Jeneric Jeneralities ~ by JenIG

He is in overly sunny California
right now.  We were all supposed to drive
out there for a visit but weren’t able to make it this month, so he is out
there by himself.  Today he is supposed
to drive his mama back home (to MI). 
Hopefully he’ll be home by Monday or Tuesday.  We still may take a trip out there at the
beginning of Sept.  If you live along Hwy
40 let me know if we can drop in at your house for dinner.


Now, check this out…. My oldest and youngest have the exact
same eyeballs.


All the other kids’ eyes
don’t really have a color.  They
sort of have a blend of browns and greens and blues.  It looks like paint that wasn’t mixed properly.  It’s
weird.  And Emmiko, she’s even weirder,
her eyes are different colors.  One is
bluish and one is greenish. I should get a picture of that.


Lastly, here is one of the best posts I’ve read this
week.  I really loved it!

Have a great weekend!

July 29th, 2006 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

The other day my son, Bobo, came into my room looking a bit
stricken.  We had a short conversation
that went like this:


Bubs: Mom, I’m really scared

Me: Scared? Why?

Bubs: Because I’m afraid I’m going to grow up to be a cannibal


Er….. is this a fear that most nine year old boys haul
around?  I’m not too worried at this
point. I imagine I’ll take him a little more seriously if I catch him nibbling
on his siblings.


And, here’s some sad news, this morning we woke up to find twenty of our
chickens gone. Poof. Vanished. It’s a mystery. But I suspect some sort of fowl play (sorry, i couldn't resist) 
We now have four chickens left (out of 50!).  I am a chicken-farming-failure.  Somehow Rosie and Curly made it thru.  Those are some sort of super-chickens made of
steel or something.  

July 27th, 2006 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

Geoff the Great has
been busy all week working on all sorts of projects.  Here is one
household item that every family with two year olds  needs:

Just kiddin'.  He actually constructed that for this:

Awwwwwwwwwwww. isn't that cute?  That's our dinner next month.
Just kiddin' again.  Actually, the
Emmiko, pictured above, is turning eleven this week, so she got two
little fluffy bunny rabbits (thanks to our friends, the Austins). 
Tomorrow we are taking her out on a special birthday date.  I
really like Emmiko.  She almost died when she was one. 
hibbity jibbity, I won't go into it — it stresses me out to think
about it.

I had more things to blog about, but Coie took all my blog ideas and already posted the pictures on them. Take careful note of the Jungle Bomb set up.  It's the best game ever created.  Seriously. 

And lastly, I finally found something to do with my tomatoes. 
Sort of.  I dried them and bagged them and stuck them in my
freezer.  They will probably stay there for the next 40 years —
but they looked pretty.

And lastly last, I just wanted to thank everybody for the apple
ideas.  You'll be proud to know that I canned several jars of
applesauce and also canned several cans of apple jelly.  I have no
idea how it tastes.  I'm too chicken to try it.
The End

July 24th, 2006 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

This will be a scattered entry because I
don't want to take the time to organize and condense.  But I
promise it will still be short.

Firstly, the TN/VA/NC bloggers
picnic was fun, I'd tell you all about it myself, but Steve does such a
great job at splainin' it, that I will simply link to his entry
I appreciate how he went out of his way to mention that I stayed fully
clothed the entire time.  Hardy har har.  Methinks he might
be mine and Gena's
long lost identical twin brother.  And no, the video of my
unglorious de-pantsing is still not available to the public. Vultures.

Secondly, I got nominated for something.  The graphic for the awards is soooo purdy that it makes me want to win.

Thirdly, if you (or your kid) have a story that is swimming around your head just dying to get out, then you ought to enter The Old Schoolhouse First Annual Writers Competition. 
The winners (one adult and one child) will have their story published
in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, on The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
website, and it will also be published on .  The winners will also win $1500 in great prizes.  How neatsy is that?!

Fourthly, I got an epidural three years ago while vacating King James
from my mid-section, and I kid you not, over the last few days the spot
where I got the epidural hurts like a mad cow.  Is that normal??
This was THREE years ago!  I'm guessing that's not normal. 
It hurts whenever I bend.  


Fifthly, I shall indeed attempt Crockpot apple butter.  I will update you at its completion.  Thanks for all of your collective apple wisdom; you guys are a barrel of knowledge


The End

July 21st, 2006 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

July 19th, 2006
No…. More…. Aaaaapples

Seriously, I am thankful for the abundance
of apples from our lone solitary apple tree factory — but I am
seriously tired of making apple pies.  Yesterday I made twelve
apple pies. TWELVE. That's crazy.  Today I made two humongatory
apple cobblers (which are enormously easier to make, by the way). 
Luckily, tomorrow I will get a break from the Apple Factory because I
will be up in Virginia hanging out with all our VA blogger friends
(hosted by the lovely Mrs. Austin) If you are anywhere near VA, you really ought to come.  Click here for all the details.  I'm bringing the apple cobblers for all to share.

So anyway, after my blissful one-day Apple Sabbatical, I will be back
in my kitchen — or on the internet– bumbling around for more apple
ideas.  I'm considering apple jelly and applesauce.  I hope
you can freeze apple pies because I have about twenty of them in my
freezer right now.

Are you tired of hearing about apples?  I'm tired of writing about
apples.  I can't seem to get away from apples.  THEY'RE
EVERYWHERE <insert creepy Howard Dean scream here>

I should be better within a few weeks… the apples will be gone….
and then it will be peach season.     

July 19th, 2006 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

July 15th, 2006
Tag, You're It


You guys have all really blessed me with your answers.  Thanks *super* much for participating.  I chose three winners, so if you are the
following bloggers, then email me your address so I can set up your free one
year subscription to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  If you are already a subscriber, then email
me the address of one of your friends who would enjoy it.

The first winner is: ChathamMommy/

I thought her answer to question #2 was particularly great:

2) What do you work on the most in your
Academics or Character
Mommy's attitude (no, I'm not being funny).


Our next winner is: hsmomof2

I picked her because of her answer to question number one:

1) Are you the worst
homeschool teacher you know?  Or do you feel pretty confident in what you
are doing?
I'm pretty confident that I'm the worst homeschool teacher I know.  And I
bet I'm the first one who answered that way, too.


That is one brave lady!! And I bet she is a GREAT teacher.


And lastly I picked: aligirl

6) When did you first learn about 'homeschooling' and what
was your initial reaction? (horror? were you skeptical? love at first sight?)
thought it was awesome the first time I heard of it. I went to a small bible
school, and the families that attended the bible classes, had their children
sitting in the kitchen area doing their school work.
I loved the fact that they were learning as a family. Alot of
people don't see it that way.


again for 'playing'!  I think this has been my favorite contest
yet.  I lot of you had really great things to say.  Karen W
also cracked me up with one of her answers.  There are too many to
bring up, so I'll just leave it at that. Speaking of contests, I'll
have another one featured tomorrow.  If you are looking for math
resources, you'll definitely want to check in!

Original Post*******************************

Ok, I'm tagging all of you. I've had a particularly un-stellar last
month of 'doing school' and it'd be encouraging to hear what others are
up to.  I'm curious about the following (and feel free to make the
answers as short or as long as you'd like):

1) Are you the worst homeschool teacher you know?  Or do you feel pretty confident in what you are doing?

2) What do you work on the most in your 'classroom'? Academics or Character Training?

3) What is your chosen method of Homeschooling– and are you happy with
what you're doing? Charlotte Mason– Classical– Textbook–
Unschooling– Unit Study– Car Schooling–  Ecclectic —  or
something else?

4) How many kids are you homeschooling right now?

5) Were you homeschooled as a kid?

6) When did you first learn about 'homeschooling' and what was your
initial reaction? (horror? were you skeptical?  love at first

I'd like to turn this into a contest.  Three of
you will win a one year subscription to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
(if you already subscribe then you can gift a subscription to a friend).

July 15th, 2006 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

I've never been a very good cooker, so when
all of a sudden our apple tree started bursting at the seams I began
developing a nervous twitch.  I feel guilty if things go to waste,
and all of a sudden I had about a hundred billion shiney apples just
hanging there expecting me to do something with them..  So Gena,
being the best sister that she is, gave me her Super Duper DeLux
Apple/Peeler/Corer Gadget and *poof* — I'm now in Apple Heaven.  
If you ever find yourself up to your eyeballs in apples, you should get
one of these.

Here's BoBo and Julia (gena's kid) in action with the wizardly thing

We could peel, core and slice the apples in about twenty seconds.  No Joke.

Ta Dah!  Is that not the prettiest pie ever assembled by an
Igarashi?  I hate apple pie, but I actually found this one one
rather tasty.  I also threw a bunch of apple slices in the
dehydrator that gena bought me for Christmas, and my kids *loved*
those. Everybody was amazed — me most of all.

My next trick will involve learning what to do with tomatoes.  I
hate tomatoes. I would have never planted them if I would have known
they'd actually grow.

July 13th, 2006 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

Surely you've had at *least* one, right?  My friend Mrs.Incredible
has a neat contest going on right now.  Check it out; she has a
very cool prize up for grabs.  She is looking for 'incredible
School Day Moments'.  So here is mine…. (it's sort of a cheat, I
wrote this a loooooooong time ago)


The Christian Compass
Jenefer Igarashi
Senior Editor, The
Old Schoolhouse Magazine

Lessons are everywhere, and
the longer I teach, the more I realize that there are opportunities in every
situation and for every subject. As a Christian, I have seen first hand how all
things point back to the Creator, and can be used to accomplish my main and
first priority-instructing my children in the way of the Lord and establishing
a firm foundation of knowledge.  And with this foundation, it is my prayer
that (God-willing) they will someday draw upon it to make decisions for Christ
and develop a great love and relationship with Him as their Savior.
One of the earlier lessons came during a history/geography lesson.  We
were studying Christopher Columbus, where he came from, his love of ships and
exploration, and how the Queen Isabella of Spain agreed to finance his
trip.  We were tracing his route, very simply, using a map and seeing
where he started and where he landed.  The lesson turned to navigation,
and how he had to map out his own route to India, because there was not a map
for him to follow.  Can you even imagine that?  How incredibly
difficult!  What faith he must have had!  How could have he done it? In
the past, and even now, we rely on compasses and star patterns to know where we
are and in what direction we are heading.  In our lesson, we talked about
how people must have compasses or some physical point of reference otherwise
they would end up sailing in circles.  Many people have died in the
wilderness or forests, walking endlessly, yet getting no-where. 

To emphasize this point, I
took my children outside with a large piece of pink sidewalk chalk and a
blindfold.  On the sidewalk, I chalked out a straight line- about 20 ft
long.  I then made a little wager with them.  I said if any of them
could walk straight down pink line blindfolded and end up with even one foot
still on the line, that I would give them $20.  After assuring them that I
was serious and would honor our little 'bet', you can imagine the enthusiasm
and whoops and hollers that ensued.  They began slapping each other on the
back, all grins, and making plans how to spend this easy cash.  But to
their dismay, one after the other, try after try, not one could walk that
straight line blindfolded.  It was impossible. They were all so sure they
could do it.  They kept begging for one more try, until finally coming to
the realization that it was futile. 

We went back inside and I
opened my bible up to Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right to a
man, but in the end in leads to death.”  Jesus the Messiah, The Son
of God and the only Savior who can cleanse us of our sins and lead us to
heaven, said in the book of Mathew (8:12), “I am the light of the
world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the
light of life”.  We need Him desperately.  The bible is how he
speaks and leads us.  As Christians, it is our compass. 

As our children's teachers,
we are responsible to give them all the tools and skills they will need to
succeed in life.  If my child becomes a doctor and saves 1000 peoples'
lives, or becomes the President, or just a hardworking man who gives 100
percent in any job he does, yet does not know God and fails to make it to
heaven, all of my teaching was in vain.  I cannot make the “salvation
decision” for him, but I will teach him- foremost- REAL life lessons, and
that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” 

As a home schooling mom, I
have the greatest opportunity in the world.  I pray that my schooling and
daily life would not wander in circles, but rather be led forward and upward as
all of us, together, learn more and more of His great love for us and grow to
know him better.


Jenefer Igarashi is the Senior Editor of The Old
Schoolhouse Magazine for homeschoolers. She can be reached for comments on this
article at You can also check out Home School
Magazine online by 
clicking here.

Copyright 2003. Used with
permission by The Old Schoohouse Magazine.


July 13th, 2006 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

I still don't camp well.  I wimped out on the second night of our family campout and Geoff the Great
drove me home to sleep in my own cozy bed.  And I'll tell you
what… you never know how excellent a toilet is until you go without
one for a couple of days. 

Anyways, the first day we arrived at the family camp site I had a predictable “Jen Moment”. It's always something….
It all started with this enormous tree swing tire.  I should have
learned my lesson with tree swings after my last near death experience,
but I'm a bit slow and it takes me a couple of tries to catch on to the
obvious.  Anyhow, this tree swing is the grandpappy of all tree
swings, I don't know what possessed my to do this, but with all the
kids egging me on (my kids and our friends kids), I slowly climbed up
the cliff that the tree swing hung over. I started to chicken out, but
I confess, I caved in to the peer pressure of the gawking crowd (that
grew very quickly).  They were expecting a jump, so I was
obligated to give them one.

So with great courage and
determination, white-knuckled, I clutched the tire and flung myself
sideways off the cliff.  I knew at that moment I was in
trouble.  Screaming, flailing and kicking I was finally slammed
into the side of the mountain where my pants were promptly ripped right
down to my knees.  All in front of my horrified audience. Yep, I
should have surely seen that one coming.  What's worse, it was
caught on video.  Which I will not be sharing. Ever.

July 11th, 2006 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

Wow! You guys are SOOOOOO talented!  They were all so good that I asked Marshie to do the honors and pick a Winning Poet for me….  Here is what she emailed to me:

was very impressed with Tonya's poem sung to a tune; mamasmurf's
poem reminded me of my own not-so-good memory; Melkhi was brave
and clever enough to add on to the great Robert Louis Stevenson; and
Starlady has got some very talented children…  Actually there
were too many good entries to make this easy…
the romantic in me couldn't help but dreamily *sigh* at dear
JocelynDixon's poem about her Knight in shining armor.

So there you have it!  Congrats JocelynDixon! email me at and give me your addy so i can send you your prize.

*********************** original post:

Do you like poems?
Do you like ryhmes?
Do you like lemons
With your limes?

I have a new contest sponsored by our friend, Andrew Pudewa, you know that brilliant fellow from the Institute for Excellence in Writing?
We met up with him again at the FPEA convention.  He seems so
smart and intelligent and scholarly.  I'm always tempted to go up
and slap him on the back and say, “Hiya Andy!”  Anyways,  I
have a set that he sent over ($65 value) that one of you lucky bloggers
will win.  The set is called, Linguistic Development through
Poetry Memorization.  And it looks very very superly
fantacular.  As a matter of fact, TOS did a review on this program, you can read it here

If you would like to win, simply come up with a poem (it has to be at least two lines long).  Here's an example:

Geoff the Great, he met his Fate
One dark and stormy night
He hiccupped up, he hiccupped down
From dusk till morning light

See? it's not that hard.  I came up with a whole FOUR lines right
off the top of my head.  Let the poem wars begin….

And then check out some of Mr. Pudewa's other excellent resources!

July 5th, 2006 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

Next Page »