Saturday, April 28, 2007

My daughter is addicted to making dresses

I think she is absolutely obsessed. Today she managed to squeak out a dress and I have no idea how she managed it. It is beautiful of course. Her favorite blog is 'dress a day' and she loves the humor and everything else that goes with it. She should probably consider being Miss Frizzle when she grows up as it would give her something fun to do everyday - make a new dress that coincides with what she is doing. She doesn't really have any of those yet. She ransacked my old fabric stash and is making good use of some of it. I'm impressed and my sewing skills are shameful at this point. Like I said I am amazed.

Dustin Farnum

The little guy who I used to babysit died last week. I went to his visitation yesterday. He was 29, married with two little girls - not so little any more. The lines were huge and the disbelief on their faces. I was glad my brother came with as it sort of lightened things up for me. Dustin's mom seemed to choose her words carefully and avoid any conversation that would send her in a tail spin. I can't blame her. I wanted to tell her my fond memories of him as a little boy but I didn't. I told her I loved her and was praying for her. There was no mention of Dustin having faith so that was a little odd to me as I don't think I have ever attended a non-faith visitation before. I feel for his wife and kids and will keep them in prayer. He died of Sepsis and went very fast so I don't think he had time for any contemplation. It does not seem real to me but I know it is. The memorial service is today and I chose to avoid it. It would just remind me of what wasn't talked about. I will ask my mom later what was talked about at the service. I will keep sharing my faith with my kids and I think I will be more likely to talk about it more with others. THere are no promises.

Friday, April 27, 2007


I think I need a break from whining. Why is it kids can be asked to do something then they just have to whine. Ugh. The legalist would tell me that I just haven't disciplined them well enough or they wouldn't do that. I know it is hard for these kids and some adults I know to realize that it is difficult for me to filter all the demands placed upon me. I can cheerfully accept that duh that is my job but......sometimes it would be nice to hear "Karin, how are you today? Is there anything I can do for you?". So this is my martyr rant this morning I guess. Perhaps I will try reverse pyschology.

Stefan is supposed to have an antibiotic but I can't get it in his cute face.....blurp, blurp.....

This post is nice and negative. I don't think anyone reads this anyway so it is a venting area.

Sit and Knit closed so I would go there to escape but I guess they were too nice and they didn't make any money and went out of business.

Charley and Erik are going camping with the Scouts this weekend. I want to tackle the storage area and get rid of stuff. Too bad they can't leave earlier - ha ha.

Off to 'try harder' to be cheerful.

Monday, April 23, 2007

An allergy day

I took Benjamin to the doc today to get him set up with allergy meds. He coughed all night and so far all today. We went to Lake Michigan yesterday and whatever is there sent him into fits. He volunteered to take a nap just now. His friend Justinian is here to play also and he still volunteered to take a nap. That is tired.

I weighed Stefan at the doc's and he gained 4 oz last week. He sure is a project in learning the scientific method. There were too many variables going on last week. He does seem much better without dairy and the soy didn't seem to agree with him so I am going to stick to bananas and rice cereal for now. Perhaps when his little insides get used to eating solids he will do better with other things.

With Benjamin and Stefan both sleeping I better go run around like crazy and whip this place into shape.

Friday, April 20, 2007

2:00 am

Well, the battle with Stefan goes on. This time it is gas in the middle of the night. At least at the moment he is wrestling happily with a toy in his crib. Opps, spoke too soon. I think his mommy is getting as cranky as he is. I thought he was merrily on his way in the eating solids department but seemed way too fussy yesterday and not too interested in food. Now he just has gas. His skin looks pretty good but is still dependant on all his creams. It is too soon to tell if my giving up dairy will help.

Charley took the day off work yesterday and watched the kids and Regina's kids so that we mom's could go out for lunch free with his 'frequent flier mile' lunch cards from Brunos. It was LaRena, Sandy, Regina and I. It was nice and relaxing. Stefan had been napping so I actually went without him so didn't have to wrestle with the baby. Charley apparently is famous as the hostess sent her greetings and then also ran into a co-worker of his who recognized me from a picture in the Tribune years ago.

We sorted through storage containers in the afternoon. We found (not kidding) 12 sterilite containers labeled shoes and paired that down to 7 containers organized by type of shoe and girl/boy categories. We were able to sort out over a container of shoes that were doubles that had been given to us and never worn. Bless someone else so says the FlyLady! Tomorrow Anna wants to go through my old fabric stash. That will be a relief. Perhaps the ladies at Redeemer could use some of it for quilts.

It is a good thing I went to bed early......I guess I can go read some blogs.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

eczema adventures

I must admit I am sick of dealing with eczema but of course persevere. Stefan has good days and bad days and some days that are both good and bad. Skin is strange really. I never knew how odd skin could be. In the morning his skin can look just horrid and by the afternoon with his regimin he can look SOO much better. I was next to tears this morning as I thought things were on the upswing the last few days and he looked so bad this morning that I think my emotions caught up with me.

My deep thought of the week with Stefan was inspired by the funeral sermon last week at Emmaus. It IS comforting to know that despite how hard I work at helping Stefan that Christ cares so much more for him. Wow. That is humbling. It is also hard to remember as I jump from one aspect of his care to another, not to mention the rest of the kids. THey seem to be weathering the storm though and Charley has helped when asked or reminded that help would relieve stress.

I have given up dairy and wheat. Stefan has started some solids as well. He seems to enjoy his bananas. Another monkey boy. I am finding it an adventure to make foods that fill me up and taste good. I am open to suggestions.

I think it is time to post and go read more of my book - "Katherine" about Katherine Swynford. I read it in high school and we only read half of it so I thought it was high to time to finish it.

Stefan is in bed already too so that is another reason to go to bed!

Friday, April 13, 2007


Why does it take me half the morning or more to realize that I am just tired on Fridays? Stefan got up at 5:30 this morning and I debated if I should 'make' him go back to sleep or just get up. I think I should have made him.

I have been thinking about the 'duh' fact that when someone offends you or frustrates you, you just need to 'duh' forgive them. We get so fed up at times that we forget this little (BIG) part of our lives. Of course we need to forgive people who push our buttons and repent of our impatience etc. I think I struggle the most with this with my dear kiddos. It is just easier to be tired so I forget. It is easier to play the martyr and blame my impatience on them. THose immature kiddos. Don't they know that the dirty kitchen needs to be cleaned???? Sigh. With another situation it was SO great to be gently reminded to just forgive and the reminder did not even hurt. It was an encouragement to know that the giver of the reminder was not going to let me wallow in self pity or griping. God is incredibly gracious to place these people in my life to be an encouragement in the faith.

The sun is out and I NEED A WALK! Maybe the grass will need to be mown soon. I also wou ld love to have a big sock sorting party and clean out the mudroom/laundry room. Stefan wears four socks and they all seem to be missing. Ugh. Perservere for the morning with school and ATTACK in the afternoon.

Time for Stefan's spa bath!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

1st week of Easter

THis morning pastor gave a little chuckle when he turned around and there sat the Horner's and the Rhein's. We laughed (a little laugh) too. What will we do without our daily services? After church we had piano lessons and everyone seemed to do a good job. THey have a recital of Sunday (which I just realized I forgot to tell my parents!!!!). Oh well, I guess I need to call them.

Anna did not sew a dress today. She and Maggie and I had another 'deep' discussion of 'Brave New World'. They seem motivated to keep up the speed in their reading.

Justinian did a funny thing today. He must have asked me if he could come to my house some day this morning and I said yes. Well.....he took that to mean today. So when I packed everyone up from their reading lessons at LaRena's I was pulling out of the driveway and there sat smiling Justinian. I have heard of forgetting a child but picking up extras? It was humorous.

Erik worked hard on school today and I think is anxious is use his draw knife soon. The weather has been THE PITS so I guess I forget he wants to be done with school so he can go off and do whatever he plans to do with that knife. I need to remember that tomorrow. I am sure that is why he has been less than enthused to be enlisted to do 'chores' around the house. I better find time to fill his draw knife fix.

I found a collection of Norman Nagel's sermons in the church library today. I read a few and I think I am hooked. He does have a gift with words. I am also still reading the "Spiritual Care" book.

Matthew is busy working on his art project and listening to "THe Voyage of the Dawn Treader". I am hoping the art students can get their homework done early this week.

I guess there is nothing else too exciting. Stefan should have gotten a second bath but zonked for the night before I could get to it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Great day

Church was wonderful as always this morning. We then traded kids and took Nick and Maggie home to work on school with some of our kids. Anna and Maggie are working on "Brave New World" in their literature and it has sparked some very interesting conversations. At the same time I am reading Deitrich Bonheffer's (spelling?) Spiritual Care and loving it. Wow. That is one interesting and eye opening book. I am thinking about having the girls read one chapter of it to continue our discussion of the effects of psychology on the world and on the church. Bonheffer had some definate opinions on that and his arguments make a lot of sense to me.

This afternoon Tyler Benke came over with his daughter Emily to see the 'farm'. We just got some more chicks so that was a nice treat for her to see two day old chicks. Cecilia may be going over to the Benke's tomorrow to play with Emily but we need to check that out with the grandma first. The sun came out and it wasn't so depressing this morning. Tyler and I talked about the old topic of 'how to get rid of all the stuff we don't need!'. I am moving more towards becoming a 'better minimalist'. TOO MUCH STUFF TO TAKE CARE OF! "I better 'try harder' with that!" Smile.

Erik has standardized testing next week and I think I am the one who is nervous. It is not required but I am curious if there is any difference from last year.

Stefan enjoyed being outside this afternoon for awhile. I am hoping the sunshine and warmer weather will help his eczema. That sure would be nice for both of us. I think oatmeal is also on his horizon as I can't seem to keep up with him. He will probably love it.

Anna made another dress from my stash. She has come to the realization that my old stash in storage may feed her sewing addiction without spending more money. See, I saved all that stuff for some reason - cute dresses! Har har.

Off to diaper changing land.....

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Traveling white eggs

The white egg saga goes on. I stayed home with the youngest kids last night and everyone else went to church. Soon after everyone got home the phone rings and it is LaRena.....laughing. She knows all about the egg adventures and she called to let me know that when the boys got her eggs yesterday (she bought brown yummy eggs) that they had given her the bag with the frozen white eggs in it!!!!! Ahhhh!!!!!!! Her oldest ds had gone to make a few eggs after church only to discover strange broken white ones in a bag. How embaressing. Everything in life does seem to boil down to eggs or wood.... I wonder if we will ever successfully dye the good white eggs we picked up yesterday.

Friday, April 06, 2007

White eggs

Matthew, Stefan and I went to the grocery this afternoon to replace the white eggs that I bought the other day. The first batch, an anonaymous person had placed in the freezer. The slightly humorous part of that was that dh was having an anxiety attack (exageration) that I had bought white eggs to begin with seeing as the hens have been laying more eggs than we can handle. I told him to think of the white eggs as a craft project and not to sweat it. So.....while I was searching for the ice cream that I promised some friends, I discovered a mysterious bag in the freezer and upon looking inside found three dozen white eggs frozen and exploded. Ugh. to the store we went to get more eggs for our craft project otherwise known as dying Easter eggs. They were on sale at Meijers for 66 cents a dozen. Well everyone had gone to Meijers for eggs and the carts were coming from both sides of the not very big isles. So.....I said "Hey Matthew. Scoot up to the front of the line and help those ladies get their eggs! Be sure to check for cracked ones and perhaps this line will clear out." Matthew always gets a charge out of surprising people so off he went and asked each lady how many dozen they wanted and he whipped through those eggs getting what they needed. The shoppers were all smiles and the line cleared out. Phew. Matthew then asked if he could get a job helping people. His dad has trained the little entrapranuers (spelling?) well. I am sure he could get a job shopping for people.

Matthew also took driving lessons at the store. He manned the cart while I carried the screaming Stefan (yet another reason we needed the line to go down). He forgot to 'look in the rear view mirror' before backing up once and I prevented a near collision with a quick warning. I love shopping with my kids. It is so educational.

One time there was a man with his elderly father in the vege section who totally lost his temper. My kiddos heard words they didn't know existed and silence descended all around. THis episode started a conversation about what the man and his father's life must be like and how they probably struggle with this approach to life all the time. Even though it was shocking it made me sad for both of them. THe kids did learn something that day also.

I better go throw the clothes in the drier. Charley and the kids went to Good Friday services while I put a sick child to bed. I have Luther's Catechism lulling them to sleep on that great hymn/catechism recording. I think I need to play that every night and maybe they can learn it gently and easily.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Bummer. My perenials look pretty dead as well as the daffidils we did not cut. I don't know what this means for the long haul on those perenials that are wilted. And I thought I had made some progress in filling out the perenial bed. Oh well.

Hubby is getting restless so that is a good sign. Now to keep him from overdoing it. He is getting a taste of the business of each day by being home this week. Ironically we are getting a lot of school work done despite it being Holy Week. Who would have thought.

Stefan's eczema is a mess again today. His bath wasn't long enough this morning so will have to revisit the tub this afternoon.

Had a great discussion with Anna and Maggie about "Brave New World" this morning. They seem to be enjoying 'thinking' about what the author is trying to get across. I am amazed at how much history I know and remember. I wonder if it is just because I enjoy history or if it has more to do with cognitive development that helps you remember people and dates and how they are significant.

Time to go snarf some food and continue to crack the school whip.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

My baby book

My mom brought us dinner and also gave me my baby book. That was interesting. Apparently I didn't think well of myself and didn't turn assignments in on time. Interesting.......
I also wasn't very coordinated.

The other thing I discovered was that my whole life I thought I was baptized by my dad (he's a pastor) and then come to find out I was baptized in Portland, ME by my grandparent's pastor. Wow. I wonder why no one ever told me. I guess it makes some sense that it was in Portland as my Godparents were from Springfield, MA and we lived in South Carolina so this must have been a Christmas event or something. That way my grandparents could be there as well. At least I didn't discover I was adopted or something or that I had never been baptized! I find this all quite a revelation and makes me wonder how much I forget to tell my kids.

Dh is doing well. He is going to attempt to go to sleep and so am I.


So dh is recovering. He and medicine do not mix so it is slow and steady win the race. He is a cute patient. If he wasn't as cute as a prepatient he is making up for it now. Yippee. Stefan and I hung out till just a little bit ago and he is really not ready to come home. I came home for a little bit so he could rest and then he called me to tell me he was trying to stay awake.....hmmmm....

My mom is here with dinner. Better scoot.


Helping other people deal with challenges sure can be a challenge. If they don't tell you they are struggling you can't tell that they are struggling. If you don't know what they need to feel better it is hard to know what to do for them. Then.....if you care for a whole bunch of other people it doesn't even occur to you to think about someone needing help if you don't receive signals and are busy caring for the needs of the rest of the crowd. So......needless to say, helping dh get ready for his outpatient surgery has been a learning experience. When I have a baby I have nine months to prepare and mentally process not knowing when the baby is going to be born. Dh knew his date but didn't process much that the rest of us were aware of. I have never thought much about what other people think about as the few people close to me who have any difficulty seemed to 'handle' it or were in such need that there wasn't time to process. I think I have discovered that I am not a mind reader. I can take care of people but am not good at considering other's feelings if they are not the type who processes outloud.

Well, Stefan and I are off to the hospital to see how things are and bring 'da dad' home. It is a good thing my friends care enough to stick with me through my overprocessing tendancies.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Visiting with friends

I think I am becoming addicted to visiting with friends. Does that mean I am co-dependant? We went over to the Hubbard's house today and Alisa and I sat around and talked about everything that has happened in the last few weeks. Her little Maureen is adorable. It is fun to have all these little babies around. They are getting bigger though.

At church the children processed with palms this morning. That was nice. The whole service was great as usual. Stefan cooperated through most of the service. He did not cooperate through Bible class. I did so want to hear Pastor's take on the fleece and the dew and if anyone mentioned how people still do this sort of thing. It sort of seems like testing God and I have never heard or read the story in the Old Testement to see what that was all about. I will have to ask sometime.

Charley and I went out to eat tonight to hash out some things. I am hoping that the structure of the summer will be predictable. That is the goal anyway. Charley has outpatient surgery on Tuesday so we talked our way through that as well. He is just nervous. I asked him what we can do to help him get over it (like go to friends homes and socialize while he stays home) and he wasn't really sure.

The TV is returning to the basement and I better get the squirts to bed so they can be perky enough for Matins in the morning.