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Favorite Things

Raindrops on plum blossoms

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and whiskers on kittens

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yummy cakes with bright candles 

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and dogs in dunce caps -es

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grandmothers cozy with pets on their laps -es

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These are a few of my favorite things…

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7 Quick Takes, March like a lion edition

so I’ll catch you up on what is new, but…where to even begin?

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Four kids, 19 years of parenting, and our first cast.  It was bound to happen.  I knew with Amie’s love of parkour, that a cast in our future was likely. I really thought it would be her wrist or arm, though, not the leg.  She did this jumping from a 10 foot wall to a 6 foot wall, landing badly.  One of the coaches came to get me when it happened and since she was still on top of the 6 foot wall, the quickest way to get to her was by going up the wall.  The coach offered to give me a leg-boost up, and I accepted.  Hands down, one of my very favorite funniest memories is the look of awe and shock on the other coach’s face when he saw me pull myself up onto the wall.  He thought I scaled it.  His eyes bugged out is surprise.  I kind of wished I really had done it, but I fessed up right away that I had a leg-up.  They had so many cast color options!


I have a mid-term exam for my college class this week, which means that I am at the half-way point in the class.  I have to take a moment and reflect on the fact that I haven’t dropped out of the class, missed any assignments or just simply stopped going.  Maybe I should light a candle in thanksgiving…living the Jenn life, I don’t have a lot of success with follow-thru.


No missed assignments in my class, but living the Jenn-life, I of course have to have some screw-ups…I earned a perfect score on my first paper, but- here’s the Jenn-life story>>>>> I stayed up late the night before finishing it (as only an accomplished procrastinator can) and then in the morning, I printed it up, 3-hole punched it, and stapled it together, with the rubric on the front.  I dropped Josie off at school, got on the freeway and headed to class. As I was turning it it, I flipped through it, and realized the last 2 pages did not print at all.  Yup, classic Jenn-moment.  I was really lucky that the instructor is very approachable and easy-going, I emailed the entire paper to her as soon as I got home.  The end. The moral of the story is that Sky is right and I shouldn’t procrastinate.  I’ll get right on that….tomorrow.  Maybe.


We (my sister and I) have moved on from helping my grandparents to managing their care.  Two weeks or so ago, they had a plumbing problem in their bathroom.  Sky took 3 days off work to go and repair their floor and replacing faucets on two sinks, and repairing water damage.  We’ve been dying to rip out the carpet in their bathrooms and replace it with laminate that would be easier for grandmother to use her walker on, and easier to clean.  Well, the water damage took care of that decision, and we were able to put in new waterproof vinyl plank flooring.  It’s really, really nice looking. Grandmother fell again while we were there, and we were able (barely) to convince her to come stay at our house for two nights while the bathroom work was going on, so she could rest.  It was also a trial run for her to see what living with us would look like.  Grandfather has alzheimer’s and is declining, I really think grandmother needs to be living with us, so I can care for her.  I couldn’t believe how hard it was to get her to come stay with us, she was so worried about grandfather.  I am hoping that we can have her stay with us about once a month for two days, so she can get some rest.  I am already madly pinning grandmother suite ideas on pinterest, and I think we are going to start on the suite soon, so it will be ready for her when she needs to come. I {heart} pinterest.  I’m a visual person, I love pinning beautiful photos and ideas!  You can see my boards here:


(I know, I need to figure out how to put a pinterest button on my sidebar…coming soon!)


We are doing a lot of managing and coordinating for the grandparents.  I have found that the Cozi site is really useful for elder-care management.  It’s a online family schedule site, the cool thing is that two people can manage it so both my sister and I have access.  We put all their Dr. appointments into the calendar, and then we get alerts weekly on what is happening.  There is also a section for photos- where I upload receipts and there is also a journal section where I can record things that are happening with them- that grandfather could not remember my mother, that grandmother fell, that I spoke to grandmother for the first time about coming to live with us.  It is a really helpful site, and it is free.

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Josie has a painting up for auction for her arts high school.  The auction ends March 19th. This would make a nice gift for someone in the military, or for a parent of someone in the military.  It is titled “on patrol” and you can click the link here to bid on it here: On Patrol OCSA auction.  It is oil on canvas and the size is 15″ by 24″. Proceeds go to fund the Orange County School of the Arts conservatory programs, which is non-profit. The fundraising event also has other art and packages for bid, different things like dinner packages, tours, etc.


Sky found us a new show on BBC, it’s called Endeavor and is a police mystery show that takes place in the late 1960′s – I think. It’s very good, we’ve watched two episodes so far and we are hooked.

*7 Quick Takes happens every Friday over at Conversion Diary

My Burn Book {parrots in the morning}

My Burn Book {moments I want to burn into memory}

We have a huge resident flock of parrots in our area. Sometimes they are all here, sometimes just a few.  This morning, we had quite the ruckus.  I love, love, love these parrots. When I hear them in the morning or evening, I love to close my eyes and pretend I am somewhere tropical.

join up and share a memory below:

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7 Quick Takes -life edition

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Josie is working on a painting for her arts highschool, they will be selling it at auction for a fundraiser. She continues to amaze me with her artistic talent.

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My sister and I had to have our grandfather’s driver’s license suspended this Summer.  He is suffering from alzheimer’s and was not safe on the road.  It was a hard thing to do.  Now, my sister and I take turns taking grandma to her Dr.’s appointments, and a weekly shopping/lunch outing.  My grandmother is a dear, I’m hoping to take her home with me some day <3

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Oliver: A.K.A. Evil Kitty and I have come to a truce.  I keep Emma-the-wonder-labradoodle away from the dog door at bedtime, and Oliver is free to use it without being chased.  Win/win. (no more meowing at me at 2 a.m. to be let out) Here is a photo showing how in his world, Cat > Composition homework


I am giving up on my facebook fanpage for this blog, and concentrating on google+ (watching my post views continue to dwindle on fb because they want to sell ads, is frustrating and it has gotten worse)  It’s a bit of a learning curve over there, but I think I am going to like it.  Leave your name or handle in the comments and I’ll circle you!


We dropped Demi-Sky’s online Latin class and I ordered Memoria Press First From Latin on dvd series to do instead. I’ll report back on how it turns out.  I also ordered First Start French for Josie to work with afterschool.  The books arrived a day ago, and I am very excited.  Am I the only nerd that gets super excited when the UPS truck leaves a box of books at my door?

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I started back to college to finally finish a degree, decades later.  It was really kind of scary for me.  I am taking classes first, outside of my degree, for early childhood education.  I’m thinking I would like to work with the HeadStart program part-time once Demi and Amie start highschool outside the home.  The class is mostly young people, which makes me feel old, but there are a handful of moms about my age in there, too.  The instructor has been very encouraging about me being a homeschool mom, I admit I was worried about what the reception would be about that.  When I first started homeschooling, 13 years ago, I often got negative or hostile reactions from educators, but as the years went on, the general feeling seemed to warm up.  I am really glad that with my first college class back, my instructor is sympathetic to homeschooling.


I love photography.  I love the fact that a photo can take you back to a certain moment in time.  I am going to try to post one photo memory a week that I want to cherish and I will be putting up a linky so others can share, too.  I hope you will link up!

My Burn Book {moments I want to burn into memory}

*7 Quick Takes is hosted every Friday over at Conversion Diary blog

*join the Hot Homeschool Hop over at Homeschool Post!


My Burn Book {mom school}

My Burn Book {moments I want to burn into my memory…}

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I started back to college, and Amie made a extra special label for my notebook

(share your recent photo memory below)


Lego pirate fail

I mentioned in an earlier post my deep, dark descent into Jenn-ville with a pirate report for Demi-Sky’s composition class. I’ve had requests for the dark tale- so here are the details in all its Jenn-glory richness…

So, Demi had to do a report on a famous pirate, and then dress up as a pirate and present his oral report to his Biola Star class.  His class this year seems to be mostly boys, so I knew they were going to have fun with this.

A day or two after we had discussed a plan of attack for this, I saw this on pinterest:

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And I knew that we had to do this.  Imagine the delight of a room-full of homeschool boys when one of their own shows up in a lego pirate costume to deliver a report.  It would be epic, in homeschool-world.

I had a little niggling of doubt about tackling this project…just a little, which I ignored.

and ignored

in typical Jenn fashion as I procrastinated the week away.  We discussed methods to achieve this look.  A bucket seemed easiest, but we couldn’t find a yellow bucket at Target.

I nonchalantly assured Demi that we could just whip up a paper-mache head, easy.

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I used a bucket for my shape and then used thin wire to make the form for the pirate head.  I took lots of photos so I could share my step by step instructions here on the blog….



and then, two days before due date, I commenced with the glue/water/paper routine….

 photo pinterestfail-papermache-homeisblog_zpsab6794ae.jpgdon’t panic.

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there is always plan B:







quickly spray paint my only bucket and drill holes into it for eyes.

…into my only bucket for household stuff…

and then the morning of the class, we abandoned the lego pirate idea and dressed Demi up as a traditional pirate.

The End.

(it’s just a Jenn-thing…)


Wordless Wednesday -OC sunset

 photo 8cf5a5c7-a439-4ead-acdb-4e42abce5a9c_zps8e3a7b6f.jpgHappy Wordless Wednesday!  #iphone #nofiliter

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About the author: Jenn; writer, photographer, homeschooled five children and lived to tell the tale.

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