couldn’t wait to leave my home town.

15. What do you remember most about graduation? It was in the gym because of rain.  It was hot.  I was glad when it was over!

16. Where were you on Senior Skip Day? We didn’t really have one. 

17. Did you have a job your senior year? Yes.  I worked at Bonanza Steak House (now the Ponderosa).  I worked at every station in the place.  My least favorite was the salad bar.  When I worked the salad bar, I went home smelling like a pickle.  My polyester brown uniform cap smelled like the filter over a range exhaust.  All those smokey grilled steak smells were trapped in there.  Nice.

18. Where did you go most often for lunch? The cafeteria for whatever the entree of the day was.  We weren’t allowed to go scampering all over town like kids today do. 

19. Have you gained weight since then? Of course.

20. What did you do after graduation? I went to Messiah College in Grantham, PA.  I was a communication major, and I graduated 4 years later with a BA.

21. What year did you graduate from high school? 1983.

22. Who was your Senior Prom Date? Jim T.  See question 13.

23. Are you going/did you go to your 10 year reunion? They didn’t have one.  My class hasn’t had any reunions in the 24 years since we graduated.  There are rumors that there was some sort of financial scandal with the funds our class raised for reunions.  I guess it must be true since the class has never gotten together.

Hmmm…  I hate to tag anyone else.  Every blogger I know is younger than me, and it makes me feel old to think about these people graduating from high school when I was in college and beyond.  So I’ll leave it at this . . .  if you read this and want to take a journey to your past with all your blog visitors, please consider yourself tagged.