Jeneric Jeneralities ~ by JenIG

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

27 Responses to ' There’s No Place Like Illinois '

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  1. CrossView said,

    on June 7th, 2008 at 6:11 am

    Ok. I’m jealous. Of all the neat people you’re meeting up with and also for all of that eating you’re doing!

  2. Gina D. said,

    on June 7th, 2008 at 8:03 am

    Jen, How very exciting! This RS thing has been a pretty cool gig for you guys. I’m curious though, how is the family doing back in TN without you and Coie? Oh, just so ya know it’s hot in KY as well! And…girlfriend to have had 6 kids, you look very young and THIN! Good for you!!

  3. Maria said,

    on June 7th, 2008 at 8:25 am

    Food – I’d be in it for the food alone. I think I haven’t swam in a pool in forever.

    Have a safe trip back home.

  4. jenig said,

    on June 7th, 2008 at 8:30 am

    young and thin. ha. you are funny. And the kids are doing super well. They like it when we leave for a weekend because Geoff lets them eat pizza, ice cream, sugary cereal, etc.
    : )

  5. Megan said,

    on June 7th, 2008 at 9:21 am

    I can’t believe it ahd been that long since you’ve swam in a pool! Shocker! When we go to Fl or on any vacation with water I am in the pool everyday, allday. I just can’t bring myself to lay on a vinyl lounge chair and become a twice baked potato like the rest of my friends/family we go with. Have loads of fun, miss you at church tomorrow. 🙂

  6. Megan said,

    on June 7th, 2008 at 9:22 am

    or atleast I assume you won’t be there tomorrow.

  7. Crystal said,

    on June 7th, 2008 at 9:26 am

    Wow, you guys are having fun! It’s so cool to see pictures of people I’ve heard of but didn’t have a face to put with it, especially Trish. I had always pictured her different in my head, but I always get it wrong when I picture someone in my head before I’ve seen them.

    I still wish you were coming to Texas too. 🙂

  8. Shay said,

    on June 7th, 2008 at 10:10 am

    I am sooooo excited for you and Coie, AGAIN, that ya’ll are having so much fun!!! I know the work load is hard too, but what an awesome experience for you and your wonderful, eldest child!!

    With much love,

    PS – Geoff can’t get Ryann on Wednesday so we’re just keeping her and taking her to Atlanta with us!! (haha) Seriously though, we are wide open with our schedule after the 12th so we can do whatever you need us to do to get her back home!

    With love (again),

  9. on June 7th, 2008 at 11:46 am

    It was great getting to meet you and Coie. I wish your route back home was closer to our neck of the woods so we could do something again before you get back to Tennessee.

    I had to laugh about your description of Illinois. Remember, though, you’ve only seen a tiny portion of our state! 😉 Flat has its own kind of beauty, especially once the corn starts to grow. At the very least, flat scenery means you get plenty of time to *watch* the tornadoes before they actually get to you! As for the fluffy white stuff, that’s just cottonwood seed. It will be gone by the end of June. And the tollbooths are only in the northern part of the state – I don’t know of any south of Joliet.

    In other words, it’s not *that* bad here – come again soon! 😉

  10. Angie:) said,

    on June 7th, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Fun pictures!! And what an absolute BLAST you must be having!!:):) I have been praying for you all at the convention and for your safe travel home! I hope that today is another record breaker!:)

    Love you!

  11. Jennifer said,

    on June 7th, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Well aren’t you the multi-cultural eater, first mexican now off to our asian friends. Hope you sell big and travel home safely. Enjoy your friendships as well, what a wonderful blessing to have friends no matter where you travel or go.

    Hugs, Jennifer

  12. JoAnn said,

    on June 7th, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    I’m glad you are having such a good time. We use to live in Illinois, and I’ve lived both in Naperville and Bolingbrook. It’s good you are having a great time there. 🙂

  13. Angela H. said,

    on June 7th, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    I’m glad you are having a good time, also. We live next door in north-central Indiana. I have introduced myself before, but I imagine you don’t remember me. Also, I just noticed on the side that your articles are now in Home School Enrichment – too cool – I have to subscribe to that! I was sooo bummed when I couldn’t read them anymore. Well, I trust you have a safe trip home!

    God Bless,
    Angela 🙂

  14. Jennifer said,

    on June 7th, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    Hi Jen,

    It was fun to meet you in person after reading your blog for so long! You and your daughter look like sisters. What fun the two of you must’ve had! I’m sure your exhausted though….it looked like you almost always had customers. I’m glad I ran into Coie at Jamba Juice. She convinced me to stop by and say, “Hi!” She’s a very sweet and personable young lady.


  15. Stace said,

    on June 7th, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    I Hope you and CO- can do a convention in Californ-I-A.

    Miss you Both!

  16. Marsha said,

    on June 7th, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    Personally, I like Ross or TJ Maxx $10 skirts that are originally $20-40 cute. 🙂

    Girl, I hope your skirts were elastic waisted… b/c it seems that in ALL of your pictures, the consumption of delicious not-cooked-by-you and probably delicious-because-it-has-grease-and-or-butter food. I’m jealous!!!

    Can’t wait to see ze videos!


  17. jenig said,

    on June 8th, 2008 at 7:28 am

    hey Stace! it’s fun to see you over here. We are hoping to make it to Ca soon!

  18. Jul said,

    on June 8th, 2008 at 9:49 am

    There seems to be a theme in your pictures.
    So, how many places did you go to eat at?
    How many times per day did you guys eat?
    Oh, and wasn’t there some conference going on in- between meals?

  19. Julie said,

    on June 8th, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    It looks like you’re having such a great time and I’m so glad everything is going so well! Yippee on the new car!! God is so good, isn’t He? I’m glad you got the bowling ball taken care of and hope you feel better each and every day!

    God bless you!! Love, Julie

  20. Rebekah said,

    on June 9th, 2008 at 12:01 am

    Hey Mrs.Ig! I found you! I had noticed that you were no longer on my friends list. Please feel free to email me if you like!

  21. Karen W said,

    on June 9th, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    I so wish you could have come to the HEAV convention in Virginia. Maybe you can next year! Meanwhile, come visit my blog. I’ve got a contest going on!

  22. on June 9th, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    I agree with Stacie! :+) I wish you were going to be in Modesto! :+)


  23. Gayle said,

    on June 9th, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Hey Jen! Glad I found you over here! By the looks of things, I missed some kind of drama…oh well, just happy to have found you. 🙂

  24. kellieann said,

    on June 10th, 2008 at 9:45 am

    I am totally loving your all-around-America posts. Since gas is so high, and I’m not traveling ANYWHERE, I’m living vicariously through you.

  25. Barbara said,

    on June 10th, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Just wanted to say I noticed your posture improved when you were with Laurie… I get it. I’d totally try to impress her too 🙂 Or was that just sitting up straight to try to make room for dessert? Either way, I’m envious. I’ll confess it later tonight, don’t worry.

  26. jenig said,

    on June 10th, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    Barbara, that is funny, you’re right! And now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure I even used my napkin at the table.

    I sure hope Laurie appreciated all the extra effort on my part.

  27. Kim said,

    on June 13th, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    I’m not usually a whiner, but it’s so not fair that you got to eat with Laurie Bluedorn! She’s probably in my top ten list of people I’d love to chat with. You’re eating dinner with her and I’m dodging tornadoes. Something’s just not right. Trying to remember how much I like you right now.

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