Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Benjamin says hello

The kids have been enjoying the nicer weather despite the fact that it has been a little more chilly lately. Anna doesn't just make beautiful violets on cakes (see her blog) but she also makes lovely violet rings for anyone interested. Benjamin loves them as you can see. You can also see his shirt is on inside out or perhaps you wouldn't notice. Ah, Independence......

I am going to see the movie "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" this evening with a few friends from church. Everyone is excited (who is going). My own dh does not know we are going yet and neither does one of the other mom's but......opportunity knocks. I do not know a lot about this movie except what I read in the description but have heard a lot of people talking about it. I guess I am more and more like an ostrich in the department of current events. I do catch most of the bigger events i.e. earthquakes, tornadoes and such but frankly I am happy right now to try to keep up with feeding mouths and trying to make sure there is something clean for everyone to wear the next day.

I did manage to have a few words with the Scout Master and the parent committee last night. Pass the wine please......ok, ok, I won't drink too much....... Anyway, I have consistently been peeved by the "Boy led troop" baloney when the boys don't have a clue more than half the time. I think the whole 'cry to easily' thing stands in the way of my making myself clear and when I do explain things I am usually met with blank stares as if they have never considered that boys might need some guidance from 'mature' adults. Did I mention a glass of wine? Dh did give part of a glass and then was not convinced I would sleep that night. No problem.

The grass is now getting crazy long and I am not sure if the mower will start. I will have to consult the dh on that too. I must go throw dinner together and maybe get a load or two of laundry done before we go out this evening.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tired - sleep greedy

I took a walk on Sunday with Cindy and clearly I am a wimp. A friend would say, "No, you are pregnant", but I have never been SOOO tired with the rest of the kids. The walk was very nice and I felt fine but the last two days I can't seem to get enough sleep and also started getting those 'practice' contraction thingies. Dh is the one who pointed out that I have not made a habit of exercising lately so walking 3 or 4 miles might make me tired. I was thinking I couldn't possibly handle mowing the lawn but I think I will try to be self disciplined and just mow one small section a day as opposed to my regular maniac approach in summers past. I LOVE mowing the lawn. We have a 54 inch deck landscaping mower and it has always been my post pregnancy weight loss system. This wouldn't be post-pregnancy however so if anyone catches me misbehaving you are welcome to put me in time out. I think I am too paranoid to misbehave though.

I got a huge water bottle the other day to work on my wimpy ability of drinking water. Why is drinking out of a straw so much more appealing? That doesn't make sense to me. It is more appealing to my children as well. They want mine.

The Scouts are having a meeting tonight about the future of the troop. That doesn't sound too encouraging. I was going to go and talk to them about a few things anyway so I may not even have to bring those things up. The troop WAS very active and strong a few years ago. Some key players have left so that has been a problem. They don't always appreciate Charley as help as he might require that they clean up the mess they leave in our van or he may prevent them from destroying things. Can you believe the harshness he exhibits? What? He doesn't want his driveway chiseled out by some random Scout who thought it was fun to chisel out some asphalt and make a hole? What an ogre. Charley and I both have these weird expectations. Hmmmm........I guess we are married.

It is cold and rainy but still blooming and pretty. I DO need to mow the lawn but doubt I will find the time today. Perhaps I will get a chance tomorrow......behaving of course. The back perennial garden needs cleaned out as well. Anna is VERY good at that but she doesn't have a lot of time right now. We will figure it out......

This is turning into blah, blah, blah so I will close. Stefan is zonked on my shoulder and I have some more math that needs graded.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Book Sale etc.

So the sale was basically successful. It is money the church didn't have before all from a bunch of paper backs, novels etc. from .25 on up. Not too shabby. It didn't take a lot of effort despite feeling like road kill on Friday afternoon. There was wonderful help in the youth (as usual), Mostly Harmless who saved the day with a talent for orginization no doubt genetically handed down from his father, and of course the committee did more than their share of helping throughout the day. I did not feel stressed and there is something to show for a few hours of efforts. We may do it again later in the year and be more specific about what to donate and not to donate. The church is back in order and ready for Bible class and of course donuts and coffee in the morning. Phew. I thought the clean-up would kill us but an expert on church sales suggested we condense the books to sell at half price to the congregation tomorrow. Ah experience is wonderful.

Charley manned the Stefanopolis and will no doubt sleep well tonight (Charley). Much screaming and crying a lot of the morning (not Charley, although my phone rang a few times with questions). Perhaps Stefan was mad at his mommy for being gone. could be the hives he has had for a week as a result of a reaction from anti-biotics from a staph infection are bugging him. He is basically a big hive, red bumps all over. He doesn't usually seem bothered by it but I do think it does bother him at times. He nearly has a full mouth of teeth so that could be part of his discomfort too.

My conclusion from the whole experience is that my family should be thanking the Lord I don't have an outside job. I would be thinking about what needed to be done for the sale and some poor little child would expect me put them as the center of my attention. Can you imagine? If I had a job than I am sure I would find this 'unreasonable' expectation of my kiddos all the more annoying. I think I will stick to the homefront and NO I have no desire to go back to 'work' when the kids are grown. I pray I won't have to.

Oh, I got my new glasses and I can see clearly now! I think I needed to go to the eye doctor before now. Seeing the little blades of grass clearly reminded me of fifth grade when I was 'found out' and humbled into wearing the dreaded huge glasses. Pretty much can't see anything or find anything without them. Yes, I like these glasses better and may wear them more but I will prefer contacts I am sure till I can't wear them anymore.

Let's is cold again but everything is green. The trees are flowering and we had our first thunder storm last night. It took down part of one of the cherry trees which was in full bloom. I love those trees and so that is sort of a disappointment. All the trees around here are well over 100 years old so I am getting used to losing them.

Better quit this now and go do something housewifey.......

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Mom's perspective

IU is not red after our visit....... It is in fact in full bloom and swarming with students, very large and populated. I am pleased that the school offers both of the programs that Anna is interested in and our talks with both departments went well. I did not sign us up for a campus tour as I could tell that it was basically large, had a lot of stuff available for students, fed the students something, and that your exercise would include a regimin of going to class and back. That seemed pretty self-explanatory. I suppose it would have been nice to see a dorm but we have friends who could fill us in on that.

The music department is competitive, which was no surprise, and will have new organ professors by the time Anna would be there (if she chooses to go there) and there are only a few under-graduate students in that program and all that tried out last year were accepted. So.....she would have to prepare for the audition anyway and also we would need the department to let us know if it is even possible for her to do both programs, fashion design and music. The fashion design schedule is like a nursing program in that you have to do take classes at certain times and certain semesters or it will not work at all. There is only one class offering per class level. So we will have write the music department to see if they can figure that out. They seemed willing in the office and the people we talked to all seemed to have some connection to the organ department despite the fact that the organ department is small in comparison to other instruments.

The fashion department lady was very helpful and their program is very similar to Stephen's minus the year of learning sewing techniques. THey assume you know that already. Anna seemed pleased with what they told us although she wasn't feeling the best. She faked it pretty well. The fashion and music buildings are right next to each other and both fields that she is considering have small departments so they seemed like small schools in huge University.

More later.......

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

This was last night's adventure. These logs are from one tree, a 120 plus foot tall tulip that was rotting at the bottom. More wood.......but sort of interesting anyway.
I am taking Anna to check out IU Bloomington tomorrow as they have both a fashion and music department which would meet all of her needs/interests. It is much less expensive than Stephens but needless-to-say it is of course still expensive. It is also closer to home. Of course that shouldn't be a huge issue. It will be nice to have some time to chat.

Monday, April 21, 2008


We have a vernal pond and the frogs love it. The newspaper had an article about this and the lady was going on a special expedition to hear the frogs singing and peeping. In the Horner household we just need to open a window or step out the back door. The peepers seem to peeping less now so I guess the next generation is in the works and the tree frogs are deafening at the moment. They seem to sing in chorus and go up and down between three notes OVER and OVER. If you are having trouble sleeping this could make you a little nutty. Perhaps I will take a camera journey and try to get a picture of some as well as a new shot of the view from my window. I am getting used to pushing the space button with my left hand so perhaps I can do a little better blogging.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Hard to blog

Life has been either too busy or the fact that someone (someone small I think) smashed the space bar on the keyboard of our desktop so......typing is a pain. I suppose when I am at friends homes with high speed I can blog then until I replace the keyboard.

What is new......we priced books for the Used Book Sale at Emmaus yesterday and there were upwards of 1500 books not including those from other congregations. We may have to have book sale part two depending on how that goes. There are all sorts of books for all sorts of people. Plenty of people came to help price and we got the job done in a little under two hours until.....someone showed up with a van load of books! He helped price them today with more help from others which was good.

At home we planted eighty pounds of potatoes on Friday, cleaned up the asparagus patch and rounded up a load of brush. We also planted peas and some spinach and lettuce. We shall see. I discovered my dog sneaking potatoes out of the ground today though so he will have to kept reined in. Our help in the sharing of this garden adventure was fantastic and everyone had fun despite a little sun burn. Erik is the roto tiller man of the family now and it is fantastic to have his wonderful help.

It has been incredibly beautiful outside with the daffodils springing up everywhere and the wild flowers EVERYWHERE. The Dutchman's breeches are gorgeous and there is trillium coming up all over too. Sigh. Spring has sprung at last. I even noticed the grass was growing so the lawn mower should be up and running soon. Watch out neighbors, crazy woman in action. Hope they don't notice I am expecting. They tend to worry. I will behave myself.

I managed to iron a few shirts for Charley. Phew. He won't have to be clothing challenged for a few days anyway.

Oh. I did give some thought to that shocking old fashioned saying of 'children should be seen and not heard' at the dinner table. Well.......when every child is talking over everyone else at a given meal then that old saying seems to me to have a practical meaning. Perhaps these people of old times had large families as well and the need to have quiet for the ease of digestion was not such a bad idea. Ok, some table talk rules would be a happy medium but there are times when ALL my children seem to have the need to have the platform. So there are my thoughts on that old saying.

Besides getting things set up for the booksale, watching spring happen is the most that is new with us.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Homer exhibit

So I loved the Homer exhibit. He is my kind of artist. He reminds me of one of Rembrandt's collections where he illustrates the parables and the people are all very 'real people' sort of people. Not that they just looked real but you felt like you were right there with them catching a glimpse of ordinary life. Homer's painting are like that to me. He painted in many different settings. There was one in particular of a mountain guide sitting by a campfire and a HUGE fallen tree which I would love a copy of. It reminded me of Charley. The ocean pictures of fisherman's wives and children keeping watch for them were some of my favorite too as it showed a glimpse of the lives of families looking hopefully for their father's return. Not really romantic but real and a bit chilling.

Erik really enjoyed the exhibit as well and kept returning to different parts of the exhibit to make sure he hadn't missed anything. I am pretty sure he read every single description. I might have but brought the wrong glasses and it was sort of a challenge. When we got to the Hopper exhibit, our feet, backs and stomachs got the better of us and we opted for a quick looksie and then went to the cafeteria for lunch. I knew Erik was hungry when I asked him if he wanted to just walk through the rest of the exhibit quickly with me and he asked if he could go with Grandma who was going right away to the cafeteria. Sometime a young boys stomach rules over interest.

It was a good day. I wish I could have figured out some new areas of Chicago to look at that were close to the train station but didn't think we would have any time left to do that so hadn't looked into it. I also think it would be easier to drive in myself as it took three hours to get there and three back. Ugh. When I drive it takes less than two and the drivers don't make me that nuts. That would leave more time and flexibility to look around.

Friday, April 11, 2008

An explanation

So a wise friend of mine pointed out to me that I am pregnant and that would explain a lot of the crying on dime syndrome. Makes sense. Then I told her that I am not always pregnant which turned into her pointing out that most of the rest of the time then I was post-partum!!!!! I have been one or the other for 18 plus years!

Another friend said "Yes, I feel like this too for another reason." That will be next........ugh hormones.

I still can not stand sitting in a class or church and then suddenly I need to find a way out that doesn't send the pastor or people with us wondering what is wrong etc. Perhaps I need a t-shirt that says "pregnant or post-partum, proceed with caution".

No I am not in the depths of despair but drat does this issue bug me. I am sure it gives me somewhat of a reputation for crying easily and it is true I was like that in kindergarten and drove my parents nuts. Stop crying Karin!!!!! Perhaps the back of the shirt should say "Be careful what you say around this one" Ugh. I think what I almost always need is a nap or a good laugh.

Hope you all have a cheerful day!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Sometimes I just wear myself out and find myself difficult to live with. I have been ‘sensitive’ all my life and sort of get sick of how easy it is to set myself to tears. Other people just seem so strong and never fall apart in public.....sigh. Today I have been processing (again) how to help one of my kids on their journey through this fun thing called school and planning for their future. It is easy to say “remember, don’t despair” but when the future seems interminably far away with such huge question marks of how to get there, it is just wearing both for the child and the parent. I know this is true for all of my children but I think it is the times of struggle that I just feel very deeply for my kids. I should never dare to go sing a hymn in the sanctuary at such times as it ends in my feeling foolish for not being able to ‘hold it together’. What is it about hymns that sends me into a tail spin I don’t know but that is the way it is for me.

So I sit and talk with my child about all these things and see the pain and impatience in his eyes and his own personal frustration coming out and I just wish I could fix it for him. “Why does everything have to be so difficult for me to learn mom?" Well dear, on the brighter side you will definitely know the meaning of patience. He has more patience than most of my kids but has the same problem as me and shows his emotions on his sleeve.

I was encouraged by another homeschooling mom that she felt she could help with some areas and that would be great. It gives me some reason to hope that it won’t have to be completely mind boggling for him. Doing things in a hands on manner does make more sense than just reading explanations of ideas and trying to wrap your fingers around it.

So……I will kick myself and my children to bed so we can face tomorrow. Never mind the fact that we are behind in house work (understatement). The future seems a long way off and a mountain of stuff to accomplish but thankfully our Lord is patient with me as well and still loves me and that is probably the explanation for why hymns set me off……

Monday, April 07, 2008

It's been awhile

It has been over a week since I have visited bloggerdom. Life has been a little on the busy side but in general it has been a good busy. This week will probably fly by. Last week was full of appointments and school and the usual at church. I did manage a walk with a friend and a brief trip to do a little shopping with Anna. Saturday I gave probably my last "New Home Schooler" seminar and "Starting High School" seminar. They both went great from what I could tell and they weren't stressful to prepare for. I can never turn my brain off after these sessions though which is sort of odd. Then it is hard for me to sleep. That took all of Saturday and we visited with friends most of Sunday so.......there was no weekend for the usual laundry, wash the floors thing.

Friday I am going to Chicago with my parents to a Winslow Homer exhibit and I am looking forward to that. I always enjoy such excursions and with a new baby on the way I better do that now.

Oh yes, I forgot. My great aunt Marion died last week. She is the 97 year old who I visited last summer on the way to Higher Things. I used to write her a lot as a young person but life dictated that I didn't write as much while raising the brood here. She had five kids and I always used to marvel at that when I was a kid. She and her sisters, one of them my grandmother, humored my love of getting mail a lot back then. I modeled my handwriting after my great aunt Hazel who was truly a GREAT aunt. My brother has the same memories of visiting Marion and Leonard's farm and the crazy bull they had in the barn yard. We would play games with it across the fence. Marion's husband Leonard marveled at how much canning we did. He died a few years ago. I will always marvel at Marion's agility to the end. My dad is now almost as old as Marion was at dad's mother's funeral. Huh. How weird. I am sure it is odd to him to have this end to this era in his life as well.

Charley has been gone a lot lately but I can't complain as he hasn't traveled much in awhile. Anna remembers how once he called and said he had to leave for an emergency trip to Florida and I took him some luggage and the joke was......he asked for me to run to the bookstore at the airport while checked in and get him something to read on the plane and I bought a book by Kevin Leman which I thought was his book on birth order. was a book by Kevin Leman about how to choose your mate based on birth order. He called me later to ask me if I was trying to tell him something. Ha! He knew it was an accident. It still was funny though. We gave the book to our neice later. He returned perhaps three weeks later from what Anna can remember......That was a long one.

That's all for now!