Sunday, 07 September 2008 04:00

    Something to Think About

    I receive these devotionals for the Institute of Creation Research everyday.  Sometimes I receive one that really opens my eyes, and lets me see something I’ve never seen nor heard.  Today’s issue is such a case.  Okay, it isn’t earth shattering, but the simple information gives me a glimpse into more complexity of an issue many people would never notice.

    The article is found here: The Ninth Hour

    Saturday, 06 September 2008 04:00

    Friendships & Fellowship

    My husband and I were having an interesting conversation today about "fitting in" with a church, and feeling a part of it.  With the fast-paced world we live in, it’s hard to develop close friendships.  At least it is for my husband and me.  Add that to the fact that we are very unique individuals that don’t seem to fit in anywhere.  In some circles, that means strange or weird.  When I say unique (or strange or weird), I don’t mean the public school crowd look at us and think we are weird.  I mean that fellow Christians think we are weird, homeschoolers think we are weird, Christian homeschoolers think we are weird.  I can honestly say that God definitely broke the mold after creating us.  I relish in being me.  My husband relishes being him.  We aren’t at all afraid of being different.  We take the command of being a peculiar people to a new height.  LOL.  We have met very few like-minded individuals where we live.  We don’t fit the "cookie cutter Christian" facade that so many others do.  We don’t want to be like the world, or even "cookie cutters".  We want to be ourselves because we know that God loves us the way we are.  However, being ourselves makes us a bit lonely.  Not that we want to be with other people all the time, but it would be nice if people didn’t try to give us a large berth at church.  We find more acceptance from Pagans.  That’s weird because we aren’t one bit Pagan.  We are Bible-believing, Christ-loving people.  We believe in the females of the family having long hair, and that dresses aren’t dresses unless they go down past the knee, or down to the ankle.  We believe in modesty.  We believe that the Bible, in its entirety, is the spoken Word of God.  We believe that God created the universe in 6 literal days.  We believe that God is a creative God, and that because we are made in His image, that we should be creative in the arts.  We don’t believe in copying society.  That includes what we watch, what we wear, and what we do.

    I realize that we don’t go to church to make friends, but to worship the LORD.  However, wouldn’t it be nice if we could find a church that welcomed us, accepted us, and befriended us–but at the same time, wasn’t watering down the Word of God, or being completely heretical?  I guess that’s where we are now: pick a church that believes and preaches the Word of God unadulterated, or go somewhere that completely accepts us.  That’s an easy choice for us, but one that leaves us a bit "unfellowshipped".

    Valerie the Weirdo Who Is Tired of Being Hurt by Fellow Laborers

    Thursday, 04 September 2008 04:00

    Sir Kendrick Book Giveaway at a Pondering Heart

    Jocelyn from A Pondering Heart is giving away a book from the Kingdom Series:  Knights of Arrethtrae: Sir Kendrick & the Castle of Bel Lione.  The giveaway will end at midnight on Saturday, September 13th 2008, and the winner will be emailed the following Monday announced on the Weekly.  To enter, just visit her blog entry and carry out her instructions.

    I haven’t read these books, but they sound absolutely wonderful.  It is in my plans to get the series and read it when we have the funds to do so.  Our family really love the middle ages, and it’s always good to read something with Kingdom benefits.

    Sunday, 17 August 2008 04:00

    Starting Up a New Year of Homeschooling?

    We essentially homeschool year-round.  The summers here are so sweltering that I don’t want the kids outside much.  Arianna gets overheated too quickly.  We like to wait until autumn to  take a couple weeks off before diving back into studies.  By this time I am usually hard at work  planningfor the new school year, but this year I just haven’t done it yet.  Not a big deal, I usually plan for so much more that actually doesn’t get completed.  We like to take rabbit trails when something comes up that is homeschool worthy.  Next thing I know, we are working for 3 weeks on something that normally takes only one or two.  Either it gets put to the side, or I think of something else to extend it.

    After a discussion with Arianna about what wherefore in  "Wherefore art thou, Romeo" means, I decided we needed to study some Shakespeare.  So I chose Romeo and Juliet.  I’m not a huge fan of Shakespeare.  There is a lot of bawdiness in all of his plays, and it bothers me.  I love the wordsmithing  (is that a word?) he accomplished, and his plays have stood the test of time, but still, I’m not a big fan.  I’m using a Red Reader that has the unabridged version of Romeo & Juliet, but has modern notes in the margin.  It’s hilarious to read the notes, and I think Aric & Arianna are enjoying it.  I also checked out an audio version of the play performed by a cast of actors, including Kate Beckinsall.

    I do that a lot during the year: just decide to teach them one more thing that isn’t in their curriculum but that I think they need to learn.  It’s a bit maddening, believe me, both for them and myself.  They probably have enough to do with their Switched On Schoolhouse!

    This year I thought I’d give the two oldest time to catch up with their SOS lessons, which always go by the wayside when I added extra stuff to the mix.  I figure that when they take their fall break, I would get everything ready for next year.

    Do you homeschool year-round?

    Saturday, 16 August 2008 04:00

    Website Software

    Sorry I’ve been MIA.  I’ve been working on websites, and playing around with website software.  It is quite fun, believe me.  I should have been doing this much, much sooner.  Anyway, I thought that I would go back to featuring free resources.  Most of the time, I can’t really think of any.  However, it just dawned on me that there might be people out there that might be interested in this.

    I discovered a Content Management Software that I think is fantastic.  It is open source, so there is no cost involved.  Do you have server space?  If you do, this software is for you.  You install it on your server, set it up, apply a template, and voila, you have a dynamic website all ready to add your content to.  The components available as add-ons are numerous.  There is no way you could install all of them, there are so many.  Most add-ons are also open source, but there are also commercial add-ons.  What is this wonderful software?  Joomla! The community support is excellent.  I highly recommend it.

    Some other quite useful software is PHPBB3 for setting up a forum, Gallery 2 for a photo gallery, and WordPress for blogging.  I have set up a blog on my website, but this is still going to be my main homeschool blog because I love the community here.

    Hope you enjoy these resources!

    Tuesday, 15 July 2008 04:00

    What I Have Been Up To . . .

    . . . or What Else Can Happen?

    Seriously, folks, I’m doing alright.  I’ve had some health issues that I hope are on being resolved.  It’s a slow road, and a hard one I suppose.  As you know, I’ve been developing bronchitis quite a bit this past year.  It’s now been over a month since I last developed it, so hopefully I won’t be getting it again any time soon.

    I was recently diagnosed with a moderate case of sleep apnea.  After two sleep studies, and a couple of weeks, I received my new CPAP machine.  I think it is helping, but I’m still trying to get used to the mask and side effects of the air going down my windpipe.    Hopefully this treatment will get me the much needed rest that has been so far eluding me.

    On top of the sleep apnea, I just found out that I have high blood sugar.  I’m sure that’s one of the reasons I haven’t been feeling very well.  I’m trying to make modifications to my eating habits.  Sometimes it’s hard because it’s so much cheaper to buy potatoes, white rice, and pasta.  What with the price of gas, we are barely making ends meet as it is.  Completely overhauling the way I eat is a challenge on top of that.

    On a better note, I’ve been working on my website, and on Gregg’s.  If you want to visit mine, it’s at www.clevercelts.com, and Gregg’s is www.woodencelt.com.  They aren’t anywhere near done, but it is a process, and I’m really psyched about it.

    That’s it for now!

    ****Spoiler Warning****

    I am an avid reader.  I love books, and the books that I love have been read numerous times.  (Should I say at least 30 times in my life?)  There are very few books that capture my imagination like the Chronicles of Narnia.  Everytime I read them, I find something new that paints a picture of God’s abounding Godness to me.  (Okay, Godness is not a real word, but I couldn’t come up with any other.)   In C. S. Lewis’ wonderful storytelling, I gain insight into the Real Aslan in such a simple, yet multi-faceted way.  The books stand for themselves.  They don’t need to be fleshed out.  They don’t need to have more excitement added to them.  Having seen The  Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in theaters, and on DVD, I do know that the screenwriter(s) and director like to "up the ante" by adding ridiculous scenes that are so unlike C. S. Lewis’ stories.  However, I was able to stomach those intrusions because they got so much stuff right.  Not so in Prince Caspian.  I wasn’t actually timing it, but it did seem as if there was an entire hour’s worth of drivel that had nothing to do with the book that I hold near and dear.  What were they thinking?  Peter was acting so unlike the noble High King Peter from the series.  He was irritable, jealous of his position, churlish, petulant, and downright Edmund-like (from the first movie), that I wanted to slap him, and Andrew Adamson ( the director).  He was making inane military moves that High King Peter would never have made.  Is it so wrong to make a movie that is like the book?  I realize that everything can’t be put in a movie that is in a book.  I understand that completely.  My question is why add scenes like that?  What is the purpose?

    My second grievance with the movie is the whole love interest thing between Susan and Caspian.  WHAT IS THAT???  Where did that come from?  HELLO????  The kiss at the end was enough to make me ask for my money back, and get a personal apology from the Powers That Be at Walden Media.

    To top it off, some of my favorite parts of the book were twisted and completely out of order.  The whole trip to the Bridge of Beruna, and Lucy choosing to follow Aslan whether the others did or not, was a key picture of following Christ whether anyone else does or not.  Why convolute it like they did?  It was so simple, and they could have really made a go of the final battle with all the bells and whistles that they wanted.  I understand why they didn’t put Caspian’s nurse into the movie, and why Aslan and the girls didn’t go through the countryside gaily "freeing" people, and having their little party.  That didn’t bother me.  I didn’t expect it anyway. 

    I was really hoping that they’d get through at least The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, and The Final Battle.  (I don’t think they will ever do The Magician’s Nephew, or The Horse and His Boy.)  However, now I’m not too sure I want them to.  If they continue to chop up the books and throw them out as scraps to a dog, I don’t think I’ll hang around for The Final Battle, which is actually my favorite of the series.

    On a final note, if you haven’t read the book, or haven’t read it in 10 or 20 years, you’ll love the movie.  I urge you, however, to read the book after you have seen the movie.  You won’t be disappointed.

    Sunday, 18 May 2008 04:00

    I'm Still Here!

    Yes, I know, I’ve been gone for a while.  I have good reasons, really I do.  I feel very rundown, and don’t feel I have much to say.  This usually happens to me in the spring.  Things are picking up at work, and  at home, I am trying to finish up our homeschooling year.  Well, really, we homeschool year-round, but the end of this year is approaching, and the beginning of the new year is, as well.  The dilemma of what homeschool curriculum to use next year, and how to pay for it is a major consideration.  The fact that I just went through a year of illness and fatigue weighs me down.  I’m not sure if I will ever get all the energy and stamina that I once had.  Let’s not forget about extra projects that I’ve been working on for work.  Also, the fact that I work full-time AND homeschool the kids at night, should be reason enough for the blog being put to the side for awhile.

    I have been working on a project for my husband.  He has a very small home-based business that we have decided to focus on more.  He does Celtic woodworking.  This has always been a hobby of his, but we are hoping to build it into a more profitable undertaking.  Anyway, I’m revamping his websiteWhile I was working on it, I set up a blog for him.  Go ahead and take a look at Gregg’s website and blog, and let me know what you think.  I’m still working on the gallery for his website.  It’s not even near completion, but the blog is definitely complete.  I really like the look of it.  You can choose the wallpaper by clicking on one of the thumbnails in the sidebar.

    After I finish Gregg’s website, I’m going to go ahead and revamp mine.  I can’t even remember the last time I updated it.  I have to say that I really enjoyed setting up Gregg’s blog.  I am considering setting up a blog for myself on my website.  I’m not sure that I want to do that.  I really enjoy the camaraderie and sense of community here at Homeschool Blogger.  What do you think?

    Monday, 31 March 2008 04:00

    Cute Pictures

    These pictures were taken when we first went into the Creation Museum.  When we left, they put the backgrounds in, and we chose which ones we wanted.  For the first pose, we were supposed to look up and to the right like we were scared.  As you will notice, Gregg waved to the dinosaur instead of acting afraid.  Aneira didn’t quite understand the directions. We thought that the caption could say something like "Oh, goody, he’s going to eat my family, HI!!!).  LOL!  Anyway, for your viewing pleasure, here are the two poses.

    Make an on-line slideshow at www.OneTrueMedia.com

    Saturday, 29 March 2008 04:00

    Here I Am Again!

    Yes, I’ve been missing in action again.  I’m so sorry.  The last couple of weeks have been wild and crazy.  I had a project to do for work, and two more from other sources.   Not to mention I’ve been trying to keep up with homeschool.  Then last week I contracted the flu.  The last six months have been very hard on me as far as illness is concerned, and I am extremely sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I’ve been entirely useless this week, mostly just sitting and sleeping in the recliner watching a myriad of DVDs.

    I’m sorry for such a short post, but I did want to let everyone know what’s been going on.  Hopefully soon I’ll be back up and running.  Have a great weekend!

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