Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gift of the Magi

I bought some new essential oils today and brought Oliver into the kitchen to test 'em out. Ever since he was a toddler, he's had an extraordinary sense of smell and learned early on how to experience the world through his nose. I was excited about two of the bottles, frankincense and myrrh, and wanted him to guess what they were before smelling them.

"They were two of the three gifts the Three Kings brought to Jesus," I hinted.

"Frankincense!" he guessed right away.

"Yep! What else?" I coaxed.


"Yes, that's one of the gifts but it's not one of my oils, " I answered.

He sat for a moment with a perplexed look on his face. More time passed but still he could not guess the third one. Finally he looked up at me and took a stab in the dark.


Monday, November 15, 2010


Oliver (in all sincerity): Dad, can I pretend like I'm a hawk every morning and come in and land on you to wake you up?

Brooks (in all sincerity): Oliver, can I pretend like I'm a boulder every morning and come in and drop on you to wake you up?

Oliver: Yes.

Brooks: And crush you?

Oliver: Yes.

New Music for Sunday

And for the rest of the week, for that matter. But first, the non-related visual interest:

This was taken with my phone the day we went up to the reservoir right after school. Oliver said to me, "Mom, my favorite thing is to see the reflection of the trees in the water." I loved how he observed this because, in fact, it was beautiful. You can see a little bit of it in the water behind us with some of the snow-dusted mountain caps as well. Another thing I like about this photo is 1) that Oliver let me take it and 2) how I can see a hint of what he's going to look like as a teenager. He's growing up.

So about the music. I was just thinking this morning how I've wanted to recommend some new music for a while now. Both albums are of traditional Christian and spiritual hymns but in a different or updated style that appeals to me. I have a lot of spiritual music in my collection on terms of classical choral pieces but I haven't come across any 18th and 19th century standard hymn collections I like. Until now, that is. Mindy turned me on to both of them this last year.

The first album is called "Nearer: A New Collection of Favorite Hymns" performed by various artists. It's not your mother's LP, that's for sure. Long overdue. "Be Still, My Soul" and "It Is Well With My Soul" are two of my favorites.

The other is "The Lower Lights - A Hymn Revival" also performed by various artists in a folk and bluegrass style. I promise you've never heard "If You Could Hie to Kolob" like the rendition here. Some of my faves: "'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus" and "There Is A Green Hill Far Away".

Both are available on iTunes. Check 'em out and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fall Back

Last week I went running up along Wasatch Boulevard, at least that was my plan. I stumbled on the mouth a a trail and thought, "What the heck?" and took off. I was abundantly rewarded at the top of the first stretch by a gorgeous view of a small reservoir. The glassy water was surrounded by the last of the colored mountain leaves. Further on up I came onto the stream that empties into the lake. It was so beautiful and peaceful that I knew I was coming back soon and bringing the boys with me. A few days later was an early release from school so we headed straight for the hills after I picked them up.

They loved it.

Sunday morning we invited Brooks to go back up with us. It was the last nice day of the fall and I wanted to soak in every minute of it before the weather turned for good. Much of the fiery color that was there only days before had already dropped or turned dull but it was still gorgeous. The boys and I collected a handful of our favorite leaves to do leaf rubbings later that day. Brooks pointed out signs of wildlife, Oliver fell in the stream as he tried crossing back over, Brahm raced me on the way down (and won). When the calendar offers an extra hour, I gratefully accept.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Secret Message

"INFORMATION: Mom is troubled by something. Probably secret spy gear annoying her."

Note to children: Yes, Mom is troubled by something, namely two little boys who stick their ears (a.k.a. "secret spy gear") to the bedroom door when Mom is trying to have private conversation with Dad.