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

FREE Knitting Classes Starting Soon for Adults and Kids!

FREE Knitting Classes Starting Soon for Adults and Kids!

Hi Everyone!

I am going to be teaching fall knitting classes for FREE at the Grabill Library! October 15 is a Learn to Knit class, October 22 is Stitch Patterns, November 5th & 12th will be a two night class on knitting fall pumpkins for your holiday table decor. All classes are Tuesday nights from 7-8:30pm, all are for beginning level knitters and all are free!

Sign up links are below.

You can email me at for questions.

P.S. if you already know how to knit and would enjoy coming to hang out with other knitters while you work on your project, feel free to sign up!

Oct. 15

Oct. 22

Nov. 5

Nov. 12

Keeping It Simple!

Keeping It Simple!

As of this year, I have the pleasure of homeschooling two of my children, rather than one. My eldest is in first grade now and my second born is in kindergarten. My parents homeschooled me for most of my primary and secondary school years, so you might think I would be a natural at this. But I was the baby of the family, separated from my siblings by five and ten years, so I do not necessarily have a lot of natural insight into schooling multiples.

Now days, for my generation, the moto seems to be ‘more is better’ in all areas of life;more coffee, more selfies, more Instagram posts, more self-care, more free pintables. It is not inherently a bad thing to have more of something, someone, some idea…but I was finding that the influence of my peers was saying that I needed to be ‘pinning’ and printing the innumerable free pintables available to give my children the absolute best homeschool experience. I fell sway to this influence when my eldest was beginning his pre-school years. I did not (and still donot) have internet at my home, so I would walk over to my in-law’s home, lay my children downfor a nap, log onto one of their computers and start ‘pinning’ and printing until my eyes buggedout of my head. I probably still owe them a ream of paper and new ink for their printer. I bought a file folder organizer and manila folders; I picked a weeklong theme for every letter of the alphabet and printed everything I could find on that theme. I even came up with a craft foreach theme and letter. I was armed and ready for pre-school.

When pre-school started, I had an infant and a baby on the way, in addition to my preschooler. We dove into the fun of the ABC’s with gusto, and we did have a good time. But, along the way I would find that I couldn’t quite do ‘all the things’ I intended. I would end up feeling a little guilty that I did not accomplish all the school plans for the day. Pretty soon we were weeks behind on our alphabet schedule and my craft supplies were dwindling. I couldn’t keep up with my own pre-school schedule! If I was failing at pre-school, how was I ever going to hack it with the coming grades and knowing I would be schooling multiple children at once? Needless to say, we dragged our way through the school year, had another baby and I lost myself in the care of our new infant, putting thoughts of the next school year on the back burner for a while.

Fast forward to this year now. To set the scene, in May we broke ground on a large addition to our home. We hired some aspects of the construction out and tackled large
portions of it ourselves,mostly electrical and finishing work. In July we basically said ‘goodbye’ to my husband for the next two months, and counting, as he buried himself in working on the house after work every day to have if finished by Thanksgiving of this year. The children and I moved out for two weeks during some of the messiest times, and the rest of the time we lived at home in the total chaos of construction. We also learned we were pregnant with our fifth baby during this time.

Seeing how life was looking for the foreseeable future, I decided it was high time for some advice from my older-wiser homeschool mom friends who have a lot more experience than I do. Over the summer I sought out a few ladies by simply asking them, “What are your top tips for homeschooling multiples?” The overwhelming response was, “Keep it simple!” The more I heard this mantra the more relief I felt. My peers were still Pinteresting frequently forschool; some are more research oriented and they spent months researching new curriculumthat was trending, others chose one company and used only their books for every subject. None of this appealed to me, but it seemed like the thing I should be doing…until I heard “Keep it simple.”

I sat down with my mother-in-law, a homeschool veteran if there ever was one, and also a researcher by nature, and talked to her about the pressure I felt to make it ‘great’ and make it ‘unique’. She encouraged me that keeping it simple is a beautiful and brilliant way to homeschool in this season of life. Go back to the root of homeschooling. It is meant to give us the freedom to be down to earth and teach our children in the way they each learn best. It doesn’t have to be a lot of table work or a lot of busy work. There doesn’t have to be an elaborate craft every single week for my child to grow up and be a straight-A student. Those
things are not bad by any means! But if they add stress to the school environment because they do not really fit into our family’s season this year, then it is okay to let them go. They’ll have their turn…maybe once a month, maybe when the mood strikes, or maybe through a co-op. So, I did a little of my own research on what knowledge was most important to gain in first grade and decided on two main subjects, with the other subjects being more laid back and flexible. I also decided for my kindergartener that I wasn’t going to use a lot of curriculum but rather do one series that worked great for my eldest and then do flash cards, activity books, and books on cd for her- no need to get intense at the age of five. I did not venture on Pinterest for anything school related this year. I ordered what we needed for the main goals; we were gifted some flash cards and found some manipulatives at garage sales, as well as lots offabulous children’s literature.

I created a ‘Morning Basket’ that has something pertaining to history or social studies in it as well as our current fiction book. It also contains our evening books which are the Bible, Answer’s for Kids, and a fiction book we read with their father. Whenever we find the time before lunch to dive into our two morning books, the youngest two children (ages 3 and 1) play quietly around close that enough they can hear. The older two sit close and listen. During afternoon nap time when the youngest two are napping, I set up homemade dividers in the middle of the table for the older two. They each get a tea light in their spot and choose a mug of tea for the school hour. At this point we sit and focus on their studies for about an hour or so and we seem to get through all that we need to. I have found that it works best for them not to take breaks between topics because they struggle going in and out of play time/school time. So, we make that cozy environment and settle into it. We have found a good rhythm where they have learned to focus on their own work when I’m working with the other and I’ve learned its okay to include them in on each other’s schoolwork. I’ll even task my oldest to working on the alphabet or numbers with my kindergartener, he loves doing that! I’ve heard that teaching is the best way to remember what you’ve, learned so I figured it can’t hurt to have him teach herfrom time to time.

All in all, I kept it simple this year, and so far it’s going great. School time is the smoothest time of our day, and one I really look forward to and the children seem to be
adjusting to school days as well. They like the work I have for them. None of us seem to be overwhelmed by what is set out before us, and when we wrap it up for the day they aren’t bouncing out of their skin because they sat to long. It works for us! We still enjoy a craft here and there, a hike, a field trip, playing outside of course, and as the seasons call for it I have been teaching my eldest how to do some home canning and cooking in the kitchen. There’s so much freedom in homeschooling. Thankfully, that includes the freedom to keep it simple!

I hope all of you homeschooling moms out there find the right rhythm for you and your family and are not afraid to embrace a rhythm that might be a little different from what is trending right now. Each family thrives differently, you have the joy and the freedom to figure out what makes you and yours do just that, thrive.

Wishing you peace with plenty!

Some Faves for Today:

Currently Reading:  Murder in Merino by Sally Goldenbaum

In my morning mug: English Breakfast from Harney & Sons Co (with a splash of milk)

Listening to today: Amos Lee – Last Days at the Lodge

Reading with the children: What was Pompeii?, Freddie the Detective, the book of Matthew, The Hardy Boys: The Masked Monkey

Household Tip:

 Save the peels from any citrus you consume and simmer them in a little saucepan on your stove with water, whole cloves and cinnamon sticks…your home will smell heavenly!!

Rethinking Global Aid and Poverty

Rethinking Global Aid and Poverty

Youll never look at poverty and the Third World the same again.”

My son, Kyle, was good friends with Simon Scionka, who helped in the production and editing of Poverty Inc. This award winning film examines how sometimes our good intentions in providing global aid can lead to harmful unitntended consequesnces that can actually make the problems worse. This is a great film to watch, especially with your kids, to start a dialogue on all the issues presented and coming up with ways that might make your giving more benefial to those in need.

“As if poverty weren’t a challenging enough phenomenon unto itself, time has revealed that good intentions by outsiders can in many cases make the problem worse — a cruel irony that serves as the basis of Michael Matheson Miller’s “Poverty Inc.,” an easy-to-understand docu-essay with a tough-to-accept message, especially as it implies that some aid organizations may actually be cashing in on their concern. The idea isn’t to discourage giving, but rather to illustrate how the current paradigm doesn’t work, providing clear examples and practical solutions that serve as a useful conversation-starter flexible enough to enrich discussions everywhere from college campuses to community churches Variety

“Poverty Inc. critically examines an industry the chief product of which is good will and social status (virtually crying out for ‘smug’ emission standards) and attracts more celeb endorsements than soft drinks and weight loss combined. In fact, the poverty industry is the one industry which has such high social status that celebrities actually give money to it, in order to associate their names and faces with it rather than the reverse (which is the usual arrangement). For decades celebrities have been clamoring over one another to be chosen to stand in front of a mic and warble to the world, asking if “they know it’s Christmas over there…” in Africa, and to declare that they are the ones who get to declare, “‘We are the world,” or, “We are the One(s) which will end poverty in our day.” Second-rate rockers get knighted for being in on stuff like that. The poverty industry oozes good will and social status from every crevice, like oil from shattered shale, only goodness instead of evil hydrocarbons.

But the big question is, “Does it actually work?” And the almost-as-big question is, “Who would we need to talk to in order to get the right answer to the big question?”

The answers are (in reverse order): “The poor themselves,” and, “No, it does not.”   Forbes

It is a very thought-provoking film. Check out the trailer here:

Do you have a resource to share on this topic? Please let us know here!