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It Seems Like Some Thanksgiving Goodness is Needed Today

Last night is still sitting heavy in my heart this morning, so we are taking pause to just be quiet and thankful for the goodness and beauty that is around us. As I am writing this, my three girls are sitting in the sunshine making a strand of beads for our Thanksgiving tree. I am listening to one of our old Thanksgiving mixes and watching the flurry of activity out on my window bird feeder. I’m feeling like we need to be a little extra gentle with each other today. Here are some little bits of re-centering Thanksgiving goodness that are bringing me joy today.

A New Thanksgiving Playlist we put together for 2016 –


These really wonderful Chocolate Chip Zucchini muffins. Warmed up with a little butter, they make everything feel like its going to be OK.
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A lovely stack of Thanksgiving books from our local library inspired by this reading list.

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Write a note to someone today to tell them you are thankful for them. Here is a thank-you-note-printable I designed to get you started. Print as many as you like 🙂
(Click the link to open a printable pdf that is already sized and ready to print. I think it works best on cardstock paper, but whatever you have on hand will work.)

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Harvest Moon Playlist and More

Tonight is the harvest moon so we thought it was high time to make a new autumn “Moon” themed playlist. I love how old-fashioned and mellow this mixtape is. Enjoy!

 


And, just for fun, here is our Harvest Moon themed table/art/reading for the day. Lots of these inspired by the book “Exploring Nature” with Children by Lynn Seddon which I have been loving.

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And finally a Poem for the evening –

The Harvest Moon by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

It is the Harvest Moon! On gilded vanes
And roofs of villages, on woodland crests
And their aerial neighbourhoods of nests

Deserted, on the curtained window-panes
Of rooms where children sleep, on country lanes

And harvest-fields, its mystic splendour rests!

Gone are the birds that were our summer guests,

With the last sheaves return the labouring wains!

All things are symbols: the external shows

Of Nature have their image in the mind,
As flowers and fruits and falling of the leaves;

The song-birds leave us at the summer’s close,

Only the empty nests are left behind,
And pipings of the quail among the sheaves.

 

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Spring Cleaning Workin’ Playlist

Spring Cleaning to me is about opening the windows, turning up the music, and rolling up your sleeves to really dig in and get the grim out. Here is a fun Workin’ Mix we curated to get you going.

1. Whistle While You Work – Disney
2. Whip It – Devo
3. Happy Working Song – Amy Adams
4. So Fresh, So Clean – OutKast
5. Another One Bites The Dust – Queen
6. Takin’ Care of Business – Bachman-Turner Overdrive
7. Working for The Weekend – Loverboy
8. Working in a Coal Mine – Devo
9. Get a Job – The Silhouettes
10. Yakety Yak – The Coasters
11. Washing Dishes – Jack Johnson
12. Whistle While You Work – Louis Armstrong

Saint Patricks Day Playlist: So Much GREEN

Last March Tim gathered a list of favorite St. Patties day songs from friends on our facebook page. Here is the entire compilation in its fullness. It is definitely worth a listen on this under-celebrated holiday of greenness.

1. Whiskey in The Jar – The Dubliners
2. I’ll Tell Me Ma – The Chieftains
3. The State of Massachusetts – Dropkick Murpheys
4. The Wild Rover – The Dubliners
5. Star of The County Down – The High Kings
6. Star of The County Down – The Irish Rovers
7. The Foggy Dew – The Clancy Brothers
8. A Parting Glass – Glen Hansard
9. Galway Girl – Mundy
10. Dancing at the Crossroads – The Crossing
11. The Parting Glass- The Clancy Brothers
12. Bold Riley – The Wailin’ Jennys
13. The Kesh Jig – The Bothy Band
14. The Wind that Shakes the Barley – Solas
15. The Foggy Dew – The Chieftains
16. The Rocky Road to Dublin – The Dubliners
17. Cardinal Knowledge – Kila
18. The Rising of the Moon – The High Kings
19. Whiskey Your the Devil – Morgenrot World Music
20. The Juice of the barley – The Clancy Brothers
21. Highlander’s Farewell to Ireland – Alasdair Fraser
22. Two Jigs – Tommy Peoples
23. Psalm 23 – Eden’s Bridge
24. Maudabawn Chapel – Martin Byrnes
25. Music for a Found Harmonium – Patrick Street
26.The Rocky Road to Dublin – The High Kings
27. The Valley of Strathmore – Silly Wizard
28. When Irish Eyes are Smiling – The Irish Tenors
29 Who Threw the Overalls in Mrs. – The Limerick Rovers
30. Whiskey in the Jar – Waxies Dargle
31. The Wild Rover – The Blarney Lads
32. The Foggy Dew – The Dublin Ramblers
33. Black Velvet Band – the Kilkenny Brothers
34. Ramblin Irishmen – Spailpin
35. Mountain Dew – The Blarney Lads

Love & Arrows: Some Valentines Playlists

Love songs can be pithy, schmoltzy; full of sentiment and cliche’. We’ve tried to avoid all that with these playlists.

Here are two  “mixtapes” full of earnest, beautiful, and creative songs that strike to the core of love in such a way that we can believe it.

The first playlist “Love & Arrows” is on Betony Coons’ spotify and available for listen below.

The second playlist is from just throwing the question out there on Facebook, “What song would you/ did you play at your wedding?” The answers were really beautiful to hear! The long playlist called “Our Song” and is below as well!

 

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MLK Day Playlist: “In Protest”

The first time I realized that there is such a thing as a “protest” song was in high school. One of the films they were showing about the civil rights movement kept coming back to people belting out “We Shall Overcome”. As a young man, I was so moved. That people can use music to rally around an idea that brings about change- that’s powerful.

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we made a playlist filled with songs about changing the world around us for the better (curated by Betony, myself, and many other contributors). Here’s our current list. What would you add? Feel free to put song suggestions in the comments.

 

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Midnight Matins Playlist

 Several years ago I had to work on Christmas Eve, which is a common hangup when in ministry. But Betony and I still wanted to be home on Christmas, celebrating with her family. So we devised a plan to make the long late night drive awesome.

We began the 8 hour car ride at 9 that night. We packed some intentional surprises, like opening our stockings and favorite car-trip snacks. But the most memorable thing we did was celebrate Midnight Matins.

My best friends growing up were Catholic and they would go to their church service at the stroke of 12 AM. I always felt there was something intriguing about trudging through the cold as the clock struck with full-tolls for a late worship experience.

So Betony and I had our own Midnight Matins. When the digital car-clock hit 12 we played a CD of 10 songs. These songs corresponded with readings of scripture Betony would say aloud and she had pictures of ancient artwork she’d printed that embodied the different parts of the nativity story.

Here is our playlist of the Midnight Matins. As you can see we sometimes got creative with it. We hope it brings mystery and depth to your season as it still does for us.

Midnight Matins Playlist

Once in Royal David’s City • Choir of King’s College, Cambridge

Hark, The Herald Angels Sing  • Vince Guaraldi Trio

Messiah, oratorio: For Unto Us a Child is Born  •  The London Philharmonic Orchestra
Peace on Earth  • Disney Studio Chorus & Donald Novis
Mary  • Patty Griffin
Dickens’ Dublin  • Loreena McKennitt
Lo! How a Rose E’re Blooming  • Linda Ronstadt

Ding Dong! Merrily on High • Chanticleer
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing  • Choir of King’s College, Cambridge
We Three Kings  • Sufjan Stevens
Magnificat • Mary Behan Miller

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Thanksgiving Music Playlist

          When I choose music for a Thanksgiving playlist a couple of things are at play- theme and feel. I search for songs that deal with the theme of “thanks” for sure, but I also try to choose some of the classic American music of the past, like The Platters or Elvis’ gospel music or Bing Crosby. The result is a warm sounding, roots kind of playlist with lots of gratitude in the lyrics.

Now Thank We All Our God • Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Amazing Grace  • Elvis Presley
Give Thanks  • The Platters
A Mighty Fortress is Our God  • Chris Rice
Shenandoah  • Chanticleer
Homeward Bound  • Simon & Garfunkel
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving  • Vince Guaraldi Trio

I’ve Got Plenty to Be Thankful For • Bing Crosby

One Voice  • The Wailin’ Jennys
We Gather Together  • Quicny Choral Society

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Autumn Leaves Playlist

Autumn Leaves
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There is a change in the wind that happens come September. I think the trees are the first to recognize the chill and they respond accordingly. I respond by collecting songs that depict this season’s change from the heat of summer to the cool of autumn. 

Autumn Leaves • Nat “King” Cole
Autumn Serenade  • John Coltrane
Great Pumpkin Waltz • Vince Guaraldi
Forever Autumn • Moody Blues
I See Darkness • Johnny Cash
Leaves that are Green • Simon & Garfunkel
Autumn Shade • The Vines
Last Days of Summer • The Cure
Autumn in New York • Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
The Boys of Summer • Don Henley
Sun it Rises • Fleet Foxes
Autumn Leaves • Ed Sheeran