Monday, October 29, 2007

Long day again

It isn't even over but it seems long already. The kids were bubbly and talkative and I felt like I haven't stopped talking all day. I wonder how little I can talk for the rest of day or at least for the next few hours. I have a meeting tonight so I am not sure how that will work. I am already failing miserably as there are children who need to know what to do to help so we can get out of the door on time for church.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

This was YUMMY

I made this recipe which was sort of a risk as we had guests over and it was great! Phew. Using guests as guinea pigs is a little risky but these guests eat all sorts of things so I thought I could get away with it. I used left over turkey breast on it so it should be great after Thanksgiving as well.

Turkey with spiced squash and apples:

1 pound acorn squash, seeded and cut into 6 wedges
3 red apples, peeled and quartered
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup apple juice (I used apple cider as I had no juice)
1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
6 turkey breast cutlets

Preheat over to 350 degrees. In a baking dish, arrange squash wedges and apple quarters together in the pan. In a small bowl, mix together syrup, apple juice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour half the syrup mixture over the top of the squash and apples. Bake for 30 minutes or until nearly fully cooked. Add turkey cutlets and remaining syrup mixture, spooning sauce over the cutlets. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until turkey and squash are both completely cooked.

Hope this helps someone with their leftovers. The cooked leftover turkey worked just fine. I don't think I have ever purchased turkey cutlets anyway. What are turkey cutlets????

Saturday, October 27, 2007


I have been thinking about this post for weeks. And this morning I humously stuck my foot in mouth (did it taste good?) and told my pastor to remember to eat as a happy stomach is the key to happiness. My husband shouts "You are telling the pastor what?" Well.......ok......not the key to all happiness but at least the key to some peace and some smiling family members and friends.

It is amazing to me how magical food is to the countenance of the people around me. I am sure it is not truly that amazing but the grumpy grouchies do tend to disappear if fed well. Junk food does not cut the mustard. Whole wheat rolls made from the buckets of wheat berries that I grumble about kicking around my kitchen seem to make people the happiest of all. Maybe I need to keep my own stomach happy too.

During the school week, if two short people fall apart crying and attacking one another, their whole disposition changes when offered a yummy apple with peanut butter on it. Food cut up in little pieces for little people is so appealing it is amazing. Then pour a nice cold cup of milk and peace and happiness returns again.

If dear husband comes home from that work thing and there are no whole wheat rolls and apples sitting around, he too falls apart. Sigh, how can I keep up with the gumpy tummies???? There is something ever so true about Edith bringing Archie a beer and something to eat when he got home (although that did not cure HIS gumpies - maybe he needed to hear the gospel) that is ever so true. We wifies kick and scream over this need of the dear husbands to have this yummy food presented but I guess if we want some peace it needs to be fit in somehow. "Back away kids, mom is working on some peace here". The kids know the benefits of yummy food too (but it also creates food snobs if I work too hard on it - sorry y'all).

So......I am currently searching for a yummy recipe for dinner tonight. I am taking it over to the pastor so his families tummies will be happier and they can keep packing. I better get at it.........

Friday, October 26, 2007

Dear husband wanted me to clarify

He is feeling misunderstood. ;o) His parents never bought junk. With the little money they did have they bought clothes that were quality, bought quality food, and basically did not buy stuff that was junky just to get by. They also took care of what they had which is saying a lot these days.

This clan also practices the same thing (although with seven kids bumping around, the taking care of things does not always work the way I would like it to). My smallest child is wearing what the first son wore as a baby as I saw their baby clothes as an investment. So there is a difference from being cheap and spending wisely. If we can avoid buying things like convenience foods we will avoid it. I have taken to breaking that though too if the cost of trying to be perfectly thrifty makes me a crazy woman and cranky at everyone. I do think that the extra work involved in thriftiness can sometimes cost more in grumpiness and exhaustion than is always worth the effort. Does that make sense? Pick your battles........

Tired, grumpy children downstairs, gotta scoot.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The wood god is back up and running

It is COLD and I reved up the old wood stove again this afternoon. That is complete learning curve all over again. It took four matches and two start overs to get it going. Hopefully it will successfully warm this place up. My eldest tells people she worships the wood god and bows down to it frequently in the winter. She is just weird. I realized all my kids are a little weird and kids usually take after their parents so that means..........we are all weird. I am glad they have a healthy sense of humor. Dd is currently cleaning a section of the basement up frantically so she can get her internet privileges back. The internet is very handy in motivating people. I guess it is then the internet god. I better go be responsible and stop thinking and writing.

What Polly said.........

So upon driving home to my dial-up computer I remembered the duh (that's Swedish for duh) that God richly and daily provides ALL of our needs. He richly provided for my dh's family growing up. Not everyone would define it that way, but He did. They had food on the table, decent clothes that his mom saw to it they had, they participated in activities that richly provided for their children's needs in learning to function in this world, and they had family that loved each other. Who could ask for anything more.

We just can't get frantic. I am sure we do still but that is the trick, the old 'trust God' thing. Some days are easier than others. We are richly provided for even if we don't recognize it. I used to take in everyone's hand-me-downs to find a new home for them and it got to be ridiculous. Yes, I wanted to help my neighbor but the stuff began to overwhelm me and I wasn't much help to anyone with the mess all over the place. I think we are still recovering from those days. Now I just want to get rid of everything (no I am not suicidal) and have less to take care of. We too are 'trying' to fix up the old yukky stuff in bathrooms etc and stop having the college fraternity room look. Perhaps that is just getting to be the age we are and getting our heads a little above water or recognizing junk when we see it.

Sigh. Yes, it is fantastic to be Lutheran. I am a little bothered by statements insinuating that other people evaluate one's thriftiness or whatever you want to call it. We all do that at times of course - breaking all of those commandments......rats. But oh yes, it is wonderful to be Lutheran and realize that is already forgiven. Phew.

frugality at our house

So Susan blogged on frugality. I can relate to her post in some ways. I am married to a 'depression era' 43 year old man. How can he be depression era? I say this pretty often actually. I am raising depression era children. This is why. My dh grew up sort of poor. There were times when the water heater would go out and a year would go by before they could afford to buy a new one. They had an old fashion tub, the feet kind, and they would boil water on the stove and mix it with the cold in the tub. It was never more than an inch of water and that stuck with him on into adult life. Our dear little first born loved taking a bath and he would come and inspect how much water I put in the tub. It cost money to heat the water and there was a water bill. If you spent months carrying hot water in order to bathe (no shower in that house then) then you might be concerned about water use.

There were also times when the well would go dry and they had to carry water from the spring (fortunately there was a spring) to cook or bathe. I am surprised he does not get the kids up before he goes to work and monitor their water use. If you had to work for the use of something, then you think about the use. If you did not have the money to pay for such things as replacing water heaters just because they broke, then you think about how you spend your money. There is no one that I admire more in getting by with next to nothing than my in-laws. They raised my dh so it also was surprising to me that they could not figure out why he was and is sort of careful about how he spends money. I can joke about my depression era husband but is it really that mysterious???? He is slowly growing out of some of these habits but waste still drives him nuts. Shouldn't that drive us nuts???? When you see people struggling to pay the bills, it makes you stop and consider how you are spending money.

Should we criticize people who are frugal? I don't think so. I think we just become dulled to what it means to live within our means. What IS living within your means anyway? I don't mean for this to sound like law either. It is just a perplexing subject and I think we all revisit it when we evaluate our spending habits. Wants/needs vs food/utilities: If the second one is the priority and glaring issue, than I guess a person would decide to be frugal.

As a result of growing up with a depression era dad, (my dh) my dear children do stop and think about how to spend money or not to spend it. People can criticize Charley or they can see that his kiddos are learning a little bit about balance in spending. I could go on and on about this but it has been on my mind lately. There is so much stuff in most people's homes that just don't matter but that does not make it wrong to have it either. It seems like balance is the answer. Should I feel guilty for replacing a pot that is worn out when I could survive another year with the one I have? Hmmmm............

Susan just made me think some more..........keep the balance and I guess cheerfully ignore the people who think we are nutty for not having cable, 60 dollar a month high speed, for having children who look confused at restaurants since they are clueless (we don't eat out), and the list goes on. As long as we are not to proud of our frugality. I think I am failing at frugality lately though, just for the record. I'll be quiet now.....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Getting kids out of bed

Just when I think perhaps my kids might be getting the picture that I really do want them to get up in the morning without all the nagging etc., they still need all the nagging etc. Bedtime will just have to be earlier. I am not sure even that will do any good. I could say it is all my fault as I am the one who has encouraged the use of the computer so my kids could have a life with other crazy Lutheran people but there still must be a limit to all this. The only kid who has no trouble getting up and being cranky is dear little Stefan. He doesn't know what he wants. Does he want oatmeal? Beef? to nurse? to sleep? to terrorize? It varies from moment to moment. But shouldn't mom be doing something other than dragging that kid around?

Hey mom! Practice what you preach and get off of the internet!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Mondays are weird

I find every Monday that the kids are always a little disconnected. The adults are too. I have no idea what to do about that but persevere. The weather is sort of weird too so it leaves the teachers feeling restless I think.

Over the weekend I think I got about half the yard mowed. I love to mow the lawn. It seems to grow very quickly lately. I really don't like it when it stops growing as I lose my outlet for exercise.

There was a tornado in Nappanee last Thursday. It came within 1/4 of a mile from a friends house. He wrote back that they had been spared and all his bees were safe and sound. That was sort of an interesting reply. We know what is important to him now don't we? The damage in Nappanee is pretty devastating though and I am sorry for the people there. It is an Amish community though so I am sure they will pull together and be back up and running soon.

The kids are upstairs watching "School House Rock" and loving it. That is so nostalgic. I remember singing those songs and even thinking about them on a Standardized test to see if I had the right answer. Yay Saturday morning cartoons! I miss the Road Runner, Tweety and Spider Man. Those were the days. I have not a clue what they show now-a-days and we are way too busy to watch anything on a Saturday morning anyway.

Charley made some good progress over the weekend on the new room project. Perhaps by Christmas he will be done. It is looking great. I have decided to try to move the couch and chair we got a few years ago out there but there is also some question as to whether they will fit through the door. When they were brought into the house there was no trim work on the doors and now there is. It was a very tight fit when they came in so I am not sure they will ever get out. Stay tuned to December to see what happens.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I was talking to my mom

and she made an interesting observation. We were discussing with Anna the upcoming joy of visiting colleges etc and would she mind if she lived far away from South Bend. (She didn't really answer). My mom scoffed at my lamenting a possible three hours and said that when she was in college she didn't go home until Thanksgiving for a visit. I asked her if she remembered my coming home to visit (Our house was about five minutes from campus). She said I didn't until I started bringing Charley home with me. Interesting........I think I have noticed this to be true of other young people I know as well. Thinking back to these times is always interesting as I haven't thought about them in a long time.

Other random Erik thoughts

I forgot about his tendency to collect things. Erik has always collected something. His most famous collections were of bugs and rocks. He has quite the impressive bug collection which I need to find space on the wall for in the new room. His funniest collection has been rocks. For several years of his life he spent quite a bit of time in people's driveways examining rocks. He could find a lot of amazing fossils this way. When we went to Sweden, we spent several evenings on the shore in Gotland looking for fossils. We found quite a few actually. Then he had to decide which ones to take home with him as rocks are pretty heavy! It was sort of heart wrenching to see this boy sorting through a pile of rocks in our hotel room trying to decide. Rocks are heavy. Perhaps I have mentioned that before. Ask to see his Gotland rocks someday.

One time Charley and I were going someplace out of town and Erik was left with a neighbor to help take care of the home place, animals etc. These neighbors are great. They are sort of like a third pair of grandparents to the kids. Erik packed to walk down the street (which is at least 1/4 mile down the road) for his weekend visit. I walked with him and beat him by at least 10 minutes. When he got there, Charlene asked what in the world did he have in his bag, rocks? He gave a sheepish grin and nodded his head. She was surprised. It turn out they were rock lovers too and they spent the weekend looking at their rocks too.

I love the innocent love of a small boy. Rocks. That is so sweet. He may not appreciate this love of innocence that I have but it is pretty sweet. Hours and hours of time examining stuff in the yard. Perhaps we should steer back to geology for a future. He still loves rocks.


Yesterday Erik turned 15! Wow. That does not seem possible. I do remember before he was born I thought I would never have a boy. Ha! Was I mistaken. Erik is the oldest boy with four brothers and two sisters. The boys have the advantage around here. I remember when he was born that he seemed to have more hair on his chest than his father or at least overall hair count. He was sort of squished looking and everyone who came to see us at the hospital quietly said something about how nice it was to have a boy now. girl friend Mary Lynn came to visit and being the honest sort said "Boy Karin, congratulations but he sure is ugly." I laughed and told her she was the only person brave enough to tell the truth. Sure he was a little homely as a newborn but by the time he was a toddler we thought he was pretty cute. He still is.........

As a baby he went from laying around eating and growing and talking himself to sleep, to climbing stairs and ladders seemingly overnight. He was usually happy and was content to build stuff out of afghans and hangers. We allowed him to destroy the furniture as we were sort of wimpy parents back then. He would tear all the cushions off the couch and build things with them.

I got Erik an Eeyore mug this morning and he just sort of stared at me and said something about how odd I was. I told him we were going to let him drink from it when he was saying some whoa as me sort of comment. I also told him he could let other people drink out of it when they were acting Eeyorish. I got a Pooh Bear mug for myself since I am a bear with little brain. We went out to breakfast and he was not too talkative. He said he was hungry so he didn't have too much to say. That was my mother/son bonding for the morning. He asked for a nice wool hat for his birthday so that was the other part of our mission. We succeeded in finding a black wool dress hat and he was quite pleased with himself. He strutted through the mall afterwards commenting on how disgusting the store displays were. How Horner of him.

Erik is a great kid. He is famous in my mind for ripping stuff apart, working hard, building bigger stuff such as forts in the woods, making great plans for himself and surviving being the younger sibling of Anna and the older sibling of the rest of them. It is a hard job you know. He and his dad are two peas in a pod. He, unlike his dear old dad, can sing well and always has had this ability. He sang a few boy soprano solos at church before his voice changed and I am sure he could handle doing that again with his grown up voice.

There is not much not to like about Erik. I am saddened he is already 15 but proud of him in all his endeavors. If he can find a career that requires hard work as well as work ethic, then he will go far. I was actually very attracted to his dear old dad's work ethic when we first met so this trait is being passed on to the next generation. Hopefully work ethic will count for something as he goes out into the world.

Happy Birthday Erik! Love mom.

Friday, October 19, 2007


Me tagged me

The rules of this are:

1. Link the person who has tagged you.
2. Tell seven true things about yourself.
3. Tag seven new people.
4. Leave a message with the person you have tagged so they know about it.
I am supposed to name seven truths about myself............. and tag seven new people.

Seven true things about myself:
1. I eat herring for breakfast.
2. I love to play my horn better than almost anything (but rarely get to).
3. I want to go back to Europe - Italy preferred, Sweden second.
4. I love to mow the lawn.
5. I hate cooked cauliflower and pickled beets.
6. I have too much yarn.
7. I think too much.

I tag Nat, Anan, Maggie, Anita, Tarten chic, Presbytera, and Emily.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

More homeschooling thoughts

So there is canned curriculum and then there are unschoolers and then there are little people who don't HAVE to have a formal curriculum. I have favorite canned curriculum and favorite flop around the house and call it school activities.

My favorite days I think have been the flopping around the house days. I have too much money invested in educational games. We never seem to get to them because I have money invested in curriculum too and I am brainwashed into thinking if I don't do the curriculum every day we will never get everything done. But.......I do see my kids and other people's kids respond with far more enthusiasm to the games then to their curriculum. We have fun too. Should I do that every day? Probably not. But, should I perhaps sometimes put the fun stuff before the formal stuff? Yes.

We have been playing math games this week. I can't remember the name of the one but for the younger set, they really enjoyed "Granny Apples". It involves fast figuring, is cute, and the kids really enjoyed it. Their brains were going clickety clack and one of them realized he needed to work harder on his math facts. They also loved "Shut the Box" which I found at Barnes and Nobles. Critical thinking fun. I like it.

My favorite history canned curriculum is still Sonlight. It isn't working great this year but the kids have definately thrived on it in the past. My boys especially liked it and kept me on task from day to day. I didn't have to plan or figure out anything.

Other years, with young kids, I have done history and geography by going to the library and start with the Roman times and just check out a bunch of kids non-fiction books on the subject and just sort of leave them in the read-aloud area. Those who could read would just pick them up and read them. My dh would also pick up these books and he learned a whole bunch of stuff he didn't know about too! That was a nice set up. I think I am going to go back to doing that sort of thing. I think the trick is somehow lighting the fire and have an environment of reading.
Oh, after the Romans I would move on into the next time period. That is how that works. I am sure that is not news to everyone but it is cheap as long as you remember what books you have.

We are currently using Rod and Staff's grammar with all kids. I would have to consult my teaching partner to see how that is going. I think it goes over skills and structure and is not just a simplistic one day chat about nouns etc. It seems to be working.

At any rate, I am constantly thinking of ways to make school more fun. I think the flexibility is there to just let the kids go with the flow. Stay tuned for more thoughts.......

sifting through the junk

I think I have made a little bit of headway in the ongoing 'get rid of it' project. Ugh, ugh, ugh. I have progressed from seeing junk that needs attention, feeling overwhelmed, ignoring it to being able to attack some of it. We spent our summer packing and unpacking and trying to clean the garage. Well, that took all summer. What happens when you ignore the rest of the house for at least three months (oh, I forgot the eczema plague that took up a great part of May through August)? The dust bunnies creep in and take over along with the plethera of paper scraps everywhere and random stuff that is randomly dumped everywhere you look. I think that is ugh.

Now most dust bunnies have been attacked and a lot of the random stuff has been taken care of. It is amazing how much random stuff can be ignored by 9 people. I am less paralized than I was and I am beginning to see the forest through the trees. Some form of sanity is returning.....

homeschooling thoughts

So I have been struggling with being boring. I decided to homeschool so that my kids would not be put through a school mill and just do busy work. I really wanted my kids to have a passion for learning and as I have homeschooled through the years I have only been able to accomplish the bare minimum. The kids have enjoyed it though. So we are homeschooling with another family this year as I have mentioned before and I found myself just being sort of boring. It has taken me till the middle of October to figure out that I just don't care how fast they get through math, or science, or whatever it is if they do not have a passion for doing what they are doing. Why plug and chug through math just to get to the next lesson? Is that so they can say they are on lesson 44? What if they don't own that information? And.......being the random person that I am, I want to do some things (finally) with math that are FUN! That challenge their brain cells to figure faster and logically. So....we are playing math games and doing math in sort of "don't move on unless I know you understand your mistake" sort of way. I still get blank looks but at least I have noticed recognition and enthusiasm on their faces more than before.

I am still processing Science and History strategies to make things more interesting. Some lessons are very interesting and some are so far removed from their life knowledge, especially in history, that they just nod their heads at me without realizing how these events effected the world at large. Hmmmm........stay tuned. I will process this someday and perhaps blog on how to make these more interesting.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I just don't know

How do you teach kids to think critically anyway???? I am sure they have to live it, to think it but that of course means that for now I live it with them. We had the misfortune of an upright freezer being left slightly open. I think the stuff in the main freezer will be OK but the veges on the door are history. So how can we possibly help these kiddos times seven know about everything there is to think about.

I have been told they won't learn till they are on their own. I am sure a lot of that is true. I can't remember how careless I was as a kid. I know I was basically a slob but I don't remember too many other mishaps. Once I burned the family table with incense that I thought was cool. That was my big boo boo. Who knew it would keep burning into the table?????

Sigh. Nine people living together who are all related and don't even think a whole lot about being polite to one another (or least not VERY hard thinking) is a recipe for mishaps. I do get sort of tired of these mishaps but I am not tired of the mishappers. They sort of just half hear my endless instructions about moldy towels, stinky diapers that need taken out, dishes filling up the sink, shoes that have mud on them, doors that need to be shut, lights turned is sort of endless.

I was thinking about how someday I might live to have grandchildren and started looking at the space around here in terms of taking time out to enjoy them. There is that old saying about enjoying your grandkids more than your children. I am certain that does not seem fair but I think I am also certain that is the perk of being a grandparent. NO, I am not interested in being one soon but I haven't contemplated my home in those terms before. We are finishing a big room and it occurred to me that my own kids may not be the only ones I spend time with there. Weird thought.

Behind the slightly open freezer there is a lot of junk that needs to GO! Perhaps we need a vacation from school to do another house reaming. Ugh. Stuff is such a pain.

Tomorrow is another day.......

Friday, October 12, 2007

Favorite Matthew quotes

Matthew is 12 years old today. It is his Golden Birthday. He figured out this morning that Martin could have kids who would have their Golden birthday before he did - his birthday is May the last. ;o)

Anyway, Matthew has great plans for Killer Bunnies and Root Beer Floats today. His middle name could be Enthusiasm as he has always been enthusiastic. That annoys his sister at times but really it is basically cute. When he was a baby he was known for his rather fat head and smiling all the time. He receives the happy Horner baby award. I distinctly remember him as a toddler sitting gazing at books a lot. He looked like a little professor with his legs crossed and very seriously contemplating his books. Cute.

As a five year old he thought he wanted to be an astronaut. Then about a year later he very seriously told me that he didn't want to be an astronaut anymore because that would mean he would not be able to be home with his wife very much. Awwwwww!!!!!!

Around age 8 or 9 (I can't remember) he decided he wanted to be either a doctor or a pastor. So one random day we were driving somewhere and he asked me very seriously if he were a pastor, did that mean he had to go to the cemetary? Being the naughty mommy that I am I told him, yes dear, at least once. Then being a nice mommy, I told him it was called seminary. Awwwwww!!!!!!!

Matthew is basically cute. He might scream at me for saying that but it is true. Most of the time he is cute. He makes random cute observations. He is a Nat, want to be, also. He sports a denim jacket, wants a driver's hat, and enjoys reading. He still crosses his legs while reading and is impossible to get up in the morning. That also may be like Nat but I will have to consult Nat's mother to see if that is true. Matthew has been known to be the little professor.

Oh, I remember one other funny. When we went to Sweden two years ago we had the opportunity to spend a layover in Paris so.........I drug the kids all over and we were able to go the Orsay. That was a big mommy thrill. Anyway, "Whistler's Mother" is at the Orsay and Matthew was famous at the time for his ability to do Mr. Bean. And.....if you have watched the movie "Bean" you would know that Mr. Bean has something to do with "Whistler's Mother". He did a great Mr. Bean impersonation right in front of the painting and several tourists were giggling at him. It was cute. I was laughing and the museum was about to close so my picture of this did not come out great but here it is......

Thursday, October 11, 2007


We have been doing the usual things. School, church, time with friends, trying to keep our heads above water. Birthday season is here so we try to mix in celebrating with school. No spontaneity though or kids will get upset. Now if we can just remember that. Stop contemplating fun you teachers or you will be punished!

I did go to the Marshall, MI retreat this past week with Anna, Maggie and Nat. It was good. It was nice to be fed and taken care of too. The services were nice, the kids seemed to have a great time, and Anna did actually dance a little. Now to get her the promised pattern......bribery.

I went to my old church today for a luncheon thingy and had fun visiting with friends. An 80 something dear friend of ours tried to make me cry and did succeed. He is so sweet. Stefan enjoyed some pasta salad and Anna escaped to the organ for some practicing. She sounded great. I didn't realize how much of the Divine Service she had worked on. Cool.

Tomorrow is Matthew's birthday and we are going to Culver's and then to our favorite weird toy store to pick up an addition to Killer Bunnies. He is having his buddies over for a round or two of the game and root beer floats. I will try to write up my favorite Matthew random thoughts tomorrow.

Ta ta

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Keeping things in balance

If there were a way to know I was going to feel a little looney or overwhelmed then I would call in sick. Can you call in sick when you are homeschooling????? I am never 'sick' so the kids might tell their classmates or the rest of the staff that I was pulling a fast one. Sigh.

Felt more than a little looney today. I do think there is a direct relationship between Stefan being a crank and my being a crank. I suppose if the rest of the staff gave him a call and asked him how he was doing then they would know how I was doing. If he just screemed in the phone they would know it was a sick day and if he just breathed heavily in the phone and ate it then it would be safe to say we were going to have school.

Tomorrow is sort of short and Anna, Stefan and I are leaving for the weekend so I hope that all goes well and Stefan decides to be happy. I need to go pack.

Tomorrow is another day.......

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Dd happy and Dh shocked

My Anna girl finished another dress. She just needed to make the jacket for a dress she wore this summer but it has taken since some time in August to get to this project. She has been working VERY hard in school so she could squeek out some sewing time. There is another dress that is at least cut out that I would not be shocked if I heard the whir of the machine tomorrow after school.

My Dh is shocked. We have been looking for flooring for the garage project and yesterday I was adamantly opposed to anything dark. To me dark meant dark oak, boring flooring. I wanted something a little classier so was looking at some lighter shades of other species. happened. We rushed to Home Depot before Evening Prayer and Martin's Scout meeting, and I happened across a very nice display of a darker wood with much class! The price was great as well. We have not made our final decision but this wood is pretty dark. He said something about fainting or having heard me correctly as I rarely change my mind when my mind is made up. He is a very happy shocked husband. He is also drooling at my choice and contemplating replacing some worn out floors someday. We shall see if the budget allows.

Oh.....I have figured out a scheme to get Anna to dance at the retreat but will not reveal the scheme until after the weekend. It may not work and shyness may prevail. Sigh. I am certain she would have a good time but can't force her. At least I have tried.

Random noise

So, I need to go to my happy place more often. I think as a 'full time teacher' of various ages, I can get overwhelmed by noise at times. There seems to be a contagious effect to noise. One kid says some random thing and then another and then there could be random conversation between a few and finally I am wondering where a mute button is for all the sound effects. It does seem very difficult to stop once it starts.

Batman seems to have a pretty good effect on my little ones in math class. If Batman (stuffed batman toy of small boy) asks a small child a question who was not previously paying attention, then suddenly they are. This must be how puppet ministry was inspired but I will stick to ministering to their math needs. It is quite cute actually to see small boy start to answer Batman instead of me. You should try it sometime. He pops out from under the table and asks the question instead of me. It will be hard to give Batman back, smirk, smirk.

At the end of the school day today I realized why God invented tiredness in small they will take naps and will stop.....making......noise. I am most thankful.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Mystery solved - Yay

So I chatted with one of the folks involved in the mystery and yes, I was stressed out at the time they had that conversation - July.......stress month. I still wish people would call me themselves as when I called them it was great to talk to them. Or.....I am just 'odd'. Oh.....that is negative I think. Or paranoid......

Another productive school day. I was tired of talking by the time we were done as in tired of words needing to come out of my mouth. Quiet time is always a nice thing. I went to get Stefan's baby pictures and I would say he is not the most photogenic child we have ever had. He is simply not interested in charming anyone who tells him what to do.

I need to haul the boys to Scouts here in a minute. I hope they have a fun evening goofing off with the boys. I am not sure what all goes on at those meetings. But at least they get some away time.

It is birthday month so I need to figure all that out. I have not a clue what little something I should get the boys. It can be tough. I do like to take them to lunch so will have to plan on that. I was invited to a church luncheon for my birthday so will have to talk to the school 'staff' to see if that would work.

I'm going to write a book

"The Power of Negative Thinking" by Karin Horner. Perhaps it will hit the New York Best Seller list and I can hire a nanny who knows everything about shaping children into obedient little cherubs and all will be well in the world. Seriously though, LaRena and I have been chatting about how to help our little kids and big kids get rid of negative thinking habits. Hmmm......their mom should be on this program as well. We both had teachers who made it a rule that you couldn't say can't, or yawn, or complain. Mine was my 8th grade English teacher who I think was named Mrs. Monroe. We have not figured out the consequences entirely but they will be along the lines of sweeping floors and washing dishes etc. Our homes should be spotless.

Anna made the observation this morning that the people who were 'worried' about me do sort of waste their energy as their concern perhaps turns to gossip and fun. Her other observation which makes perfect sense is "why would they think that I may have a day or a moment of public stress? Isn't that a little bit normal and not worth talking with everyone about? How do we handle a mom appearing or acting stress? Do we smile knowingly or decide that they must be in the depths of despair?"

Perhaps (these are my thoughts) the mom might have been trapped in a van with four little children suffering from whinitis (sin) and what the mom (sinner) is really wanting is a chocolate festival or some rum.

So.......our thoughts are turning to how to help our little cherubs (there are a few specific ones involved) to get rid of their negative thinking habits and learn how to say to themselves "I can do this". I remember my English teacher because this 'plan' did work and I did excell in her class. (I also remember a grammar discussion with her which I WAS WRONG AND COULDN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT SHE WAS TALKING ABOUT). She influenced my thought process of being able to accomplish great things in school and I thank her. Perhaps I will give her credit in my upcoming bestseller.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Long day

Monday ends up being long. We have the problem that is sort of unique to large families of having both toddlers/babies on up to older teens. School went very well and our ongoing tweeking of the schedule seemed to help at least for today. Our evening is a bit muddled still though and I feel like trying to figure out the best plan for the good of all children involved is similar to a brain teaser that hurts. Just when we think we have a plan that will work we get confused or muddled by loud, bored kids. Sigh. We will figure it out.......

Tomorrow is a little less hectic with only Scouts at night. That involves just two of the boys. THe rest of us can stay home and do home stuff.

I have a few conversations lately that indicated that other people saw me and said I appeared stressed out. Hmmmm.......I wonder which of my kids yanked my chain that day??? And.....I best be careful to put up some blinders or something. These comments DO perplex me. There was another similar comment that I suppose was just concern but being the paranoid sort, I would love to know who 'these people' are who have talking to my good buds about me. Why don't they just call me themselves and ask how I am doing???? I suppose there were certainly times this summer that I was good and stressed. I am feeling far less stressed (especially since I won't be camping any time soon). Stefan seems to be doing great and nothing could make me happier. That pain is behind me or so it seems. When we were in the thick of it, it seemed to never end and we just sort of survived. Now we just figure out from day to day how to make every day normal life less stressful. sure is interesting.

So.....if anyone out in cyberland is worried about me do give me a call and I would be happy to bring you up to date. :o)