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!

an old-fashioned blog post

Hi-ya! So, I was just reflecting on blogging, old-school style and about some of the blogs I used to read way back in 2005/ 2006 before I started blogging.  Things were a bit simpler in those days, when blogging was really more of a web-journal.  Nowadays, we have so much going on; great site design, widgets, social media (micro-blogging!), linky parties, giveaways, photography....

I tend to get a little uptight about photos as art.  And then I don't post much, because I don't feel like getting on my big desktop computer in another room and editing photos.  Editing is kind of like work.

I decided to blog old-school tonight;


a lot of messiness going on around here, as usual.  We had State testing for Amie this week, which involves some driving to and fro and waiting for her to be done, and waiting for "the call" that she is done so I can go fetch her.  Amie was very excited.  It's funny, for homeschooled kids- or at least for my kids, and my friends' kids; testing week is a social event.  They get to pack some good snacks, lunch, go to a new place that might have a cool playground (sometimes not) or might even have a pool they can swim in after (yes, this happened three different testing years- ultimate cool!)  and after the testing is done, or between times, like breaks- the kids can chat and play and invent interesting tag or hide & seek type games.  It is all very exciting.  Amie asked her dad to make sure to wake her at 6 a.m. so she would be all ready for the *big* day.  [sign in time was 9:30]

Our church had a big mens' conference and we had 3 of our old college boys (2 now married and 1 engaged!) fly in to stay at our house.  Very cool, and fun.  But didn't leave me a lot of time to do the things I should be doing like laundry and cleaning. My house is really a wreck.  I ended up cleaning the guest bathroom and the guest bedroom real good and calling it done.

Meg and Josie had big projects due last week.  Science fair projects and reports/ oral presentations for Biology and Chemistry class, and Josie had a big research paper due for Lit class, and Meg also had a presentation due for Economics.  (photos coming in a later post!)

The dreaded key assignments are due this week. {big sigh}  I'm calling "uncle" and it's official, for the younger kids we will no longer be using charter schools for high school.  St. Jenn's school for exceptional teens - here we come!

I have a learning record meeting this Thursday for the 3 oldest kids.  And then our heart-friends are flying in from Seattle for dinner.  They might be staying the night too, but I haven't confirmed.  This is my best-y Jennifer.  I don't know if she will be here long enough for a new episode of The Jennifer Club.  They are leaving the next day for a cruise.  They requested, with big excitement, dinner at Inn & Out burger.   Yeah, we are kind of spoiled, living in So. California.

Depression runs in my family, no, actually it gallops through the female line.  I have my turns with it.  This week I was hit with a wall of sadness/regret/panic as I realized my oldest dd is almost 18 and will no longer be homeschooling.  I had this horrible feeling of impending doom for those things left undone.  The subjects not delved into deeply enough.  We didn't do Bible as much as we should have.  I so regret this now.  I lay awake and tried to think of what we needed to cover in Bible and how to accomplish this before she starts college.  And then I knew I couldn't really, she is so busy right now with her studies and her life.  So then I was really sad and panicky.  I went to sleep telling myself "it's okay, I can get through this..." over and over.

I cried myself to sleep for two nights, and then...and then I snapped out of it and remembered that Sky always says that "things are never as bad as they seem or as good"  and I felt better. And I remembered that Meg isn't leaving for college, she will stay at home for two years and go to the community college first. [I'm not losing her yet]  And then I thought of Scarlett O'Hara and of the kick-butt truth that "tomorrow is another day"  and it was better.  Not perfect. But better.

So, no medication.  Yet.

I decided to think instead on all the wonderful things I admire about Meg.  She is super sweet and kind. Soft-spoken.  Quick-thinking and a deep thinker. She loves C.S. Lewis (and has read his non-fiction) and Tolkien.  She works hard.  She gets up early, like 5 a.m. most mornings and does her job of taking care of horses.  She does her school work independently and has become very dependable with completing her assignments  on her own.  She is still playing the violin and is now apprenticing with her teacher to become a violin teacher herself. She loves God and still goes to church meetings with us.

She is a daughter to be proud of.

Coming to the end of my homeschooling with her; I am extremely glad that we did it.  I am so glad I have had this time with her. My word of warning to you other homeschooling parents is that, yes- it goes by so very fast.  Blink and you miss it.  If I could do things differently, I would have planned more and worked harder to stick to those plans. I wouldn't have accepted days when we only got one or two things done, I would have made school hours less flexible.  I would have also ditched the charter school for high school.  The devotional/ discipleship relationship we had envisioned for the high school years got lost along the wayside of getting things done according to the charter school.  I regret that.

I am losing my rising 11th grader to the performing arts school next year, and possibly losing Demi for that school also in two years. Thinking about it makes me sad and a bit frantic about all the great learning I want to stuff into them before they go. And I feel sad, and a bit panicky and start my mantra again.

And then I stop, and think- "there is always the Summer and I will have them 2 whole months then"  ~oh yes, my pretties, I will have you all to myself then, and once a homeschool mom, always a homeschool mom.  I foresee Latin and an intense Bible school each Summer.

It'll be the Summer of love.


Ultimate Blog Party 2013 -Welcome!

Ultimate Blog Party 2013

Welcome to my little spot on the internets :)

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My name is Jenn, I'm the mad-blogger/ Bridget Jones -A.D.D. Mom / homeschool-mom.

I've had the title of blogger since 2006  (wow- I can't believe I've been blogging so long!) and I did my very first UBP with 5 minutes for Mom way back in 2007.

So, let's get this party started!  Come on in, make yourself at home.  There are tabs on the top of the blog about our homeschooling, our books, etc. and a subject cloud on the sidebar.  There is plenty of diet coke on the patio.... pour yourself a cup-a-cuppa...

I write about family life, homeschooling, books I/ we read (I love books) materials we use in our homeschool, our adventures, our faith, my constant tries at organization/cooking/laundry...I am under-gifted in the domestic department.

Diet coke, dark chocolate and all things carb keep me going.  If procrastination was an Olympic event, I'd have several gold medals by now.  I'd rather walk than run, I like to say I  do yoga, but it is rather, uh sporadic.  I like to paint, read, learn about photography, putter.  I have mad puttering-skills. <For real.>

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Our kids are:  Meg -senior, high school, Josie- 10th grade,Demi-Sky7th grade, and Amie5th grade.  I homeschool all of them, and until this year, I had a bonus student.  (No, these are not their real names)

We have always homeschooled, it's just what we do, and frankly the public schools in my area are among the lowest performing in the State.  We started homeschooling when we realized we would not be able to afford the church private school we had looked forward to...for 4 kids.  Once we started, we were hooked and never looked back. <maybe?> Our high school students are enrolled in a few classes with the Biola Star program.  Biola University runs homeschool  classes at different satellite campuses.  These classes are top-notch and rigorous.  Rigorous is good, because I am a softie.... Demi is taking a short 8 week Creative Writing class with them. I teach the other subjects at home.

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But, the winds of change are blowing; our oldest, Meg, will be graduating this year and starting college.  And then, Josie decided she wanted to apply to the performing arts high school in our area (a charter school).  We just received notice that she was accepted,  next year my life is going to look very different.  I have gone from homeschooling 5 last year, to homeschooling 4 this year, and then to homeschooling 2 next year.

Change is always good, though.  I am currently looking for new adventures/mishaps :)

Sky is my husband and best friend.  He is an artist with woodworking and is a building inspector for schools and hospitals. He is usually my co-pilot for adventure, though any adventures prefaced with the title "hair-brained" are all my own doing- like the time I decided to go to Singapore right during the height of swine-flu pandemic, or the time I decided to start Irish dance, or the time I went to Canada and forgot I was in a different country. {{Homeschool-mom geography fail!!}}

or the time...oh, you get the idea...

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We have a labradoodle, Emma who owns a big corner of my heart, and my nemesis, Evil-Kitty a.k.a Oliver who is a favorite photograph subject here on the blog.  Make no mistake though,  the cat truly is my frenemy and is trying to slowly drive me crazy. Well, that probably covers it.

My name is Jenn and I'm an introvert who likes to talk/write...and this is my spot.

{{Welcome to my crazy life, I love making friends,

please leave a comment so I can visit you!}}

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Brighton Park Blog -a visual treat for the thinking mom

Welcome back,  {Home} sponsor Brighton Park!  I'd like to re-introduce you to this lovely blog.  Katie; homeschool mom, speech language pathologist, yogi and all around inspirational mom is the author of a truly wonderful blog.  She has so much going on there, from Waldorf Wednesdays, to literary link-up, to Music Monday- a feast of helpful content. Click over to read about planning a themed birthday party with heart, how to choose a piano or how to make a fairy garden.  Right now, Katie is co-hosting a big cookbook giveaway. Thank you Katie, for being a sponsor this month. <3

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{Home} sponsor-Brighton Park

Welcome to new sponsor: Brighton Park

Katie writes at Brighton Park blog and has been homeschooling for 5 years.  She has 5 kids under the age of 12; two with special needs.  Katie is a Waldorf inspired homeschooler.  In her own words Katie describes herself as;

Inspired Homeschooler, Artful homemaker, backyard chicken keeper, Happy Homesteader, and Jane Austen lover. Speech Language pathologist, soon to be yoga teacher, and Jesus lover.

Her blog has a little bit of everything, homeschooling, homesteading, homemaking, check out her free theme units and her recipes. Under her homemaking page is indexed linkys of all the recipes and tutorials - she has some wonderful informative content to share!


Katie has experience as a pediatric speech language pathologist for 17 years. She says "I believe anyone can be successful homeschooling and every child has the potential to learn."  She is working on her second Master's degree (in History) and her Yoga teacher certification, besides homeschooling her five, being wife and mother and sharing on her blog.  I'll just say what you are thinking... wow!  I wish I lived near Katie, I can tell she is a kindred spirit.  I am happy to welcome her as a sponsor this month at {Home} is Where You Start From.  Stop by and say "hi" for me :)

I broke my blog!


So yeah, this is how my morning started out!  Yesterday, late afternoon I added ad spaces to my blog- and then, feeling pretty tech, I went and updated some plugins and moved things around on the sidebar.  I faithfully clicked the home button after each change to make sure I didn't break my blog.  But, ahem, I didn't take in the fact that I was logged into my account and so might be able to see things the world couldn't.  I did notice my day's stats were about 1/3 lower than usual...

And then, I woke up in the morning and found a tweet from lovely blog-friend Theresa asking me if I had changed my blog to private. I then found several emails asking the same.  I checked my blog from my iphone...blank.

Insert panicked searching and brave attempts to not cry.

Yes, I broke my blog.

Fortunately, it took me a bit less than an hour to figure out the problem.  I started first with the panicked assumption that I had been hacked, but no, all was well.  Turns out it was a plugin I had updated and never should have activated.

The toll was less then an hour's work, 3 pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and 1 diet coke.

Blogging can be scary for the non-computer-literate.