Monday, November 29, 2010

fun christmas music...

with christmas upon us, i thought i would share some of my favorite fun christmas songs.  after all, as a dj, that is my forte.  so here you go. my top christmas songs: (feel free to add your favorites in the comment section)

top 30 christmas songs (in no particular order... i do not have that much time)
1. all i want for christmas is you by mariah carey
2. merry christmas, happy holidays by nsync
3. jingle bell rock by bobby helms
4. rockin' around the christmas tree by brenda lee
5. a holly jolly christmas by burl ives
6. i want a hippopotamus for christmas by gayla peevey
7. pennies from heaven by louis prima (even though it technically is not a christmas song, but its on elf)
8. silent night by sarah mclachlan
9. i've got my love to keep me warm by dean martin
10. blue christmas by elvis presley
11. frosty the snowman by harry connick jr
12. let it snow by ella fitzgerald
13. jingle bells by wayne newton
14. santa baby by eartha kitt
15. a marshmallow world (live) by dean martin and frank sinatra
16. i'll be home for christmas by michael buble
17. christmastime is here by vince guaraldi trio (from charlie brown)
18. the christmas song by frank sinatra w/ bing crosby (nat king cole's version is good too)
19. mele kalikimaka by bing crosby
20. baby, its cold outside by leon redbone & zooey deschanel
21. we need a little christmas by the muppets
22. sleigh ride by ella fitzgerald
23. winter wonderland by tony bennett or peggy lee (it is a toss up between versions)
24. white christmas by dean martin
25. ave maria by josh groban
26. o come, o come emmanuel by christy nockels
27. god rest ye merry gentlemen by jars of clay
28. grandma got run over by a reindeer by elmo & patsy
29. the happiest christmas tree by nat king cole
30. rudolph the red-nosed reindeer by jack johnson

and as an added bonus - 12 days of christmas by relient k.  if your kids are in kidstuff or have been to winterfest at pine cove, they will know motions to this song. :)

what are your favorites? what do i need to buy to increase my library?

Monday, November 22, 2010

jesus storybook bible...aka best book ever!

this blog is long overdue! i cannot believe that i have not blogged about this before.  but another great resource for advent, and for life in general, is the jesus storybook bible by sally lloyd jones. seriously if you have kids, you need to buy this ASAP.  if you do not have kids, you still need to buy it.  it will definitely help you love jesus more.

this book goes through most of the stories in the bible and explains them in a way that is fun and engaging for kids and puts it in a way that is understandable for them.  but the best thing about this book is that it takes every story and shows you how it points to jesus or god sending jesus.  this book has helped me see how each story is a reminder of god's never ending, relentless love for us in keeping his promise to send his son.

this year in preparation for advent, we are using several of these stories to prepare the kids for the birth of jesus.  this book helps us see how the plan for jesus to come has been from the beginning. 

and just a fair word of warning, this book has made me cry many times! if you are reading it to kids or just to yourself know that tears can happen at any time.  so go ahead and order it, for yourself, your kids or as a gift!

you can also order this book in spanish here: Biblia para ninos, Historias de Jesus / The Jesus Storybook Bible: Cada historia susurra su nombre / Every story whispers his name (Spanish Edition)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

walton's [sandra's deli]...

so sandra bullock lives here in austin (though i have yet to see her here).  it would be a dream of mine to run into her and have a long conversation about life.  i think we would hit it off and be great friends. but i digress.  

sandra (i will refer to as if we are already friends) owns two restaurants in town.  bess bistro (which i have heard is good, but i have yet to try) and walton's fancy and staple.  my friends and i ventured down to walton's a few weeks ago.  it is a cute little deli/shop down on west 6th street.  it was tasty, but the atmosphere is what makes the place. SO CUTE!  i felt like i was in a small town.  there are better sandwiches in town, but you should experience this place at least one and it is a fun place to take out of town people.  i will go back simply in hopes to see sandra!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

chosen: marathon for adoption... check.

back in october, i ran my third half marathon. it was the chosen marathon for adoption.  it was the first year for this race, so it was fun, but it was not like the big city races.  the race route rural and was in new braunfels, pretty but with killer hills. however, the cause behind this race was huge.  money from this race goes to help families adopt.  we had a big crew from the austin stone run it as a team (about 40 i think) and a portion of all of our registration fees will go directly to the austin stone's adoption fund, which has already been used for grants and interest free loans to help families adopt. a pretty great reason to run.

this race was different for me for several reasons.  one, i had to start training in july.  i don't think i need to remind you that july in texas is life being on the face of the sun.  so it was hot.  too hot. i don't plan on training during that time ever again for as long as i live in texas.

two, i was crazy busy this fall.  and training for any race takes time.  you spend hours running. you have to watch what you eat and drink. you have to make sure you get enough sleep, etc.  all good things, but things that took a back burner to my schedule. needless to say, i was not as ready for this race as i would have liked. midway through the training, i gave up on finishing in under two hours. 

third, i have never run a race with so many people i knew before.  most of us had the same running shirt so we could spot one another.  this was helpful because there were not many people out on the course cheering us on.  in fact, the course was an out and back kind of course. so you got to see everyone running the race at some point.  it was great to cheer on each other (kind of like a biblical picture...)  i started thinking about it while running (since i had 2 hours to myself) and actually started crying at one point - not good when one is trying to breathe and run.

my roomies came out to cheer me on and they also happened to be the first people i saw when i crossed the finish line.  i might have cried again if i hadn't felt like i was going to puke.

GTB was excited to see me run and to wear my medal.  he wanted to race me after to show me his speed.
olivia painted the boys' chests.  as you can see, deuce loves me and donuts!

here are a few of the women i ran with. victory!
and after the race, i treated myself to relaxing at rachel's lake house. check out that sunset!

Friday, November 19, 2010

mary margaret tells the story of jonah...

i came across this via somone's twitter post. so cute! i am thinking about recruiting this girl for kidstuff.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

family tradition: the state fair of texas...

since my parents moved back to texas about 5 years ago (i think) it has become a new tradition to go to the state fair. and i love it!  my brother was not able to fly in from san diego this year, but my parents and i went for my dad's 50th birthday.  and boy was it fun.  when we do this, we make it an all day affair.  i think this year we were out there from 11am until 7pm.  we hit just about every exhibit and try as many fried foods as possible.  here are a few pics of our adventure...
excited to try the fried beer.

highly disappointed. fried beer... so gross. gagging thinking it.
the rents and big tex!

me and my mama with big tex.

hoping this is better than the beer.

and it was! much better.

testing out the tempur pedic beds.

checking out the livestock. rooster.

duck with afro.

LOTS of bacon.

john deere.

frozen pickle juice. the salty popsicle.

my dream truck. ahhhh...

bumper cars with mom and dad.

fried peanut butter and jelly. my favorite! so good!

come thou long expected jesus...

this is another book that i purchased in order to do research on advent.  it has 22 readings in it from authors such a martin luther, john calvin, jonathan edwards, and john piper. i have only read a few so far, but it has been good for my heart to stop and focus on what this season means.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

glory in the highest & behold the lamb...

i love me some christmas music!  in fact i own 24 hours of it - that's 430 songs - perhaps i have a problem.  anyway, christmas music is fun but not all of it is worshipful. i mean who doesn't love "merry christmas, happy holidays" by nsync or "all i want for christmas is you" by mariah carey??? classics. but not exactly the music that gets my heart ready for the coming of my king.  (nothing wrong with listening to them by the way, i plan on it)

these two albums however, are worth every penny (and they are cheaper on amazon than in itunes right now).  music is one of the ways i connect easily to the lord, so these two albums have really helped me worship christ during this season.

chris tomlin's album glory in the highest takes some familiar christmas songs that perhaps we have forgotten due to their familiarity and calls us back to worship. i love his version of "joy to the world" and "angels we have heard on high."  (we will likely use those in kidstuff)  "come though long expected jesus" is another favorite of mine (and not just because it is sung by christy nockels). anyway, most of the songs you have heard before, but these are some of the most worshipful versions i have heard.  so just go ahead and buy it. you won't regret it.

andrew peterson's behold the lamb of god album is SO GOOD!  it is not your typical, play in the background music.  it is the kind of music that you need to pay attention to.  the entire album tells a story, the story of jesus coming starting with the old testament.  it is PERFECT for advent. in fact , if you have a chance to see this live, you need to go. i got to see it three years ago, and it messed me up! it was by far the most worshipful thing i did that christmas.  it is not a cheesy christian concert (like i thought it was going to be). check here for tour dates. also, you need to buy the whole album, don't pick and choose songs on this one.  you really need to hear the whole thing to hear the whole story.  my favorite songs on the album are "deliver us", "labor of love", "behold the lamb of god".

watch for the light...

i bought this book to use for research on advent.  it is a book with short daily readings beginning november 24th and going through january 7.  i have read a few of the articles in here (mainly the ones by dietrich bonhoeffer and cs lewis) and i like it so far.  i am planning on reading the rest throughout the advent season.  i am sure i will be sharing my thoughts on these as i learn this year.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

preparing for advent...

i have spent the last two weeks doing lots of research on advent to write our december curriculum for kidstuff.  until being at the austin stone, i had only heard of advent but i had little to no experience with it. even over the last few years, i have heard more about it, but i still felt my understanding of it was weak - something about a wreath and some candles, maybe some hope, peace, love and joy in there. this was clearly not enough to write children's curriculum from. so i hit the books and it has been so good for my heart!

advent means "arrival" or "coming". the advent season is a time of year when we are to be preparing our hearts to celebrate the coming and arrival of our king and looking forward to his triumphant return. (similar to the way lent is to prepare you for easter).  this is a great time of year to stop and evaluate. to confess and repent. to dwell on our father's relentless pursuit of us. to remember the hope and grace that came to us in a child. taking time for this is something that is hard to do when it is the most wonderful-busiest time of the year. 

so my hope is to post thoughts, songs, books and resources on here that the lord is using to prepare my heart to celebrate his coming.

come, thou long-expected jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

alamo drafthouse sing-alongs...

so one of my favorite things in austin is to go to sing-alongs at a local movie theater here in town, called the alamo drafthouse. the drafthouse has different sing-alongs all the time. 

"what goes on at these?" you ask. well  each one is themed (i.e. michael jackson, justin timberlake, ladies of the 80's, etc).  they play music videos that fit the theme and they have the words one the screen and everyone sings along. literally.  i have left these things hoarse!  they often have props that you get too (glowsticks or flashing rings) and other fun surprises. sometimes people dress up according to the theme, as you will see below and people dance in the aisles or on the stage and well it is just awesome!  if you are an out of town friend, i am going to for sure try to take you to one of these!
this month, i got to go to two of these.  for my friend, olivia's birthday, we went to a michael jackson sing-along and my friend sarah got us up into the balcony.  that is why we are sitting in awesome recliners!!  we had our own dance space and it was awesome!  we made olivia wear a sequin glove in honor of michael to this sing-along.

this was my third time to go to a michael jackson one (clearly i LOVE his music). so fun! i had forgotten that michael's music videos are like short films. i think that bad is like 15 minutes long.

just two weeks ago, i went to a beyonce and jay-z sing along. i think this was in honor of beyonce's announcement that she is pregnant.
 as you can see, we decided to dress up! and it was awesome.  there were about 12 of us that went together, which made it even more fun!  one of my favorite outfits, not pictured here, was a jean jumper. i am going to have to find one!  but for now,  my tiger sequin shirt and my pleather leggings aren't so bad.
me, sadie, natalie, and whitney

cassie! old roomie reunion. this girls LOVES some beyonce!
i love that kimberly lives here now! kindred spirits!

Monday, November 8, 2010

juan in a million...

i love breakfast tacos! and that is the number one item on the menu at juan in a million.  i have no idea if the rest of their menu is good, but the don juan (el taco grande) is what you go for.  it is mound of eggs, cheese, bacon, and potatoes.  and it is awesome!  each don juan makes at least 3-4 normal breakfast tacos and it only costs around $4 depending on how many tortillas you get.  if you want to change up the don juan, you can have them make it however you would like, but i prefer the orginal!

juan in a million is located on east cesar chavez and is what you would describe as a hole in the wall.  but if you go on a saturday or sunday be prepared to wait.  this is place is good and everyone in town knows it!  i think it is worth the wait personally. 

if you order any drinks but tea and water, beware that they come in cans or bottles (no refills).

my friends staci and emily enjoying their special order don juans.
and juan (the owner) usually comes around to great and thank everyone in his restaurant.  which i think is awesome!