Thursday, March 22, 2012

Amazing Grace. Tremper High School 2011 Spring Concert. Arrangement by Greg Berg

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I just watched Fireproof the movie this evening. I figured since I wrote about the Shack, this movie deserves attention too. It took me a few minutes to get past the awkward vibe I got from the actors, and of course the southern accents which struck me strange since it was set in Albany - isn't that New York? Anyway after several minutes I got used to the actors and accents and began to care about the characters. And then my favorite thing happened - they started portraying real men! The kind you can love and respect. The kind who are willing to "man up" and do the right thing even when it looks and feels like failure. The man was not portrayed as the "bad guy" for a refreshing change. And then I really fell in love with the movie. It's all about saving your marriage and honoring your marriage commitment. It's all about the love and forgiveness that can only come from Christ. It's real and gritty and portrays real life attitudes and real life conversations and even the kinds of things that dreams are made of without being hokey or fake. Every married person should see this movie. Now I'm going out to buy a copy of "The Love Dare".

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What's up with March??

I cannot believe I am saying this but it really does seem like in my life the month of March is cursed or something. Here we go again. In my March blog from last year I pointed out all the major things that happened in March. Brad was born (good, for the most part ... teehee), Kelly was killed, and my mom died.

Then a couple of years ago I got this crazy idea to do piano accompaniment for solo ensemble competitions for local high school kids and that takes place in March. For the most part this is a really fun thing that I love to do, but it is somewhat stressful and it's this Saturday and as usual I do not feel prepared. But come 8 am Saturday morning I will be playing 27 different songs whether I feel fully prepared or not.

If that's not enough my wonderful husband has been having a few health issues and the doc has decided some of them can easily be solved by removing his gallbladder. And you guessed it - this will also happen in March. As a matter of fact it's this Thursday - which just adds to my stress level since I can't really cancel playing for 27 kids. Gallbladder must be like appendix and tonsils - what are they really good for if they can come out so easily and quickly and in the meantime just give you misery? I say good riddance to it! As a matter of fact I said good riddance to mine about 27 years ago and I haven't missed it a bit.

And now they changed Daylight Savings Time to this Sunday?? What next?? At least this year Easter is back in April where it belongs.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

What happened to January?

In a flash it was just well, gone! What did I do? Where was I? I have nothing to show for it. I don’t even have much of a recollection of it. I mean 31 days and I can really only account for the Sundays. I know where I was and what I was doing on those days at least. But that is only 4 days, what happened to the others?

One of those 4 days had an impact on me. My minister said something very profound that really grabbed me on one of those Sundays. He spoke about the 3 B’s of Christianity. Believing, belonging and becoming. I like it. It reached me. I believe in Christ, I belong to Christ, but then the “R” word – the responsibility of the relationship – the final B is becoming Christ-like. That’s a tough one. He said we are all in those B’s somewhere but we shouldn’t get stuck in the first one. It’s been a long time since I have worried about grades and letters, but I am so glad I got those 3 B’s.

But honestly I get an “F” for January. I know I was dealing with the whole furniture and redecoration issue, and I know that Mike and I became ‘24’ addicts by starting at season 1 and watching all the way through to season 5. I cooked, I cleaned, I poked around the internet but January just disappeared right out from under me. How often does that happen? Is it a sign of age? Is it even a valid question? Is anyone else wondering what happened to January?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Four years ago I began singing in a mixed a cappella group. Each year at Christmas we are invited to sing at several different Christmas parties as part of the entertainment. But the biggest part of our time is spent in what we laughingly call “kamikaze caroling”. That means we will make rounds at several nursing homes and hospitals. We are always well received and it is obviously appreciated. We usually just go up and down the halls or stand at the nursing stations. Usually people will stop what they are doing. Some join in singing. Some clap and cheer us on. Some follow us to the next stop and listen to the same songs over and over. What always gets to me are the ones that cry. For whatever reason – maybe it’s a particular song that elicits a sad emotion. Or it’s just a deep appreciation that someone cares enough to put out the effort. Whatever the case we always enjoy ourselves, feel appreciated and leave knowing we lifted the spirits of some of the patients and family.

We always stop in a few restaurants to sing and after the employees get over the shock and disbelief they always receive us well and are glad for the distraction and even the disruption. One of the stops we made was to a Quiznos Sandwich Shop. The owner is from India or somewhere similar and he was so excited and appreciative that he treated us to drinks out of his cooler. We also went to an outlet mall. It was just sort of random. It started because one of the girls that sang with us last year was working in one of the stores and we wanted to surprise her. We sure did surprise her, but it was an even bigger surprise to us. Everywhere we went people pulled out their cell phones and cameras and began recording us or taking pictures. We went into a Ghirardelli Chocolate store (yeah, you know why) and we were amazed at the shoppers treating us to their candy purchases. Of course all the children we encountered watched us out of curiosity, but the adults watched us out of amazement and confusion. I suddenly realized most people have never seen Christmas carolers. As a matter of fact I have never seen any. We continued along at the outlet mall, choosing stores at random. We mostly chose stores that seemed busy so we could reach more people. We stopped in a Yankee Candle store and I have never seen anything like the reaction. They wouldn’t let us leave. We sang every song we knew. Shoppers and employees alike stopped what they were doing and begged us to continue. Time after time people stopped in their tracks in total amazement that we were actually standing there in front of them singing. We even went into a Burger King and I thought one of the workers was going to pass out. You could just see them thinking they should pinch themselves to make sure it was real. This has probably happened every year, but this year I really noticed it more. And at some point it stopped being a gift I was giving and became a gift I was receiving.

Each year we begin rehearsing every Sunday night from September till the first weekend of December. Then we spend those first two weekends of December – both Saturday and Sunday making our rounds. Every year we joke because there is always a snow storm – usually both weekends. My husband always says “oh, look at the forecast – it’s gonna be really bad weather – that must mean Common Thread is singing”. Each year I am excited to begin and exhausted and tired of it at the end. But this year was special. This year somewhere along the way it became a gift to me. It will hold a special place in my heart for years to come. The Christmas spirit truly descended on me.

Sing some carols - Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Stand by Me

This video is the song Stand by Me played by musicians around the world involved in the Playing For Change Foundation. This group is dedicated to connecting the world through music by providing resources to musicians and their communities around the world. You can find out more about them at their website: The video is 5:27 long, but well worth a listen.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The vote

I don't know what to do. I guess I really don't even want to vote this year. I haven't felt this way since 1988 when it was between the good Bush and Dukakis. I wound up voting for Bush and that came out ok. Even though now that I look back Dan Quayle should have really scared me. Of the candidates and their running mates I guess the only one I could force myself to vote for would be Beiden, but he scares me too. I don't even want to talk about Palin, I so wanted to get on board with her. I would have definitely voted for Hilary even though I am not certain I am completely ready for a female president. I guess I could always vote for Chuck Baldwin, but I can't really see a "Chuck" in office either. And of course, he's just as scary as the other two. But in all honesty I don't think any of them are presidential material any more than I am. Where have all the good men gone? I married one of them, but where are the rest of them?