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Daytrip with Sky

Recently, Sky and I spent the day in a small beach town near Santa Barbara.  It was for a job interview, and I fell in love with the town.

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this was a beach scene totally unknown to me.  It was almost empty.  And we could park close, for free!  We saw a guy walking his dog, off leash!  We walked around, and I realized, that despite being an OC girl, I did not know the beach the way I had always assumed I did.  The beaches that I know, are not wild.  I think I’d like to get to know the wild, un-tame coastline.

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later on in the day, we headed to near-by Santa Barbara for dinner.  A fun place.

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we had dinner at Mac’s fish and chips, looking for a taste of Dublin, really.

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although the entire area was extremely dog-friendly, Santa Barbara was not so parrot-friendly, apparently.

We spent the morning scoping out the small town, had lunch in a bagel shop (yay!) there were signs that said “dog friendly” everywhere, it seemed.  I love my life in OC, I love our house, I don’t usually dream of up and moving somewhere.  But, I could totally imagine living here.  Someday, maybe.

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As I edge nearer to the end of my homeschool career (15 + years so far) I am realizing more and more how important my relationship with Sky is.  The kids are already busy with their own interests, the years are flying by, and then, it will be just us two.  I am glad that the years are mellowing us into a more gentle harmony.  He is my best chum, adventures seem a little lacking without him.  I am really, really blessed.


Catch-up post

okay, to sum it up….no, to condense it down for you;


Lately in Jenn’s world:

Grandfather fell, was so badly dehydrated most of his life that his kidneys began failing.  After an E.R. stay, a home-care stay and switching of his board and care home, he passed away two months later.  After the E.R. visit, I re-doubled my efforts to apply for Medi-Cal for him, a process started in October of last year.  After visiting the office an hour away, several times a week for weeks….we received his approval letter the day after he died.  Yay.

Grandmother was visiting Grandfather the day before he died, she passed out at a restaurant and broke her wrist.  Good news, the last 3 episodes like this were not a heart problem, which she was being monitored for, but her previous Dr. had her on both a blood pressure pill and a water pill- which lowers your blood pressure, and she didn’t have high blood pressure to begin with.  She is now off those pills and no longer dizzy.  Yay.  She does have a cast on her left arm and she is left-handed. Yay.

Sky had an idea to go into business with some neat people we know.  We researched, grabbed a domain name, looked for a location…and the business partners pulled out.  It would have been both fun and scary, so I’m not really sad about it not happening.

Sky interviewed for a job in a beach city near Santa Barbara.  I went with him on interview day because he was nervous, and I fell in love with the town.  The job was short-term, 8 years, so we were talking of him commuting for a year or two and then we would rent a house.  I was not sure what we would do with the kids and the whole School-of-arts-thing.  Homeschooling is very portable, that would be no problem if we upped and moved…but the school of the arts is a very specific thing, and very hard to get into. We weren’t sure what we would do.  He did not get the job, I am mostly relieved, but a little sad.  I never thought I would live in a beach city, and I did fall in love with the area.

Every once in a while, I get the feeling we are not doing enough Science for Amie, so I begin a restless search for a program.  I was considering using “The Story of Science” with her and then I found Wayfarers curriculum guides, which schedule this series for you.

I will forever be a curriculum junkie- yup, I purchased a new curriculum program.  Here, I’ll give you a handy little link so you can click over and drool over something shiny and new, too.  Wayfarer’s History Curriculum by Barefoot Ragamuffin Curricula ***here

the plan is to use their Grammar/Lit program, the Science, music and Bible portion of Wayfarers.  The kids are finishing up the History programs we selected for this year, which are Veritas Press 1815 to present for Amie and Oak Meadows World History using the Glencoe textbook -for Demi.

I will forever be optimistic that the perfect curriculum guide is just around the corner for me.  :)


I finally asked my Dr. today to test me for A.D.D.

I am reading “King Arthur and the knights of the round table” with Amie for her lit class at Biola Star.  It is truly a bad read.  It is so bad that I tried to find cliff notes for it so we wouldn’t have to finish it.  I’ve sunk truly so low as a homeschool mom.  !!  Could not find one, so we need to finish it this week so Amie can write a book report on it.  Yay.

I am planning to move my blog over from a self-hosted platform to Squarespace.  I’m really, really scared to do it.  I’ve been busy playing with squarespace and making a new header for the blog and making a side-bar.  The migrating over part terrifies me though.  whimper.

So, bloggy friends, here is a mid-night/ late-night frank post of all that is going on in my world lately.  I’m usually afraid to let it all hang out, but it’s all so crazy that it’s kind of funny.  The mad parts of my life make such a whirl-wind in my brain, that for months, I haven’t been able to slow it all down and articulate it.  I left out the part about the trust my step-father left us and my for real-psycho step-sister….that was not hyperbole at all.


I may or may not delete this post…..



March like a lion

Something in my soul sings when these trees bloom each Spring.

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Close your eyes
and do not peek
and I’ll rub Spring
across your cheek-
smooth as satin,
soft and sleek-
close your eyes
and do not peek
-Aileen Fisher
*I become the crazy-camera-lady when these trees bloom, stalking through my neighbors’ yards, trying to get just the right shot that will do these blossoms justice.  I haven’t managed to capture them as I see them, but I get pretty close.
*Spring has sprung here at {Home} we are in the middle of Spring cleaning (maybe, sort of) planning a more drought-tolerant yard, starting a new raised bed garden in the backyard, homeschooling and waiting to hear about Amie and Demi’s acceptance into the performing arts school.  (It’s a little nerve-wracking).
*Amie and Josie have art on auction for Kitty Devore Cat Rescue *here and *here this week.  Bidding ends April 17th and you need to like the Kitty Devore Rescue FB page in order to be able to follow the auction and see activity.
It’s a beautiful weekend in OC!  I hope you are having a blessed and peaceful weekend <3

Wordless Wednesday -Bagpipes

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Bagpipes for my stepfather


Wordless Wednesday -back in five minutes

another photo from our Caribbean trip

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Happy (not)Wordless Wednesday!


Great books: an ingredient for boy-building

Stories are often the best way to capture a boy’s attention, the best way to drive home a moral point, and are also just good fun.  With so many kids’ books tied into popular cartoons or shows, I used to fear that my kids (particularly-my boy) were missing out on enjoying and learning from classic books.

great books for boys @ Home is where...

We are a book-loving family, but to my dismay, my boy preferred to watch cartoons or read only comics. I know as a homeschool mom, I can get bogged down with trying to tie everything together, to plan the perfect unit study.  I realized, however, that often my boy was best served by just sitting down and reading a good book together.  Simple. No frills.

Sit down, read, enjoy and discuss.  Books on audio from the library count, too!

There are so many great children’s books that highlight character, choosing right from wrong and growing into manliness.  A few classics a boy-heart might enjoy include;

  • Peter Pan- “All children, except one, grow up.” Who can resist such an opening line?  There is something for mom here, too.. “Look at her in her chair, where she has fallen asleep…Her hand moves restlessly on her breast as if she had a pain there. Some like Peter best and some like Wendy best, but I like her [mother] best.” Peter Pan, chapter 16
  • Old Yeller.  The Disney Movie was well done, but there are deeper man-truths in the book, and also, a sequel.
  • The Summer of the Monkeys and Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.  Yes, mom will cry-and your boy might too.  Real men have real feelings, work hard for what they want, and realize that love is more important than things; a good lesson.
  • Encyclopedia Brown.  Maybe not classic, yet…but good, clean fun and good role modeling of being honest, fair and helping others.
  • The Secret Garden.  Not automatically a ‘girl’ book, there are some boy characters..one a bit spoiled -to not be like, and one strong, intelligent hard working boy to emulate.
  • Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  The book in the Little House series your boy will like the best. Lots of getting up early, hard work and lessons about gaining wisdom.

I know, from experience, that a lecture is the most sure way to shut my boy down.  A lecture seems to bounce off some invisible wall between me and him.  The subtle lesson shown, through a story, instead of lectured about, is more effective in reaching the heart.  I will chose a book, after much prayer and thought- with a theme or situation that I hope my son will absorb, make applicable to his own situation, and learn from.

I have a teen-aged son now, a few character-building books for his age include;

  • In His Steps
  • Sentinel by L. Bilbrey
  • Ender’s Game
  • Swiss Family Robinson (the original version)
  • How to Eat Fried Worms

Lately, I’ve shared a few Grace Livingston Hill novels with my two youngest.  Most of them are pretty formula-driven christian romance, (which I have to admit that I dearly love and I re-read her books all the time) but there are a few gems that celebrate the boy. Written in the early 1900’s , the books offer rich history of daily life, too.  The few I felt worth sharing with my boy are:

  • A new name
  • The obsession of Victoria Gracen
  • Found Treasure
  • Big Blue Soldier
  • The Witness (a re-telling of Saul)

Well, this concludes my thoughts on how to teach character by stealth to your children, particularly, to your sometimes resistant boys.

Any to add to the list?


*this post is based on a post I originally wrote for The Mothers of Boys Society on August 27, 2010

{good} stuff

good stuff I’ve found recently around the web, all with the twang of New Year, New Starts….

Good Stuff on the web -blog

{Plum Paper Designs} << clickable link

love those fancy, designer planners but just can’t justify spending $50 + on them? This Etsy shop has  nice, semi-custom planners with add-ons, stickers and personalized covers ~with less sticker shock

{Only Passionate Curiosity}

Printable homeschool planners.  >>prettier than the plain ones I make up in Word, with big O’s for checkboxes…..

{Elisa Pulliam}

PDF-books: How to Start the Year Equipped and Thriving. These look very good and she was having a BOGO sale…though Jenny-the-late has missed the ending day

{7 Ways to Conquer your morning routine

for those non-morning people among us. New Year, New Start!  Er…or something…

{Daily Page Notepad}

Thyme is Honey Etsy shop….simple but eye-pleasing daily checklist. Because, I will forever be an optimist that I can get my act together, and I will keep buying stuff to somehow, magically attain this goal…plus, I love paper….

{What Comes Next}

A Study in Brown blog. She writes about seeking simplicity and experimenting with living with no internet in the house.  I don’t think I would like this, I don’t think I could do it, and yet, the thought intrigues me with the possibilities….


Happy New Year, bloggy friends!



{ 1 comment }

About the author: Jenn; red-hair, warm heart, cold hands. homeschooled five children and lived to tell the tale.

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