Thursday, September 13, 2018

Tune in to Dr. James Dobson's Support for COS

Back in the 1980s when I was a teenager, I tuned in to Dr. James Dobson’s radio show, Focus on the Family. For years I was a faithful listener, hearing many encouraging radio guests talk about the family and reading many of the books that were written them.

Surprisingly I also learned how to become a political activist by watching Dr. Dobson's involvement and influence while fighting for families' rights in Washington, D.C. Dobson explained that the laws in D.C. powerfully affect the family, and we should be engaged. 

Thus I was connected with individuals and groups where I learned to stay on top of legislation in Washington, D.C. and further learned how to most effectively contact my representatives. 

More and more I learned how utterly essential political activism was to keeping families together and, ultimately, keeping our religious rights. 

Through that process I also became connected to Constitutional lawyer, Michael Farris. I immediately began following Farris, a champion of home school rights.  Through him I learned even more about our rights, the Constitution, and self-governance.

In the 1990's I was a public school teacher. I did not like big government reaching into the schools. Thus, I homeschooled my own kids. 

Meanwhile the federal government got bigger and more intrusive. Merely voting and contacting my legislators wasn't enough. 

Eventually my kids and I moved from Texas to Virginia, an hour away from Michael Farris, which allowed me to meet him at many speaking engagements where he often talked about how we could cure the abuses in Washington, D.C. by using Article V of the Constitution. 

Farris co-founded the Convention of States Project with Mark Meckler, so that We the People could use Article V to rein in the federal leviathan peacefully, as the Framers intended.

I was hooked. I signed the petition and became a volunteer. I'm now the State Communications Coordinator for Virginia.

Oh, and because of Michael Farris, I have also met Jenna Ellis, one of his former students who is now a Constitutional lawyer and Director for Public Policy at the James Dobson Family Institute. 

So, it wasn’t any surprise to me when I recently heard that Dr. Dobson endorsed Convention of States Project

Here is a great (and short) video where Mark Meckler and Jenna Ellis talk about how Convention of States can protect families.

"There are so many ways that the federal government has intruded on the private family's rights," Meckler said. "Families are no longer free to choose how to raise their families and educate their kids."

Next Monday, September 17, is Constitution Day. You're invited to listen to a special program with Mark Meckler and James Dobson on Family Talk.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Lovers' Overlook...aka Bears Den

Last month the kids and I hiked to Bears Den in far northern and western Northern Virginia. We went after church. My son promised me that I could wear my pretty dress and shoes on the hike, it was so easy.

He had been here with his dorm mates when he attended Patrick Henry College. However, dubious me changed into a blouse, shorts, and sneakers after church and lunch. So did my daughter. Smart girl! Good thing, because it had been a while since his last visit. He accidentally took us to a different path, which was longer and steeper. Also we took a detour down, down, down to the creek when he said we instead needed to go up, up, up to see the view.

Although it was a much easier hike than we took the week before in Harper's Ferry (more on that later) it was such that I was glad I was not wearing my pretty dress and shoes for this hike. Instead I wore my new much more comfortable than several pairs I've had before. I've learned the squishy ones are great. These are actually running shoes but I'm a walker instead of a runner. I haven't been running since my head surgery. Also here is my newly sewn backpack. I had the fabric in the stash, as well as a pattern for backpacks. I'll share more about it later.

Backpack at Bear's Den Overlook

But what you really want to see is the view of Bears Den Overlook...

Bear's Den Overlook 1

Panning the camera around to that gorgeous view...

Bear's Den Overlook 2

Stunning view from 1350'.

Bear's Den Overlook 3

That is Route 7 down below.

Bear's Den Overlook 4

It was difficult getting these pictures without people. Small groups came and went so I finally got a few scenic shots.

Bear's Den Overlook 5

We had considered staying to view the sunset, but that wasn't possible for us on that day.

Bear's Den Overlook 6

In all that lovely quietness, my son pulled out his violin.

Bear's Den Overlook 7

He is self-taught.

Bear's Den Overlook 8

He lightly played a few tunes he is learning. Someone else who plays for the orchestra greatly admired his violin, sitting and listening. He finally asked if he could hold it (it's really a cheap violin). We asked him to play but he said he didn't have any tunes memorized, but he certainly played some scales well.

Bear's Den Overlook 9

So soothing to the soul...

Bear's Den Overlook 10

It was interesting that of the people who came here, many were couples of various ages. From young to much older to in-between...lovers were smooching here and there. Cozy-ing up to each other. One couple brought a hammock to tie up to the trees and share. Talking sweet nothings to each other. I think they misnamed this place. Should be Lovers' Overlook.

Bear's Den Overlook 11

On the return hike, we were surprised to see this cool geological formation.

Bear's Den Overlook 12

We didn't notice it earlier, because that is higher ground. From the other side it looks like all the regular surroundings.

Bear's Den Overlook 13

Bear's Den Overlook 14

Bear's Den Overlook 15

Afterwards we found the other entrance...which my son assures me is much easier. Must be because one of the couples was more nicely dressed. We'll try that path next time with a picnic lunch! Or dinner to view the sunset!

Turns out that the path we used belongs to Bears Den cabin resort area!

Friday, September 7, 2018

My Blue Embroidered Gingham 1960 Dress

Last May I dug into my fabric stash and firmly decided I would give new life to my blue embroidered gingham. It had had two previous lives, first as a Civil War Era gown and second as a 1952 Walkaway Dress. Neither really worked and the third time is a charm, right?

I poured through my pattern stash and agonized over choices. I finally decided on Butterick 5930.


I loved this pattern when I read about the pattern release on Lilacs and Lace's blog. She compared it to a Butterick Retro 5747 from 1960.

As much as I love the slim look, I already had a full skirt ready to go from the Walkaway dress that I had already ripped apart.  I just kept the skirt as is. Because of the cut of the Walkaway dress, I could have easily (well, rather easily) made B5930 look more like B5747. However that meant buttonholes. The buttonhole attachment does not work on my sewing machine, and I have enough buttonholes to sew by hand on many other garments I have sewn. I just wanted to conquer this dress and wear it for Memorial Day.

So, really all I had to do was cut out the bodice and fiddle with the dickey and collar, attach to the skirt, partially sew the back seam of the skirt, and handpick the zipper.


It fit quite well at home. Then when I was out and about on Memorial Day weekend, the shoulders kept trying to slide down. I want to make little attachments inside the underneath portion of the shoulders to attach to my bra straps...because perfectly fitting to myself is virtually hopeless.

Other than that I really loved wearing the dress. And the dress is 100% cotton which I like, a lot! And I love the embroidery on the gingham.  I purchased it at Jo Ann in San Antonio, Texas over 9 years ago. It's difficult to find fabric like this in the stores these days. I had been so nervous to cut into it, and had made 2 previous outfits. This 1960 dress is a keeper.


And now for the photo shoot. Many thanks to my son who took the photos. Um, except no one told me my slip was showing. (I was wearing my eyelet slip, that I had previously sewn.) And my hair got quite a bit out of place. I had been wearing it down indoors, but it was a humid day with rain threatening. I put it up to stay as cool as possible. I had no idea. Oh, well. I love the setting though...especially the flag.






Thursday, September 6, 2018

Remembering Lafayette on his Birthdate

"Lafayette, we are here!" -July 4, 1917 at Lafayette's grave at a special ceremony on the arrival of American forces in Paris in World War I. Spoken by Colonel Charles Stanton, aide to General Pershing.

When Lafayette died, America mourned for 30 days. Congress was draped in black.

When Lafayette was imprisoned in Austria during the French Revolution, President Washington and others sought to free him. They also collected the sum of money that Lafayette would have received if he had been paid for his services in the American Revolution, to pay for his release. Lafayette was finally freed because of Napoleon.

"The play is over, the fifth acts has just ended. I was a bit uneasy during the first acts, but my heart keenly enjoyed the last one." -Lafayette after the American/French victory at Yorktown, October 19, 1781

Lafayette keeps Cornwallis cornered in Yorktown while Washington and Rochambeau arrive from New York for the final major battle of the American Revolution. What an amazing story. August 1781

Lafayette "used his own funds to buy his Virginians (soldiers) shoes and clothes and earned a reputation as 'the soldier friend.'"-Lafayette by Harlow Giles Unger

"Treat him as if he were my son." General Washington to his personal surgeon as Lafayette is medically attended to, having been wounded at the Battle of Brandywine, September 11, 1777.

"Whereas the Marquis de Lafayette, out of his great zeal to the cause of liberty, in which the United States are engaged, has left his family and connections, and at his own expence come over to offer his services to the United States without pension or particular allowance, and is anxious to risque his life in our cause-Resolved, That his service be accepted, and that in consideration of his zeal, illustrious family and connections he have the rank and commission of Major General in the Army of the United States."-Resolution passed by the Continental Congress July 31, 1777

"I have come here to learn mon general, not to teach."- 19 year old Lafayette to General Washington

Sunday, September 2, 2018

My 2017 Booklist

I am so far behind in blogging that I never shared the stacks of books I read in 2017. Being a bookworm, this is sort of important to me.

I began 2017 as a book reviewer on the Eric Metaxas book launch team for Everything You Wanted to Know about God but were Afraid to Ask. I blogged about it here. I'm especially geeked out that Eric shared my blog post to social media, so it is one of my more popular blog posts. (I should add that Eric shares everybody's blog posts about his books...but I'm still geeked out!)


The rest of the year I read all of these books (and a few others that I traded back to the used bookstore). I've already blogged about:


I am thrilled to have stumbled upon the Landmark series of books for children at the used bookstore. They are some of my favorite history books and I highly recommend them. They require their own blog post, so stay tuned for that! I also have another pile I've been working through in 2018!


I have so much to say about each book, but I find myself spending more time reading (more books) than writing about the ones I've read about. We'll see if I ever get caught up.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

American Duchess Dunmore Shoes for the 18th Century


Two years ago I finally ordered some American Duchess shoes to wear for the 18th Century...the Dunmore style.


Because I have narrow feet, shoes rarely fit me. For all the trouble I have in finding contemporary shoes to fit, historical shoes are more difficult to find.

As you can tell in the first photo, I added a thick blue insert before trying these on. They fit perfectly in length, but the medium width is too wide. 

In the bottom photo, I am actually holding the strap down where it should lie when properly buckled...see the huge gap! My foot is that narrow!

Despite the opportunity to return the shoes within 30 days, I decided to keep them. As mentioned, I'll never find any historical shoes to fit. I can at least wear these for photo shoots, and that was important to me. I have some fabric in the stash that I've purchased at Colonial Williamsburg over the years just waiting to be sewn and worn at least once with these shoes for a photo shoot.


Too bad they don't fit better, because they seem to be well constructed and quite comfortable. I have this trouble with nearly every single pair of shoes I dare to try on anyway.  Meanwhile I'm scheming for an idea on how to better pad them out.

New HSLDA Online Academy Discount for the 2018-2019 Academic Year

Are you looking for more out of your high school curriculum? Online courses are a great way for your students to learn how to prepare for deadlines, develop friendships, and improve computer literacy, all without leaving home. HSLDA Online Academy, a division of HSLDA, offers live, interactive courses online as a way to encourage families to continue homeschooling through high school and help them prepare their students for success. The Academy offers 36 different courses in English, Math, Science, Foreign Language, History, Government, and more.

Each course is taught from a Christian worldview by experienced, Bible-believing instructors and includes a weekly live, interactive session with the instructor. This session allows students to ask questions about concepts that may be difficult for them to understand on their own, while encouraging accountability and self-discipline, and live sessions are recorded, giving your students the flexibility to catch up on any missed work. Classes are filling up quickly, registration ends August 8! HSLDA members save $50-$100 on tuition.
Do any of your students take classes through the HSLDA Online Academy? If so, you can get a discount by typing  PTXVN2G  in the "coupon" field.