Merry Christmas 2020 – From the Carroll Family!


Our church put out a call for video submissions for the Christmas Eve streaming service. Here is what we contributed.

I threw it together into one video and added some cheesy effects and titles.

This is…

  • The Christmas Carrolls performing “Away in a Manger”
  • Molly reading The First Christmas Night by Keith Christopher
  • Ian doing some prayers on the fly – take 1 & take 2. (We only sent take 2 to the church.)

Check out live & archived videos from the church here: https://www.facebook.com/hillschurchexport/live

Some of our favorite #ElfOnTheShelf setups this year…


The kids were really into Jovie-Belle, their Elf on the Shelf, this year.  These are a few of my favorites. Post your favorites in the comments! (I have a bunch on Pinterest too… some appropriate, some not at all.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We didn’t get crazy creative every night, but the kids really made a big deal about finding her every morning. Maybe next year we’ll get a second elf and have some more fun.

Dethlehem needs your help.


This is a commercial begging for your help.  It doesn’t involve a Sarah McLaughlin song, a puppy with one eye, Sally Struthers, or a starving child.  Without the usual ingredients, I’m not sure it will work.  So, I’m helping by spreading the word.

Help Fund Dethlehem 2012 Tour

Glorious Treasures shall be showered upon you!

It does involve a band stuck venturing out into a world that they don’t understand.  The warriors of Dethlehem have traveled in & out of Ghorusalem defeating all manner of orcs, ogres, trolls, & wizards; taming flying dragons; losing & gaining comrades along the way.  They are ready to conquer the evil plaguing your land, but they need gold in order to complete their quest.

Their magical horse needs new shoes, and fuel… and a chariot to carry all of their necessary battle gear.  In exchange for your allegiance and gold, you will be rewarded with protection from all manner of evil and special unique treasures.

Please watch their message below:

…and read their decree:

Help Fund Dethlehem 2012 Tour

They’re already part of the way to their goal, but they still need more help, my friends!  Kickstarter has worked for Ernie and the Berts in funding a forthcoming album.  I’ve written about Dethlehem many times before and consider them great friends… Please seriously consider helping these dudes rock the faces off the collective masses.

Help Dethlehem bring this sort of shenanigans to your town!

Overlord Brom commands you!

OVERLORD BROM

"Hmmwp Dwmwhmwm gmwn mwnwn Twrwr!"

Dethlehem & more at Stage AE the other night… Review/Photos/Video ☠


This isn’t all an all-out super in-depth review, but I wanted to post that I really enjoyed the show the other night at Stage AE with Ascend the Fallen, The Bloody Seamen, Lady Beast, & Dethlehem.  All of the bands put forth a great effort, and the (giant) crowd was pleased.  I managed to take a ridiculous amount of photos, and some of them even turned out pretty cool.

Professor Richard Smallchange & Harry Valentine

Professor Richard Smallchange (Channeling Lord Bonecrush) & Hairy Valentine

Check out my photos on Photobucket & Facebook here…

If you’re on the Facebook and know the bands (or anyone else) in the photos, please tag ’em!

Ascend the Fallen

Ascend the Fallen

Ascend the Fallen was all over the place… literally.  They’re quite the active bunch up on stage.  They run n’ jump all over the place & had the crowd all riled up.  Those cats can shred.  They were a perfect opener for this gig, getting everyone ready for the things to come.

The Bloody Seamen

The Bloody Seamen

The Bloody Seamen always blow me away.  Their showmanship & dedication to character is unmatched.  My wife (who’s not a metal fan by any means) saw them for the first time the other night & became an instant fan.  Their catchy choruses, funny tales, and ridiculous stage presence will easily shanghai many a fan.  Something about everyone yelling during some of the aforementioned catchy choruses & the melodies have a very Dropkick Murphys/Flogging Molly sort of feel.  I’m sure the fife, accordions & bagpipes don’t hurt there either.  I’m going to have to try to barter with some doubloons to get my hands on some of their bootleg demos or something to hold me off until they have a proper album out for purchase.  Also… where else can you see a guitarist snap all of their strings with a machete at the end of their set, a fire-breathing sea-captain, and a bass player with a really creepy dead eye?  The highlight the other night was watching “Filthy” Cheswick Springdale decided to throw his guitar on the ground & assault it with his combo amp head while it squealed, only yo expertly cut it off when the song ended by unplugging the feedbacking beast.

Gunny

Gunny

Lady Beast

Lady Beast

Lady Beast rocked hard.  One dude on guitar had a Ravelle and made me extremely jealous.  Their singer is one hell of a positive role model for women into metal.  There were more ladies packed in front of the stage for their set than I have ever seen at a predominantly metal show in all my years of going to & playing shows combined.  It doesn’t hurt that she’s got great pipes and the band has a really heavy attack without sacrificing groove or melody.  These cats can play hard.  I’ll be anxiously awaiting their album, and I plan to check out more of their gigs!

Deb

Deb

Overlord Brom

Overlord Brom

Dethlehem

Dethlehem

Of course, I may have biased opinions on Dethlehem.  They are absolutely ridiculous, and no one deserved headline an all-local-acts show at Stage AE more than them.  These guys put a crazy amount of effort into not only the performance… but the song-writing, the shredding, the drumming, the singing, the over-all story arc, the costumes, and the entire production.  Someone needs to interview them & ask about the stuff they do to constantly take their playing & song-writing to the next level.  Trust me, it’s intense.  Sometimes people might look over that due to the theatrics.

Dethlehem

Dethlehem

It was great to be there for the first full show of the new Brutalitus the Bloodbeard, and it was very cool that Professor Dick Smallchange helped narrate and channeled Lord Bonecrush, joining the apparently chronic self-pleasuring barbarian-turned-blacksmith Sean “Hairy” Valentine for an encore.  The troll/ogre being made a eunuch, the birthing & bloody decapitation of said newborn, …both fantastic moments of on-stage debauchery.  The music itself was spectacular… with fretboard acrobatics by Bovice and Hildor, a helmeted Brom for nearly the entire show, Davidicus is truly a wizard of the low-end and keeping things going between songs with the interludes.  Bloodbeard proves himself to be a mighty vocalist, looking forward to his development with the band.

Headbangin' Harry

Headbangin' Hairy

I found a bunch of cool videos of that night online, enjoy!

If you have any links to more photos and/or video, please share!

☘ Éireann go Brách ☘


Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!

I’m told that means “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” or more accurately “Blessings of St. Patrick’s Day upon ye!”.  I hope that’s right.  Today, we celebrate Irish heritage.   How the holiday’s become that, I have no idea.  I’d like to share with you some Irish toasts, blessing, song, & food.  If you’re not of Irish descent, well… we’ll forgive for just one day.  As long as you forgive me for skipping the Guinness and sticking to the Smithwick’s.

Irish toasts & blessings…

A family of Irish birth will argue and fight,
But let a shout come from without and see them all unite.

Always remember to forget
The troubles that passed away.
But never forget to remember
The blessings that come each day.

An Irishman is never drunk
as long as he can hold on to
one blade of grass and not
fall off the face of the earth.

As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction!

Bless your little Irish heart — and every other Irish part.

From the great Gales of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry
And all their songs are sad.

Grant me a sense of humor, Lord,
the saving grace to see a joke,
To win some happiness from life,
And pass it on to other folks.

Here’s a toasting to his health.
But not too many toastings
Lest you lose yourself and then
Forget the good Saint Patrick
And see all those snakes again.

Here’s to a sweetheart, a bottle, and a friend.
The first beautiful, the second full, the last ever faithful.

Here’s to you and yours,
And to mine and ours,
And if mine and ours ever come
Across you and yours,
I hope you and yours will do
As much for mine and ours,
As mine and ours have done
For you and yours!

Here’s to a long life and a merry one.
A quick death and an easy one.
A pretty girl and an honest one.
A cold pint– and another one!

Here’s to the land of the shamrock so green,
Here’s to each lad and his darlin colleen,
Here’s to the ones we love dearest and most.
May God bless old Ireland, that’s this Irishman’s toast!

Here’s to women’s kisses,
and to whiskey, amber clear;
Not as sweet as a woman’s kiss,
but a darn sight more sincere!

Here’s to women’s kisses,
and to whiskey, amber clear;
Not as sweet as a woman’s kiss,
but a darn sight more sincere!

I drink to your health when I’m with you,
I drink to your health when I’m alone,
I drink to your health so often,
I’m starting to worry about my own!

I have known many,
and liked not a few,
but loved only one
and this toast is to you.

May God grant you always…
A sunbeam to warm you,
A moonbeam to charm you,
A sheltering angel, so nothing can harm you.

May good luck be your friend
In whatever you do
And may trouble be always
A stranger to you.

May joy and peace surround you,
Contentment latch your door,
And happiness be with you now
And bless you evermore.

May misfortune follow you the rest of your life, and never catch up.

May neighbours respect you,
Trouble neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And heaven accept you.

May the face of every good news and the back of every bad news be towards us.

May the good saints protect you
And bless you today
And may troubles ignore you
Each step of the way

May the grass grow long on the road to hell for want of use.

May the hinges of our friendship never grow rusty.

May the leprechauns be near you,
To spread luck along your way.
And may all the Irish angels,
Smile upon you on St. Patrick’s Day.

May the lilt of Irish laughter Lighten every load,
May the mist of Irish magic Shorten every road,
May you taste the sweetest pleasures That fortune ere bestowed,
And may all your friends remember all the favors you are owed.

May the luck of the Irish
Lead to happiest heights
And the highway you travel
Be lined with green lights.

May the lilt of Irish laughter lighten every load.
May the mist of Irish magic Shorten every road…
And may all your friends remember
All the favours you are owed!

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

May the rocks in your field turn to gold.

May the roof above you never fall in,
And those gathered beneath it never fall out.

May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.

May the winds of fortune sail you,
May you sail a gentle sea.
May it always be the other guy
who says, “this drink’s on me.”

May you be in heaven a full half hour before the devil knows your dead.

May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings,
slow to make enemies and quick to make friends.
And may you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.

May you get all your wishes but one, so that you will always have something to strive for!

May you have food and raiment,
a soft pillow for your head.
May you be forty years in heaven
before the devil knows you’re dead.

May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been,
The foresight to know where you are going,
And the insight to know when you have gone too far.

May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been,
the foresight to know where you’re going,
and the insight to know when you’ve gone too far.

May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night, and a smooth road all the way to your door.

May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.

May you live to be 100 years, with one extra year to repent.

May you never find trouble
All crowdin’ and shovin’
But always good fortune
All smilin’ and lovin’

May you taste the sweetest pleasures that fortune ere bestowed,
And may all your friends remember all the favors you are owed.

May your heart be light and happy,
May your smile be big and wide,
And may your pockets always have
a coin or two inside!

May your home always be too small to hold all your friends.

May your home be filled with laughter
May your pockets be filled with gold
And may you have all the happiness
Your Irish heart can hold.

May your mornings bring joy
and your evenings bring peace…
May your troubles grow less
as your blessings increase!

May your pockets be heavy—
Your heart be light,
And may good luck pursue you
Each morning and night.

May your pockets be heavy—
Your heart be light,
And may good luck pursue you
Each morning and night.

May your right hand always be stretched out in friendship and never in want.

May your troubles be less
And your blessing be more
And nothing but happiness
Come through your door

My friends are the best friends
Loyal, willing and able.
Now let’s get to drinking!
All glasses off the table!

Saint Patrick was a gentleman,
Who through strategy and stealth,
Drove all the snakes from Ireland,

That the tap may be open when it rusts!

There are good ships,
and there are wood ships,
The ships that sail the sea.
But the best ships, are friendships,
And may they always be.

We drink to your coffin. May it be built from the wood of a hundred year old oak tree that I shall plant tomorrow.

When we drink, we get drunk.
When we get drunk, we fall asleep.
When we fall asleep, we commit no sin.
When we commit no sin, we go to heaven.
So, let’s all get drunk, and go to heaven!

Wherever you go and whatever you do, May the luck of the Irish be there with you.

Here’s to cheating, stealing, fighting, and drinking!
If you cheat, may you cheat death.
If you steal, may you steal a woman’s heart.
If you fight, may you fight for a brother.
And if you drink, may you drink with me. … Slainte!

May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies, quick to make friends. But rich or poor, quick or slow, may you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.

May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.

May the strength of three be in your journey.

May the sound of happy music, And the lilt of Irish laughter, fill your heart with gladness, that stays forever after.

Here’s to me, and here’s to you,
And here’s to love and laughter-
I’ll be true as long as you,
And not one moment after.

There are many good reasons for drinking,
One has just entered my head-
If a man doesn’t drink when he’s living,
How the hell can he drink when he’s dead?

May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.

May you have love that never ends,
lots of money, and lots of friends.
Health be yours, whatever you do,
and may God send many blessings to you!

May the sun shine, all day long,
everything go right, and nothing wrong.
May those you love bring love back to you,
and may all the wishes you wish come true!

May you have:
A world of wishes at your command.
God and his angels close to hand.
Friends and family their love impart,
and Irish blessings in your heart!

May you have warm words on a cold evening,
a full moon on a dark night,
and the road downhill all the way to your door.

For each petal on the shamrock.
This brings a wish your way
Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day.

May the embers from the open hearth warm your hands,
May the sun’s rays from the Irish sky warm your face,
May the children’s bright smiles warm your heart,
May the everlasting love I give you warm your soul.

May you always have work for your hands to do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane.
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks,
May your heart be as light as a song,
May each day bring you bright, happy hours,
That stay with you all the year long.

May joy and peace surround you,
Contentment latch your door,
And happiness be with you now,
And bless you evermore.

May the saint protect ye-
An’ sorrow neglect ye,
An’ bad luck to the one
That doesn’t respect ye
t’ all that belong to ye,
An long life t’ yer honor-
That’s the end of my song t’ ye!

May good luck be your friend
In whatever you do.
And may trouble be always
A stranger to you.

May your blessings outnumber
The Shamrocks that grow.
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.

May your troubles be less,
And your blessing be more.
And nothing but happiness,
Come through your door.

And some Irish song…

This one’s from Seamus Kennedy, you need to check him out if he’s ever on tour in a pub or a festival near you!


And, of course, here’s some Flogging Molly

Terry Griffith is another good one to catch at a renaissance festival or pub near you…


Porter & Stout are always amusing… although maybe more Pirtaes than Irish…

Of course, we have the Dropkick Murphys


And Johnny Cash with Jimmie Rodgers

Some additional links themed for the day…

Please share any more toasts, blessings, songs, or recipes that you may have in the comments below!


Also, I can’t resist…  “Where the Gold At?

Saint Patrick was a gentleman,
Who through strategy and stealth,
Drove all the snakes from Ireland,
Here’s a toasting to his health.
But not too many toastings
Lest you lose yourself and then
Forget the good Saint Patrick
And see all those snakes again.