Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Georgia Here We Come!

This is one of my most FAVORITE times of the year: FMT Tour!! (For those of you who aren't familiar with the acronym, the Faith Ministry Team takes a mini-tour around spring break every year.) Since I accompany for the group, I get to go along. And since Mrs. Leffew will not be along this trip, I get to be the "mom"--although I feel more like the "big sister," trying to be prepared for any eventuality. I have a first aid kit, ibuprofen, paper towels, and a few snacks. And, Justin, yes, this year I packed Shout wipes.

I love traveling and seeing new places. This year we are going to Georgia to where the Liedtkes are in a new ministry in a church (working with Hispanics as well as the Christian school). We are excited to get to see Sam again! It's a great opportunity to sing and minister in other schools. And usually we get to do a little sightseeing, too. This year we are going to get a chance to see Mammoth Caves in Kentucky on the way home on Friday! How do you say it..."wOOt! wOOt!"??

I'm excited to get going!!

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Oops...here's the assortment of pictures I promised (They wouldn't all fit in one post).

The guys:
Director Kelly Curtis

The stars: Joel & Rebecca The girls:
Justin & Luke (Luke gets his picture in again for saying the right line!):

Fiddler #3--It's Over! :(

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Robbie (Lazer Wolf!):

Here's an assortment of pics from our last Fiddler show.

Overall things went fine this afternoon (Luke even got his line in--and the right one!), but I'd say Friday's was the best overall performance. The one little glitch today was that Tevye's mic (Joel--the main character) cut out during the last part of the first half, but thankfully it was pretty close to intermission so he wasn't without it long--and it worked fine after intermission. There were a few timing things tonight, but overall it was a VERY GOOD show and everyone enjoyed it.

Director Kelly Curtis reminded us of a great verse: 2 Corinthians 3:5 "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God." To Him be the glory!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Fiddler #2

I KNEW it could be better! No second night slump for us! Friday night's packed house helped inspire the players to new heights of greatness. I thought the orchestra and chorus were much more together on Tradition and The Dream tonight!! And Christopher had fun instead of being nervous.

The only minor glitch was Luke Helmer's line..."A stick of wood?" at the wrong time that set off consternation in what to say next...(Apparently the look Rebecca gave him was priceless--the look of that's-my-line-why-are-you-saying-it-now?) "So what's a tree?" "Or a hat?" That was not something the audience would have noticed, though...so what if the nouns were a little mixed up. Just have to give him a hard time about that. He says that he'll get it tomorrow, though...we'll have to wait and see. One more performance--hopefully it won't be a let down.

Here's Jacob Johnson (Rabbi and line-coverer) with Luke Helmer:

And Tirzah as Tzeitel:

Fiddler #1

The first night of Fiddler on the Roof is behind us...2 more performances to go: tonight at 7:30 and tomorrow at 3:00.

I thought last night went okay. I heard that the orchestra sounded good, although I thought we could have done a lot better and been a little more together, so we get another chance tonight! There were over 200 tickets sold for last night. Tonight is supposed to be a packed house at 500, and the Saturday matinee already has sold over 300 tickets, according to what I've heard.

I thought Joel and Rebecca (Tevye and Golde) really stepped it up last night and were in their element. And I only noticed one missed line (Christopher/Motel); although it was a funny one, it wasn't that important. Maybe we'll get it in tonight. And maybe he'll make it through that song a little better--but at least it goes with his character anyway, no matter how he sings it.

But overall it went pretty well, and I hope it goes even better for the next 2 performances!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

No More Kevin

This is a pretty mundane post, but Kevin Covais was "voted off" American Idol last night. I was very sad to see him go (although I couldn't see him as a winner, either).

I liked Kevin, a.k.a. "Chicken Little"--mostly because he reminds me a little of my brother (I think they look similar).

So, goodbye, Kevin. I think I'll root for Chris now.

American Idol is such a--what's the word?--fickle show. This kind of fame is so fleeting...even if it lasts a "long" time it will only be for a few short years. There are much more important things to be in life than to be someone's "Idol" for a few weeks/months/even years.

"Only one life, 'twill soon be past...only what's done for CHRIST will last."

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Hey, I kept trying to insert pictures and for some reason they worked this time, so here's a few FABA pics--finally!

Here are my fellow photographers: Rachelle and Lindsey:

Senior High Choir warming up:
Joey's fan club spelling his name before his trumpet solo:
Here's the quartet warming up for FABA (Justin, Joey, Joel, & Rob):
I'm not sure what Joel is telling Ezra, but it looks scary:

Monday, March 20, 2006

Happy Spring!

Today is the first day of spring (as of 1:26 p.m., I believe)--and the forecast is calling for 4-7 inches of snow tonight and tomorrow! Ah, brings back great memories of spring in the good ol' U.P.!

But today the daffodils are blooming:

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sr. High FABA

Thursday and Friday were our Senior High Fine Arts, Bible, and Academic meet held at Indiana Christian Academy in Anderson (about an hour and a half away). Our choir and band both took FIRST PLACE!!

Some other highlights were Elizabeth Kuhns (flute solo) 1st, Joey Wright (trumpet) 2nd, FMT 2nd, and Emily Rausch (music theory test) 1st!

Here are some pictures to commemorate the event:

(well, ok, I'm having trouble inserting pictures, so just imagine the Joey fan club spelling his name, choir warming up, etc.)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Happy Birthday Mr. Heim

I dedicate this picture to Jack Heim to honor him on his 42nd birthday. (Thanks, bro, for your help!)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Meditation on Psalm 16

I read this last night in my devotions and was reminded of the good truths in these verses from Psalm 16 (NKJV):

7 I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.
8 I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. [Can I say this of the way I've acted today?]
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
[God knows the path He has planned out for me, and there can be no greater joy and contentment than in realizing this. Ultimate joy will only be found in His presence and nothing more.]

Monday, March 13, 2006

Sr. High Choir Randomness

--Rob Summer, hands clasped in front of him, doing his imitation of monk-like singing.
--Rebecca Thomas, contorting her face into amusing shapes trying to get Sun-A across the room to open her mouth more.
--Bus trips where one of the buses leaks oil all over the place and smokes something fierce.
--Kelsy Anderson, getting her leg stuck in the closing bus door. "Um, can someone please open the door?"
--Tirzah Brown (yes, I DO pronounce it TEER-zuh), announcing "Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel...from Lafayette."

Saturday, March 11, 2006

My Crazy Friday

March is definitely blowing in and on through as quickly as...a person with a cold goes through a box of tisues.

I was very thankful to make it through the day yesterday (Friday, March 10) due to the Friendship Banquet. I knew I had to do the powerpoint presentation for that, but there were just too many things going on earlier in the week with my normal hectic schedule to get it done before Friday. (Plus details are suject to change at the last minute and I despise having to redo things.) And I knew that normally on Fridays I have more time to work on the computer since I give fewer lessons. So, anyway, Thursday in a few minutes of spare time right after school and in every spare moment Friday I spent going through yearbook pictures, looking for ones I could use to highlight the school, taking more pictures of the preschool, and combining 167 pictures into a powerpoint for during the dinner. Then putting the program presentation together--and trying to make it look good because this is a big fundraising event for the school and public dignitaries were scheduled to attend (although I know that really shouldn't matter because everything done for God should be done in an excellent manner, anyway). So in between my normal schedule of giving lessons and a couple of extra practices for more upcoming events (and taking an extra hour to help a student write out a song on the computer), I spent tracking down information for the program and putting that together. (Of course, to make matters more complicated my office computer can't handle the number of pictures and was acting up, plus I didn't have the right fonts...)

And my other responsibilities included playing dinner music and accompanying three music groups, so I wanted to be well-prepared and really needed to practice some things for that. Thankfully, one of the benefits that comes with older age is experience, so having done these things before really helps in preparing...it's more mental than anything else. (On these kinds of days, eating is on the bottom of the priority list.)

Speaking of practicing, I usually like to spend an hour or so on Fridays practicing the piano, because I usually have some free time, and I really need to do so because of the events coming up THIS week. Today (Saturday) I am on my way with our senior high choir to a non-competitive public school festival. Sunday morning the Faith Ministry Team is ministering at Church Alive downtown in the morning. Monday and Tuesday I really need to be prepared for Fiddler on the Roof rehearsals, because I have some main parts and I haven't practiced them yet. And Thursday and Friday are the FABA competitions for the Christian school association, and I need to find time to get together with people I am responsible for as well as people I am accompanying for that.

Some days I wonder how it will all get done, but in spite of all this busy-ness, isn't it amazing how much God allows us to accomplish. I mean, I was able to sleep in this morning (well, I couldn't sleep past 7:45, but I didn't have anywhere I had to be until 1:00). And I was able to put laundry away, do the dishes, vacuum the house--all things I usually do only when I have free time! I even got out some spring decorations. I didn't feel rushed at all. And since tomorrow morning I will not be at my church's services, I won't have to be here until 8:00 a.m.! So I can "sleep in" again tomorrow. And it's amazing how much we can actually squeeze in to a 24-hour day. God created us marvelously!

So, we are coming in to a very busy time of year for me, but on the other hand, this is the stuff that makes life fun and interesting.

And, oh, BTW, Friday night went very well. I was able to get the winning bids typed in during the program, dinner music went well, and I only saw one glitch in the picture presentation (forgot to delete a picture underneath another picture). And one of the names on the program part of the presentation was wrong, but there was nothing I could do about that. I even got to taste some chocolate covered strawberries and the cheescake!

Now if only I could find a time to get my taxes done...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Amazing Race

Tuesday night is the best night of TV! Unfortunately, I think I'm addicted.

I love NCIS, which unfortunately is across from American Idol, so I was flipping channels back and forth last night, trying to catch the singers in between the NCIS commerical breaks (it doesn't come in well enough to record). Last night was only the girls, so I didn't miss too much; the guys are more fun to watch/listen to. I like seeing if my comments would be similar to what the judges say (I tend to agree with Simon, usually!) I haven't decided who I'd like to win yet...I'm waiting for the choice to get more narrowed down. So I don't think I really have a favorite yet.

But the BIG THING to watch on Tuesday nights is THE AMAZING RACE! I think that it is one of the best shows ever, except for the swear words they could cut out. This year I think the hippies are my favorite team to watch, and I'd be okay if they won. The frat boys are way too egotistical and need to grow up and actually earn a living. I've been happy with the way the eliminations have gone so far, and I'm glad the older couple is still around. One of these days, my brother and I should go and do it! He could tackle all the physical tasks and the eating; I could navigate--but I can do my share of physical tasks!! I don't know, one of these days, seminarybeachbum, if you're reading this...

I recently found a link on a friend's page to an audition tape for the Amazing Race from one of my friends from church! I hope Gaylene gets in to the Amazing Race 10. That would be awesome! Check out her video.

And that's Tuesday night TV for me.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Pulled Over

This is kind of embarrassing, so I've debated about whether to post this tale or not--but it makes an interesting story, so here goes...

Basically, I was pulled over for the first time in Indiana on Sunday! After church got out around 12:30 I was driving over to West Lafayette for an Honors Piano Recital at 1:30 at Purdue's Fowler Hall (plus I stopped for lunch at the Taco Bell drive-through and got one of those new Crunchwrap Supremes), so I was in kind of a hurry to make it there since I didn't want to be late because my student was slated for first on the recital. Anyway, I wasn't being as cautious of a driver as I usually am. Right before crossing over the bridge into West Lafayette, I made a bad judgment call. The light turned yellow, and it was one of those "do-I-stop-or-do-I-go?" kind of moments. I chose to go, and the light turned red as I went through. You usually know right away if what you've done is questionable, because--what do you do?--you look in the rearview mirror! (Just that act alone implies guilt, I believe.) Anyway, I looked in my rearview mirror and saw a police car pull out from the side road, right on my tail. Thankfully he turned his lights off until after we'd crossed the bridge, then he pulled me over. I knew exactly why he was pulling me over, and I told him I had made a bad judgment call and I should have stopped. He pulled my record ("clean as a whistle") and just told me to be more careful.

I deserved it. Actually, this was the second time in that drive over that I had blazed through a yellow light. And I just realized that I've been getting a little too lax in my driving. I really do need to be more careful. So it was a good wake-up call, even though I probably should have gotten a ticket (but I'm thankful I didn't get one)!

I've been that way in some other areas of my life, too. (Not as careful with what I watch, what I allow myself to think about, spending time in God's Word...) Sometimes we get tired of doing the right things, but that is not an excuse not to do them anymore. If our focus is on pleasing God just because of WHO God is and from what He expects of me, and not just what I feel like doing, or what everyone else is doing, that gives us the energy and drive to do it. No matter what the choices others are making, and whether they are called into account for their actions or not, I still need to make right choices.

Galatians 6:9 "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." (KJV)

Monday, March 06, 2006

Joining the Ranks

I've taken the plunge! The last couple of weeks I've enjoyed reading others' blogs and didn't think I'd have time to have one of my own...but, well, I guess if I've had time to READ them I should have time to POST them!! It's all about priorities.

The final shove, though, came from my friends Rob & Joel, who decided to turn off "anonymous" posting on their blogs (and I totally understand their reasoning), although--alas and allack--that left me (even though I've always commented under "other" and not "anonymous"), unable to comment. (Even though I played blockfrenzy.com for that sole purpose--highly addicting, by the way, and I have yet to break 21 seconds.)

So, Joel, for your comment "Just get your own blog. It only takes a minute to set up!" (or something to that effect)--this blogs for you!

But I hope this blog is as much fun (and enlightening and hopefully eventually thought-provoking) to read as the ones that I've enjoyed have been.