The Magic of Reading The Crucible Out Loud


(This is from my journal in April, but I thought I’d share it on my blog.)

Something amazing just happened.

I planned to read Act 3 of The Crucible out loud with my high school writing class, a small group of homeschool teens (amazing people, by the way!). They had read Acts 1 and 2 at home, but I really wanted to give them a chance to read it together.

I’ve always heard that because plays are created to be read out loud, they must be read out loud to communicate what they are meant to communicate. Back when I was in high school, we used to read plays out loud in class, and I loved it.

So my homeschool writing class sad down Tuesday, ready for class, and I assigned parts for The Crucible.

There’s always the student who wants to be the bad guy, and the one who wants to be the good guy.

“I’m Danforth!”

“I’m Proctor!”

“I’m Abigail!”


We chose parts. And then something magical happened.

We read Act 3 of the play. These high school students made up their character’s voice, gestures, and personality. They laughed at themselves and at each other. They drew up from their emotions their best expressions and related to their characters with carefree hearts, glad it wasn’t real life.

It wasn’t just like acting. It was different.

It was storytelling.

It was communing.

It was friendship.

We finished Act 3–and these students!!! They begged me to keep going and finish the whole play with reading Act 4 out loud.

My agenda was shaking a finger at that idea. But my heart was like, “Let’s do it! Let’s go with this! This is when we learn, right? When we are having fun?”

It wasn’t that they wanted to get out of the SAT practice essay I had planned — OK, maybe that was part of it. But we captured something so special and joyful and rare in that half hour and we all wanted more. We needed more. We all felt it.

The Crucible isn’t exactly the most upbeat story. So why were we so energized?

Our hearts were bursting with that thing we all get from literature. What is it exactly?

Imagination? That word doesn’t seem sufficient, but it’s a start. What do you call imagination used within a community? Mixed with acting and storytelling? Mixed with laughter and brilliant literature?

We got to use our imaginations in a new way, and we were hungry for it, and we didn’t even know it until we were done and wanted seconds.

They begged me to read the last act together in class.

And of course I said yes.

And Rebecca Nurse would not admit she was a witch and she hung, and John Proctor would not admit to witchcraft so he hung, and Elizabeth Proctor was in prison, pregnant, her children at home without mother or father.

And when they left class that day, they said, “That was so much fun!” and “Thank you!”

And I knew exactly how they felt, because I felt it too.

I cried as I wrote this out. Clearly, in our culture, we are hungry for something more.


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My First Video Tutorial: Rusk Curl Freak

This video tutorial for the Rusk Curl Freak hair tool was super fun.

I wrote this post on Monday and got a good response from friends, so I decided to post the video tutorial.

I’m not going to waste your time making disclaimers about how it’s not perfect because it’s my first ever you tube video and it was filmed by my 11-year-old. Just let me know what you think in the comments section. Should I do more videos?

By the way, this one is about 10 min. Enjoy!


















(This post includes affiliate links, which means I may receive a small compensation from product sales, which helps pay to keep this blog going! Thanks!)

Happy Mother’s Day!



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My New Hair Curling Device–and Head Coverings


#1  So this new curling device. It has made me very happy.

#2  I’ve still been thinking about covering my hair when I go to church.


RUSK Curl Freak–My New Curling Device

Maybe I’m late in the game here, since the videos I found for this curler are from a few years ago, but this thing has changed my life for the better. The curls come out pretty, my hair feels fuller, and I don’t have to wash it for a few days and it still looks okay.

My friend Cara posted about her new Rusk Curl Freak curling iron that she was excited about. I needed a new curling iron because the cord on mine broke, so I looked up this crazy Rusk thing that my friend Cara recommended, and I found a few really helpful videos that made it look easy–not to mention that the curls turned out in beautiful beach waves.


This contraption sucks in your hair and spits it out curled and beautiful.

I bought it on sale, and when it came in the mail (hooray for packages arriving in the mail!) I was really excited and tried it out right away.

The first time I let it take my hair was–really scary. Would it get caught? Would my hair burn off? But it was actually really simple and fun!

You take a small section of hair and place it in the curler, clamp it shut, and it winds the air onto the heating device for you so you don’t have to do anything but hold it still. Then it beeps four times and you let go on the last series of beeps. The hair comes out in a nice soft curl!

I’m sure there are drawbacks, but so far I am really happy with the results. I can curl my hair faster than before (I’m done in 10-15 minutes, which is pretty good for long hair) and the curl stays in for three days, a little less wavy each day. Maybe I will try to make it stretch to four days if I can get my hair oils to adjust to a four day wash.

You can control the temperature, length of time, and direction of curls. I actually made a video of me using it so you could see how it works. Would you want to see something like that? So embarrassing to post a video of myself, but if it would help people see how the thing works, I’d be happy to post it.


The top left pic is the very first time I ever used the Rusk Curl Freak. The pic on the right was maybe the third time I used it. The pic on the bottom left was hours later after it had been shaken out and calmed down.

Every time I use this new curling device, I wonder if I will regret it in a year. Like maybe I will be absolutely bald in a year. But so far, so good!


Head Coverings for Women

Like I mentioned in this post about my hair, I have this struggle in my soul about primping before church. I keep thinking about the idea of head coverings for women at church, and I will continue to think and pray about it. I think a head covering, for me, would be about making a statement in my heart. I would be saying, “Not me, but you, Lord.”

One day I will actually try it instead of just thinking about how I should try it.

What are your thoughts on head coverings at church? Have you ever thought about trying it to see if anything happens in your heart as you worship God with your head covered?

Lots of Love,


P.S. Another awkward selfie (from Andy’s *beautiful* cousin’s wedding this weekend.) Andy is trying to teach me how to look at the camera.


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