Tag Archives: Music I Love

My 3 Favorite Christmas Albums

29 Nov

Behold the Lamb of God (Andrew Peterson)-This album beautifully walks you through Scripture from Genesis to the birth of Jesus. After all, Jesus was God’s plan, our Rescuer (thank you for that marvelous imagery, Sally Lloyd-Jones) since sin entered humanity with Adam and Eve. Do you know the story? If not, follow the journey with Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God. Also, go buy a ticket and go to the Behold the Lamb of God concert while you’re at it! You’ll love Peterson’s clever song to connect the Old Testament to the New Testament (or buy the book to read along as you sing it), and you Mommas will resonate with “Labor of Love.” Also, there is a book with 25 readings for Advent bearing the same title as the album which goes along with the CD and can be used daily during Advent to focus your heart and mind on Christ this season.

Advent Songs (Sojourn Church)These familiar Christmas carols are given a musical, folk-inspired face lift. I can not stop listening to this album. I even find myself listening to it throughout the year. These songs have deep meaning to me having enjoyed them since childhood, but the updated musical score is inspiring, heart-stirring, worshipful. Love, love, love, love this. It was put together by Sojourn Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

Handel’s Messiah- I don’t remember when I was first introduced to Handel’s Messiah-maybe it was high school. I don’t exactly recall. It’s rather ironic that as a a teenager and young adult I embraced this classical work; I was not a classical music fan. However, the words pulled me in, and even today, I marvel at the words from Isaiah 53. This text was the inspiration and basis of Handel’s Messiah, and they tell exactly, specifically, prophetically of Jesus hundreds of years before He arrived in a stable in Bethlehem. Our 8 year old son has been memorizing Isaiah 53 in his Sunday School class this year, and I can hardly hear the words without tears streaming down my face. “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5) Thank you, God, for this beautiful gift, wrapped in a babe, the One who would take on my sin and whose sinless perfection would be transferred to me. Awestruck, dumbfounded am I. Celebrate Christ this year (and all throughout the year) with Handel’s Messiah. Hallelujah!

What are your favorite Christmas albums? May the gift of music stir your heart, soul and mind to worship Christ this season.

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Yummy Sugar Cookies= “Decorate, Decorate” Christmas tradition is nigh!

29 Nov

IMG_6912We have a tradition that we stumbled upon over the last few years. Yes, I would like to admit that it was masterfully orchestrated and that I always think through the creation of such traditions. However, several years ago while putting up the Christmas tree, our sons asked where the cookies were and when we would decorate them. It was only then that I remembered that we had previously baked and decorated sugar cookies the same day we decorated our Christmas tree. At that moment, I quickly whipped up some sugar cookies and icing. A tradition was born. To read more about this marvelous adventure, read this post from last year’s archives.

Tonight, there is sugar cookie dough being made in my Kitchen Aid Mixer, which means only one thing this time of year…”Decorate, Decorate” day at the Mosleys will soon take place. On “Decorate, Decorate” day, we decorate our Christmas tree and follow with a sugar fest decoration fest involving sugar cookies and icing! Thanks to my 2 friends, Julie and Julie, for these wonderful recipes that I’ll share with you now. So, tomorrow we will unwrap boxes containing a tree and ornaments, crank up Behold the Lamb of God, make fun memories and try to actively put up our tree (so that I can burn off come calories from Thanksgiving. Whoazees!)

Yummy Sugar Cookies

my dear friend, Julie’s great-grandmother’s recipe

3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
4 T milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter*
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

 *Julie’s original recipe calls for 1 cup shortening. I didn’t have any, so I used 1 cup butter instead. The substitution worked fine.

1) Mix flour, powder, soda and salt.

2) Cut in butter/shortening.

3) Beat eggs, add sugar, vanilla and milk and add this all into the flour mix. (It works best to refrigerate the dough minimally for several hours. I make my dough one day ahead and chill overnight. After chilling for several hours to overnight, I remove dough and let chill slightly. This makes step #4 a little easier.)

4) Roll out dough and use your favorite cookie cutters!

5) Bake at 325 degrees for 8-10 min.

6) Ice and decorate to your heart’s content. (Icing recipe below.)

Sugar Cookie Icing
You can use store bought or make your own! It’s basically just a mixture of powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. If you’re like me, you need exact measurements. :) Here’s an exact one from my other friend, Julie:

3 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. milk (approximately)
1 tsp. almond OR lemon OR vanilla extract

You basically just play with these 3 ingredients until you get the consistency that you want. If glaze is too runny, add more powdered sugar. If glaze is too stiff, add more milk. After I get the consistency I want, I divide into smaller bowls and add food coloring. I like Wilton’s the best! I used a 40% off coupon @ Michael’s to buy the Wilton set. :)