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



notes from the desert

I am in actual desert here, but not just physically, it feels that way a bit because I am separated from home life.  My grandmother was in the hospital for one week, and now she has been at a nursing care facility for one week.  They think now, that she has a heart problem and might need a pacemaker.  My sister and I are taking turns caring for our grandfather and driving him each day to visit our grandmother.  My grandfather has symptoms of dementia and/or Alzheimer's disease but we don't have a diagnosis because he will not go see a Dr.  He will also not shower or put on clean clothes, and also used to have/still has an epic temper.   After I made him shower and put on clean clothes today, which we had a fight about, and then brought him home from visiting grandma (a half-hour drive from his house) I dropped him off (he eats toast with jiff and jam on it for lunch everyday) because he can get his own lunch, and then went to panera for a bite and to just decompress.  It's really hard to be at his house with all his fussing and because, despite living in the desert, he hardly ever turns on the air conditioning.  So, I'm chilling here for a bit, browsing the internets and then I will head back and prepare his dinner and then drive home.  I've been staying some nights over at my sister's house (which is fun in a spend-the-night-with-your-sister sort of way) but I am such a homebody that I am homesick, so I will make the drive home.  Sky promised to take me out to dinner, then I need to get a run in (funny how you start to crave running when you miss it for a day or two) and then I'm going to sit on the couch, watch some Big Bang Theory with Sky (we just started it a few weeks ago and are only on season 3) and spend some time with my poor doggy who misses me. we disabled grandfather's car, so he can't drive anywhere- and he's pretty canny, so he's on to us I think and keeps trying to start fights about it. Fun, fun, fun.


so, that' my report from grandfather land

I think I need to go shoe shopping or something similarly soothing...


7 Quick Takes ~Family life edition

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Whew, I don't know where to start, so I will go in chronological order...first up is the 4th of July Parade at the horse community closest to us. Meg and Josie rode in the parade.


Meg said that glitter and horses equaled a dream come true for her girlish heart

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Merlin, the horse was a patient subject.


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I decided to up my walking game and do more actual running. As in running.  not walking. I decided to try out the couch to 5k app to guide me along, and I really like it.  The app, not the running so much. Maybe.  The running part is starting to grow on me, I'm starting to crave it when I can't go.  The app is pretty cool, it tells you to warm-up with a brisk walk for 4 minutes, and then when that is done, it tells you "lets jog" and you do that for a certain amount of time, and then it tells you "let's walk".  It's very, very handy.  The photo above is of a small corner park in my neighborhood, it's at a corner that is more of a triangle.  I love all the flowers here.


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I had the best hot dog of my life at LinX Artisan Sausage in Old Town Orange.  It was so good I tweeted it.  I'm not usually a hot dog person, I have maybe one once a year. This restaurant recently opened and I was curious.  I ordered a chicken hot dog, it had pesto and asiago cheese in it, beside other yummy things I can't remember.  The bun was a pretzel bun.  The fries there were also awesome.  Okay, now I am really hungry... tip, my first dog was awesome I think because I didn't have a ton of toppings, just mayo/mustard/ketchup trio and a sprinkling of grated cheese.  The next time I went, I went crazy on toppings and it made the bun soggy and cooled the dog.  I think less might be the key because it lets you enjoy the amazing flavors of the hot dog itself.

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This past week has been pretty rough.  My grandmother blacked-out and fell on Friday night.  My grandfather has dementia and followed the ambulance in their car to the E.R. after they admitted her, he tried to go home and got very lost and confused.  Eventually, after he asked many people for help, a policeman took him home.  My sister and I have been taking turns all week, taking care of grandpa and visiting grandma in the hospital.  My sister lives closest, about 20 minutes away and I live over an hour away.  It's been rough, we had some family drama with our Uncle, who is a deadbeat and has some emotional and perhaps mental problems.   We like living very calm, drama-free lives.  I'm also very much a home-body.  This week has been very stressful.

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Funny thing about stress and worry; it doesn't add anything good to your life.  I spent a good part of the week very upset, worrying, and trying to figure out best how to handle my uncle.  I kept trying to pray, but my mind would just not relax.  I couldn't read or concentrate on anything except the worry.  And then, one night this verse kept haunting me:

"Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things, but one thing is needful"....Luke 10:41, 42

 Funny how I can try so hard on my own and forget to just let my burden down. (and my anger, and my sense of justice)  His yoke is indeed easy, and His burden light. If we could make Christ that "one thing" life would look very different to us, and I suspect we would be very different.


spending time in a retirement city, and in a retirement mobile home park is very interesting.

*7 Quick Takes is hosted by Conversion Diary



There is a photo sitting in the place of honor on my mantel.  It's the photo I would love to have: A photo of my mom, looking kind of happy, when I am older than 8, not drunk, not looking put-out, not awkwardly trying to look away from the camera, not pissed, not putting me on her -list, looking companionable and physically touching her daughter.

But, I'm not in that photo- this treasure of a photo on my mantel is of my mom and my sister right before my sister's wedding.  It's the best I've got, so place of honor it sits.

My mom had a narcissist thing going, but it was overshadowed the last decade by her alcoholism.  When she died this Summer, so many things were missing.  My sister and I went through boxes of photos: supposedly for her memorial video, but- I was trying to find evidence that she did love us.  Somewhere, decades back, in the photos of a happy, normal childhood I would find photographic proof that she loved us, that she touched us, that she enjoyed us.  You can't take care of chubby toddlers and not love them, hug them, kiss them, right?

I think I found what I needed.  Here's one of the best I have, I'm maybe nine years old and I'm talking to her and she is paying attention to me.

She paid attention, once upon a time.  I don't really remember, but it must be there. It is here at least, captured.  No matter what came after. I have this moment.

I miss what should have been

I miss the good memories and warm feelings that were with-held from me

I miss the chance of things ever getting better

I miss the songs that I chose for her memorial video that I can't listen to without crying now.

I miss the right thing to say to my sister who is just now re-surfacing from depression over mom's death.

we tip-toe over the missing parts

I miss her, the mom I think I remember from childhood.  I miss who she should have been.

She could have been amazing.

There is a photo on my mantel, and it reminds me of what I'm missing.