Children have a strong sense of humility about themselves. It enables them to believe that there is someone big out there that can help them
Gina Bria—The Art of Family
When I heard about Rain for Roots, a new children’s music CD from Sandra McCracken, Katy Bowser, Ellie Holcomb, and Flo Paris, I was inspired. Before I heard a single song, even before they released any music, hope bloomed in my heart. These are fantastically talented women and mothers, and the words “Rain for Roots”—a powerful metaphor—made me think of Emily Dickinson and how the right words, strung together, can make magic.
Thankfully, blessedly, even magically, Rain for Roots was worth hoping for. The songwriters collaborated with celebrated children’s author Sally Lloyd-Jones, and the result is a gift, like a ladybug, or a robin’s nest, simple and perfect. I am a huge fan of Sally Lloyd-Jones, both as a gifted artist and storyteller and as a champion for children, and with lyrics pulled from the pages of Lloyd-Jones’s Hug-a-Bible, Rain for Roots brilliantly succeeds at the formidable task of speaking the language of children.
When one of the kids is sick, or Amy is worn out, or the Goodgames just need a quiet Sunday morning at home, my family opens up The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones for “home church.” We read a chapter or two, mix in some singing, prayer, and bible reading, and it’s our kids’ favorite kind of worship time. Granted, the whole “service” only lasts around 30 minutes, which has its appeal across generations, but the kiddos really look forward to the JSB. Every time, my eight-year-old son asks if we can read “one more chapter?” and often we do. So naturally, when I heard Sally read from Song of the Stars (her new Christmas storybook) in Nashville last month, I knew my family would love it. I’m so thankful for Sally Lloyd-Jones and her commitment to bringing real craftsmanship to books for children. Here’s my review from the Slugs & Bugs blog.
Our favorite family ice cream stop is the Pied Piper Creamery. Tucked away in Berry Hill, one of Nashville’s quirky business districts, the PPC expanded from the original that has blessed East Nashville for years. With flavors like Baklava, Pancakes, Halepeño, or Red Velvet Elvis, we always taste four or five before deciding which to order.
Last week was fall break for the kids, so we made an afternoon run to the PPC for what is probably our last ice cream outing of 2011 (I got two scoops: Baklava and Mocha). On our way home the sun hovered bright and low over south Nashville’s hilly spine, and from the back of the minivan my ten-year-old daughter said:
Editor’s Note: A lot of folks take the harmonica for granted. Not Buddy Greene. And not Randall Goodgame, or anyone else who has seen or heard Buddy play. Randy had the chance to sit down and talk with him a few days ago and Buddy spilled the beans on everything from reading Chesterton, to hanging out with Paul Simon at Carnegie Hall. If you’re in town this weekend, don’t miss the chance to see Buddy live with a litany of all-star musicians at the Station Inn.
Randall Goodgame: Buddy, I can’t wait to talk with you about Harmonica Anthology. My whole family loves this record.
Buddy Greene: Do they really?
It’s been six years since Andrew and I recorded Slugs & Bugs & Lullabies. Since then, I’ve discovered an abiding passion and mission in making music for families. I talked a little about it in the video for the Kickstarter page, but only ended up with a short monologue and a colorful gag reel. Here, however, I’ve organized my thoughts a bit better and have boiled my passion for the project down to the following four points:
For years I’ve been making up stories for my kids at bedtime. It started with the two older kids when they were four and six and sharing a room, and at first all the stories were unrelated. Maybe a butterfly king was searching for his lost butterfly crown, or maybe two clouds were racing to see who could circle the world first, or I remember one where their toothbrushes came to life and danced in the sink while we slept. Eventually, I told a story about a boy and girl who lived in two castles on either side of a river. Being human, they naturally loved anything that seemed to revolve around them, and they started to ask for more of those stories.
Standing between their beds, silhouetted by the hallway light, I made up dozens of twisted and half-baked plot lines. Every now and then, a smart story would emerge that needed a proper telling, so I’d leave them hanging with the dreaded “to be continued.” Cue the groans and pleas.
Yesterday at breakfast, my oldest son had the sniffles. Prone to drama, and with the energy and vigor expected of a sinewy seven-year-old boy, he doubled over and raised up with every sniff. Repeatedly, he threw back his head and collapsed on the table with a force that could incapacitate a grandparent. In short, he [...]
The Slugs & Bugs Christmas records are finally in stock, the CDs have been shipped, and most folks have received their pre-orders. This seems like a good time to say, once again, thank you. Decent and faithful people of the Rabbit Room, you collectively pre-ordered over 850 CDs and flat out donated another huge chunk [...]
(Editor’s note: For the full story on Randall’s plans for the future of Slugs and Bugs, don’t miss his post from last week, “Because Silliness is Next to Godliness“.)
Do you remember when Southwest emerged as a national airline, and we were first exposed to their “choose your own seat” policy? I did not like it [...]
For two formative years of my life, my favorite song was Monty Python’s “The Lumberjack Song”. I was 13 and the silliness of Monty Python would make me laugh till tears leaked out of the corners of my eyes and my head throbbed from the perma-giggle. I remember being stricken with silent, heaving laughter while [...]