7 Quick Takes -missing in action edition

Howdy, howdy, howdy bloggy friends!  Whew, blog-break!!  Life has been crazy-busy here at {Home} -a girl can't catch her thoughts, much less blog...!  Here's all the crazy that I live:


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Josie went in this week for her audition for the performing arts high school she'd like to attend next year.  I swear, this whole process has taken a year off my life, at least.  I admitted earlier that I think I have A.D.D. -at the least, I am scattered, Bridget-Jones -homeschool-mom and so imagine me trying to navigate a months-long process of detailed applications, different deadlines for different things, requesting transcripts, remembering deadlines, organizing/labeling/displaying artwork tastefully.... etc.  I had one midnight panic attack (I woke up Sky, sobbing my heart out because I thought I had messed up a transcript thingy- and it was either wake him up or call my E.S. in the middle of the night) and a dozen mini-panic attacks where my heart would jump and I'd ask myself "have I missed a deadline?"  and "the audition is on this date, right?" and then I'd have to go online and re-check.  And re-check.

Once we had everything packed-up, labeled, displayed in a beautiful manner...my mad scrapbook skills came into handy at 1 a.m. as Josie and I cropped digital art and used double-sided tape to put things into place.. who knew that particular skill would come into such important play?!...once it was all ready, Josie was dressed up, hair curled, subtle make-up in place....I delivered her to the door of the school and walked away.

The rest was up to her.  Poor thing then had to draw for 90 minutes.  She survived, and I did too.  We have to wait several weeks now to see if she got in.  I try not to think about it.  She really wants to go.


Standardized State Testing season has begun.  Demi and Amie had p.e. testing, and then Josie had to take the Math portion of the California High School Exit Exam the morning of her audition for the arts school.  Yeah, fun times.  Poor thing.

We also ended a round of key assignments for the charter school (my high school students) * I really hate these, stuff for a future post.  I contemplated pulling Meg out three months before graduation to avoid these.  I asked Meg how she would feel to get a diploma from St. Jennifer's Academy and she was a bit ambiguous about it.  I decided to try to wait it out.  We also had portfolio samples due.  This month has been really, really crazy!

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Amie loves her Hogwarts for Muggles class.  They had a class all about owls and dissected owl pellets, measured out different owl species wing spans, studied their diets and did a craft.  This week, they studied frogs and made chocolate frog candy.  She has such a blast with this class.  I love the lapbooks she brings home.


Demi is taking an eight-week creative writing class through Biola Star.  This is his first class with Biola, his older sisters have been taking high school classes with them for years now.  It is a great class to get his feet wet with them.  Next year in 8th grade, I am hoping to have him take an intro to composition class and Latin with them.  It is very strange to think that next year I might only have one student taking classes with Biola Star.

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Monday I said goodbye to our very last hen.  Our flock has slowly diminished to one lone hen, and she was very, very lonely.  Ironically, Annabelle was the ornery hen.  Once she was alone, her personality changed and she became timid and tried to hang out with us when we were outside.  She was pretty misanthropic before, this change was pretty big.  We found a friend who has hens, to adopt her, so she left for hopefully a happy retirement with new friends.  It's a bit strange, I keep catching myself saving my morning blueberries for her, or checking outside to see if she has water, or just looking outside to see what she is doing.  I am no longer Hen-Jen.


The Bible College boys are back for Sunday Night dinners (we miss them when they are on break), the weather here has swung from cloudy/cold to hail and rain, to sunlight on the same day as hail, back to foggy and then today it was really warm.  I am hoping the warm weather is back.  The hail was pretty exciting, since we really don't get wild weather here.

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Gas prices here in So. Ca are painful!  I am hoping they go down soon.  I drive about 60 miles each way to take Amie to her Hogwarts class once a week, Demi's writing class is 20 miles away, and Josie's fencing class is 45 miles away. We are about to yell "uncle!" with the gas prices!

Well, bloggy friends, I am really looking forward to getting back to a normal, quiet homeschool week after this week of chaos/stress.

Hope your week is wonderful!

**7  Quick Takes happens every Friday over at Conversion Diary

Bumps in the night

Urban farming doesn't seem to be our thing... This year, Sky has concentrated so much on his woodworking that he let the garden go to pots.  And then, there are the hens... who I love, but I don't love getting up really early in the morning to let them out of the coop.  And, even when I am up really early, I don't like having to tromp through the muddy patch in our backyard (yeah, hindsight, we put the coop in the most shady/wet area of the yard...) to let them out, and my kids don't like to do it either.  If we don't let them out, the girls holler.  Did you know that hens can holler?  Well, yes, they can!

So, since I am a farmer-failure and don't like to tromp all of 50 feet out through a muddy patch to let the hens out...we started the bad practice of not locking the hens in at night.  Hens can be pretty cool pets, in that they will put themselves to bed every night.  I figured we hadn't seen any predators around at night in the past few years, the occasional opossum seemed more interested in the fruit on trees and the garbage cans...so, I happily let them put themselves to bed each night, and let themselves out bright and early in the morning to forage like very happy/busy hens.  Win/win.

But oh, bloggy friends, I knew I might gamble and one night be very, very sorry.

I was awakened, at 3 a.m. one morning to the stuff of nightmares; chicken screams in the night.  Yeah, they can scream, too.


I bolted upright, went running, flung open the backdoor and prepared to defend my hens...and expecting to see chicken carnage.

What I found...3 hens huddle against the back screen-door, climbing on-top of  each other.  I could imagine them yelling, "let me in, let me in!"  I saw some feathers, but surprisingly no carnage.  All 3 hens were there and all were unhurt.

We checked the hen house, saw nothing- and then I spied the rather large raccoon up a tree in front of the coop.  [I think he was after the corn-feed and the hens scared him] After the hens calmed down, we picked them up and put them in the coop...no way- no how were they going to go back on their own.  They kept rushing the door, gibbering- I imagine "let me out, let me out, death stalks here!"  I felt pity on them, thought for a moment of putting them in the bathroom for the night-but then Sky suggested the garage.

I left the light on, so they wouldn't be afraid of bumps in the night.

It's what the mom in me said to do...

This story happened months and months ago and for months and months now, the hens refuse to go to bed in the coop.  They roost next to the back door on our bench, and we have to carry them, every night, to bed.


And thus ends my tale.  The moral: lock up your hens at night, trying to avoid work will bring you more work.


hens are big babies.

The end.

hens and hawks -home movie

So, I had a really old iphone and then it just stopped working one day.  I did the only thing that could be done in such a situation, went and bought a new one!  I didn't get the newest/greatest edition, but the one below...and drum roll please, it has video.  I predict more videos here on the blawg, since I now have it at my fingertips at all times. This afternoon, I saw a flash of brown out my kitchen window - I went out to investigate and saw two cooper's hawks in our tree.  Two turned into three.  This is kind of magical for us, because we live in the middle of a pretty big city.  Here's a short imovie of the hawks, taken with my iphone.  This age continues to amaze me :)

Our hens, Dapples and Annabelle make cameo appearances at the end...

March Photo-a-day {days 18,19,20,21,22}

{Day 18 ~family  Day 19 ~grammar}


Okay, "family" kind of stumped me, it's been a while since I've had a photo with all of us in it...so I decided to show you our family art here on these shelves.  We've got art work here by the kids and by me.    Grammar- here is a lesson I did with the kids on definite & indefinite adjectives.

{day 20 ~view}


a view of my backyard, Annabelle and Dapples like to roost on this bench in the evening.

{day 21 ~Me  day 22 ~try}


Me:  Dapples was looking for a treat while I was out in Sky's workshop.  Try: We traveled to Hemet for Josie's first official saber tournament, she went to qualify for the upcoming regional tournaments in July.  This was a small event, just right for getting our feet wet :)

I have gotten so far behind on this photo challenge, eek!y

(you can find the March prompts here, if you'd like to join in!)

How is your March closing?  Was march gentle like a lamb or roaring for you??  Mine was kind of roaring!

I heart Fall

{Fall} my favorite season

that something nippy in the air

a crispness that adds a snap to the morning

leaves flame {red} {orange} burnt sienna  {spun gold}

crackle of leaves under my feet

bright warmth from my fireplace

*hot chocolate     *gingerbread lattes    *pumpkin everything


slow farewell to Summer, bright crimson and gold banners unfurled

herald of the cool stillness of Winter

life slowed, then halted

I love Fall.

*Do you have some Fall favorite things?


a homeschooling week that was, Sept. 25th

We are deep into the back- to -homeschool-craziness here!  All of our outside activities and classes have started up again.  Lots of drive-time for mom!  Here's a run-down on what we've been up to here at home :) Sky gave up on the garden.  He has been very busy with his woodworking, so the garden just went sort of wild.  We decided to go ahead and open it up to the hens.  This is the equivalent of Hen Nirvana.

We are enjoying our studies, and enjoying some great read-alouds.  We finished the first Artemis fowl on audio book, and have started the second book, Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident.  We are listening to these in the car.  I'm suddenly very popular, I have lots of company on errands :)

Demi-Sky is reading The Mysterious Benedict Society with me, Amie is starting A Little Princess (& yes, it has to be the Tasha Tudor illustrated edition!).  I'm a bit at a loss for a reading book for Teddy right now, I'm trying to think of one that will capture his interest but not be too difficult for him.  Josie is reading The Return of Sherlock Holmes on Meg's Kindle, Meg is reading Mere Christianity and just finished Finnigin of the Rock.  Sky is reading the last Artemis Fowl.  I just finished The Power of Six.

Homeschool is moving along.  We just started Switched on Schoolhouse English with the 3 youngest.  I went through the 1st 2 lessons with each child to see how it works and what the work is like.  I found the 1st day tedious.  I think that goes along with trying to learn a new program and reading each lesson through three times in a row.  Usually, I try to do things only once...  The second lesson was pretty interesting.  I am planning on having the three work independently on this...hopefully.  In addition to the SOS English, I am also doing MCT Language Arts with the kids.  It is beautifully and imaginatively written.  I have to admit I am very enamored of this program.  In way only a grammar-geek/homeschool mom could be <3

We took a beach day this week.  It was lovely, cool and not crowded.  A So. Cal beach on a Summer day is the definition of crowded.  Once school is in session, it is lovely and uncrowded.  We could hear seals barking at the end of the jetty, but couldn't see them.  The kids played, I read. Bliss.

We've started back to the skate-park as p.e. for the 3 younger students.  We skip this during the Summer- too crowded. We arrived late morning and they had it pretty much to themselves till lunch-time.  Art class has resumed for the 3 youngers plus Josie- they are all happy to be back. I am happy they are all in the same class, I get to drop them off and head to the bagel store :)  Meg has returned to Irish Dance, Josie is back to fencing.  Demi, Amie & Josie are back to piano, Meg is continuing with violin.  All in all, we are a busy crew!


how was your week?