Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Gosh, can you believe it's almost Thanksgiving already?? The cold weather has set in and the smell of turkey is in the air. Even my playlist is all about Thanksgiving!! I love Thanksgiving for so many reasons - getting together with my amazing family, sharing a delicious meal and good conversation, leftovers. I know I don't need a special day to be thankful or remind myself of how many blessings surround me, but Thanksgiving Day is important because it gives me even more reason to focus on being grateful.

Even in the midst of tough times, it isn't hard to find something to be thankful for. I saw something this morning that I'm not sure I will be able to get out of my mind any time soon. If you've watched the news or even been online, maybe you saw it and were touched like I was.

I was reduced to tears as I watched this. As a mother, my heart was broken for this little boy and for his mom. I couldn't understand how they could be so calm. But then I watched again, and realized they had chosen to be thankful for what they had been given. Not angry for what was being taken away. His mother was grateful for the time she had with her son. She was thankful. And this little boy managed to touch hundreds of people (maybe more), bring them together and help those in need. What an amazing gift.

I guess today's blog is a little heavier than I intended for it to be, but it all just kind of came out as I was typing. Sometimes it is so easy to focus on everything that is wrong rather than what is right. To focus on what we don't have instead of all of the things we do. I want to remember to be thankful every day, not just on Thanksgiving Day. When you start counting your blessings, it's hard to stop. I have been given so much it's hard to list them all: amazing children, a strong and loving husband, kind and generous parents, caring and supportive friends. I am truly blessed. I found a quote that sums it all up perfectly, so I will leave you with it.....

"Blessed are those who give without remembering. And blessed are those who take without forgetting." - Bernard Meltzer

Monday, November 24, 2008

New Music Monday - 3rd Holiday Edition

It's Monday again!!! But it's the Monday before Thanksgiving so that means it's a short week and there's a lot to do. We are headed to my mom and dad's for Turkey Day on Wednesday and Thursday. It is always so wonderful to go "home" to the place we grew up for the holidays. Brings back a lot of memories for sure!!! So this week, my pick for holiday music is a true blast from the past...


Ray Coniff, you take me back to the good old days!!! My mom had the record version of 'We Wish You A Merry Christmas' when I was little, and I still get so nostalgic the first time I bust it out every season. I remember getting so excited when mom would put this record on and start bringing up the boxes of decorations from the basement. I even remember how the decorations smelled! Naturally I sought out the cd version when I went out on my own. This was the first Christmas album I ever bought and we have played it every single year while decorating the tree/opening presents ever since. Originally released in 1962, this album is all medley's so one song flows right into the next. This album IS Christmas to me! It spans all generations with its traditional holiday tunes. Let's get our Christmas on!!

'The Twelve Days of Christmas'

'Ring Christmas Bells' - I think this is my favorite song on the album

'Let It Snow' 'Count Your Blessings'

'The First Noel' Medley

'O Holy Night' Medley - LOVE the part at the end where they sing 'Deck the Halls'

'Jolly Old St Nicholas' 'Little Drummer Boy'

There you have it! If you're looking for a fun, retro album to add to your holiday playlist - Ray Coniff's "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" is the one. It's already been playing at our house this season as we've begun decorating. I hope when my kids grow up, they'll have fond memories of Christmastime and family tradition like I do. For me, it's not Christmas until you bust out the Ray Coniff album!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New Music Monday - 2nd Holiday Edition

I am really getting into the holiday spirit this year. Last year it felt like it came and went so fast. This year I really made a resolution to take it slow and enjoy it! I wish I could put up the tree already, but will wait until the weekend after Thanksgiving for sure. I have been listening to lots of Christmas music though and was excited to blog about this next great holiday album.


Jars of Clay is one of my favorite bands ever. I obviously love that they're a Christian band and the message their music delivers, but I really love their sound. Even though they've been at it for quite awhile, they've managed to keep that great sound while evolving and reinventing themselves. So this week I wanted to add their holiday album to the list of must have holiday music! Jars of Clay 'Christmas Songs' came out last year in 2007. I was honestly a little worried when I heard they were doing a Christmas album. As much as I LOVE Christmas, you can get a little tired of different artists doing the same 'I'll Be Home For Christmas.' Jars of Clay hit the mark with their modern take on traditional Christmas tunes.

My favorite song on this album has to be 'Love Came Down at Christmas.' It's beautiful. It's based on a poem by Christina Rossetti and the lyrics really speak what Christmas is all about. There is also an amazing version of 'Little Town of Bethlehem' that I wasn't able to find on youtube, but I had to mention it!!!

'Love Came Down at Christmas'

I also LOVE their redo of Paul McCartney's 'Wonderful Christmastime.' It's super chill and a lot of fun.

'Wonderful Christmas'

This song is just sappy cute - 'Hibernation Day' is all about staying inside and snuggling in your pajamas all day. Remember snow days when you were a kid?? I vote we all have one of these days this winter and this should be the anthem for it!!!! The lyrics are so sweet!!

'Hibernation Day'

'Peace Is Here' is another great song that talks about the peace that Jesus brings. Not just at Christmas, but always.

'Peace Is Here'

'Christmastime Is Here' - fun, jazzy take on the Charlie Brown song!!!

'Winter Skin' - LOVE this one!!

As usual, these are just a few of the great songs from this album. If your a JOC fan of long ago, or just looking to add something new to your shelf of holiday music - you won't be sorry you grabbed this one!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Music Monday - Holiday Edition

It is a wee bit early for holiday music, but I never can wait very long after Abby's birthday to bust out the Christmas music. I have so many favorite holiday albums, I thought I would make them a part of New Music Monday. One of my very favorite artists of all has to be Loreena McKennitt. She is beyond amazing, to put it simply. Her voice is haunting and almost ethereal. She is very medieval sounding - Sara and Jessi, I know you will love her if you haven't already heard of her. I was first introduced to her through my lovely aunt Deb. She ran a victorian tea room and gift shop in her house back in my home town. It was such a wonderful place and I (as well as many other people) have so many good memories of it. My aunt served some of the best tea, coffee, scones and other baked goods for several years there!! Not only was the atmosphere warm and comfortable because of the food and good people, the music was always adding to that warmth. Loreena was playing all the time and whenever I listen to any of her beautiful albums, I can't help but remember all the good times in the tea room. Aunt Deb's tea room is closed now, but she still bakes the best scones and hooks us up with top notch coffee.

Loreena McKennitt was born in Canada, but is of Irish and Scottish parents. Her passion for Celtic music is quite evident in her albums. You'll probably know her best by the song "The Mummer's Dance" which had much success on the pop charts a few years ago. She has MANY wonderful albums, but this week I will be focusing on her holiday ones!


'To Drive The Cold Winter Away' is first on the list. I loved the title of this album right away. The songs are haunting like always, but have such a warmth to them. These songs are Christmas-y, but even after the holidays are over you won't tire of them. These are just a few that I enjoy.....remember to pause the playlist to the right before listening to any of these.....

'In Praise of Christmas'

'Wexford Carol' - one of my favorite Christmas songs about the birth of our Savior

'Banquet Hall' - pretty holiday instrumental


Next on the list is the brand new 'A Midwinter Nights Dream.' It just came out and I am actually still waiting to get it from Amazon. It has a lot more songs on it than the other album and they are all so good. Here are just a few.....

'Coventry Carol'

'In Bleak Midwinter'


'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' - cool, middle eastern drum sound

'The Holly and the Ivy'

Now this next song isn't on the holiday albums, but is on the very first album I ever owned of Loreena's 'The Visit.' Still my personal favorite of hers!!! This is also another lovely Christmas song and I adore her take on it!!


I hope you've enjoyed the first holiday edition of New Music Monday and that you'll add these two amazing albums from Loreena to your holiday music collection!!! Next week I will be blogging about more holiday music to get you all in the spirit of the season.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy Birthday, Abby!!!

Abby turns six years old tomorrow!!! I can't believe it. I know I always say that, but time really does go too fast. Abby is such a fun kid. She is the perfect mix of girly with a touch of crazy. She pretty much likes everything and just wants to have fun. She is outgoing and makes friends so easily. I love being her mom.

We had a little family party here at the house. It was so cold outside!!! Here are a few pictures from the festivities....



The AMAZING cake my neighbor friend Angie made. It was so beautiful and tasted so yummy!!!! We had a tea party theme, so that's why it's a teapot.



All dressed up for the tea party!!!


Waiting for everyone to arrive!


A little arrangement of pink roses Abby and I made for the kitchen table in my teapot...




Opening gifts!!!






Olivia wanted to help and Abby was nice enough to let her peel away some of the paper.




Uncle Matt and cousin Andew


Piper was super tired from all the entertaining she did yesterday!!!! Today we're just hanging out and watching the Bears game. It's a long shot, but maybe they'll win!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Wendy's Chili

I made this awesome chili recipe in my crockpot the other week and it was pretty darn good! It's a great recipe and tastes similar to the Wendy's chili which I love. Here it goes!!!

2 lbs ground beef (WHAT!!?? I actually used some frozen hamburger patties...3
them, just cooked them on the stove first and chopped them up!)
29 oz can tomato sauce
14.5 oz can kidney beans, drained
14.5 oz can pinto beans, drained
small can diced green chilies
2-14.5 oz cans diced tomato with green peppers and onions
1/4 cup diced celery
2 tsp cumin
3 Tbsp chili powder (I thought this was a bit much, so I only added 2)
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
2 cups water

1. Brown ground beef in skillet over medium heat; drain off fat and crumble.

2. In large pot, combine beef and all other ingredients. Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook for 2-3 hours. Stir occasionally.

Makes about 12 servings. We like to serve it with crackers and cheese OR tortilla chips, sour cream and cheese. You can also make this and freeze it for several months.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Rock the Vote!

*WARNING*********** Explicit lyrics in the VERY first song on the playlist. Turn speakers down if kids are in the room!*******************

This will be my first, last and only post regarding the upcoming election. I haven't talked to too many people about it thus far. There has been much controversy, heated arguments and just such an overall feeling of division among people over who is the better candidate. I have researched both parties, read as much as I could and made my decision. I am super stoked to go and vote on Tuesday!!! So in honor of that, I made my very own 'Rock the Vote' playlist. Regardless of your political ties, I think you can see where I am coming from with my song choices. Some songs were chosen for their titles, some where chosen for the lyrical meaning and some were chosen for the name of the band. There are songs each generation can relate to and enjoy. I am sure I will be adding lots more songs as the week goes on, but for now I hope you check out what's here. It's a pretty good start! Take some time and listen to the lyrics. Whether you've already cast your ballot or you're heading out on Tuesday, I hope this little soundtrack makes you think...... about all we have to be thankful for as a great country and all of the tough issues we're facing. Sometimes it's easy to feel divided, but we're all the same on election day. Rich or poor, black or white, christian or jew.... we all have the right to go out and vote. So rock it!!!! Rock the vote!!!! And enjoy the music too.....


About Blogging Molly

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I am a mom to three great kids - Ethan is 12, Abby is 9 and Lulu (Olivia) is 5. I've been married to my highschool sweetheart for almost fourteen years. I love to paint, renovate and live for anything DIY. I love music and I love to bake. I also teach dance at a local studio. Thanks for stopping by my blog!!!

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