Monday, June 30, 2014

Homeschoolers Get Bullied, Too

It's a false stereotype that homeschoolers don't get bullied.  As you may, or may not, know, I have been homeschooled since the cradle.  I've been bullied at church, at homeschool co-ops, at homeschool support groups, and pretty much any where there are people.

From a young age, I was very confident and did not care what anybody thought of me, except for God, who is the only one that matters.  I dressed the way I wanted.  I knew who I was.  And I knew I wanted to impact the world in an artistic way.  I was in elementary school when my one of my best friends moved away. And my other best friend started public school, so we weren't able to hang out much anymore.  I felt very alone, like I didn't have any friends.  I just wanted a friend again, someone to hang out with, who was homeschooled.   I got a friend, but not a good one.

My new friend was a not a very nice girl, and made fun of me all the time.  Anything I would do, what I was wearing, what I was doing, how I was singing, what movies I was watching, how I painted my nails, EVERYTHING!  She would make fun of me everyday I saw her, and occasionally, I would see her everyday of the week.  The worst thing is, I didn't realize the extent to which she was bullying me, or how her words were affecting me, until we had a been "BFFFFF" for close to six years.  Six years is a long time to be "friends" with a mean girl.  She had put me down so much, that I didn't think I was good at anything.  One of the worst parts was that I was no longer dressing the way that I actually wanted to.  I just dressed how I didn't think I would get picked on, or made fun of.

Also, before I had even met my new "BFF", I had been bullied in a homeschool support group for how I dressed, and big time picked on if I carried a purse.  To this day, I am afraid of getting made fun of for carrying a purse, which is stupid, because even toddlers carry purses.  I shouldn't be afraid to carry a purse!

After all that stuff happened, I am finally getting back to, years later, what my actual style is in dressing the way I want to dress and not worrying what other people think.  I'm not all the way there yet, but I'm working on getting my confidence back.

A good thing about myself personally is that I know who I am and what my style is.  Some people have to do the "Who am I" search.  I know who I am, I just wasn't being myself for a few years.

I've been getting into wearing a lot of skirts and dresses lately.  I really like them.  But I recently started going to church that is kind of known for the the girls in the family only wearing skirts, like a Duggar situation kind of thing.  I don't want anyone to think that I am being forced to wear a skirt, or that I will never wear pants again.  I just like skirts and dresses.  I'll still wear jeans when I want to.

I was really inspired to write this, because of reading a post from the homeschool author, Rachel Coker.  Her post is called "Say Yes To The Dress", which is the story of her experience in changing her own style and wearing dresses more.  I really connected with the message, and wanted to share my own experience.  She also has a fashion blog with one of her sisters, and it's really awesome, they dress really adorable.  I would love to dress like them. Their clothes are so cute! 


Friday, June 27, 2014

Book Haul #3

(Prepare to read this next sentence with a British accent)  My second cousin is a very nice human, and she gave me three very lovely novels.  (Okay, you stop with the British accent now... unless you're British, then carry on!)

 You many recognize the name Betsy, and the author, Maud Hart Lovelace from Book Haul #2.  This is one of the books in the Betsy Series.  I now need to buy more of them and read them all!!!  Betsy and Joe is about Betsy when she is 17.  She falls in love in this book.  This is the seventh book in the series.

 Betsy and the Great World is number eight in the Betsy series.  Betsy is age 22 in this book, and she travels the world.

I started reading Beverly Gray's Surprise TODAY!  The book is really good so far!  This is the last book in the Beverly Gray series.  Yes, I'm reading the end first.  Beverly Gray has auburn hair, because all girl detectives have to have blonde, or auburn, hair.  She reminds me of Bella Kirkwood from A Charmed Life series by Jenny B. Jones, or rather what she would be like in college almost 100 years ago.  I found out today from The Series Books for Girls site, that Clair Blank wrote the first four Beverly Gray books while she was still in high school, and was a published author by age 18!  Wow!  I want to be published now, so I can be cool like Rachel Coker and Clair Blank!

These books are super special, because they were given to my second cousin by her grandmother, and now she is giving them to me! :)




Friday, June 20, 2014

Thrift Store Clothing Haul

So, I started going to a church where people dress up on Sunday mornings.  I've been to churches my whole life where you wear jeans and a non-stained t-shirt.  If you dressed up, wearing a dress, people make fun of you.  This happened, to me.  "Last time I wear a dress," I thought.  But I thought wrong, because now I need to dress up, so I had to go shopping.  And since I don't like spending a lot of money on clothing, I went to Goodwill (for all but one thing, my Mom found at Salvation Army, and texted me to see if I would like it).

This first dress, is from Goodwill.  I look like a secretary, so my Brother says. I'm not sure If I actually think so, and I don't like the sandals that I am wearing with this.  I've been shopping for dress shoes (not at the thrift store) multiple times, and haven't found what I'm looking for.  This dress is from the 90's, I'm guessing, but my style is a little crazy for dressy clothing, you know, since I haven't hardly ever worn anything dressy.  So, I guess I should add 90's clothing for my list of stuff that I like that is dressy.  The other things on my list are Nancy Drew style outfits, and like 40's style, and Nancy Drew was in 40's style dress in several of her movies, and I like Boho (Bohemian) stuff.


 I first need to address the tank top situation.  I could not find the tank top that I usually wear with this top, which is all lace, and would be scandalous without a tank top underneath.  So, my Mother loaned me one of hers.  I don't like the way this one looks, I like my tank top WAY better.  The top and skirt are both from Goodwill.  The shoes are from a shoe store in a mall in Kansas from 1995.  The whereabouts of the origins of how I obtained these shoes shall remain a secret.  This is a Nancy Drew look.

This is a Nancy Drew/Gallagher Girl Academy look.  If you don't know what Gallagher Girl Academy is, it's a book series about a private girls school that secretly trains spies (you should definitely go check it out!).  This skirt is from Salvation Army.  I stole the white button up from my Mother, I need to get one for myself, but I have yet to do so.  The boots are from a random local shoe store.  I got them last December.




The back of this outfit is the same skirt and shoes as the second outfit (you know, the one with the black lace top).  



I got the top from Goodwill.  My Mom found it for me.  We were shopping together.  And when she showed it to me, I was like "Ooooh, it's gorgeous!  I hope it fits me!"  You can't really tell, but it has a really cute Peter Pan Collar, but my hair is blocking it.



This is the outfit that I wore on Father's Day.  I got the t-shirt from Walmart, plain white t-shirt.  The skirt is a silk skirt, you know like fancy shmancy, like 80% silk, Tommy Bahamas brand.  The shoes are the same from the last outfit.

It's hard to tell from the picture, but this skirt is a white eyelet (lacy look) overlay.  The shoes my Mother gave to me, they are old, but she never wore them.  I actually broke them, falling in them, right after this photo was taken.  The jean shirt is a clearance find from Walmart.  I told you I don't like to spend much money on clothing.  The hat from all the photos is from Walmart, also on clearance, from like 2012.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Interrupted Book Review


Interrupted by Rachel Coker is about Alcyone (said Al-cee-u-nee), but she goes by Allie, and that is what we're going to call her for the rest of the book review.  This book starts out in 1939 and goes all the way through 1945 (World War II).  Allie turns 14 at the beginning of the book.  The book is written in two parts.  In Part Two, she skips to age 18, and by the end of the book,  she is 20 years old.

Allie's mother is dying of cancer.  Allie was born the year her Mom turned 47, she was her "miracle baby."  Only her Mom doesn't believe in God.  She and her mother have a little orange kitten, and a beautiful garden at their home in Tennessee.  Allie doesn't think she has a friend in the world, there's just annoying Sam Carroll, who follows her around everywhere.

Shortly after her 14th birthday, her mother dies, and she is sent to be adopted by Miss Beatrice Lovell in Maine.  Miss Beatrice is an older Christian woman whose husband has died.  She only has her daughter, Irene, and now her new daughter, Allie.

Shortly after she arrives in Maine, she meets a new girl named Charlotte.  Charlotte insists that everyone call her Charlie.  Allie and Charlie become fast friends.

Each chapter begins with part of an Emily Dickinson poem.  Allie very much enjoys Emily Dickinson, and is an aspiring poet.  Her Emily Dickinson poetry book was one of the few things she was able to bring to Maine.  This book is a great way to introduce someone to poetry, because there is just four lines of a poem at the beginning of each of the eighteen chapters.  I like poetry, but I never read much of it.  I enjoyed reading a little bit of poetry throughout the book.

The author definitely did a lot of historical research into the time period that she wrote about.  You can see the depth of her research to make this book authentic to the time period in the description of the clothing and styles.  Also, the musicians, actors, and the movie in the book were perfectly placed.  The differing attitudes towards the war were also well depicted.

The romance was really sweet without being overly physical.  There is not even one kiss, but the reader still feels like there is nothing missing to the romance.  Actually, there are multiple romantic stories going on with different characters in the book.  I would not classify this book as a Romance.  I think my nine year old cousin would enjoy this book, but my grandma would probably really like the story, too.

Character development throughout the book was really, really good.  I appreciate character development in a book, because in real life we are constantly changing and growing.  The growth of the characters was depicted really well, not just in the main characters, but also in the side characters.  The book is Allie's journey from a teen to an adult, from a non-believer to a believer, and from a sweet teenager, to a bitter teenager, to a joyful adult.

This is homeschool author Rachel Coker's debute novel.  I previously reviewed her second novel, Chasing Jupiter.  This book was definitely not as sad as Chasing Jupiter.  I loved the characters in Chasing Jupiter, but I like Interrupted even better.  Actually, Interrupted has surpassed The Outsiders as my favorite stand alone novel.  I gave this book five out of five stars.  I'm recommending this book for ages 9 until you're dead, but if a younger child is going to read this, take into account that there is death, sadness, war, and a little bit of romance, so this is not for just any 9 year old.

Now, I'm going to talk about spoilers.  If you don't want to know any more about this book, before you read the story yourself, stop now.  Do not read any further, unless you don't mind some spoilers.  They're mainly just me talking about my favorite and least favorite parts of the book, but I wouldn't want to read what I'm about to write, if I had not read the book yet.  Now's your chance to stop reading.

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I felt soooo bad for Sam when he got Allie exactly what she wanted for her birthday.  She just treated him so badly.  Rude!

When her Mom died, it wasn't too sad, because you already know that her Mom is going to die.  I was super sad, and crying, when she couldn't take her kitten with her.  I have a kitten, and I was thinking how sad I would feel to leave my little baby kitten.  I was really happy, when later in the book, Sam tells Allie that the people who are living in her old house were taking care of the kitten.

When Allie and Charlie first met, I didn't really like Charlie.  As the book went along, I wound up really liking Charlie.

I really liked the scene when Allie is at a party, and she sees Sam for the first time in four years.  Allie doesn't recognize him at first.  When she does finally recognize him, she is embarrassed, because he knew who she was the whole time.

I thought it was really nice of Sam to pretty much set Allie up to be adopted by Miss Beatrice.  Otherwise, she could have ended up at an orphanage, or in the foster care system (if it existed back then), and just had a really rough life.  Her life was already rough, it didn't need to be any worse.

I really like how gentlemanly Sam was all the time.  He would bow in the middle of a grocery store.  He kissed ladies hands.  He made me wish for an old fashioned man.

I really liked the scene where Allie, Sam, Russell, Charlie, and Irene go to the movies, but some of them decide to leave early and go to the fair.  Then they all go on the Ferris wheel, and Allie was all scared of heights.  She was exactly like I was on the Ferris wheel, except I didn't have a handsome gentleman sitting next to me, or a young man below me who needed to use the restroom.  Also, I didn't get stuck on the top of the Ferris wheel.  And I didn't miss curfew, because the Ferris wheel got stuck, even though I think I was out later than she was.

I especially liked when Allie and Sam went driving in the country to get paint thinner.  They talked about where they wanted to live when they were older.  They both wanted to live in the country.  Sam obviously wanted to live with Allie, but she didn't take the hint, and the whole thing is just adorable.

When Sam was younger, he cut his hands on roses helping Allie in her garden in Tennessee. In Maine, he cuts his foot on the beach with her.  Both times, Allie bandages him up.  I loved how she said the same things to him both times.  After the cut on the beach, he says "Once again, I thank you for tending my wounds." (pg 183).

I want this book to be made into a movie.  I could play Allie, because I think I look the most like her.  I would happily play any of the female characters, though I don't look like them.

Later, Allie finds out that Sam is going off to war with Russell.  She totally freaks out and runs after him.  She leaves the soda shop, and hops in her car to go talk with him.  She shoves him, and they argue about him going to war.  Allie admits that she loves him, and hits him with her high heel!  I couldn't help laughing picturing the whole thing.  Sam asks her to marry him then and there.  Allie accepts his proposal.  Sam goes off to war, and they agree to write to one another.

On the other hand, Charlie and Russell get married before he leaves for war.  That was actually a stipulation of his parents.  Russell had to get married before he could become a soldier.

I had a bunch of theories, and only three of them actually happened. One was that Sam would become a soldier and go off to the war.  The second was that he would go missing in action.  The third was that his leg would get injured.

Allie becomes a Christian while Sam is off in the war (he was already a Christian).  Allie reads her adopted Mom's Bible outside, and accidentally leaves it out in the rain.  She reads the records in the Bible and sees the events in Miss Beatrice's life, leading up to her first daughter dying, and then the adoption of Irene.  Allie always thought Miss Beatrice loved Irene more because she was her "real" child, but really they were both adopted all along.  Miss Beatrice loved them both the same, regardless of being adopted.

Sam comes back from the war at the end of the book.  It's a sweet happy ending.  I could have used a few more chapters, like of their wedding day.  Actually I would have loved an epilogue of five year later, their house in the country, the children with weird star names like Alcyone, and just more happiness.




Monday, June 9, 2014

The Song Movie Review

Sorry this post is a few days late...

On Tuesday, the 3rd, I was lucky enough to be able to attend a pre-screening of The Song movie that will not be released until September 26th.  The lighting and editing was not complete, but this movie was still really good.  I didn't see anything wrong with the lighting, but I'm not an expert at that.  Actually, there was one scene in particular, that I thought the lighting was amazing, where the audience is not quite sure who is with the main character.  We found out after the screening, that was exactly what the movie makers intended.

Movie Poster is a free download from thesongmovie.com

"So, what is the movie about?" you may be asking.  Well, let me tell you.  The movie is a modern Biblical re-telling of Solomon's life, you know King David's son.  Solomon wrote Song of Solomon, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes.

I have read all of Song of Solomon, because I was a rebellious child.  I found out that book of the Bible was really scandalous, and I wanted to read something really scandalous, so I read Song of Solomon.  When I read Song of Solomon, I thought that the writing was beautiful.  I have read some of Proverbs, and a little bit of Ecclesiastes.  Watching the movie, reminded me of reading Song of Solomon and Proverbs, because there were direct quotes from both of those that I recognized in the voice over and the songs.

The very beginning of the movie was about King David, aka David King's, life.  I wasn't sure how much they were going to go into King David's life.  I also wasn't sure how they would modernize the whole situation with Bathsheba.  I won't spoil the opening scenes for you.  I will just tell you that was done very nicely.

In the movie, the main character's name is not Solomon, his name is Jed.  His father, David King, is a country music star.  You will still  like the movie if you don't like country music, because it's not hard core country music.  I don't enjoy much country music, but I do have an appreciation for the art, and I really enjoyed the movie.  Honestly, I really enjoyed this particular music, too.  I hope there is a soundtrack, because I need it!

This movie is not a watered down Bible re-telling.  There is scandalous stuff in the Bible, and there is scandalous stuff in this movie.  There are adult situations: drugs, alcohol, adultery, and a honeymoon.  All that being said, none of the bad stuff is glorified.  Also, there is no nudity, and there is only one on screen kiss.  WARNING though, if you are over the age of like 10, or 11, you will probably figure out what is going on that we don't see on the screen.

The Song is definitely one of my top five favorite movies.  The movie is a lot about spiritual growth, finding out who you are, marriage, family, and learning what is important in life.  I recommend this movie for ages 12, or 13,  and up, depending on maturity level and knowledge of the Bible history this movie is based on.  Go see The Song opening weekend, mark the date on your calendar, September 26, 2014!