Category Archives: music

Movies, Music, and Mondays . . .

Perhaps I should start with Mondays . . . Today was a beautiful Monday outside.  In the throws of summer on the first of July, and the high temp was 78 degrees.  What a wonderful alternative to the typical 95+ St Louis usually dishes out in the summer.  It is worth reveling in this weather.  Let’s savor it and enjoy it, as normal is almost certain to return very soon.

I worked today, as I do most Mondays.  I was feeling a bit puny, and I had the proverbial rough day at the office, so I am not feeling like much of a Monday fan.  But the day was redeemed by a movie with my youngest and jazz on youtube on my tv.  Technology really is an amazing gift!


I am dying to see Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing.  I have been thinking about it for over a month, and now, over a week has passed since it opened, and we still haven’t made it there.  We are not the first-run movie sort of people, so this is not unusual.  But this movie has several things going for it: 1. It’s Shakespeare.  2.  Joss Whedon.  3. It looks so cool in its black and white hipness.  To get you in the mood, check out this review.

The Monday movie at home tonight with 10-year-old daughter was Parental Guidance.  Believe it or not, this is the second time we watched it.  It is just plain funny.  Billy Crystal and Bette Middler play grandparents who go to take care of their tightly strung daughter’s children.  I don’t think Billy Crystal is capable of not being funny, and Bette Middler is a great sidekick.  Marissa Tomei plays the high strung mother of three pre-teen children, and Tom Everett Scott rounds out the family as Dad.  The humor is clean, the family situations are real but still funny, and it ends poignantly enough to bring forth a tear or two.  It is a really good family movie that even teens would like if they take the time to sit and watch with you. (Mine did not, btw.)

From the hand of the unprepared VBS teacher

So, it is VBS week.  One would think the teachers would be all prepared by at least the Saturday night before the Monday start.  But not me.  I have spent some time today websurfing looking for ideas to help me with our class’s closing ceremony skit and also the lyrics to a song I only remember in part about the 10 spies.  I think I have nailed down my skit plans, but I still haven’t located the song.  However, in my travels on the worldwide web, I found what I think is a pretty easy little song with the names of the disciples.  Perhaps you’ll think so, too.

Apostles (to the tune of “Jesus Loves Me”)

Jesus called them one by one, Peter, Andrew, James and John,
Next came Philip, Thomas too, Matthew and Bartholomew.

James the one they called the less, Simon, also Thaddeus,
The twelfth apostle Judas made, Jesus was by him betrayed.

Yes, Jesus called them, Yes, Jesus called them,
Yes, Jesus called them, The Bible tells me so.

Optional Additional Verse Submitted by Reader
Matthias then took Judas’ place
To preach to men of every race.

Paul three preaching trips did make
And went to Rome for Jesus’ sake.

It’s probably not useful to me for VBS this week, but I thought it was worth keeping track of.  Now, back to VBS stuff and dinner, and laundry, and packing for vacation.

Dog Days & Tuesday Tunes

Last Friday morning, I picked up this little guy from a church friend’s home.  If you read her blog, you will see that they were just ready to have a dog-free home.  We weren’t really looking for a dog, but Mark and I both thought the same thing when we saw his cute little face on our friend’s blog.  So we decided adding Simon to our family was a good move.  After 4 days, we still feel that way.  He is just the right size, about 30 pounds, he’s well-behaved, and he is friendly.  We are enjoying him and look forward to having him around for a long time.  The kids are enjoying him, too. 

As far as Tuesday Tunes go, I haven’t been listening to much adult music lately.  Veggie Tunes 1 & 2 are what Charis requests most in the van.  We occasionally get a dose of other children’s favorites like the “Hokey Pokey” and “A Tisket, A Tasket.”

Seriously though, I have been listening to old Rich Mullens Cds.  I just love the song “Creed” on his Songs cd.  This is nothing new, since Rich Mullens is no longer around to record anything new, but I just love the folk style of his music.  I guess I would call it pensive.

The other cd I have been pulling out lately is Michael Card’s Starkindler.  I love the old hymns set in new arrangements. 

These cds are like the music I enjoyed 15 and 20 years ago.  I am open to checking out new stuff, but I guess sometimes you just want to listen to something familiar that makes you feel comfortable and safe.

Manic Mondays and Tuesday Tunes

As the title suggests, this post will be of the combination variety–meshing my thoughts about yesterday with the words to a song, thus touching on the theme of the semi-regular Tuesday Tunes post. Pretty clever, eh?
Do you remember the Bangles? From the 80s? In 1984, they released the song, “Manic Monday.” I remember being a young college student and singing along with it on the radio and thinking, “Yeah, this is how I feel about Monday.” In retrospect, I now know that my days back then were never really “manic.” They were just a little crazy because I was young and stupid.

Well, the Mondays in our house have officially become “Manic.” Mark works a split shift at a local community college as a tutor on Mondays–from 10 – 2 and then from 5 – 9. He gets up with all of us and helps to get the kids out the door. Then he works on writing projects for a little more than an hour until he heads to the part-time job. During the break between 2 and 5, he goes somewhere with free wi-fi to work on more writing stuff, mostly for the new contract job. So, his day is full.

Well, if Mark’s day is full, it sort of has a chain reaction. If you read my recent posts, you saw that I am working while Charis is at pre-school on MWF afternoons. So yesterday was my first Monday of not working in the morning. Overall, it was productive, but it flew by so fast. Before I knew it, 12:30 hit, and I had to get Charis to school and myself to work for my 2+ hours.

Working short hours anywhere is a challenge. But working where I do is even more so because half their equipment doesn’t work right. So I got about an hour’s worth of work done in the 2+ because I had to keep re-booting the computer and the scanner didn’t work!

Then I got the kids, and the homework-dinner hour began. It went fine, but by the time 9:00 PM rolled around, I was ready to relax.

Mark got home after 9:30, and worked for another 3 hours.

So, now that you’ve heard about our “Manic Monday,” here are the lyrics to the Bangles classic. After I googled to find them and actually read them, I was a bit hesitant to post them. I had no recollection of the suggestive part of the chorus. I guess it was one of those songs that I just sang along to and sort of mumbled over parts I didn’t quite catch in my head.

Here are the lyrics:

The Bangles – Manic Monday

Six o’clock already
I was just in the middle of a dream
I was kissin’ Valentino
By a crystal blue Italian stream
But I can’t be late
‘Cause then I guess I just won’t get paid
These are the days
When you wish your bed was already made

It’s just another manic Monday
I wish it was Sunday
‘Cause that’s my funday
My I don’t have to runday
It’s just another manic Monday

Have to catch an early train
Got to be to work by nine
And if I had an air-o-plane
I still couldn’t make it on time
‘Cause it takes me so long
Just to figure out what I’m gonna wear
Blame it on the train
But the boss is already there

All of the nights
Why did my lover have to pick last night
To get down
Doesn’t it matter
That I have to feed the both of us
Employment’s down
He tells me in his bedroom voice
C’mon honey, let’s go make some noise
Time it goes so fast
When you’re having fun

Happy Tuesday everyone!

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. 


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.”