Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Highlights from Handel's Messiah by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

I'm helping you prep for a Christmas in July celebration! Did you know that the acclaimed Mormon Tabernacle Choir  and the Orchestra at Temple Square has performed and recorded the entire production of Handel's Messiah? I was fortunate enough to receive a review copy of this exquisite masterpiece featuring Sonya Yoncheva, Tamara Mumford, Rolando Villazon, and Bryn Terfel, with Mack Wilberg conducting.

This is an amazing collection of music. If you don't have Handel's Messiah in your collection, then get it now. It's one of those rare creations that is timeless, inspiring, and wonderful at any time of the year.
I always get chills when I listen to the Hallelujah chorus. I think I especially love the Messiah because I sang some of the songs in college choir and it was an unforgettable experience.

One thing I've noticed is that this type of music, specifically some of the instrumental music is soothing to my children. I have a 5 year old who is absolutely nuts, but he loves music. I've caught him several times with CDs like this in his room, just listening, bobbing his head to the beat. It's remarkable to me because I am often exhausted by his ironclad will (read stubborness) but there is something about music that speaks to a different part of him.

Try something new today. Listen to a piece of classical music and find out how it affects your house.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Christ-Centered Home Book Review

Today I'd like to share a wonderful new book called The Christ-Centered Home: Inviting Jesus in by Emily Belle Freeman.

This book is a collection of lessons or devotionals focusing on how to bring a knowledge of Christ and His messages to the entire family. There are several lessons with stories, personal anecdotes, scriptures, questions and answers and thoughts to teach, inspire, and build a stronger relationship with our savior Jesus Christ.

There are 12 lessons with the idea to focus on each lesson for one month to cover a year of coming closer to Christ. I like how each section is short, inspiring, and easy to incorporate into a busy life. I like the challenges, promises, and ideas shared. Emily Freeman is a wonderful nonfiction writer and I've read and enjoyed many of her books previously. I'm looking forward to implementing these lessons into my home over the next year. So far, I've especially loved the second month, "Expect Miracles." Just the title of that section is inspiring. To think of living our lives to expect miracles because we have been promised so many when we keep God's commandments, do our best, and notice all of our blessings.

Here's a little more about the book:
The Christ-Centered Home is more than a book about faith. It teaches 12 practical Biblical lessons that will fortify your reader’s homes and empower their children to resist the unsteadiness of the world. 

This book can help families by offering valuable lessons such as:
·         How to empower your children to resist peer pressure by weaving uplifting conversations into your family’s everyday routine.
·         How to stop seeing the messy reality of your life as a roadblock by allowing the teaching of Jesus to fill the intimate spaces of your home.
·         How to find grace in the ordinary.
·         How to, with intention, create a home where He would choose to abide.

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, June 20, 2016

How 4 Feet of Plywood Saved the Grand Canyon by Jerry Borrowman

I was lucky enough to be part of the blog tour for a  new book by Jerry Borrowman. How 4 Feet of Plywood Saved the Grand Canyon is a unique nonfiction book featuring 8 inspiring little-known stories from American history.
I gave this book to my dad for Father's Day and it is the perfect gift. I'd never heard of the Halifax Explosion and the story behind the Boston Christmas tree and that's just one of the interesting stories included.
The Teton Dam was of specific interest to me because my parents helped with the cleanup of that disaster and I remember hearing stories about it.

This book is well-written, with small details that would be hard to find from a regular online search. It's a great conversation starter, coffee table book, and great gift for Dads.

Here's a little more about the book:

History turns on small points. From the world's most catastrophic game of chicken to the nail-biting success story at the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River, discover fascinating events you've probably never heard of. In this collection of eight true stories from the forgotten pages of history, learn about disasters caused by human error as well as calamities avoided by quick and clever thinking—the lawsuit that launched Abraham Lincoln's political career, the collapse of the Teton Dam, the invention that revolutionized the world of sound, and more. This book is truly love at first sight for lovers of history.
Purchase your copy at your favorite bookstore or online.



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