Jeneric Jeneralities ~ by JenIG

My daughter Emmiko needs to stop baking cookies.  I don’t like the result of cookies.  Whenever Jess comes to town I gain 50 pounds. 


In other news… HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the greatest second oldest daughter in the whole entire earf.  My Ryann is fifteen years old today.  FIFTEEN! That is crazy.  It’s just not natural for her to be that old.  It makes me sad.  But I have to admit that I really really really really really really truly like her at this age.  She is so magnificent and marvelous and funny and generous and godly and smart and so wonderful.  I like her because she makes our family look good.  Why yes, it is all about me.  But seriously, she does make us look good because she is so exceptionally perfect that people think I must be a spectacular parent.  I dig that.


I also have to say that she is decidedly better looking now than when I first met her.  Whoever said “all babies are cute” never saw my daughter, Ryann, as a newborn.  Boy Howdy was she one jacked up looking tyke.  Her limbs were two sizes too long, her toes were about as long as her fingers.  Her nose took up half her head (and her head, by the way, was covered with bright carrot-colored hair).  Wow — she was certainly something to behold.  She was sort of a mix between a rat, an orangutan and an orange alien.  Ask Geoff the Great, or Coie.  I’m not making it up. 


But now… now I wish that some of that ugly would have stuck.  I don’t like taking her out in public because she gets gawked and stared at.  She is phenomenally pretty (fashion model pretty).  And I don’t mean that as a compliment.  Pretty people are seriously at a disadvantage; but so far she has beat the odds and it has not affected her genuinely beautiful godly character and compassionate/generous personality.


So Happy Birthday to my favorite second oldest daughter!  Please always stay as excellent as you are now.  But stop scaring me all the time.  And stop stealing my Q-tips.  And stop jumping on my bed; you’re gonna end up breaking it.  And stop always asking to use my special coffee creamer that was bought especially for me.  And stop chasing James around the fireplace all the time.  And stop always grossing me out with your gross green retainer. But other than that.  Stay exactly the same.


Thirdly, Happy Birthday to my birthson, Aaron.  He and Ryann share a birthday on Feb 26th; he is turning 17.  He is also exceptionally fabulous looking.  And he is also a total joy.  I sure hope we’ll get to see him again this year. 


Fourthly, Happy Birthday to beautiful Maria.  I love love love love love this lady and I am so honored and lucky that she lets me be her friend.  I get to see her again in a week and I can’t wait.  She is the bestesterest.


Lastly, Emmiko gets her tonsils out on March 12th.  That will be fun, because honestly… surgery and hospital stays never get old <gritting teeth>.

February 26th, 2009 - Posted in 2009, Uncategorized | | 18 Comments

February 23rd, 2009
It Just Went Way Too Fast

The fellas have been hard at work over the last two days building, welding, metal grinding, blow torching, etc.  They are building us a super powered Robo Bar-B-Que Grill.  I think it also transforms into a race car and a hair dryer.  We’re gonna throw some steaks on it later this afternoon. 





Here’s some pics of our frolicking fun




When Coie, Jess, Ryann and I went out for a birthday date, we dragged Tyrannical James along with us.  That hat was purchased by Coie who is still mortified by his haircut. 






I like this picture of Coie – this was when Jess and Co got their toesies done.  I refused to participate because I had to make sure Tyrannical  James stayed chained down in the waiting room chair.  But it was most entertaining.  Ten minutes into the pedicure Jessica started SHRIEKING and laughing and kicking and bellowing, “IT TICKLES!  STOP IT!  IT TICKLES!!!”  The poor lady at the end of her foot didn’t know what to do with her.  She was looking around with a blank stare, like, um… “what am I supposed to do now?”


And I guess I might as well add – while we were in the nail shop all of a sudden I detected this really potent gag inducing foul odor and then James looked up and said, “Um… Mommy?  I think you might need to wipe me”.  Oh heavens. What an adventure.  Lucky for him (and me), it was a false alarm.


Anyways, this year Jess and I decided we were going to do something different than go to Gatlinburg for our annual Couples Date Night.  And this time we dragged Coie along with us.  We ended up in Gatlinburg.








and then we wrapped up the evening by buying 40 dozen Krispy Crème Donuts.  That was Jess’s favorite part.



Monday is our last day before they fly back home.  I cannot believe how fast the time has gone.  It really is unfair.  But we have had the bestest time together and I am so thankful.


Coie and Jess both posted pics, too.


Lastly, YIPPEEEE! We got our Rosetta Stone convention schedule.  Coie and I will be at the following:


Midwest Homeschool Convention, Cincinnati OH, April 16-18


Homeschool Bookfair Arlington TX, May 8-9


North Carolinians for Home Education, Winston-Salem NC, May 21-23


Christian Home Educators of Colorado, June 18-20


CHEA, Long Beach, CA July 9-11


Southeast Homeschool ExpoCobb Galleria, Atlanta GA, July 31-August 1



Come and see us!!!




February 23rd, 2009 - Posted in 2009, Uncategorized | | 16 Comments

February 19th, 2009
So This is February 2009


So guess who is TWENTY today?  Good golly… one minute she’s one year old and dropping doodies on the window sill, and then the next thing you know she’s a grown up, beautiful adult.


I have two words for you.  Bitter.  Sweet.  But it’s still mostly ‘sweet’ because I still get to see her every day.  Holy Mozers it has gone by fast.  And I can honestly say that she is one of the best (and godliest) people I have ever known. And possibly the smartest.  But most definitely, hands-down, she’s the most uncoordinated least groovin’ dancer I’ve ever met – oh wait, that’s not counting Geoff the Great.  My daughter aint got no groove.  Don’t ask her to Disco dance with you cause it simply won’t happen.  Bobo and Emmiko, on the other hand, got the mama’s funky moves.  Lucky them.  Although Coie can swing through a mighty sharp Virginia Reel.  Yet, I digress.  We’re supposed to be complaining about how old Coie is.  Me, Jess, Coie and Ryann are going to spend the day shopping and eating and eating and eating.


I love you, Mookies.  But I’m sort of disappointed that you keep getting older.  No really. Stop it.  It’s rebellious.


In other news, this is the best week so far of 2009.  Charley and Jess are indescribable.  Think of the most fun you’ve ever had, and then times it by twenty.  That’s what spending a day with them is like. We love them so much and are incredibly blessed to have them in our lives.


And they are big time present givers.  I won’t even go in to everything they’ve done, but the highlights have been a spankin’ brand new ruby red Dell laptop that Jess decided to just run out and pick up for me – they also took our entire family to Wonderworks, out to eat several times, fixed our broken oven, plus got me set up with a trippy little doo-dad that plugs into the side of my laptop and gives me fast internet.  I am now officially off dial up.  That last one has been my favorite.


Some of the other highlights have been seeing the end result of Jessica’s hair cutting talents:



And then, naturally, Charley felt compelled to, um, “fix it”.  And no, that’s not photoshopped. That’s the real deal. 



And to round things off with a weather report, today our property flooded.  But it was a fun flood.  No damage, just neat-o conditions for Charley to take really cool pictures.



PS Congrats to the lovely Austins for putting together such a sublime Barn Dance Benefit.  Click here to see the fabulous pictures 


February 19th, 2009 - Posted in 2009, Uncategorized | | 22 Comments

February 13th, 2009

Isn’t it a drag when there’s something you want to say, but you can’t really say anything, but it’s really interesting and neat-o, but you’re not allowed to say anything?  I hate that.  But life is suddenly more interesting around here, and Coie walks around with sort of dumb grin all the time.  Oh heavens, I’m getting old.  But that’s all I’m going to say. Period.  I mean it. At least for now.  But for the record… um… nevermind. 


In other news, Emmiko had *major* strep throat this last week.  Seriously.  You should have seen her tonsils.  It looked like she had two golf balls lodged in the back of her throat.  Goodness Golly it was gross.  And the problem is they aren’t getting any smaller – even with the antibiotics.  And then she started going deaf.  It has been really annoying.  She can’t hear, so she automatically thinks all the rest of us can’t hear HER and she YELLS everything she says.  For instance, the other day I was giving the kids a spelling test and it went exactly like this:


ME: Ok kids, spell “honey”


Emmiko:  ONIONS!!!???????


ME: No Emmi, HONEY


EMMIKO:  ONIONS???????!!!!!!!!!




So I took her back to the doctor and he took one look at her throat and said, “Whoa.  Those things are huge.  She’s probably gonna need those tonsils yanked out”  Apparently her golf ball tonsils are so big that they are interfering with her ear-balls.


I tell you the truth, I am getting reaaaaaaaaaal tired of going to the hospital.


And then yesterday, Dippy and James were playing “mad dog”.  That’s where James picks up a blanket with his teeth and then Dippy grabs the blanket and drags him around the house.  It’s usually fun, but this time one of James’ teeth came undone.  And boy oh boy did that boy flip out.  Ryann (whom James calls “honey”) kept trying to pull it out (you should have seen the thing, it was just hanging there like a broken piano key) but James kept sobbing, “No no no, Honey, don’t take him out. My tooth is afraid” 


Emmiko:  ONIONS????!!!!!!!!!!!!!


So finally after 24 hours, Ryann was finally able to yank the thing out.  It’s been a long week.


My sister will be here FRIDAY!!!!  Yippppppeeeeeeeeeee!  We’re going to spend 10 days shopping for my little niece Eden. Whooo hoooooo!

February 13th, 2009 - Posted in 2009, Uncategorized | | 22 Comments



… or a choice of 21 other languages?  Drum roll please…. I’d like to announce an exciting project I’ve been working on (with help from a fabulous friend and a mix of other great writers / contributors).


There are several reasons why you would want to sign up for the new Rosetta Stone e-newsletter.  First and foremost, the monthly issues will be packed full of great info, helpful tips, and fun contests — and you will recognize a lot of the writers.


And trust me; you’ll want to sign up right now.  Click HERE to enter your email addy (it’s on the right hand side) to get on the list, and then click on the option to “view the newsletter”, which will bring you to the current issue that just went out.


And why would you want to sign up right now?


Because this month you have a chance to win Level 1 of the new Rosetta Stone Homeschool Version 3 Program (language of your choice!). Enter by emailing us at with your ideas for what to name this new newsletter. If your title is chosen, you win! The winner will be notified by email, and their name will be announced in our next enewsletter.


This is (roughly) a $250 value!  So start thinking hard and come up with a great name and send your ideas in to the email addy I listed above!


PS The emails you send will go directly to my boss, so make sure you don’t say anything exceptionally silly or even worse, don’t blow my cover by asking questions like, “Golly Jen, how’d a dork like you get to work on such an important neat-o project like this?” 




February 9th, 2009 - Posted in 2009, Uncategorized | | 19 Comments

February 7th, 2009
Hurry It Up, March and April.

I really have nothing particular to blog about – well, that’s not absolutely true, but for some reason my kids object to me broadcasting any interesting items that are going in their lives.  They are *so* selfish.  


With that said, instead of talking about something neat-o, I will simply post a list of things wives ought not do on Valentines.

  •  They should not weigh themselves.  Nothing good can come of it. 


That’s my whole list.  But really, that advice is good for any day.  You’re welcome.

Speaking of Valentines Day, if you’ve been around long enough you know that I detest this dumb holiday.  It’s just an excuse for women to get all worked up in frantic expectation for something they don’t actually know what they want.  They are just expectant for the sake of being expectant – all they know is that they are waiting for something spectacular or by golly, their man’s gonna be in trouble.

My husband never cooperates, though.  He knows I hate Valentines Day and yet he always brings me something anyway.  And this year he even jumped the gun and brought home a dozen white and dark chocolate covered strawberries.  My very favorite. 


Ok, while I’m trying to type now all of a sudden my whole room is permeated with a mix of combating fragrances. And I mean that literally. My son will not stay out of my bathroom.  He goes in there and makes the lotion bottles fight with the hairspray and perfume.  Or he takes all the toilet paper rolls out and builds a huge double-ply pyramid… how come he won’t just sit down, hold still and read a book for several hours?


Ok, I’m off to get the five year old off my bathroom counter.  Oh! But before I go… Maria and her kids spent the morning at Home Depot playing with my daughter and sent these over:





I can’t believe Coie gets paid to glue stuff together.





 PS WHOOOO HOOOOOO Jess and Cha Cha will be here in six days!!!  And this Monday she has an ultrasound so we’ll find out if I get a niece or a nephew.


 PPS The barn dance is coming up quick… are you registered yet?


 PPPS My laptop is seriously about to conk.  Any suggestions on where I can get a super cheap replacement?

February 7th, 2009 - Posted in 2009, Uncategorized | | 28 Comments

February 4th, 2009
Um… Nevermind

Ok, so I think I’ve grown out of the whole E-Harmony “get Coie hitched” phase.  Maybe I will sign her up for reals in six years if she’s still in the house.  I just feel bad for Ryann because she’s *never* going to get to take over Coie’s room at this rate.  Actually, with Coie’s luck, Ryann will be married before she is. Ha Ha. 


I must be absolutely nuts because even though I am overwhelmed with the awful thought of her ever actually leaving, I end up working against myself.  It’s sort of like when you have a baby and you can’t wait for them to walk and run and talk even though you just KNOW it’s going to make your life 80% more complicated.  But I think I’ve learned my lesson.


Congrats to my beautiful friend who is expecting a new family member.


And yippee for me because Jess and Charley will be here at the end of next week.  I cannot wait to go maternity clothes / baby stuff shopping with my sister.  Did you see how cute she looked with her pregnant tummy?  This is such a fun time.


Also, I got word that Coie and I are slated to do homeschool conventions again this year for Rosetta Stone.  HOOORAY!  I will post our schedule as soon as we get it.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed for IL and FL again.  You absolutely assuredly entirely must plan on coming out to see us if we’re in your area.  And I promise not to pawn Coie off on you if you have a marriageable-aged son. 


And I thought this year was going to be boring.

February 4th, 2009 - Posted in 2009, Uncategorized | | 11 Comments