Jeneric Jeneralities ~ by JenIG


I’ll save the most remarkable report (to me, anyways) until last, because I’d already designed to post several delightful updates from our OH trip, and I’d be loathe to leave them out, despite my very over excited anticipation to impart the news/confirmation that landed in my inbox this morning.  And you’ll have to excuse any and all typos because I have not been much in the frame of mind to catch them.


Firstly first — Happy birthday to Annemarie on July 1.  I am so lucky to have four very best friends.  She is one of them and I love her dearly.


second, first of all – I’m excited because Barnes & Nobles gives 20% discounts to homeschool teachers and when we were in OH I got the following titles:


Silas Marner, by George Eliot (whom I believe is a girl.  How’d you like to be a girl named George?)

The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne (I read this one a while ago and liked it – I got it for Coie who has wanted to read it for a while)

Daniel Deronda, by George Eliot

The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins (the cover is *so* pretty)

Wives and Daughters, by Elizabeth Gaskell (my most favorite CA Reading Chum has been telling me to read this for quite a while but I couldn’t ever find it)

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, by Anne Bronte (I’m half way thru with it and I am obsessively intrigued with this book.  It very well may be my new favorite book of all time. I can’t stop reading it, but at the same time I am becoming more and more despondent because I shall soon be finished, and then all of my overwhelming delight and awe will be done and over with.  Good books ought to never have to end. 





Next, guess who I got to meet?  You’ll be jealous.  Blogger Angela. 



She is the sweetest, neatest lady.  I was bummed, tho, because Jen (Mrs. Incredible) *should* have been there, but she was absent.  No matter.  I’ve talked Angela into convincing her own family (as well as Jen’s family) to move down the street from me…


Next next, Bo made the neatest ‘friend’ at the convention.  He met a man named Mr. McClellan — a brilliant scientist who had a never ending supply of fascinating tricks and experiments to show him.  We bought his book and my son has been devouring it.  He was also given (for free!) a very neat-o Morse Code Kit, which my son has been having a ball with.  What a nice man he was! He left quite a brilliant impression on my son.





And I also made a neat new friend.  I was standing at my booth and all of a sudden this very beautiful Asian lady came over and looked at me funny… as if she knew me.  At first I was thinking, MARSHIE??!!!!




But no, it tweren’t she.  And then the lady said, “It IS you!  I thought ‘That looks just like Jen Ig’ but you were at the Rosetta Stone booth so I didn’t think it was, but your name tag proves it!  and then, in response to my startled, ‘grasping-to-remember-who-she-was’ look, she told me that we hadn’t met in person before, but she knew me from my articles.  She was the nicest, sweetest, encouraging person and I felt like I had instantly met a long lost friend whom I’d known forever.  


And here is where I’ll preface my lead in to my truly remarkable piece of news.  My new friend said, “I was really moved by the article you wrote about a while back– the one about your son whom you gave up for adoption”  I said ‘thanks’ and we chatted some more and then she left, leaving me happier and more encouraged than I had been minutes earlier


Here’s where things get stunning.  While I was in OH, guess who emailed me? 


But wait, first, for those of you who don’t know, I’ll give you a bit of background.  16 years ago, before I was saved, I was a pathetic heap of teenage depravity and despondency.  I was already a mother to Coie, and when she was two, I got pregnant again.  I had tried to get an abortion, but the sovereignty of God prevented me.  It was thru this pregnancy that I came to live with a Christian family who loved me and who ‘lived out’ Christ for me – even though I was a very unlovable girl.  And it was thru this crisis pregnancy that I saw my utter depravity and realized my need for a Saviour. I ended up not having an abortion, and instead, found a beautiful young couple to raise my son as their own.


He was born Feb 26, 1992, and was named Aaron. And, naturally, I have loved him and prayed for him all of his life.  Yes, it killed me to put this perfect and beautiful little boy into the arms of another, better suited mother. But I never doubted for one moment that it was the right thing to do and the best thing to do.


His mama was so kind and has always kept in touch with me – sending pictures, giving updates, etc.


Ok… so now here is the news.  When I was in OH, his momsie emailed me and said that if we were willing, they could come and visit…  THIS WEDNESDAY.  Um… pausing… blubbering like a walrus again… still weepy but sort of able to type.  I will get to see my son, and my children will get to see their brother in two days.  They are driving out to visit us and are staying two days and one night.


Can you believe that?  Am I the luckiest girl in all creation or what?  First, a year ago I was reconciled to my beautiful sister Jess – She and Charley were here just four weeks ago.  And then, this last November, I was reconciled to my father, and only last week he was here meeting (and delighting) my family for the very first time ever.  And now… within one week of that.  Ok.  Crying again.  I better go, but I will most certainly post pictures and let you know how it goes.  And also, unbelievably, they are also going up to AK in a few weeks so Jess will also get to meet her nephew.  Who is this God of ours and how is it that He has so much love for me?


June 30th, 2008 - Posted in conventions | | 46 Comments

June 27th, 2008
Sick and Homesick in Ohio

I’ll be honest, I expected Ohio to be heinous.  I think it’s because me and Geoff drove thru Cincinnati and Cleveland during the winter months one year and I was opposite of impressed.  It seemed very dingy and old and crowded and flat and cold.  But Columbus Ohio in the summer has been pretty fun.  Columbus has neat architecture and lots of sculptures, plus, it has people that I like.  Kim Wolf and Spunky are here.  Well, technically, Spunk is from MI, but the fact that she’s here makes OH even better.  We had a fun time at Wendys.  That was after we lost Spunky five times.  We found her six times.  That means we won.

If you get  chance, ask Kim what the guy behind the counter said…

It’s also been amusing to have Bo and Emmiko with us. 

Yesterday we went swimming in the hotel pool.  But the first day we got here was crazy.  They had this biblical sized storm that woke us all up that first night we got here.  Actually, the storm woke *me* up, and then in a frenzied panic I woke up Coie, Bo and Emmiko. There were tornado warnings and alarms going off and lightening was striking every two to three seconds (no exaggeration) and rain was jackhammering down from the sky – but the weird thing was, it was falling sideways.  That’s not normal.  I won’t lie.  I was terrified.  Actually… what’s a word that means “considerably more than terrified” ? — that’s what I was. Even Coie was nervous.  And there aint nothin’ that makes that girl scared.  Yeeeeps.  But that was the extent of the excitement.  It all died down pretty quick.

In other news, it’s Dippy’s birthday this week.  I love that kid.  He’s getting to be such a big boy.  We opened presents before we left and me and Geoff will take him on a special date when I get back from OH.  I know everybody says how ‘fast they grow up’, but it really does amaze me.


On a non birthday note, our new dog Phoebe is weird.  Coie went outside to check on the laundry and found her trying to blend in with the shoes. 

 I think this might be my new favorite pet.  And she has been doing a pretty fair job of chasing the goats away from my new planter box.  She catches on quick.  She must’ve heard me bellowing at the goats because took it upon herself to be my Azalea Guard.  I wonder what other tricks she can do.  And no, she’s not deformed or possessed.  I had to blacken her eyeballs with photoshop because in the picture they were blue and glowing.  At least… i don’t think she’s possessed.

I’ll be glad to get back home.  I wish I would have brought my guitar.  I need to practice.  I’m afraid I’m going to forget the new things my dad taught me.  The coolest thing he taught me was the intro to Sweet Home Alabama.  Snazzy.  He also sang three part harmony with me and Coie.  I’ll have to post that when I get back.  I’m homesick.   And I think Emmi is *something* sick.  She just went in the bathroom to puke.  I guess i better go check on her.  gross.  Our trip home might be a lonnnnng drive.

June 27th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 21 Comments

June 24th, 2008
Our Grand Visit

Ok, so the thing about having my dad here, was that I lost my major excuse for not doing stuff that I think is too hard.  I was getting pretty comfortable with, “No I can’t do that, I’m too old”  This worked for a whole host of things, notably, for *not* risking my life on the zipline that Charley made.  After my four year old did it

 and especially after my dad did it, I really had nothing I could say to (literally) get me off the hook.


Here’s Geoff getting me hooked. 

There was no going back at that point, and I screamed my head off all 550 feet


 Once was enough for me.  I still feel shakey.


But I’m getting ahead of myself.  My dad went first:


And then he went again…. Upside down.  Show off.


We also got about 12 hours of guitar lessons during his visit


Ryann was in heaven.  Doesn’t my dad look handsome with Ryann’s pink guitar?


I also learned some new tricks


We packed a lot into two days, zip lines, guitar lessons, baseball, fishing, races, Olympic style games for the kids, and lots and lots of stories from when my dad worked in the embassy in Pakistan.  SO COOL.  It was the perfect visit, and really very very special.  It went way too fast.


 I am trying to get him to come back in October.  And I’m going to try and make a trip up to AK, soon.  I would really like to go in August when the silver salmon are running.  That would be grand.


In other news, I’m not saying what this is all about:


In other otherly news, our new cat, Artemis, came back.


In sad news, Bobo’s goat, Spot, died.  She has two babies that we’re going to have to feed from a bottle.


And lastly, I have to go pack now.  We leave for OH in the morning.


Lastly last, Congrats to Jess who won her second softball game this season.  Astounding.

June 24th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 34 Comments

June 20th, 2008
Dumb Old Goats

This is gonna be a short post. At least I think it’ll be a short post. I can never really tell when I start writing one – but I have a ton of stuff I have to get done before my dad gets here tomorrow, so I’m speculatin’ I should keep things brief.

But first things first. The five winners to the Heart of the Matter homeschool conference are:

1 Jaynee

2 Julie

3 Angie

4 Tami

5 Melissa

Ryann picked all the winners. Thanks for playing, and congrats to the winners, you’ll have a good time at the convention.

Speaking of conventions, Coie and I have our last convention next week. We leave weds to drive up to OH. I sure hope things end on a great note. It has been really marvelous traveling around and working at the Rosetta Stone booth. I’m also looking forward to seeing some neat friends in OH. We’re bringing Emmiko and Bo with us, so that will be a real treat.

Lastly, if anybody is looking to buy a house in the Bristol area (Abingdon), there is a great home that has just become available for sale, or possibly rent. It’s beautiful and a great place for a little hobby farm. Let me know if you are interested in and I’ll pass you along to the sellers.

And lastly last, I haven’t seen it yet, but Laurie Bluedorn and her son, Hans, did some interviews at the ICHE convention and Coie is in one of them. Here is the link. We’ll watch it when we get to the hotel and have fast internet. Angela, from Godly Girls is also in it, i think.

And truly last, I am so MAD. Furious, really. Coie bought me the most beautiful plant. I think it was an azalea or something. I don’t know, it was big and round and green. And she also built me the most beautiful planting box I’ve ever seen. And then she planted that big old green bushy plant inside of it along with four vine –y type of plants and the dumb old goats got out of their pen and ATE THE WHOLE THING.

June 20th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 13 Comments

June 17th, 2008

Ever since I got into a car accident three years ago, my left shoulder revolts against the rest of my body whenever I do the slightest bit of activity. Yesterday, I painted my bathroom. Actually, first I sanded it, all by my own self. And then I painted it (plum) all by my own self. And then, while I was at it, I painted two of my bedroom walls (white) and the day before, Ryann and I painted one of the living room walls.

I am very pleased with myself because I generally appoint one (or several) of my slaves, er, sweet little children to do all the heavy lifting project-y type of things. But I got tired of waiting for *somebody* to finish the bathroom project she started in April, thus, I rolled up my sleeves and had at it. It turned out pretty.

But my shoulder blade feels like it has an ax planted in it. I’ll probably be complaining about it for at least three days,which, no doubt, my family will enjoy. I figure it’s funner to suffer if everyone else is made to suffer along with me.

Second, check this out:

Know what those are? Plums! This will be the first year our plum tree produces anything. I’m mighty excited about that. Our peach trees all are diseased, but the apple tree seems like it’s fine. And Geoff the Great and Coie put a fence around my garden, so hopefully stuff will grow there, now, too. Ahhhh, farm life. I feel successful.

Lastly, Congrats to Jess for two things. First of all, she accomplished the great feat of turning 24 yesterday. And secondly, her softball team FINALLY won a game last night. They have lost every game so far this year. Isn’t that delightfully dorky? And poor Jess is like me. If she doesn’t win, she doesn’t want to play. So she was pretty excited.

Lastly Last… Heart of the Matter is letting me give away FIVE tickets to the upcoming Heart of the Matter online homeschool convention…

Heart of the Matter Online’s quest to bring you the absolute best home school resource online, they have listened to your requests and are providing you with a fun filled online adventure! On July 30th through August 3rd, they are hosting Heart of the Matter Online’s first annual Virtual Homeschool Conference! They will be providing the attendees with motivational speakers, video tutorials, free products, question and answer sessions, and a vendor hall – all ONLINE! Just log on and listen live during that time or log in at your convenience and download the audios.

This conference will be less like a “seminar” and more like a bunch of close friends in a chat room. Just wait till you see what some of your favorite home school personalities have done to educate and entertain you! At the end you will join in to chat with them, ask questions, and they will answer.

To ensure your spot in the conference room and to take advantage of the early bird special. Simply, visit the Heart of the Matter Online Conference site and click the “pay now” button. At $19.95 these prices won’t last long! This $19.95 includes a $30 package from Currclick: curriculum in a click! Currclick (formerly HomeschoolEstore) is the largest one-stop shop for electronic lapbooks, affordable curriculum, and homeschooling resources.

I’ve been given permission to give five of YOU the opportunity to attend this amazing event for FREE. Your ticket includes the $30 package from Currclick!

To enter this give away leave a comment of something you hate running out of (other than toilet paper). For instance, I detest running out of Q-tips. I cannot abide wet ears after a shower.

PS unrelated… please let me know if you have linked to my new blog ( ) so I can make sure to link back to you.   It will take a little bit of time to rebuild my friends list because that was one thing we were unable to transfer over. sigh.

June 17th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 48 Comments

I practically nearly almost feel partially alive again.  I think I musta been sick, because I was wiped out.  Geoff the Great has also been dragging this last week.  Now that his body does not have to work non stop seven days a week, I think it’s deciding to play catch up on sleep. 


It’s been nice to have him home (and awake).  Yesterday we drove to NC to pick up Ryann (who has been rapping ever since she got home …  uh… *thanks* Shay).  I really like Ashville.  I mean, yes, it’s kooky and all, but I can’t help it.  It reminds me of Davis, CA.  Totally liberal, tons of gypsy / hippie shops, trendy coffee cafes and weird looking people BUT it sort of satisfies a longing for my old home in Cali.  The drive home from NC was uncanny.  We took 25 (down the mountain) to get home and I kid you not, it looked almost exactly like the drive we used to take from our favorite camping spot in Ca (French Meadows) when we’d head back home to Coloma / Lotus / Grass Valley.  I really enjoyed it.  Plus we got to go to Panda Express.  I love that Chinese restaurant, which I can’t find anywhere in TN.


Dippy just came in here and asked if it was a sin to use crayon on his Explode the Code worksheet and then snickered and snorted.  His sense of humor still in the ‘development’ stage.  Speaking of Dippy, here is a picture that me and Coie took of him when we went to Gatlinburg last week.  I did not know he had worn his moon boots until we got out of the car.   What a weird kid.



Ok, in non-weird kid news, here’s something neato.  Look what I got in the mail yesterday: 



It’s an advanced copy of the brand new Chuck Black novel, Sir Kendrick & The Castle of Bel Lione.  And guess what, I’m in it!  Well, sort of.  I wrote an endorsement, and it is the very first one listed on the first page.  Isn’t that fun?  My son is so impressed.


Guess what else?  We got a cat.  Coie brought it home.  Isn’t it cute? 



We named it Artemis.  We generally give our cats Greek names.  This cat lasted a total of ONE night.  We woke up and it was long gone.  We just cannot keep cats around here for some reason.  We should have named this place Cursed Cat Hill.  I hope it comes back but I’m not counting on it.  I think this is the sixth kitty we’ve tried to adopt.


Guess what else?  My friend, Spunky is back in blogland.  She took a two year blogging hiatus.  I think that’s the first time I’ve ever used the word hiatus.  That’s fun to say.  Sounds like an island in the Bahamas


Lastly, here is me and Mookers, but for some reason I can’t just post the video in here like I did with the YouTube one:   You Are My Sunshine, by Momsie and Mookers





June 14th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 20 Comments

June 10th, 2008
Opal Saves the Day

I am plum tuckered.  I can’t remember being as tired as I have been these last couple of days.  This week will be nice because I aint got nothin’ going on.  I am going to lay around and be lazy until Saturday.  It will be a smidge harder being lazy, though, because my left arm is in SC for the week.  Me, Coie, James and Dippy drove Ryann out so she could spend the week helping the Carrs pack up and move to GA.  Isn’t it ironic that the family who is giving us their Suburban is named “the Carrs”?   Ryann was thrilled to go.  From what I heard, they have some special things planned, like swimming and horseback riding.  We have the greatest friends ever.


In other news, did I mention how tired I am?  I hope I liven up soon, because we have a LOT scheduled.  This week we need to get everything in order because my dad (affectionately called Mr. Grand by my family) is going to be here next Sat.  We are *so* looking forward to it.  He has been writing letters back and forth to my kids for about six months.  It will be the first time my dad ever meets any of my kids and also the first time he will meet Geoff the Great.  It’s going to be very sweet.  And fun.  My dad’s a groovy guy. 


And then as soon as my dad leaves, Coie and I take off for Ohio.  This time we are going to bring Emmiko and Bobo with us.  They will be a great help, plus it will just be fun spending two on two time with them.  They are very excited and I am, too.


And then when we get back, our friends from MO will spend the 4th of July weekend with us, and then the following month the Carrs are spending a week with us.  I love having so much fun stuff to do, and it’s even better now that Geoff is down to only one job.  It’s weird having him here so much.  And I mean ‘weird’ in an uncommonly fabulous type of way.  I like that fellow.


Lastly, guess what happened to me when I was about to leave to return the rental car?  Bobo locked the keys inside the PT Cruiser.  And it was stressful because I only had a short amount of time before getting charged for an extra day.  That was the first time I ever called a locksmith.  And I ended up getting a lady locksmith.  I didn’t know that locksmiths came in “lady”.  And she was normal, too. After calling the office, I sort of imagined a big burly bertha tearing up my drive way in a pickup truck to rescue my keys, but no, it was a girl around my age who seemed average and ordinary.  Except that her name was Opal.  I have never met anybody named Opal before.


Lastly last, I am *trying* to upload the video of me and Winona singing our heads off on the way up to IL, but my crummy computer is rebelling.  I might not be able to post it after all, which, in reality, would be lucky for you.

So, in the meantime, here is another video (that Jess showed) me, which you are sure to enjoy:

June 10th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 18 Comments

Geographically, IL is still not my favorite state.  It’s flat. Nor do I like their toll booths. And the entire state has these white floaties that drift thru the air and coast up your nose.  It looks like snow.  I’m guessing it’s pollen; I know it ain’t snow.  I was not expecting IL to be so hot.  BUT, I am in love with IL because everybody who lives here is entirely excellent.  This trip has been unbelievable so far.


It even started out fun.  I wanted to post a picture of the vanilla PT Cruiser rental we ended up with, but didn’t get around to it.  It’s super cute.  Originally we had ordered a little puny car from Enterprise, but they accidentally ran out of everything Matchbox so we had to make do with a free upgrade.  This is one fun car.  I like how the doors sound when you shut them: “FwwhhhUUUMMP”, instead of “ tink ” like the little rental we took to FL.


Anyhow, on our way up we make good use of our driving time (I’ll be posting the videos in my next post especially for Marshiemellow).  


When we got to Il, the first thing we did was head over to the fancy Bolingbrook Mall to do some shopping because I wanted to get a swim suit and Coie wanted to get some clothes.  This is how our shopping date conversation went :


Hey mama, do ya like this skirt?”

“Totally. Very cute.  I’ll be happy to borrow it”

Is it $45 cute?”


How bout this skirt?”


“$25 cute?”


How bout this one?”

“Uhhhh… how bout we just go clothes shopping at Meijers?”

That’s a grocery store

“Good.  I need some bananas”


Anyways, I did not find a bathing suit, but I still went swimming in shorts and a shirt when we got to the hotel.  That was the first time I’ve been swimming in a pool for like 12 years.  Last year I swam in a lake (sorta gross, but my kids were ecstatic).  It’s pretty good exercise.  I think I lost 40 pounds.  I’m still sore.


Ok, so then the next day was a real treat.  Unbeknownst to us, one of our very very awesome friends, Trish Tirado, was in Chicago, she happened to have come up from SC to meet with some people (who we were also planning to get together with).  We haven’t seen her in person for almost a year and a half. We were very excited.



Then later on that same afternoon we had lunch with the Lewis family – the famous publishers of Home School Enrichment (and also upcoming movie stars)  They are *very* fun;  Mr. Lewis belongs on a stand up comedy stage. 


We had a fabulous time (they are all lined along the left hand row… sort of looks like we’re getting ready for a round of Family Feud– admit it, you suddenly have that theme song playing in your head now, don’t you?).



And our “publisher” friends, the Masloskes, came too (front right hand side).  They drove out to Naperville to help us at our Rosetta Stone booth. I love this family!  We have had more fun than we’ve known how to process.  We’ve also eaten more Chinese food in the last two days than I’ve eaten all year.  That’s what happens when you get a six month pregnant lady in your group.  All she wants to eat is egg rolls.




I keep accidentally forgetting that we’re up here to WORK.  The convention has gone awesomely well so far. And check out this cute kid who wandered by our booth:




Isn’t she darling? – and get this, her last name is Farmer.  It just doesn’t get any sweeter than that.  I really would have liked to bring this one home with me.


Another huge highlight was having dinner with the lovely Mrs. Bluedorn. 



What an amazing lady.  I am very honored to count her as a friend.  We had a lovely and encouraging time, even tho *somebody* was sorely missed at our party.  If you have not checked out the resources from Trivium Pursuit, I highly recommend that you do.  Laurie is also live blogging the ICHE convention, so you can see what’s going on at this link


Ok, I need to go to bed, tomorrow is our last day and I have a feeling it’s gonna be busy. 

June 7th, 2008 - Posted in conventions | | 27 Comments

I really like WordPress. This is cool. I am having fun figuring out all the options and stuff. I am not sure if you have to have an account to leave a comment but I am going to try and set it up so that it doesn’t.  I’m all about making things easy.


And thanks for the billions of emails and kind words being sent.  I appreciate the concern, but I am sure you will understand why I’m not giving any concrete explanations.  Geoff and I are praying (as we have been for the last year) that in the end God will be glorified and that we will do things biblically and in a spirit of love and gentleness and maintain a true desire for restoration – and that we would be quick to repent for words, thoughts or attitudes that are counterproductive (yet so tempting to fall in to).  


Geoff and I were going over some of the emails you’ve sent this morning and have been so blessed and really surprised at the tremendous love from brothers and sisters whom (for the most part) we only know thru the blogosphere.  You guys are cool.  I do not take your friendship for granted.  And I appreciate your ongoing prayers.


I had also wondered what my traffic would be since my long-time blog home is unable to give a forwarding address, but I was surprised to see that my traffic (according to my site meter) is higher than what I normally get.  So apparently it hasn’t been too hard to find me.  Either that or it’s just that train wrecks have a tendency to quickly draw a big crowd.


Lastly, thank you to all and any of you who have put up a quick note on your own pg to let others know where to find me.  I appreciate that.


And lastly for reals, I will try and blog again in IL.  I am super excited about the ICHE convention.  Me and Coie are gonna have *big-time* fun.  I can’t believe I am this excited about another 10 hour road trip.  I can’t help it.  It’s splendid.  Me and Coie are getting really good at singing in harmony together.  I might have to post a video soon… 


I gotta go pack!

June 3rd, 2008 - Posted in conventions | | 37 Comments

June 2nd, 2008
Welcome to My New Home!

I am so excited that my friends were able to get me up and running over here.  And just in time, too!  I just went over and checked, and sure enough my blog was deleted.  Bummer.  Poor Jess (my little sister) was also deleted.  But that is what she gets for, um, well, I don’t know exactly, but at any rate, she can be found at

And for those of you scratching your head about why I was kicked off of HSB, I was told that it was because I had unauthorized company links on my page.  I had fixed that, but, uh, maybe not fast enough?  Not sure, but I truly wish TOS and HSB all the best. 

In the meantime, I sure am happy about my new set up over here!


June 2nd, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 24 Comments