Jeneric Jeneralities ~ by JenIG
October 31st, 2008
Reformed Itchy Sewing Feet

Happy Reformation Day! This is one of the few holidays that I celebrate.  My friend, Julie Park, is having a Reformation Day party complete with a painted castle.  I really wanted to make that party.  I wonder if the Bluedorns will have a castle at their party.


In other news guess what I got?  Poison Ivy.  I think it’s secondary poison ivy because it’s decidedly more enjoyable than the last time I got it.  But it’s still pretty itchy. And the Bluedorn challenge has gotten me so worked up that I actually started wondering if I could use it as biological weaponry.   But no, I suppose that wouldn’t be fair.  Or legal.  Or socially acceptable in any degree what-so-ever.  I hate that last reason; it hampers the best of so many good ideas.


In other news, Coie is almost done with the benefit quilt.  We have a system that works really well for us.  She sews, and I morally support her by sitting on the couch reading.   







And Ryann was kind enough to take this picture in a way that emphasizes my size nines in the most delicate light.




See how I took a sharpy to the back of my book?  I did that because I don’t like to be tempted to read the previews/overview.  I like everything to be a total surprise.  Unless I’m going to the doctor, then I make everybody talk real slow, and move real slow and explain in clear chronological detail what their objective is before they come anywhere near me.


Ok, I have laundry that needs to be scowled over.  Have a super weekend

October 31st, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 21 Comments

October 29th, 2008
Dancing with the HomeTeached

In my defense, right off the bat, I want to assert the artificial fact that I am entirely positive if Laurie Bluedorn went toe to toe with me in a disco challenge then I would most certainly absolutely without-a-doubt probably win.  

My father’s mother’s maiden name was Funk, it’s in my blood, and that aint no lie.


But no.  Laurie doesn’t want to have a “Disco” Dance Off because she thinks she can beat me again in another “Virginia Reel” Dance Off.  As if the first one wasn’t enough.  And I’m not saying that just because I’m bitter or scared.  Ok, maybe I’m a little scared.  I mean, sure, Sir Harv and Lady Laurie might have really and truly won the first dance off, but since there was rampant cheating, voter fraud and thug-style politics behind the scenes, we’ll just never know for sure. 


And I still maintain the whole thing was rigged.  Furthermore, what you don’t see in this video is that minutes before the competition started somebody took a crowbar to my kneecap.  Now I ask you, is that fair?  Should we reward Knee-Cappers with illustrious dance titles?  I think not.  I demand justice, and if there must be injustice then I prefer it to be in my favor.

ok, I tried forever to get the video embedded into my blog post but I’m too dumb to figure it out… so if you want to see the first Bluedorn vs Igarashi dance off that happened two years ago, go HERE … the first video is shorter, but the second one down has better quality.


At any rate, I appeal to you, my faithful, justice-loving friends, to support Team Ig in the Second Bluedorn vs Igarashi Virginia Reel Smack Down Dance -Off.  ** I just realized if me and Laurie were to build a house out of ice and snow we could call it an Igbloo, ha ha snort **


There is still time to sign up for the dance, but you don’t have to be present to participate in the most important Dance Off election in our lifetime. 


Mail-in “votes” are most welcome.  And think carefully before you vote.  Can we really afford two more years of the same Bluedorn Dance Domination?  No.  I submit we need change.


Can you really “vote”?  Yes, you sure can.  And what is the real reason for it?

Any money support (in the form of ‘votes’ or otherwise) will go towards a medical fund for a very worthy and fine young fellow, which will help pay for surgeries, chemo treatments, and other medical expenses. 


Obviously, thru-out all the fun we’re having this is the real purpose here. : ) 

Checks, Money Orders, Cash may be sent directly to:


Greg Wallace (2379 North 800 East Road, Moweaqua, IL 62550


And how about getting your kids involved? What a perfect opportunity to show how the body of Christ – even though spread out geographically – is a family!  What a beautiful and easy way to showhow God can use ‘related strangers’ to bless, uphold, support and (literally) make a life preserving difference for a brother in Christ.


** many thanks to the brilliant Nobletin Production team for putting the video together!



October 29th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 12 Comments

October 27th, 2008
A Picture-y Post



I had the loveliest weekend ever.  I love this time of year, and I love being outside (as long as it’s not for a prolonged period of time). 


But before the weekend started, I did a craft with my kids.  Yes.  Me. *I* instigated a craft incident.  And I am such a bad friend, I cannot for the life of me remember the blog where I stole this idea.  I’d like to link to it, because her family’s end result turned out tons better than ours.  Yet, none-the-less, it was fun, cheap and easy.   


Proof of said craft project in process:







Aren’t they cute?  I like them because they are easy. Super easy, plus, I don’t like the way they taste so I’m not tempted to eat them.  All it takes is a bag of those marshmallow-ish orange ‘Circus Peanuts’ candies (those things are so gross).  You pull them in half, roll them around in your hands until they are round, poke a hole in the top and then shove in a small piece of green sour straw candy.  Then you take a knife or a toothpick and indent vertical lines around the pumpkin (this makes them look more pumpkinishtic), and then roll them in sugar.  Fast, easy, cute, and they won’t make you fat, because seriously… no adults actually like those Circus Peanuts. 


Ok, so when the weekend began, we kept pretty busy.  Saturday was dedicated to chopping down dead trees, chain sawing them into rounds, and then hauling them to the house for firewood.  The weather was unbelievably delightful.





Here’s Geoff the Great doing the main work.  And, interestingly enough, I found out that I am petrified of chainsaws.  I had no idea.  I told Geoff that I wanted to have a go at slicing up the tree, so he explained how everything worked and then told me – in great detail – how if I ‘stood in this position’ the chain might fly off backwards and split my head open, or if I ‘stood in that position’ the blade could slip thru the wood and hack off my ankle, or if I ‘stood like this’ then it could jerk backwards and take off one of my hands.  I said I still wanted to try, but that “now I was scared”, to which he replied, “You should be terrified”.  I couldn’t start the machine by myself so he revved it up and handed it over.  That was enough excitement for me.  I handed it right back and took off for higher ground.



Hauling wood is a huge workout.     


My favorite part was when Geoff took down two enormous dead trees.  I have no idea how he was able to figure out how to cut them in a way to aim them.  They fell exactly the way he said they would.  And then to hear them CRACK and then watch them slowly topple over then hit the ground with a sonic boom and huge echo – wow, was that cool.  The ground actually shook. 


I wish he would not have chopped up this big tree.  It fell over and hit a little hill opposite from where it stood and made a bridge.  As soon as it fell all the kids (and me) ran over and ran across it.  There is nothing funner than crossing over a big fallen tree bridge.  It brought back memories of when me and my sister, Gena, were little (Jess wasn’t born yet) and my dad would take us camping (I think it was in Oregon), and then he’d turn us loose and we’d spend all day getting lost in these huge fern covered woods and having adventures and finding little streams with big tree bridges to cross over.  At the end of the day he’d get us back to camp by sending out a shrill whistle (nobody could whistle as loud as my dad) and we’d come tumbling back and finish the day roasting marshmallows and hotdogs.  Those were fun times.




Anyhow, we all got to spend time playing on it before Geoff turned our bridge into 30 or so logs, which will keep us nice and toasty this winter


And then Sunday evening was playtime



is it just me, or does the back of their heads sort of look like glazed donuts?




Need a more interesting book, Coie?


I hope your weekend was as cozy as ours. : )


October 27th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 23 Comments


Ryann is not generally my cooker.  Emmiko dominates the kitchen and crafty craft-ish arena.  Ryann, on the other hand, has many other strong points like videography, computer knowledge and causing people everywhere of all ages to like our family because she is so generous, outgoing and personable.  She also has a smacking wit that almost scares me.  She’s very funny. 


So anyways, when Ryann said she wanted to try a baking experiment I mentally snickered at her. You’ll be pleased to know that I didn’t snicker at her on the outside… outwardly I just told her, “Ok, you can try, but you better clean up your mess”


About three minutes later I heard her snorting and laughing and sputtering, so I went into the kitchen and saw her standing in front of the microwave.  Turns out, her best friend from church (who is a woman in her early 60s and has a sense of humor that matches Ryann’s to a T), sent her this microwave recipe to make chocolate cake (from scratch) in a coffee cup.  And it works.  And it’s actually pretty good.  But while it’s baking in the microwave, the stuff grows upwards until it outgrows the cup by double.  It made me nervous.




As you can see, it shrinks down quite a bit when you open the door.  See the cake peeping its brown little head over the top? Yummmmmmy. But, still, I don’t know – I’m not sure if I can fully support chocolate cake which is *that* fast and easy to make and eat.  It just doesn’t seem biblical.

And by the way, Jess sent me that mug.  It has pictures of a bunch of famous authors on it.  Pretty neat-o, eh?


Anyways, here’s my brilliant daughter, newly skilled in the ancient art of baking Microwave Chocolate Mug Cakes:



In other non-caloric news, you know something that really bothers me?  And I can’t see that there is any sort of remedy for it, which adds to the botherization of it – It irks me that there is no general accepted consensus on how to spell the word “yeah / yah / yaaaa / ya” etc.  It is supposed to have the short a sound, like in “cat”, but there are no letters to accurately spell it without the possibility of it also sounding like “yay” or “yahw”.  It really does bug me. 


In other otherly news, I was poking around on Coie’s blog page and I found an “About Coie” page that I hadn’t seen before.   She must’ve added it recently. Happy Sigh.  What a nice little girl.  Please don’t ever get married and leave, Coie.  No really… I mean it.


Lastly, I highly recommend Expelled.  We rented it when it came out on Tuesday.  Wow.  Entirely worthwhile… and then some.  Do rent it.  Or buy it.  Whatever.  Just make sure you watch it.  Highly interesting. Plus, it has a groovy soundtrack.


October 22nd, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 26 Comments

October 21st, 2008
Reading Irritants

I guess I read more than I thought I do.  And it’s true that you never really appreciate something until something interferes and shows you yet another thing you’ve been taking for granted.


As for me, I shan’t take my nose for granted any longer.  I’ve always been grateful that I could smell, and I’ve always been grateful that I could sneeze (there’s nothing so exhilarating than a series of well timed sneezes), but I’ve never before been thankful for the important part my nose plays in holding my reading glasses in place.  Yesterday morning, I realized that my right side of my face was bothering me; it took a little while to figure out that it only bothered me when I read.  And it took a little longer to realize that the reason it bothered me is because my face created one of those large undercover pimples that sit deep under the skin and are hard to see but hurt like the dickens, and it’s *RIGHT* on the bridge where my reading glasses sit.  So I’m hoping this is a fast moving pimple that has more important places to go.


And before you wake up, I’ll mention that I really really really like the book, Lorna Doone.  I’ve been on a book buying frenzy lately, but for some reason I checked this one out at the library instead having Amazon send it to me. But this is definitely a book that I need to own and then I’m going to force everybody in my family (and several of my friends) to read it.  I love it.  It is absolutely worth the zit-nose suffering.


In non face blemish / book news, check this out:



Coie is almost completely done with the quilt she is making for the Bluedorn Ball and Benefit Auction.  Isn’t it lovely?  And I’m really having a bit of a hard time because look how well it looks sitting on top of my cozy white comforter – and it even matches my picture on the wall, which, incidentally, Coie and her dad got me ten years ago for Christmas.  I think that quilt might be meant for my room.  And that makes me nervous because the last time Coie made a quilt to be auctioned off I ended up paying $250 to keep it.  And this year, I just aint don’t got no extra $250.



October 21st, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 23 Comments

October 17th, 2008
New Newsworthy News



I didn’t think I had anything to blog about, but then, my sister called earlier today and, uh, wow.  No, unfortunately we don’t have Preston progeny on the way (yet), but boy oh boy was I in for a surprise.  And it’s funny, because I didn’t think 08 could get any better than it’s already been, yet even as the months are sliding closer to 2009, it seems good news still keeps springing out from all direction.


As it turns out, my capital A-1 charming brother-in-law, is looking into buying a truck – in Knoxville.  Knoxville is the town close to where we live.  Anchorage, AK is the town where *they* live.  But he found a great deal on an awesome Denali and he’s thinking about buying it.  And if he does (I hope he does) then me and Coie will drive it up.


There is nobody in these here United States who loves a road trip more than me and Mookers.  So, if all goes according to plan then two days after we get back from the Blooming fun Bluedorn Ball we will head north.  Actually, we’ll head west, then north and then west – stop over in Sacramento long enough to pal around with non-terrorist friends and eat at Chevys – and then head north again until we hit Anchorage.


Good heavens, I am so excited I’m about to hyperventilate. We would get to stay with Charley and Jess for several days before we flew home — and I would get to see the famous snow village first hand – and plus we’d also drive over to Wasilla and see my dad.  WHAT. TOTAL. FUN.


So we’ll see how it all turns out. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.  This would be the Great Grandpappy of all road trips!  I wonder if you need any sort of paper work to cross over into Canada.


October 17th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 23 Comments

UPDATE! We have our winner… Congrats to Joanne!  For everyone who didn’t win, you can check out Nancy’s excellent ebooks here

It’s been mid 80’s this week.  That is not the right type of weather for October.


Speaking of October, I can’t believe it’s already almost halfway over.  I expected October to drag on forever since we’ve been looking so forward to the Bluedorn Ball.  My husband surprised me a couple of days ago, because he said since we’ll have already driven to IL (and since gas has dropped — we filled up the other day for $2.85 a gallon!), that we might as well head up to MI and spend a night with his parents.  We are all thrilled about that.  I am one of those rare mammals which actually has *splendid* in-laws.  So that’s going to be wonderful.


In other news, my friend Nancy Baetz has written a new ebook with an emphasis on Unschooling – which is right up my alley!  Anyhow, she said I could give away a copy, and that she would also throw in a copy of her ebook, Haircuts for Little Men.  Fun, yes?


Last night I dreamed that McCain won.  I’m not so sure he’s gonna pull through, tho.  And I’m still debating whether or not to listen to the debate tomorrow night.  The other McCain/Obama debates have been such snore riots.


Ok, that’s all for now.  But here’s how to enter the contest…  ALL little girls start thinking up baby names for their future kids (some boys do to, for that matter.  Dippy says he’s going to name one of his sons Electrical Lee Makoto).  So my question is, do you remember what you *used* to think you’d name your kids, and did you end up naming them what you thought you would?  When I was about eight, I decided I would have four girls and name them Justine, Jamie, Jackie and Jadonna.  I kid you not.  shudder shudder. That faded after a while, but a couple years later, I came across the name “Coie” and loved it.  And it was around that time my dad told me he had always wanted my middle name to be Ryan, and I was furious that instead of getting ‘Ryan’ as a cool middle name I got saddled with a boring old middle name like Ruth (no offense to my ‘Ruth’ friends!).   Anyways, I was determined that one of my own daughters would get to have it someday, and lucky for me, Geoff the Great loved it, too.


So, in a sense, I sort of did name a couple of my kids with the choices I picked out when I was little.  Boy, are they happy that “Jadonna” didn’t stand the test of time.


How about you?  What names did you used to have picked out for your kids?  And if you happen to *not* have kids yet, you can still play.


And for another fun contest going on today, go here


October 14th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 50 Comments

October 9th, 2008
This Is My Title

I like being ‘sort of’ sick because it’s such a fabulous excuse to lay around and read.  But I’m not as fond of being *really* sick, where you just lay in bed and moan.  But losing several pounds is always a fair trade off.  At any rate, I’m pretty much feeling back to normal again.


My daughter Emmiko is definitely my creative one.  (Jess, you’ll like this one…) today she asked for an old pillow case and then disappeared into the basement for a couple hours. And then she came back with this friendly looking fellow:



That girl never ceases to surprise me with her creative talents. She used clean hay to stuff it. I know for certain that she didn’t get it from me.  My idea of a craft is purchasing a festive table cloth and then putting it on my table.  That’s about as craft-ish as I can get.  It’s not for a lack of trying, I just can’t ever come up with anything clever, and I’m generally too lazy to try my hand at anything that comes with instructions.


In unrelated news… a while back there was a group of us at Maria’s house and *somebody* asked an odd question.  She asked, “Do any of you guys swear in your head?”  And we all thought about it, and some of us did, some of us didn’t, and some of us only swore in our heads using the words that weren’t actually swear words in books from the 1800s.  Ok, so all of that to say, I don’t think I am going to play Nintendo 64 any more with my husband.  I used to be a poor loser, but I keep thinking that I’ve grown out of it.  And if I can’t win at Mario Kart every single time, then I’d better just not play it all anymore.    


Ok, I’m off to the library to return late books.  Again.  Those fines add up *fast


October 9th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 20 Comments

October 7th, 2008
Gross, I’m Sick.


I’m just checking in to say hi.  I caught whatever it was that I thought Emmiko didn’t have.  Good Grief, I feel *awful*. But this is another reason why I recommend having teenagers.   I’ve barely left my bedroom since Sunday.  They have the house, the kids and the meals under control.  I’m a blessed momsie. 


In other news, holy moly, I got slapped down big time.  So much for my big plans for a tattoo


Ok, I’m going back to bed now.

October 7th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 12 Comments

October 3rd, 2008
2008 Keeps Bringing Surprises

Before I say anything else, I have always been drawn to Chrissy (Mamasmurf) – so upbeat, gracious and courageous.  Our family had been praying for her over the last year.  I was so sad to hear that she went home to be with the Lord.  I am rejoicing for her, but she will be sorely missed.  Please be praying for her family.


Dippy is doing well; he is really reaping the benefits of having eight bumsie stitches.  James and Emmiko must’ve felt left out because yesterday they both came down with temperatures of over 100 and 101.  I feel sort of bad because Emmiko had been telling me all day that she didn’t feel so well.  But I kept telling her, “Snap out of it, open your notebook and sit up and listen to me read”.  She finally found the thermometer and presented me with proof.  So she was sent to the invalid corner to lay down and play Nintendo with her brother.  And then later that night James started looking rather woozey, and sure enough, he’s got it, too.

But I do have to say I appreciate my kids getting all of their ailments and accidents out of the way now, because I don’t want anything to impede our Nov 7th trip.


And, in other news, I tell you the truth, 2008 will go down in history as a year of ever increasing blessings and gifts for our family.  Guess what I just found out?  Do you remember when my 16 year old birth son, Aaron, came out here to visit with his momsie?  We had such an incredible time with them, and when they left, they told us they would try and maybe plan another visit sometime next year…  Well, his mama emailed me earlier this week and they are making plans to come out next month to spend Thanksgiving with us!  My whole family is in an uproar of unmitigated glee.  This time his dad should also be able to make it. 


I am just amazed and overwhelmed with the gift of being able to know him, and for my kids to be able to know their brother.  I cannot express how special and how unexpected this has been for us.  The year is almost over and we have still *so* much to look forward to before it wraps up!


Thank you, God, for your abundant blessings.  Let me always remember your kindness, love and grace — during both times of trial and times of rejoicing. 

October 3rd, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 17 Comments