Saturday, April 30, 2011

Public school at home?

Surrender Your Freedom and Get Free Stuff with Public School at Home Program

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

The New Richmond public school system is getting ready to offer free stuff to homeschoolers—to parents who surrender their freedom.

Many New Richmond-area homeschoolers received a letter asking for their input about the school system starting an online academy. Here are three important facts you should consider.

1. The letter implies that your child can be homeschooled and be a full-time student in the public school’s online program all at the same time. This is misleading. When children sign up for a full-time public school at home program, they truly become public school students. These children are no longer legally in a “home-based private instruction program,” as homeschooling is known in Wisconsin .

2. The letter fails to mention that you would be required to use the public school program’s books and curriculum. Just as with a child attending a brick-and-mortar public school, you would have no right to substitute books that would be better for your child. (Of course, you could “supplement” with additional books—if you have the time and energy after all the public school work is finished.)

3. The letter doesn’t tell you that the books and curriculum they provide are thoroughly secular. They cannot legally offer you any book, CD, individual teacher coaching, online program, etc., that teaches the truth about God.

One of the strengths of homeschooling is that parents are free to choose the curriculum that best meets their child’s individual learning style, aptitude and interests. But since public school online programs only offer one curriculum for all children, it will be the wrong program for many children.

But even if the curriculum produces good academic results for some children, an education that does not place God at the ultimate center of every subject does not support the developing faith of a child.

If the New Richmond program follows the example of similar programs, it will offer free access to state-certified teachers, books, educational CDs, online programs—even a computer and Internet connection.

Do not be surprised if the public school at home program hires one of your friends as a recruiter. Think through how you will respond if someone you know and respect urges you to join. Consider how much your freedom means to you, and the real cost of the free stuff they are offering you.

Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

And now for my input-
This isn't just an over-hyped tantrum from an overworked activist.  Personally, I know a family - have known for a long time - who have the "public school at home" system.  4 kids in one family who are all smart as anything.  I suppose that this may be the best thing for them since both parents work and they don't want their children submersed in the rancidity of public school "socialization".  (Don't worry, they get out plenty :)  Don't get me wrong, these kids live in a great home with many great opportunities, with loving parents.  Parents who don' have time to really homeschool their children (and it does take a lot of work!).  However, since these parents are concerned for raising their children knowing God and the truth.  So when everything in the school curriculum points to lies and left-wing-ism, they assign them books and such to contradict and hopefully override the jargon they are required to learn, at the same time kids in public school would be learning.  Same days and hours - same teachers and teachings.
The sad thing is that the youngest of this smart lot is failing many of his classes because, simply, he has a different learning style.  His mom says that when he resites his answers out loud, he aces the test, but when he is required to write them down, he is oft gets them wrong.  There is nothing wrong with him - just the style in which he is learning.  This boy may have to take 4th grade over again next year.

Friday, April 29, 2011

11 blog followers!

Yeah!  The day has come when I can say that I have one short of a dozen followers on my blog!!! 
4 of which are family members :D.
If you like my blog, let others know about it.  If you have opinions or preferences, things you do or don't like about my blog contents, I really would appreciate your input greatly!!!

Like it - share it.

Drawing lines with Philmont

Being the music-junkie I am, I usually have a few dozen songs and lyric lines going through my head.   Needles to say, that gives me plenty to think about, being the probing, philosophical person I am.  "Creating space by drawing lines."
That had been mulling over in the back of my mind ever since I had heard it.
I wonder what exactly that is supposed to mean.   We can define space by drawing lines on the space already created.  The only One who can create line-less space would be God.  (The God of the Bible; the God of Issac, Abraham, and Jacob, in case you were wondering about that in this design-your-own-Jesus type of culture.)  Before the creation of the world, what would "nothingness" actually be, much less look like?  The "universe" was shapeless and empty, and the Spirit [God] hovered over the waters.  What do I know of empty?  Water is made up of elements though, right?  Did God already create the elements, then make other things out of the elements, then He Himself breathed life into mankind with His own, uncreated breath of Life?  And, using and creating the elements, did He also create space, as in definable, measurable, shapes and lines
(Just so you know, the lyric line I used was taken from Philmont's great song, "tear down".)
Tearing down the walls inbetween us and God.  Of course, the walls we have built between us and God, because of our own sinful nature, only God can tear down, (the whole message of the song,)  but there are other "walls" between us and Deity.  "Walls", if you will, between us and Him that neither one of us built.  That is, IF you consider differences as walls - I don't.  They are lines, though, these differences.  Just writing this here on this post took a bit of consideration on my part, searching my brain.  And, consequently, reminding me once again that God's thoughts and ways are sooo far above my own.  That's one of those natural lines, or differences between the creator and the created.  A creator cannot create something greater than Himself [Matthew 10:24].  You see, some lines only separate the physical.  We can come to God, our mortal, dumbified selves, first because God Himself created us to.  God created that space, those lines and shapes.  And when there are definable shapes, measurable, knowable, recordable, there has to be an Absolute Truth.
(I may have been trodding dangerously close to blatant political incorrectness when I stated that God alone created everything, but I am pretty sure I've careened hopelessly off the edge with that statement. ;)
If God is THE Absolute Truth, and created all, including the existence of time, then He Himself set the rules and laws of the universe.  When God Himself created the rules and laws of the universe He created, we must clearly understand by all logic, that He Himself - the Uncreated Creator - is, Himself, naturally outside of the created, and not governed by them.  Needless to say, God can step in and out of "our world".  God is freely permitted to do so because, you see, He grants all permissions and objections through Himself.  A God who has created order is then expected to have objections.  One of those objections is mingling with sin.  God is a perfect God.  Or should I say - THE perfect God.  This would prove to be a problem - a wall - placed in between God and us, built of our own sinful nature, which God did not create.
A significant, and recorded, example of God renting the certain of Himself and "our world" is when, in His God-ship, He sent a complete part of Himself to earth, manifested as a human.  The Creator became His created.  Only a God in and out side of time could do such a thing.  Jesus Christ became man to liberate us from the wall we had built between the relationship severed from the relationship God created us to have with Him.  He could cross that wall - that line and barrier - because He was now manifested as as one of His created.  He mingled with sinners, but not with sin.  He was tempted and tried in every way, but resisted evil because He was, indeed, God.
He broke down that inpenetratable wall with His death, justifying our punishment necessary between us and a perfect God, and them built a bridge of Life when He rose again from the grave, then conquering sin's power of death as a man, with the ruling power of Divinity - God Himself.  That is the line that holds us to the God of the universe.  And some day, because of God's reconciliation to us, we will die and rise again.  This time in God's world with spiritual, immortal bodies.  We will not be God - that will be one of the lines, or differences, between us and Him, even then.  But there will be no walls - no barriers - neither separative nor physical. 
Now that is one amount of space that's hard to measure! 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Trendy 2011 {all about Thrift}

I'm loving 2011 fashion-wise because pretty much anything is in style now. No kidding.  Not saying that kids don't ever get teased because of clothing, or that nothing new is out, but there will always be little trends.
When a trend comes out that I actually like, which is about half the time, I refuse to pay big bucks for it.  I buy it used and cheep at thrift stores, or simply make my own.  I'm going to be showing you the trends here, and then at the bottom - or in the next post - I'll give you invaluable little hints and instructions for getting or making them cheap.  Watch for it!

Wide Belts are in Fashion now.  These add a tailored effect to any outfit with a bit of edge.  Usually made out of elastic with a shiny plastic front. I have found its great to match your belt and purse, and perhaps shoes, and go with a neutral top and skirt  Goes perfect with those age-old classic like a...

Zipper closure

Buckle front

Woven with Velcro in back
 ...pencil skirts.  That's right, reminiscent of Mary Taylor Moore and all those good ol' days, they are back.  These are said to go well with any body type and figure, but I find that the people who say that are either skinny or trying to sell them. I still don't really know, but make sure that your pencil skirt is long enough to be modest (I would say knee length or just a tad above) and not too tight!  While your stylin' with this wonderfully classy piece, you may just feel like adding some...

More casually classy
with denim and shiny
brass buttons

More dressy with a
smooth front and a
chic grey tweed

... flower embellishments.  If you didn't notice all the ruffles and flowers going around, you may have been hiding in a dark hole.  I absolutely adore all these feminine come-backs in style.  It is just really refreshing.  (don't get me wrong, I would still opt for sweat pants and high-top converse any day).
They come in clips, laces, headbands, hair-bands, skirts and anything else manageable.  Very much related to the...

Clip on leather flowers for any outfit

Frumpy lace flowers
adorn the dress

Flowers on strings of pearls and other
jewelry, including giant roses on rings
 ...Ruffles and tiers trend.  On shirts and skirts and headbands and belts and... and... shall I go on?  This is also really big right now.   So it may not surprise you that the long summer flowing dresses are back...

I especially like this because
the undefined lines of the tiers
even out curves and gives a
straighter look without loosing
any feminine grace

Tiers of ruffles.

Huge headbands are in.  I'm still not
sure about these, although they sure
look adorable when someone is able
to pull it off with their head and hair.

... the maxi dress.  This usually includes most dresses with a long skirt part flowing from the bosom piece, which is usually (unfortunately) low cut.  They are not so hard to make modest though, as you see in the pictures below.  But if you would like another layer, grab a...

As you can see, maxi dresses come in
a wide variety of bright, tropical
patterns.  Usually a light fabric for a
cool and functional summer dress.

A bit more modest with
a higher tank top under-

... Summer fashion sweater.  Actually, I don't think these funny little things have an official name.  That's just what I call them.  As a rule, these "sweaters" have a flowy, flamboyant front, and when made with short sleeves, a lacy, gathered back.  A great accent that really makes the outfit, and can even out curves if desired.  Another trend we will be seeing more of that is bent on the smoothed out look is the...

Tiers again. :')

Long sleeves and a more casual
approach for either dress pants or
sweat pants

This is new to me. 
Looks almost like a
scarf from the front. 
Cute and summery. shirt.  Sounds wierd, doesn't it?  Pretty much just a button up shirt with not much flare or fitting at all.  Popular in the 20s and 60s for women, I think its coming back.  It just may be related to the...

wear with leggings or
somewhat-skinny jeans

I think its a bit too much to pare this with a pair of
baggy, roll-up capris.  You do have to be careful
not to look to sloppy and shabby when dealing
too-big or untailored things.  And please, wear
pants with that, for goodness sake!

...the shirt-dress.  Very cute, but tend to be rather short.  I recommend a longer shirt dress (if you make your own, this is easy) or to wear a pencil skirt or leggings underneath.  Very cute.  A playful romp that brings back the days when little girls wore dresses and frilly socks with shiny black Mary Jane shoes.  These dresses can be worn picnicking or to church on Sunday.  But in that case you need...

All spring!

More casual but still adorable.
This definitely needs capris and/or

...gladiator sandals on your feet.  What a nasty name for these modern footwears.  Some run-way projects have taken the gladiator shoes a bit too far, but I think these can be great for a dressy look.  And while we are going with the retro and natural lets take a look at...

Usually comfortable, and nice with
an earthy skirt

Often adorned with
decorative "stones" in retro
colors or natural

... The next post.  Yes, I'm leaving you in suspense 'til next time.

Color it: orange


 Orange.  When to where it and how.

Notice all are brunettes wearing orange
on the run-way.
(Click to view larger)

Orange is usually categorized in the fall/winter wearing category, but really, when paired with the right things, it is all summer fun.

We probably all know that certain colors work well with certain hair colors and skin tones. (Like my pasty pale complexion, while pretty with a light pinks or blues, looks nasty and washed out in yellow).
Also, there are many, many different shades of the color orange.  I can pull off a peachy pink orange with my blackish brown hair, and maybe a deep rust, but the vibrancy of a true orange competes with my fair skin with warm pink undertones and gives an odd contrast.
Usually, brunettes are the ones most able to pull off this playful summer shade, but not all the time. While some may be pretty enough to wear a color clashing with their face and hair, they could look more naturally beautiful in one suited better to their natural beauty.
Dark brunettes, like myself, would do better with a golden tan with a bright orange, like the model  in the farthest right corner, though I would hope you would be attired in a more modest abode.  :)
Lets look at some of the orange things we could be wearing this summer. 

Hint:  Orange is a great color for spicing up an outfit, and giving that sunny summer shine.  But since it tends to be such a bright, potentially obnoxious color, be careful how you wear it, or it could come across as incredibly tacky.  :S

Fun and playful accessories

Bright shoes can either add that much more to an outfit,
or draw away from it.
Pants - if your wondering about what kind of pants would be good in orange, I would say, plaintively but firmly, none!

Orange's strong point- Accents; accessories.
Orange's week point- tacky and annoying; washes out pale skin

Other Orange things I love:

This reflects the retro come-back or
today's style.  Orange can be garish
to try and take retro, but this is a
dark enough orange on a classic
enough pattern to look warm and
pretty - reflected by the embroidered
flowers adorning the front.

Cute graphic t-shirts are only that much
more adorable when printed on or in
orange.  I absolutely love this pic!

Part of my new...

Going through every color on you - with Valary Mac
Watch for other colors!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Quizz - What does your locker say about you?

What does your locker say about you?

1. What's on the inside door of your locker door?
a- photos of my friends
b- my study schedule
c- a poster of an African safari
d- an expired lunch coupon
e- a mirror

2. The one thing that will always be in your locker is...
a- a bag of practical jokes to liven up class
b- last week's homework
c- a make-up kit
d- an address book and/or cellphone
e- extra school supplies

3. How are your books organized?
a- by color
b- by class order
c- in my backpack for the ride home
d- however they land
e- in the fab organizer I ordered

4. If you opened your locker and stepped back, what would happen?
a- my spare shoes would fall out
b- last week's science project would fall into a heap (yikes! don't want to know what that is)
c- my skate board will roll away
d- kids will stare at my organized locker
e- everything my friends borrowed me will tumble out

5. What kinds of notes are in your locker?
a- tips from beauty mags
b- directions to class
c- plans to build a hang-glider
d- alphabetized class notes
e- notes my friends passed me in class ;]

6. What kind of leisure books are in your locker?
a- Eat my dust
b- The tattooed rats
c- Revenge of the Samurai
d- Looking good from the inside out
e- Checklist for a teen's life

7. This article of clothing is hanging in your locker
a- designer dress for homecoming
b- khaki cargo jacket for after school
c- colorful crocheted blouse for shopping
d- my brother's sports jersey
e- well-matched extra outfit

1.  a-4,  b-2,  c-5,  d-1,  e-3
2.  a-5,  b-1,  c-3,  d-4,  e-2
3.  a-4,  b-2,  c-5,  d-1,  e-3
4.  a-3,  b-1,  c-5,  d-2,  e-4
5.  a-3,  b-1,  c-5,  d-2,  e-4
6.  a-1,  b-4,  c-5,  d-3,  e-2
7.  a-3,  b-5,  c-4,  d-1,  e-2    

If you got mostly...

1's- Marching to your own beat!
2's- Efficient and organized!
3's- Your a glamour girl!
4's- Fun and friendly!
5's- Tend to walk on the wild side!

And now for the fun part!  Seeing what I got on this quiz.  I am, by nature, a conglomeration of a little bit of everything, so I didn't get perfectly even scores.
For Q#1, I would say both A and B.  For Q#2, E and maybe C.  Q#3, B.  Q#4, A and D.  Q#5, B and D.  Q#6, B and C (both are christian books :).  And the last one - Q#7 - is E.

Understand that I am homeschooled and dont actually have a locker, but I know myself pretty well.  And I can always just take a look at my room.  Very organized, but mostly messy, and a lot of shoes spilling from my closet.  Photos of my friends are also very, very common in my room.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bad summer fashions and their alternatives

Ever see something on another human being and think... "Wow, that just can't be right.  How can they get away with that? How could they stand showing themselves in that?"
Yeah, that's what I first thought when I saw the 2010 jumpsuit for junior girls.  Yikes!  With summer fast approaching, there will be many things coming in and out of fashion that all but the fashion designers with cringe at, shaking there heads and wondering what the next generation will think, then some going out and spending a fortune at the mall before Yahoo!'s Fashion News slams 'em up.  I'm no professional fashionista, but I flatter myself thinking I have a brain and two eyes... Continue.


Bloomers? Also known as bubble shorts.  If I remember right, ladies in the 1800s covered these unflattering garments with layers and layers of skirts.  Ditch these along with the corsets and powdered wigs.
Instead - opt for cute sailor shorts with a big cloth belt.

Capris with heels
Usually, black pumps don't mix with cargo shorts, but strappy summer sandal heels with casual slacks might just be the ticket.  Avoid little spindly heels if you have a larger bottom half and are planning on a knee-length or above Bermuda shorts, skirts, or dress capris.

 Newest from the asylum escapees enrolled in the runway project.  Harrem pants.  Do you really want to look like you keep your wallet in the bottom seam of your pants?
Instead, gauchos are a huge success from the fashion industry; completely comfortable, versatile, good for many occasions. I think gauchos win hands down over the... well... you know.

I'm fine with high waisted pants - as long as you can still button them up all the way!  Super models don't even look good in these.  Now that's a rare feat. 
Instead, the business work pants are a great alternative. If given a choice, I would almost always go for a flare at the leg.

Q: If their makers couldn't honestly call them anything else, why are they some of the most top selling boots in America? 
A: Because Wal mart sells them.

Opt for some cuter, actually somewhat pretty boots - I know Wal mart has them.  ;)

Christian apparel brands (notice - some shirts are objectional on this sight because of fairly low cut bodices)  (notice - some shirts are objectional on this sight because of fairly low cut bodices)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Misuse in a different way

Its earth day...'s that one-a-year day when we think about the green.  Restoring the planet, drinking purified water, reading books on how to save paper, and calling your friends to drive out to your place to rally about gas prices and global warming.  When we all (most of us) look up to the beautiful blue sky and promise mother earth to take care of her and... wait... I see a slight glitch.  What if I don't believe in "mother earth"?  Much more importantly, what if "mother" earth doesn't exist.  As a Christian, earth day means something different for me -especially this year.  I think it means more to me. 
When you look at the picture below, do you get the idea?  Its a day to praise the Maker of the big beautiful earth for His provision.

But hold up... this year earth day falls on Good Friday... no, I'm not talking about Rebbecca Black's infamous pop "Friday" song, although, ironically, Good Friday has been called Black Friday also.
I'm speaking about the day that Christians - and not many besides us - remember Jesus' death... to be followed by His resurrection 3 days later. 
I find nothing wrong with earth day.  I am extremely "earth conscious", am totally crunchy, and believe God has given us this earth to master, and be a good master to.  Think of it as stewardship.
But yesterday morning as I looked through the morning paper, (for I am also a news junkie,) I found that there were many, many mentions of earth-day or earth-related subjects, yet not one of Good Friday.  It really didn't surprise me at all; it didn't anger me; it didn't make me want to blog about it either, but God has a way with us doesn't He?  Its been that way for a while.  When the schools changed Christmas and Easter break to "Winter and Spring" break officially, I was not surprised. The God of Christmas and Easter is also the maker of the seasons.  But are we hiding behind the earth that God made, thinking that we could hide from Him?

Just think about it.  When Adam and Eve (the first earth mis-users) realized their sinfulness was not acceptable in God's sight, they hid.  Where?  In the bushes.  I wonder what they thought. 

Will they hide us for a little while, until I can think of a better excuse?
Will God be less angry if He waits a while before knowing?
I need time to rethink the situation without interference.
Maybe God won't find us.

Jesus told the religious leaders on Palm Sunday (soon before the betrayal leading to His death) that if the children would not sing of Who He was, then even the rocks would cry out.  In Revelation, the woman who flees to the dessert to escape the devil is helped by the earth, who opens up and swallows the Evil one's army.
The earth does God's will - He created it.  Do we hide behind the bushy, willowy skirts of "mother earth" praying God will take our devotion to any other than Him as a kind, sincere gesture?  Are we taking the temporary earth more seriously than the Eternal Creator?
When planting trees makes more headlines than a perfect Savior taking away the sins of the world, our nation has a problem.
Well, happy earth day.  Go out and plant a tree. But then go get cleaned up and go to a local Good Friday service, followed up by Easter 3 days later.  I suggest you keep going.  Find out how to become one with the Creator instead of the created.  God bless you.

Much love in Christ,
Valary-Mac <><