Family Photo 2015

Family Photo 2015

Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Year, A New You...again!

So it is New Year's eve and of course people are beginning to think about all things that they want to do different in the coming year! The list is long and varied ranging from saving more money, reading more books, to planning for additions to their family, preparing to lose a loved one! Every year at this time we all find ourselves saying..."This year will be different!" Or "This year will be better!"

Both statements are true! 2010 will be a different year! 2010 will be a better year from many people! But of course the notion of us starting a new life trend, weight loss plan, new commitment, will-for some of us-result in disappointment. We find ourselves starting January 1st with such spirit and gusto...and by the time we make it to March the spirit has faded, the gusto is gone! So how do we compact this pattern? How do we beat the cycle of New Year's disappointment?

For me personally, I had to create a road map...and written plan! I cannot go into the New Year with a head full of plans and no way to start them! However, with the writing of this plan, I am fully aware that God could and can come in and change this plan to His liking! So maybe the written plan is a rough draft and God will come in and make the final proof and edits.

Since 2010 is the beginning of a new decade, instead of making new year resolutions I decided to write out goals i would like achieve by the end of this decade! My first piano teacher, Tony Carrillo, encouraged me years ago to write out life goals in 10 year sets! I found the list I wrote in 1999 and it was interesting to see how much of my life had changed and how many of the goals were really achieved! So I am sharing with you my "New Decade Resolution/Goals"

-Continue to Campaign for "Take A Moment" Tuesday! Changing the world through kindness to strangers!

-Complete my Ordination Track

-Complete my Master's Degree

-Develop Ministry Mentor program for Worship Leaders

-Participate in 3 musicals (non directing role)

-Continue writing in journals, and blog

-Reading through Entire Bible (6 times)

-Participate in 10 Mission trips/Service Projects

-Reduce Household debt no less then 50%

-Continue on reach my target weight loss goal

-Record a CD

-Personal trips 2 NYC, California, Europe, Prince Edward Island!

-in all things ask how God is being glorified in what I am doing!

-Continue asking if I am giving God the best I have to offer!

My prayer for everyone is that you all find favor in the Lord! That He would so richly bless Your life, and in turn we would all become better servants, better people, as we continue to serve Him!

"For I know the plans I have for you...plans to prosper and not to harm you...Plans to give you a hope and a future." Jer. 29:11 paraphrased

Happy New Year!

Christmas Moments with Keller

So I would have to say that this was the best Christmas with this point! I am sure there will be many more adventures, but something about this year was super exciting for not just him but for the whole family.
Of course we continued our tradition of spending Christmas Day and 3 extra days at Disney World! He was a kid in a 20,000 acre candy store! We would ask him what he wanted to do and naturally all he wanted to was ride the monorail, parking lot trams, and transportation buses! Had we known that in the beginning, we could have saved a ton of money! LOL However, once inside the parks he did ride several rides and had a great time! He kept saying that this was the "best trip ever!"
Another great thing that happened this year was Keller singing at the Christmas Eve Service! Mark this moment as the beginning of my show dad career! But I need to set this moment up a little better! Earlier in the month, Keller had his concert with the pre-school. It is always one of those events that will go really well or will self-destruct because of crying children and kids just over excited about the fact that it is Christmas! The evening started out great and quickly went south! To make a long story short, Keller was not able to sing in the rest of the show because he was just to hyped up! But I know he really wanted to sing a couple of songs at the end of the show!
So I decided to see if Keller would be willing to sing Silent Night for the Christmas Eve service. His response was "Yes Daddy! I will sing Silent Night and Feliz Navidad!" He was bound and determined to sing two songs...but I finally convinced him that he really only needed to sing the one! So we practiced for a week on how to hold a microphone & singing softly, how to stand...all things you need to know for perfect stage presence!
Well the evening came, and Keller decided that he did not want to sing...typical diva! Eventually his mother talked him down and he decided that he would do it! When the time came, he walked up on stage with me and grabbed his microphone! I started playing the intro and away he went! At the end of the verse, he turned to me and said, "Take a bow!" As I looked over at him, he was raising his right arm to bend over and take his bow!
Could this be the beginning of a stage career? Oh boy!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A View from the Director's Chair....The Finale

So we have been finished with the show for a couple of weeks now...and I am still feeling the effects of the whole production. As I was reflecting on the entire experience, there were several memories that made me smile, laugh and even inspired me. There were also some moments that were sad and I need to forget them...quickly! In this finale blog post, I was trying to figure out how to sum up this entire experience. Finally I was inspired by David Letterman...of all people, to create a Top Ten of some of the best moments of the show...from my prospective! I am sure that the cast/choir/crew could make some additions to the list, so be watching out for additional comments!

10. The Animal Handlers and their Costumes:

As many of you know, we try to have live animals during our Christmas productions. This year was a little difficult securing all the animals we wanted but we did have some make an appearance. During the second half of the show, the donkey makes his entrances with a group of people. He is of course being lead by the animal handler. What I realized during the performance was that in this biblical village scene, the audience saw the beautiful bibical costumes and scenery...and smack in the middle was a lady with a donkey wearing a black shirt, jeans and of course the Santa Hat.

9. Santa Gone Wild:

At the end of one of the dress rehearsals, we were all in the process of cleaning up and getting things ready for the next evening. As I was writing some stuff down on my trusty yellow pad, the actor playing Santa caught my attention. So I walked over to talk with him and was caught completely off guard! He said to me, "Hey check this out!" And just like that, no sooner did I look up, He quickly ripped open His Santa jacket, chuckled, and was off in a dash! I had never been flashed before...and let me be clear, it was just upper body!

8. Sawhorse Ballet:

One of my voice students, Noelle, is also a wonderful dancer! There was one song in the show that I asked her to do some solo dance work. Before the song begins, the stage is suppose to be cleared to give her room and freedom to dance has she felt lead. One of the performances,- I think it was Friday night- the two sawhorses from the previous scene were still on the stage. By the time I noticed, the song was well into gear and Noelle was ready to make her flying leap from one side of the stage into the other. I could not see very well, but I could hear a small thump once she landed...when i turned and looked she was face to face with a sawhorse...the best part is, she kept on going! Kudos to you Noelle!

7. The Pop-Up Shepherd:

Having teens in a Christmas production can be a lot of fun. I know for us, this is a really good group of students...and they can keep things interesting...for example our pop up shepherd Nick Polk. I gave him this name because you just never knew where he was going to be! One of the singers told me that she kept seeing this young man run across the stage in a blackout, but I did not believe her, until the Saturday night show...when I saw Nick bolt across the stage! Not sure where he was headed...but he missed his speaking line anyway! LOL And if he did not miss his line-which only happened once- he would deliver the line in a different location! Thanks Nick for keeping us guessing!

6. The Camera does add 10lbs...or 50lbs:

I think it was at the matinee performance that Joe Watson pulled his brother Nick up on the stage to our Christmas version of "Don't Forget the Lyrics!" It was a great laugh...and I thought Nick and Joe did a great job of playing alone...but that is not what this is about. After the show, Nick was helping the team set stuff for the next show and a lady stopped him and told him that he did a great but "You could stand to lose about 50lbs!" Folks, that is a direct quote! I am amazed at how people do not think before they speak....and yes I know I have done the same thing. But people get some class! Don't worry Nick, I got yo back!!!!

5. Director's Choice of Words....that will inspire you:

So speaking of people talking, I confess that sometimes I have a problem clearly communicating things to people. It is nothing major until I am trying to prove a point to people or I am wanting to say something inspiring and it just comes out all wrong. But these 2 cases are not those moments. At the final dress rehearsal, I was talking to some people about The Christmas Song. They looked at me funny and I said, "You know the song ....(cue music) 'Chestnuts open on the roasting fire..." Of course I did not realize I had the words open and roasting backwards...clearly anyone could make that mistake, right? The other moment was at the end of rehearsal when we were taking cast pictures. It was a group shot and the photographer had to stand on a ladder. Once she was ready I called out to the cast and said, "Okay everyone, look up here...She is going to flash you!" Of course the room erupts in laughter and she turned so red...but she was a good sport!

4. The Green Sofa & the Flop Heard round the World:

There are a handful of moments in my life that have made me laugh so hard and uncontrollably....This was one of those moments! We were in the first dress rehearsal and we found this antique lime green sofa! It had wood looked good. Anyway, we were doing a scene based on the tune "Sleigh Ride." I had a farmer and his wife and children getting ready for a Christmas party. As I was watching the scene unfold, I noticed the daughter getting ready to make her entrance with her friend! In that moment I thought to myself, "I hope she does not run and flop into that sofa." No sooner did I finish that thought, she was skipping through the doorway down to the sofa! And was as if God had given me the gift of prophecy...she flew into that sofa and then there was a CRACK! Those in the cast will remember this night very well, because I spent the next 3 minutes in the floor laughing...loudly!!!!!! When the song ended, I tried to regain my composure...but it did not work! I was giggling like a school girl...and ya'll know I have a high pitched laugh!

3. Run Away Wheel Chair:

At the end of every show, we have the cast, choir, and crew come out and meet with the audience/guest as they leave! At our last performance, there was a lady pushing her friend in a wheel chair. I did not notice them right away because of all the other people coming out of the doors. As the crowd died down, I saw these lovely ladies coming in my direction...or so I thought! The lady piloting the wheel chair had made a hard right turn to head down the small hill of the driveway. As she was walking down, she noticed I was standing there and wanted to come back and talk to me. Would you believe that this lady just let go of the wheel chair and started talking with me? OH YES she did...and there is more! As she is talking to me, I notice out of the corner of my eye that her friend is slowly rolling down the hill....ALONE!!!!!! The good news is that one of the men in the choir saw her rolling away and caught her, just as the lady talking to me realized that she had let her go! Only in Florida!!!!!

2. The Voice in the Darkness:

We had several new people join the cast for the show...which is always a great thing! It is neat to watch them discover just how creative they can be with a role. Opening night was a bit nerve racking for a couple of new actors, but they did a great job. One scene I remember specifically was the end of scene 2. The villagers leave the stage in a blackout and we had 3 villagers comeback on stage to quote scripture to move the story along! So everything was happening as it was suppose to and I could see the people getting ready on the dark stage! Then, all of a sudden, I hear this voice....the Voice in the darkness... quoting the first passage of scripture! Quickly the lights come up and reveal that no one was there...except the other two people who where waiting for the lights! Was it a spirit? Was it a special effect? No, just an actor who forgot to wait for the lights to come on! LOL

1. It's Opening night...what could possibly go wrong:

You spend all those weeks and months preparing for this moment: Opening night! There is so much riding on the first performance. Word of mouth about your show begins at this you have to bring your A game right? I alway think of opening night as your real dress rehearsal...only in the sense that you have people watching it and you have to go on whether the scene was correct or not! So there we are, getting settled on the stage for the first act...the crowd is checking us out. We are checking out the crowd...and away we go....or not! We got 1 minute into our first song and lost our sound equipment! Praise the Lord we still had power...just no sound! There are a lot of things going through my mind at that moment! But in the 3 steps it took me to turn and face the audience, I was in prayer! The lesson I learned through this first act is that God needed to show up and remind us that He was with us! Sure we committed this performance in prayer, but maybe this was another way for Him to remind us that He was going to carry us not just through that opening night, but through the whole weekend...if we move out of the way and let him!

Eventually, the sound tracks were working again, and the show did go on! But I am forever indebted to the cast/choir/crew for an amazing weekend!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A View from the Director's Chair (Special Edition)....Statements from Keller

Well we made it through our first performance last night! Yes I said made it because of the strange sound issues and quarks that happened in act I. But my hat goes off to the tech team for remaining calm and cool in this moment of crisis. But also, my hat goes off to the actors and singers who had to make quick adjustments as we rewrote the entire act right here on the spot! To say the least, it was an interesting evening!
Yesterday before the show, Keller and I had to pick up the playbills for the performance. The print shop that we use is about 45 minutes away, so we had time to hang out! Plus we had to take the church van, because of all the boxes, so he was pretty excited about this trip! So as we were driving, Keller told me that he was "really excited" about being a snow flake in the show!
He continued by saying,
"Dad, I need to practice for the snowflakes."
"Ok, Keller you can practice if you need to." As I was saying this to him, I looked in the rear view mirror and could see him bobbing his head to some song in his head. Then all of a sudden the little singing voice pops out "LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW." Then he went back to the head bobbing. I quickly discovered that he was replaying the song in his head, and that he would only sing the final statement of "Let it Snow". It was to funny to watch!
Fast foward to last night's performance. I was a little nervous about how he would respond to the almost 500 people in the audience. When I introduced Keller and his friend Darcy, the audience of course started clapping for them! Their faces were priceless because as they were walking down, they had to stop and look at if to make sure that everyone was safe. Anyway, they made their way down to the stage and they introduced themselves. The song began and off they went, dancing their hearts out...really it was more jumping in circles, but the point is they were cute! I even gave Keller the microphone and let him sing the "Let it snow" sections!
When the song was over, the kid even knew to stop and take a bow! I promise I did not teach that to him!
At the end of the show, I went to pick him up from child care and he told me "Daddy, we were the best snowflakes ever!! This is a great day!" It was in this moment, I realized how much of a child's identity is wrapped up in their parent's identity! Because he sees me leading worship or performing, Keller felt totally comfortable with walking into the sanctuary with all those people and sing his heart out. And did not think twice about it!
I am not sure I will make a good Show Dad!!!!!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

A View from the Director's Chair (part 1)...Performance Eve

Tonight we had our last dress rehearsal! I really cannot believe that the time has finally come! To be honest, I am already thinking about next monday and the big let down that always comes at the end of a performance. Maybe that is one of the bittersweet things about performing. You spend weeks and months perparing for this production...and then in 4, 2 hour performances you are done!

Everyone has worked really hard, and I am extremely proud of everyone! One of the cooliest things about this show is that, this production is not just for those who are gifted musically. There is a part for everyone, and I think everyone has embraced their roles/characters very well! Of course there is the perfectionist side of my that still has 30 items on the to-do list before tomorrow night, but I am resting in the knowledge that God is going to bless the efforts of my friends.

I think I enjoy this particular show so much because it takes this simple word Joy and builds 3 progressive themes. Our Joy as we experience the season of Christmas; our Joy as we relive the story of Christmas; and our Joy as we embrace the Savior of the World. We have taken a show that is truly much more then a production. I feel that it offers the audience an opportunity to particpate and be active! It invites them to particpate in worship as we remember Christmases of the past. Beloved carols, worship songs and scripture are woven together with the sounds and the spirit of the season. The act of rejoicing is timeless...just ask the angels! My prayer is that we can connect contemporary Christmas joy with the joy of those experiencing the first Christmas.

So to all the cast, choir, crew, and support staff, I say thank you for your committement to see this journey to the end! As Christians, we are all called to share the good news to those we encounter...and I cannot think of a better way then through this production we are presenting! You are a blessing to me and I thank you all for working with me. Remember to move/sing with purpose!

You are Loved!


p.s. the phrase "move with purpose" is taken from one of my former directors, Krista Jo Miller!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A View from the Director's Chair

COMING SOON.... 3 short blogs entries about your adventure in putting our Christmas production together! There are a lot of great stories to tell both on and off the stage! Stay Tuned!

Statements from Keller....part I

As many of you know, I am a big fan of writing in my journal(s). Before I met Ashley, I created a journal for her that was filled with thoughts, statements, and prayers for her! I gave her the journals as a wedding gift. I always knew that a journal was a great way to reflect upon things in your life and have a great way to keep those special moments in your life. So I have continued to write in journals for both Keller and Baby Gage!
Long story short, I was writing in Keller's book the other day about his adventure to the eye doctor...and I realized that this was to good and i had to share it with the masses of people that follow the blog (all 13 of you)!!!!

When we walked into the doctor office, Keller says to me, "Daddy, we have 3 special steps." "Okay Keller, what are the special steps?"
Keller replies, "Step 1: we say hello to the Dr. Step 2: we put the flashlight in the Doctor's eyes! Step 3: I will get Red glasses."

So I thought he was feeling pretty good about this visit. We walked into the exam room and Keller quickly got his flashlight ready...and when the doctor walked in he proudly said, "Dr. you have to sit in the chair and open your eyes."
Of course, this doctor has no bed side manner and gave a quick smile and told Keller to sit down.
In his seat, Keller decided to just start shining the light in the doctor's eyes! Looking annoyed, the Dr. encouraged Keller to put the flashlight down and let him look into Keller's eyes with his special light! After the quick eye check we had to go into another room...Keller quickly labeled it the "Dark Room" and did not want to go in. I guess he knew that it was going to be trouble for him, because he turned to the nurse and said "You can't put that bad water in my eyes!"
So after dilating his eyes, the poor kid was ready to go...but we still had to wait an hour and go back and see the Dr.

After an hour of waiting, our time came to go back in with the Dr. We fought the major battle of holding my child still while the Dr. looked in his eyes to match his prescription. 15 minutes later we were finished...and the Dr. was explaining some issues to me....all while Keller was screaming his eyes out.
The doctor wrapped up and asked me if I had any questions...and out of nowhere; through the big tears comes this voice that proclaims..."Dr. Silverman, I think you are very informative!!!!"
I looked down at Keller and he had this big smile on his face!
Only my child could fight through tears and give someone a compliment!