Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Dearth

I had previously wondered how a person could NOT come up with a topic to blog about. Prior to this week, I seemed to have at least 3 posts formulating in my head at any given time. Now that school is out and I have time to sit down and write something...nothing comes to mind. Even now, "days later"...ok, ok, inside movie quote.

Speaking of movies, summer is a great time to be able to enjoy sitting down and watching a flick. I have recently borrowed 5 from the library (the maximum limit of my card) and I hope to watch them all this week. I am a movie buff. But I rarely go to the theater. Okay, I have stumbled onto a topic. Going to movies. I was raised that it was wrong to go to a movie theater. I'm not saying that that was good or bad. I'm glad I was raised not going to movies. We still watched them in the privacy of our own home. And I still like to do that now--especially since the advent of the TV Guardian (Curse-free TV), which is a great invention that I would highly recommend. But I have currently been inside a movie theater to see a movie now...5 times. And it has always been with people who have no qualms about the experience. It is also my goal to not randomly go to a movie, but to check out the movie I am going to see to make sure it is worthwhile. And there are some movies that ARE big-screen movies--that is, they are really cool on the big screen. I agree with my cousin Mark when he said that The Chronicles of Narnia: LWW was one such movie (which was the latest one I saw in a theater). Besides, movies are EXPENSIVE! Why waste big bucks on something like that all the time? Especially when, if you are patient and wait long enough, you can get them from the library for 2 weeks for FREE? There is one upcoming movie, though, that I WOULD pay to go to a movie theater to see: Pirates of the Caribbean 2!! I hope it's as good as the first!!

So, the moral of the story: if you have slumped into a dearth of blog topics, just start posting, apparently!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

More Graduations

I don't have time to post about Kindergarten graduation Thursday night, celebrating with Carter Knolhoff and his family that evening, helping the 6th grade teachers with a movie-maker project for the Awards ceremony Friday morning, and all the graduation-week practices. But TODAY is HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION and the OFFICIAL END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR! Hip-hip-HOORAY!! Summer vacation is here!!!!

I went to one open house last night (Friday), and I am planning to go to 7 more today and 5 more tomorrow! Free food...YAY!

Piano Recitals

(me with Andrew & Christina Doerr)
I had 2 spring recitals for my piano students this year. One on Sunday, May 21 at 2:00 p.m. and then one on Monday, May 22 at 7:00 p.m. Almost all of my students participated in one or the other, plus I added a few duets, so we had about 21 in each recital. There were going to be more in the second recital, but about 5 dropped out last-minute. So the bigger crowd ended up being on Sunday (I printed off 50 programs and they were all gone). Monday I printed off 60 programs and had about 20 left over! I have a few people that are interested in summer lessons, but overall, piano lessons are DONE for another year! I got some beautiful flowers at both recitals!

Monday, May 22, 2006


"Great is Thy faithfulness..."

Sunday afternoon was a big event in my church family--the groundbreaking for the new community center! It is supposed to open on Memorial Day 2007. God has truly been blessing in my church in so many ways--especially financially lately. I believe that there are a lot of people (especially our pastoral staff) who are seeking to glorify God by words and actions and really striving to be good stewards of the resources He has given to us. We are definitely not burying our "talents" in the ground. Pastor Viars is definitely not afraid to try new things and step out on a faith limb. And after the Community Center is built we have already been given a 2.45 million dollar grant to start a home for single moms right next door. What an exciting place to be!

"To God be the glory great things He hath done."

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Gardening Saturday

Saturday was a beautiful, sunny day. So after being treated to a Bob Evans breakfast by the Knolhoff family, I headed off to buy plants (used some gift cards!) and do a little planting. My big purchase was a macintosh apple tree for my back yard. I planted some geraniums around its base because I think my back yard needs more color. My front flower bed is still a work in progress, but I did some rearranging and added some daisies and baby's breath...and an extra geranium that didn't fit in the backyard. And I hung a hanging basket of wave petunias...with some more petunias in a potter by my front door.

It is fun to work outside and enjoy God's beautiful creation.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Happy Birthday to ME!

Today was my birthday. I am now only 2 years away from 30...AAAGHH!! :)

It was a pretty low-key celebration today...considering I "ruined" my surprise party by going to surprise my parents last weekend. So since they didn't come down, I had no surprise party. Miss Wilson's 6th grade sang to me after chapel this morning, and FMT sang to me during Bible class. Mrs. Leffew put up a birthday sign and balloons outside my door. And I got 3 e-cards and 3 cards in the mail when I got home. And a birthday song voice mail from my brother. So that was all very special. My friends the Knolhoffs are going to take me out for breakfast on Saturday. My parents had already given me my present last weekend. So there wasn't much else; I guess that's the case when you get older. :) But I treated myself to a Wendy's frosty after the high school spring concert, which was also last night. The program went well--it was a mix of band, choir, and speech, so my part was fairly simple--just playing for the Jr. high and the Sr. high choir. Jack didn't think we needed a powerpoint, so we didn't even have that!

I think I'm the kind of person who gets more out of something when you can look forward to it, so I don't think surprises are my favorite thing anyway. If you have something to look forward to, for instance, on your birthday, then you know that at least people remembered it was your birthday. When it's all a surprise, they pretend to not know it's your birthday or you have to be very careful what you say. Or you're afraid to say anything that might spoil their surprise. Or if you think there might be something and there's not, there's the danger of disappointment. Anyway, I'm rambling now. But I am looking forward to going out for breakfast on Saturday!

So, thanks to those of you who remembered me on my birthday. Let's do it again next year!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


I was able to SURPRISE my parents by coming to Sarah's graduation. They thought I was too busy to come up, but I cleared my schedule for Friday and Monday and made a nice long weekend of it by going up to the U.P. afterwards. So I was able to surprise my mom and spend all of Mother's Day with her.

I walked up the bleachers Friday night at Northland's Spring Concert to where my mom and dad were sitting and said "Surprise! Happy Mother's Day!" It would be safe to say that Mom looked shocked. "What are you doing here? Did you know about OUR surprise?" The hilarious thing was that THEY had planning to come and surprise ME on Thursday for my birthday! But I beat them to it. I surprised them first!! Kudos to my sisters and Amy Knolhoff, who each knew about BOTH surprises, but never spilled the beans to either of us.

Saturday after graduation I was able to enjoy driving through the scenic Upper Peninsula (I saw a wild turkey and 3 deer). Then Sarah and I provided special music for church Sunday morning (a select few people knew I was coming so the schedule was clear); we sang "Still the Cross." We (Dad and us 3 girls) took mom out to Red Lobster for Sunday dinner. And we enjoyed watching each others videos and pictures from the last couple of months after evening church while playing Rook.

I took my time getting back on Monday. I stopped in Chicago to see my good friend Jackie and was able to visit with her for a little while. I went straight to bed when I got home; in fact, I still need to unpack the car because I accidentally overslept this morning, too.

But it was a great weekend back in the good old U.P. woods. And I've always wanted to surprise my mom and come back for a visit. So now I can check that off the "things-to-do-in-my-life" list. Probably won't happen again...

Happy Graduation, Sis!

I was able to attend my youngest sister Sarah's graduation from Northland Baptist Bible College on Saturday (May 13). She graduated with a 2-year Bible Associates degree. I'm proud of you for finishing, sis! I'm glad I got to celebrate with you, and I look forward to having you come and live with me this fall. Love ya!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

My Life is a Rehearsal

It seems as if I'm always rehearsing for something. Last week was the 4th-6th grade elementary Spring Concert on Thursday night and the K5-3rd grade Spring Program on Friday night...for starters. (Besides that I had regular Worship Team practice, Day of Prayer breakfast practice, and rehearsals for the Sunday morning offertory and special. I was going from one thing right to the next!) Thankfully I managed to be prepared for all the programs last week and they all seemed to go quite well. I pulled off a powerpoint presentation apiece for those programs too.

This week is the Preschool (K3-K4) Program Thursday, which is kind of my "baby." Tonight I've been working on the powerpoint and picture presentation for that so we can rehearse with at least some of that tomorrow.

We've also started rehearsing for our 7th-12th grade Spring Concert, which will be held next week Thursday. Plus Tuesday nights is the regular night to have Sunday Worship Team rehearsal (and that was tonight)!!

And today was also try-outs for Faith Ministry Team for next year...but I guess that wouldn't be classified as a rehearsal.

Please pray that I will be able to be well-prepared for Thursday night's preschool program. I thought I had things pretty well under control, but the last couple of days I'm finding out some things aren't quite as ready as I had hoped (like my pictures and powerpoint), so I'll be running around like crazy trying to get things ready for that. That's the next big thing on my mind.

Then it will be off to new rehearsals...graduation is just around the corner, too!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Odd One Out

Which of these tulips is not like the others? Last fall I bought some tulip bulbs to plant in my front flower bed. I specifically bought red ones so that they would all be the same color. But somehow I got a hybrid bulb or something, because the one on the end is obviously yellow with red stripes (and also a little taller than the others). Hmm.... Anyway, this picture was actually taken last week when they were closer to their prime. This week they're all pretty much dead.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Goodbye, Reba

Reba Ebony Hill
April 22, 1991-May 3, 2006
I dedicate this post to my beloved dog, Reba, who had to be put down due to kidney failure on Wednesday. Her sister Trixi was my first dog, given to me on my 13th birthday, when the neighbor's dog had puppies. We got Reba on Valentine's Day 1994 from a family in church who had taken her as a puppy. Trixi was killed by a car on December 23, 1995. And now Reba is gone from us. She had been failing lately. From what I've heard from my parents, her sight and hearing was pretty much gone, and she had trouble eating and digesting food due to the kidney failure. My parents finally took her in to the vet to put her to sleep on Wednesday, after she was gasping for breath. She was buried on my sister and brother-in-law's property in a simple ceremony Wednesday night. Goodbye, Reba.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I didn't vote

But it's not because of lack of trying. Apparently figuring out where to vote today was beyond my skills.

As I was driving around this evening from polling place to polling place, I was reminding myself of how important it was to vote. It is my CIVIC DUTY as a United States citizen to do my part in being informed and involved in my country's politics. Many races are decided by just a few numbers of votes. Even the primary elections are important. I must do my civic duty and cast my vote today! This would be pleasing to God. These were the thoughts going through my head as I tried to locate my polling place. Let me share my story.

I studied the "Where to Vote" section of my Sunday newspaper, but couldn't figure out my new voting precinct, as it was right on the edge of the map. But I had until Tuesday night at 6:00 to figure it out. How hard can it be? I asked myself. I had thought to perhaps get up at 6:00 a.m. and go right away and figure it out. But when my alarm went off I changed my mind. Plus, I rationalized, I should probably do a little computer research this afternoon to figure out who I need to vote for anyway. I don't want to go in unprepared. I'm done with lessons at 4:30 p.m.; I will have a whole hour and a half to get my voting down before I have to be at church for Worship Team practice at 6:00 (and the polls close). My original plan was to vote around 5:00 and even stop by Culver's for our school-sponsored eat-out night there (from 4:00-8:00 a percentage would go to our school). I had intended to grab the newspaper on the way out the door in the morning to see if there was any new information on where to vote, but I forgot, so I figured I could look it up online. Besides, my school/church was a polling place itself. Perhaps I would be fortunate to be able to vote right there at work!! I didn't have enough of a lunch break during the day to check it out, but I was still planning on my "flawless" 4:30 plan. So by 4:45 I had done a little research on the computer and felt prepared enough to cast my ballot. I headed down the hallway in the building to see if this was perhaps my new precinct in which to vote. Of course I couldn't be THAT fortunate. "No, you're in the wrong place. Let us look up on the computer where you need to vote." They found my name in the computer, and it had my old address still; it claimed I need to vote at some Heritage Methodist Church. Since it's my old address, I assume this is where they've changed the voting to in my old precinct. I have no clue where this is, but I headed to my office to Mapquest it before I headed off. No results found for Heritage Methodist Church in Lafayette. Okay, so I figure I'll just go home, grab the newspaper and see where my old precinct is supposed to be voting. Surely it's clearly marked. (By this time it's 5:00. I still have a whole hour until the polls close.) So I stop off at home and grab the paper. I had done enough research to find out that you have one time you're allowed to vote at your old precinct, and you just need to ask for a change of address form there to update to your new address. So I figure I should be safe just going to my old polling place which has changed to, according to the paper...Ivy Tech Community College. This wasn't the Methodist Church, but at least I knew where Ivy Tech was. So I headed over there to cast my ballot. I arrived and signed my name, but "No, you're not on the list. Let's look up on the computer where you need to vote." This time I pay closer attention to what the computer has registered me under. Fairfield 001. I don't understand, since my old address is still in the Fairfield 23 precinct. But my polling place comes up again as "Heritage United Methodist Church" on N. Co. Rd. 350 E. (Note, this time I memorize the address.) When I get back to the car I look at the newspaper again. I don't understand how I'm registered in the new precinct unless that really is my new precinct...but why haven't they updated my address? Anyway, I think I know where 350 is. (By this time, it is reaching 5:30.) So I drive on 350 S where I know a few churches are located. Christ United Heritage United Methodist. Then I realize I have probably been going completely in the wrong direction since this is 350 S, not 350 E. My church is located on 550E, so I turn around and head back that direction. By this time it is about 5:45. So I drive past my church, looking for a 350 E. The numbers are going up, not down, so apparently I am going the wrong direction...again. But heading back into town I have no idea where 350 would be. I take one more loop behind Cracker Barrel, but then I decide, by 5:55 p.m., that I will probably not make it to my polling place in time, so I just head to church for Worship Team practice. I think to myself, what if I had paid attention the first time around and looked up the address for Heritage UNITED Methodist Church with an address on 350 on Mapquest. So as soon as I get there I hop right on my work computer and Mapquest this...still no results found. Hey, if Mapquest doesn't know where it is; how am I supposed to find it? At least I'm glad that wouldn't have worked the first time. So that is my story on how I did NOT vote in the primary election today. (I did note in the election results that no races were decided by a single vote, thankfully.) But I still have no clue what my new precinct is or where Heritage United Methodist Church is.

Monday, May 01, 2006

A Visit to Ball State

Here's a picture of Sunday afternoon's Wind Ensemble concert at Ball State University. I drove 2 hours east across the state to Muncie to hear my friend and former student Keilah Brown play the flute in this final concert of their season. My favorite piece in the concert was "A Somerset Rhapsody," by Gustav Holst. I don't think I've ever heard it before, but it had a hauntingly beautiful alto sax solo that began and ended the piece (accompanied by a high flute note that Keilah just LOVED to get to play)! Somerset is a county in England, and it was a very celtic-sounding collection of English folk songs. I just LOVED that piece!

Sursa Hall in the brand new Music Instruction Building (finished in 2004, I believe) was acoustically incredible. The facilities at BSU are top-notch, as they even have Steinway baby grands in the sound-proof practice rooms! Keilah gave me a little tour after the concert, but it was raining outside so I didn't get any pictures outside. I did enjoy visiting her dorm and meeting her roommate Nichole. Her roommate she's requested for next year, Emily, is a piano performance major and she played a selection from a Mozart sonata for us.

They have finals this week. I was glad to get to see the campus and to visit with Keilah. She would be my first student to continue on to college to study music (Music Ed.)! How exciting--Keilah, you're almost done with your freshman year!! Keep your FOCUS UP!

Here she is with her parents, Kevitt & Sara.

Me & K-la