Thursday, December 30, 2010

Skywatch Friday Thoughts and More

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Lookin' Out My Back Door

I don't remember exactly when I took this photo.  It's been in the past couple of months.  It is a sunrise taken from the deck on the rear of our home.  A wooded green space joins our property and that's why all of the branches are present.  The whole pattern makes for some wonderful sunrise opportunities in the fall and winter.  
Sunrises remind me that God has given me a fresh start.  Lord knows I need a fresh start, because I have usually made a mess of yesterday.  I can spend a few minutes seeking His forgiveness for my less than Christian actions yesterday, seek guidance for today, and pray that He will renew a spirit of obedience within me.  Tomorrow we start, not only a new day, but a new year.  What will you do with the opportunity to start fresh?
The inspirational song for this last day of the year is a reminder of who God is.  He is the "Alpha and Omega".  Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

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Custom designed, personalized, handmade "Sock Monkeys" for the whole Grand Crew.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

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The youngest grand daughter with a sock monkey made by her great aunt (my sister-in-law).  All four of the grand crew got custom made sock monkey's this year.  They were one of the hits of the season at our house.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Music Marathon - The Finale

Merry Christmas!
 "  Don't be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people:  today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David....Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men!"   Luke 2:10-14

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Skywatch Friday, Christmas Marathon Music-Day 24

December Sunset
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After posting only one song from the Gaither Vocal Band during the first two and a half weeks of this Christmas Music Marathon, it seems that this last week is a regular Gaither concert. That's okay, they're among the best in the business and they do some of the most original Christmas music around.
Matthew 28:19-20 tells us to go and make disciples of all people. Most of us would consider the original twelve apostles to be the first messengers of the Good News, but as this song points out Mary Was The First One To Carry The Gospel. Enjoy.

Tomorrow is the final song in this musical journey. I know it is Christmas, but I hope you will take a few minutes to stop by and listen to the final number. I think you will find it worth your time. See you then.
I doubt if I will post much next week. I will be on vacation. I don't have anything special planned for my time off, but I don't think I will be spending much time in front of the computer scheduling posts for the second decade of the new year. I trust that you and your friends, family, and loved ones have a very Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year. May the one true light of this season shine in your life and may He make Himself known to you in a very special way this coming year. Blessings to all.

Okay, one last song before I call it a day.  It is from the same concert at the previous video.  The birth of our Savior does indeed give Christians something to shout about.  Here is Jeff and Sheri Easter singing Something To Shout About.  Enjoy.

That's it. I'm through playin' now. See ya tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Music Marathon-Day 23

We are quickly coming to the end of this journey.  I trust you have found a few new songs that you will be playing in the future during the Holiday Season.  Earlier I posted "Joseph's Lullaby".  Today I give you Amy Grant, singing "Breath of Heaven" (Mary's Song).  Enjoy.

Here is a song that just came to my attention as I was surfing through YouTube. It really tells the story. In the life of every young couple, a baby changes everything. When our Savior entered this world through the womb of a virgin, He changed everything. Once we were all lost, but through Christ, we are found. Indeed, a baby changes everything. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday, Christmas Music Marathon-Day 22

The Many Faces of Santa

The Christmas Music Marathon song, for today, is new to me.  The group, Point of Grace, has been around for a number of years.  When I found this arrangement on YouTube, I knew I had to share it with you.  Here is Point of Grace singing "One King".  Enjoy.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Christmas Music Marathon Day 21

Last week I posted the three trees that are decorated by my wife (and Santa elf). each year.  Today we will take a closer look at a few of the ornaments that adorn the trees.  Here we go.

This first ornament is a ceramic that my wife painted many years ago.  It continues to be one of my favorites.

This little engine was placed on the wreath at my father's memorial service last December.  Dad worked for the Frisco Railroad for 42 years and loved every minute of it.  Trains will always be a special part of my life.

These photo ornaments are on my favorite tree in the house.  You'll have to scroll back to last week's Ruby Tuesday to get the whole story.

The ornaments above and below are from the table top tree in the study.  It has an outdoor theme.  Since I am an architect by profession, the construction worker below was the closet thing my wife could find to represent what I do.

Back to the table top tree.  The Santa above is a part of the display at the base of the "Great Outdoors" tree.  The fishing reel is one I bought my dad over 45 years ago.  It is a collectors item now.  The bear is wearing an OU helmet.  Just look at the blog sidebar to see why that is relevant.

Finally, the ornament below is from the big tree in the living room.  This tree is filled with large, shiny ornaments.  Of course, the tree is 9 feet tall and nearly 6 feet in diameter at the base, so it can handle larger decorations.  Well, I guess that sums up the ornament tour for this year.  Merry Christmas all.

Okay I can't wait any longer.  I was going to save this song for Christmas Eve, but I know most of you will be doing other things that day will not be able to stop by.  Here is another song from, perhaps the best voice in Christian music, David Phelps.  You only think you've heard O Holy Night.  Wait til you hear this.  Turn up the sound and enjoy.

If you are now giving your computer a standing ovation, that's a normal reaction.
Now, you have heard O Holy Night the way it should be sung.  Merry Christmas.

Christmas Music Marathon-Day 20

I almost got through this whole musical journey without featuring one of my favorite groups, the Gaither Vocal Band. That would have just been wrong. The GVB is the most famous and recognizable Southern Gospel Group in the world. They're also the best. Yesterday, I asked the the question, "What is Christmas without Christ?" Today, the Gaithers answer another question, Who is Christ? The Bible tells us, He is to be called, Wonderful Counselor, Emmanuel, Alpha and Omega, Son of David, Savior, Messiah, and the list goes on. The Gaither Vocal Band tell us that "He is Glorious Impossible". Enjoy.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Music Marathon-Day 19

Today's Christmas song is a new melody from a group that has been around a few years.  What is Christmas to you?  Is it a time spent with friends and family, a time spent shopping for gifts?  Is Christmas a time for giving to your favorite charity or homeless shelter?  Is Christmas a season that you look forward to celebrating, or a time when just more stuff gets piled on your already busy schedule?  This song may be asking the most important question of all, "What is Christmas without Christ?"  Think about it.  Without Christ, there is NO Christmas.  Amongst all of the business and celebrations of the season, take a little time out and celebrate the birth of the Savior.  Thank God the Father for the most precious gift, His son, and through Him, eternal life.  Here is "What is Christmas, by Kuteless.  Enjoy.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Music Marathon Day 18

Last Wednesday night we went to a concert at church.  It was NewSong's "Very Merry Christmas" tour.  It was AWSOME!  Loud, but awsome.  Their guests were Newsboys and Kerrie Roberts.  Earlier in this marathon I posted a song by NewSong called "Christmas Shoes".  That song was released in 2000.  It was the inspiration for a book and eventually became a made-for-tv movie.  They have released a new Christmas album and the title cut is called "The Christmas Hope".  Enjoy.

Christmas Music Marathon Day 17

I started this project with an uptempo song from Ernie Hasse and Signature Sound.  I think it's time to hear from the boys again.  This song is from their 2009 Christmas project.  "Every Light That Shines At Christmas". Enjoy

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Skywatch Friday - Christmas Music Marathon - Day 16

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Today the Christmas Music Marathon takes us to the night sky.  When they saw the star, they rejoice with exceeding great joy.  This song is from The Martins.  Enjoy.  Remember, this is a marathon, so songs will be posted through the week-end for your viewing and listening pleasure.

Christmas Music Marathon-Day 15

April 10, 1920 - December 16, 2009

Today is the first anniversary of the passing of my Father.  I loved him and I miss him deeply.  He was my hero in more ways than he could have ever known or I was ever able to express.  I have good days, when I don't think about him at all.  I have good days when I remember him with love.  Then, I have those days when I just hurt, because he's not here.  Every child who loses their last parent knows what I'm talking about.  You have made the transition from child to patriarch.  You have become the oldest generation in the family.
No one truly knows how long dad had that lump in his abdomen that would be diagnosed as cancer in September of 2009.  By the time treatment started the outcome was already known.  On December 16, 2009, dad lost his battle with cancer, but won the victory over death's sting.  Even though dad stepped into the eternity and the arms of Christ, deep down inside I would have loved One Last Christmas.

   I rejoice in the fact that dad's chains are gone, and I look forward to that day when my chains will be broken as well.  The chains of disease, sorrow, and death.  As a Christian, when our days are finished here, our chains will be gone and we will rest in arms of our Savior.  This next video is not a Christmas song.  It is one of the songs from dad's memorial service.  It is one of my favorite arrangements of a classic Hymn.  Here is Chris Tomlin singing "Amazing Grace, My Chains Are Gone".

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Christmas Music Marathon Day 14

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Deck the Halls

So I guess  you already know what song I have chosen for today's Christmas Music Marathon.  Once again, I have gone to a classic arrangement.  Deck The Halls by Bing Crosby.  Enjoy.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Christmas Music Marathon - Day 13

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Each year I take a post or two to share the ornaments that adorn various objects in our home.  After all, I am married to one of Santa's elves, you know.  There are three Christmas trees in our house.  First, there is the "big tree" in the living room.  It is 9 feet tall and is the center of attention.
 The next tree is a 6-1/2 foot "rustic" tree.  It consists of artificial branches inserted into a pine branch trunk.  The tree is less than 3 feet in diameter.  This is my favorite tree in the house.  The reason has to do with the decorations.  Each year I take photos of the grand crew.  We buy photo-frame ornaments, insert the photos and hang them on the tree.  There are now over 40 photos of the grand crew, from their first Christmas until last year, on this tree.  There are also ornaments from mine and my wife's childhood on this tree.  In my case, some of these little red Santa ornaments are sixty years old.  This tree makes me smile every time I walk by it.

Finally, there is the table top tree in the study.  This is officially my tree.  It has an outdoor theme.  The ornaments are all about fishing and the outdoors.  Of course, Santa is in his waders and ready to do some serious angling.

Next week, we'll take a closer look at some of the ornaments and other decorations that make Driller's Place a special place at Christmas.  Don't forget to stop by every day for the Christmas Music Marathon.  Have a very Ruby Tuesday.

The Christmas song today is a new song by a current group.  The song reminds us that our Savior came into this world, unknown to many of the earth's inhabitants. He came while they were sleeping.  The God of all creation lived among us and very few took notice of His presence.  Christ was crucified, buried, and He rose from the dead, and much of  the world was unaware of the event.  However, He, who came into this world as a babe in a manger, will come again as the King of Glory.  The message of this song is not all about Christmas, but it is all about the Savior.  "While You Were Sleeping" by Casting Crowns.  Enjoy.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Music Marathon - Day 12

By now, most of us are either in full Christmas shopping mode. Some of us haven't started yet, while fewer still have finished their search for the perfect gifts to give. We have spent our paycheck, and more, to bring an approving smile to the faces of someone we love. Regardless of the price of the gift, our reward comes from the joy on the face of the recipient. The cost of the gift isn't terribly important, it's the thought that counts. Here is Twila Paris singing, "It's The Thought That Counts".

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Music Marathon - Day 11

I haven't posted a song by a choir yet. Here is a song from one of the best choirs in America. Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir sings Light of The World. Enjoy.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Music Marathon - Day 10

Today I have chosen a traditional Christmas Carol, a traditional arrangement, but a unique group, Celtic Woman.  I saw these women in concert on television about a year ago.  The song, "O Come All Ye Faithful".  Enjoy.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Skywatch Friday - Christmas Music Marathon - Day 9

I captured this sunset on the way home from work last week.  I just had to pull off of the road, enjoy the show, and capture the moment to share with you.
Today the Christmas Music Marathon song is a classic spiritual. I give you two arrangements. First up is Trisha Yearwood. I truly like this arrangement of the song. "Sweet Little Jesus Boy." Enjoy.

The roots of this song are in Black Gospel music.  Perhaps the greatest voice in this genre was Mahalia Jackson. As much as I like the Trisha Yearwood arrangement, this is the way the song was intended to be sung. You can just hear her heart and soul in this song. You can see the joy on her face. Mahalia is not just singing a song, she is worshiping the Lord. Enjoy.

If you haven't been following along with this musical journey, take a few moments, scroll back a few posts and find a song that puts you in the Christmas spirit.  I'm posting a different song every day.  Happy Skywatching all.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Music Marathon - Day 8

One of my favorite artists in all of Christian music is David Phelps. He has a voice that is unmatched in power and range. Here is the title cut from his first Christmas album, Joy Joy. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Christmas Music Marathon - Day 7

 Merry Christmas from the Driller Family

The photo is the Wordless Wednesday part of this post.  Now, on to the next episode of the Christmas Music Marathon.  One of the goals of this musical journey is to find some Christmas music that I haven't heard before and may be new to you.  This is not a new song, because I know that Jonathan Pierce hasn't been in the Gaither Vocal Band for over a decade.  Still, the song is new to me and I wanted to share it with you.  So, here is the Gaither Vocal Band singing, "New Star Shining."  Enjoy.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

Oh look!  Driller has a new Ruby Tuesday badge!  I wonder where that came from? Well gather around and I'll tell you.  Sunday was the first day of Advent and there was a special music presentation at church.  Three of the grand crew were involved.  As a result, they were all dressed in their Christmas finery.  See.

The young lady on the right is the youngest grand daughter and she is all about sparkle.  If it's shiney, she wants to wear it.  Put some glitter on a t-shirt and it becomes her favorite.  Well, she was wearing something that sparkled Sunday.  See.

Her shoes!  As soon as I saw those shoes I thought of Mary and Ruby Tuesday.  This going to make a great Ruby Tuesday badge for the rest of December!  As it turns out, this post is all about shoes.  Ruby shoes in fact.
If you haven't been here in a week or so, you have missed my Christmas Music marathon. I will be posting a Christmas song everyday until Christmas. Today's selection couldn't be more appropriate for a Ruby Tuesday that would honor Mary's new Ruby Tuesday badge and the grand daughter's  Christmas shoes. The song is "Christmas Shoes", by NewSong. Enjoy

Tomorrow is usually Wordless Wednesday.  My post may be wordless, but it won't be void of Christmas music.  See ya tomorrow.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Music Marathon - Day 5

Driller's Place decorated for Christmas 2010

Every year we decorate the exterior of our home with lights. Some people have taken this endeavor to an art form. Some have even set their light show to music. I found this video while looking for something from Manheim Steamroller to post as a part of my Christmas Music Marathon.  If you haven't been keeping up with this endeavor, go ahead and scroll back a few posts.  You might find something you like. Okay, back to this post.  Deck the Halls seems appropriate. Enjoy.

Well, that was fun. How about an encore. Little Drummer Boy.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Music Marathon - Day 4

Saturday night my alma mater, the Oklahoma Sooners, won the Big 12 Championship by defeating the Nebraska Cornhuskers 23-20.  The Huskers are moving to the Big 10 next year.  That move will end a rivalry that stretches back to the mid-sixties.  OU and Nebraska have played for the conference championship more times than most people can remember.  There have been many close games and great moments in college football over the years, when these two teams meet.  That has officially come to an end, with the departure of Nebraska to the Big 10 conference.  The Huskers may have left the conference, but they left the hardware behind.  BOOMER, Sooner!!!
Today my Christmas song focuses on Joseph. It is Joseph's lullaby by Mercy Me. Enjoy.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Music Marathon - Day 3

Kathy Matea says it all in the intro to this song. The lyrics were originally written by Mark Lowery. I have heard several arrangements of this song, but I think Kathy's is still my favorite.

Here is the songwriter singing his own arrangement. You can tell that this is coming from the heart.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Skywatch Friday/Christmas Music Marathon-Day 2

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Day two of my Christmas music marathon will feature a video from Trisha Yearwood.  I happen to believe she may have been the best female vocalist to come along since Linda Ronstadt.  Trisha can sing anything.  This song is from her album, The Sweetest Gift.  The song is called Take a Walk Through Bethlehem.  Enjoy.

See ya tomorrow with another Christmas song.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Music Marathon - Day 1

The day after Thanksgiving, Christmas season officially starts at the Driller abode.  I put Christmas CD's in the cars.  I put a Christmas music playlist on my computer at work and the next 24 days is devoted to the music of the season.  I don't know if I'll be able to post every day until Christmas, but I'll give it a go.  Each day will feature a new Christmas music video.  Some days that is all that will be posted.  Let's get started.  The first video is from Ernie Haase and Signature Sound.  This may not look like a Christmas video, but listen to the words.  It is definitely about the birth of the Savior.  Let the celebration begin.

I told ya this wouldn't look like a traditional Christmas video, but then, I never said I was going to focus on Christmas Carols, now did I. Stay tuned, there's lots more to come.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Nana's Little Helpers - The Thanksgiving Edition

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

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Here Comes Santa Claus...

Thanksgiving is over, the turkey is gone.  Black Friday shopping has past as well.  Time to get out the decorations and prepare the house for Christmas.  Be forewarned, you are going to see a lot of Christmas related posts during the next few weeks.  I found this guy in the gift shop at Big Cedar Lodge, just outside of Branson, MO.  I didn't purchase him, so he might still be available.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Extreme Make-over...Blogger Edition Part II

Okay, this looks festive enough for the remainder of the holidays.  It's a little brighter than I might prefer, but it definitely will work for Christmas.  I think I'll keep this scheme through the new year.  I'll find something more permanent after January 1.
Thanksgiving at our house was a very good day.  Three of the grand crew spent Wednesday night here.  They helped Nana in the kitchen and set the table for today's festivities.  I built the first fire of the season in the fireplace, so we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows.  You guessed it, Nana had graham crackers and Hersey bars on hand, so "Smores" were the dessert of the evening.
Our daughter,her husband, and the oldest of the grand crew arrived a little after 11:00 this morning.  We ate around 1:00.  After dessert (pumpkin or lemon meringue pie) and a little football, we loaded up the cars and headed to the movies.  "Tangled" was the movie of choice.  It was good, but I wouldn't pay extra to see it in 3-D again.  After the movie, we headed our separate ways.  Our daughter is traveling two hours to Branson with some of her friends to shop at the outlet malls.  They open at midnight.  I'll be in bed.
Friday is supposed to be cold here, so there will be NO black Friday shopping for Nana and I.  We'll sleep in a little, I'll build another fire, and we will just stay home and stay warm.  See you next week.

Extreme Make-over...Blogger Edition

It's a dangerous thing for me to have time on my hands and my  computer staring back at me.  I started out looking for a blog template that would be appropriate for the holiday season.  I found an incredible one, but it was transparent and made photographs look a little funny.  After some searching, I decided to postpone the holiday template idea for a day or two.  I mean, I don't even have the outside of the house done yet.  Still, I wanted a new look, so I settled on this for now.  I wouldn't get too used to looking at this if I were you.  I can almost guarantee that it will change again very soon.
Oh, Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Another Birthday...Another Cake

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There's another birthday in the family, so  it's back to the kitchen for the "Cake Princess".  This time it's Papa who's going to be a year older.  Let's see, what can we make for him?  It would be nice if the cake was red, then Papa would post it for a Ruby Tuesday.  Okay, red it is.  Now, how can I make it special?  I know!  Papa graduated from the University of Oklahoma, and their colors are red and white (crimson and creme for the purists).  He's always wearing one of his OU ball caps.  That gives me an idea.  Nana can cut out the design and I'll decorate it.

What do you think?  Is Papa gonna like this cake?

Yep,  another satisfied customer.
In fact, the whole crew seems pleased with the results.

BOOMER, Sooner!