Other Thoughts

Thoughtworthy (Organic Makeup, New Christmas Book, Finished Read Aloud, and MORE!)

November 15, 2019 by Brandy Vencel

:: 1 ::

I don’t wear much makeup, but what I do wear started to run out. I considered just buying what I’d bought before because I knew I liked the color already, but decided out of curiosity to internet search “organic makeup” and see what came up. I was pleasantly surprised by the options and decided that this new (to me) fruit-and-oil approach was interesting enough that an experiment was called for. (Some of it also has minerals, but it’s not as heavy in minerals as some mineral makeup, which is good because I’m not keen on the possible toxins in mineral makeup — why exchange one set of toxins for another?)

Anyhow, I settled on blush by HAN and eyeshadow by 100% Pure. The big reason was they were pressed powders rather than loose. (I wear gas permeable contact lenses and loose powders irritate my eyes.) I’ve been wearing it everyday since it arrived and I love it.

I still haven’t found a lipstick I like, so I’m sticking to my old faithful that I’ve worn for at least twenty years, but these are definitely an upgrade from what I was wearing before.

:: 2 ::

Each year, I add one new Christmas book to my collection. When the kids were little, these were mostly picture books. Now, these are mostly chapter books or short story collections.

I think we have a children’s Nutcracker somewhere, but we’ve never had the real thing. I couldn’t resist this cheerful cover, so The Nutcracker by ETA Hoffmann is the new addition for this year’s Christmas read aloud.

I haven’t chosen our Advent devotional yet. We really enjoyed Sinclair Ferguson’s Love Came Down at Christmas last year and I keep trying to find something I think will rival it. Any ideas?

Have you added any new Christmas books to your collection?

:: 3 ::

We finished reading Emma aloud last week. Soooo good, and so much fun to finally share with my children. O-Age-11 tolerated it (and it now being consoled by a read aloud of The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict), of course, but the others were all in, engaged, and laughing at the exact right places. It was truly a delight.

I wasn’t sure Q-Age-12 was ready for it, but I wanted to fit in at least one Austen novel before E-Age-17 leaves home, so I took the risk. When I overheard her declare, “If you don’t like Emma, SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH YOU,” it was very satisfying. (Heather gave me permission to graduate her on the spot.)

There is so much to consider in the last year of a child’s education. I think choosing the read alouds you always wanted to cover is important if at all possible. You’ll be glad you did. Or, at least, I’m really glad I’ve made that a priority the past few years.

One thing that really struck me about Emma, which had never stood out to me before, was how amazingly kind she was to her father — as was Mr. Knightley. Our culture is always saying how important boundaries are. Her father, he lives a small life. He doesn’t get out much. He worries about his own health and everyone else’s. He seems to struggle with anxiety. Emma is a grown woman. Shouldn’t she dismiss him? Go live her life somewhere as a full fledged adult and stop worrying about him?

Emma has many faults, but she is as faithful as a daughter can get. Even when she realizes she’s in love with Mr. Knightley, she vows not to marry until her father has passed. It would be too hard on him to move him to Donwell Abbey, and yet she could never ask Mr. Knightley to give up his independent life and move into her family home in order to coddle her silly patriarch. Mr. Knightley, however, proposes to do just this. He loves her enough to do what it takes to make her father as comfortable in his old age as possible.

It’s an act of love and sacrifice that most of us can’t even fathom. Isn’t this bad boundaries? Maybe. Or maybe it’s just extreme consideration for the weak and respect for the aged. Whatever it is, it gives one pause in an age when the most common relationship advice is to break with anyone and everyone who stresses you out or is “toxic.”

:: 4 ::

This month in 2014:

This one tells the story of how our DecemberTerm plans were born. This was back before many people were talking about Christmas Circle Time plans and it felt revolutionary to me. There had been a time when I only had one student and he was quick, so we could easily take off all of Advent and still finish school on time. If I did that now, we’d have to homechool year round! (I don’t want to do that.) So this was a way to still prepare ourselves for Christmas while making sure we did our regular lessons as well. Still works perfectly after all these years.

:: 5 ::

Podcast episode of the week:

  • The Dan Bongino Show: Ep. 1109 This Impeachment Farce is a National Disgrace
    • Quick run down on impeachment, which you might find helpful, but also don’t miss the segment on Google’s collection of healthcare data.

:: 6 ::

This week’s links collection:

  • Howard Zinn lied about Christopher Columbus. Here’s how. from The College Fix
    • “But Zinn’s most crucial omissions are in the passage from Columbus’s log that he quotes in the very first paragraph of his People’s History. There he uses ellipses to cover up the fact that he has left out enough of Columbus’s words to deceive his readers about what the discoverer of America actually meant. The omission right before ‘They would make fine servants’ is particularly dishonest. Here’s the nub of what Zinn left out: ‘I saw some who bore marks of wounds on their bodies, and I made signs to them to ask how this came about, and they indicated to me that people came from other islands, which are near, and wished to capture them, and they defended themselves. And I believed and still believe that they come here from the mainland to take them for slaves.'”
    • I am struck by the fact that reading original sources helps defend us against these sorts of things.
  • A Family-Friendly Guide to Sex Education from Crisis Magazine
    • “Children are born into a family, and it’s up to that family to help them develop according to their nature.” LOVE.
  • ‘Pushing a coup’: Fellow soldiers slam Vindman for testifying in uniform from The Washington Examiner
    • Since he’s on the NSC, which means he doesn’t wear a uniform, of course this is an issue. He went back to work afterwards — think he changed? Sure he did; he wore it for show. Isn’t it against protocol to wear your dress uniform in this sort of situation?
    • It’s pretty obvious this whole impeachment thing is put on for show, a combination of parading and hearsay. I find it disgusting and wish our legislature would get back to business.
Educational Philosophy, Home Education, Other Thoughts

Masterly Inactivity: A Million Letting-Go’s

November 11, 2019 by Brandy Vencel

Never again will I call you mine. -C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces Till We Have Faces (::: spoiler alert :::) is a story of self-deception. Orual, the Queen, has doomed her sister Psyche (also called Istra) through a supposedly loving act. Orual fears Psyche is living with a veiled beast — or perhaps Psyche is being ravaged by an outlaw who has deceived her. No matter. Orual is determined — for love, she believes — to either bring Psyche Continue Reading…

Other Thoughts

Thoughtworthy (Finished a Novel, Give Me Meal Ideas, New Episode, and MORE!)

November 8, 2019 by Brandy Vencel

:: 1 :: I finished Till We Have Faces yesterday, folks. WOW. Just wow. I saved it all these years because I wanted reading it with my oldest to be my first time through. I knew it’d be amazing because (1) retellings of the Cupid and Psyche myth have been some of my favorite fairy tales and (2) it’s C.S. Lewis. But still … it went above and beyond my expectations. I have a blog post brewing that’s inspired by Continue Reading…

Other Thoughts

Thoughtworthy (Antifragile, Humble Pie, November Challenge, and MORE!)

November 1, 2019 by Brandy Vencel

:: 1 :: First: You’re welcome. :: 2 :: This week was much better than last week, probably because I got a chance to see my husband over the weekend, which was nice. Plus I knew he’d have a three-day weekend when he came home again. That starts today, which means things are looking up. One highlight of my week was actually having enough time to start a book I chose for fun. Antifragile is my fourth Taleb title. If Continue Reading…