Tuesday, November 27, 2007

So he seems to want to feed himself

The little guy seems to get much more satisfaction over feeding himself than seeing the evil spoon come his way. The trouble is of course the mess. He can green beans and we shall see about cut up bananas tomorrow but, oatmeal and applesauce is purely a lot of fun akin to finger painting. I did get pictures but will have to post later. Not every child has been so stubbornly independant. The first one was and knew full well what her parents were up to. The second child could eat soup at this age with great skill - stomach. He is still proud of the quantity of food he inhaled as a baby. I heard him bring it up just the other day ;o)

So.....we will continue the adventure again tomorrow. He is zonked now. Cutely zonked.

Getting back in the groove of school

So we are day two of getting school going full tilt. We took a few weeks off so the family we school with could get through the moving/get settled ordeal. That was a learning experience for everyone and all and all a good thing.

Yesterday, the kids were all a little nutty and in 'use my brain?' shock. It went ok. The smaller folk did a little grappling over toys and territory. The older kids were just readjusting. "I don't know where my math is Mrs. H". "Ok then.......we figure out plan B". Then the younger kids took turns asking lots of questions and forgetting that taking turns and raising their hands was a good thing. Peppered in between were a few falling apart episodes because someone may have given the answer away or wouldn't share their markers, or they suspected Mrs. H might make off with batman. "Mrs. H wants batman to help teach school" "Well, that is so-and-so's batman, she can't have him."

"Ok then, I suppose I should ask for Batman for Christmas?" That is a bit odd though really. Mrs. H is always a little odd and might bring out the wittiness of young children who aspire to be paid attention to a lot for their wit and charm. I guess I am a wimp. I am usually charmed and perhaps I am corrupting said children by encouraging such talk with an adult. A certain Maggers once told me I was like a big kid. That was such a nice compliment though. I will always remember that wonderful day in the car looking at Germany pictures on her camera and her giving me this lovely compliment. Perhaps that is why I don't deal exceedingly well with 'normal' adult activities. I am not into church stuff that requires too much food coordination or fussiness over details as I am one of the least detail orientated people. Just tell me what to do and I will do it. If left to my own devices, I can put on a great event but.........don't try to change my plan too much or you may be in charge. Naughty I am.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Stefan and the eating game

I had another kid who played eating games with me years ago. This game makes me a little nutty. Stefan needs to eat. He can easily fall into a non-eating pattern as I have seen before. I spent a good portion of the afternoon trying to get him to open his mouth and eat. I know there are those who theorize that if he gets hungry enough he will eat but......I have seen this kid jump off the bottom of the weight scale so I am just not going there. The game is.....give Stefan something interesting to look at and he might accidently forget and open his mouth. If there is a guest, they should come and talk to me as this may make Stefan forget.....and open his mouth. Sigh. Life is much smoother when that kid has calories in his stomach and he is most charming and the kids say he is hobbit face cute when happy. He is not a hobbit. He doesn't seem to like to eat. Sigh, sigh and double sigh. It isn't as if there were something else that might be nice to do on a Sunday afternoon so yes, I am whining. He just ate. We managed to get all his siblings to eat quickly too with no bickering. The latest trick is to turn on the tv and he might watch it and ......eat. But, what happened was his siblings heard the tv and inhaled their food so they could come see the kid hypnotizer. Somehow with miscellaneous stuff that was brought to Stefan, he ate too. Phew. I think it is 'get the kids ready for bed drill time now'.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A funny talk from the backseat

I was driving my kid's friends home about a week ago and the most hilarious conversation occured in the backseat between these pious Catholic brothers. The nine year old boy was gazing out the window and declared in disgust how silly and stupid it was that people were putting up Christmas decorations. Ramble, ramble, ramble about the decorations. He had clearly heard the rant from his siblings and parents his whole life of 'don't they realize it isn't Christmas yet?' Of course it was and is always sort of sweet to hear this chatter from the kids but then.......his older brother retorted "Oh brother, here we go again. I am getting so tired of everytime we get in the car, listening to people go on and on about the inappropriateness of these Christmas decorations during Advent. We all know this is wrong but why do we have to keep talking about it?"

Ahem, well......I sort of share his sentiment. I about bust a gut laughing too at this unexpected response from the brother. I guess I am more apt to arm my kids with alternative listening during Advent and turn off the radio and try to happily ignore the decorations. Of course if you are married to a liturgically obsessed husband, you probably can't get away with these sentiments. BUT......if you are a mom who drives around with pious Lutheran and Catholic children who prattle on and on and on about these stupid people.....then.....I do get a little tired of the rant. I usually put up the ignore front and be glad that they 'get it' but I must say I am in the older brother's ball park with this discussion.

Friday, November 23, 2007


So Nat mentioned I may have had a little coffee yesterday. Well...I suppose you are right Nat. I am actually trying hard to cut back on how much caffeine this body inhales which is harder than this weak person thought. Stupid reasons I have not cut back include the fact that decaf is more expensive. How dumb is that? When Stefan was on the way my blood pressure was getting higher so.....did I dutifully give up caffeine? No. Sadly. Will having high blood pressure as I get older make my life easier? No. So I am slowly plodding along to lessen the caffeine consumption. I wonder if there is some sort of 12 step plan or something. I do get a big headache if I don't drink some coffee in the morning so there is another hesitation. Other people have given it up though so I suppose I can do it too. I started drinking coffee as a camp counselor and hyper I was. The first year I worked as a camp counselor I could hardly make it through the day and then I discovered caffeine. Well, kids, anyone up for a mud hike? Let's go! How about a few rounds through the 100 acre woods?

Now coffee just gets me jump started to deal with my own little campers and other people's campers. It does seem like just something hot would still do the trick so I will keep cutting back. Don't offer this weak soul a cup of coffee ok?

Time to pay the bills. They don't offer decaf in jail.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Hyper update

So.......we are listening to or rather reading the FlyLady thingy to try to get back on track. Sorry FlyLady, with 9 people working as hard as they can to clutter up the house, we are usually behind. I think we are 9 very un-focused folks who jump from one thing to another without finishing much of anything. Then.....the clutter rears it's big ugly face and the mom's eyes roll, she becomes paralyzed as to what to do next and then........run for the hills! It's the mommy monster! Ok, not usually the mommy monster but if you happen to cross her path she will give you a job.

The best strategy if you live here is to 'go do what mom gave you to do' then get randomly sidetracked by the great book that happens to be in your room where mom sent you to put something away......and wait for 10.....15.....30 minutes or more till you mom discovers you have disappeared. This is sort of self made time out. If you are put in time out in this house you will be forgotten. Time out for the number of minutes that you are old may translate into the number of minutes you might live to be.

The other weird side-tracked thing I noticed this morning is that if I give my dc something to do and ask them to focus and finish, their df might drift into the room and see something he may deem urgent to do and thus side track them by redirecting them to that other task. This leaves children very confused as the mom just gave them thus and such to do and then the dad gives them thus and such and soon two parents are asking why the child is standing there looking confused. I know I am confused. How about you?????

Focus and finish.....focus and finish..... Do you hear the hypnotist droning? Focus and finish.....and the little watch swinging back and forth in front of your eyes????? You are getting very sleepy.......side tracked.....focus and finish.........

My break is over.....back to the panic, hyper mom, try to whip this place into shape, not get mad at my children or side tracked dh, the dog or any miscellaneous relative who might call to wish us a Happy Thanksgiving......hmmmmm........what are you all doing today anyway?????

Too much to do

So I had to take a walk this morning to get my head on straight. Martin insisted on coming with and I took Anna along to talk her ear off. Martin started out strong but his crazy mother was walking a little fast for the little guy and he was soon walking/running/walking/running to keep up. It was cold and crisp and beautiful out so perhaps my head is a little clearer for it. We spent the time chatting about the weirdnesses of our different personalities in this family and how in the world we can manage keeping up with the random behavior around here. I am HYPER this morning and want to get too much done which can't and won't get done. THere is the whole weekend to work on getting rid of the clutter/random paper/dirty kitchen........bills.....laundry......take a breath. If only I had the energy and the want to of some of my friends. I don't enjoy these tasks in a 'love to do them sort of way' so I don't tend to keep up. Anna and I think we have a reasonable solution that will not grate too hard against our tendancy to want to be creative, random and our otherwise odd behavior. My kids could probably use a break from their weirdo mom but we will muddle through the day and enjoy a meal with friends who also understand the muddling we all do together.......sigh. So......off to the races. Do the next thing. Be happy with what gets done and try not to be cranky about it.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday afternoon

I spent this afternoon taking books off some shelves in the basement. I discovered several books I had forgotten. They were books I had read to Anna and Erik when they were little. The younger kids haven't heard these books so it was sort of like finding treasure. I am looking forward to reading them to them soon. I think about how I spent a lot of time reading to the oldest three when they were little and I am sort of sad that I do not seem to find as much time to read to the kids who are younger now.

I had goals of getting caught up with the ironing too this afternoon. Charley told someone that he often times says goodbye to his shirts when he puts them in the laundry like he is saying good-bye to a good friend as it might take a long time till he sees them again. Sigh. So.....I thought I would reintroduce him to his shirts and it didn't work too well. I was sucked into a chair with sleeping Stefan and Benjamin to watch 'The Princess Bride'. Benjamin was ever so cute and he warned me of all the scary parts. He would cover my eyes with his little hand so I wouldn't be scared at times. I would ask him if it was safe to look and he would reassure me that the scary part was over. I am not a big tv watcher but perhaps a little more snuggle time with Benjamin would be alright. Of course I can read to him more too. He is going to be five soon. Sigh again.

Time to go tuck little people in bed and of course read to them.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Not very bloggy lately

It has been a busy month here in Horner land. I think there hasn't been much time for thinking too hard about anything. I had a nice chat with my dad this morning about stuff which was really very daddish/daughterish. That was very nice. I should probably haul him off somewhere for lunch on his upcoming bday. Hmmm.....that is thinking out loud I think.

We MUST start school soon or the kids will start to make me crazy. It has been nice to have some time off but time to get cracking again. I LOVE homeschooling as it SO helps me keep life goals etc in perspective. What DOES really matter anyway in what they study? It is great to be able to hone in on their strengths and work on their weaknesses to prepare them for what God has given them to do in life. I still am mystified by helping Anna figure out further study plans. I have crazy/sane ideas about what would be great and helpful and I think the two of us are busy percolating these ideas. I can see the old fashioned coffee maker bubbling in the little glass thingy at the top now. That would be Anna and my brain right now. Ideas....blurp.....ideas.....blurp. I LOVE it when I can see in her face that she is drawing some conclusions. It is of course heartbreaking to see her frustrated and distressed.

Speaking of Anna, she is almost done with the promised bribery to dancing. It is a 1950's full skirted, fitted, 3/4 sleeve dress with a great black and white print. Gorgeous da...ling. Daddy go get you gun!!!!!! Oh to be that thin but the seven squirts were SO worth it.

Benjamin is rambling some cute somethings at me and is waiting for me to read to him.....ta ta.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Throw stuff out '101'

So I pretty much had it this morning with the 'strew the toys' routine around here. My dh built cabinets for our basement years ago and installed locks. In theory the kids are supposed to not be able to randomly get stuff out and strew it. The intent of the toys is to play with them right? There seems to be no greater pleasure to the short people than to take the containers and empty them on the floor. The containers of random pieces to be sorted and put away was getting ridiculous so........we had a sort it, throw stuff away party and then.......I took the keys. My 4 yo is having the hardest time with this. I always have been the one who was supposed to be the key holder but magically they have gotten ahold of the keys and had their way with them. I told the kids that unless I magically mustered the energy to open a cabinet and remove 'a' toy that they shouldn't expect to see those toys soon. The keys are mine, all mine. Even though 4 yo was told this, he greeted me at the door after dropping off the catakids and asked for the keys. Oh botheration.

The funny thing that happened with the keys was I asked Matthew to bring me the keys and put them under my pillow. Well later I went in my room and there was a bag of frozen peas on my bed so I thought to myself "What is up with the frozen peas?????" Upon investigation I discovered it was Matthew who thought that I said to put peas on my bed......not keys. How silly.

So we were ruthless and threw away toys. These were of the worn out, broken, can't find all the pieces variety and it sure felt good. The basement is cleaner, the kids can't trash it, and otherwise there is not much to report.

Friday, November 09, 2007

I must move the babies bed

Stefan's crib is in the little walk through area to the bathroom upstairs. Needless to say, if someone needs to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, they are sure to wake him up. Ugh. They don't suffer too much for this offense as they can skip back to bed. It isn't that I haven't pointed out before that the baby sleeps there and they need to be quiet or go to the downstairs bathroom. So......where do I move it????? The one boy's bedroom might work but there is a 12 year old boy who sneaks and reads past his bedtime so he could wake up the baby. The other boys room is WAY too small and there is a 15 year old boy reading way to late in there. I know they do this now as I just came up to re-cover up the baby from earlier and discovered their lights on. Hmmmmmm.........where are the video cameras to survey their behavior. There is a winding staircase that prevents me from seeing their rooms unless I climb the stairs so who knows how long they stay up. I am all in favor of reading but sleep is important too. Then.......I never know exactly where to draw the line with making it their problem that they are sleepy in the morning. This hasn't exactly been typical family behavior either so what to do.......

Well, the baby is back to sleep so I better go back to sleep also.

Feed them and they will be happy

Not trying to be profound here but food is the answer to kid happiness. I seem to have a theme centered around the stomach. Their little cherub faces just light up at the thought of getting something yummy to eat. They become compliant relaxed cuties and are easy to live with. I think the trick is to give them something good for them before they get the screamie meanies and then they don't go foraging for the yucky stuff.

Wasn't that deep? Perhaps it is the giving of the food instead of their asking that impresses them. Would you like a big bowl of popcorn? Sure! How about a taco with cheese and salsa? Sure! I think I would like one too.

I have nothing else to say today. Our friends are moving, it is cool and fallish outside, and tummies want fallish food.

I am trucking salmon and oven fries over to the movers later this evening. I hope someone can find a bottle of wine. Then maybe the movers will all take a nap tomorrow........

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Ha Ha -

I'm glad my 'sister' has a sense of humor. We went to look at paint and pick out colors etc. In our haste to return to our children I forgot that I was the one who drove us there. Well......I almost left my 'sister' at the store!!!! We both laughed. Oh brother, I must be losing it. At any rate we were able to get a lot accomplished quickly.

I am busy gathering paint stuff to take with me to dump my older kids off to clean the walls. It is great that someone's house is in good enough shape that painting is what it will take to make it nice. I am still amazed at how much work our own home has been and how seemingly impossible it is to get to all that needs to be done here. 140 year old homes are not rebuilt in a week. We have made a lot of progress though. I am still happy that our friends home will not require that kind of work. Only nutty, dreamers take on our house.

My back is better. Now there is just a twinge and the floor still seems a long way off.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

My sympathies to back ache sufferers

Boy, this is fun. I guess ironically the back ache is giving me opportunity and excuse to rest. I suppose if I was needing some extra TLC I am not sure this would be my first pick but my brain seems to be getting a rest as well.

The funeral this morning was wonderful. Nothing like a little faithful preaching of Law and Gospel to lift ones spirits. I was praying for those who needed open ears. I am sure there are some at every funeral. Victor will be missed by me. There is nothing more humbling than seeing a 92 year old man plodding to his pew every week and having the watchful eyes of the parishioners keeping an eye out for him. Anna looked at me with eyes of someone who will also miss seeing him.

I am not of much help to many people right now but will slowly plod through the rest of the day. The kids are trying to find the house as usual. I wonder if children ever learn that there would be less work if they picked up as they went. I am sure my mother is smirking at that question. I don't think I learned that as a child and I don't have enough of me to keep up with it all now. Oh Flylady, can we get rid of some more stuff?????

I think I could take care of someone with a back ache now as I am learning what is needed in that department. The boy's Scout leader suffers a lot with this problem so I am not feeling too sorry for myself and I know I can't relate to what he goes through every day. I am thankful for health and hoping to get over this soon. So much for lifting honey supers........

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

What's new 2

So it took me till this afternoon to figure out why my back hurts. Sunday we went to work with the bees and I not surprisingly couldn't wait for Erik to get down to the hives to take a peek in the hives. So.......I tried to open up the one and it was sealed shut. I should never try to wrench a hive open as my wimpy back can't handle it. Hopefully sleeping right and resting my back will get things back to the way they are supposed to bee.

We are taking a week off of school this week to catch up on cleaning, bill paying, errands etc. THere are so many things that need attention that I have been ignoring it was sort of driving me to the brink -not of despair but perhaps mild nuttiness. I am feeling a little bit more caught up but hurting my back was not really good timing. At least I figured out why but will I remember not to do that again???? We'll see.

My teaching partner is moving this week so we are also floating back and forth helping in that department. The previous owners of their new home left it a wreck so that took more time than anyone wanted to take but it is better now. The floors were sanded on Sunday afternoon and the last coat of poly is going on this afternoon. I haven't seen hardly any of this but am sure I will be well familiar with it soon enough.

Stefan must be growing as he is loving to sleep again. He also loved the applesauce Grammy made for him. Yum, yum. Hands off everyone else!

Time to be responsible again........the end of every post.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Stefan turned one today

The cute little bugger is one now. He was pretty charming this evening. I thought I could pull a fast one on him and wrap his gift in front of him but it didn't work. He was on my back and started to hyperventilate so I just gave it to him. So much for the thrill of watching him open it but he will never know. He enjoyed the toy most of the day too and impressed his siblings with his talent. He put the little cube down the giraffe neck and then would clap his hands and give us a big toothy grin. Cute.

He seemed very intrigued by his carrot cake as well. He sort of stared at it for a long time and then took little hunks off. With a little help from his siblings, he ate it all. Not too messy either.

His first year certainly has been entertaining. I was thinking about how thankful I am to have him on Sunday considering his cute little incident over the summer. (I think I was basically thinking about too many things) He is still allergic but doing so much better than he was. He is not quite so work intensive as he was either. We pray he does not more difficulties with the colder weather but so far his skin looks pretty good. He is still allergic to dairy products though. I bought him some soy yogart and he definately gave me the thumbs down on that stuff. I will have to cook with it instead. I wish I had a picture of that look of disgust. Babies are so straight forward.

Well, he just got up to enjoy his birthday some more and now it is time to pitch him back in bed. (place him gently back in)

Saturday, November 03, 2007


My heart goes out to all teens who are in the midst of figuring out future plans. I am really glad that is behind me. My 16 yo dd seems good and stressed lately with all the figure out college, what college, how to do all this talk that seems endless. I know she would rather be spinning wool, sewing, spending time being silly with friends and then.......the big yukky subject rears it's head again. Last night I threw out the possibility of her taking her life's savings and buying a small house in a safe neighborhood and set up shop sewing etc, and working a job. I always thought I was going to do something like that and then.......I met Charley. So much for the townhouse in Chicago. (I am sure I could never have afforded that anyway).

She could take some classes, take organ lessons, figure out how to make vestments, and live a quiet existance. Perhaps I could come spend the night there and we could call it a retreat center. This was just crazy, working in the kitchen ramblings but it sounds nice to me. I guess I am a dreamer too.

Everyone is busy working today and I am busy with those rolls. I need to get them cooked and drop them off so I can move on to the next task. Taking time to sit down and literally rest at church tomorrow is sounding grand. I hope no one takes a nap over the age of 5.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Stomach part two

So I think we just don't take time to eat or cook lately. I think I should probably spend my Saturdays cooking so I don't have to so much during the week. I think the little kiddos would be much happier if they could eat on time and there actually was something to eat. Of course if there is food made in the fridge that is yummy they may decide to eat it all on Sunday afternoon.......

Tonight Anna is whipping together some spinach quiche. I am re-making bean soup so it is a little more tasty. Then......a few hamburgers are are going to be cooked for the oldest worker bees later as they seem to gravitate towards finding junk food instead. Matthew and Martin made angel food cake. Isn't this riveting reading?

I hope to get a little house work done in between cooking rolls for the church dinner tomorrow. I guess I will begin that task tonight as the other roll cooker just wrote to say she was done with hers. I am just not sure how people define fresh rolls so I was hesitating.

My youngest kids were acting a little like wild animals earlier so Charley stuck rakes in their hands and sent them out to work. They seem much happier now. Why didn't I think of that???? Their stomachs are probably bothering them as well. Benjamin just asked if we were going to church tonight. I hope he wasn't too disappointed. We're not.......

Time to go hit the kitchen again.....stomach.