Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Attention homeschool sceptics - living proof

These current or historic people were all homeschooled, are you surprised at some of them?
 Presidents:
Abraham Lincoln - for
human rights before it
was popular

  • John Adams
  • John Quincy Adams
  • Grover Cleveland
  • James Garfield
  • William Henry Harrison
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • James Madison
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • John Tyler
  • George Washington
  • Woodrow Wilson
Scientists:
    
    Booker T Washington - against
    all odds
    
  • George Washington Carver
  • Pierre Curie
  • Albert Einstein
  • Michael Faraday - electrochemist
  • Oliver Heaviside - physicist and electromagnetism researcher
  • T.H. Huxley
  • Blaise Pascal
  • Booker T. Washington
  • Erik Demaine - Popular Science Mag: One of the Most Brilliant Scientists in America
Writers:
  • Hans Christian Anderson
  • Margaret Atwood
  • Pearl S. Buck
  • William F. Buckley, Jr.
  • Willa Cather
  • Agatha Christie
  • Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
  • Charles Dickens
  • Robert Frost - Pulitzer Prize-winning poet
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • Alex Haley
  • Brett Harte
  • L. Ron Hubbard
  • C.S. Lewis - also one (of the many) of the greatest theologians in Christian history
  • Amy Lowell
  • Gabriela Mistral
  • Sean O'Casey
  • Christopher Paolini - author of #1 NY Times bestseller, Eragon
  • Isabel Paterson
  • Beatrix Potter - author of the beloved Peter Rabbit Tales
  • Carl Sandburg
  • George Bernard Shaw
  • Mattie J. T. Stepanek - 11-year-old author of Heartsongs
  • Mercy Warren
  • Phillis Wheatley
  • Walt Whitman
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder - also a school teacher at 15- author of the Laura Ingalls Wilder series
Artists:
  • William Blake
  • John Singleton Copley
  • Claude Monet
  • Grandma Moses
  • Charles Peale
  • Leonardo Da Vince
  • Andrew Wyeth
  • Jamie Wyeth
  • Rembrandt Peale 
 Inventors:
    
    Leonardo De Vince -
    most brilliant and
    multi-talented men
    of all times
    
  • Alexander Graham Bell - invented the telephone
  • John Moses Browning - firearms inventor and designer
  • Peter Cooper - invented skyscraper, built first U.S. commercial locomotive
  • Thomas Edison - invented the stock ticker, mimeograph, phonograph, and perfected the electric light bulb
  • Benjamin Franklin - invented the lightning rod
  • Elias Howe - invented sewing machine
  • William Lear - airplane creator
  • Cyrus McCormick - invented grain reaper
  • Guglielmo Marconi - developed radio
  • Eli Whitney - invented the cotton gin
  • Sir Frank Whittle - invented turbo jet engine
  • Orville and Wilbur Wright - built the first successful airplane

 Composers:
  • Irving Berlin
  • Anton Bruckner
  • Noel Coward
  • Felix Mendelssohn
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Francis Poulenc
  • John Philip Sousa
 Educators:
    Charlotte Mason-
    teaching methods
    still used today
  • Jill Ker Conway - first woman president of Smith College
  • Timothy Dwight - President of Yale University
  • William Samuel Johnson - President of Columbia College
  • Horace Mann - "Father of the American Common School" 
  • Charlotte Mason - Founder of Charlotte Mason College of Education
  • Fred Terman - President of Stanford University
  • Frank Vandiver - President of Texas A&M University
  • Booker T. Washington - Founder of Tuskegee Institute
  • John Witherspoon - President of Princeton University

 Others:
  • Abigail Adams - Wife of John Adams; mother of John Quincy Adams
  • Ansel Adams - Photographer
  • Susan B. Anthony - reformer and women’s rights leader
  • John James Audubon - ornithologist and artist
  • Clara Barton - Started the Red Cross
  • Elizabeth Blackwell - first woman in the U.S. to receive a medical degree
  • John Burroughs - Naturalist
  • George Rogers Clark - Explorer
    Clara Barton - in the time
    when women were
    not socially active
    
  • Davy Crockett - frontiersman
  • Eric Hoffer - social philosopher
  • Sam Houston - lawyer; first president of the Republic of Texas
  • Charles Evans Hughes - jurist; Chief Justice
  • Mary D. Leakey - fossil hunter; wife of Richard Leakey
  • Tamara McKinney - World Cup Skier
  • Harriet Martineau - first woman sociologist
  • Margaret Mead - cultural anthropologist
  • John Stuart Mill - Free-market Economist
  • Charles Louis Montesquieu - Philosopher
  • John Muir - naturalist
  • Florence Nightingale - Nurse
  • Thomas Paine - political writer during the American Revolution
  • Bill Ridell - Newspaperman
  • Will Rogers - Humorist
  • Bertrand Russell - Logician
  • Jim Ryan - World Runner
  • Albert Schweitzer - Physician
  • Sir Ernest Shackleton - Explorer
  • Herbert Spencer - philosopher, sociologist
  • Gloria Steinem - founder and long-time editor of Ms. magazine
  • Jason Taylor - plays in the National Football League
  • Mary Walker - Civil War physician; recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor
  • Lester Frank Ward - "Father of American Sociology"
  • Martha Washington - wife of George Washington
  • Frances E. C. Willard - educator, temperance leader, and suffragist
  • Frank Lloyd Wright - Architect
  • Elijah ben Solomon Zalman - Jewish scholar
  • Balaram Stack - Award winning Surfer
  • Lia Del Priore - Award Winning Gymnast
  • Taylor Gladstone - Ballerina
Athletes:
  • Michelle Kwan
  • Jason Taylor
  • Tim Tebow
  • Serena Williams
  • Venus Williams

 Famous Homeschool Parents
  • Will Smith - singer, actor
  • Michael Card - singer, songwriter
  • Mike Farris - lawyer and co-founder of Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)
  • Robert Frost - Pulitzer Prize-winning poet 
    Christopher
    Klicka -
    rights activist
    
  • Christopher Klicka - attorney and Senior Counsel of Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)
  • Len Munsil - attorney and President of The Center for Arizona Policy (CAP)
  • Paul Overstreet - musician, songwriter
  • Kelly Preston - actress, wife of John Travolta
  • Mike Smith - lawyer and co-founder of Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)
  • John Travolta - actor, pilot
  • Lisa Whelchel - former actress, "The Facts of Life", now a pastor's wife and author
  • Darrell Waltrip - NASCAR Racer
  • Jim-Bob and Michelle Dugger


youngest Harris brothers
  Famous Homeschoolers/Homeschooled:
  • Jim-Bob and Michelle Dugger (19 children, 2 grandchildren) - parents and speakers
  • Harris (3 children, 1 grandchild) - author and singer, parents of authors and speakers
  • many more

Sunday, May 29, 2011

THE LAST WORD - excerpt from my "Fashion and style tips" page

There is a ton more to beauty than eyes, make-up, clothes, new trends, color schemes, hair styles, body types, and cute jewelry. You are probably expecting me to go on how beauty is more than skin deep, and that natural cosmetics, helping the environment, and exercises and diet have a lot to do with true beauty. Or maybe you are thinking that I'm going to talk about finding the "true you", being true to yourself, and respecting and loving yourself. Perhaps, it is your attitude, how you treat others that makes you truly beautiful. While none of these things are bad, there is one more very important thing that is the only thing that matters in the end. What is the meaning of beauty? I think we should look to the One who created beauty; the One who IS beauty! God. Look at the account of His creation.  (May I be as bold to say the ONLY true origin of the world?)

Genesis 1:1-4a
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good

We are speaking of a perfect God... and perfect, flawless beauty comes from Him.

Psalms 73:1a
Surely God is good.

Psalms 50:2
From Zion [God's city], perfect in beauty, God shines forth.

God is good, God is perfect, lets see what He has to say about beauty in the ones He created to be beautiful!

1 Peter 3:1-5
If any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior... when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

That "inner self" God talks about is a lot different than the "inner self" we hear all about today. This verse does not mean that we shouldn't wear our hair in pretty styles, wear gold jewelry, or have "fine" or stylish clothing. This all would be considered "outward adornment", and is not what beauty comes from.

Lets see what our beauty should NOT be:

Ezekiel 28:17
Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor.

Ezekiel 16:16
You took some of your garments to make gaudy high places, where you carried on your prostitution. You went to him, and he possessed your beauty.

Keep your beauty pure! According to how God created it!


In the end, its not the fashion designer that has the say; God definitely has the last word!

Must-see video link

This is not one of those sappy "Will you marry me" videos that leaves sappy women tearing up, (not saying anything against dopamine and oxytocine,) but I'm not like that, and I love, l-o-v-e, <3 this video. 

http://youtu.be/pnVAE91E7kM

It combines hilarity with properness and true love. 

Guys- not to put on any pressure :), but instead of going with the attraction, seek out a maiden's heart whom you can be worthy of.  Be the knight in shining armor, and it will be worthwhile.  I, Valary-Mac (although that's not my real name), am not worth slaying dragon's for yet, but I am working towards that end in Christ.  I cannot say it enough - true love waits!  And it waits in the Lord.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Views

Views on my blog since last month and from where.  I find that very interesting.  ;)

United States 651

India 24

Australia 12

Canada 12

Germany 11

Iran 8

Costa Rica 7

Italy 7

Denmark 6

Netherlands 6

Book review - House by Ted Dekker & Frank Peretti

I had finished reading Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti's book "House" a while ago, but was not sure if I wanted to review it here.  I decided that, ehh, why not?  Now for the stars-

Valary-Mac's Overall Rating: 3-4 stars
Young Reader/Family friendly: 1 star
Readability: 4 1/2 stars
Realistic Characters: 5 stars
Portrayal of Bible Truths: 4 stars
Foreshadowing/Relating to characters: 5 stars
Well rounded story 3-4 stars
Strong focal point and finish: 3 stars

Frank Peretti,
author of
"This present
darkness"

Extremely well written.  This book is not for the faint hearted, though.  It reminded me of "Hotel in California" by the Eagles a little bit.
Being used to read-all-in-one-night-epic-thrillers, and some warnings of wide-eye-novel writers, I was ready to expect a whirlwind of light and darkness, good and evil.  That's what I found... basically... in a nut shell.  But I'm not one to put something in a nutshell and leave it be without prying it back open again.

Violence: 
 This book is about showing the vast difference between good and evil, and why it matters.  Showing mankind's perpetual and un-killable (almost) nature includes a bit of violence.  Nothing too graphic.  But some, I am inclined to think, is needless. Personally, I think Ted and Frank could have gotten away with less of it and still made their point loud and clear. But these two authors don't shy away from a subject just because its controversial.  They show it in its intricacies, and its relevation to the Truth.  In short, (ha! nothing about me is short but my height, and that makes up for it all :) if the though of death makes you squeamish, if you faint at the sight of blood, which happens to be a very Biblical subject, this book is not for you. 
Possotive Elements:

Ted Dekker author of
the "Circle trilogy"
It wouldn't be a Ted and Frank book without the Christian positive elements, although I do wish they were a little stronger on that.
We see a struggling couple.  One plagued with guilt and denial, the other afraid and angry.  We see a self-server to the end, and a women who turned her own abused past into a way to control others out of self-preservation.  We see these things worked out in good and bad ways, and, unlike most "Christian" novels, we see clearly which are the good, and which are the bad.
The need for a perfect Savior is what this book is about, and only then can sin be conquered, no matter how hard we try.
Negative/unneeded Elements:
I'm not Ted or Frank, so I don't know what went into the editing, so I cant really say much on that level.
Sexual Innuendo:
Up front I'll say there is nothing explicate, and nothing inappropriate. But, needless to say, with the portrayal of the sinful nature, this subject too will show itself.  A few snide remarks, but nothing pointed or suggestive.
Giving credit to the sharp brains of the authors, they were smart enough to show this subject coming mostly from a mentally-ill twenty something, to whom we have mixed feelings about.  He doesn't have the feelings of a grown man - more like a 5-year-old's crush - but, nonetheless, he is a man. Otherwise, a kiss is the only other thing, which is refused by the receiver.
The Movie:
I haven't watched the movie because, frankly, I'm not allowed to watch R-rated movies.  Yep, its R-rated.  Speaking with one who has seen it, though, he says it doesn't stay too close to the book, and, says "Christian Miles" from a writers blog I follow (www.fictionfire.blogspot.com), it tries to make itself into more of a horror movie than the "house" movie.  I say I wouldn't recommend it.  Also, I wouldn't even recommend watching the movie trailer, which I have seen, because its too disappointing after reading the book.


Now, for my opinion on The Plot.
Great progression of events; building great.  Whoever has the degree in psychology put it to good use.  How do various people-types of various backgrounds respond to various things in life?  The answer?  In various ways!  The problem is, which way?  That's where knowing this comes in handy.  Better yet, not just knowing, but putting it in a book so its both interesting, progressive, and realistic; in a way the reader can relate to.  Tall order, and one that has been completed in the book "House".
One thing that left me unsatisfied with this book, was that it seemed uncompleted; unfinished.  Like, "that's it?  Isn't there something more you were gonna say before 'The End'?"  As the plot masterfully worked itself into its "organized frenzy", the big peek, when the conclusion is drawn, yet before the end, seemed a little lame.  Not to say that it was at all, but after working yourself through the engaging steps of... house, all of a sudden there is a room full of... what?... and they are all destroyed by the perfect-person/maybe-angel/nobody-really-knows-besides-Dekker-and-Peretti... maybe, because she dies and her blood is weird.  Then the house is defeated, Tin-man is gone, and the cops appear.  The house is normal and evil is (almost) defeated.  The young couple is safe and in love again, and the couple who you didn't like from the very beginning were conveniently killed.  And then - drum roll please - the book ends.  Say what?
And then, from the standpoint of being a Christian, I also thought it seemed unfinished, in that way too.  This book effectively portrays the need for a perfect Savior's blood.  Susan, the undefined girl-being, positively, absolutely states that "the Son of Man" is the only One able to be this Savior.  Period.  But then when she is killed, evil is conquered.  We also see her raised, so to speak, from the dead.  OK, so is she the Christ?  (I'm not even gonna go into my indignation if Jesus is even portrayed as a women).  Susan did not even remotely elude or hint that she was.  Then, in the very short conclusion after the climax, Stephanie seems to think she is an angel.  Even after receiving the light, and remission of evil, bold and convicted proclaiming that she "is the Light".  So... is she a Christian now?  Who knows!  The demonically-possessed house dwellers are scared silly by the sight of her, and she seems pretty cool with that.  Book ends.  Huh?  You wanna mention a church, plant the thought of a Bible?  How about bringing up that perfect Savior again?  How about telling us what that even means for all the non-Bible-bashers out there.  Dear authors, thank you for the amazing book, and I really do mean that, just let me finish it now.  :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Sometimes it makes me mad"

I don't get angry very often.  Pretty even-keel.  But when things are just wrong, then I may get upset.  Anyone been to YahooNews lately?  "Child's gender kept secret." blares out of the web.  (This I gotta see!) And its not the answer to the question, its the fact that Storm Witterick-Stocker's parents, of Canada, want to give a "testimony to freedom of choice".
That I have a problem with!
First of all, they messed up by bringing freedom of choice into it. You simply don't get a choice what gender you are.  The only thing I see about this situation that has to do with freedom of choice, (whatever that is nowadays) is the fact that the parents are taking a step to far by not allowing their child to make that... controversial choice himself.  It's one thing to pierce a babies ears, though they might form a conviction against it later (this is where freedom of belief comes in), and won't have that choice of not getting their ears pierced; its another thing to "decide" something for your child that is already decided.  Ahem!  Excuse me, Storm already has a gender!  You are not promoting freedom of personal choice by doing this!  An excerpt from the article:
"Stocker and Witterick say the decision gives Storm the freedom to choose who he or she wants to be. 'What we noticed is that parents make so many choices for their children. It's obnoxious,' adds Stocker, a teacher at an alternative school."
Yeah.  Sure is obnoxious.  The thing is, we can do a lot with our children.  We can teach them, we can set rules for them, we can bring them up in whatever religion we want here in America, but when they hit 18, they make their own choices.  Yes, we can influence that, as parents you are supposed to, but when all is said and done, your kid is who they are.  By choosing (freedom of choice, again) to have a child, you are agreeing to that you will raise them in the best way you can.  We have rules in America against abuse, but otherwise it's up to you.
I have another opinion to display (if you read my blog, you probably know I have a lot of [strong] opinions, but bear with me ;):  Since their choice in raising Storm in this way is, in fact, a religious decision, they cannot tag Christians (or anyone else for that matter) for raising their children in their beliefs.  May I add that anything anyone believes to be the truth in life is a religion?  Because it is.  Even if their religion is "anti-religion".  And I would say what David Stocker and Kathy Witterick have done is a pretty extreme religious act.  Have you ever noticed that people who claim to be most tolerant are least tolerant with anyone who even tolerantly mentions that they personally don't believe as they do?
Interesting, isn't it?  Anyway, another excerpt:
"They say that kids receive messages from society that encourage them to fit into existing boxes, including with regard to gender."
Yes, in regard to gender, there aren't any other existing boxes in that case.  I'm not saying that I hate their religion, I'm just saying that according to the truth, its wrong.  Because, like anyone else, I think my "religion" is right.  :)

Some of the comments by Yahoo users below this article I just had to post to help prove my point:

From "Bud"
Being a g-y man. I know as much as anyone that our society is in dire need of being taught to be accepting of others without regard to race,color, sex etc. However, using your children as a social experiment is not a great idea. Progressive thinking, but just not a great idea. Teach your children to be free thinkers if you want to change the world. But don't use them as lab rats to prove a point. They are human beings and should be treated as such.

From "Anonymous Yahoo user"
Someone posted "it is not what is between your legs that counts" True. It is whats in your head....and obviously the parents in question are lacking substance in this area. Playing and choosing the toys you want to play with is one thing....gender, whatever you may decide later AS AN ADULT, is not chosen at birth it is assigned. Trying to steer a developing child into a non-entity is cruel.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Barely There running shoes


Vibram FiveFinger Bikila LS
 An article on Yahoo starts out...
"Before the Nike's, before the breathable, antimicrobial running shorts, before the personal fitness coaches, heart-rate monitors, wrist-mounted GPS and subscriptions to Runner’s World, you were a runner. And, like all children, you ran barefoot."


http://shopping.yahoo.com/articles/yshoppingarticles/607/barely-there-4-minimal-running-shoes-tested

This, really, is the best way to run unless you have "naturally" impaired arch support.  "High-quality", high-priced, and high-advertised running and sports shoes actually cause the most injuries in sports besides malicious competitive harm, and uninformed beginners mistakes in sports.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Picks of the month for June, early

I will be very busy in June getting ready for acting in 4 skits, and packing for two-week CYIA missions training camp through CEF.
Therefore, so I don't have to skip picking out what I want to feature for the month, I'll just do it now.
Don't forget - you can have a say in the Picks of the Month!   Just comment below, and tell me what posts, pages, or post subjects you like most.  You can even give me ideas and suggestions for the color and style theme for the Picks of the Month.  I will acknowledge your name with what post you picked if you indicate that you would like that.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Navigator's sons

I babysat yesterday.  A young couple with three boys were going to a Navigator's meeting - a college ministry all across America.  I had been up since 4:30 in the morning, with the exception of a morning nap before working 12-5:15, walking home to eating supper, and hopping in the car to get to our destination at 7.  I was happy - don't get me wrong - to be babysitting, as I always am, but was a bit tired.  (I don't think I should mention I stayed up til 1am sewing a dress I wanted to wear to church the next morning - but that was of my own doings).
Well, getting there at 7, I was told the boys went to bed at 7 also.  I was a little relieved that I didn't have to run all over until 9 playing hide and seek, and wasting my voice reading transformers comic books.  Instead, each boy picked out a book for me to read, and then 2 would hit the sack (or, were supposed to), and the eldest - about 5 - could stay up a half hour later.
My parents up front in our old Toyota mini-van snaked their way up the long, gravel, wooded driveway to the cottages rented out to those willing to deal with standing room only and leaky sink pipes and toilets.  It was very quaint and rustic - actually pretty after it's first impression.  Three or four cabin-like structures stood off the gravel landing, and I would learn later that more than three families lived in those 3 buildings. These families had devoted so much to the work of reaching out to the lost and vulnerable college students in our capitol city, that many had moved from their homes in a state far away to rent out what they could, and work as hard as they could.
There was a young mother in the basement department caring for her new baby.  When I walked inside, due to Carry's cheery and absolutely welcoming invitation, and she looked joyfully frazzled.
  "Mom!  I accidentally got tooth paste on the bathroom floor.  It just came out wayyyy too fast." came the voice from a guy I'd guess to be about 5, though small for his age.
  "OK - so what we need to do is get a wet towel and wipe it up now.  Can you grab one for mommy, Gabe?"
Yup.  She was used to boys.  Two other brown eyed faces appeared, checking out their new babysitter.
One about 2, and the other not much older.
  "He-yoo!"
  "Hi, whats your name?"
  "My CD?"
Mommy was pulling a shirt on Luke, the middle child.  "Why do you have a CD, honey?  Go put it where it belongs."   He looked at me, seeing if I would reinforce.
  "Can you show me where the CDs are kept, David?"  After that, they were glued.  With one in the cradle, I settled onto the gold-ish couch covered in a navy blue sheet, with two little boys clinging to my arms.  "Read this one!"
Action figure books, I should have guessed.  I smiled again.  From then on I was continually astounded and amused at the things that seemed to effortlessly pop out of their mouths:
 

http://www.navigators.org/us/

"I really like the pictures in this book," one said, after handing me his book choice - bumblebee transformers.  "The pictures and paintings are very nice, and they are very beautiful."  I opened the cover to reveal an epic battle of robots.  I honestly agreed that I liked it too.
 
**************
"What are monks?" questioned Gabe. 
They are men who devote their lives to God.
"I'm a Christian too, though."  Boy, this was gonna be tricky.
"Monks are a little different in how they do things."
"Like how?"
"Well, for one, they never get married, and..."
The look of horror and shock on his face stopped me.  After he had recovered from such a concept, he wonderingly asked me,
"What do they do after they don't get married?"
 
**************
I discovered the boys liked music, when they pressured me to sing their favorite Christmas song.  A flashlight was held right above the page so "I can make sure you cans see the words good".  With the tapping of a plastic toy car on the tin lamp, and nonrhythmic slapping of couch pillows as my background band, I'm sure glad the windows were not open.

**************

"Do you know what my favorite food is?"  I took a wild [American] guess - "Pizza?".  He shook his head.  "Prunes are my favorite food.  They make you feel really good."
"Oh." 
After a pause - "My second favorite food is meat loaf."

*************

Later, when the youngest was back up, and was needing more than a few lullabies,  Gabe suggested we give more hugs and kissies.  "He likes when babysitters kiss him," he said.  After a few minutes of hugs and kisses, and reassuringly rubbing his back and softly singing along to the music, I asked him if he was ready for sleepy now.  Immediately he layed down, covered up, and closed his eyes.  I never heard a peep from him after.

*************

"Did you have a Soppy when you were little?"  I was asked.  I hadn't gotten through 5 minutes of my stay before knowing that a 'soppy' was a baby pacifier.  I never accepted the nook when I was little under any conditions, so I truthfully answered, "No".  He told me that he was very sad for me.

*************

But the grand fanale' of the night was when I finally had all tucked in.
"You know what?" I was asked by my little friend.  "I'm gonna miss you all summer long. 


This is where you say  "Awwwwwwwwww!"

In all, I had a great time with the Navigator's sons!



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

All 4 senses

Riding shotgun and coming back from a pleasant river walk with my mom, our large Toyota van maneuvered through the parking lot, waiting to turn right out of the parking lot. (Only Americans drive to a path to walk and get their exercise, then drive back home to eat supper.)   It was a busy Tuesday, and I had my window open, my eyes half closed. I heard the whistle of the breeze and the vrooom of engines.  I could smell the fresh air, and feel the sun on my face; see the clouds peeled back to reveal an endless blue dome. 4 out of 5 senses - not bad.
Finally out on the highway.  The weather was surreal on the 17th of May, and I was lovin' it.  I almost didn't hear the huge boom and screech behind us as we turned again to the left.  Apparently it was jolting enough to knock me out of my bubble, and I glanced out my large window.  The screeching continued as I stared at a small black car smashing in under the push of a slowing Mac truck hulling dirt.  In a low, strained voice, my mom offered an, "Oh dear!", and, ironically, pulled into a used car lot.  A package of lettuce tumbled out of the our shopping bag and onto the floor from our quick stop at the store. 
"Don't look!" said my mother, stopping beside an obnoxiously yellow car.  Before her correcting instruction, I managed to see, and smell, the scene.  The small, black car had been hit broadside at about 30-40 mph by the hulking, rusty red and dirty grey truck - probably for the construction going on down the road - and pushed in until the vehicle complied to it's driver's desperate flooring on the break.  I couldn't even see half the car, and the heat of burned rubber wafted in my nostrils; tires were pulled clean away from the axles.  I looked away.  Now aware that such a major accident could, indeed, contain a bit of gore.  A man bolted through the doors of the building ahead of us, which were covered with bright and apoplectic adds of loans and amazing deals.
For a whole 4 seconds, we sat.  60 seconds before, I had been thinking of what to put on my blog next.  (Now, the last thing on my mind was the stupid blog.)  Mom glanced back and breathed, "it's OK." 
"Do you have a phone?" I asked.
"Someone has probably already called, but I can too."  I wasn't surprised that police cars were coming in already.

Very much like the one we saw.
 Half the car was crumpled beyond recognition, and the hubs were recessed far back into the drivers side.   It reminded me of pushing down the lever on a can crusher before dropping the fractured hunk into the recyclable bin.  Bye-bye tin can. 
I prayed.  There were 2 unscathed persons outside, and walking toward the grassy curb.  I fingered the seat belt across my chest and lap.  1, 2... 3, 4 outside.  No one in the truck's driving seat, so probably 3 were originally in the car.  I just kept looking at the people on the curb, standing and talking with each other, and wondering just how they got out alive, much less with no apparent physical injury, although I'm sure they will be treated for shock.
"I'm really shaken up!  I think everything is alright though," my mom said.  We drove past the car lot, and I heard the blaring radio in one of the parked cars for sale.
"We have the cars; we have the money!..." spilled the smooth, mechanical, optimistic male voice.  If nothing made me sick before then, that did it.  I tasted a yucky sensation in my mouth. 
   "Sure!  Lets get a nice car and a bunch of money, because that seams to be all that matters here.  (Aren't we good at deceiving ourselves?)  But you may not have been warned that you can loose it all in one second, and then your car may be completely worthless if your not into selling scrap metal, or your relatives just might fight over who gets your moola. (Hear the sarcasm hissing out of my keyboard as I write), But don't let the sounds of it fool you, fellow Americans, because it really is the greatest thing that could happen to you!  Now who wouldn't want that?"
After driving out of sight of the accident, and down another road, I looked at the people in the four-wheeled contraptions going by us.  They still didn't know, did they?  They probably had no idea that 4 out of 5 senses were used in witnessing a nasty accident, did they?  And most probably didn't know where they were going after they died, and had a small perception on how quickly it could happen.  I asked myself -
what am I going to do about that?

The Longest Words in the English Language

Monday, May 16, 2011

Summer modesty fashion show

 -Stylish in Skirts-


Click to view larger


36 ideas for Recycling Pillowcases {favecrafts}

I am signed up for FaveCrafts Quick and Crafty e-mail updates, and I just couldn't pass up the chance to share with you some pillowcase up-cycles.

' '
Hello Thrifty Crafters,


Sewing with pillowcases is so thrifty, but it's also stylish. I've also been known to sew with old sheets, old t-shirts, and other recycled materials...                        ' '

Sew With Pillowcases and Scraps

1.White and Cream Ruffle Dress

2.Easy Pillow Case Dress

3.Girl's Ruffle Dress

4.Pillow Case Fat Quarter Dress

5.Two Pillowcase Blouse

Pillowcases as Accessories

1.Pillowcase Apron

2.Rose Chair Caddy

3.Rose Bed Caddy

4.Easy Kids' Apron

5.Pillowcase Sun Hat

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My bookcase headboard contents

Behold, my bookshelf.


We have many bookshelves in our house, and the majoraty of my books I keep under my bed in large bins or in large stacks wherever I can fit them conveiniantly.

I keep a few of my notebooks and folders on the left side division. In the center-left, I keep brochers and information pamphlets on various things I want to learn more about, or simply have on hand. You can see them peaking out from The New International Webster's Pocket Reference Library, which I was so thoughtfully given for Christmas. (I'd like to see someone actually carry it around in their pocket, though :)


These here in the center division are books I havnt read yet, or have read and want to keep on hand.
Finder's Fee, by Alcorn, is soposed to be a good Christian novel, but I havnt read it as of yet, so I cannot promote, or discourage it to any of you.


The right side division holds my library books, borrowed books, and books I'm currantly reading.
False Witness, by Singer, I started reading, but didnt care for much at all.
This picture was taken a while ago, and have since finished reading A Case For Christ by Lee Strobel (very reccomendable book), and have added others.


If your wondering what some of my favorite books are, go ahead and look at my sidebar to the right there, under "Books I Love".

Spell check isn't working!!!

Alternative sweeteners

Malitol  -  An accepted form of sugar-alcohol in the all-natural world, the "sugars" found in malitol are not used in the body as sugars, giving your blood pressure a rest, and that semi-same sweet taste.
Many all-natural companies are using malitol to sweeten their drink mixes, chewable supplements, or nutrition bars. 
Just like any sugar alcohol, malitol should be used in sparing amounts (according to your own unique body), as it can produce gastrointestinal discomfort.

Stevia  -  The calorie-free, carb-free, highly-concentrated, use-in-everything, all-natural sweetener.  Derived from the stevia plant leaves, (which can be grown in a planter in your own home) this potentially bitter herb is 30x sweeter than cane sugar.  The stevia herb, when dried and powdered, has a green color, and is known for its bitter after taste.  But after a de-bitterizing, all-natural process, the white powder is available to use in most anything. 
Hard to use in baked goods, there are special recipe books on just that

Coconut Palm Crystals  -  Very similarly "manufactured" as maple syrup from the sap of a maple tree, coconut palm crystals are made from the coconut palm tree sap.  Very low in glycemic value, thus safe for diabetics, it contains many B vitamins.
Taste-wise, it has a remote coconut flavor, but resembles the brown sugar taste, melting almost instantly on damp/hot products.  Makes a great lower-sugar glaze.

Xylitol  -  Derived from certain trees, Xylitol is not only a frucose-like sweetener with a lower glycemic index and a good, frucose-like taste, it has shown amazing properties for fighting bacteria, plaque, infections, and other oral symptoms.  Used now in many chewing gums, low-sugar products, sweetened chewable supplements, drink mixes, and available for baking.
But, even though it is hardly a sugar alcohol, it is still categorized as one, and has the same effects.  Too much xylitol, you get bloating, gas, and other gastrointestinal distress.  Studies show that beyond these complaints, it has no other negative effects on the gut.

Mesquite Powder  -  Raw from the jungles of Argentina, mesquite powder is a "sweetener" like none else.  With a somewhat nutty, brown-sugary taste, this is not just a good source of calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and acid lysine, but also of fiber.  For two Tablespoons, though you get 9g of sugar, you also get 6g of fiber, and 3g of protein!  A light tan powder, mesquite should be organic, with an interesting taste - almost like a chicory tree.

Inulin Powder  -  Inulin can be derived from multiple sources, and is long been considered safe for diabetics.  This white powder has a pleasant, herb-like texture, and tastes like a sugar alcohol, though not as concentrated.  Not as widely used as many sugar-substitutes, this has a low glycemic count, and is a good alternative for many people.

I thought I should say a word about sucrolose.  An artificial sweetener that many people think is safe.  
Sucrolose is derived from sucrose (sugar), and then chemically altered. That is never a good idea!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Song lyrics by me -- Time

I was just thinking about all the songs written that portray hard times.  Sad things, hard issues, lost loves.  The first verse starts out saying that there are so many songs like that; for every happy, feel-good song, there are two more about broken lives and hearts.  We have all heard them, we have all sung them, but no matter what the story, there is hope.  Hope because of the Time Jesus gave His life up for mine - thus the title of the song.  I'm trying to think of, perhaps, a better title, and a bridge to add to this song, but I just wrote it yesterday, so I'm a little slow on that.  I hope you enjoy.

Time by Valary-Mac <><

Verse I:

You know you've heard a million songs
Of bleeding hearts and trying times
It seems like when we ban all lies
Our words come out in screams and sobs

With every band and star and singer
They have two sad songs for every high
The most loved songs; they make us cry
Because we all long to be understood

But these lyrics will be different
For I am made for another land
I may be a mortal stuck in the winter
But there is new life to be had

Chorus:
When all is said and done and dead
When there are no words to be said
When no ones there to understands
And we and you and me have failed

When things hurt like nothing,
Something, anything
The best songs were written
When we couldn't sing

And when you cannot see the sky
When it seems pretty lame to cry
Because theres nothing to be had
Just think of the cross and Jesus and

Life, Life, Life and the Time, time, time
Jesus gave His up for mine

Verse II:
Some of us hope there is something to hope for
Some of us don't because we know we've already missed it
Some want to live some want to die
'Cause some have tried both a couple times

Get your tears out if nothing else
And wait and hope and watch and pray
And if you never see the day
You know you can in another life

Is this a song of hope
Or a ballad of sorrow?
A peak for tomorrow
Or a doom for today?

Well...
[back to chorus]



Lyric writing is just a hobby of mine, along with poetry.  I am more serious about essays, debates, research, health issues, Historical fiction, Sci-Fiction, theology, and the likes.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Great new Desktop Wallpapers

He wasn't dumb - just deceived


My favorite theologian
All wallpapers are 1200 x 800

What us girls REALY want to know about modesty

The question all of us girls ask - "What do guys know about modesty?". But the one question we ask more is "What do guys think?".
Really! I'm not joking! 
If you are a boy reading this, we want you to know that we really value your opinions!

Guys, here is your assignment from Valary-Mac:  watch the videos below that are titled in blue, and comment below to tell us if all this is accurate.

Girls, your not getting away without a job either, though yours is easier:  watch the videos - all of 'em are great!

These are taped by guys who want to say something to you, or women and girls who know exactly what your going through. 
Go back to the two questions in bold at the top of this post.  Strap on your seat belts, because we are answering both right now!

What guys think about modesty:

Something every girl should listen to!

By guys, for girls

A guys point of view


Dannah Gresh on her book - Lies Young Women Believe - and beauty as we know it

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Great blogs for the issue of modesty, and videos to help you out-

'Stylishly Modest' Blog

Great Ideas and a modest clothing store

What clothes say about you

If any of you bloggees have any questions or comments on this post, any of the videos, and/or modesty and life, feel free to tell or ask me!  Do you have any resources you would like to share?  I would love 'em!

Laid to rest?

"Don't worry, its done; don't let the past define you; it doesn't matter anymore; over and forgotten; start your life over; what's in the past is in the past; yesterday is gone; be who you want to be..."

We all get told these things.  Because we all have that bit of hind-sight of things that went wrong. Things in our past.  In my past.  In your past. When we think we are doing so great, we get reminded.  We remember our past.  Our we have others remind us.  But it always happens.  To some more than others, and some have a more dynamic past than others, I think we can all agree.
But what make something in the past so dynamic?  Because while it may not define us anymore, it still affects us... big time!  Just a few examples...
  • Your new friend talks to someone who has known you for a while - or at least observed your life, and they no longer think as highly of you.
  • Those words over the dinner table turned you off for years.  And now, the only time you see them is an funerals and weddings.
  • Then there is that one night - just one night - that labels you as something you never thought you would be.
  • You meet up with a friend from grade school you haven't seen in years, and they cant help but notice how different you are.
  • What about about the first time you watched a movie you shouldn't have?
  • You were best on track, and your hip fractured, so you've been on crutches since... ten years ago.
  • No one knows why your sick, and they worry for you.  But when they hear the name of your disease, they cant help but shun you.
  • You know you'll never get married, because of that one thing.
  • The time you shared your testimony - it was shocking.

What is it about what is behind us that haunts us so?
Well, it seems to be how we think others see or react to our past; or how they actually do.

Monday, May 9, 2011

My talented sister

These are some pictures my lovely sister took that I like them a lot, so I thought I'd share them.

I love the snow flakes like 3D in this picture


Great texture and color


Our dogs staring out of the picture window
My sister at the piano

video
The camera isn't that great, so the sound is a bit off, but I think I should let you know that my sister has never taken any piano lessons, and figured these out by herself!

[Now a few pictures I took]

Looks a little better if its blown up a bit.  You can see all
the rays of the sun coming from the window, and the sun-
spot on the camera lense.  In all, I'm not the best photographer


A kinda crumby picture, but filled with rich contrast.
This is our dogs laying in a box.  They have a doggie
bed, but they seem to like this better.
You can even see my arm  in the shadow.  :)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

wedding rings


Names or initials would be a good idea.
  Tattoo wedding rings?
I actually like the idea.  No, I don't have a tattoo and am, personally, not a fan of them, but this is a cool idea.
Its probably cheaper than a regular wedding ring, although I wouldn't want an expensive ring.  Probably just a simple band.