Jeneric Jeneralities ~ by JenIG
November 28th, 2008
Thanksgiving Fun


Ok, well, not that I’m complaining or anything, but Geoff the Great burnt the bar b qued turkey.  It was bad.  The bottom caught fire and then all the rancid smoke seeped all up into the meat.  So it *looked* lovely, but it was decidedly deplorable.


But the rest of the day was fun. 



Coie made all the desserts (two cheesecakes, two chocolate fudge puddings, two apple pies).  Well, almost all of them.  Emmiko made an incredible trifle using the gorgeous birthday gift she got from the gorgeous Mrs. Johnston.  That trifle was the only thing I liked besides the stuffing Gramma Sally made.




Here are me and Coie cooking and cleaning. Check out the matching head scarves.  



Very Pilgrimesque, I daresay.



And here? I have simply no idea what they’re doing






So what is this about, you ask?



Geoff the Great came in and said, “Close your eyes and open your mouth”.  I am NOT good at that.  He wouldn’t tell me what he was aiming towards my mouth and he was overly adamant that I obey.   It took about fifteen minutes of shrieking and blinking and such before I could do it.  Naturally, Ryann ran to get a camera



I was so worked up and overly stressed that I was unable to recognize it was chocolate malt ice cream.  He had to finally spell it out for me, and then I was delighted.  But right about when this picture was snapped I wanted to shove that ice cream spoon right into his eyeball socket. 


Anyways, after four hours of starving and longing and dreaming and waiting to eat our lovely lunch, Geoff brought in the burnt turkey.  We were all thrilled





Gramma Sally also thought it was magically delicious.



Notice Spiderman?  He’s literally been wearing that outfit for the last four days.


Hope your Thanksgiving was swell!  We really did have a tremendously lovely time.  I have about three things I’d like to say, but maybe I will save it for another post.


We are very blessed, indeed… burnt turkey and all.

November 28th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 14 Comments

November 25th, 2008
Where’s My Other Slipper?

I was going to blog earlier but it was Emily and Marshie’s fault.  They were busy crushing me into a humiliating ball of ear wax.  As a public service warning, take note and do *not* play Word Twist or Scramble with them on Facebook.  Don’t do it.  You’ll be sorry; unless of course your ego needs a good whompin’.  They’ve won EVERY game I’ve played with them.  Real friends let their loser friends *win* every once in a while. 


In other news, my mother in law finally brought my kids home from MI and now we are keeping her captive.  I like having her here.  Whenever I run off and hide in my room to get beat up online by E and M, she goes into the kitchen and cooks.  Oh. My. Heavens can my mother in law cook.  We are all begging her to move in with us.  And I also like her because she lets me beat her in Boggle every time we play.  She’s the greatest.  She’s fun.  And I think I’m only about thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis close in getting her to like me more than Geoff the Great.  Not that I’m competitive or anything. 


In other news, I’m having a hard time living so far away from Jess.  I actually dreamed that we moved up to Alaska, but the weird part was is that I liked it.  Like I said, I was dreaming.  Some how, some way, I’ve got to figure out a way to make Charley move his family down to TN.


I’m going to pull all my Christmas junk out of the basement today and start decorating.  Mutter groan moan. 


PS if you stink at Word Twist or Scramble feel free to challenge me to a game.

November 25th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 24 Comments

If any of you have been reading my ridiculous blog on a regular basis, then you might know how I feel about Christmas.  I like it, but I get irritated when it induces guilt for Christians who accidentally think there’s almost a biblical mandate to celebrate the birth of Christ (like communion or baptism) and then end up feeling like a failure for enjoying the non-religious aspects of it, like Rudolph, Frosty, Elf, etc.   

And this makes me somewhat of a Scrooge.  And I enjoy that, especially because it tweaks so many of my Abundantly Overly Christmas Fanatical loved ones (like Jess).  None-the-less.  To prove I have a Warm Christmassy Heart Made of Hot Chocolate and North Pole Snow, here is a survey that my friend Shay sent.  And I actually filled out all the answers.  Feel free to use it and let me know so I can come and smirk at, I mean read thru, your answers. 



1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?  Toilet paper, tin foil, paper towels or anything else on hand that doesn’t require an extra purchase.


2. Real tree or Artificial?  If we must have a tree, then I’d rather it be artificial.  Trees are an entire ecosystem of unwanted living organisms.  Sadly, I’m always out voted and we end up with a live one


3. When do you put up the tree? If we must put up the tree, it generally goes up right after Thanksgiving.  But we have a family tradition where on Christmas day after all the presents are open everybody takes a nap, and then while they are sleeping I throw the tree off the back deck.


5. Do you like eggnog?  No.  Stuff that thick should not be pawned off as a liquid


6. Favorite gift received as a child?  A game system called a Vtrx or something.  That thing was cool.  It was lost in one of our moves.


7. Hardest person to buy for?  Everybody I know


8. Easiest person to buy for?  Coie.  Because anything I get her, she will like, and she always shares with me (clothes, books, cds, candy etc).


9. Do you have a nativity scene?  Yes, but all of the pieces are busted


10. Mail or email Christmas cards?  Bah humbug.  But now Ryann has taken over and mails out three-minute Christmas DVDs of our family doing ridiculous things set to music


11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?  Geoff the Great got me a Buns-of-Steel work out video for our first Christmas.  But after several months, it turned out to be a pretty good gift.  That was one heavy duty work out


12. Favorite Christmas Movie?  Elf.  But I also accidentally get sentimental over It’s a Wonderful Life.


13. When do you start shopping? We never really officially ‘shop’ except for buying tons of candy to stuff in the stockings.  And that generally happens the day before Christmas


14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?  I recycle almost all of them.  It’s true.  So think twice if you are ever tempted to get me anything.


15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?  Sugar cookies with icing.  And snickers.  And whatever candy we get for the kids.  I steal 40% of whatever we put in their stockings.  This is how I teach my kids about Democratic tax policies.


16. Lights on the tree?  We always end up with ‘em


17. Favorite Christmas song?  I have a new favorite.  It’s “I heard the Bells on Christmas Day”.  The words are most excellent


18.Travel at Christmas or stay home?   Lately we have stayed home.  Glorious.


19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer’s?  No.  And keep them away from Coie because she would probably shoot one and carve it up for Christmas dinner.  That’s no joke.


20. Angel on the tree top or a star?  We have an old beat up angel that always always always stays crooked thru-out its entire career at the top


21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?   One on Christmas Eve and then the rest on Christmas morning.


22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year Diamond commercials. 


23. Favorite ornament theme or color?  Blue and white


24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Something I didn’t cook


25. What do you want for Christmas this year?  30 thousand dollars.


November 20th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 37 Comments

November 18th, 2008
Yay For Fifteen Years!



I’m not a fabulous arts and crafts teacher.  However, I’m spectacular at finding free holiday themed coloring pages to print out.  Every year we tape coloring pages all over our dining room.  It’s jolly good fun.  Here is a great site with some free Thanksgiving coloring pages: 


In other news, it snowed today.  Weird.  I don’t think it’s suppose to snow in TN in November.  I’m glad our woodstove has a big pile of firewood to snack on.  That thing keeps us nice and warm.  And, lucky for me, I’ve found a solution to my icy bathroom dilemma.  My bathroom is far away from the cozy warm woodstove; and when the door is shut, it turns into an absolute meat locker.  But a little small space heater has fixed everything.  I love that little thing.  Toasty.  My bathroom has now become the snuggiest room in the house. 


In other other-ly news, guess what the day after tomorrow is?  November 20 is the day that Geoff the Great made me his wife.  I’m one lucky girl.  He’s a splendidly perfect human male and I am super lucky to be married to him.  He is the most patient, considerate, hard working, faithful, godly, strong, clever, kind hearted, reasonable man I’ve ever met.  Plus he’s the best father in the world and he can fix absolutely *anything* that ever breaks. I think I’ll make him a card.  The other day I was digging thru his sock drawer and I found an anniversary card I made him several years back.  It cracked me up.  I should work for Hallmark – scratch that.  The cards I make him would not be suitable for general public reading.  Yes, Ryann, I can hear you saying it all the way from Michigan “…say no more”.  Don’t worry.  That’s all I have to state about it.


Speaking of Ryann.  I miss my daughter.  Come home you little brat! Thursday is too far away!





Ok, I’m off to make another pan of Rice Krispie treats.

November 18th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 22 Comments

November 15th, 2008
Weird Times at Gramma’s House


Well, I suppose baking cookies with gramma falls under ‘normal’



But dressing up as an Egyptian Pharaoh?  Not so much, methinks



Ryann has kept busy flying around on the Neck Breaker



Where’s my heart medication?



Ryann also lucked out because today she has plans to hang out at the mall with the Family Spunk.   That actually makes me jealous.  I miss my Spunky friend.  Anyhow, I don’t think my kids are ever gonna wanna come home.


In other news… remember the Bluedorn Benefit Ball?  Apparently the $$ kept on rising and finally settled at over $25,000.  That’s incredible.


There are also more pictures of the dance here and here I especially like the photos on Miss Helena’s blog because there’s one shot in particular where I look like I’m glaring at the back of Laurie’s head and about to throw an absolute temper tantrum. 


Plans are shaping up for the Feb 14th barn dance hosted by the lovely Austin Extraordinaires.  We are going to have a ton of fun, and hopefully raise a good amount of money for an incredibly important cause. 

More news to come; so stay tuned – and plan on making the party! 

November 15th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 9 Comments

November 14th, 2008
beep beep i’m a jeep

Ok, so today all of the Chevys, McDonalds, Oreos, Doritos and Bratwursts from our IL / MI trip finally caught up with me.  I think I need a salad.  Or some Drano. 


Anyhow, I finally got a return date for Bo and Ryann.  I have to wait a whole ‘nother week before they get home.  Last night I had my guitar out and me and Coie were having sing song time together, but we both realized that we really really really need Ryann on the piano before we can seriously start thinking about making an album. 


In other news, having Ryann and Bo gone has given me a lot more time with Emmiko, Dippy and James.  I don’t know about you, but I have two kids (in particular) who naturally “seem” to require less attention.  It is easy for me to over-look them and forget to have conversations with them.  Of course we interact, joke around, chase each other around the house, and receive their fair share of instruction, correction, etc — but I’m talking about actual conversations that take an hour or so and do wonders in catching and holding their hearts.


When all of my kids were younger, and I didn’t have the internet, I spent a lot more time on the floor. And we also spent a lot of time ‘practicing’ good behaviour by way of little tests.  I would randomly tell one of them out of the blue, something like, “run over to the couch and then lay down right in front of it”.  If they would look at me with a raised eyebrow, or say, “why?” then I’d bellow, “YOU FAAAAAAAAAILED!  A robber just broke into our house to steal all of the kids and that would have been the only place he wouldn’t have seen you!” 


Stuff like that was great for training my little kids in immediate obedience.  Matter of fact, Coie was really good at it.  When she was five, she was in Gramma’s swimming pool (out in the country) and Geoff and I (at the same time) saw a black snake in the water slithering towards her.  So Geoff said, “Coie, swim to the edge and take my hand”.  Without one word, and without hesitation, she grinned and dog-paddled over in her little yellow life jacket and Geoff pulled her out.  Then we were able to turn her around and say, “It’s a good thing you obey so fast, look at that snake – it’s in the exact same place you were 30 seconds ago”  That was awesome.


On the flip side, when Jess was eleven and came to live with us after our mom died, she wasn’t too hot at immediate obedience.  Once I was doing laundry and she walked over to me with her pencil and notebook.  And then I looked down and suddenly saw that she was one step away from putting her foot into a lump of baby poop that had obviously fallen out of somebody’s diaper.  I told her, “Jess – FREEZE! Don’t take ONE step”  So what does she do?  She started shrieking and hopping and flailing her arms.  She thought there was a spider near by.  So in the process of her shrieks and leaps she not only stepped in the pile of poop, but she also managed to stab me right in the arm with her pencil.  Remember that Jess?  Good heavens, that’s all much funnier now than it was back then.



So anyways, with fewer kids in the house this week it’s been a good time to focus on all of those little kid lessons, games and songs that I used to do with the older ones.  It’s also been a good opportunity for them to step up and take over all of the chores that their siblings are in charge of.  I always forget how much kids are capable of accomplishing.  They have really grown a lot this week.  We all have.  But boy oh boy will I be glad when my big kids are back.

November 14th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 44 Comments

It’s probably gonna take a full week or two before I feel back to normal.  And it’s weird being home without Ryann and Bobo.  I’ll be glad when Gramma Sally brings ‘em back.  Ryann… tell Bubsie to email me.


I need a new computer.  First of all, this one is old.  Second of all, Coie’s laptop busted a year ago, which means we have to share mine – and that hasn’t been too big of a deal because she’s not much of a ‘play on the internet’ type of girl.  Except now she’s found a homeschool graduates networking site and spends large blocks of time reading thru posts laughing and snorting.  Homeschool Graduates are weird. 


In other news, and this is magnificently exciting, there are plans underway for another barn dance benefit gala extravaganza.  It’s being planned for the NC / SC Spartanburg / Greenville area — there are a lot of homeschoolers in that area.  Plans will be forthcoming, so stay tuned.  If you are within three or four hours driving distance you really must come.


It is planned for Valentines Day 2009.  It’s going to be grand!  We are waiting for Laurie to finish resting up before we start peer pressuring / badgering her into coming down for it.  In the meantime, here’s a preview 


In other news, yesterday me and Emmiko cleaned out the woodstove and started the first fire of the season. C.O.Z.Y.  I love this time of year.  Fall is the best.


And here are two photos from the Bluedorn Ball (courtesy of Nathaniel Bluedorn).  I’m excited about the first picture because now, finally, after years and years of trying, we finally have a moderately decent family portrait.  Notice… all members are smiling. 



Ok, is it just me, or does James the Tyrant look mysteriously similar to Curious George?



And this picture of Coie is just plum pretty.  She’s holding the newest Masloske member.  Just think, Jess, this summer we’ll get to hold your new little pineapple pecan pie.





Ok, I’m off to think about considering the possibility of maybe perhaps doing school today.

November 12th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 23 Comments


I require a tremendous amount of sleep, so if this post sounds like I’ve been chewing valium again, my apologies.  When did McDonalds start serving strawberry sundaes?  We just pulled over for a bathroom break and I was refused a caramel sundae.  They offered only fudge and strawberry.  I object.


Ok, so we’re driving home from MI right now – we had quite the whirlwind weekend.  I seriously cannot think of any other thing I’d rather do than spend eight hour blocks of time crunched up in a car for three days with all eight of us Igarashis.  My family is extraordinarily fun.  And funny.  And mighty fine dancers. 




I guess I’ll start at the beginning.  We left for IL on Thursday night… well technically it was about midnight and a half, so I guess that makes it Friday morning.  Coie said that she’d drive first, and confidently chirped that she’d drive half way.  I was elected to stay up and make her laugh and/or keep her awake.  So we were off.  Geoff the Great was seated behind me and kept sticking his foot in my ear. 


I told Coie that she would not be able to make it half way because that would mean she’d have to stay up till five in the morning.  Unbelievably, she did indeed make it half way.  And even more remarkable, I stayed up the entire time, too.  I haven’t pulled an all-nighter since I was in the sixth grade.  I don’t like staying up all night.   I’m gonna need about a week and a half to recover when we get home.


So after the half way point, Geoff finished up and got us the rest of the way there.  We hit the hotel around ten am and slept like cows for about two hours.  Then we got up and went to Chevys.  It was heavenly.  But there was a downside.  I ate a ton of salsa, and about four hours later, even though I brushed my teeth, my breath smelled like a decomposing skunk. 


And I didn’t find this out until we got to the dance hall, I bent down to whisper something to Bobo and he reeled backwards and said, “Oh dear.  Oh man.  Oh mama, that’s real bad”.  So then, alarmed, I headed for Geoff the Great and started to ask him how bad my breath was and I accidentally burned his eyebrows off.  So at that point there was nothing I could do except pile heaps and mounds of Andes chocolate mints into the ‘cavern of death’ i.e. my mouth, and try not to aim my pie hole directly towards anybody’s nose.


photo courtesy of Nathaniel Bluedorn


But besides that, the night of the barn dance was absolutely magical.  Guess how much everybody at the party was able to raise for Young Mr. Wallace’s medical bills?  Just take a wild crack at it.  …Nope, you’re not even close.  Together the Bluedorn Benefit Ball party-goers raised over $23,000.  NO! I’m not kidding!  Is that not supremely incredible?  Amazing.  God is so good.


Unfortunately, all eight Igs were so busy having fun that we ended up hardly getting any pictures.  That reeks.  But here are a few that we did get. 


The Virginia Reel Dance Off Competition





Here are (the backs of) me and Laurie in the line up.  The dance-off went well.  Nobody was injured.  And technically, we ended up tying for first place.  In all honesty I have to acknowledge that we both danced like Enchanted Princess Virginia Reel Angel Faeries, but I have two disclaimers… first of all, the real winners got robbed.  There was a brother and sister team called the Powells who should have taken top honours. They were AWESOME.  My second disclaimer is that I cheated and stuffed my own ballot box which resulted in the Bluedorn money jar and the Igarashi money jar ending up with the exact same dollar amount; and this actually made me mad – because had I known THAT was going to happen I would have dropped another $20 into our jar.  Whatever.  At least the Bluedorns can’t claim the crown this year and so my ultimate object was accomplished.  :: evil laugh ::


Here is Coie lined up for a dance. 





Ok, here was one of my favorite parts of the night – my friend Anna drove over for the dance (about an hour away).  We had never met in real life before so I was pretty overly-excited to meet her and her beautiful family.  And what was really cool, out of all the 170 people there, SHE had the winning raffle ticket for Coie’s quilt. 


Here she is with her new quilt, and me, trying not to breathe on her.






I can’t believe I don’t have any pictures of our friends the Masloskes.  Hey Christine, send me some of Jason’s pictures, wouldja? 


After the dance we said our good byes and headed back to the hotel and then got up (later than we wanted to) and headed up to MI to see Geoff’s family.  I absolutely utterly praise God for landing them as my family-in-law.  It was a short stay – and we were all zombified – but we had a fabulous time.


Here is a picture of my sister-in-law, Amy, who is not only one of my favorite people in the whole big world, but she’s also one of the top five most beautiful women I have ever met.




She is so lovely, and SOOO entirely hilarious.  I wish I could have her for keeps.  My MIL and FIL produce THE most marvelous human offspring.   






Lastly, and this was unexpected, at the last minute we decided to leave Ryann and Bo to spend a week or so in MI to help pack stuff up and keep Gramma Sally company while Grampa Jim is gone (he recently got transferred to a job in CA).  And while it’s excruciatingly sad to be Ryann and Bo Free, it does have an upside.  First of all, Coie has the whole middle bench seat to stretch out on, AND, here’s the real plus, Gramma Sally will have to drive them back to us and so we’ll get to see her again in a few days.  This gives me joyfullnissity.  I love my momsie-in-law.


Lastly… and this is the BEST news I have gotten all year – can you guess?  I got a phone call after I finished writing this post. Go HERE to see why I am the happiest sister in the whole wide world.  She called and told me when we were in the car (somewhere in Ohio).  Do you know how hard it is to jump up and down in a car??  It’s hard. But I did it.  I haven’t been able to think of a single other thing since I found out.


November 10th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 21 Comments

Ok everypeoples.  It’s OK.  Think long term.  We are now in a perfectly excellent position for a Purely Conservative (Palin?) Presidential blow out in 2012.  It will be exactly like the Reagan Landslide that came as a result of the Carter Catastrophe.  No worries.  Not to mention the obvious:  Romans 8:28  Just tighten up your belts for the next few years… it’ll all be right as rain soon enough – one way or another.


In other news, my sister is SO lucky.  First of all she gets to go to California.  I haven’t been back to Cali since we’ve moved to TN.  But not only did she get to go to CA and see all of our old friends, she also got to meet Jaynee who just so happened to coincidentally be visiting Redding CA (from Mexico!) on the same days that Charley and Jess were there.  I was so jealous!!!




Just look at all those yellow-locked Lockwoods.  Have you ever seen such a cute assembly of blonde headed pumpkin muffins in one setting?  My goodness!  And Jess said that she’d never met so many happy smiley grinny-faced children in all her life.  She told me that even the baby grinned the entire time.  I really do believe that happy, grateful, grinny kids directly reflect how they’re parented.   


In other-ly news — and this is just sad – HERE you have a lovely ensemble of charming, pleasant, clean, cheery, affable, normal looking family specimens… then you scroll down to the bottom and see the reason why Southerners are stuck with the reputation they have.  Sad.  Very Sad.


Tomorrow night we are off to IL and MI.  Whoooo hooooooO!  And did you notice how gas prices plummeted?  That was an awfully nice thing to have happen.  Talk about perfect timing.

November 5th, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 18 Comments


Before we start talking tutus, be prepared for a thorough gross out.


Remember how I said I thought I got secondary poison ivy?  It’s not secondary.  It’s firstiary, and I’M GOING CRAZY.  It started out and was mildly annoying, but… it kept growing and itching.  It’s been a tortuous weekend.  And I’m seeping and leaking ALL over the place.  Gag sputter gag choke gag. 



In order not to see it or slime on anything/anybody I came up with the brilliant idea of wrapping my forearms in toilet paper and taping it in place – it worked pretty well but the toilet paper kept shredding pretty fast.  Out of desperation I came up with a new idea that has worked great.




I found some old socks and cut the bottoms off and made myself two forearm tube tops.  I don’t care if it looks ridiculous, it works. I don’t have to see it, I don’t have to accidentally feel it and I don’t leak on stuff. 

And luckily, I think my arms are finally starting to heal.  Today is definitely better than yesterday.  I also have it on my stomach and leg plus a spot on my face and on my eyebrow.  I have NO idea how I got it where I got it, but happily the other areas are not as itchy as my arms.  Hopefully I will not have to sport my arm socks to the barn dance.  However, I do have a chance of winning a tutu for the barn dance, and so do you.  My friend Gina is hosting a giveaway.  You ought to check it out and enter.  *Everybody* needs a tutu.


In other news, Beware the Clip-On Bow Tie Fighter



November 3rd, 2008 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 23 Comments