Hi! I’m Jen—thanks so much for stopping by! I’d love to be that blogger girl in Kansas you wish was your neighbor, and then we could just hang out and be best friends (that is exactly how I feel about my yoga girl on YouTube—I love you Adriene!!) My goal is to be your veteran mom friend—the one who has walked down a few paths and will help you on yours! I share homeschooling tips and insights to creating a family life that reflects love, welcomes your people and others, and doesn’t make you crazy.
And by the way, I wish you lived nextdoor too (not that I don’t adore my current neighbors)—it’s just so hard for me to find time to get out with my friends…Probably because I’m chasing my three year old twins (actually I’m usually telling them to stop chasing each other). Or I’m driving one of my three teenagers somewhere. Or I’m trying to teach my 14 year old the pythagorean theorem and my 6 year old the letter G. And of course you know…there’s always the laundry, the dishes, and my favorite daily dilemma—take a nap or take a shower…But—I still need my mama friends, and I hope that you can find a place here to feel understood, validated, and laugh.
I hope that somewhere in my story—you will be blessed. You will feel that it’s part of your story too…God has been tugging at my heart…do this blog thing. And so here I am.
And just who am I? What do I have to offer you?
Well—I’m 40…and my life (like yours) is more than I ever imagined…mostly more beautiful, more blessed, certainly more than I deserve. I never imagined I would have 6 amazing kids (ages 18, 16, 14, 6, and 3), twins, homeschool, and live in my lovely house! I never imagined the Grace I would need—the Grace I’ve received. But there are parts that are so much harder than I imagined, more hurtful, more scarred. At one point, I never imagined my parents would divorce, I would have chronic health problems, I would forever hear the beeping of NICU machines in my mind, I would have a child with speech disorders, mental illness, and a crisis of faith. (Heck I might be able to write a book on how to raise a socialist atheist…probably not what you were looking for!!) Also—never expected to raise a full blown vegan, along with lesser versions of vegetarians in the house. We are all basically half time vegans, thanks to the 14 year old. Currently none of my teens are eating meat—one eats seafood (aka—pescatarian). Meals are just a full blown mess around here. (I don’t want to leave you with any sort of impression that we don’t do junk food—Oreos are apparently vegan). I’ve been married to my most favorite person in the world, Jason, for 20 years. We were literal babies when we got married. We started off with nothing—and now, together we have all this unimaginable life.
I love Jesus and can’t remember a time when I didn’t…I was raised Catholic, left the church in my 20’s (but still love and respect it much), went to a non-denominational church for many years, and now go to a methodist church…Can I just say, it is hard to leave the Catholic Church. Everything else feels a little less reverent and sometimes slightly cheesy. Jesus needs no gimmicks. So I can feel a bit like a fish out of water at church—where is my kneeler and holy water?! Don’t get me wrong—the Protestants get a lot of things right and I love being a Born-Again Christian— but I’m just not a Cradle Methodist. My kids however are cradle protestants and so Sunday School, VBS, memory verses, K-Love, worship bands, and a 5 week sermon series are totally normal in their world. But at our house, we do it all with the Sign of the Cross…sometimes you just can’t take the Catholic out of the girl! In all seriousness—religion is probably my favorite topic. I love thinking about God and desperately seek to understand His unfathomable Love more each day…The more I learn (and the older I get) the more I am humbled at what I truly don’t know. He is all about Love—and oh how I’ve missed the mark some days, some years for that matter…Again—thankful for His unimaginable Grace. Thankful for the work He is doing in me, in my life, in the world…
And on another note…
Jalapeno kettle chips and are my kryptonite. Can’t. Stop. Eating. Open bags of these are dangerous—totally my weakness.
If I could choose my last meal on earth, it would probably be Panang Curry with Chicken (run to the nearest Thai restaurant and try this dish—-HEAVENLY).
I belong to the group of people who fervently seek out the black jelly beans.
My Barbie Dream House was the best present I’ve ever received—thank you, Santa!
Here I am land-locked in Kansas—but I dream of living by the ocean…someday!
I actually have lived on the ocean…Marblehead, MA. So quaint. Everything you imagine a Norman Rockwell version of New England to be…loved it! Boston people are so fun!!
I am the oldest of four—I’m 17 years older than my baby brother.
I am a Type A in recovery.
I always wanted twins. Never thought I would ever have twins. Not one set in my family (and my grandma had 10 kids). The biggest best surprise of my life was finding out that we were having twins—totally floored!
I knew I wanted to be a teacher when I was in high school—and so I am. I graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Elementary Education. I taught 2nd grade for two years and later was a virtual school teacher for two years. I still keep my teaching license current—I just worked too darn hard for that thing. But I certainly don’t think you need to be a teacher to homeschool your kids—mostly I think it gave me the confidence to start.
I just completed my 13th year of homeschooling—whoo hoo!
Well—I’ve blabbed quite a bit (yes—I’m that friend who doesn’t do silence or pauses). If you were really here in my kitchen, I’d want to know everything—so please tell me about you!