Sunday, September 30, 2007

Visiting Grammie and Grandpa

We went to Minooka to visit Charley's parents today. It was good to see them. Charley's stomach was in need of food so we went right to the park for a picnic lunch. His mom was pretty cute when I told her that Charley was ready for lunch as she rushed his dad out to the car. She must know her son's stomach needs well.

After moving our picnic goods to the third table (it was sort of like the three bears) we settled on the just right table near a pavilion and the I&M canal. The first table was pelting us with walnuts, the second table was too hot and the third table was just right. We should have had Benjamin tell them the three bears story as he is pretty good at getting all the details.

Charley and his dad and several of the kids took a walk on the path by the canal. It was full of bikers. His mom caught sight of a three wheeler bicycle (large tricycle) and asked the lady some questions about it. She even took a little test ride. I think she would really like one so I may start searching the want ads for a used one. She was pretty cute then too. The owner of the bike asked her if she remembered how a tricycle worked w hen she was young. That makes a person stop and think doesn't it? I guess I do remember what it is like to ride a tricycle if I stop and imagine it. Anyway, she tried it and is still dreaming of having one. We shall see.....

Stefan is ready for bed so signing off.......will perhaps elaborate later.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


So.......I recently received an email from a dear friend of mine who I will try to conceal his identity (Duluth) as I wouldn't want to expose the innocent (Valpo grad) from any feeling of having gotten me good (Ft. Wayne Seminary). I had just posted about my delightful camping trip when this email comes through suggesting our families go camping together in late October. Since I can not detect smirking always in emails and they can not see the stunned look on the readers face when receiving such an email, I did not quite how to reply. Should I send a blunt email back with screams of terror in it? SHould I call him and cautiously approach the subject of my now disdain of camping???? What is a friend to do when caught in such a predicament? No, I took the chicken's road and had my dh give them a call to make sure that we could do something more exciting like.......have them to our house and drink wine in the evening and sleep in comfortable beds. That is when the truth came out. Said friend reads my blog (I forgot) and thought it would be cute to suggest a camping trip. So said friend (Stefan's godfather) now holds the proud honor of being perhaps the only person who has ever fooled me that well. I do hope our alternative plans work out friend!!!! That would be far more fun and we can set up a little pup tent in the back yard for you. Smirk, smirk.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What Susan said

I cannot explain things quite the way Susan does but she has another great post on Singing the Hymns. When we came to Emmaus I must say it was somewhat purposeful that we chose the pew we did. There is a woman who sits a few pews back who sings out and I love it. I have told her so. When I have not been able to sing or had the tears experience, it has been encouraging to hear the words sung out behind me. When I hear my son who has found his voice sing out in church, catechesis or the yard, it is such an encouragement to me. This morning my nine year old boy participated with purpose and attention to catechesis as he never has before and that nearly brought tears to my eyes. He is a young boy who has struggled with reading and to hear that he is able to participate and hear the words himself as he engaged in singing was sweet. Those words will certainly minister to his heart as they did to mine.

When my oldest daughter laments missing the divine service, then we are commiserating together of how much that means to us. I need that encouragement more than I am able to receive it as the pastors are finite people. But we do still have our daily prayers to fill in the gaps.

I am not sure how to encourage others to sing out either. When my dh and I were first married he did not sing at all and I think that was because he felt he couldn’t. I think it also because his family did not sing out either. My family did (understatement) Charley and I had some singing lessons, conversation about how awesome it is to participate, and now he sings out and on key. Who cares if he is choir worthy or not, he still is able to sing out. Actually the singing lessons occurred when I realized I was going to be sitting next to him for the rest of our married life so……..I put him through the paces. Selfish eh? We don’t get to sit next to each other so much anymore but his kids can hear him.

So if you can, go to Susan's Pendulum and read her thoughts. I don't know how to make that a link.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why we like Nick

Nick is the sort of boy who understands mommys and daddys. When small children are falling apart at the seams, he has this knowing look that I find quite comforting. Nick also has an uncanny ability to admit when he is clueless and not seem too bothered by it. He isn't clueless in all departments but when he is out of his league he is the first to admit it. Nice boy. He was the 'spare' kid on the trip. We were hoping someone would ask how many kids were in our families but it didn't happen. A family (understatement) from India was having some sort of gathering across the way from us. There was a sea of kids running everywhere so our little group looked.....little. There were 16 kids between our two groups and I guess we are the sedate variety when we aren't hiking so we weren't very impressive. one asked the lone kid how many kids were in his family. I am sure it was nice for Nick to be a guest too as the substitute mommy is less likely to be bothered by little habits etc. I was especially amused by the behind the trailer guy activities. They looked like miniature beer belly, chewing hillbillies without the beer and chaw. case you didn't know, Nick is a nice kid. Random post.

We're Horners. We hike. That's what we do.

Well, we are back. The trip had it's ups and downs. Hiking was definately the highlight. I can totally relate to those people who hate camping though. Evening food prep, clean-up etc has to be done by someone and needless to say, marshmellows seem more appealing to a lot of the crowd. Then there is juggling the younger set tromping back and forth to the bathroom, dealing with the ever elusive toothbrushes, and putting the littlest squirt to bed.

Anna is intimidating for those who may not have already known that. I would say she needs to stay home from camping trips in the future to rest up but it is also true that she knows how to do just about anything. She commented to me that someone was quite surprised once that she knew what wolmanized (spelling?) lumber was. She can hitch a trailer, guide the vehicle to the trailer to be hitched, unhitch and secure a trailer, check the lights and anything else pertaining to trailers. I am truly impressed. She also can pack anything into anything. Clothes, dirty or clean, cooking equipment, miscalaneous camping junk, food, trailer spare tires, are no match for her. But.......she wishes someone else knew how to do these things. time we have a family trip I am sending her to a resort someplace to be pampered (resort? or the Stuckwisch's? Same difference).

We did have a good time all around and the getting stuck in the parking lot at the end of the trip scenario (see Anna's depressing blog) was a cheap excercise in team work. Some people pay money to learn team work at expensive conference centers. We on the other hand pull into skinny parking lots with a mom who just learned to back a trailer. Backing a trailer should be a part of Horner driver's ed.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Getting ready for camping

I am taking the kiddos camping this weekend. My dh is staying home to work on the garage project. I personally am not a fan of getting ready for camping. It is WORK! (I know, I said we work when there is work to do but it doesn't mean I always have to love it). I have tried to parcel out the work over the days so the kids don't get gipped of school work (aren't I nice?). We are almost there but the day before is always the worst. I cannot depend on the baby being happy or that every kid has listened to the instructions I have given them. We have been on campouts with kids who brought someone else's clothes that didn't fit them or one pair of underwear etc. Oh, joy. Once my cot was left behind because I did not specify I wanted it. Ugh. Glad I brought the food along and no one specified they wanted it....... Anna must be counting down the days (years....) till she is not part of the get ready for camping ordeal. I am hoping someday she can just join us by packing her little bag and not going through the cooking/packing torture.

What I enjoy about camping is the yummy food that is already ready, hiking, talking with the young folks who are along for the trip, and visiting with the friends we go with. The camp counselor comes out in me but I don 't sing the 'spark' song or much of any songs really. I should decide if I am taking my hammer dulcimer or not. I probably should.

Well, Stefan is asleep so I should return to the job. I can't seem to type anyway so I should give up.

Side note.....Anna just came upstairs with the mail and there was a flier from the local Christian bookstore......they are selling pastor teddy bears now. What next?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Weekend

Charley, Anna, and Erik went to Indy to the Worship and Spiritual Care workshop. I believe they had a great time. They were gone all day. The rest of us prepared for our upcoming camping excursion. I got most of the food shopping done. Now we just need to throw it all together and pack our clothes. Anna and Erik packed the trailer Friday before they went to bed.

Saturday night we called CHarley's dad and had a great time talking to him. He seems to be doing very well after some out patient surgery Friday. He was talking up a storm anyway and really I think my father-in-law is quite cute. He says the funniest things and his accent is priceless. We wish we could get him recorded so we will always remember these talks we have.

Today, we went to church (surprise!), struggled a little with small children falling apart because they don't know where we are in the hymnal all the time (no this is not a plug to have it all written out). Came home and Anna and ERik went to sing for school dedication here in town.

My mom and dad and cousin Linda came in the afternoon. It was good to see Linda (I know now she reads our blogs). She is a fixture in my going to Maine as child memory bank. (That was probably bad grammar right?) My grandmother called me Linda all the time. She was a little forgetful. So the funny thing was, my mom called Linda, Karin this afternoon. That was sort of funny to me. We traded places!

Stefan is feeling a little sick so he is sleeping a lot. I hope everyone is well by Thursday. Charley is staying home to work on the 'project' in peace. I am praying for no rain over the next weekend.

School in the morning......

Friday, September 14, 2007


Life is sort of busy with school, church, life on the farm and trying not to get too distracted from responsibilities. Here are a few things that occurred to me this week which will fall into the thinking on the blog category.

I think I have worried too much about who our family is. For instance......members of our family work. I mean there is work to do and so we do it. There is rarely time for recreational reading, tv watching, or generally sitting around and vegetating. To some people this is really cool and to others this has been 'how ridiculous'. So......I have this general paranoia about what other people's opinion is of our weirdness of not acting American. "What, you don't watch tv?" (or at least not the type that is piped in through cables or anteneas). "No," we say and frankly we don't care. Is that weird???? No, it is just us. Our kids are ok with that.

We do weird things like work on projects on the weekends and then......we don't have time to do other things. It doesn't happen all the time but it does happen. There is a dad at our house who likes to build things and tinker around in the great outdoors. Is he weird? Not usually, that is just who he is. Why am I saying this? Because there have been people who have said we are weird and seem to insinuate we need to change who we are. NO WE DON'T, THAT IS JUST WHAT WE DO. If someone thought that my dh would suddenly start playing golf or watching football because that is what they enjoy, then they are kidding themselves. These people are from the past but I think they formed a sense of paranoia about how I react in the present. If there is work to be done than we better get doing it. Can we sit around and be deep thinkers or vegetables on a wim. Not usually. Are we ok with people who can? Yes, of course. I do have to explain to my kids why people enjoy golf but that just stretches THEM to think of what other people enjoy. So this is realization number one.

Realization number two is.....don't laugh......I have a need for quiet on a regular basis. I am happy being on my own for a certain time period of each day. But the obvious problem is, that is not always possible. So I will be ranting the rant to my kids to learn to carry a book with them always and be prepared to entertain themselves by being quiet and not necessarily filling the air with noise. We are a witty bunch but wittiness CAN get annoying. I guess we need to get some more books (kidding) or read the ones we have.

I also have a need to do something creative on a regular basis. I have been craving a good horn playing with my piano playing friend session because making music is SO refreshing to me. Listening to music of the same variety is a close second. Pavarotti died last week and Andrea Bocelli sang at his funeral. Boy I would have loved to heard that. If I am stressed, I put on some Andrea Bocelli and life gets better. A cd full of horn concertos works too. These are just random thoughts to bring you up to date to where Karin's brain has been.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Washing floors and such

Today I am addicted to cleaning. It felt a little bit like swimming against the tide but some progress was made. Charley in the meantime made quite a bit of progress on the garagee (spelling?) (that is supposed to sound sophisticated by the way....). He got most of the floor insulated and laid. The outside side door has mysteriously disappeared and the basement door has also changed form. This will take some getting used to I think.

In my cleaning, I located Lloyd (or maybe it was Lola) and Matthew ceremoniously paraded him around for everyone to see. I am sure that was quite entertaining for him. I just freaked myself out by accidently rubbing my elbow against a piece of paper and thinking it was a mouse running around in the room. Sound does weird things when you are trying to be quiet.

None of us are going to Charley's parents tomorrow as they are afraid his dad will catch whatever Cecilia has and he is going to have surgery next weekend. I guess I can see that as getting his dad to do anything can certainly be a challenge, let alone surgery! Getting Charles Jr. to have surgery was a challenge as well so my heart goes out to Charles Sr's wife. I am sorry we won't get a chance to visit with him. He is 81 now which is hard to believe. Charley and I have older dad's than most but it is still hard to think they are in the 80 range. My dad will be 79!!!!!! Ahhhh!!!!! Oh well, that is just weird to me.

I am hoping to tackle some more sanatizing tomorrow and perhaps knitting a few rows if I can get myself to sit still. I think I sit enough during the week to account for some perpetual movement over the weekend. We can't go outside thanks to rain and mosquitos. It is another night so am hoping once again for uninterrupted sleep. Last night sleep was interrupted by my dear little daughter who, on top of feeling yucky, is afraid of the dark and the electicity was out so......her nightlight was not on. Poor kid. I camped in her bed for the rest of the night and the electricity must have come on around 7:00am.

Friday, September 07, 2007

lightless land

This is my cute son's blog. He is beating me since I called him cute. So.....if you would like to read it see the link.....

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Quick afterthought....reason to have babies after 40.....

Anna pointed out that perhaps it was cute Stefan that helped to call my age into question. How many 40 year old moms do you know with cute little buggers on their hips that are THEIRS!!!!!! He is mine all mine but if you feel like looking younger you could borrow him and go shopping with him ;o)

I was carded tonight! LOL!

So, I went to the store to get pizza for my kiddos tomorrow and liquid refreshment for my teacher friend, partner in crime and......this message comes up at the register that asks the cashier if she thinks the customer is under 27. Lo and behold she says....hmmm....I am not sure, could I see your id? I sort of giggled and dug it out and told her not to laugh. She said "what?" then looks and raised her eyebrows and said "Oh...."

A few days ago a different cashier guessed I was 25. So.....I am getting younger I guess. That's refreshing. Thanks Mom for the looking young genes!!!!! I remember when I was Anna's age someone asked my mom if she was my sister. She beamed! I guess I would too. So, thank you, thank you mom! and grandma, and any other young gene donater.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Posting in the middle of the night

Never say that you don't do this anymore. Cecilia is coughing again and it is hot upstairs. I think this humidity is not helping her cold and the air conditioning does not get upstairs too well. So it not Lloyd and Lola who are keeping me up but wondering how to help her stop coughing. I turned the house fan on and gave her some Benadryl. Stefan of course woke up with me walking around so once he is back to bed I will probably want some Benadryl too.

School is still going well and I am figuring out what my students are struggling with. It is sort of interesting to have more time to devote to this, especially in Math as in the past Math boiled down to just doing the best we can and hope we were doing ok. Now I can see what each kid needs to work on to improve their math skills and make it a happier experience.

I am a little tired of humidity and mosquitos so colder weather is sounding sort of attractive to me. Of course then I will have to hunt down the winter clothes for the kids and start the clothing shuffle again.

Well, I think Stefan is back to sleep and Cecilia has stopped coughing.

Monday, September 03, 2007

School days seemed a little intense today but good. A few of the boys took a math placement test today and both did very well. They were both pleased with the results but of course it was fun to tease them and let them wonder for a little while.

Silly me took the kids swimming for a LONG time yesterday as the pool closed today. A few were overly tired and could have done better if they had slept till noon today. Everyone was scurried into bed as soon as possible. I am struggling a little to make the time to plan a little better but am hoping for catch up time tonight. Working with another family does keep us accountable and I do think the other mom is handling things better than me. I do wish Lloyd would go away so I can get some rest at night. He was busy again last night.

I am also struggling with how to manage an older child with accountability. I know what he needs to work on and how much time that should take but I don't think he is taking things seriously enough. It is sort of painful to watch. We are giving grades to the older set.....Sigh. I know I struggled with knowing how to study but not until college. No one ever taught me and high school was too simple.

The pool is now closed so it will be another nine months till I see their cute faces splashing around. Benjamin is particularly cute with this little routine he has of dipping his head under the water over and over again. Cecilia discovered the diving board at literally the last hour we were there. Now she will have to wait to build up the confidance to do that again next year.

The mosquitos are horrific outside. I am keeping the kids in most of the time. Bzzzzzzz.......close the door kids! Better go be responsible.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Named the little bugger

Lloyd is his name. He was last spotted too close to where I sleep. I am not very happy about this. I am stepping up the battle. The ants ate the peanut butter off the new 'better' trap so I moved it from there. I think we better wage war against the ants in our spare time as well. We think Lloyd's wife's name is Lola and they are raising their family somewhere nearby. Yuk, yuk, and double yuk.

Stay tuned......

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Mouse hunt continues

Got the traps this morning. Charley and I were looking around the garage at 'the project' this evening when he mentioned he had spotted my friend. I hadn't set the traps yet so it inspired me to get them out. Isn't this exciting? When I am in the mouse hunter mood there is no stopping me. The little boogers do remind me of some movie or cartoon but I can't place it. It is not "Mouse Hunt" but some flick where the mouse moves quickly across the floor and they only show the top view. Whatever it is I am thinking of, they must have been familiar with mice.

I have two mom mouse memories. One was when I was about three and was eating my 'soggy' (see Melynda's blog) and a mouse darted behind the refridgerator. Mom was suddenly on the table. Another time was in Maine at my grandparents house. We slept in the basement and in the middle of the night a mouse ran across my poor mother's face. She screamed. I must have been less than ten years old. Mom and I moved to the couch upstairs for the remainder of the night and I don't think I slept too much knowing there was a critter that made my mom scream lurking in the basement. My grandma had a chronic cough too which I was not so keenly aware of till that night. Mum Mum (Grandpa) took care of the little critter the next day. What interesting memories we have.

We shall see if I get the little bugger tonight. Where there is one, there are more........