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.

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

7 Quick Takes -Thanksgiving edition

We spent Thanksgiving up north, in Washington State, visiting one of Sky's brothers....Photobucket


I really love it there.  Eastern Washington is beautiful.  Actually, all of Washington is beautiful, I just prefer a bit more sun- which is why I have a hankering for the east side.

These are crab-apple trees and they line the driveway of Dr. Bros.'s house.

I {heart} these trees so much.

Dr. Bro. says they are messy, but I think that is rather un-poetic of him.








The kids were in horse-heaven.

Aren't they sweet?

True fact:  Dr. Bro is allergic to the hay he feeds them.


We had a plethora of good eats.  I mentioned the now-legendary snickers salad in an earlier post... we also had several pies- Pumpkin, apple crisp and lemon meringue...just to name drop a few.... and I have to admit that I am lusting after his stove-top. I've already priced out the brand and I'm bugging Sky to get me one.  I never thought I'd prefer an electric stove-top over gas, but this wolf electric stove-top has won me over. It's the simple cleaning possibilities that I am drooling over...



Emma-doodle, she loved it.  She reveled in it.  She ran and ran and let the wind run through her ears.

Yes, it was 4 kids, 2 parents and a labradoodle in a van for 22 hours.  Oh the joy.

Actually, they were all good traveling companions.  Emma is a quiet soul, and was just happy to be included with her pack. We rented a van for the trip, and she had her own seat  :)



The kids did a lot of riding.  Amie and Emma did a lot of exploring of the woods behind the house and saw deer several mornings and beautiful pheasants.  The kids, Sky and Dr. Bro also did some gun shooting.  Demi-Sky and Josie were total cracker-jack shots and had a bit of a rivalry going.  Josie edged him out,  I think.  She had incredible aim.  Hidden talent??

We did a lot of cooking, eating and lounging around.  Of course we visited Barnes & Nobles. Twice.

The second time was on Black Friday, because we are hardcore like that....



Photo opp with the wonder-labradoodle!!  Her best trick?  She is no-touchy.

Seriously.  She will ask to be petted and then lean away from you/ move away from you.  She loves it/but can't handle it. And yet, she follows me all around the house.  She is a finicky lover.  I think she is perfect for us, if she was too touchy, she would drive Sky crazy.

Can you see the not-so-subtle lean away from me here???


It was a great trip, we had a blast.  Next time though, I think we are flying  ;)

*7 Quick Takes Friday is hosted weekly over at Conversion Diary

7 Quick Takes -Vacation brain edition


Sky and I haven't been away, just the two of us, in over 5 years...So, I decided it was time we took a little trip.  It was a late anniversary celebration (19 years in June!) We rented a house with friends,  this was the view on the property....



The destination? San Juan Island.  Funny, disjointed way that we ended up there, but then again, it's totally a Jen thing... Someone online mentioned what a great time her family had on San Juan Island.  I love the thought of anything with the word "Island" on it, so I googled it, wondering where it was.  It is actually close to Seattle Washington, which is actually doable for us.  I clicked on a website for the Island, and the photo that popped up was of people kayaking with Orca Whales.

If I had a bucket list, kayaking with Orca whales would be on it, top of the list!



And yes, we did kayak and whale-watch.  Sadly, we didn't see any Orcas, but we did see two harbor seals "displaying" in the water, some heron cranes, a bald eagle, a deer resting, and some beautiful jelly fish.  We went on a tour with San Juan Outfitters- I highly recommend them.  [here's a side-story, we went across to the island by ferry and it was really late because of fog, and San Juan Outfitters waited for us, we were like 45 minutes late for our tour because of the ferry]  Click here* to see my Wordless Wednesday post with a lovely photo of our kayak trip...


Another bucket-list item?


Yes, San Juan has a zip-line.  I've wanted to zip-line ever since I visited Graceful Mom in Singapore and found out that Asia's most extreme zip-line was at Sentosa Island (where we stayed) and I didn't know it.  It's been on my wish list every since.  Some day I will go back to Singapore and do it, but this scratched an itch.  My friend Jennifer, who lives in Seattle, did the zip-line with me and took photos.  :)


We had such a lovely get-away.  We have great heart-friends in Seattle, they picked us up from the airport, hosted us for a night, and then rented a house with us on San Juan.  We stayed for two nights, 3 days.  we really loved the island, and we really want to go back.  We visited a lavender farm there, I keep joking it was on Sky's bucket list :)  We tried to brainstorm ways to open up our own lavender farm and move to the island.  Someday....we'll keep dreaming.....  San Juan island is in the rain-shadow of Mount Olympus, and gets less rain then Seattle.  I'm totally sold on it.  :)



Sky and me in front of the rental house.  It was a lovely house.

Did I mention I'd like to move to this island?


The kids ran feral and not much homeschooling happened.  It's amazing to have an almost 18 year old who can life has truly changed!  It was amazing, the girls took themselves off to their Biola classes- boy, my life looks very different from when I had 4 kids ages 7 and under!   So that is my wrap-up of my vacation.  It was truly magical and adventurous and relaxing.  And I ate whatever I wanted.



7 Quick Takes Friday happens every week at Conversion Diary, click over to join in!