On Monday, my husband went to work.

“This is my first day of work this year!” he giggled, hoisting his bags over his shoulder and heading for the door.

“Do you want to go stand by your truck with your lunch box and I can take a photo of your First Day of Work?” I asked.

And then he giggled some more.


The light is different here. The beginning and ending of each day is longer, the light gentler. Taking pictures indoors is, once again, a rewarding option. Probably because this house doesn’t have a green plastic lid on it:

a green plastic lid and leaky walls: it was a bad storm 
(the lid leaked, too)


We’re halfway through our Reading Week. It’s fun.

It’s also time consuming. You can’t really get anything else done when you’re staring at a page.

It’s a good discipline for me to set aside my Get Something Done attitude and work at absorbing words.

But, like I said, it’s fun. So then I get sucked into absorbing and don’t do much doing. Which is the point!

But because I’m a Producer and an Analyzer, I start worrying that I need to find balance and then I get all stressed that I won’t. Which is not the point.


Queenie and Glennon

1. Queenie did a blog up-do and I’m tickled pink. Just look at that header! She’s a great writer: honest and wry with a hearty dash of wit. Love her. (She’s also my sister-in-law once removed. Or something. We don’t talk—we just read each other.) Some of my favorite posts:

*The first week of homeschooling
*Birds and Bees
*Not a poem

2. Glennon got her teeth cleaned.


It’s my boy’s birthday. The book I picked out for him at the library couldn’t be more fitting, title-wise.

He’s taller than me, you know. He might be mouthier, too.

I love him. Some days I even like him.


I went shopping last night. When I got home, this is what I wrote on Facebook:  

I went to Sharp Shopper tonight. I feel like I need to debrief. Or go to confession.

The cheap prices, the choices, the ginormous quantities…they blew me away. I was left with a full cart, a fuzzy brain, and blurry vision. So I went to a little restaurant and refueled with this salad. And then I hit the library, BAM.

Today I’m doing a lot of sitting.

And a lot of eating.


Speaking of books: what newly-released books should I be made aware of? I’d love a good read-aloud. (I aim for a middle school level.)

Also, do you know of any good books for teen boys? (Especially ones—books, not boys—that can be downloaded for free through Amazon Prime.)


Because…WE HAVE AMAZON PRIME. We did away with Netflix (whimper) and took the jump into full-blown North American high-speed consumerism and I love it.

Except I’m not really into spending money yet because we have no budget since we can’t find the folder with all our budget papers. Kinda inconvenient, really. Makes me panicky, if I think about it. We had a good system going and now the system is gone and we are going to crash and burn. Especially now that we have Amazon Prime.

We’re figuring out the Kindle downloading thing, and we’re learning how Amazon Instant Streaming works (mainly by getting as much practice as possible via DOWNTON ABBEY SEASON THREE, BABY), and yesterday I realized my plastic wrap wasn’t tough enough, I sat down and ordered my fancy favorite wrap and it will be here tomorrow which is positively amazing!

Except I can’t shake the worry that I’m damaging the environment with all the shipping this and shipping that. But then I think, the UPS truck is making his rounds anyway—is an order here or there going to really make a difference?


My older daughter is now the same shoe size that I am. She is begging for my flip-flops, my sandals, and my boots. Does this mean that if I have a willing and eager recipient for my old (but not completely worn-out) black boots, that I am justified in getting a new pair?



Spanish is (relatively) easy to learn, but it once you start moving between countries, it gets complicated, like so.


When scrolling through this month’s photos in Picasa, I’m always caught off-guard by the pictures at the first of the month…

sick and miserable

I never told you about the ant flash mob. 

…and the pictures now.

my new, oh-so-sweet niece
monitoring our three (THREE!) waffle irons
real (REAL!) whipped cream 

What different worlds!

Seeing our Guatemala house brings back a wave of memories, rough and jagged and bulky, and my throat constricts. Not because I’m sad or homesick, but because of the intensity of the change. The vast difference. The sharp abruptness.

Here, I have a quart of whipping cream (and a quart of half-and-half!) in my fridge (O, white giantess that stands in the corner, purr-ur-urring), and there I had none. I like (scratch that—adore) my dairy-filled fridge so much better than the little dinky Guatemalan one!

I don’t feel guilty for liking this one better, either. It’s just that there are two worlds and they are so different and I lived in them both and thinking about that makes my throat hurt and my eyes smart.

That’s all.


  • Anonymous

    It's been a while since I (or my son) has read these, and we were heavily biased towards sci-fi/fantasy, but I think they're mostly clean (even to the language), and have good messages. Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings (first of a series), Magician: Apprentice by Raymond Fiest, Have Space Suit, Will Travel by Robert Heinlein, and Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Not sure about Amazon, but your library should have them all. Also On Basilisk Station by David Weber is the first book of an incredible series, but it's more intense (though still little language and very little sex (none explicit, casual, or in the first few books).

  • Camille

    Great post my friend. Thank you for opening your heart up and sharing your life here. I feel like we've had a good visit. Hugs to you! Camille

  • Queenie

    Gosh, I'm so flattered! Seriously–I consider you a real blogger while I am a complete dabbler (is that an oxymoron?) so I am just grateful you read (and like) my blog. Also, I got Amazon Prime by accident and I can't say I'm wild about the movie selection compared to Netflix. Am I missing some secret? Should I be buying all my plastic wrap (or the equivalent since I almost never use or buy plastic wrap) on Amazon? Insider tips, please.

    • Jennifer Jo

      No, I don't think the movie selection is all that great. Plus, the site is harder to navigate. However, there's enough stuff for me to get my entertainment fix. And there's always Redbox for other stuff. Who knows, maybe we'll switch back at some point.

      I'll be getting books through Amazon, and we got all the b-day presents through there… Aside from that, I don't know much…yet.

  • Suburban Correspondent

    Larry worked as a Russian interpreter for the Navy during the mid-1990's. When visiting Russian scientists were here, he and the other interpreters would take them to WalMart or some such place and watch them go into shock. It was almost too much to take in, just as you describe it.

  • adriana

    anyway you could send me one (just one!!) of your waffle makers??? i could buy one here but it always seems a bit ridiculous and expensive when i know at home i could easily get one or two or three for cheap! 🙂 thanks for the updates!

    • Jennifer Jo

      Hi Adriana! I'd send you a waffle iron…except we USE all of ours on a weekly basis! Crazy, right? But in order to feed the family in a timely manner, and so I don't have to stand at the counter for 45 minutes, we employ all three.

  • beckster

    Ditto on downloading library books via the Kindle! It's the best way to check out a book. No trip, no gas used, no late fees, it's magic.

  • Anonymous

    Have you figured out how to check out library books on your kindle? That was awesome for me while we were in Nicaragua. Also, through the library website you can read magazines on your computer for free. Also awesome.

  • melodie davis

    I saw a UPS truck going up the road about 5 p.m. Tuesday and thought, hmm, wonder whose getting a delivery. Maybe it was you. Loved the photo of your older daughter.

  • Kirsten

    We recently listened to Give Peas a Chance by Morris Gleitzman on CD. It's set in Australia, with short stories that are both hilarious and heartfelt. I think your kids would especially like the one called "Papparazi." We've renewed it 4 times from the library, which means we've had it approximately 3 months.

  • Mama Pea

    There's is such truth to the fact that you don't appreciate (truly appreciate) what you have until you don't have it. Or is it that you appreciate it so much more once you have it again? Way back in the l970s and l980s we lived without electricity or running water. To this day I still am grateful nearly every day for my electric lights and lamps. I say thanks for our nice shower every time I step into it. And an indoor flush toilet?? Greatest invention ever.

    • Jennifer Jo

      Your second sentence: YES.

      I like to stand in the shower and let the hot water run directly into my mouth because it's purified and I can. It's the little (but not so little, really) things.

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