Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Now it's time to say 2009

Hello, friends. Well, I'm in my hotel room in Albuqurque, NM, and am anxious to get home - an unusual position for me. I have had a great time in California (seeing Litel Elementary, Campbell Hall and Vinedale Elementary) and here in New Mexico (seeing Thoreau Elementary). Seeing my past 2 adopted schools was great and seeing my teachers whom I really care about was awesome. Being a "superstar" was wonderful with the students and I loved their response to the stories. The story that wins, hands-down, "Little Johnny Eight Spot." Each of my adopted schools wanted to hear it again, and I conceded. It will hopefully be on the CD.

Ah, the CD. I'm thrilled now that I know my controlling idea - Hearts and Smiles. I still have three stories to write, have characterizations on my stories to be done, and I need to record "Elaina's Birthday Dance" to see if I can hear the child, or the adult behind the child. Lots to do, and I'm grateful that Buck is so patient with me. I do believe it is on my website to be bought now, so today and tomorrow out goes the e-mail for pre-sale. Can't wait.

I have had a great year. I had 200 programs in 16 states, (WA, VA, IL, NM, OK, Minnesota, GA, PA, WV, KY, AZ, CA, OR, FL, IA, MD), including Worldstrides, Young Audiences of Virginia, CWTI outreach and "Tickle My Ear" Chrysler Museum programs. I added on 4 new states that I have been in - Minnesota, Arizona, Nebraska and Iowa. I had several repeat programs including, but not limited to, East Intermedieate (Jenks, OK), Harvest Hills Elementary (OK), Bourbon Central Elementary (Paris, KY), North Middletown Elementary (North Middletown, KY), Malvern Elementary (PA) & Felida Elementary (Vancouver, WA).

I have been to Disneyland, visited Spokane and taken that marvelous road in Washington from Spokane to Vancouver, across the mountain - amazing. I have hung out with old friends and have met new ones (Sharon Kennedy being a main new friend). I finished my 2nd adopted school - Thoreau & started my third - Roosevelt. I have visited all of my adopted schools at least twice this year.

God continues to bless my life, continues to grow the gift He gave me, and gives me opportunities to use this gift more and more for him. "How can I say thanks for the things He has done for me? Things so undeserved, that He gave to prove His love for me....To God be the Glory!"

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The First CD's Pre-Sold!

Hello, everyone. I am in North Hollywood, CA at the moment. Yesterday I performed at Litel Elementary School, Chino Hills, CA. It was beautiful and clear yesterday and I could see the mountains and they were snow covered - just gorgeous. It's a little cold right now in the L.A. area, but at least right now not raining.

Yesterday, at the end of the "Words of Excitement" program I announced the first pre-sale of CD's, and had my first three sales. Yeah!! I am thrilled to know that somebody likes me. :) LOL. Today, my scripture was talked about by Beth Moore, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Lord, how marvelous are your works, and that I know full well" - Ps. 139. I feel that way today! Thanks for this great gift of performance that encourages and blesses others.

I did the story "Elaina's Birthday Dance" last night and loved watching the reactions of the adults as much as the kids. They were really excited about that story, AND, I could directly relate it to affirming your child's dream - sincethat is what Elaina's mother did.

Oh, ate at Pacific Fish Grill in Chino Hills - EXCELLENT!! I had teh Mahi Mahi Grilled Platter, which comes with rice (perfection) and pita bread (warm) and usually a salad. I didn't want the salad and paid to get the grilled zucchini instead - wonderful - it also had the garlic butter. It was a filling, but not overly filling meal - perfect for lunch - check it out sometime.

Time to get moving. Things to do, places to go. Peace,

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas Program

Hello, everyone. Well, I arrived back in Virginia early yesterday morning (12/3) about 1 am. I stayed overnight in Norfolk, because it was so early. Have I told you all how much I love Choice Hotels (Comfort Inn, Sleep Inn, Comfort Suites and Clarion). I can earn points very quickly staying with them and that allows me on early mornings like yesterday to get a free night much closer than home. If you are a traveling person then make sure you are gaining points from your hotel, airline and rental car purchases. Being loyal does turn into great benefits down the road.

Yesterday I went with Young at Heart (our more senior folks at my church, First Baptist Norfolk) to Bobbitt Mid-rise. I believe Bobbitt is assisted living for more senior folks. I was invited by Jo to come and tell stories. I love telling stories to more senior folk; they love a good story and they listen with as much enthusiasm as children. When I am with them, I just want to bask under their approval. They have heard so many stories in their life, and have so many of their own, that I wonder why don't I just bore them, instead, they are appreciative of others' stories.

I truly felt like the little girl growing up in Second Baptist Church, Falls Church, VA - where the old folk would come up to you after you sang a solo, or did a poem, or gave the prayer, or performed in the Christmas/Easter pageant - and said, "Oh, baby, that was so good. You gonna really be something!" We all need that and we certainly need to give that to our young kids today. On those days in church, I knew I could overcome and do anything. Later, when I received more critical feedback, I still had the foundation of their words. Let us love our children with good words, so when we need to give them more critical feedback, they can hear and know they are stil loved and still "gonna really be something!"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Been a long time

Hello, everyone. Been a while since I have blogged and that's mostly because I have not done much traveling. I have enjoyed my stay at thome time. It was very productive, as God planned it to be.

I am presently in Sioux City, IA and did a 5th Grade Creative Writing Workshop at Roosevelt and Unity Elementary. This was a quick turn around. We did some "brain jogging" - writing for a ful minute. The Roosevelt 5th graders handed in their stories for the "prize" and I was excited that in Mrs. Vanderschaaf's class so many of the students handed in stories - Good going! We focused on our senses, did creative poems-songs-statements, tried "pass the plate" (did not work as well as I hoped), did my Mulberry activity, and then they wrote their version from "Finding a Good Stick" using the first stick - a small man with a small boat on a large river.

At Unity, each of the classes have different assignments. Mrs. Beach's class will write about how the picture of the big mouth carp got into the paper, and a story about the fish. Ms. Evans' class will write their version from "Finding a Good Stick" using the second stick - a house in the woods with strange people in it. Finally, Ms. Flewelling's class will write an ending to "Hippo Outcast Love Call", which ended with the hippo coming on the porch. Should be interesting.

CD project is going along great. I had my photo shoot on Sunday and it was awesome!! I loved the pictures and can't wait to see them again. I believe we have lots of options. You should have seen the looks I received while telling a story to a weeping willow tree. Priceless. Also, have established a business account at BBandT, and will be talking with their insurance part about the Business Insurance. Producer has been paid the deposit for the prep time, and we had a phone conference, to discuss our calendar for prep time, review one of the stories and discuss "controlling idea" of the CD.

Time to go. Peace, my friends