Creating Possibilities

I had fun recording this episode with a couple of my kids when they were home over the holidays.  I hope it will encourage you – and your kids!

Down 220 Pounds: Small Steps, Huge Strides!

Down 220 Pounds: Small Steps, Huge Strides!

Donna’s Story

So much great info here!

In this episode of the Forti-fy Podcast, Donna shares her, and her husband’s, 220-pound weight-loss journey. There is so much here we can all relate to. Tune in to hear some great life-style tips!

To listen to Part Two of this conversation, click HERE.

Here are links to all the information Donna discussed in the podcast.

There are so many great resources here!

You can check out a previous blog post on Donna’s weight loss journey HERE

Area Homeschool Co-ops and Classes

Area Homeschool Co-ops and Classes

(Originally posted June 2017, Updated August 2020)

Depending on where you are in your homeschooling journey, you may be very familiar with homeschool co-ops, or, like me, waited 20 years before trying one!  Here, I review homeschool co-ops and classes offered in the Fort Wayne and surrounding areas.

Character Ink

I did a blog post several years ago on Donna and Ray Reish’s Character Ink Classes. You can read that here.

Ray and Donna have a tremendous wealth of homeschooling experience and they just love their students! They have been a tried and trusted resource for many homeschooling families – including mine – for many years. Donna is known as the “Language Lady” because she has literally written thousands of pages of writing material! She loves what she does!

Now, they offer even more options! Half – Day Homeschooling and Online Tutoring and Classes are now on the menu! Just click on the photo below to get started on a path that works just right for you and your family!



Doorposts Homeschool Co-op of Northeast Indiana


Based on how fast I see these classes fill up, I can tell this is a popular co-op choice!

Their mission statement reads:

“DoorPosts Homeschool Co-op was created to provide a faith-based environment where homeschool families could gather together in fellowship, friendship, and learning.”

Classes are located in the Kendallville and Auburn Area. Click HERE for their website.

Kroeker Homeschool Academy



This is taken from a blog post I wrote :

“The first time I came across Kroeker Academy was when I was reading their course descriptions in a homeschool newsletter and was thinking, “Wow, how do they teach ALL that in one class?!”  So often times I wanted my kids to take classes they were offering, but due to schedule conflicts, it never happened. I often felt we missed out on some great learning! I have, however, had many friends whose kids have taken their classes, and they have confirmed what I instinctively knew – there is a whole lot of learning going on in those classes!”  You can read the rest of the post here. 

Click HERE for their website.

Life Adventures HomeSchool



Since most of my kids have graduated, they have not taken any classes here, but I do know Jennifer MacDonald who directs Life Adventures. Click HERE for their website:

Life Adventures Homeschool Resources is a Christian homeschool group based in Fort Wayne, which is northeastern Indiana. We are also an open, inclusive group, welcoming homeschoolers of all faiths and those with none. We encourage cooperation and service to each other and our fellow man. We schedule social and educational activities and provide support for new and veteran families alike.

Life Adventures Homeschool Resources was formed to provide information and support to homeschooling families. We have a parent support group and weekly classes you choose what you want to be involved in based on what works best for your family! A variety of events are offered to meet those goals as well as to encourage Christian fellowship. Opportunities include monthly meetings (workshops and/or topics), field trips, Moms’ Night Out, Couples’ Night Out, field day, swim and park days, and friends and adventures galore, plus a web site

Northeast Homeschool Family Co-op


Fire And Light Productions – Where Kids Thrive and the Stage Shines!

Fire And Light Productions – Where Kids Thrive and the Stage Shines!

After watching the very first play performance that my kids were in with Fire and Light Productions, I said to my husband,

“I wish everyone knew that this kind of family entertainment was right here, in their own backyard.”

If I didn’t know this opportunity existed, both for my kids to learn dramatic arts, and for the great theater enjoyment it provides, I would surely want someone to tell me, so Forti-fy is broadcasting the news!

What is Fire and Light?

Fire and Light Productions is a faith-based theater and production company created to engage and inspire a love of the human story among audiences and artists.

Fire and Light Productions began as a youth theatre club in October 2010. It has grown from about 35 kids doing skits in a church basement (sans costumes, sets and technical equipment), to a troupe of more than 100 actors, ages 8-18, performing six productions a year.

Founder Lisa Ellis, would want you to know that Fire & Light Academy is more than just a theater program; she considers it a ministry. “As our troupe portrays a story, we steal a glimpse at another person’s perspective and walk of life.”

Some of the shows that Fire and Light has put on over the past several years include; Beauty and the Beast,  Pippi Longstocking, Pride and Prejudice, Cinderella, Korczak’s Children,  Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Tuck Everlasting, The Butler Did It, Tom Sawyer, 42 Street and Annie…just to name a few!
So, as a mom, why would you be interested in Fire and Light for your child?

Well, if you have a “theater kid” that is an easy answer! Fire and Light provides a wonderful venue for your child to develop in their acting abilities, and really learn dramatic arts. All the directors take the art of “story telling’ seriously, and as such, fervently train your kids to make those stories come alive. Kids whose goal is to learn more and grow in their abilities will definitely meet those goals in the program. Students are educated in voice, stage movement, character development and dance.

And if you don’t have a theater kid? This is what is really interesting. I have seen siblings of kids whose brother or sister is in a show, become really engaged in what they see – where they are actually willing to try it out. Whereas if they had never been exposed to theater, they would say it was the last thing they would ever want to do. And yet, those are the same kids that once they get involved, are trying out for a major role after just a short time in the program.

But again, the beauty of the program is that there is a place for everyone. Maybe you have a child who is artistic and likes to paint or build sets, or perhaps likes tech support, costuming, or make-up. Before you know it, your once reserved child has found a niche and found out they actually love theater!

As a member who lives in the community, why would you be interested in Fire in Light?

Because of the great entertainment it provides! Every season, there really is something for everyone – young and old! Grab a friend, or a group of friends, and hangout doing something different – watching live theater! If you are a parent, take the whole family out for an enjoyable night of recreation. If you are a grandparent, spend a fun afternoon or evening watching a show with your grandchild – perhaps grab dinner or a treat before or after the show – make a memory of it!

Check out Fire and Light Productions 2019-2020 Line Up!

Click on each performance for ticket information.

Would you like a taste of what Fire and Light is all about? Come and take a sneak peak behind the scenes!

Friday, November 8, 2019 at 1 PM – 3 PM Bethlehem Lutheran Church 3705 S. Anthony Blvd, Fort Wayne

You can watch rehearsals, talk with staff and even register for the Spring Semester.

Fire and Light Spring Productions will be Frozen Jr. (Elementary/Middle School) on April 3 & 4 and

Newsies (High School) on May 15 & 16!

Don’t miss out on the fun. Fire and Light will take up to 8 new students for spring!

(And you know what – Fire and Light is made up of almost all volunteer moms – great forti-fyers!) cool

What Am I?

What Am I?

Am I just my brain?

Are our minds nothing more than a biological computer? Are we just clusters of cells and chemical reactions?

Are we “Human Algorithms”, as best selling author Yuval Harari has suggested? And just dancing to our DNA, as atheist Richard Dawkins asserts?

If that is the case, do we have free will?

Is personhood dependent upon having a fully functioning brain?

Do we believe certain things just due to our brain activity?

What ultimately makes us human?

There are huge implications on how you answer these questions. If you and/or your kids get into deep philosophical questions about science and faith, these interviews with Dr. Sharon Dirckx discussing “Am I Just My Brain?” will provide some thought provoking insights.

Dr. Sharon Dirckx knew she wanted to be a scientist from a very young age. Starting out at university studying biochemistry, she did not believe that one could be a scientist and believe in God. However, she did find out that, yes, indeed you can, and she ultimately did!

Am I just My Brain? Ask Away Podcast

by With Sharon Dirckx

Sharon joins Michael Davis and Vince and Jo Vitale on this episode.

In the video below, Sharon is speaking at at an RZIM “Trending Questions” event.  She begins her talk at the 35 minute mark and speaks for about 45 minutes. Afterwards, there is a Q & A.

You can also check out Sharon’s new book:

Human Library

Human Library

This was listed in our “Weekend Happenings”, but we are also highlighting it here as it presents a great opportunity to “Forti-fy” Civility – which is one of the goals of Forti-fy.

One of my favorite things to do is listen to another person’s life story. I am utterly amazed at times what people have lived through or how creative they are in their talents. There is just so much to learn from one another. At this event, you will be able to meet and talk with those whose life’s story may be very different than yours. Which means you will be learning a great deal and gain a greater understanding of those around you.

From their website:

“Human Library Fort Wayne believes that the same concept of the founding Human Library™ can be applied to our community. That is, the prejudices and stereotypes present in our community can be interrupted and dismantled by creating positive environments and a safe spaces for compassionate and open conversation. We have brought together a library of people from diverse walks of life who have faced challenge, stigma and/or discrimination as part of their life’s story – real people who are eager to be ‘on loan’ to readers in their own community for a dialogue that challenges, moves and opens them to new understanding and perspectives.”

Website information is here.

Date: Saturday, October 12, 2019

Location:  Allen County Public Library

900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, IN 46802

Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm