our winter season has been about abiding. falling real short here on overcoming, championing, shining, excelling, celebrating, funning.....

sometimes, it's all you can do to hide in *Him

 photo chalkboardsign-abide-homeisblog_zps01a237ad.jpg

 photo oliver12-14-homeisblog_zpsb5c6cbb9.jpg

We've had a really nice, restful Winter break.  Lots of family-time, we hosted friends over for our church's winter Bible conference.  We had 7 extra guests for a week-end, which dwindled down to 5 quests for the week. (plus our expanded family of 8!)

 photo labradoodle-christmas-homeisblog_zps1fe0d759.jpg

I dared to buy Emma-the-wonder-labradoodle a bright red winter coat...because it was not really clothes, more of a horse-blanket...so I technically did not break Sky's "no dressing the dog" edict.  If genetics rule, then I am in the running for crazy cat-lady and eccentric-old-lady-who-puts-her-dog-in-dresses (no joke)

She looks fabulous!!

 photo selfportrait-homeisblog15_zpsd57f12a6.jpg

Amie and Demi-Sky have been very busy drawing, painting and writing creative stories.  I love to see them busy.  I love to see them busy on things not dictated by me. The above is a self-portrait in works by Amie, it is pencil and not quite finished.

The only schooling during the break has been our current read-aloud, which is this book by Grace Livingston Hill.  She is one of my favorite authors, and I collect her books in hardback, early edition.  She wrote during the 1930's and her work are faith-filled.  I started this one with the kids, not sure if they would like it, but they are really in to it. Very cool homeschool-mom-moment when at the beginning we ran into the word "fobish" which happened to be a vocabulary word from Sky's study of "The Scarlett Pimpernel" it was ultra-cool to read that word in this novel, kind of like spotting animals in the wild....

 photo gracelivingstonhillbook-homeisblog_zpsa64d6634.jpg

So, this has been our winter season, one of hiding and abiding.

I hope the coming year will be full of the fruit and joy that come with abiding in God, for you all, as well as us here at {Home}

Pork Chomp- dog treats- review

-sponsored review- I was thrilled to be asked to review premium pork chomps 100% rawhide-free dog chews.  Emma-the-wonder-labradoodle is a large dog, and she is more content when left home alone when she has something to chew.  I had read that raw-hide treats can be dangerous, so I am constantly on the lookout for treats that will satisfy her need to chew but that will be safe.  Pork Chomps are made from baked pork skin, have no dyes or fillers and they are more digestible than rawhide chews, dissolving up to twice as fast in a dog’s digestive enzymes.  ( Journal of Animal Science article here)

 photo Emmavsdoggiebones_zps4278ebce.jpg

I was given a nice assortment of products for Emma to review.  The delivery of a big box of treats just for her, caused much excitement, she always seems to know when I bring home something just for her. I was sent quite a variety to sample including: Bacon Flavor Mini Twist, Baked Stripz, Baked Bones, Premium Sweet Potato Wrapped Sticks, Premium Bacon Flavored Twists, and Premium Sweet Potato Wrapped Bones. Emma has enjoyed everything she has tried, even the smaller plain-looking chews.  I appreciated that the chews are not messy, won't stain fabrics and aren't odorous.

You can read more about these products at the Pork Chomps website , find descriptions of their products and find a list of retailers who carry these chews, I have noticed these chews at my local Petsmart. Pork Chomps has a facebook page, also


{now for the fun part}

Pork Chomps is giving away 2 bags of premium pork chomps to 2 readers.  Easy to enter, just leave a comment!  Two winners will be chosen Wednesday, September 11th through rafflecopter.  Giveaway is open to mailing addresses within the continuous United States, void where prohibited.  Pork Chomps will ship the prize directly to the winners.  *if you don't see your comment after hitting submit, don't panic, some comments end up in the spam folder, I will check it regularly and approve them.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

7 Quick Takes-Homeschool graduation edition

 photo homeschoolgrad-dessertparty-homeis_zps6bccbc13.jpg


We have our first homeschool graduate!  We started homeschooling Meg for pre-K (in case I messed up I had an extra year to figure it out) and now, 14 years later, I am done as her primary teacher.  We had a simple dessert graduation party for her.  Dessert party = brilliant idea.  It was rather simple, we set up tables outdoors and strung lights up on the front patio and tree and then set out different desserts and coffee.  The main focus became visiting, which was such a great bonus.  I was so busy visiting and fetching chocolate mousse (Sky's homemade brilliance) that I forgot to get my camera out until it was too dark for good photos.  We had a really, really nice party.


It's Bible conference week, known at our church as The Summer Training. It's like a semester Bible class stuffed into one week.  This year we have 4 people from Russian staying with us (Meg gets to practice her Russian) and a bonus Texan. There's always a Texan in the bunch.... :p  Sooo, this week is really, really busy- lots of cooking of meals and whatnot.

 photo labradoodle-headtilt-homeisblog13_zps94476f94.jpg


bonus photo of the wonder-labradoodle.  She's all kinds of awesome.


the kids and I attended an open house for a new parkour gym in our area.  We went, because Demi-Sky in particular is very enamored by the whole parkour concept.  Really, who wouldn't be?  Don't we all, deep-down inside wish we had some stealth, secret ninja moves?  Okay, if you don't know what parkour is, click over to this youtube video - I'm very familiar with this one, because my kids watch it over and over, it was my introduction to the concept of parkour

Assassin's Creed meets parkour on youtube


So yeah, we went to the open house, it was pretty cool and my Amie got very excited about the whole thing, she wants to take classes there.  It's called Firestorm Freerunning & Acrobatics.  Soo, besides the trampolines, climbing rope, obstacles, they had a section of climbing bars.  When I was in elementary school, I lived on the bars at recess time and my friends and I could do amazing and dangerous things on these bars. I happily climbed onto these bars and happily told my kids all about what I used to do and egged them on to try it.  {no, I did not try any of it, after the cartwheel incident of 2006, I learned the hard way that just because I think I can still do something, doesn't mean my body agrees}  I did try to do an underhand mount-thingy and couldn't get my legs past an horizontal with the floor position...sad. So, I egged my kids on to try different things, climbed around on the bars, swung my legs up onto them and did monkey-bar type swinging on them, in an attempt to engage my kids.  And then, for the next 3 days I was downing advil like candy...it was so very sad how sore that little bit of exercise made me!


Sky and I just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary.  We met 26 years ago at Corona del Mar beach.  For this anniversary, we went back to the beach where we met, and then had dinner at a local pizza place we used to go to all the time while we were dating in highschool.  We really had such a nice, simple evening remembering when...


I played photographer for Meg's senior photos, which is really a lot of pressure when you are not a professional.  I captured a few nice ones, I think.  Here is one- involving her favorite horse, of course...

 photo homeschoolseniorphoto-homeisblog2013_zpsfd3063c4.jpg

hope your week is a blessed one, friends!!

7 Quick Takes is hosted every Friday at Conversion Diary  :)

7 Quick Takes -Flies and other homeschool relics edition

 photo spider-fly-homeisblog_zpseaaaf686.jpg


Meg's homeschool chemistry experiment went a little south and several large blue-bottle flies escaped. But wait, it gets even better!  Meg then went away for highschool girl's church camp and left me home alone with the two youngest kids and her escaped flies for company. Yes, I live the glamor life!!  Early on in our fly campaign, we discovered  this jumping spider on the outside of the glass, spending time stalking a few flies on the inside of the glass. It was fascinating to watch.  Eventually, I opened the window on top (double hung old-fashioned windows) and a few flies flew over and ended up between the glass and screen, which is where the spider happened to be.  I have to report that the spider did catch one of the flies, with Amie and Demi watching, mezmerized.  More homeschool science, yay...


 photo hogwartspotionclass-homeisblog_zps1add5ee2.jpg

Amie's Hogwarts for Muggles class last week was a potions class.  The kids had containers of  interesting things like "dragons breath", "mandrake tears" etc.  They conducted several experiments with their concoctions and made a lap book filled with chemistry facts.  So much fun!

 photo labradoodle-couch-homeisblog2013_zpsbd62de0b.jpg


extra bonus photo of my cute doggie.  I {heart} her.

I was lamenting that Oliver (a.k.a. Evil Kitty)  is a favorite photo subject because he is so much more easier to photograph, even though my dog is my big love. So, I thought I'd try to spend more time capturing her on camera.  She is a hard subject because she is so dark, she tends to show up as one big blob.

 photo momschina-homeisblog2013_zps8a1b5b8f.jpg


My sister and I spent an afternoon packing up mom's china.  This set of china has some history; her eldest brother brought it home from Hong Kong, during the Vietnam war- on the aircraft carrier he was stationed on...tucked away in boxes in the freezer. He was the cook. It's a special story, we wanted to make sure that her china ended up safe and loved.  I was lucky enough to take it home with me.  My sister took home another all white set.

 photo IMG_1398_zps221e7134.jpg


my man-cub just moved up from a boy's size 6 shoe, to a man's size 8 shoe.  I was kind of sad.  Sky traveled up North for a family wedding, I stayed home with the two youngest, while Meg and Josie went to church camp.  Demi needed some up-keep done, such as a haircut (he wailed to me after it was done that he was now almost bald...I said, "good" in my best grumpy cat imitation) and then he needed new shoes and socks. Mission accomplished...it's sad though, how quick they grow up.


The new Dr. Who season starts this coming Saturday!!! We are so excited!  We are planning special food for the viewing, kind of like superbowl, but instead with time travel and mad men with a box  :)

Dr. Who Series 7 part 2 prequel


Just found out last night, that a new Miss Julia book will be out on Tuesday!  It has been a few years since the last one.  If you don't know Miss Julia, she is definitely worth a read- she is a very Southern older lady with moxie and a nose for mystery.  Outside her hard, proper shell is a heart of mush.  She is one of those characters that makes you wish that book characters were real and lived in your neighborhood :)

Miss Julia to the rescue

7 quick takes Friday is hosted at Conversion diary, hop on over!

Sunday round-up

On our way back from Eastern Washington, we stopped and visited friends in Seattle.


I really like downtown Seattle, it's a neat place.  I enjoyed it this time through the eyes of a dog owner.  It's a very dog-friendly city.  We had lunch at our favorite Crepe place and took Emma with us inside.


I have to confess that a big part of my Seattle-love is the great photo opportunities.  Downtown Seattle is a feast for the eyes.


Demi-Sky had his very first lacrosse game this weekend.


Have I mentioned that Demi is now taller than I?

We weren't the only family totally new to the game of lacrosse.  Several boys were new to the game, and at times it was sheer comedy.  We parents had a good time laughing at the antics.  The stick-hitting was a total surprise to me.  We asked in surprise "is that legal?!"

it's a tough game.


here's the tip-off, or whatever you call it in lacrosse.  Have to admit, we laughed through this, too.  We were used to seeing it done in hockey, but the kids stand over the puck, we were surprised to see the guys on the ground here... this is Demi in blue.


  • Sky is currently making us a new bed.  He is using this design from Ana White plans -Farmhouse queen bed
  • I am trying to get my homeschooling more organized.  13 years and school organization is my swan-song; or, more to the point, my albatross-song.  There is an interesting discussion on organization and motivation over at the hive boards.  This site,  The Power of Moms was linked to.  It seems to be a organization-central site, with an e-book, a program and message boards.  I know for me, I would crash and burn with it, but I thought I'd mention it, it might be just the sort of program to help someone else, just not me... They were running a special discount last week, keep your eyes peeled and you might see another sale.
  • Mystie, who blogs over at Simply Convivial is running a series on home/ life organization here- Applying GTD at Home.  She is also working on an E book about converting home organization over to completely digital formats.
  • And finally, I {heart} pinterest.  I love that I don't have to bookmark things anymore, I just keep everything on my boards now. :)

Here are my boards, if you want to follow...

henjenca on pinterest