Sunday, December 29, 2013


Today is the feast of The Holy Family.   All families are holy, aren't they?  Holy, however, does not equal perfect.  In all families we have times of brokenness, hurt, anger.  How do you heal this brokenness?  Forgiveness.  Just as Jesus forgives us for our sins, we are called to forgive others as well.  Forgiveness is not easy. It's a decision. It's love. Forgiveness is acceptance of others...of their whole selves, not just the good parts.  Can I forgive myself as well?  Accept me as God accepts me - good, bad, AND the ugly?  

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!

Last year I wrote about this album by Jana, American Indian Christmas.  I wanted to share this again with you, as we approach the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior.

This cd features 10 different Christmas songs performed in 10 different Native American languages by one performer. Go to this NPR Interview  to see what she says about what inspired her to craft this album. Here is a sampling of the album - Hark The Herald Angels Sing, in Lakota.  This is beautiful! 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

How Could It Be?

The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, 

“Joseph, son of David, 
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.

For it is through the Holy Spirit 
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, 
because he will save his people from their sins.”

It's the Fourth Sunday of Advent.  Christmas is almost upon us!  Today, I am considering Joseph.  He had all kinds of choices before him.  He could have abandoned Mary, sent her away, shamed her.  But, no, he held true to his commitment to her, he stood firm in his love for her, even in circumstances that probably seemed beyond belief to him.  
Joseph had to have great faith and trust in his God  as he ventured into this journey with Mary.  As parents we often feel inadequate to deal with all that life puts in front of us with our children - how much more would these feelings be magnified if we were raising the Son of God!  What an honor!  What a responsibility!  What a gift! 
Perhaps the song below, "Joseph's Song" by Michael Card, expresses some of the emotions that Joseph must have felt.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Silent Night!!

This is a beautiful rendition of Silent Night, sung by Reba McEntire, Kelly Clarkson, and Trisha Yearwood.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas: Did You Know?

Did you know it was once illegal to eat fruitcake?
Where do YOU think the North Pole is?
Where do most Christmas Trees come from?
Do you know how to play Hot Cockles?
Where did the Gingerbread House originate?  What popular story is associated with gingerbread houses?

The History Channel has a collection of videos with some interesting facts about a variety of topics related to Christmas.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


The Third Sunday of Advent is traditionally Rejoice Sunday!  We light the pink candle in the Advent Wreath!  One reading the weekend is from Isaiah 35....

1The wilderness and the parched land will exult;
the Arabah will rejoice and bloom;2Like the crocus it shall bloom abundantly,
and rejoice with joyful song.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
They will see the glory of the LORD,
the splendor of our God.3Strengthen hands that are feeble,
make firm knees that are weak,4Say to the fearful of heart:
Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication;
With divine recompense
he comes to save you.5Then the eyes of the blind shall see,
and the ears of the deaf be opened;6Then the lame shall leap like a stag,
and the mute tongue sing for joy.
For waters will burst forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the Arabah.7The burning sands will become pools,
and the thirsty ground, springs of water;
The abode where jackals crouch
will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus.8A highway will be there,
called the holy way;
No one unclean may pass over it,
but it will be for his people;
no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray on it.9No lion shall be there,
nor any beast of prey approach,
nor be found.
But there the redeemed shall walk,10And the ransomed of the LORD shall return,
and enter Zion singing,
crowned with everlasting joy;
They meet with joy and gladness,
sorrow and mourning flee away.
As I read these words, I'm reminded of the song "Blest Are They" by David Haas.  We have reason to be joyful.  Walking beside us, even sometimes carrying us, is Jesus through our joys and our sorrows.  What I may see as a hindrance or something that holds me back, God sees as a chance for redemption and freedom for my soul!  Life is not going to be entirely good or's a mixture of both.  We are human, we were created as imperfect individuals.  Can we live with the duality of the light and darkness found in our lives?  Do we know that Jesus' forgiveness and redemption can encompass it all?

Sunday, December 1, 2013


We enter into the season of Advent today.  There are so many images, phrases and feelings that come to my mind when I think of Advent.  I made the Wordle above for an artistic rendition.  How do you think the Nativity story would have played out if Mary and Joseph had been on Face Book?  The video below has been around for awhile, but I still enjoy watching it.  I also love the music, O Come Emmanuel, by Folk Angel, Hope you will also!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Traditions....Fact or Fiction??

We assume that many of our American Thanksgiving traditions originated in 1620 when the Pilgrims celebrated Thanksgiving.  Not so!  Watch this video from Mental Floss to discover some common misconceptions!

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Christ is King!

Today is the Feast of Christ the King.  The closing of a liturgical year, with the anticipation of the beginning of a new one with Advent next weekend.  Christ's throne was not like the thrones of kings here on earth.  His throne was the cross.  The power of that cross still envelopes our hearts and minds over 2000 years later.  The power of love, forgiveness, peace, hope.  

Do I make Christ the KING in my own life?  Do I take the time to stop and consider if my actions are those that would honor Him?  As I live my life, and as we enter into this season of Advent next week, I hope to set aside purposeful time to consider these things, to pray about them, to put the POWER of the cross into action.

This song was written in 1982 by Wendy Crowther.  It's performed by Ingrid DuMosch and Scott Shallenberger.  It's very prayerful.  You can find more of Ingrid's music on Spotify as well.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Petty Officer Sings 'God Bless America'

Retired Naval Petty Officer, 1st Class, Generald Wilson sings "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch of Game 3 in the 2013 World Series.   What a beautiful voice, what a beautiful tribute!  Click the link below.

Petty Officer Sings 'God Bless America' |

A Day to Honor

Veterans Day is a special day around here.  Our local American Legion has a delegation that comes to school to share their experiences with our students.  Music is prepared and performed, poems are written and read - all in honor of those who have served our country.  We are proud to be Americans, and grateful for the service of our Veterans.  If you see a Veteran today or any other day, thank them for their service.  They willingly served, knowing that they may die in that service.  That's quite a commitment to make - to die for our fellow man.  Thank you Veterans for all you have done to preserve our way of life.

To see photos from our celebration today, click HERE! 

This year, we chose the song "Armed Forces - The Pride of America!" as our selection.  The students enjoyed learning about each branch's song and the story behind TAPS.  Here's a video of the selection, played by the SWAU Wind Symphony.

"The Caisson Song" by Edmond L. Gruber (Army)
"The Marine's Hymn" Words by Henry C. Davis, music traditional (Marines)
"Anchors Away" by Capt. Alfred H. Miiles and Charles Zimmerman (Navy)
"Always Ready" by Captain Francis Saltus Van Boskerck (Coast Guard)
"The US Airforce" by Robert Crawford (Air Force)
"The Star-Spangled Banner" words by Francis Scott Key, music by John Stafford Smith 

And another version, with the lyrics sung for the songs.  By Portland Ensign Choir and Orchestra

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Let All the Nations Be Blessed!

Take some time today to simply praise God for being God.  His Spirit is here and now, in us, through us, around us.  Feel His Spirit at work in your own life!

People from 19 locations around the world came together to create this video.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What's a Parody?

In music this week, we've been learning about musical Parody.
  Musical parodies may imitate or refer to the peculiar style of a composer or artist, or even a general style of music. For example, The Ritz Roll and Rock, a song and dance number performed by Fred Astaire in the movie Silk Stockings, parodies the Rock and Roll genre. (Wikipedia)

Musical parodies are found all over YouTube these days!  We enjoyed a "farmer" theme this week and listened to the two parodies below.  I can see that creating some parodies of our own is written in the future....Enjoy!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy All Saints Day!

What is a saint?  Is a saint a PERFECT person?  Someone who has never faltered?  Someone who always knows the right answer, who always makes the right choices?  I don't think so.  For me, a saint is a person who strives toward living their life for God in all that they do.  Not perfect, not sinless, not without struggles.  We are all called to be saints!  There are the famous saints we all know about, St. Francis, St. Joseph, St. Mary, a long long list.  These particular people made a specific impact on history, and are for us an example, a goal to look towards when living our life. 
According to Wikipedia, "saint is one who has been recognized for having an exceptional degree of holiness, sanctity, and virtue. "  Do I recognize the saints around me in my own life?  In my life, so many of my friends are saints.  They are there for me when I need guidance or safe refuge. Especially dear to me right now are the doctors,nurses and staff who work with cancer patients.  They truly are saints to each of those patients and their families.  Bringing comfort, consolation, peace, hope to those who are ill, fearful, grief-stricken, hopeless.  
Who are the saints in your life?  A person doesn't have to be famous to be a saint, only someone who longs to do the will of God.  Their life shows it.  We are ALL called to be saints. 
St. Francis of Assisi gives us a pretty good recipe for living in his famous "Prayer of St. Francis".  The video below is from a DVD entitled, "The Irish Prayers"  I love the instrumentation and reflective mood.  I hope you enjoy it also!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

How did Halloween Begin?

Halloween has gotten a bad rap in recent times.  It's been connected to devil worship, Satan, the occult.  In reality, the origins of this holiday are much tamer in nature!  This article by Father Augustine Thompson, O.P., presents a view of the history of what we now celebrate as Halloween that might be different that you expect!  Fr. Thompson is an associate professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia. 

Read more here!

Blue Moon

There are a lot of Halloween videos to explore...lots of light shows!  I ran across this cute rendition of Blue Moon.  Have you heard any singing pumpkins lately?  If not, here you go!

Monday, October 28, 2013

THAT'S a Marching Band!

Students enjoyed watching this Michael Jackson Tribute by the Ohio State Marching Band!    It's mind-boggling to think of the coordination it takes to learn and execute this show!

We also watched their Tribute to Holloywood which was performed just this weekend.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Psalm 91

"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."
Our God is always there for us!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth!

Bebo Norman sings "I will Lift My Eyes", based on Psalm 121.  Jeffrey Stephen "Bebo" Norman is a contemporary Christian musician from Columbus, Georgia. Some of his recordings include the songs "Great Light of the World" and "Falling Down".  According to his blog, he will be retiring from professional appearances and songwriting at the end of 2013.  You can check out other videos of his on YouTube as well.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

World's Fastest Drummer!

On July 13, 2013 Canadian-born Tom Grosset set a new record for extreme drumming. The 23-year-old broke the record with 1,208 strokes, which means his hands were moving more than 20 times per second. The title previously belonged to Dream Theater drummer Mike Mangini who hit 1,203 strokes in 2005.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013


We are all sinners, yet our Loving God is always there, reaching out for us, ready to forgive, true to His covenant with us!  Jesus is here NOW for you and for me.  We need only respond.  He has done all the work, we need only accept His love!  Thank you Father!  YOU are our victory!
As you listen to this recording of "Overcome" by Jeremy Camp, remember the healing of the lepers, the abundance of mercy and love from Jesus for those in pain, for those rejected by everyone else.  HE embraced them, healed them.  Jesus will do the same for us.  Just let him hold you too!
  1. Jeremy Thomas Camp is a contemporary Christian musician from Lafayette, Indiana. Camp has released eleven albums, four of them RIAA-certified as Gold and two are live albums, His original music is a mixture of ballads and rock. Wikipedia

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Kung Fu Piano: Cello Ascends - ThePianoGuys

Can you say awesome!  I started my morning this morning watching this new video out by ThePianoGuys.  WOW!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

What Faith Can Do


The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”

The Lord replied,
“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you would say to this mulberry tree,
‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

I'd not heard Kutless before, but enjoyed their sound!!  They are a Christian rock band from Portland, Oregon formed in 1999. They have released seven studio albums including their latest, Believer. The band has also released a live album, Kutless - Live from Portland.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Psalm 146

Joy - Hope - Peace.  Those are the fruits of those who live their lives in the Lord.  

Psalms, Chapter 146


2Praise the LORD, my soul;
I will praise the LORD all my life,
sing praise to my God while I live.
3Put no trust in princes,
in children of Adam powerless to save.
4Who breathing his last, returns to the earth;
that day all his planning comes to nothing.
5Blessed the one whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD, his God,
6The maker of heaven and earth,
the seas and all that is in them,
Who keeps faith forever,
7secures justice for the oppressed,
who gives bread to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free;
8the LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who are bowed down;
the LORD loves the righteous.
9The LORD protects the resident alien,
comes to the aid of the orphan and the widow,
but thwarts the way of the wicked.
10The LORD shall reign forever,
your God, Zion, through all generations!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

We Must Go!

Move us from just singing...move us into action!
Does my life reflect our call to put God's love into ACTION?  I read this recently in Richard Rohr's book, Daily Meditations:  "It never depends upon whether we say the right words or practice the right ritual, but whether we live the right reality."  Is my reality one that God calls us to...
To act justly every day
Loving mercy in every way
Walking humbly before You, God

Rev Tim Hughes is a British worship leader and singer-songwriter. He is Director of Worship at Holy Trinity Brompton, an Anglican church in central London

Sunday, September 15, 2013

More on our Flag...

Thanks to my friend Kristin Lukow for sharing this great news article on CBS Sunday Morning today!

Check your Answers!

The Star-Spangled Banner was.....

Made in
 Baltimore, Maryland, in July-August 1813 by flagmaker Mary Pickersgill, her daughter, 2 nieces, and an indentured servant.

Commissioned by Major George Armistead, commander of
 Fort McHenry

Original size:
 30 feet by 42 feet

 stars and 15 stripes

Raised over Fort McHenry on the morning of
 September 14, 1814, to signal American victory over the British in the Battle of Baltimore; the sight inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner”

Preserved by the
 Armistead family as a memento of the battle

The letter"A"
 was sewn into the original flag by Louisa Armistead, widow of the commander of Fort McHenry.

First loaned to the
 Smithsonian Institution in 1907; converted to permanent gift in 1912.

The Star-Spangled Banner officially became our National Anthem in the year of

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Happy Anniversary Star-Spangled Banner!

O say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

Francis Scott key wrote the poem, "In Defense of Fort McHenry" September 14, 1814.  This poem later became our National Anthem. See if you know the information below.

Can you fill in the mission information about the Star-Spangled Banner Flag???????

Made in ________________, in July-August 1813 by flagmaker ______________, her daughter, 2 nieces, and an indentured servant.
Commissioned by Major George Armistead, commander of Fort __________
Original size: _________________
__________ stars and _________ stripes
Raised over Fort McHenry on the morning of _____________, to signal American victory over the British in the Battle of Baltimore; the sight inspired (who) ____________ to write “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Preserved by the ___________ family as a memento of the battle
The letter _____ was sewn into the original flag by Louisa Armistead, widow of the commander of Fort McHenry.
First loaned to the _______________________ in 1907; converted to permanent gift in 1912.
The Star-Spangled Banner officially became our National Anthem in the year of _______.

(Answers tomorrow!)

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Star-Spangled Banner by the Gaither Vocal Band

The anniversary of the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner is tomorrow!  Francis Scott Key penned the words to the poem "In Defense of Fort McHenry" on September 14, 1814.  Here's a version of our National Anthem sung by the Gaither Vocal Band.  Beautiful, inspirational, well done!  This group, led by Bill Gaither, certainly raises the bar for male harmony and excellence in musicianship!

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Music was "hands-on" this week.  Classes measured how big the original Star-Spangled Banner was that inspired Francis Scott Key to write his poem "In Defense of Ft. McHenry".  We borrowed a measuring wheel, and headed outside!  It was a beautiful cool day, so we enjoyed that as well!  Students held crepe paper as we measured out the 30' x 42' rectangle.  Most students were surprised at how big it was.  We estimated how many students might fit inside that rectangle (perhaps 200 if they were all kindergarteners!), we discussed the reasons why it was made so large, and we were in awe at the tireless effort put in by flag maker Mary Pickersgill as she, along with family and nearby neighbors, sewed the flag by hand in only 6 weeks!  This Saturday, September 14, is the anniversary of Francis Scott Key writing of the poem "In Defense of Ft. McHenry", later to become the Star-Spangled Banner. Students will celebrate together by singing our National Anthem as a school Monday morning, September 16.
2nd Graders measuring the area of the Star-Spangled Banner

Monday, September 9, 2013

The "new vinyl"

33⅓ LP vinyl record albumRemember vinyl records?  Vinyl records were popular back in the 1950s to 1990s.  In 1930 RCA Victor launched the first commercially-available LP.  These were designed for playback at 33 1/2 rpm, pressed on a 12" flexible plastic disc.

Yuri Suzuki has developed a 3-dimensional LP called The Sound of the Earth.  He has traveled the world, recording music from around the world.  His invention takes the form of a glossy black globe.  A button is pressed, and Viola!  The orb begins to spin.  A stylus runs logitudinally down the side of the globe, tracking a continuous groove spiraling around the circumference from pole to pole.  What you hear is a mashup of Suzuki's field recordings form his travels as well as fragments of national anthems and folk music from around th world.  The resulting sound is pretty disjointed.  Probably not something I would list on my Top 20 favorites!

Suzuki is quite prolific with his creativity!  Take a look at some of his products on his website!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

And I Will Raise You Up!!

Associate Catholic studies professor the Rev. Jan Michael Joncas will be the 54th recipient of the Franciscan International Award for his lifetime achievements Thursday, May 10, in Eagan, Minn. (Courtesy of St. Thomas)

On Eagle's Wings is one of my favorite songs!  God is indeed our refuge!!!  Whether, in life or in death, His Faithfulness is certainly our shield and our help!  Seek God, and He will not disappoint you!

On Eagle's Wings was composed in 1979 by Fr. Michael Joncas, a priest, liturgical theologian, and composer.  On Eagle's Wings is probably the composition he is most known for.  Many people are familiar with this song, whether they are Catholic or not! 

Did you know that in 2003 Fr. Joncas was very ill with Guillain-Barre syndrome.  He became paralyzed and found himself on the receiving end of ministry!  He has now regained the use of his arms and legs, although he still lives with pain in his hands and feet.  He can no longer play the guitar.  He has gained many insights into his life through his suffering.  Read more about his experience in an article by The Catholic Review.  

Fr. Joncas was ordained in 1980 and has been a professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul for over 20 years.  Last May he received the prestigious Franciscan International Award for his lifetime achievements.  This award recognizes an individual or organization that demonstrates the ideals and values of St. Francis of Assisi. Past recipients include the Rev. Billy Graham, Sister Helen Prejan, Archbishop Emeritus Harry Flynn, Habitat for Humanity and CaringBridge.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Edmodo - Where Learning Happens!

Last year I was introduced to a new learning tool called Edmodo. Edmodo is a free social learning
platform that provides a safe way for students and teachers to connect and collaborate.  During the TIE Conference in April, we used Edmodo to connect and learn during our sessions.  Later this summer, I used Edmodo whlie facilitating a class I taught during the Arts Education Institute.

My goal is to introduce Edmodo to students in Grades 3-6 before the end of the year.  This week was the beginning.  Sixth graders logged in and began a combination Technology/Science assignment.

Each student took home a letter of explanation to their parents as well as a special code that will enable their parents to log into their child's Edmodo page.  One o the cool things about Edmodo is the ability for both students and teachers to communicate and complete assignments online during times outside of the school day.  I'm hoping that parents will frequently check in on their child's page!

Edmodo is designed to get students excited about learning in a familiar environment.  We can continue classroom discussions online.  Learning is personalized and engaging for students.  Special apps help teachers to supplement what is learned in class.  Edmodo also makes it simple to track student progress. Grades and badges can be assigned or awarded.  Through student discussion posts, understanding can be clarified, and frustration or confusion can be minimized.

I'm looking forward to working with Edmodo this year, and hope to learn lots along with the students!

Sunday, September 1, 2013


"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” --Luke 14:11

Humility is not something that comes naturally for takes discipline to focus our lives not on ourselves, but on all that we do, think, believe.  The video below is a beautiful reflection and prayer for us.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Let's Move Those Fingers!!

Was developed by gunmakers E. Remington & Sons in Ilion, NY from 1874-1878.  It was named  the "Sholes & Glidden Type Writer," and it was produced by the gunmakers E. Remington & Sons in Ilion, NY from 1874-1878.  Read more about how the design came about here.

A major emphasis of technology at the elementary level has always been improving our keyboarding skills.  Even though we don't normally type on "regular" typewriters any more, keyboarding is an integral part of our life.  Most occupations have a technological component and technology is integrated into your child's education from Day #1.  Throughout the year we will also cover such topics as Internet Safety, Digital Communication, using appropriate digital tools and resources and use of computer applications.

South Dakota is now part of The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, a state-led consortium working to develop assessments to measure student progress toward college- and career-readiness. This assessment system is aligned to the  Common Core State Standards (CCSS) .  One major difference we see in these tests is that they are all given online (vs. paper and pencil) and that the test itself is more rigorous, requiring deeper thinking with extended explanations in more of an essay-type format (vs. multiple choice).  Of course, students need to be proficient in their keyboarding skills for this type of assessment!

Kindergarteners are just learning where the keys on the keyboard are located.  We play a variety of online games as to develop this skill.  Mouse control is also a new skill for many Kindergarteners.  We are also learning the correct terminology used for different parts of the computer hardware  (monitor, keyboard etc.) as well as vocabulary for things located on the desktop of the computer (icon, dock, cursor etc.)

First Graders are about to begin a program called Dance Mat Typing, an introduction to touch typing for ages 7-11.  There are 4 levels that will gradually build keyboarding skills. Dance Mat Typing is a fun program with some singing and dancing of their characters built into the program.  Kids love the British accent as well!

Third-Sixth graders use a program called Type To Learn.  This is a cumulative touch typing program which retains students' information from year to year.  Review, demonstration, practice and assessment are all included in this program.  Accuracy AND words per minute (speed) are analyzed and assessed. Since this program is in a game format, it is engaging for the students.
  • Use the correct fingers
  • There's no need to rush!
  • Always rest your wrists on the desk
  • You should take a rest, and shake your hands and arms to relax your muscles if you get tired
  • It's important not to look at your hands when you are learning to type. The best way to ensure that you don't look at your hands is to cover them up - you can make a simple box out of cardboard or wood to cover both the keys and your hands
  • Sit comfortably with your back up straight and your feet on the ground!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Star-Spangled Banner

We've been learning about the history behind the Star-Spangled Banner in school.  One of the videos we watched this week was this one -  the Star-Spangled Banner played by Jake Shimabukuro on his ukulele.  Jake has quite a few recording on YouTube if you want to take a listen!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday, August 18, 2013

NewSong: Who Loved You First

NewSong is an American contemporary Christian music group that was founded in 1981, at Morningside Baptist Church in Valdosta, Georgia. They have had eight GMA Dove Award nominations. Wikipedia

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Lord's Prayer/Ave Maria

A video by Bill & Gloria Gaither performing a medley of Ave Maria / The Lord's Prayer.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Are you Mary or Martha?

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. – Mt 6:33

Today's Gospel reading is the familiar story of Mary and Martha.  I have often thought about my own life, and who I identify with more.  For sure, it's Martha!  I am a DO-er!  I find it hard to even do one thing at a time!  For quite awhile now, I have been conscious of my priorities, and have made an effort to be more like sister Mary.  I am still a DO-er, no doubt.  I have taken time, though, as part of my daily routine, to sit quietly, read Scripture, pray.

In school, it's easy to have an agenda for class time.  There is always lots to get done.  One of my goals is to remember to focus not on the activity, but on the STUDENT.  Taking time to listen, really listen, to a student, or another adult, can only strengthen a relationship.

Another area that I am conscious of is when we have friends and family over for a gathering.  Of course, there is always lots to do when there's a crowd around.  I'm not sure if I'm very good at it, but I DO try to sit, listen, visit, and not worry about the dishes or the mess.  I can take care of that after people have gone for me this is a big deal!  I am one who likes to clean things up and have them in their place!  I'm far from perfect in trying to be more like Mary...but I'm trying!

Contemplate who you are most like, as you reflect with this video by  Elizabeth Etheridge:

Friday, July 19, 2013


Coca-Cola has a pretty cool new ad campaign...what first drew me there was THIS VIDEO. where Kurt Hugo Schneider made back-up music using coke cans, bottles etc.  Pretty cool!


  After you've listed to this cool piece, go to "menu" at the bottom, and on each letter of AHHHHHHHH you will find games,videos and even the Coke version of the Can Can!  Cats in Boxes is pretty cute too!  30 different things to check out.  This was created by ad agency Wieden + Kennedy Portland. (check out their site too, some interesting things there!)   Coke actually has 61 different url's that are some kind of version of AHHHHH, their new slogan.

The site is aimed at teens, so these little snippets are short and sweet.  Every two weeks the company will review the traffic for each URL, and replace those that don't receive many visitors.  I'm not a big fan of Coke, but this site will occupy your time for awhile!  

Also, check out Kurt's cover of CUPS for Pitch Perfect! He also has a YouTube Channel that you can subscribe to.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

My Hands

"My hands are the Lord's hands; with out me how can His work be done? I will reach where He would reach, loving kindness in my touch. I'll be His healing hands to ev'ry one."

Monday, July 8, 2013

Titanic Violin Found

In the deep recesses of an attic in England, a special musical treasure has been found.  It has been verified, using CT scan, that it is the violin played by Wallace Harley, the bandmaster of the famed Titanic.  One of the most touching moments remembered in the movie is of the ship's band playing "Nearer My God To Thee" to calm the passengers as the ship sank.  What courage those musicians had!  

The violin is not playable any more since it was submerged in salt water.  Harley had placed the violin in its case and strapped it to his body.  It was presented to his fiance' Maria after his body was recovered.  She had given it to him on the occasion of their engagement.  The instrument had been passed down in the family over the years.

Read more and see more photos in this article by Huffington Post.

Titanic Violin Confirmed Authentic By CT Scan; Instrument Belonged To Bandmaster Wallace Hartley