You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2012.

I saw tonight, for the first time, the Jim Leonard, Jr. play, THE DIVINERS.  Several friends told me that I would probably enjoy the production if one was in the area.

Well, Centerville High School produced THE DIVINERS, and it was absolutely incredible.  It is a fairly hefty piece to tackle, and as I’ve become accustomed to the excellent quality of any CHS production, I was not let down for a second.

To learn more about this play, please visit: THE DIVINERS by Jim Leonard, Jr.

The cast of teenagers was outstanding.  The cast included:

Buddy Layman – Evan Benjamin
C.C. Showers – Alex Roesch
Ferris Layman – Nick Beecroft
Jennie Mae Layman – Carly Marten
Basil Bennett – Brendon Embry
Luella Bennett – Erin Ulman
Norma Henshaw – Kate Robinson
Goldie Short – Liz Girvin
Darlene Henshaw – Jackie Mulay
Melvin Wilder – Slava Tchoul
Dewey Maples – Trevor Lucente

There were so many neat moments featuring each cast member in this exceptionally tight ensemble; however, Evan Benjamin ascended well past the fly space as Buddy Layman, who has the ability to predict when it’s going to rain, and also has a knack for finding water sources. But, he suffers an aversion to it. His near death experience from drowning left him impaired, and took the life of his mother, who rescued him. 

Evan, a high school sophomore, gave one of the most 3-dimensional portrayals of a staged-character that continually had me forgetting he was a teenager in a high school production.  He mastered the redundant lines of the mentally, and emotionally, strapped fourteen year old character, and often had me thinking of my own fourteen year old nephew who is Autistic.

Evan’s genes swim in a pool of incredible performing, professional artists, and I’ve enjoyed watching his parents, John & Martha, and older brother, Ian, now a Wright State University musical theatre major, on stage in many of Epiphany Lutheran Church’s summer productions.  I guess I should not be surprised by this younger Benjamin’s work; however, he surpassed the high quality performance I’ve come to expect from this exceptionally talented family.

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1. You will receive a body

Make peace with your body
 ~ Accept its imperfections and respect what your body needs to runs its optimum performance

2. You will be presented with lessons

As you travel through life, you will encounter lessons unique to you. Be open to those lessons and chose actions that align with your true path

3. There are no mistakes, only lessons


View mistakes as opportunities to learn. Be compassionate, learn to forgive, live your life ethically and keep a sense of humor

4. A lesson is repeated until learned


Do you find yourself repeating the same patterns in your life? Learn to recognise the patterns and the lessons that they offer

5. Learning does not end

If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned. Embrace your role as a perpetual student of life

6. “There” is no better than “Here”


Live in the present. Dance the fine line between living in the here and now while holding in your heart the fondest dreams and aspirations for the future

7. Others are only mirrors of you


You cannot Love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you Love or hate about yourself

8. What you make of your life is up to you


Every person creates his or her own reality. Imagine yourself at 90 years of age, looking back at your life. What do you want to see?

9. Your answers lie inside of you


All you need to do is look inside, listen and trust yourself

10. You will forget all of this at birth


Somewhere along your journey from the spiritual world to the physical one, you simply forgot these ten rules!

 

 

For a number of years I have always wondered why the West-front windows of Mount Vernon were off-set.  I found a “Ask Mount Vernon” link at George Washington’s Mount Vernon

I sent the following note: 

I’ve wondered, for several years, why the windows on the right side of the Western entrance are off-set. During the phases of remodeling was the staircase relocated to its present location thus forcing a shift in the window placements?

Thank you for your time in response!
Darin Haas
Kettering, OH

This morning I received the following note:

“Ask Mount Vernon”
Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens

Dear Darin,

Thank you for contacting us with your question re: the irregular spacing of the windows on the west front of the Mansion.

You have accurately deduced the reason why the windows to the south of the front door are off-set. The windows originally aligned with those in the basement when the house was built in 1735. When George Washington raised the building from 1.5 to 2.5 stories in 1758-59, he also changed out and enlarged the staircase in the hall. That meant that the window there was captured entirely within the stair landing — not a very good situation. So Washington elected to shift both first floor windows so that they would be within the Small Dining Room — and aligned the new second floor windows to match. The resulting assymetry became a more significant concern later on when Washington expanded the house again in 1774-1776, when he added the cupola and roof pediment partly in an attempt to distract the eye from the messy details down below. If you are interested in learning more about the architecture/building of the house, the best book on the topic is Geroge Washington’s Mount Vernon: At Home in Revolutionary America, by R. and L. Dalzell, Oxford, 1998.

I hope that this is the information that you were looking for, and thanks again for your interest in Mount Vernon.

Sincerely,
Dennis Pogue
Vice President for Preservation

I so appreciate the countless individuals, and organizations that help to keep history alive! 

 

This is an amazing article!

Last week I had lunch, or conversations with several teacher-friends who were expressing their weariness as teachers.  They are utterly exhausted.  One friend works 70+ hours a week.  The friends indicate their  administrators are stressed, fatigued, and now micro-managing everything in the school.

This is the on-line article: What teachers really want to tell parents

____________________________________________________________

Editor’s note: Ron Clark, author of “The End of Molasses Classes: Getting Our Kids Unstuck — 101 Extraordinary Solutions for Parents and Teachers,” has been named “American Teacher of the Year” by Disney and was Oprah Winfrey’s pick as her “Phenomenal Man.” He founded The Ron Clark Academy, which educators from around the world have visited to learn.

(CNN) — This summer, I met a principal who was recently named as the administrator of the year in her state. She was loved and adored by all, but she told me she was leaving the profession.

I screamed, “You can’t leave us,” and she quite bluntly replied, “Look, if I get an offer to lead a school system of orphans, I will be all over it, but I just can’t deal with parents anymore; they are killing us.”

Unfortunately, this sentiment seems to be becoming more and more prevalent. Today, new teachers remain in our profession an average of just 4.5 years, and many of them list “issues with parents” as one of their reasons for throwing in the towel. Word is spreading, and the more negativity teachers receive from parents, the harder it becomes to recruit the best and the brightest out of colleges.

So, what can we do to stem the tide? What do teachers really need parents to understand?

For starters, we are educators, not nannies. We are educated professionals who work with kids every day and often see your child in a different light than you do. If we give you advice, don’t fight it. Take it, and digest it in the same way you would consider advice from a doctor or lawyer. I have become used to some parents who just don’t want to hear anything negative about their child, but sometimes if you’re willing to take early warning advice to heart, it can help you head off an issue that could become much greater in the future.

Trust us. At times when I tell parents that their child has been a behavior problem, I can almost see the hairs rise on their backs. They are ready to fight and defend their child, and it is exhausting. One of my biggest pet peeves is when I tell a mom something her son did and she turns, looks at him and asks, “Is that true?” Well, of course it’s true. I just told you. And please don’t ask whether a classmate can confirm what happened or whether another teacher might have been present. It only demeans teachers and weakens the partnership between teacher and parent.

Please quit with all the excuses

“The truth is, a lot of times it’s the bad teachers who give the easiest grades, because they know by giving good grades everyone will leave them alone.” – Ron Clark

And if you really want to help your children be successful, stop making excuses for them. I was talking with a parent and her son about his summer reading assignments. He told me he hadn’t started, and I let him know I was extremely disappointed because school starts in two weeks.

His mother chimed in and told me that it had been a horrible summer for them because of family issues they’d been through in July. I said I was so sorry, but I couldn’t help but point out that the assignments were given in May. She quickly added that she was allowing her child some “fun time” during the summer before getting back to work in July and that it wasn’t his fault the work wasn’t complete.

Can you feel my pain?

Some parents will make excuses regardless of the situation, and they are raising children who will grow into adults who turn toward excuses and do not create a strong work ethic. If you don’t want your child to end up 25 and jobless, sitting on your couch eating potato chips, then stop making excuses for why they aren’t succeeding. Instead, focus on finding solutions.

Parents, be a partner instead of a prosecutor

And parents, you know, it’s OK for your child to get in trouble sometimes. It builds character and teaches life lessons. As teachers, we are vexed by those parents who stand in the way of those lessons; we call them helicopter parents because they want to swoop in and save their child every time something goes wrong. If we give a child a 79 on a project, then that is what the child deserves. Don’t set up a time to meet with me to negotiate extra credit for an 80. It’s a 79, regardless of whether you think it should be a B+.

This one may be hard to accept, but you shouldn’t assume that because your child makes straight A’s that he/she is getting a good education. The truth is, a lot of times it’s the bad teachers who give the easiest grades, because they know by giving good grades everyone will leave them alone. Parents will say, “My child has a great teacher! He made all A’s this year!”

Wow. Come on now. In all honesty, it’s usually the best teachers who are giving the lowest grades, because they are raising expectations. Yet, when your children receive low scores you want to complain and head to the principal’s office.

Please, take a step back and get a good look at the landscape. Before you challenge those low grades you feel the teacher has “given” your child, you might need to realize your child “earned” those grades and that the teacher you are complaining about is actually the one that is providing the best education.

And please, be a partner instead of a prosecutor. I had a child cheat on a test, and his parents threatened to call a lawyer because I was labeling him a criminal. I know that sounds crazy, but principals all across the country are telling me that more and more lawyers are accompanying parents for school meetings dealing with their children.

Teachers walking on eggshells

I feel so sorry for administrators and teachers these days whose hands are completely tied. In many ways, we live in fear of what will happen next. We walk on eggshells in a watered-down education system where teachers lack the courage to be honest and speak their minds. If they make a slight mistake, it can become a major disaster.

My mom just told me a child at a local school wrote on his face with a permanent marker. The teacher tried to get it off with a wash cloth, and it left a red mark on the side of his face. The parent called the media, and the teacher lost her job. My mom, my very own mother, said, “Can you believe that woman did that?”

I felt hit in the gut. I honestly would have probably tried to get the mark off as well. To think that we might lose our jobs over something so minor is scary. Why would anyone want to enter our profession? If our teachers continue to feel threatened and scared, you will rob our schools of our best and handcuff our efforts to recruit tomorrow’s outstanding educators.

Finally, deal with negative situations in a professional manner.

If your child said something happened in the classroom that concerns you, ask to meet with the teacher and approach the situation by saying, “I wanted to let you know something my child said took place in your class, because I know that children can exaggerate and that there are always two sides to every story. I was hoping you could shed some light for me.” If you aren’t happy with the result, then take your concerns to the principal, but above all else, never talk negatively about a teacher in front of your child. If he knows you don’t respect her, he won’t either, and that will lead to a whole host of new problems.

We know you love your children. We love them, too. We just ask — and beg of you — to trust us, support us and work with the system, not against it. We need you to have our backs, and we need you to give us the respect we deserve. Lift us up and make us feel appreciated, and we will work even harder to give your child the best education possible.

That’s a teacher’s promise, from me to you

STUDENT WAS GIVEN 0% ON AN EXAM…

I would have given him 100%

Q1. In which battle did Napoleon die?
* his last battle

Q2. Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?
* at the bottom of the page

Q3. River Ravi flows in which state?
* liquid

Q4. What is the main reason for divorce?
* marriage

Q5. What is the main reason for failure?
* exams

Q6. What can you never eat for breakfast?
* Lunch & dinner

Q7. What looks like half an apple?
* The other half

Q8. If you throw a red stone into the blue sea what it will become?
* It will simply become wet

Q9. How can a man go eight days without sleeping ?
* No problem, he sleeps at night.

Q10. How can you lift an elephant with one hand?
* You will never find an elephant that has only one hand..

Q11. If you had three apples and four oranges in one hand and four apples and three oranges in other hand, what would you have ?
* Very large hands

Q12. If it took eight men ten hours to build a wall, how long would it take four men to build it?
* No time at all, the wall is already built.

Q13. How can u drop a raw egg onto a concrete floor without cracking it?
*Any way you want, concrete floors are very hard to crack.

MEDIA RELEASE
For more information and interview requests please contact:
Leigh Allan, Marketing Director
leigh@humanracetheatre.org
(937) 461-3823 ext. 3112
Or Kevin Moore, Producing Artistic Director
kevin@humanracetheatre.org ext. 3115
Human Race logo attached

THE HUMAN RACE THEATRE
ANNOUNCES ITS 2012-2013 SEASON

The Beginning of A Second Quarter Century of Great Theatre

The Human Race, Dayton’s own professional theatre company, will begin its second 25 years with a season with something for everyone, and whole lot for theatre fans.

The subscription series includes a beloved musical, a notorious musical with beloved puppets, the latest from one of America’s foremost contemporary playwrights, a merry (and horny) widow, and even a little football.

And for those who think the mix needs a serial killer, there’s a Loft Season Extra.

The five shows of the 2012-2013 Eichelberger Loft Season of The Human Race are (more information on each and the dates of each run at the end of the release):

MANAGING MAXINE – a new comedy of septuagenarian sexiness and matronly merriment, as a widow hits the dating scene

OLIVER – consider yourself in for fun, glorious fun as the classic musical gets sized just right for The Loft

LOMBARDI – a winning drama about the legendary Packers coach isn’t everything, it’s the only thing

RACE – when David Mamet fights the law, the law doesn’t necessarily win

AVENUE Q – Mama never told you a puppet musical would be like this

Each of the regular season shows is scheduled to run three weeks, with the same special events in each run at The Loft Theatre, downtown: a Thursday night preview, preceded by the Inside Track discussion with the director in the Loft lobby; Friday Opening Night followed by a party with the cast; a Tuesday night Lite Fare at The Loft; a While We’re on the Subject talkback after a Sunday matinee; and a Saturday signed and audio-described performance opportunity.

Subscriptions are available in 3-, 4-, and 5-show packages as well as in Flex plans. Both renewing and new subscribers may place their order at https://www.ticketcenterstage.com/hrtc/subs , or by calling Ticket Center Stage at (937) 228-3630 or visiting the Schuster Center Box Office. New subscribers will not get seats assigned until after the April 23 deadline for renewing subscribers to have their seats guaranteed.

The Loft Season Extra, part of The Human Race’s effort in development of new plays begun under its 25th Anniversary project, unveils the dark side of noted children’s playwright and author Michael Slade.

FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE 2012-2013 LOFT SHOWS

MANAGING MAXINE
By Janice Shaffer
September 6-23, 2012

Actually, nobody has the slightest chance of managing Maxine. She’s a 71-year old widow, hot on the dating trail for the first time in 45 years and ready for love, or at least lust. The former teacher and writer finds a retired judge to her liking, and they find fireworks with offspring and friends that their coupling ignites. The Human Race production is the Midwest Premiere of this southern belle who is managing just fine, thank you.

OLIVER
By Lionel Bart
November 29 – December 16, 2012

The musical version of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist has been a major hit around the world since it took the London stage in 1960 and captured Broadway in 1963, garnering 10 Tony nominations. The tale of the orphan being led down the pickpocketing path has been redesigned with a Twist that makes it perfect for the intimacy of The Loft, but rest assured the music, from the rollicking “Food, Glorious Food” to the soulful “As Long As He Needs Me,” is as stirring as ever, and a terrific holiday treat.

LOMBARDI
By Eric Simonson
February 7 – 24, 2013

There aren’t many coaches in any sport who gain such fame they’re instantly recognizable by last name alone, and Vince Lombardi is definitely a member of that select group. The legendary leader of the dominating Packers of the 1960s bullies and cajoles a cub reporter through weeks of interviews, and on the way the audience comes to grips with Lombardi’s struggles, his passion for winning, his home life, and his relationship with players like Paul Hornung, Jim Taylor and Dave Robinson. Oh, and a little football, too.

RACE
By David Mamet
April 4 – 21, 2013

David Mamet skewered American business and businessmen in such earlier masterpieces as Glengarry Glen Ross and American Buffalo. This time he takes off after both the practice of law and race relations, led by a black-and-white lawyer team that puts the sin back in cynical. The two are hired by a wealthy and powerful white man accused of raping a young black woman, and they and their new African-American female associate cross and re-cross all sorts of ethical and racial lines in inimitable Mamet style.

AVENUE Q
By Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx, and Jeff Whitty
June 6 – 23, 2013

Oh, my, did this show ever turn the idea of a puppet musical on its head. AVENUE Q swept the Tony Triple Crown of Best Musical, Best Score and Best Lyrics in 2003, captured Broadway for six years, and is still going strong off-Broadway. With drinking and sex and songs like “It Sucks to Be You” and “Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist,” it’s not for the little ones or the faint of heart, but it’s an incredible night of fun, presented in collaboration with the puppetmasters at Dayton’s Zoot Theatre.

LOFT EXTRA

UNDER A RED MOON
By Michael Slade
October 18 -28, 2011

It’s 1949. John George Haigh, Britain’s infamous Acid Bath Killer, has been arrested after six years of homicide and somewhere from six to nine murders. He has confessed to the killings, but a big question remains – is he sane or insane? One means hanging, the other life in a psychiatric ward. A female psychiatrist comes to examine Haigh and the tension mounts as he twists and turns her thoughts and you begin to wonder just who is examining whom.
.

The Human Race Theatre Company was founded in 1986 and moved into the Metropolitan Arts Center in 1991, taking up residence at the 219-seat Loft Theatre. In addition to the Eichelberger Loft Season, The Human Race produces for the Victoria Theatre’s Broadway Series, the Musical Theatre Workshop series, and special event programming. The Human Race, under the direction of Producing Artistic Director Kevin Moore, also maintains education and outreach programs for children, teens and adults, as well as artist residencies in area schools, The Muse Machine In-School Tour, and summer youth programs. Human Race organizational support is provided by Culture Works, Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District, Shubert Foundation, the Erma R. Catterton Trust Fund and the Ohio Arts Council. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this organization with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. The Human Race’s 25th Anniversary Season is sponsored by the Miriam Rosenthal Memorial Trust Fund.

I’ve never had the opportunity to see this musical, but have always been fascinated with it.  The music is incredible, and the arrangements for the musical are invigorating!

Go see it!  Enjoy it!                                            (For you, Mr. S___ with great thanks!)

About JERSEY BOYS… (from Wikipedia)

Jersey Boys is a jukebox musical with music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe and book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. It is a documentary-style musical, based on one of the most successful 1960s rock ‘n roll groups, the Four Seasons. The musical opened on Broadway in 2005, and has since had a North American National Tour, along with productions in London’s West End, Las Vegas, Chicago, Toronto, Melbourne, Sydney and Philadelphia. Jersey Boys won four 2006 Tony Awards including Best Musical.

Synopsis

The story dramatizes the forming, rise and eventual break-up of the original four members of The Four Seasons. The musical is separated into four “seasons”, each narrated by a different member of the band. Act 1 comprises Spring (Tommy DeVito) & Summer (Bob Gaudio); Act 2 comprises Fall (Nick Massi) & Winter (Frankie Valli); each member has a different perspective on the band and his contribution to it.

Act I

Spring

The show opens with a performance of “Ces soirées-là“, a modern pop-rap song that was released in 2000. Tommy DeVito then enters the stage, introducing himself and explaining how the song is a cover of The Four Seasons’ “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)“. He offers to tell the story of the band, explaining how he started out with the group “The Variety Band” with his brother Nick DeVito and friend Nick Massi, eventually discovering teenager Frankie Castelluccio and taking him under his wing, teaching him everything he knows. (“The Early Years: A Scrapbook”) During these early years Nick Massi helped train Frankie to sing, Tommy went in and out of prison, Frankie changed his last name to Valli, Tommy and Frankie developed a good relationship with mob boss Gyp DeCarlo, and Frankie fell in love with and married Mary DelGado. Musically, the band was still struggling and kept changing their name and sound but without any dramatic success. One day friend and fellow Jersey boy Joe Pesci comes up to Tommy and says that he knows a singer-songwriter who’d make the perfect fourth for their band: Bob Gaudio.

Summer

Bob Gaudio takes over the narration, starting by telling the audience that no matter what Tommy says, he wasn’t plucked from obscurity by him, since he already had a hit single with “Short Shorts“. Bob goes with Joe Pesci to see the band perform, and is immediately impressed by Frankie’s voice. Bob performs a song he’d just written: “Cry for Me” on piano, which Frankie, Nick Massi and then Tommy joining in with vocals, bass and guitar respectively. They negotiate an agreement, though Tommy is at first skeptical that Bobby (then still a teenager) will be good for the band. The band eventually gets a contract with producer Bob Crewe but only to sing back-up (“Backup Sessions”). Crewe insists that the band has an “identity crisis” and needs to make a firm decision on a name and a sound. The band name themselves after The Four Seasons bowling alley, and Bobby writes them three songs that finally propel them to stardom: “Sherry“, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Walk Like a Man“. In the wake of their success, Bob also chalks up a personal first by losing his virginity. (“December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)“) The band’s success means that they tour a lot more, along the way discovering the girl band The Angels (“My Boyfriend’s Back“). Unfortunately, the constant touring strains Frankie’s marriage to Mary, and they eventually divorce (“My Eyes Adored You“). The band continues to enjoy chart successes (“Dawn (Go Away)“) until after a concert the band is approached by a loan shark out to claim money owed by Tommy (“Walk Like a Man (reprise)”).

Act II

Fall

The second act opens with “Big Man in Town“. Nick Massi explains that Bob was so focused on the band’s musical success and future that he couldn’t see that the band had been in trouble for some time. Tommy’s been racking up debts, and a forgotten bill during a previous tour lands the band in jail over the weekend, which strains things between Tommy and Bob. Nick observes that Tommy became jealous of Frankie’s success and closeness with Bobby, and attempted to seduce Frankie’s new girlfriend Lorraine. The two never confronted each other about it, but the old friendship was not what it used to be. When the loan shark approaches the band for the $150,000 owed by Tommy, Frankie approaches Gyp DeCarlo for help despite Tommy’s insistence that he doesn’t need it. (“Beggin’“) The band, Gyp, and the loan shark come to agreement: Tommy is to be “sequestered” in Las Vegas where the mob can keep an eye on him, and the band will willingly cover all of Tommy’s debts. The band continues for a while as a trio until Nick declares that he wants out. (“Stay/Let’s Hang On!“)

Winter

Frankie takes over narration, explaining that though he owes Tommy a great deal, he’s aware that their relationship wasn’t ideal, and he never understood why Nick decided to leave. Frankie and Bob find replacements to keep the band a quartet (“Opus 17 (Don’t You Worry ‘Bout Me)“) until Bobby announces that he’s never been comfortable in the spotlight and that Frankie should be a single, i.e. Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. In his personal life, Frankie’s relationship with his daughter Francine is strained and he breaks up with girlfriend Lorraine. (“Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby, Goodbye)“) Frankie continues to have success thanks to Bobby’s songs, and hits jackpot with (“C’mon Marianne“) and the almost-never-released (“Can’t Take My Eyes Off You“) which Bobby fights to get airplay for. Along with the success of “Working My Way Back to You“, Frankie and Bobby finally finish paying off Tommy’s debts, and Frankie’s life is good until his daughter Francine dies from a drug overdose. (“Fallen Angel”)

Finale

The final scene is The Four Seasons’ 1990 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, announced by Bob Crewe and reuniting the original four members on stage one last time. (“Rag Doll“) Each member takes a moment to address the audience one by one, explaining their pride of being with the band and what they did after. (“Who Loves You“)

1311.jpg Online Child Matching Event
Hosted By A Family For Every Child
REGISTER ONLINE NOW TO RESERVE
YOUR SPOT FOR THIS EXCITING EVENT!
www.afamilyforeverychild.org
We are excited to announce that we will be holding our first
online matching event on January 26th at 11am pst.

A Family For Every Child has partnered with the state of Washington to help foster children find permanent placements.

During this online webinar event you will have private access to 10 special children, where you can view photos and/or video.

Caseworkers will be on hand to answer your questions and give families feedback and information about the type of families that would be the best match for these children.

1290.jpg

In order for you to attend this special event

you will need to to fill out the online sign up form

and insure that you have uploaded

your homestudy with us.

Only Adoption workers and Families with completed homestudies will be approved to attend

to this event due to the personal and detailed

information that will be provided about

the children during the event.

We will be featuring 9 special children who are waiting for their forever families!
Joe
12 years old

JoeWA1002 Joe Likes to be active and enjoys basketball and being outdoors.
Randy
14 years old

Randy WA278
Randy helps with chores which include cleaning his room, making his bed, and vacuuming.
Katherin
15 years old

Katherin WA923 Katherin has many talents and interests, some that include colorling, crossword puzzles, and helping others.
Cody
14 years old

1289.jpg Cody likes swimming and enjoys warm weather.
Skyler
15 years old
1296.jpg
Skyler is an avid baseball player, who also enjoysriding his bike and skateboarding.
Tatianna
11 years old


Tatianna WA930 Tatianna is an expressive and curious young lady who is extremely bright.

Jonathan 11 years

old

Jonathan loves everything about nature including fishing and camping. 1287.jpg

Jordan
11 years old

Jordan WA890Jordan likes food, especially eggs and bacon over creal.
Wesley
14 years old
1288.jpg

Wesley likes to play video games and spend time with the people most important to him

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions
about attending or registering for this event
Linzy Munger – Linzy

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The weekend was a delightful world-wind of activity, all centered around music and friends!

Friday evening after teaching, Quintin and I headed for Beavercreek High School where I served as a judge for the show choir’s invitational.  Friday was middle school show choir night.  Five competing show choirs and two exhibition show choirs from Beavercreek.

Saturday morning at 8:30am I was heading back to Beavercreek High School where I spent sixteen hours judging soloists, judging show choirs, eating a delicious lunch and supper, and catching up with colleagues, fellow judges, show choir parents, and friends.  I always enjoy Beavercreek’s weekend, but this seemed to be an exceptionally fun year.

Sunday morning was filled with house-activity of playing catch-up with items.  At 12:10pm we were out the door to UNO’s pizza downtown before heading next door to The Victoria Theatre to see Muse Machine’s production, THE WIZARD OF OZ.

I was seated next to three adorable elderly sisters who could easily have been USO girls during The War Between The States – they had me howling!  As I nestled into my seat I looked at my neighbor, and said, “I can tell you are gonna be trouble the whole time.”  She slapped her knee, and said to her companions, “He’s already got my number!”  The one sister had brought her fellow octogenarians to see her granddaughter perform, and each time the young performer was located in the mass of young folks on stage, they pointed, and without whispering, loudly exclaimed, and explained to one another where the girl was.  At one point, the lady next to me (who was slightly deaf) asked, “Are you enjoying this?”  I smiled, nodded.  She responded to my silent response with, “I am, too.  I saw the movie as a girl.”  She then turned to her sisters, and loudly said, “He likes the show, too,” accompanied by more verbal interaction.

Normally, I am usually irritated by loud talking during a show, but these ladies were so adorable that I did not mind.

After the show, we burst through the crowd to hurry home for three evening lessons – just making it in time.

Quintin and I closed out the weekend with a meal at Taco Bell, and spent a good 45 minutes chatting about life.

Back at home, I finished up some items and was sound asleep by 10:00pm.

A wonderful, wonderful weekend!

Tell them Darin sent you!

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Research Opportunities at Wells Institute
Welcome to 2012.We at Wells Institute are excited about presenting new research opportunities in the area of Type 2 Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Post Shingle Pain and more.If you are unemployed or without medical insurance, Wells Institute may be an option to help offset the costs of your medical expenses.

If you think you may qualify for one of our studies you may be eligible for No Cost medical care.

The following is a list of our currently enrolling research studies:

  • Type 2 Diabetes – taking Oral Medication, or are on Insulin.
  • Type 2 Diabetes – with High Blood Pressure and taking blood pressure medication.
  • Type 2 Diabetes – taking Insulin and have a Cardiac History.
  • Post Shingle Pain – pain 3-6 months after a Shingles outbreak.

Upcoming Studies:

  • Diabetic Neuropathy (February 2012)
  • Cat Allergies (September 2012)

Other Services by appointment (cash only):

  • Physicals $45.00 each
  • Immunizations (TB Tests, Tetnus Shots, MMR, Hepatitis B series) Please call for prices.

If you would like more information on any of the above studies to see if you qualify or to schedule an appointment please call :

Wells Institute at 937-293-2157 or 866-293-2157 – toll free

Visit us on the web at: www.wellsinstitute.com

** New for 2012 **

Wells Institute has partnered with the following local companies:

  • Pilates Plus Movement Studio – they offer classes in Pilates, Yoga, Zumba and more. For more information call Susan Honer at 540-521-1860 or on the web at www.pilatesplusmovementstudio.com
  • Licensed Massage Therapist – Lyn Harris – 937-671-2953 – Lyn is located at 6143 Farr Hills Ave in Centerville. She performs Relaxation &,Theraputic Massage and Hot Stone Massage.
  • L2 Marketing Research LTD. – a consumer market research company located in Moraine, OH. For more information call Lou Es Green or Libby Webster at 937-435-5067 or on the web at www.L2MR.com.
  • Shop 4 U – Shopping and Delivery service – Shop4U is a Personal shopping service. For more information call 937-424-0011 or on the web at www.2shop4u.biz

Thank you,

The Staff at Wells Institute

Paula Wells

Wells Institute for Health Awareness

Ph: 937-293-2157

Fax: 937-293-1763

email: paula

www.wellsinstitute.com

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Patti, Kristen & Greg King

Last night I learned the tragic news of Rev. Greg King’s death.  He and his wife, Patti, were involved in a car wreck in South Dakota where they’d recently moved for a new parish.  Greg died at the scene, and Patti was in critical condition.

Their son, Greg, was one of my piano and voice students, and portrayed a very stalkerish, creepy “Jud” in OKLAHOMA! Their youngest child, daughter Kristen, was in marching band and good friends with my older son.

One of my favorite moments for senior night at the football games was seeing all the other parents bundled up in winter coats, and seeing Greg & Patti escorting their senior band child across the field wearing crowns and red royal robes/capes!  What a fun family!

The King family is terribly close, and has always served as a wonderful family-model.  They deeply love one another, and always seem to radiate the joy they share as a family.

The King Family - Jim & Patti, back row, surrounded by their children

I woke this morning, not remembering the news I’d heard less than twelve hours before. When I  was reminded, the dull ache from Wednesday night returned, flooding my mind, and soul.

When horrible things happen, we always tend to ask, “Why?”

Why do terrible things happen to good people?  When we truly analyze this question, we recognize that terrible things happen to good, and bad, alike.  There is no clear-cut answer as to why terrible things happen.  This is simply one of the items that accompanies us on our journeys.

Four grieving children are making their way to South Dakota.  My heart is heavy knowing these four vibrant, beautiful souls are making such a hideous journey.  All that awaits them is their mother, resting in critical condition, and now a widow.

Still, I know there is great beauty in this day.  Through the strength of the King family, and their solid vitality, humor, and joy in living, many of us will surely be touched beyond measure, beyond belief.  Though their hearts will deeply ache, I am confident their joy will conquer this moment, reminding us that life, despite its darkest night, will always be bright, and beautiful.

Since childhood I have always sensed energizing, protective, and unseen guiding presences in my life.  For several years a lovely lady visited me regularly during my sleep – or at least, what I thought was my sleep.  Today, at age forty-seven, I can still vividly recall this kindly woman’s moments shared with me from the age of four years until I was nearing junior high.  Often, these meetings included singing without any concern for waking my parents.  Other times, stories were told, Bible stories about the heroes were read, poems recited, or general small talk shared.  It was a year or so into junior high school that I realized the sweet lady had not paid a visit.  It seemed, however, she had been replaced by other motivators in my life, mainly music.

One day, perhaps around my sophomore or junior year of high school, my grandmother pulled out old family photos.  Many, many Sundays were spent going through the treasure trove of our family’s history told through photographs, but this particular Sunday, there was a different box, one I didn’t recognize.  Grandma Donna handed me some photos and after thumbing through several I recognized the sweet lady who visited me as a child.  It was my great-grandmother, Thelma Daugherty Barmes.

Sadly, seven years before my birth, Grandma Thelma was involved in a fatal automobile-train accident, expiring the following evening, January 16th, 1957, at 5:05pm.

Grandma Thelma was a wonderful musician; a pianist and vocalist.  One of my first vocal lessons came from my Grandpa Leroy as he relayed watching his mother teach a voice lesson when he was a small boy – Grandma Thelma instructed the student to keep the tongue down, and to sing towards the teeth.

In college, I became fascinated with the possibility of angels.  Several professor friends recounted personal anecdotes related to angelic activities in their own lives, prompting me to wonder if the visits from great-grandmother were – well, angelic visitations.

There are so many arenas dedicated to the study of angels.  I’ve scoured the topics, the varying beliefs, and the Biblical history of angelic beings, and I finally decided that since there will never be one consistent consensus on the topic, it would be my choice to accept the fact angels exist, knowing they had personally appeared throughout my life.  Today, I still believe I have an angel team that assists me in a variety of activities throughout my life-journey.  I have no idea who they are, or whether or not the same ones continually accompany me. Quite simply, I do not doubt their presence, and I trust them.

Over the past twenty years, or so, I have also come to recognize that fellow humans also serve a similar purpose just as the unseen-beings on my “angel team.”  I have countless experiences of brief encounters where someone, or some unexplained incident, has briefly, even momentarily, appeared alongside me on my life-journey to offer guidance, encouragement, or specific information I needed at that moment.

Coincidence?  Perhaps.

God acting anonymously?  Perhaps.

I do believe these positive beings are off-shoots, working on behalf of The Great Spirit.

Regardless who they are, what they are, from where they came, whether they are winged or wear halos, they simply exist in my life.  And how damned lucky I am for these special moments!

Last summer I was terribly ill, and it took me through mid-Autumn to fully recover my strength, and stamina.  My spirits sagged because I just did not have the mind-effort to write on the Wright Brothers musical.  I would open the file.  I would look at the words that suddenly appeared foreign and click shut the file.  It seemed as though my great-passion for this particular craft had died a sudden, unexplainable death.  I began searching for answers to the questions I proposed:

Does this musical suck? (Considering the combined talents of my wonderful, patient co-writers, Gail & Leslie, I knew the lyrics and music elevated my work)

Am I suppose to even be doing this?

Is something trying to tell me I should do something else?

It was a frustrating Autumn, and early Winter.  The most infuriating thing is that I have the ideal life as a writer, something not often afforded my friends and acquaintances who have been published, or produced.  I have my mornings and early afternoons free, and teach private lessons from approximately 3:00pm until 8:00pm.  One day a week I am at a middle school.  Since my sons have always been involved in extra-curricular music activities that often keeps them busy on Saturdays – another full, free day of writing.

My life is ideally set to fully, and passionately embrace this craft.  However, from the end of July, before I discovered my illness, to early winter, I felt absolutely dead inside.  I coasted through the holidays, and my post-Christmas vacation still found me emotionally uninvested, and dealing with the same illness, again.

This past Saturday morning I was reminded by my calendar text that there was a Writing Workshop set for Sunday at 2:30pm.  The workshop was geared for middle grade/young adult audiences, nothing actually to do with playwrighting.  I dismissed it.

Sunday morning something caught my eye while scrolling down Facebook. A terrific author, and inspiring personality, Katrina Kittle posted:

“Dayton Area Writers – TODAY (Sunday) at Books & Co from 2-3:30pm, hosting a free mini-writers’ workshop, taught by myself and the lovely Kristina McBride. The topic: Writing for Middle Grade and Young Adult Audiences.”

Meh.

I sort of dismissed it.

The sun, despite doing its thing on the opposite side of my house, was filling my bed/sitting room with a glowing radiance.  It seemed to beckon me for a hike with my teenage son and the three dogs. For several days I’d been dealing with a nasty situation involving an individual who felt compelled to self-appoint a mythical reign over a project for which I was serving as coordinator. That morning, after two nights of minimal sleep, pulsating pressure in the head, and the inability to fix the situation, I stepped back and handed over the reins.

Freedom.

A renewed energy quickly flooded my brain, my entire being.

Katrina Kittle’s reminder of the writer’s workshop reappeared on a later Facebook scroll.  For the first time in over six months I actually felt life creeping back into my soul.  I remember how invigorated I was when I heard Katrina speak about her novel, THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS, during one of our ACTION Adoption Service training sessions.  I had also attended several theatrical performances where Katrina played a psychologist assisting a patient through the horrors experienced both during the London Blitz of WWII, and years later on 9/11.  Katrina’s voice is captivating, and her spirit is invigorating, and infectious.

At this point I knew that my angel team was kicking in a God-wink.  Quintin and I discovered a movie he wanted to see (I did not) was at the same time, so we killed two birds with one stone. He hit the cinema, and I hit Books & Company.

As I grabbed my keys, preparing to leave the house, a song – one of my favorite songs – on Spotify began playing.  I sat down, and absorbed the message.

When a thing is wick, it has a life about it.
Now, maybe not a life like you and me.
But somewhere there’s a single streak of green inside it.
Come, and let me show you what I mean.

When a think is wick, it has a light around it.
Maybe not a light that you can see.
But hiding down below a spark’s asleep inside it,
Waiting for the right time to be seen.

You clear away the dead parts,
So the tender buds can form,
Loosen up the earth and
Let the roots get warm,
Let the roots get warm.

~ ~ ~

And all through the darkest nighttime,
It’s waiting for the right time.
When a thing is wick, it will grow!

The words to “Wick,” from THE SECRET GARDEN, was another God-wink for the day.

The workshop, led by Katrina Kittle and Kristina McBride, was my final remedy.  Within minutes of the workshop beginning, I realized the dead parts encasing my spirit were breaking through the earth.  That spark, as lyricist Marsha Norman explained in THE SECRET GARDEN, had been hiding down below, sleeping within… It was the right time.

After a meeting with a good friend I respect and admire, and another fun dinner with Quintin, I quickly returned home with the joy of the workshop’s reassurance beating within.  I opened my laptop, clicked on the file titled THE BIRD LET LOOSE, and opened the script.  Everything was familiar once again. There seemed to be a chorus of voices calling out from the pages, thrilled that I had returned. A reunion began.

It seems my angel team had led me, at the right time, to Sunday, January 8th, 2012.  Were Katrina and Kristina serving as angels?

Who can say.

For whatever reason, these two lovely ladies, as countless others throughout my life, were a piece of the puzzle that has continually courted me on this wonderful journey.  Perhaps some people, much like my family and teachers have always been, are the golden bricks that pave my own personal yellow bricked-road.

The passion is restored.  I am acknowledging, appreciating, and adoring my apprenticeship once again.

Can I say life is wonderful, and that I am so blessed?

You betcha!

January at the National Museum of American History
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1968 March on Washington

Featured Artifact

March on Washington Handbill

The March on Washington, August 28, 1963, was the largest civil rights demonstration the nation had ever witnessed. Its speakers included A. Philip Randolph, John Lewis, James Farmer, Walter Reuther, and Martin Luther King, Jr., whose “I Have a Dream” speech invoked the hopes of all Americans seeking racial justice.

Smithsonian Council for American History

Smithsonian Council for American History

The Museum is grateful to the following members who recently joined the Council or renewed their membership:

• James K. Asselstine and Bette J. Davis
• Candice Bennett and William Hewitt
• Harry L. Crisp III
• Robert and Marilyn Haroutunian
• Lee and Carol Orr
• Mr. and Mrs. Albert H. Small

You can become a part of this special group. Find out more.

First Lady quotes

Featured Discussion

What do you think would be the best and worst parts of being the First Lady?

Share your thoughts.

The Experimental Sound Recordings of Alexander Graham Bell

Extracting the sound recordings
The Museum’s collections include 200 experimental sound recordings made by Bell’s Volta Laboratory. Previously unplayable, a new technique developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the Library of Congress lets us listen to the recordings for the first time in over 100 years.

You Must Remember This Opening February

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone © 2001 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R.
Coinciding with the grand opening of the Warner Bros. Theater, this display will showcase rare Hollywood memorabilia, including costumes worn by Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and Clint Eastwood, along with Daniel Radcliffe’s Harry Potter robe. Visitors will also see objects representing Warner Bros. Studio history such as Jack Warner’s silver telephone and Bugs Bunny animation drawings. (photo: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone © 2001 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R.)

LAST CHANCE to see Julia Child’s Kitchen is January 8

Bon Appetit! Julia Child's Kitchen at the Smithsonian
The Museum must move the kitchen to prepare for upcoming renovations to its west exhibition wing. The Museum will reopen the kitchen within a new exhibition focusing on food and wine in America, scheduled to open in late summer 2012.

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” – Vince Lombardi

Well, in 45 minutes the curtain will come down on 2011 and promptly raise on 2012.

2011 was an interesting year. I read so many Facebook posts stating, “I’m so glad 2011 is almost over” or “2011 was such a bad year.” And on they go.

I honestly cannot say one year is any worse than another. It is what it is. It’s a year. It’s all about living, all about attitude, all about choices, and all about loving. I don’t see 2011 with any regrets. There were choices made based on facts presented, and actions taken. Life moved on through various scenarios, and the results were pretty much as calculated.

I kept busy as a dad, as a teacher, as a pet-dad, as a band parent, as a gardener and landscaper, as a musician, and as a person. It was a full year, and one on which I can look back upon with pride.

Several family members and friends passed on, and though saddened by their passing, I celebrate the time spent with them during my life’s journey. One particular departure saddened me greatly… my darling little Logan, my cat of 17.5 years. I miscalculated how deeply I would feel her passing, and miss her greatly.

Some new folks merged onto the Haasienda Highway this year, and I have thoroughly enjoyed their presence. Primarily, Navi and Chief, who joined us February 20th. Though exasperating as they travel merrily through puppyhood, they have already proved to be devoted, fun companions, as Flyer continues to remain.

Some folks elected to move on to other paths which I believe to be standard patterns in life… not everyone is meant to remain with us.  A few left prematurely, perhaps, but I respect their choices. And then there were some I disconnected their journey from mine, and I have no regrets. Some folks just need to be on a different path, just as I need to be on my own path. The ones I removed I celebrate as a blessing upon my path as I discovered they were poison leaking onto my path, just as they poisoned the journey of others.  I made the correct choice.

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

All in all, life is beautiful. The journey continues in this, my 48th year, and I am making plans for new ways to make the coming year(s) more exciting, turning the journey into an even more thrilling course.

Fifteen minutes remain of 2011. I am grateful for this past year of learning, living, and loving, and for all the many blessings rolled into many facts of life.

It was a very good year.

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 53,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 20 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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