Musical Amusement

Today’s curation is for all you lovers of music! Since I was a little girl and was introduced to Victor Borge, I’ve had a deep appreciation for the clever combining of music and humour. Musical talent is wonderful and good comedy has its place, but it’s hard to resist someone who can do both well. On that note (ha!)…

To start us off, we have some new musical terms by Tom Hurd, who explains: In order to keep you abreast of the ever-developing world of musical terminology, we provide herewith the latest additions to the esteemed Harvard Dictionary of Music…

My favourites are:

Those tiny mosquitos that bother musicians on outdoor gigs

The title bestowed upon the monk who can hold a note the longest

What an elementary school orchestra is having when it’s not following the conductor


It’s probably safe to say that Ludwig van Beethoven is my favourite classical composer (although Handel’s Messiah is undoubtedly my favourite oratorio). But I never realized how modern Beethoven was! (chuckle)

#classic #decomposing #treblemaker

Grant Woolard is, according to his YouTube bio, “a Northern California-based one-man production team who started making videos in 2010. His work includes playing piano with objects, singing classical music with Auto-Tune, mashing together national anthems, and other standard genres.”

I think he’s brilliant and love his two classical music mash-ups! For this first clip, he explains: I’ve woven together 57 famous classical tunes by 33 composers. How many can you identify?

The sequel to this, which blends 52 pieces, is here.

If you are really into the theme of humour in music, check out this article. It’s long but has quite a few gems in the mix.


In closing, here is something to make you go, “Awww!” This video is nearly five years old but it’s still a favourite. What could be cuter than a 4-year-old singing with her dad while he strums along on a pink ukulele? 🙂

I wish you a happy and song-filled day! Oh, and happy spring. Here’s a little doodle I whipped up last week to celebrate the arrival (finally!) of the new season.



Full Custody


Any of you who have had to deal with custody issues following a divorce will likely appreciate this maxim even more than I did when I came across it.

It’s easy to assign a certain position or role to God (whether we do it consciously or not) and then only think of Him or consult Him when a need comes up for which that role becomes relevant. Some people treat God like a butler and only ask Him to do things for them or fulfil their wishes. Others treat Him like a doctor, going to Him only when they are in pain or need help. Some people think of God as an acquaintance, someone they talk to at random times or when nothing of higher priority has their attention.

A great many people treat God like an estranged parent—the relationship looks good on paper but is dysfunctional in practice. They only see God on weekends (or every other weekend… or only on holidays!) when they go to church and are disconnected from Him throughout the rest of the week. That’s not enough for God. He wants full custody. He wants to be part of our lives every day and to be included in all our activities, decisions and goals. He wants us to talk to Him and He wants to talk to us. We can’t call Him Lord and then relegate Him to the status of a servant or distant relative.Lord Lord

Jesus asked His disciples: “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46) Would He ask that same question to you and me?

I encourage you to take a few minutes to read James 4:1-8, which gives us another great reminder of the importance of fully submitting ourselves to God.

Have a blessed day!


What’s the Problem?

Some of you seem to really enjoy the creative prompts I post on Saturdays so here’s another fun one!

whats-your-problem1I am going to give you five “solutions” and you need to decide what the “problem” is. For example, I might say: “The answer is 12. What is the question?” If you stick to simple math, you could respond: “What is 7 plus 5?” or “What is 4 times 3?” Or you could go beyond math and say: “How many months are in a year?” or “How many sons did Jacob have?” or “How many letters does the word intelligence have?”

Then again, you could stretch your imagination and come up with something silly, such as: “How many times did the chicken cross the road?” or “What is the perfect number of mini marshmallows in a mug of hot chocolate?” or “How many light bulbs does it take to change an electrician?”


Now you try:

  1. The answer is apple pie. What is the question?
  2. The answer is penguin. What is the question?
  3. The answer is blue ink. What is the question?
  4. The answer is dump truck. What is the question?
  5. The answer is shoelace. What is the question?

Please share your ideas in the comment section below. (Some of you comment on Facebook, which is nice, but comments here encourage other readers to comment. Thank you!) And please share this blog with friends. You can use the handy buttons at the bottom of this post. 🙂

Bonus idea: Here’s a game we often do at our annual women’s fall retreat that is always a big hit. It’s best with a larger group but could be easily adapted to a small family. Split your group into two teams and give everyone a slip of paper (or more if the group is quite small). One team has to write hypothetical problems on their papers (e.g. my rabbit smells, I lost my keys, I’m afraid of heights, etc.) and the other team writes hypothetical solutions (e.g. take two aspirins, start studying sooner, talk to your dentist, etc.)

Then collect all the pieces of paper in two separate baskets or piles and have someone read them out loud–randomly choosing one problem and one solution from the piles. You can imagine how hilarious the results can be. We’ve had some side-splitters but, occasionally, wet get a pairing that makes us all quietly say, “Whoa.” (For example, the problem may be, “My sister is going through a hard time” and the solution is, “Ask God for help.”) Try it. It’s great fun! 🙂

Happy Saturday!


Delightful Diversions #2

Here’s another collection of interesting things I’ve picked up during my online travels—a few useful ones, and a few that are simply amusing. 🙂 (I shared another batch a few weeks ago here.)

Klever Keyboard Kombos

Sorry, Mac users, this is not for you.

Do you know what all the Function keys (F1 to F12) on your keyboard are for? They are actually quite handy if you know when to use them! You might want to hang onto this simple chart:

I use my computer mouse less often than others, I’ve observed. That’s because I long ago memorized keyboard shortcuts that I find much quicker than reaching for my mouse and then positioning the cursor at just the right spot and then clicking to do something as simple as print a page or switch windows. How many of these keyboard combinations do you know and use? There might be a few that you hadn’t discovered yet. Check it out!

For Those of You Who Sew (or don’t but like to know how things work)

197a64b1e7ee21e11b17cae46b55cf5127a711fbI don’t know about you, but I’ve used one of these gadgets far more often than I’d like. Ripping out stitches is not fun! But did you know that most of us use this tool the wrong way? Did you ever wonder what the little plastic ball is for? I didn’t. *blush*

Better Homes and Gardens to the rescue! Check out this short article and video that explain the proper way an “unpicker” should be used.

Also, if you’ve ever wondered how a sewing machine takes two threads and turns them into interlocking stitches on either side of a piece of fabric, here’s a fun little demonstration of a bobbin at work. So cool!

Fun & Funny


Eyebombing: Okay, I know that sounds violent and painful, but it’s actually a harmless prank that involves attaching craft store “googly eyes” to inanimate objects in public to make them look like faces. Sometimes the results are hilarious! I am not sure I’d have the courage to do this myself but I think it’s happy alternative to graffiti. (Discussion question: Would you consider this vandalism if it wasn’t done to private property? It’s cute and makes people smile but I suppose it’s a bit mischievous, too. Some people call it “urban intervention.” Hmm!)


See more examples here. The fire hydrant cracks me up!

Stubborn Carpet Fluff: John Branyan describes the battle we’ve all had at some point while vacuuming.

Even funnier, if you have about eight minutes, is his retelling of The Three Little Pigs in Shakespearean English. It’s brilliant!

I have lots more to share with you but I will save some for next week. 🙂 Please send me your favourite links, articles, videos, jokes, quotes, recipes, etc. and maybe I’ll feature some of them in future blog posts. You can email me at

As always, I look forward to your comments and, if you enjoy my posts, please use the little share buttons below! If you’re new to my blog, please have a look around.

Have a great day,



The Man with the Dog

Fourteen years ago, Denis was known at my church as “the man with the dog.” Rembrandt, a gorgeous black lab, was the first dog I ever knew who regularly went to church, quietly sitting at his master’s feet during worship services, Bible studies, men’s breakfasts, church suppers and any other activity Denis was able to attend.

I hope you’ll indulge me for this week’s Inspired Mondays post as I simply share this story that recently came back to me. 

The first time we met Denis, he told us Rembrandt had somehow directed him to the church, so he came in. You couldn’t miss Denis. He was big and loud, even a little rough around the edges, and his entrance was always signaled by the jingling of Rembrandt’s tags. A former soldier with the United Nations, Denis had lost much of his sight and hearing when a land mine exploded too close to him, but he still exuded strength and courage. And yet there was something very gentle and kind about him.

On his visitor’s card, Denis wrote: “I am a double handicap, deaf and blind, yet there seems to be no church who is ready to work with these people.” No one but the pastor (my dad) knew that Denis had written this, yet everyone reached out to him and welcomed him into the church family.

Pretty soon Denis became one of the most faithful—and loved—people in our congregation. He attended every service and Bible study, full of insightful questions and comments, and was always ready with a friendly word or some encouragement for  those around him.

One Sunday that September, just before communion, the pastor invited people forward to receive Christ as their Saviour. A friend and I were leading the congregational singing that day and we watched as Denis slowly walked to the front and stopped right in front of us.

Most people who come forward during an altar call stand near the front pews while we finish singing. Denis, however, turned around, lowered his large body and knelt down, leaning on the front pew with his head in his hands.

He remained in that position while the rest of us tried to finish singing (while blinking back tears). When Dad prayed for him, he pointed out that, as an ex-soldier, Denis knew exactly what it meant to surrender, making his decision to follow Christ very significant.

A few weeks after he had responded to the altar call, Denis didn’t show up to Bible study. Then he wasn’t there on Sunday. My dad called him and left messages but there was no response. My mother went by his apartment but Denis wasn’t there.

Naturally, we started to worry, especially as a couple of more weeks went by with no sign of Denis. Finally, when my mother went to his apartment again, a neighbour told her he had recently died. Denis died on Sunday, October 3, 2004, and his ashes were buried on October 25. He would have turned 55 that December.

I miss Denis when I remember him, but I also rejoice in knowing he is in the presence of his Lord and Saviour, his sight and hearing better than ours, his wounds healed and all his questions answered.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

What blessed hope we have when we put our trust in our Creator and Heavenly Father. ❤


Think You’re Not Creative?

This blog post is adapted from a chapter in my first book The One Year Designer Genes Devo, a 52-week devotional for preteen girls that was published in 2007 and is now out of print, though you can still find it online from resellers. (And I still have many copies, so let me know if you’d like one! They’re $10 each plus shipping, and all profits go toward the mission work my family does in Armenia.)

You are creative! You don’t have to enjoy painting or writing to be creative. The American Heritage Dictionary defines creative as “having the ability or power to create; productive; characterized by originality and expressiveness; and imaginative.” That means that even if you don’t like art or music, you can still express your own creativity.

Creativity can mean coming up with new and interesting ways to do old things, or taking something old and making it look new and fresh. Creativity can mean solving difficult problems or puzzles because you’ve thought about it in a different way, or inventing things.


Try Something New…

This weekend, pick at least one of these activities and give your creative “muscles” some exercise. Do these on your own, with a friend or with your kids.

  • Make up a secret language just for you and your best friend (or siblings, or kids, etc.)
  • Think of 10 unusual things you can do with a spoon. (My niece turned a long one into a bracelet!)
  • Grab a book, turn to any page, and write down every tenth word until you have at least 15 words. Then make up a story using those words.
  • Make up five new “holidays” that you think would be fun to celebrate. Go a step further and plan a party or celebration for one of your holidays.
  • Make yourself a sandwich that’s completely different from anything you’ve had before, or a meal where everything is the same colour. (Yesterday I was shopping with a friend and we saw a lunch bag with these words on it: Fruit. Salad. Sandwich. Dessert. I thought, I wonder what a fruit salad sandwich dessert would taste like? Maybe I’ll try making one. Ha!)
  • Come up with a list of interesting things your family can do during a power failure.
  • Make up a word puzzle about creativity.
  • Take a favourite book or short story and rewrite the ending, giving it a completely different spin.
  • Identify your least favourite chore and then “invent” a gadget or machine that would do that chore for you. What would you call it?

God created all the wonderful things we see in the world. He also created people in His image. That means your designer genes contain the ability to imagine and create and design, too! Of course, you don’t have the same wisdom and power that God does, but you can thank Him for the creativity He’s given you and use it to please Him.

Here are some Bible verses and journal prompts to get you thinking some more about how you’ve been created creative.

  • Isaiah 40:26 – How do you feel when you read about the care with which God created the universe?
  • Ephesians 4:22-24 – Finish this sentence: I believe that God created me to… 
  • Deuteronomy 8:17-18 – Why should you be humble about your creativeness?
  • Psalm 127:1 – Why should you ask God for help with your ideas and the projects you work on?
  • Psalm 19:1-3 – How do you know about God’s awesome creativity?
  • Hebrews 3:3 – If you are more important than the things you create, invent or make, what should your attitude be toward God who created you?
  • Jeremiah 10:14-15 – Finish this sentence: Dear God, please help me not to value the things I create too much because… 

I’d love it if some of you came back and told me about how you used your creativity this weekend!

Have a great day,


8 Latin Phrases to Copy

When I shared about an art project I’m working on for my living room, a few of you told me you liked the idea of a hand-lettered quote to hang between the two floral designs. That presented me with a problem: How do I choose one quote from the dozens of favourites I have?

I started to narrow it down to short ones of three to seven words, but still couldn’t settle on one. I finally sketched out rest & be thankful but didn’t get around to working on the canvas.

Then, a few days ago, I was watching an episode of Hidden Houses and discovered the quote dum spiro spero. It means “While I breathe, I hope.” This came on the heels of being hit by news that threatened to steal my peace. However, God provided friends who spoke truth and grace and wisdom into my life and my hope remained intact. So when I heard dum spiro spero, I knew that’s what I wanted hanging over my sofa… a constant reminder that every day I am alive is a day I can have hope. Every day is a new opportunity to enjoy God’s blessings and use my gifts to bless others.

Here’s my first quick attempt just to see how it looks. I will likely redo it with bolder letters and some flourishes. I will eventually show you the final results once it’s all up on my wall (and that blanket is moved, since it doesn’t go with the summery florals).


I will admit I also like the idea of putting up a quote in Latin just to start conversations with visitors who will no doubt ask me what it means (or declare that they understand it, which would be fun!) So that got me thinking about other quotes that have that special ring to them in Latin. How do you like these?

Non Desistas. Non Exieris. (Never give up. Never surrender.)

In omnia paratus. (Ready for everything.)

Amor vincit omnia. (Love conquers all.)

Veritas numquam perit. (The truth never perishes.)

A posse ad esse. (From possibility to actuality.)

Cor ad cor loquitur. (Heart speaks to heart.)

Luceat lux vestra. (Let your light shine.)

There are many more, of course. Do you have a favourite Latin quote? Or tell me what your favourite non-Latin quote is and maybe we can figure it out in Latin! 🙂

Have a lovely Wednesday,



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