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.  photo carpenterabeach-homeisblog_zpskpr3ybs3.jpg

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, 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 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.  photo tuliptree-march-Homeisblog_zpsvrj2f2et.jpg

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


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

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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!)

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I dared to buy Emma-the-wonder-labradoodle a bright red winter coat...because it was not really clothes, more of a 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!!

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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....

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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}

those no-good, rotten sort of days

Well, hullooo there!  Um, yeah, I'm still here...sort of. Have you ever had one of those no-good, rotten sort of days?  How about several in a row?  How about a year of them?

Here's how this week is shaping up:

  • fielded a call from one of the Biola teachers in which, teacher inquires with concern if my child (who shall remain anonymous) has a learning disability.  I had to decide whether telling said child that a teacher was questioning his/her  brain capabilities would inspire them to pay attention better and actually do their homework, or if it would just seem mean.   {add to my list of things I didn't imagine saying as a parent}
  • go to a Dr.'s appointment at the wrong location.
  • Try to leave for Dr.'s appointment at the wrong location and find out daughter left her car blocking my car in the driveway and her boyfriend has the spare key.
  • Did I mention my grandmother is living in my living room?
  • And that a teen-in-need is now sharing my boy's room?
  • And that my brother-in-law visited this weekend and slept on the couch?
  • Reschedule Dr. Appt. for 3 days later at correct location, arrive for back-to-back visits for yourself and a child and discover your new appt. is not today, but is tomorrow.
  • You are now 1 1/2 hours early for child's appointment...which ends up happening 45 minutes late, because they forgot about you.
  • And then, you were supposed to have a learning record meeting, but you don't have your paperwork in order because [procrastinator!] and now the Dr. thing has really taken all of your free you have to reschedule that, too.
  • ...And one of your children is making you want to go join the circus, or something
  • .... And you are going on a trip you vowed to lose 10 pounds for but you can't stop eating.
  • and you were supposed to fill out a bond application for the conservatorship thing [see elder care, alzheimer's] and you lost it. Spend 20 minutes searching house for it.

I crawled in to bed in defeat by 3:00 but then realized I needed to go pick up Josie's new glasses. which are at the place I went to for the Dr. appointment in the wrong location. -And then got the call that the glasses were ready an hour later.

Sky took me out for dinner, let me choose because [bad day] and we went to Rubio's.

And hey! the lobster burritos are back!!!   And just like that, life didn't seem so bad anymore.

and then we went to Barnes & Nobles,  shared a warm peanut butter cookie and splurged on a salted caramel mocha because [bad day]

and life was okay again.

still here

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Hey bloggy-friends!  I'm still here...problem is, I've taken such a long break from blogging, I'm not sure how to get back into it.  A huge part of it has been the on-going saga with my grandparents, I felt/ feel like there is  so much drama and negative-stuff, that I'm not sure how to share it without dumping it out and being, well, negative.

but, um here goes....I'll just jump back in.  My grandmother is still living with us, in my front living room.  We were hoping to use some of my grandparents' savings to build her a suite, but we weren't real sure if it was a wise move, so that was part of why we went through conservator that the court would make big decisions like that, because frankly, we are a bit lost with how to manage what little they have.  The court said no.  So....grandmother is living in my front living room, which has french doors on one side, and the other side we can board up.  Things can't stay that way, though, she really needs an attached bathroom. So, we will be moving her into our master bedroom.  Our house is a 1950's house and the master is not really big...she will lose some space in the move, the front living room is pretty spacious.  I think access to her own bathroom kind of trumps spaciousness, though. But only barely.  I'm a bit sad about giving up my room.  Sky and I will move into the front living room.  I love, love, love the big picture window in that room, so I will look forward to that.

I am taking another child development type class, this is my third. I'm planning on getting a certificate for early childhood education so I can be a kindergarten aid or a preschool aid in a headstart-type program.  I was also taking an Algebra class, but I had an epiphany last week that I really hate math and I didn't want to be there.  I thought getting an associate's degree would be the smart thing to do, since I'm taking classes....but I really just want to learn to write better and explore art. Sky said from the beginning that I should just take classes that interest me, and I can see now that he was right.  I was beginning to dread going to class, and for my first exam (which I got an A on) I had to spend a lot of time studying for, that I didn't feel I had.  Amie and Demi have started back up with homeschooling, and then I have the grandparents' care stuff....and so on.  My math class was two evenings a week, so now it is really nice to be home again for those two nights.


We've started back up, full-swing.  I'll get a homeschool materials post up real soon.  Demi and Amie are busy with a few Biola Star classes, we have our normal homeschool studies, and then art and music.  Josie is back at the performing arts highschool for her 2nd and last year, she will be graduating this year.  Meg is in her second year of college.  She cares for horses in the morning -as a job, just got a part time job at Barnes & Nobles (Yay!) and graduated from the police explorers program this Summer.  She is very busy, and I am so proud of how hard she is working and how responsible she has grown up to be.  She's still not sure which direction she wants to go with as far as law enforcement, it first it was the horses, then FBI, now she's talking about forestry.  Who knows, but I'm sure it will be exciting.

So, that's a sort of re-cap of what is happening around here.  Oh, did I mention my grandmother has a dog?  We now are a two-dog family.  Sky is thrilled. (that was sarcasm) She's a sweet, small dog.  The transition to having my grandmother and her dog here has really gone very smoothly, my grandmother is a gentle soul, and so is her dog. Grandfather is finally landed in a really nice private nursing home...for now.  He got kicked out the first week, we got him new medication and took him back after a week back home.  So far it's okay, but every time I get a call from that area code, my stomach clenches.

here's a teaser with the homeschool stuff.... Oak Meadow World History, Aleks Math, Memoria Press First From Latin, Minecraft..... (I'll just name drop, since most of you stop by for the homeschooling stuff....I cleaned out my homeschool closet, totally!!  {shriek!!!!!}  I've tried to clean it out each year for the past 4 years, it is finally done. (Sky had to help me, bless that man!)

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Here's a hawk on a fountain I saw during a run (okay, mostly walk....) because, = cool and unusual.  I love my neighborhood.

How's life bloggy friends?  I'm glad you stopped by :)

So this happened...

Heellooo out there!

so much going on, I don't even know where to start...  photo d8f065b0-13ee-478c-850d-41f2970e8912_zps2b4e5d5a.jpg

So, this is happening.  Josie, artist in residence, is currently enrolled in driver's ed class.  She decided to paint her car.  Because, obviously, this is what you would expect to find in the parking lot of an urban Arts School.

 photo efa54d4d-3a78-4d4c-b8f8-f2a97285b4b4_zps0e9bbe4c.jpgI followed the CIA on twitter. Well done, well done....

 photo 7b143e08-5fdd-40b2-b4e5-c7c7518f4e80_zps8abef363.jpgWe've had glorious weather here in Orange County. I've been doing lots of this...sitting on the front porch, drinking a protein shake and reading my daily psalm + Spurgeon's Morning & Evening devotional, after my run. (okay, mostly walk- a little bit of run....)

 photo ac63d751-122b-4dc0-9cc9-e34dd9b13a2e_zpsd64f8ab1.jpgAnd finally, I returned to my car after class and found a ticket on my windshield, for...quote "occupying two parking spaces." um...okay, my bumper was over the line, but I was not taking up two parking spaces.  Actually, the car in the stall in front did not pull up all the way, probably to park in the shade, and so I miss-judged where exactly the front line was.  A little mistake, but, come-on.  Yeah for Irvine Valley College. I feel hunted now every time I park my car.  I have to ask, if they are so picky about the lines...what is up with the messy three lines painted on each side?  I'm thinking they are not really as picky as they pretend to be.

  • I finished my first college class and I am in the middle of the next class.  We just had mid-term, and I got an 'A'  :)
  • I went to court and my grandfather was deemed incompetent and  I am his conservator.
  • my grandfather threatened to kill my grandmother the following weekend, after a series of screaming sessions.  I told her to pack, collected her, and discovered a bruise on her arm.  She is never going back.
  • my grandmother now lives in my front living room, which we have closed up and made into her suite.  Hopefully, we can begin building her a real suite onto the back of the house.  This is all a big adjustment for all of us.

this is {Home} reporter Jenn, reporting in.... stay tuned




I had the best Mother's Day in my memory.  It was the best, because it was effortless. We went to church, Amie was baptized today (and she asked me to baptize her- wow)  then went to a lunch to celebrate at the church (I was supposed to bring dessert & I just picked up cookies from the grocery store bakery- win!) and then we came home and I took a nap.  Later, we had spaghetti for dinner (Sky prepared it) and I picked up bread sticks from Pat & Oscars.  After, we all went to Barnes & Nobles and hung out.  I called my grandmother around 5 to wish her a Happy Mother's Day and survey the collateral damages (see grandparents' posts/NPD/Alzheimer's/depression/disfunction/codependent...) She was weepy (another post?) and so I quickly promised her that I was coming out the next day to treat her to lunch for Mother's Day...which I wasn't planning on. I had driven down there on Friday, Wednesday and Saturday last week already. (the drive one way is over an hour)

I reported back to Sky and he asked me, "why did you promise that??" and I told him, "hey, when your grandmother is crying on the phone on Mother's day, you promise almost anything to get her to stop."  to which, Sky replied, "fair enough".

After our Barnes & Nobles outing, I called my Step-mom, wished her a happy Mother's Day and chatted.  It was a really uncomplicated day.  winning!

The final exam for the college class I am taking- is this coming week.  I can't believe the semester is practically over!  I am already registered for a class during the Summer session.  I wanted to take two classes and "get 'em done" but I don't know how things will be in grandparent-land, so yeah, just one class...

Sky and Amie are busy writing short stories for a story contest.  I love seeing them throw themselves whole-hearted into a project.  Piano recital is coming up for Amie.  Unfortunately, we have -oh-so-many-tears from Amie over this.  I promised her I'd let her quit after this recital and move on to voice lessons; but to please, soldier-on for this recital.  We still have tears.  And, I haven't cleared what I said with Sky yet.  It was a moment of mom-weakness. I'll claim insanity. or, something.  Or, I 'll just dress to get what I want, when I tell him.  (it works).

Two weeks ago, I started getting up early againand I'm now back to running and actually being, you know, productive, again.  I took the opportunity to dive more seriously back into homeschooling-   I dusted off the My Father's World curriculum on the shelf, opened the schedule and actually, you know, followed it.  It was like magic, people....we schooled.  So yeah, we can just not think real hard about the fact that it is May and I'm working on week 3 in a 36 week, we'll just see how it goes. I am enjoying our schooling again.  Demi-Sky and Amie are still working through Veritas Press History online, they will finish up with that- and we will just see what we can accomplish with My Father's World this summer.  It's really nice to be working regularly through something together again, and it is really helpful to give the kids assignment sheets each week to make sure they are moving through their work at a good pace.

There is a lot happening with the grandparent situation, update in a future post...

Here are the books I am reading right now:

and here is a funny Mother's Day short video to entertain you...

*Bring a jumper ( A mother's day video)

**jumper is a sweater in England and Australia  :)

I hope your weekend was great!!