7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 33)

May 15, 2009 | 79 comments

— 1 —

The latest song I discovered on a Youtube video and am listening to over and over and over again: Close My Eyes by Daniel Schreck, which I found via this touching ad:

I don’t know whether it’s because I only got three hours of sleep last night or what, but there has been a lot of watching that video and crying today.

— 2 —

I’ve rediscovered the joy of listening to music, and have been enjoying finding great songs to listen to put on my iPod. I’d love to know: If you could tell me to download just one song to check out, of any genre, what would it be?

— 3 —

I noticed that the video above was produced by Grassroots Films. I’ve come across their videos online many times and have been amazed by the high quality of their work. Those guys are on fire. Has anyone seen their movie, The Human Experience? A preview is here:

If you’ve seen it, what did you think? If it’s half as good as their online videos, it must be great.

— 4 —

I am so excited. My husband just recently got reimbursed for a bunch of work he did a few years ago, and we decided to put the money towards hiring someone to help out around the house a few hours per week. It was a little tricky to figure out how to go about finding someone for that type of thing, but we ended up finding a wonderful lady who’s a parishioner at our church and who has already become a family friend. I am so, so grateful to be able to have that help.

— 5 —

Speaking of which, I’ve heard great things about Care.com for finding help with everything from babysitting to tutoring to senior care. Though I’ve never used it, a friend was telling me she had a great experience finding a babysitter through them.

— 6 —

This weekend we’ll celebrate my grandfather’s 95th birthday. He still lives on his own and is in great health. He’s also a self-taught gourmet cook, and loves nothing more than to cook for us. Even though it’s his birthday, he’ll be doing the cooking this weekend. Some of the recipes he’s created and perfected:

Some kind of roast (notice the zucchini rings around the asparagus in the background)

Dark chocolate mousse with a white chocolate leaf garnish

Filet mignon, cooked to perfection

— 7 —

Other than going to my grandfather’s, my main plan this weekend is to squeeze in a little time to work on the book. I only have one or two more chapters to go before I’m finished with a rough first draft! There will be a lot of work to do after that, but it will be wonderful to at least have the basics down.

Below is a Mr. Linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own 7 Quick Takes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.

I look forward to reading your posts!

1. Angie @ Many Little Blessings
2. Venite
3. puella
4. afamiliarpath
5. Kathy@10minutewriter
6. Trena @ The Third Prayer
7. Heather in Madrid
8. Stephanie @ Ready, Set, 40!
9. Christine- Fruit in Season
10. Laura
11. Tami @ The Next Step
12. Sarah Reinhard (better late than never!) 🙂
13. Erin (Light of my Life)
14. Sarah
15. Christine the Soccer Mom
16. Katherine @ The Domestic Church
17. Charlotte (CheekyPinkGirl)
18. Pharmgirl @ Adventures in Pharm Land
19. Chronicles of a Babycatcher
20. amy
21. Erin@ Seven Little Australians Plus One
22. violingirl
23. Sheila@ So… Now What?
24. Charlotte @ GTH
25. Sarah @ This Heavenly Life
26. Laura
27. Dawn @ Sufficient for Today
28. Tracy
29. Amy @ Modern COmmentaries
30. Scarlett
31. Cathy
32. Sara@Coffee Randoms
33. Milehimama (Mama Says)
34. Elena@My Domestic Church
35. Tina @ Multiple Mom T
36. SortaCrunchy
37. The Cynical Christian
38. Jenny @ Heart of a Mother
39. Nicole @ As Many As We’re Given
40. Christy @ This Gun’s For Hire
41. Joy B
42. stephanie (LSL/Bold Avenue) (CORRECTED LINK)
43. Amanda — The Mom Job
44. el-e-e
45. rebecca
46. Missy – Princess Edition
47. Kimberly/Selkie1970
48. Kacie (Papua Girl)
49. Aubrey
50. entropy
51. Em. @ Gratitude. Simplicity. Frugality.
52. Lyrl
53. Anwen
54. Cheryl (My Thoughtful Spot)
55. Mandy
56. Tiphaine-gender confused
57. Emily
58. Ingrid Airam
59. majellamom
60. Becky at miller_schloss
61. Love2learn Mom
62. Peace Garden Mama
63. Annemarie
64. Shelley @ …life on the farm
65. Sara @ A Shower of Roses
66. Angie in Kieler, WI
67. April @ SALT for the Spirit
68. Just a Minute
69. Eliz at Tink’s Mom
70. Agnes Regina @ The Steel Lily
71. the luxurious life of anna
72. Catherine @ Adventures In Domesticity
73. Aussie Therese
74. Lindsay @ Contrariwise

Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.


  1. Angie

    One of my latest song downloads that I have enjoyed is a cover of “Major Tom (Coming Home)” by MXPX. It’s not really the song I would recommend if I had only one song to recommend, but it is the one of that I have played a lot lately.

    Happy Birthday to your Grandpa! I’m so impressed that he lives on his own and is cooking part of the meal. One of my Grandmas just turned 90 and she still lives on her own. But, she would most definitely not help cook for a gathering.

    Good luck with the woman from church cleaning! I hope that it works well for your family!

  2. veniteadoremus

    Okay, condensing my entire iTunes-library into one song… that’s not in Dutch…

    “Tree Hugger”, by Kimya Dawson (it’s on the soundtrack of “Juno”). If that doesn’t cheer you up when you need cheering up, I don’t know what will 🙂

  3. Lindsay

    Right now my fave is Steady as We Go by Dave Matthews Band so there you have it.

    Can’t remember if I commented but I loved your post on fear the other day!

  4. chickadee@afamiliarpath

    i know what you mean about feeling like crying after sleeping so little. my baby has been waking up a lot this week and tonight i just wanted to fall apart and cry. sleep deprivation does that to me.

  5. Maria

    I love anything by Bro”oklyn Tabernacle Choir, but He’s Been Faithful” is my all time favorite.

  6. Trena

    I would love to hire someone to come clean my house once a week. There just doesn’t seem to be enough time…and I only have one baby!

  7. dylan

    One song of any genre? It’s a coin toss between Van Morrison’s “Moondance” and Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason.” Both of which you’ve probably heard before, but in my estimation, they’re worth hearing again!

  8. Christine

    I would say, “A Living Prayer” by Alison Krauss. Have a great weekend!

  9. Stephanie

    Wow Jennifer! Are those photos of actual meals that your grandfather prepared? I want him to cook for me! And great photography, did you take the photos?

  10. Laura

    Thanks for hosting! The current song that I can’t seem to get out of my head is by Sugarland (country-ish) called “It Happens”. It is an upbeat, fun song. It doesn’t hurt, too, that the the tune flows well with the words of a Hail Mary!

    And a very blessed and happy birthday to your Grandfather!

    God Bless!

  11. Tami Boesiger

    Wow, am I ever impressed with your grandfather.

    Have a great weekend, Jennifer.

  12. Lisa V.

    My jaw dropped to the floor when I saw those food pictures. 95 huh? Amazing. Please let us know how your visit with your grandfather went. Oh yeah and how good the food was of course!

  13. CM

    I have seen The Human Experience, and it is amazing!

  14. Sarah Reinhard

    Sorry for the “better late than never” on my link — Mr. Linky remembers the last thing you write (grrr to me!).

    One song: Sarah Bauer’s “My Own Backyard,” which has been the soundtrack for my life lately. But really, I’d tell you to download her entire “Radiance” album (and probably everything else by her, though I only have Radiance right now).

    And can you share the songs you have recommended to you? Please??? 🙂

  15. erinmlee

    This is my first time doing this… what fun!

  16. Andie

    I am a music JUNKIE, and I couldn’t bring myself to pick only one song (sorry!).

    Best song *ever*: Wonderwall by Oasis

    Current obsessions: The Book of Love by Peter Gabrielle, and Please Read the Letter by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant

  17. Anonymous

    Dear Jennifer:

    Discovered your blog during Lent and love, love, love it. I’m a mom of three under 6 (6,3 and 1) and am pregnant with #4. Re songs to download – check out Taylor Swift’s “The Best Day.” Although she is a secular artist, the song is balm to a Mother’s soul as it recounts the memories of a teenager about various vignettes in her childhood, especially those spent with her mom. I hope my children have similar memories of a mom who gave them all the love she had every day.

    God bless,
    Kelly McGinn

  18. Pharmgirl

    #2: “King Without a Crown” by Matisyahu (be sure to get the live version, found on the “Live at Stubb’s” album).

  19. curlyheadedtuba

    I LOVE your grandfather’s idea with the zucchini rings… what a nice touch! It’s only 9 am here on the East Coast, but those steaks have me dreaming!

    For your iPodding pleasure, I’d like to recommend Franz Biebl’s Ave Maria, recorded by Chanticleer. UNbelievable. And also, everything you can get your hands on from Simon and Garfunkel.

  20. 3girlsmom

    Don’t have a post up yet, but wanted to comment on #2. I woke up this morning with this song in my head. I’ve actually done that several times recently. It’s GOOD and you will love it.
    It’s called Jesus Saves by Travis Cottrell. Downloadable on iTunes.
    He’s also coming out with a new album in June and I was at the live taping of the album. I highly recommend any song on it. Especially Mercy Seat. Whoa.
    Hope you enjoy it.

  21. SursumCorda

    One song? St. Patrick’s Breastplate, hands down. The link doesn’t show you the full force of the hymn, which actually uses two different tunes in the same song, but you can at least see the powerful words.

  22. Dawn

    How funny, I’ve also been rediscovering music. I’ve only been listening the radio station during the day but it helps me feel whole and authentic somehow. It connects me to when I was young.

    Congratulations on getting domestic help. Enjoy your grandfather’s cooking!

    Thanks for hosting.

  23. Can I Change A Life?

    “On Fire” by Switchfoot. And since you seem to like videos, check out this video using the song. It’s another one to move you to tears.


  24. Tom

    If you’re up for a little Byzantine Chant (and who wouldn’t be?), this is gorgeous:

    I’ve never been able to find it to download though, or even locate the CD.

    And I’ll second Christine’s recommendation of “A Living Prayer”.

  25. Stargazing

    Hi Jennifer! One song I could listen to over and over is “Defying Gravity” from the Wicked soundtrack. So inspiring!


  26. Cathy Adamkiewicz

    Thanks again, Jen!

    Your grandfather is amazing. I wish I could join you for dinner! My son is turning into a gourmet cook – I pray that someday he’ll be that grandpa cooking for his family!

  27. Elizabeth

    Don’t know if it would help, but my family…especially the children…are currently listening to Handel’s Messiah whenever we are in the car…Some of those pieces make me cry, they are so beautiful!
    Congrats to your Grandpa…AWESOME that he wants to do the cooking…and yes, you now have me craving steak on Friday!

  28. Anonymous

    “Magnificent”, “White as Show” and “Yahweh” by U2.

    Excellent food photography, BTW – it’s hard to get a shot that close to meat without making it look gross. These pix make me hungry.

    Blessings to you,


  29. antonina31

    Thanks so much for being a great inspiration and for hosting!

  30. Maggie

    Yes, I’ve seen The Human Experience. It’s absolutely amazing!!! Highly recommended. They have screenings at different cities across the US, and if there’s one near you I would definitely check it out.


  31. Sara

    I’ve seen the Human Experience – the full movie. It is absolutely wonderful and moving. I hope that you have the opportunity to see it someday. Actually – I hope that Grassroots films has the opportunity to get it in theatres on a large scale so that more of the world will be able to see the beauty of this movie! It’s been over a year since I’ve last seen a free screening of it and I believe they are still trying to find a company to help them get it in theatres. Say a prayer! 🙂

    P.S. I absolutely love your blog and I am so thankful for all of the wonderful things you share with us! Keep writing and good luck on the book!

  32. nicole

    “Facedown” by Matt Redman. He’s not Catholic, but I would swear it was written for Adoration. “Obsession” by Delirious is also excellent. “Miracle Maker” by Delirious is my favorite song ever on the whole planet.

  33. bobd

    Yeah, I think the one song I would recommend is “My Immortal” by Evanescence.

  34. Stephanie D.

    My first entry!

  35. Amanda


  36. Team Graves

    “These Arms of Mine” Otis Redding

  37. Anonymous

    Addio del Passato (sp?) by Lara Fabian. Sublimely beautiful.

  38. Shelley

    Download The More I Seek You. It’s my favorite sacred song. I literally cry every time I contemplate the words. You can actually hear/watch the whole song on YouTube before you buy (the itunes version is a bit nicer but it’s still moving). It takes a minute or so before the performance starts.

  39. Veronica Mitchell

    I have been loving Sugarland’s cover of “Come On Get Higher.” I think it’s the perfect passionate love song for folks in a thirteen-year marriage with four small kids. At least for us.

    Other married love song contenders: Pat Benatar’s “We Belong” and Holly Cole’s “Cry If You Want To.”

  40. Kimberly

    You can’t download this, though I can send it to you. My friend set Psalm 46 to music. Years and years ago, but he just sent me the digital version, and I still remember all the words. So wonderful.

  41. Lisa Grant

    Impossible to choose only one song for a music freak like me, but it would have to be something by Switchfoot because Jon Foreman is (IMHO) a lyrical genius. So I’ll go with “Golden” because it speaks words of encouragement and redemption.

  42. rebecca

    leaving a comment after linking…

    also, great job on getting some help around the house. we hired a woman from our church to come over 2x/week for a couple hours… SUCH a help. she does homework with the older girls and just generally reduces the level of stress. i can actually get dinner made and ready for when my husband comes home! i think you will find this a great investment.

  43. cliquish chicken

    Can't choose just 1 so:

    – "How to Embrace a Swamp Creature" by The Mountain Goats

    – "Sister Winter" Sufjan Stevens

    -"chicago" -Sufjan Stevens

    – "Resurrection Fern" Iron & Wine

  44. Ginkgo100

    If you want to download one song your kids will love, get Popple’s “Peanut Butter Sandwiches” (their website is popple.us). At about 90 seconds, this song is blessedly short! God bless Popple for not making it any longer!

    Popple is the only “Christian rock band” (in fact they’re Catholic) whose music I can stand. They’re like the Catholic version of the Barenaked Ladies. I would recommend their album Plaid; our whole family (kids and adults) listens to it over and over. I’m sure their other album is good too, but I haven’t heard it yet.

  45. agapeflower

    A great, sweet song to download is “One of These Things First” by Nick Drake. I love it. 🙂

  46. Emily

    That food looks soooo good!

  47. Emily

    Oh, and I cannot just pick one song. Well, I guess I could. “All the Wasted Time” from the musical Parade. This is from the show I recently did, and it’s beautiful.

  48. G

    The Trapeze Swinger by Iron & Wine, hands down. You can just leave this one song on repeat forever, and it makes you feel calm, joyful, and wistful all at the same time. Takes one or two listens to get into but sooo worth it.

  49. Stephanie

    What a blessing to have your grandpa still around and in good health! I have to be honest, my happiness for you is mingled with a bit of sadness. Between the two of us, the Hubs and I don’t have any grandparents left. Looks like your grandpa is cooking up some mighty tasty dishes, though! 🙂

    (Side note: I started writing this comment a few hours ago, needed to take hubby to work, got sidetracked, and now here I am!)

    The song question is a very tricky one! I’m gonna go with “Mountains on the Ocean Floor” by Andrew Peterson. A different day it might be a different answer. But you can’t really go wrong with Andrew Peterson.

    Care.com sounds like a neat resource. I’ll have to check that out.

    Have a great week!

  50. Janet

    A great song for you to download is “Learning to Breathe” by Switchfoot. It’s a love song to God (the writer is very clear on that, though some people don’t realize that He is the subject.) Since I started attending daily Mass during Lent 2008, I often play this on the way there. It describes what a blessing Mass has become to me:

    I’m learning to breathe
    I’m learning to crawl
    I’m finding that You and You alone can break my fall
    I’m living again, awake and alive
    I’m dying to breathe in these abundant skies

    It also describes my participation in Mass:

    This is the way that I say I need You
    This is the way that I say I love You
    This is the way that I say I’m Yours

    This song isn’t specifically written about Mass (the writer isn’t Catholic) but it’ the only song that makes me think of it every time.

  51. Tune

    "The Human Experience – Full Movie"? Hands down, it was one of the most memorable movies I've seen so far. I went to the pre-screening right after I got done with 2 of my back-to-back exams that day and I was pleased with the message of love, of family unity, and of forgiveness in the movie. I have to warn you this though, the format of the movie threw me off since it was not what I expected it to be (in a good way). One song that I would recommend: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MS6fE7lcCc&feature=PlayList&p=F835BFA9C51B26F6&index=0&playnext=1


  52. KimK

    I love, love, love “Daughter of God” — there’s a link to listen on this page: http://www.spiritandsong.com/store/music/11658

    My 4-year-old daughter and I have to dance everytime it comes on, we just can’t help ourselves.

    I also love your blog and am always reading entries to my husband. Best wishes on the book!

  53. Love2Learn Mom

    Totally yummy pictures! And great idea about using your windfall for some household help. Good luck!

  54. Trubador

    Two songs:

    1) "All We Need" by Out of the Grey (a husband & wife duo in the the CCM/Contemporary Christian Music genre). Can be found on their "Remember This" best-of collection.

    2) "Heaven's Last Attempt" by Jude Cole (a consummate troubadour/tunesmith, from his "I Don't Know Why I Act This Way" CD).

  55. Beth

    My favorite song this week is “Check Yes Juliet (Run Baby Run)” by We the Kings. My favorite song of all times is “Sweetness” by Jimmy Eat World. And I also have a religious song for you… “Who am I” by John Tesh and Point of Grace.

  56. Joe Heschmeyer

    Check out “Love Love Love” by the Mountain Goats. If you like it, try “Cotton” next.

  57. Solveig

    I have no songs to offer. However, ont the subject of videos, “Close your Eyes” was good–but “The Human Experience” was awesome. Thanks. Also, I’m thrilled with your progress on the book.

  58. Leilani

    I adore The Crane Wife 1 & 2 (one song) by the decemberists. It's a tough choice between that and The Crane Wife 1

  59. Angie

    Thanks for the great idea and the invitation to join!

  60. Marian

    For some reason I’ve been completely taken by the old song “Before the Throne of God Above” as sung by Selah:
    (Not much of a video, but the son’s there.)
    Simple, powerful, true, beautiful flowing melody. Condemnation, go away! Sometimes I just play it over and over, crying and just willing the truth to sink in and permeate my dense soul. It’s a special song somehow. Almost from memory:

    “Before the throne of God above
    I have a strong and perfect plea
    A great high priest whose name is love
    Who ever lives and pleads for me
    My name is graven on His hands
    My name is written on His heart
    I know that while in Heaven He stands
    No tongue can bid me thence depart…

    When Satan tempts me to despair
    And tells me of the guilt within
    Upward I look and see Him there
    Who made an end to all my sin
    Because the sinless savior died
    My sinful soul is counted free
    For God the just is satisfied
    To look on Him and pardon me…

    Behold Him there, the risen Lamb
    My perfect spotless righteousness
    The great unchangeable I Am
    The king of glory and of grace
    One with Himself I cannot die
    My soul is purchased by His blood
    My life is hidden with Christ on high
    With Christ my savior and my God… “

  61. Karla with a K

    Stumbled upon your blog by your BlogHer of the Week winning. Will definitely be back to read your conversion story and blog.
    Very glad to ‘meet’ you.

  62. blissful_e

    Yea! Hiring someone to help clean the house – SO worth it!!! And it helps out the house cleaner as well. Totally win-win. I’ve never regretted a single penny.

    Currently loving the song “Mercy is Falling”, and it has actions for the kids to do, too. Always lifts our spirits. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBOuydqxob8

  63. Agnes Regina

    Songs to download?… Hmmm. Too much good stuff out there. If you like classical music, one of my first recommendations is Vladimir Ashkenazy playing Mozart’s 12th Piano Concerto (in A) with the Royal Philharmonic. It’s so awesome!!!

  64. maramsey

    Somewhere in the Middle by Casting Crowns! Enjoy!

  65. Jenny Lewis

    song to download…..
    I’ve been mesmerized by the song O Magnum Mysterium by The Robert Shaw Chamber Singers since hearing it on Fr. Z’s Radio Sabina…..I listen to it over and over again to fall asleep…better with headphones, it builds ever so slowly and the voices are just angelic. Here’s a link on youtube, but I downloaded it from itunes… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iss5a8BqYw0

    Love your blog, Jen!

  66. Shannon

    Happy birthday, Grandpa! As for the song, one of my favorites is Carry Me Through by Dave Barnes.

  67. Jess

    I forgot that I made a mixed CD for Kate for her nursery (I always use music in my kids’ rooms for soothing and to drown out other household noise) and I forgot to pack it in the box I shipped!

    Anyway, one song off the album I made that you could look up is Plumb’s My Child. Just lovely.

  68. Courtney

    I have to pick just one song? Well, I’ve been listening to Alison Krauss’s rendition of the Disney song “Baby Mine” a lot lately. She has the world’s sweetest voice.

  69. Madeline

    Hello Jen!

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now – a few friends from my college’s Catholic campus ministry told me about your blog, and I’m hooked. This is the part where I tell you that you are a fantastic, inspiring writer and more often than not your posts relate to the very issue I’ve been praying about any given day. Thank you for writing about what’s real.

    This post provided the best connection yet though. I am an aspiring film studies major, and I have been searching and scouring for a human rights-oriented film studio to perhaps pursue an internship or maybe future employment. See, my second aspiring major is classical Greek (so I can read the Bible in the original language!) and I really love film’s ability to communicate the truth of the human experience.

    And then you link to a film titled “The Human Experience.” WHOA.

    I have spent the last hour or so checking out Grassroots Films, and it’s so encouraging. Finding a film studio with a conscience is difficult, and Grassroots is the first one I’ve really come across. Who knows, maybe the will of God will lead me to New York to work on a future project of theirs, and I’ll be living my dream of making films that MEAN something. At the very least, I will definitely check out “The Human Experience!”

    Thank you. So much. For everything.

    And congratulations to your grandfather!

  70. Jackie

    Song – Human by the Killers, makes me happy.

    The Human Experience – the movie is AMAZING! I was able to see a screening of it here in San Diego a year or more ago…it is well done and incredibly moving. I think everyone should see it. I’m hoping you have also seen the movie Bella, totally different type of movie but still incredible.

  71. Bonnie

    Come to Jesus by Chris Rice

  72. the lords sheep

    I saw “The Human Experience”- twice actually. If you get the chance, SEE THE FILM. It’s incredible and beautiful and breathtaking.
    God bless!

  73. Elena

    I cant’ get the Mr. Linky to work, but my contribution is here. Loved the picture of ribs and cole slaw!

  74. emily

    I wanted to pick “Gotta Have You” by the Weepies but I think you might like the meaning of “Forgiven” by Deb Talan even more (Deb Talan is 1/2 of the Weepies, which is a husband and wife duo :-))

    I hope you listen to them and find some new faves!!

  75. Dawn @ SFT

    Cruising through my posts I realized the Mr Linky I gave for this particular Quick Takes went to the wrong URL. It went to a regular post and not to my 7 Quick Takes for that week. Sorry!

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