Thursday, December 23, 2010


so i've been making stuff lately. lots of good dinners and baked goods, and then this weekend, i made chapstick. yup, real chapstick. and it doesn't taste like plastic.

my sister-in-law has a sweet blog all about natural living and homemaking. It's pretty interesting and gives me lots of good ideas, like the chapstick, which was inexpensive and easy.

the other night i had a beef stew from martha stewart in the oven and baked my favorite almond cookies. almond paste is kind of expensive, but so worth it - and requires a visit to the dutch store. hup holland!

a couple of recent favorites:

pasta with pancetta and leeks from the pioneer woman: oh my this woman knows how to dress up the noodles. you will never be the same.

sausage and mushroom ragu from cooking light: added a little red wine to the sauce and pan-fried rounds of polenta. amazing and more importantly, easy.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

page cxvi

My husband loves to worship. He plays the guitar and used to lead worship at his church and loves good bands. He gets into his music. He also loves songs about the Lord and for the Lord that actually say something rich and meaningful. It's one of my favorite things about him.

When we were dating, he sent me this one song in particular - a version of Doxology by this band called Page CXVI. Strange name - we used to just call them "pages" or "page cxcvvcxicmi" - which I later found out was a quote from a CS Lewis book (see below).

Anyway, the arrangement is beautiful. Rich. Layered and delicate, but so powerful. We wanted to incorporate into our wedding, but in the end decided not to. Then last week, we saw them live at a house concert. They ended with Doxology, saying that they had sung it in their wedding. So rad!

Page CXVI basically took songs I have sung for years and made them new again. Check them out...

And, from their website about the name of the band:
The name comes from a reference to page 116 in our copy of The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis. It is a poignant passage where Aslan begins to sing Narnia into creation out of a black void.

It starts, “In the darkness something was happening at last. A voice had begun to sing. It was very far away and Digory found it hard to decide from what direction is was coming. Sometimes it seemed to come from all directions at once. Sometimes he almost thought it was coming out of the earth beneath them. Its lower notes were deep enough to be the voice of the earth herself. There were no words. There was hardly even a tune. But it was, beyond comparison, the most beautiful noise he had ever heard. It was so beautiful he could hardly bear it.”
~ C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

i want to read this

Calvin College, my alma mater, hosts the January Series every year and I'm always interested in who they find to come speak at a small college in Michigan in one of the coldest months of the year. Maybe they just want to enjoy a little (or A LOT) of snow.

So the list this year is okay - they have one of the cofounders of Kiva which will probably be interesting. But if I were there, I would be sure to see Father Boyle, a Jesuit priest who wrote a book about the work he's done with gang members in Los Angeles. The book is called Tattoos on the Heart - The Power of Boundless Compassion. It's been on the bestseller list for the LA Times for a while. And I love books about sociology. Getting from the library now.

A couple others I've read that I recommend:

Gang Leader for a Day - about a sociology major in South Chicago who gets the inside scoop on drug dealing and gangs

Whatever It Takes - about Geoffrey Canada and his quest for good education in Harlem

Relentless Pursuit - follows a group of new graduates who dive headfirst into teaching through the intense Teach for America program