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31 March 2010

Classical Homeschooling Carnival #9

Welcome to the Spring's First Flowers edition of Classical Homeschooling Carnival. Around here, it's just barely spring, and we found the first flowers - crocuses - of the season just this week. I was so excited to see them; they're such a nice break from all the winter-brown we've got right now, so I'm sharing a few with you in the carnival.

DeputyHeadmistress provides some food for thought in The Common Room: The Power to Act, David Hicks and Norms and Nobility Discussion posted at The Common Room.

Pamela shares her efforts in her garden in My Brownish / Green Thumb posted at Blah, Blah, Blog.

Ritsumei presents Nature Study: Spring here at Baby Steps, in which you can see more pictures of the nature walk where we discovered the crocuses.

That concludes this edition, but not my love of crocuses. After a long winter, they're such a welcome sight! Share what you love about classical homeschooling: submit your blog article to the next edition of Classical Homeschooling Carnival using our carnival submission form.

Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

30 March 2010

Nature Study: Spring!

We headed to the park today, and they had flowers! I just love crocuses! They're so cheerful and early. Everything else is still winter-brown, very much like it was when the snow first melted. Here and there you see a few green shoots at the bottom of a bunch of brown growth from last year, but mostly it's brown. Except for the crocuses. They are so beautiful in the midst of all the brown!

The park has some streams. Odd little decorative things, really, and not so much natural waterways, but they're enough to get a bit of wildlife. Monkey wanted to check for frogs, which we saw last fall, but not today. It may be too early for them still. We did see some Mallards. When Monkey turned around and hollered that I should come see the ducks took off. I didn't realize that we were looking for them still until a while later in a different section of the park when we found them, and Monkey was so excited. In the inbetween time, we had a look at some cattails that were exploding their soft seeds out, and at the seed pod on a Queen Anne's Lace blossom. Oh yes, and there was stick waving. Sticks are always a wonderful discovery. The lovely thing about this nature walk was that Monkey was showing me things, which is a new development, and one that pleases me.

29 March 2010

Playing with Photoshop

Coffeeshop has this cool "Diptych" storyboard action. I tried it out on some pictures from a couple years ago, and I'm so pleased with how it turned out! I'm thinking that this pair will be going in my scrapbook, hopefully in the next couple of days. I'm working on May 2007, and it would please me if I got to a time that seemed less like "a long time ago!"

I Heart Faces: Dramatic B&W

Here's a few of my favorite entries:

Big eyes in the garage
A bit of sass
Toddler tantrums - a sure source of drama!
Babe in Bamboo

28 March 2010

And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.

The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
Exodus 14:13-14

For further inspiration, read this story about the relationship between repentance and wax on a skirt.

26 March 2010

Weekly Wrap-up: Birdfood edition

Monday: Daddy came home after being away on business for 2 1/2 weeks. We didn't even pretend to do school; some things are more important.

Tuesday: Everyone was kind of tired and crabby, but we managed to survive and get a little done anyway. I think we all need some extra sleep! We did another chapter in House at Pooh Corners -only 4 left to go. Monkey says he wants to do another Winnie-the-Pooh book when we're done. We did our calendar stuff today. Not only did we put up today's date, but Monkey wanted to do the "extras" - look at the world map, sing the alphabet, that sort of thing. So we did. I took him on our first bike ride of the season - he has a Burley trailer that he rides behind me in. While we were out we listened to a bunch of different birds & looked at the various plants in people's yards. One house had tall grass. It was probably taller than I am. That's what passed for nature study today. Monkey had a bit of a tantrum in the middle of playing the penny game to practice phonics, so we put it away before the game was over, causing much sadness. Like I said, I think we all need more sleep.

Thursday: We got a little done. I am amazed at the mass of picture books I brought downstairs from next to my bed. They accumulate there from the before nap-time stories, and in less than a week, there was a sizable stack. They don't really fit into one of the "categories" that I pay attention to and try to accomplish, but Monkey makes sure that all the story reading gets done! He said more funny stuff too:

Mom: grabs the sunflower seeds

Monkey: "Are you eating birdfood?"

Mom: "Uh..." (Yep, very articulate that time.)

Dad: "Yes, that is birdfood."

Monkey: "Mom! Don't eat birdfood!"

Mom: laughs very hard. "Do you want some?"

Monkey: "NO! Birdfood is not good for my body!"

Mom: about falls over because she's laughing so hard!

He did eventually try the sunflower seeds, but he wasn't very impressed!

Friday: Another day that we're too busy to do the regular stuff. It's been that kind of week. We're all still feeling off, though I couldn't tell you what's wrong with any of us. Hopefully it will pass soon.

Check out more Weekly Wrap-ups.

20 March 2010

Marry me, Mama!

Monkey: Mom, when I get big, I will go to the big temple and get married.

Mom: Good. That would make me happy!

Monkey: You should come.

Mom: OK. I would like that very much.

Monkey: When I am a Big Daddy you will marry me!

Mom: I think you're going to have to find someone else to marry; I am already married to Daddy, and you can only be married to one person.

Monkey: Mom, you have to share your marrys!

Some Favorites

19 March 2010

Weekly Wrap-up

So, my good intentions last week, regarding putting up a Weekly Wrap-up, came to exactly nothing. Though we had a great week. We did really well with school on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, spent most of Thursday doing that pesky grocery shopping, and Friday we went with Nana and Grandpa to see Elder Christofferson speak at church. That was a real treat! But I never did get it all written up. This week, I'm doing it by the day, as we go along, so when Friday comes it's nearly finished and I can just push "publish" and be done!

We read from The House at Pooh Corner, our current read-aloud. We're getting far enough into this that I'm starting to think about what to do next. I'm thinking about doing either Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or borrowing Farmer Boy from a friend. I'm currently leaning toward Charlie though, just because I won't have to worry about giving it back in a timely fashion! We have some time before I have to make a final decision though.

We also did some patterning with the eManipulatives that Math Expressions has on their website. We have backed way off doing the actual math curriculum, because there's just so much writing in it, and Monkey's not ready for that. But I'm still trying to figure out ways to do some math with him, and he really likes playing with this webpage.

We also read a few verses from the Book of Mormon. We're getting close to the end, but seldom get more than a few verses a day because Monkey want explanations of what's going on. I'm happy to help him understand! But it does mean that our progress is slow.

Tuesday, we had a great trip to a new nature preserve. We saw many more animals than usual, and I was so happy with a number of the pictures I took. This one is my favorite:

Tuesday night we played the penny game, and Monkey was doing very well with blending, even though it was right before bed. He's not very excited about the Bob Books; he says that he'd rather read "regular" books. So we'll keep practicing with the games. He's making progress.

We also had more slow progress through the Book of Mormon. I'm debating if we should turn around and start the Book of Mormon over, or read the four Gospels once we finish. Of course, at the pace we're going, it's going to be quite some time before that decision becomes urgent. Four to six verses in a sitting takes a while to get very far!

Wednesay, Monkey was up in the night puking all over the place. It seems wise to take things easy. I pretty much let him watch his fire-fighter movie all day. Poor little sausage was so miserable!

By Thursday Monkey was doing much better, but I could still see little signs that he wasn't quite himself yet, so we still took things easy. I read some more of The House at Pooh-Corner. We didn't make it all the way through the chapter because Monkey wanted to go back to the "tiddly-pom song." So we went back and re-read several of Pooh's poems. It was charming to hear him mumbling, "Coddleston, Coddelston, Coddelston Pie..." as he went to sleep. I told him that we'd work on remembering it when he wakes up, and he was excited. I am too: this will be our first effort at memorizing poetry! Fortunately, I've just had a conversation on the LDS Mom's Education group about how some other families adapted the memory boxes for use with larger things by putting their poems and things in page protectors and then in a binder. Hopefully Monkey's enjoyment will continue and we can make this a semi-regular thing. I don't know very much poetry, but in addition to several fun ones in the Winnie-the-Pooh books, there are quite a few lovely verses in Pocketful of Pinecones. Robert Louis Stevenson also had some fun ones. Maybe I do know a little poetry. I think I've learned some things since I started this homeschool thing!

Friday we had to do some housework. That was the main thing that we accomplished. But I did sneak in some phonics while we were reading Green Eggs and Ham. Monkey does really well reading one word on a card while we're playing the penny game, but when it's in a book it's suddenly much more difficult. I'm not sure why that is. But to help with it when we read I'll sometimes have him read a single cvc word. This time, we noticed "and" all the many times it's used in the story.

Also, I took a belly picture (Monkey helped) and posted it. I'm really learning a lot about photography from I Heart Faces!

18 March 2010

I Heart Faces: Constructive Criticsm

At first, when I saw that I Heart Faces wasn't doing Fix-it Friday this week, I was disappointed. The constructive criticism idea is cool, but they looked like they'd somehow already filled up all their "slots," even though it's still only Thursday. Then I got looking at some of the links and realized these are old ones, and they must be from the last time they did some constructive criticism, so I decided to play with this picture I took this afternoon, which I'll be using in our 2nd baby's scrapbook.

This is the SOOC. Obviously, I'll need to crop it. This was one of the first ones I did and I was still figuring out where to stand. But I just love the way that Monkey is doing a "belly picture" too!

One thing I'd absolutely love to hear about is books that help people figure out the manual settings on the camera. My programmable-automatic setting does a great job, and is pretty flexible, but I'm sure that if I could just figure out how to use the manual settings I could really have some fun. Plus, this looks just a little underexposed to me, in spite of some fill flash.

Anyway, here's what Bridge tells me is the data for my picture:

Focal length: 6.7mm (this part means nothing to me)
A: f2.8
S(?): 1/50 (This one's not labeled, I'm guessing, since shutter speed is missing.)
ISO: 200
Flash: compulsory mode (I knew it was going to be backlit, even with my curtain "backdrop.")

Here's what I did with it:

1. Cropped it.

2. Curves adjustment layer - first, brightened it up, then removed a little green and took out a touch of red. Flatten.

3. I haven't got a good system for removing noise, and this one had more than a little. Best thing I've got thus far is I use CoffeeShop's Baby PowderRoom action and between the "red skin repair" layer, and the "smooth skin" layer, I can usually get rid of the worst of it. But it only works on skin. I've only recently downloaded this action, so I haven't had chance to run it, step-by-step, and see if I can figure out what she's doing with it. That's on the agenda.

So, noise suggestions? Free noise suggestions? I haven't got a budget for any cool Photoshop toys right now.


Oh! I didn't realize that people might be willing to spend time playing with my photo! How very generous! Here is a larger file, if you would like:

17 March 2010

Proper Role of Government: The US Constitution

The Proper Role of Government, by Ezra Taft Benson
-- read the full text.
My commentary as I study his article:
Part I (Foundational Principles, Origin of Rights)
Part II (Separation of Church and State)
Part III (Source of Governmental Power)
Part IV (Powers of a Proper Government)
Part V (Government = Force)
Part VI (The US Constitution)
Part VII (Local Government)
Part VIII (Legalized Plunder)

Another standard I use in deterring what law is good and what is bad is the Constitution of the United States. I regard this inspired document as a solemn agreement between the citizens of this nation which every officer of government is under a sacred duty to obey. As Washington stated so clearly in his immortal Farewell Address:

“The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. – But the constitution which at any time exists, until changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.” (P.P.N.S., p. 542)

I am especially mindful that the Constitution provides that the great bulk of the legitimate activities of government are to be carried out at the state or local level. This is the only way in which the principle of “self-government” can be made effective. As James Madison said before the adoption of the Constitution, “ (We) rest all our political experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government.” (Federalist, No.39; P.P.N.S., p. 128) Thomas Jefferson made this interesting observation: “Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.” (Works 8:3; P.P.N.S., p. 128)

I agree with President Benson, the Constitution of the United States is an inspired document! It is my observation that any time the Lord gives us rules - commandments - He does so in order to protect us from something that will diminish our freedom and happiness. It makes perfect sense to me that He would approve of a document, a governmental template, that secures such broad freedoms as our Constitution does. In addition, many other church leaders besides President Benson have spoken about the Divine origin and approval for the Constitution. I've recently been reading David McCollough's book, 1776, and it's clear both sides acknowledged the Americans were the recipients of Divine aid - and that it was a decisive factor in their favor. One example of this is the night the Rebels set up their cannon on Dorchester Heights in order to bombard the British in Boston:

The night was unseasonably mild - indeed, perfectly beautiful with a full moon - ideal conditions for the work, as if the hand of the Almighty were directing things, which the Reverent William Gordon, like many others, felt certain it was. "A finer [night] for working could not have been taken out of the whole 365," he wrote. "It was hazy below [the Heights] so that our people could not be seen, though it was a bright moonlight night above on the hills." (1776, page 92)

Why would the Lord assist the colonists if He did not approve of what they were doing? He would have known from the outset that the Constitution would be among the crowning accomplishments to come.

Having adopted the Constitution, and never having abolished it, we as a people, and our elected officials with us are bound by it. It is, as Washington said, sacredly obligatory upon us all. We are bound to abide by it, and that requires knowing something about it. Sadly, we have allowed the teaching of Constitutional principle and how it shaped American history to be removed from our schools. It's "too political," and "too controversial." It's the highest law of our land! It's purpose, stated in the Preamble, is to "establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity"! Patriotism, once a noble expression of commitment to the nation and its liberties, has been reduced to nothing more than wearing red, white, and blue a few times a year.

George Washington said, "A primary object should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty can be more pressing ... than ... communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?" Before we can pass this knowledge to our children - increasing their chances to "secure the blessings of liberty" for themselves and for our grandchildren - we must know something about it ourselves. We must study the document, and the extensive writings our Founders left, explaining themselves, and explaining the Constitution. This is hard work. But like all work, it gets easier with practice. And then when looking at the issues of the day, we must ask ourselves, "How does this bill measure up? Is it Constitutional?" If the answer is, "I don't know," we have more work to do.

16 March 2010

Nature Study

We headed out for another nature walk this morning, and I felt like it was an uncommonly good one. I love this time of year for observing things! The animals are up and stirring, the birds are coming back, but the cover isn't very good yet, so you can actually see them. Gotta love it!

We were trying out a new-to-us nature preserve that I happened to notice signs for yesterday while we were out and about. The first thing Monkey wanted to do was check out their observation platform. It didn't look like much; I thought it was pretty short for an "observation" tower. But it had a wonderful view!

We saw a number of worthwhile things while we were up there. In addition to the next couple of photos, there were some chickadees that came and lit briefly on the platform's corner, just 4-5 feet from where we were. I thought that was amazing, though I'm not sure that Monkey saw them in the moments they stayed there.

At one point I was watching a pile of brush I'd seen a bird fly into. I wanted to see if I could get a picture of the bird, because it was one I didn't recognize, and even bad pictures are extremely helpful in identifying a new bird. It appeared to have a nest in the pile of brush I was watching. After a couple of minutes, I realized that it wasn't the only thing keeping cozy in there! This bunny was so well camouflaged that I looked right at him for probably 5 minutes and never saw him until he moved. He's really hard to see in the photograph too, so I tried to turn down the "lights" on the rest of the picture to help you find him.

Today, everything was lovely, but I'm not sure that I'm going to like this park very much when summer comes, as there were tons of wasp nests around, and I still struggle with a phobia of all bee-like objects. But since they still looked pretty dormant, I went ahead and showed the wasp nest to Monkey... from a safe distance.

Monkey also had a good time climbing on the rocks they had all around. I had to keep reminding myself that this stuff is good for him... even when I can hear the first red-wing blackbirds of the season and really want to get a picture. Those blackbirds just didn't have a chance to compete with the rocks!

This last picture I'm so pleased with. Bird photography is so hard for me! But we set and watched this female downy woodpecker for quite some time. Monkey got to see her searching and pecking for bugs on the tree, scooting up the trunk as she went. We stayed and kept an eye on her until some of the park's caretakers went by on a little tractor and sacred away all the birds.

15 March 2010

Classical Homeschooling Carnival #8

Welcome to the March 16, 2010 edition of classical homeschooling carnival! We've got a number of great articles this month, and I think you're going to like them.

Barbara presents An 1890 Kindergarten Story Curriculum posted at Barbara Frank Online. She's found a lovely out-of-print book, and she and her husband have brought it back into print!

Linda walks us through her spelling lesson in Training6Hearts4Him: A Day with The Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading posted at Training6Hearts4Him. She includes a very cool "finger spelling" idea to make spelling a much more physical/visual activity.

Ritsumei shares their nature walk and other fun in A Busy Day on Baby Steps.

Sarah shares their work with bacteria and the scientific method in Fun with bacteria posted at Our Sunnyview - A Modern One-Room Schoolhouse. Looks like a memorable project!

Pamela presents Little things posted at Blah, Blah, Blog, saying, "Charlotte Mason's writings inspired me into incorporating nature study as an important part of our homeschool." She shares a few beautiful photographs of things that caught their eye on their nature walk.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
Classical Homeschooling Carnival using our carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

12 March 2010

Fix-it Friday

The photo seemed a little dark, so I started with Pioneer Woman's "Slight Lighten" action. It still needed a little something, so I then went and tweaked the brightness up a fair amount, and the contrast down just a tad. I also ran Pioneer Woman's "Warmer," then turned the opacity of that layer way down. Then I flattened.

I'm loving Coffeeshop's Editing Newborn Images tutorial, and while this young lady is not a newborn, she does still have that baby-soft skin, and the Newborn tutorial is the first thing I thought of, so I'm trying some of the techniques on this photo. But first I had to download Coffeshop's Baby PowderRoom action. I pretty much followed the directions on the Newborn Images tutorial, except that I didn't like the red-removal step at the end of the tutorial, so I stopped after the "eye define" layer.

Last, I ran Pioneer Woman's "Boost," turned the opacity way down, flattened and saved.

Don't forget to look at what the rest of the crowd did with this picture!

Naptime came, and I had another go at it. Between it not being the first use of the Baby PowderRoom action, and the kind comments of other posters, I've learned a bit, and I like this one even better.

11 March 2010

"General Welfare"

"We The People of the United States of America, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
-Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America
(Emphasis added)

The phrase "general welfare" comes up only one other place, that I am aware of:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; ...
Article I, Section VII (emphasis added)

This idea of "promoting the general welfare" has become a gaping hole, through which the Federal government rams through all sorts of things - such as bailouts, education "reform", and health care bills - which are not allowed by the Constitution. I've known about the problem with Congress's abuse of this "general welfare clause" for quite some time. Tonight, I ran across a number of quotes from the Founders that deal specifically with what they meant by these words. It's very interesting, and clearly NOT what Congress currently wants "general welfare" to mean. Have a look:

"They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which might be for the good of the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and, as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please... Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. It was intended to lace them up straitly within the enumerated powers and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect." --Thomas Jefferson: Opinion on National Bank, 1791. ME 3:148

"[If] it [were] assumed that the general government has a right to exercise all powers which may be for the 'general welfare,' that [would include] all the legitimate powers of government, since no government has a legitimate right to do what is not for the welfare of the governed." --Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1792. ME 8:397

"Our tenet ever was... that Congress had not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but were restrained to those specifically enumerated, and that, as it was never meant that they should provide for that welfare but by the exercise of the enumerated powers, so it could not have been meant they should raise money for purposes which the enumeration did not place under their action; consequently, that the specification of powers is a limitation of the purposes for which they may raise money." --Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 1817. ME 15:133

"If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress.... Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America." -- James Madison

That last one is my personal favorite. Now, if someone could tell me what the "ME xx:xxx" that the Jefferson citations are referring to, I would greatly appreciate it. It looks like this is a collection of documents well worth some time spent reading them.

10 March 2010

Children's Museum

We headed to the children's museum today, and Monkey had a blast. We spent about 1/2 of the total time there at the replica fire truck they had, and Monkey alternated between driving to the fire, then jumping out and putting out a fire to save the animals that were painted on the wall there by the firetruck. We did try out some other things too, but the firetruck was definitely the favorite!

Notice the firehat! We'd been back for round two on the firetruck at this point.

09 March 2010

A Busy Day

We got up and got going pretty efficiently this morning, and as a result we got a lot done today! One of the first things we did after breakfast was gathered up some mail that needed to go out, and headed to the park for some nature study. Monkey asked to bring the binoculars. It was great, except that I should have worn boots!

This tree had lovely soft needles, but I discovered that I've misplaced my tree field guide when I went to find out what kind of evergreen it is. We took some pictures to help identify it, but I haven't had a chance yet to look it up online. After we looked at the tree, Monkey wanted to go to the playground, so that's what we did. It was a fun, old-school playground, with a merry-go-round and a HUGE slide. Took Monkey two tries before he decided he wanted to climb all that ladder. It was much taller than my head, so I took a picture quick then put the camera away so I could attempt to spot him. He was fine, though!

We didn't stay long. I'm getting better at predicting what sort of clothing we'll need if we want to stay outside for a while, but I botched the job today: No boots for Mom, and Monkey's pant legs were getting quite wet from the equipment. On to errands.

We went to Walmart, the Post Office, and Half-Price Books. That was fun. I discovered they have a small homeschool section, which today included A Pocket Full of Pinecones. I'm excited to be reading that over the next little while! We also got a couple of new body books to look at, as Monkey's had a whole bunch of questions about how the body works and what happens to food after you eat it lately. Those were all from the clearance section, so the most expensive was $3! And, I found the kids' non-fiction, which includes a poetry section and a great history section. I was very pleased! Sadly, they didn't have any worm books, which Monkey was hoping for. Then, a quick trip through the bank's drive-up, and home for lunch.

Later in the evening, Monkey put together his new puzzle (also from Half-Price Books). It's got 30 pieces - a big jump from the 6-piece ones he's been doing, but I showed him to do the edge first, and helped him look at the box when he got stumped, and he did it!

08 March 2010

Science Meets Art

One of Monkey's favorite books is a "body book" right now - one of those cool ones that's got the transparent cut-outs, so you can see what's happening inside. It talks about fingerprints, so we did a fingerprint activity a while back. He's been after me to do it again, so this morning we did. We looked at the different lines, and at how his thumbprint is different from mine, and then it rapidly turned into process-oriented art. He's a happy boy!

05 March 2010

Fix-It Friday

I loved Andera Riley's black and white version, with the textured edges, so I was experimenting with doing something similar. However, when you click on the link she's used several toys I don't have, so I went looking for something that might let me achieve a similarly textured effect. I also used her "painting" idea to help fix up some of the overexposed areas on his face.

From Pioneer Woman's Free Action sets:
Bring on the Eyes
Dim the Lights

From ShadowHouse:
Grunge Palette

And the hot pink texture removal technique from the texture layering tutorial at the bottom of the post helped me to get the texture off this little guy's face.

My second shot at playing with the picture actually uses mostly the same. Pioneer Woman: same. Texture removal tutoral: same. But I used ShadowHouse's Old Paper 1 this time, and I played around with tipping the picture just a bit since I really liked that effect on a couple of the guest contributors' examples.

02 March 2010

Article: Natural Law: the ultimate source of Constitutional Law

The Founders DID NOT establish the Constitution for the purpose of granting rights. Rather, they established this government of laws (not a government of men) in order to secure each person's Creator­ endowed rights to life, liberty, and property. ...

Herein lay the security for men's individual rights - an immut­able code of law, sanctioned by the Creator of man's rights, and designed to promote, preserve, and protect him and his fellows in the enjoyment of their rights. They believed that such natural law, revealed to man through his reason, was capable of being understood by both the ploughman and the professor.


01 March 2010

I Heart Faces: Hilarious Outtakes

Monkey decided to "mow the lawn" for me. In snow up to his ankles. It was tough going, but he kept at it!

I don't look at all the pictures - there's TONS of participants in I Heart Faces - but check out some of these:

Dirt Shower
Facial "exercise" (it's at the bottom)
Her Nose Squishes
Cross-eyed at Lunch
Baby's Bad Day


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