Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Books. Books! BOOKS!

I like books.

I haven't read a lot recently...I got into the habit of reading very slowly (which would always annoy my sisters and mom when we were all reading the same book and I was taking forever to finish it...). But I've started to break that habit, and I thought I'd share my most recent reads.

What I read last:

The Weka-Feather Cloak, Leo Madigan.

What I'm currently reading:

Sun Slower Sun Faster, Meriol Trevor

What I'll be reading next:

Uprising, Margaret Haddix


A Countess Below Stairs, Eva Ibbotson

And, my current 'improve thy skills', 'oh my gosh this book is AWESOME' book:

Rip the Page!, Karen Benke

Ah, Books...how I love thee. 


Friday, July 22, 2011

Beautiful Girls

"Monsters are real, and ghosts are real, too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win."
- Stephen King

Recently, my dear friend Rosemary brought to my attention something depressing and disturbing. She discovered by chance, in trying to help an online friend with an eating disorder, the phenomenon of Ana and Mia, which has become pretty much a cult for girls with self-hate and eating disorders to worship being skeletal and forbid themselves to eat.

Discussing this, it broke our hearts. Why would beautiful girls ever believe they were so imperfect, they wanted to become emaciated? Why is being 'thin' the only standard for beauty anymore?

"The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode, but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years."

-Audrey Hepburn

She was so right. Whatsoever is true is beautiful.

Rosemary was particularly upset about this, and asked what we could do, how we could help?

Well, if they can speak out for their ugliness and their imperfection, we can speak out for their beauty and their worth.

Every woman is beautiful, not because she is worth something, or because she is perfect, or because she can contribute something to the world. She is beautiful because she is a daughter of God. She is beautiful because she is a woman.

If 'Ana' and 'Mia' portray perfectly beautiful girls in light of anorexia and bulimia, than 'Grace' will portray a perfectly beautiful girl who loves herself for how she has been created, not what she can starve herself into being.

Hundreds of thousands of girls, probably in my state alone, are killing themselves because they believe, with every ounce of who they are, that they are ugly, fat, and unlovable.

I don't know who I can reach on this little blog, but I have to tell them that they are beautiful.

They probably won't believe me, but its true. We are afraid to admit what is true, because we're letting the lies define us.

"... the truth holds the greatest magic, the greatest beauty, and sometimes the greatest danger...."
-Esther Friesner

To beautiful girls. Dear God, please grant them your eyes for just one second, to see themselves as You see them. Show them their worth, and show them they are loved. In Your Holy Name, I pray.


 "I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works ; that I know very well"

-Psalm 139:14

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wishful thinking...

After falling madly in love with my sister's Tumblr...

I really really really REALLY want one!

I'll have to ask my mother about that.

If I get one, I will let you know.

That is all.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What am I doing right?


Ever have one of those weeks (months...YEARS...) where you just feel like you're doing everything wrong?

If I'm not careful, I fall into a rut. I start dwelling on all this uncertainty, and all these fears, and all these failures.

I'm not loving people enough.

I'm loving certain people too much.

I'm going to die of a horrible disease.

I'm unlovable.

I'm ugly.

I'm lazy.

I'll never be good enough.

You feel lonely, so you believe you're alone.

I keep feeling like something is wrong.

My mother once told me, "Feelings aren't real."

I don't believe that's true, but I do believe that isn't literally what she meant.

What I think she meant was that reality isn't about how we feel. Just because you feel you're doing the right thing, doesn't mean you are. The truth and the way we feel are sometimes inseparable. Other times they're miles apart.

In the words of Lady Antebellum, I'd rather hurt than feel nothing at all.

But I'd rather feel loved than feel alone.

How can I escape this vicious cycle? How can I bear this cross? It is so much heavier than I believe I can bear.

When I feel like I'm doing everything wrong, I struggle with the question, what am I doing right?

Why am I still here?

Do I deserve to be loved?

Will I carry this cross forever?

I could carry it if God would help me lift it.

To quote a most beautiful and touching song, I have to believe that 'as I carry this cross, You'll carry me'. Carry Me (Audrey Assad).

To believe such as this...it must be doing something right.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


When I was little, I could say the words school and pool perfectly. When I learned to say cooler, I started saying schooler and pooler. Kind of a step backwards, wouldn't you say?

Well, unfortunately, that trend continues for me.

On my list of Summer Goals (which, coincidentally only has two things checked off of it), I grudgingly decided to write, Stay mentally and practically prepared for school.

Let me explain something about K. Academy Homeschooling.  It is referred to as classical education. What this basically means is reading a lot of long, not so interesting books that edify you and make you a better educated and more well-rounded person.

I love this concept! I hate doing it.

Well...to be perfectly honest, I actually loved some of  it! As much as I complained about Shakespeare, The Iliad, The Aeneid, and many others, I actually loved a lot of things about them.

It was Freshman year that killed me.

Classical education goes in chronological order. Meaning that I had to read the oldest, most atrocious of ancient literature my first year of high school.

Ever since, I've been living in this 'I hate school with every fiber of my being' mentality.

Last year, my family moved towards the end of the school year. My mom became even more stressed and busy than ever, and she didn't have time to help me a lot. Because we were trying to move, she got behind on grading, so I never knew if I was doing great, or failing completely. The two subjects I struggled most with, math and French, basically went out the window and drowned in the well.

This is nobodies fault but my own; I should have been far more proactive about my school. I let a lot of things go. My papers were short and sloppy, and I hardly ever edited them.

Looking back, I'm mad at myself about how my school year went. It could have been so much better, so much more, but I got hung up on excuses and eventually just didn't try at all. I floated along on a cloud of delusion that I could get away with doing as little as possible and still have a fulfilling school year. Scratch that: I didn't care at all about my school year being fulfilling, I just wanted to get it done.

Well, I got it done, but now I'm standing here staring back at Algebra and French Year 1 with insurmountable horror.

If I couldn't even get through last year without checking all the answers and asking Google for more help than you'd imagine, how am I going to get through this year, now that I've actually come to care more about school?

And...why did I start caring?

Well...I don't know. I guess I realized that I only get one shot at every moment in life, and after wasting a whole school year being mediocre, I'd had enough. I want to do my best! Come to think of it, if every single thing I do, God sees and takes into account in Heaven, why wouldn't I try to do better? Why would I choose not to try at all?

It's going to be challenging. I'm going to need to kick myself in the butt every day just to keep going, but I'm willing to do it. Because I'm uncertain what I'll do after high school, I need to be ready for anything. If I go to college, I'll be in trouble because I'll still be floundering in the pot holes of my slacking high school years. If I don't go to college, I'll be in even bigger trouble...I'll be alone with my spotty education against the world!

So maybe that's a little dramatic, but if you feel at the end of the year you didn't actually retain anything from a class...well, for me, that was a big problem. I passed, but I didn't pass on my own. I checked answers to the point that could probably be considered cheating and I would say I understood things just to get them out of the way.

Clearly, I'm going to need a lot of help.

Well, I've got God on my side, and my ever present TO DO list. The written word of the TO DO list is absolutely sacred to me. The written word of the GOALS list is even more sacred.


* Work on improving handwriting so mother can actually read it.
* Work harder.
* Squeeze every ounce of education out of each subject within an inch of it's life.
* Stop slacking.
* Get to sleep/get up earlier.
* Be flexible but firm...no rushing just to get stuff done!
* Pursue help rather than giving up and guessing.


But, it's worth it. Its time for me to stop taking advantage of school, and my mom, and actually take initiative in my education. I refuse to go through life as a poorly educated slob because I was too lazy to try harder.

So, here's to the big red letters I'll soon write on September 5th on my calender: SCHOOL STARTS.

Bring it on.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Christmas In July

Yesterday, I was listening to Christmas music.

There was something so cheery and seasonal about listening to classics like Silent Night and The Little Drummer Boy, and the fact that Josh Groban was singing.

Ok, I know what you're thinking: It's July, you nut! Why are you listening to Christmas music!?!?

I assure you, its for a good cause. I'm trying to come up with a decent entry for HSLDA's Christmas Card contest, that will provide widows and their families with Christmas cards, since they will probably get far fewer this year than in the years their husbands were alive.

I was lacking inspiration, so I warned my sister Meg (as our rooms are adjoining) that I would be listening to Christmas music. She fled to go ride a horse.


So I'm kind of having my own little 'Christmas In July' here! Very fun. I like this 'Christmas while its warm' thing!

Using my adorable new Hello Kitty mechanical pencil (which, alas, I found out AFTER I fell in love with it, fits size 0.5 mm leads, which is smaller than the standard size and therefore will be more expensive/harder to find)

I drew the following rough sketch of what I want my card to look like:

Please recall I said ROUGH sketch!

I love the concept of the little drummer boy. Imagine getting to play a drum for the King of all creation! I had originally wanted to draw St. Joseph holding Baby Jesus, but than I started thinking about how, if I were a widow, maybe I wouldn't so much want to be reminded of fathers. Added to this concern, I also was unable to actually DRAW a decent St. Joe, so scratch that idea. The Little Drummer Boy track came on the CD, and BAM! New inspiration.

I'm considering putting some angels in the background, playing along with the little boy. Clearly, Mary and Jesus aren't done yet. The finished product will be MUCH better, but that's my general idea.

So....five months early, MERRY CHRISTMAS! And a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


"Those who are steadily learning how to love our enabled to do this because the very love of God has been placed in their hearts."

-Eugenia Price

Some things we do erratically. Start and stop, a little than a lot, never consistent.

It makes me think of the Relient K song, Let It All Out. Oh inconsistent me...crying out for, consistency...

I consider myself to be one of the most inconsistent people on the planet. There are few things I know that I am 100% consistent in, such as eating, sleeping, and using the restroom. We as humans crave permanence and security, yet we ourselves are the most impermanent beings! We're inconsistent.

And naturally, that is a SWEEPING generalization and should not be applied to everyone.

But, there is something I came to realize I have done consistently over my lifetime.

I have slowly, gradually, surely, and steadily learned how to love.

Some things you learn verbally, visually, or physically. Love is something you learn in every sort of way. It is tangible to every sense.

While my progress in learning to love has been slow, it has been steady. I can thereby conclude, and hope, that one day, I will know enough about love to truly love someone. This consistency can only be found in God, who is love. As a fragile, finite human being who could never hope to do anything consistently, especially not love, which is the greatest thing I was created to do.

God gives me hope in His love, the love He planted in me from birth, and the love He slowly but surely shows me and helps bring to full bloom.

Love, therefore, is something you experience.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mistakes to Miracles

Just a song. I've loved this one since the first time I heard it. It never really gets old.

This morning, I was praying, and I got the sense that out of every broken person, out of every horrible, even unforgivable mistake, God can bring a miracle.

♫It's beautiful/you can turn mistakes to miracles...♫ : )

It's Beautiful, by EleventySeven.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Serenaded Silly...

People write songs for me.

Its a fact.

Both my elder sisters wrote me a song, and sang it to me, and sang it, and sang it....OVER AND OVER AND OVER......

The first one was by Catherine (my oldest sister). I was rather cranky one day, and she was playing her guitar, and irking me to the nth degree. I probably snapped something rash. She took it in stride by writing me a most IRRITATING song, which went something like...

"This is a song for Clare,
A song for Clare,
Whose feeling, really, annoyed!
This is a song for Clare,
A song for Clare,
Whose feeling, really, ANNOYED!"


Yeah. Hated that one.

However, it was nothing compared to what happened next.

Fast forward a lot of days, and WHAM! We come to the day Anna and I were left to our own devices at home. She was playing the piano, and quite frankly, I was sick of it. She was being very loud and obnoxious...probably on purpose, but one never knows. So I shouted over the din for her to stop playing. The following song was composed five seconds later.

"You don't like my song, you said to stop it
But I think this song is really hoppin'
If only you were me and I was me too-oo,
Than maybe I could get somewhere with you!!"
You would not BELIEVE how many times my siblings have sung this to me. There's even a rather nice recording of it on someones phone.

I am also perpetually being sung overtly annoying tunes such as Grenade, Rolling in the Deep, Lover Lover, Price Tag and Baby.

Take me now.

Of course, no one's ever serenaded me with a beautiful ballad or a song about my lovely eyes, flowing hair, or flaming temperament.

Come to think of it, if my older sisters DID sing me such songs, I'd probably bring a frying pan down over their heads.

But, anyway...apparently I just have the face and ability to be severely aggravated that attracts troubadours.

I hope someday someone writes me a song that can get stuck in my head without making me want to run screaming through town in search of solace.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Top 10 Favorite Things About America

In no particular order of importance...just how it came into my mind. Happy Independence Day!

1. How we got here. The story is pretty darn cool.

2. Freedom.

3. Pizza (in this category would also fall pie, fortune cookies, corn on the cob, and all other very American foods I tend to go a little nuts about....)

4. Our motto is 'In God We Trust'!

5. Owl City, Tangled (aka our music/art/movies).

6. Our troops!

7. Abe Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, George Washington, and Ben Franklin (some of the most epic dudes of all time!!).

8. NET Ministries.

9. Jeans (it's true...I love them).

10. Apples to Apples.

There you have it. My top 10 favorite things in no rational order. God Bless America!