Saturday, May 31, 2008

Class act

So the wedding was great and yes, a class act. The bride's planning and forethought were wonderful and smooth and the bride's mom also did an awesome job of all the things she was involved with. My dear husband commented on the way home that he would classify it in the top five of his favorite weddings he has attended (we've been to quite few). The babies were especially cooperative - Gerhardt, Stefan, Frederick and Saranita caught their two hour afternoon naps just at the right time! Thanks kids! Or....was that the brides careful planning which I wouldn't be surprised, in which case.....thanks! Great planning! The reception went quite smoothly as well and fun was had by all as far as I could tell.

Today was Martin's 10th bday as well so he can say that over 200 people came to the party. He just doesn't have to mention it wasn't his party. He had a grand time though. He did mention yesterday that things are always very busy on or around his birthday. Sorry hon, but we are not sorry we have you.

Friday, May 30, 2008

21 years

So it is time for another anniversary. I can't say I have much deep to say but we are going to postpone celebrating till life calms down a little bit. We may get some carry out Dairy Queen. Who knows. I mistakenly told someone it was 22 years today but we will crack that up to a LONG year. That does not necessarily mean a long year with Charley but in life in general. I can't believe how much has gone on this past year. Our 22nd year will be equally busy but I can definitely do without some of the details of year 21.

Today I am still working on trying to get summer clothes and winter clothes in order and put away. The kiddos have grown a lot this year and making heads or tails of it all is definitely a chore. My wardrobe is enough to make anyone crazy. Is is winter and I am pregnant, winter and not pregnant but not skinny yet, summer with same options or either option summer or winter and actually skinny. Ugh. Someday I might end up with a simple combination but that is not say I am looking forward to that either.

It is supposed to rain and I am hoping it does. I have a little cooking to do. Tomorrow is Martin's birthday as well as DoRena and Sam's wedding. I am sure he can get some cake. I would love to leave the house in order and ready for Sunday but we shall see if I can maintain the steam. Perhaps it is time for a chocolate bar.......

The boys all got hair cuts and look a lot nicer. I hope to get to my hubby's head later this evening. Everyone says Stefan needs a hair cut but frankly I like his curly head. Who wants to chop off baby curls anyway????


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Crossing things off the list

So "the list" is still long but we are making progress. I have just begun to put away winter clothes as they still are wearing them! We went to the pool on Monday which the kids loved and Stefan loved as well. Stefan did get his first skinned knee there so I can tell keeping up with chasing him around will be a little tiresome.

One of the things on my list was to clean up the book sale mess in the basement of the church. I was just bemoaning how I haven't found the opportunity to get to that on Sunday. Well! Thank you to whoever conquered that one this week. I can guess who may have done it. That was an easy one to cross of the list.

I watered my peonies in hopes they will bloom but things are looking grim. They are VERY late. Anna always has peonies in full bloom on her birthday and these are not even close this year. Hopefully some will make progress overnight.

Anna is downstairs making cake. That seems to be going smoothly. Whew.

I am waking Stefan up.....later!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

For the record.....

Anna is not cramming for the SAT. She is systematically reviewing her Algebra and Geometry and frankly I have been quite impressed with her handle on math in general. Sure she could have made it further in Algebra 2 but the review has been good and she is learning a lot from going through practice tests etc. Frankly I would recommend this sort of review for anyone taking the SAT. Her essays have been pretty good as well but would like a little more practice with the time factor. Her greatest lesson was to not worry about the subject matter she chooses to use to defend her position but how she defends it using strong examples.

I am proud of her perseverance despite distractions and her commitment to conquer and divide. I am also praying that she has the confidence the day of without any stress the days before.

She does have a wedding cake to whip out, which she is happy to do as she loves the bride and family and would frankly do anything to be of help to them. Erik is the same way and I am very proud of them for their thoughtfulness of other people. I believe we have a handle on the weekend that will allow her to be focused and not have stress to kill a few more days in over processing. Cryptic I know.....

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Anna!

So we hung onto 16 as long as we could and now......she is 17. Sigh. 16 was a year full of all sorts of new things along with some things more akin to growing pains. She weathers the storms, we muddle through and now to see what 17 holds for her. It certainly has been a year of sewing and contemplating college choices. That has been new for me as well. I don't remember this process too much as my dad taught at Valparaiso so that was where I was going. Most of the mail is for her nowadays so she goes and gets the mail from the box and proceeds to the recycling bin.

She is very happy that work called and told her she didn't have to come in today. She was sort of dreading that. Now we are going to traipse off to the farmers market for some veges and vege plants and then a quick trip to......can you guess?.....the fabric store. When you are born around Memorial Day then you get to enjoy days off and sales.

This coming year will hold SAT tests, drivers tests, college applications, most likely a few classes at the local college, a new brother or sister, and of course savoring her Emmaus moments and Emmaus friends (more sewing, I forgot). She is excited about college so I am sure we will also all enjoy the roller coasters that come with these changes as many of her friends have already experienced. I personally will hold onto 17 as long as I can.........

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Today's feats

I would say today was pretty amazing. Not only did Anna work extremely hard on math, but we were also entertained by a new cd call Snack Time. It was really for the little children but we were all amused of course because we love to listen to such silliness. While Anna worked and listened, I sorted more socks. Cecilia helped and we have a laundry basket full now. Most of them seem to be for feet that don't fit them right now so the next problem will be what to do with these socks that are waiting for feet to grow into them! Ugh. Organization is SUCH a pain.

After the sock sorting spree I cuddled up with Stefan for a little snoozaroo time. He truly is much more enjoyable lately. He is eating well, loving the great outdoors and sleeping until almost eight o'clock in the morning. Sigh. Hold onto having a one and a half year old as long as you can. I think I am catching up on some MUCH needed rest.

My post napping activity was......drum roll please.......finishing mailing my Christmas letters, God children's presents from Christmas, baby gift for freinds in OHIO, and a wedding gift. Phew! Tomorrow will be return the Christmas gifts that haven't been returned. I can't wait. Our bedroom is shaping up finally and perhaps by the end of next week we will be able to walk through it. I am not such a great example for my children in this department but when you are committed to teaching, the house does tend to go to the dogs. What was my excuse a year and a half ago?????

Anna planted my lilies which badly needed planting and she is still downstairs listening to the cd and working her way through review Algebra one.

Erik sprayed the ant population, trimmed trees and bushes, planted my blueberry bushes, rounded up some more trouble places and helped Charley put together a gate for some friends.

I think everyone will sleep till almost eight o'clock tomorrow......

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Twinkle toes

So sometimes you may think I am listening to what you are saying to me, but in reality Twinkletoes is doing acrobatics inside of me and that can be pretty distracting. Most of the time I AM listening but there really is nothing quite like have a squirmy little person entertaining themselves inside you. Of course if you are man then you would have no clue what I am talking about but you moms out there most likely do. This is a squirmy child. I suppose he is reving up to defend himself from almost two year old brother. That would be a good idea as Stefan is a little possesive of his mommy and seems to get more attached by the day. My other children have survived so I am sure he will too. No, we do not know if it is a boy or a girl but he is just easier than all that he and she stuff.

So if I suddenly look spaced off you may now know the reason. OH, and one other baby thought today. When people offer to do things for me seeing as I am expecting, it still takes me by surprise. THey have NO IDEA what I do at home so again if I appear perplexed it is because I probably can't figure out why you are offering at first. I will try to comply and let people be sweet and nice in this way. I am a slow learner.

The potatoes might be burning.....toodles!

Saturday, May 17, 2008


I ironed from 10:00 am till around 4:00 this afternoon. I still have more to do. Everyone's closets should be a lot happier. I think I had this blog post last fall but perhaps I didn't iron EVERYone's clothes. I found a few things of mine which I haven't seen for quite awhile. Of course I can't use them now but when the time comes it will be nice to have these old friends back. I also have socks to conquer and divide some more. Since I had the boys dig under their beds there have been a lot more socks passing through the laundry and I would imagine their rooms will smell better as well.

The older boys, including Charley, are off camping at Turkey Run. It has been incredibly quiet here with just the little ones. Anna was gone all day at work and then gone some more with a few other activities after work. She might be home soon and I hope we can chill out with a movie or something. I can iron and watch at the same time. What in the world did I do when I just had Anna, Erik and Matthew????? It was SOOOO quiet here today. I was hoping to get more done but it wasn't meant to be I guess. Perhaps I will catch up before September......

Thursday, May 15, 2008


So Nick inspired me to sort socks. I am always baffled by how many unmatched socks there are and wondering where the other ones went. I think we should all have a sock gathering but we would have to be seperated by where we shop or something. We would probably end up with more matches. Sometimes I throw a holey sock out and I don't have the match so that would explain some of it. I think I need to bring everyone inside and go through everyone's room looking under all the furniture. Hmmmmm......maybe after lunch.

Anna is busy studying math while I sort socks and I think that is going well. THe boys are out gathering garlic mustard out of the woods and searching for Morrel mushrooms. We found eleven the other day. I guess I could say that I found them as I was mowing the field they were found in. There have been a ton of them this year.

Sorry about the lid comment last post but really I do find myself sort of scary looking. A friend loves this country song about if you want to have a happy marraige get yourself an ugly wife. Ha! I get it. No shopping or pampering. And no, I am not contemplating death in any other way but thinking that sleeping in Jesus doesn't sound too bad at times. Hmmm.....not helping here am I? If you have ever been majorly tired and buried in work I think you probably could relate. It sounds very nice to me.

No I am not going to apologize for this post.......back to Algebra and socks......

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Family pictures

So my friend Karen holds the opinion that she never wants her picture taken. Well......after today I would say I might have to hold the same opinion......I don't like my picture taken. We had our pictures taken at church and the result is more than a nightmare. (Vanity). First of all they put you in the weirdest positions. She had my feet up this tall box, while holding Stefan who was wiggling all over the place, and then asking me to hold my head down (can you say double chin?) and then tilting it to the side, with no back support and of course I had the obstacle of the new baby to deal with as well. I don't think the photograper caught on to that. I look sort of like a terrorist was interviewing me or something. Yikes and ugh!!!!!!! So until the next pictorial directory I will have this horrifying picture of myself for all to share in the directory. Of course everyone else looked fine in the picture. I have noticed most pictures of myself can terrify me. I had the naughty thought to tell my family to feel free to keep the lid down at my funeral. Yes, that is shocking. I did mention that to my older kids and they laughed. I need a hair cut badly! Ack!

Here ends my shocking post of the day......

LIfe is intense

Day three of studying with Anna has gone pretty well. My brain is reawakening to all of that lovely high school math again and the good news is that I remember most of it. Geometry is my favorite and Steve Demme even makes Algebra more enjoyable than I thought possible. We also managed to get some of the house cleaned up this morning and Anna was able to get some practicing in. Every day gets a little better in the tedious department so perhaps by mid-June I might not be embarressed to have someone pop over.

Yesterday LaRena and I planted a little more garden and did a little bit of weeding. The rain has been cooperating for the most part and I reminded her that most things can not be planted till after the first of June. That is good news for her I would think as she has her own things to deal with.

Erik has been working pretty hard on his catechism in between working for his dad cleaning out the barn.....and doing a few things for me. I would like to do more math with him but will get to that sometime I am sure. Ugh.

So not a whole lot is new and different. I do regularly drop into La La land while studying with Anna so that could be counted as a nap I suppose. She is beckoning me to come and do the next thing.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Guv'ment two years ago

My mom pointed me to a picture of Guv'ment. He was quite the character in his prime. When I would water the flower garden he would gooble/yell at me to come give him some too. Whatever will we do without you Guv'ment.
That is the rest of the story......

I think I can, I think I can......

So by the time the evening rolls around I am generally spent. I am sure I look a little on the grumpy side but I suppose it is trying to maintain endurance to get little people to bed. I think I am also thinking about the many things I need to do to help my kids with their academics. Anna and I will be bonding this month in preparation for the SAT. School is not really stopping. It is just shifting gears. I feel a certain sense of guilt for not being there for Anna as much as I would have liked to. She muddles along but would benefit a lot more by having me as a greater presence in her school life. Self-discipline is hard for anyone so why would I expect her to be some sort of wonder student. We will try to make this month as fun as we can as well without killing each other working too hard. My 'list' will probably not get a lot of attention until the second week of June. Sigh. Anna did point out that most of the things on my list could be accomplished in an afternoon so perhaps our reward for slaving over school work will be knocking something off of the list.

No, we are not despairing but just thinking about what I need to get done can make me a little weary. I also need to keep Martin reading and helping Erik with his various areas that need attention. I think I can, I think I can........

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Wrapping up the school year

This week we are wrapping up the main part of the school year as far as co-oping goes. We still will meet a few times a week for the older kids to work on math and I have some tutoring to do with a few of my kids at home. But.......I am looking forward to getting onto 'the list'. No, not the list that my children talk about some of the time but my to do list. Baby ? is around four months from appearance and there are MANY things that need attention around the homestead. I am sure we will not be able to cross off everything from the list but we can try. Charley has two things on his list and my list takes up several pages. I plan to everything I can to help him accomplish his list. Phew. Time for a nap! Oh, I already caught one this morning before lunch.

Anna's list is to finish preparing for the SAT in June. I think that is doable but this too is on my list. I will most likely drop her off at the library for peace, quiet and escape from the screamie meanies at home. I will NOT be tempted then to put her to work. She is incredibly capable of accomplishing the remarkable. Ok, ok, I will let you study.

Charley just told me he will be taking a trip to Europe in June so we will have a week to maybe help him with his list if he gets far enough along to leave the boys with tasks towards this end.

Oh yes. This blog post would not be complete with a plea to everyone not to nag or tease Charley about his tasks. He knows what he is doing and we will get there so.......don't ask. You will figure it out.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

I forgot

Earlier this week Benjamin's pet turkey Guv'ment died. Such a sad day.....Benjamin wanted to go and see him after he was discovered and then when I stopped him he asked if we were going to keep him. Oh bother. He certainly had a long life. I am not sure if we have a picture of him or not. I think we do. I will have to look for it. Benjamin has survived the trauma and hasn't inquired after Guv'ment's welfare again. Can you tell we just watched "Sense and Sensibility"?

Anna and I went and bought a toaster this evening. This was an exciting excursion to be sure. There were a couple of choices and they now have new features. Bagel vs bread vs frozen....and cancel! The slots are wider so we don't have smash our bagels in but they still all have plastic buttons. My children will still be able to pound on the button and potentially break it. The old toaster had this problem and other problems of course. It wouldn't stop cooking and we being the observant family that we are would forget we even put a piece of toast in to begin with. There is an overall trust among our family members that the toaster will do what it is supposed to do and pop the toast out. It wasn't working like that. "What's that smell?" I would ask and discover another charred piece of toast smoking up the kitchen. Anna took action and threw it away yesterday. Horners can't live without toast though so bought it's replacement after her piano/organ lesson this evening.

Being in a totally obnoxious mood I scandalously bought a Fox in Sox stuffed animal this evening. I think it will have to live on our bed and be mine. No one can borrow it for long. I love that book. I wonder what Charley will think of it. I am sure he will be charmed.

Better be responsible and get to bed. Fox will go with me of course.

Nighty nighty!


I finally got to mow the lawn for a little while, of course behaving myself. It was tempting to keep mowing and mowing. It is such an escape for me and I do most of my reflective thinking while doing this sort of thing. When do I do that in the winter???? I did spare the blue flower thingies that I can't remember their names but the bees like them and also there is quite a bit of hyacinths still blooming out there. I think I also love to mow as I visit literally half of the ten acres almost every week. I would like to develop paths for the woods and make that an equally pleasant experience. I wouldn't mow the woods though. Our neighbors rake the leaves out of the woods in the fall but won't say anything more about that activity. We just pray for a good wind to blow the leaves into the woods. Works like a charm.

I have perennials to plant from an excursion to my favorite nursery. It was 36 degrees out last night so they spent the night inside. I am a much happier person left to my own devices outside. Sigh. Don't know what to do with myself sometimes. I think I must be hard to live with.

Menards is the source of real lilies as my brother helped me to discover. Lots of choices and great prices. Those will go in the garden as well. I must make myself order some new bulbs this fall for next spring. They are SOO much cheaper that way.

Off to mow a patch.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

To push delete or not to push it

So the cute little response to my previous post got a reaction by some person in California who I don't even know. I could go delete it or just leave it. As I stated in my post, it was refreshing to talk to Cecilia who was truly intrigued by the Scientific evidence that exists to back up intelligent design. She did not throw her own articles or views of what she had been taught at me but truly was interested. Sending me a site stating that the movie is full of anti-science propaganda is so typical of the people I know who just simply throw this sort of response back at you. The film was hardly anti-science. Of course stranger in California was trying to help this poor silly mom in Indiana get the story straight. It just made me all the more tired and weary of this sort of response. Perhaps I will go push delete or let other people say what they would like. Or not......
Of course if I push delete I may be accused of censoring this persons views so there you go.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

So I never wrote about my evening out with the girls. The movie was great if not a little depressing but great just the same. I would strongly recommend it to anyone and especially to the crowd who believes there are no Scientists who question evolution or who pay any heed to intelligent design. Guess what? There are! I knew this already of course but the documentary was very well done and I cannot see how anyone could leave without seeing how Scientists are hemmed in by the evolution crowd. There ARE actually many scientists who have written extensively on the flaws of the evolution theory (theory not fact) who some think are just crazy, stupid brain washed people. Who is brain washed???? What are they afraid of???? I am not going to ramble on and on about this but will try to post some of the scientists interviewed and some of their books sometime in the near future. If you have opportunity to see the movie I do not feel you will regret it. It is very well done and even if you are an evolution camp person I can not see how you wouldn't get something out of it.

MY most refreshing conversations about this subject were with my cousin Cecilia from Sweden who is a Physics scholar. She was MOST respectful and curious to learn about what scientists have found to disprove evolution and support Intelligent Design. It was refreshing because she was not an angry person defending her views but participated actively in conversation, listening carefully and respectfully to what we had to say. I think Americans are sort of challenged to hold these sorts of discussions. She was fine with listening to new perspectives and ultimately I learned something about conversations from her. Wish she lived closer. She is actually the young woman in the picture of the bonfire in the May Day post. A person from Poland in the film actually stated that America has a problem with exploring Intelligent Design as they are so tied up with political correctness that it restricts conversation and Science from doing this. He claims this is not so in Poland. Interesting.

So......let me know what you think!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Happy May Day

Three years ago we were privileged to be in Sweden visiting relatives on one of their biggest national holidays. It is also the King of Sweden's birthday so we went to his birthday celebration in Sweden. Awesome. He is in the picture above and was accepting flowers from children. Seeing the military band play and their horses display their stuff was also great. My one cousin Inger had never seen the King in person so she was sort of jealous as she wasn't there that day. The Prince is holding the flowers. We were able to see the whole family.

May day in Sweden is a day to have big bonfires and sing National songs so.....we went to the biggest fire in Stockholm at Skansen (not sure that is the spelling) and we will never forget that. It was a perfect trip perfectly planned by accident. I had help from the relations but being able to arrive in time for these events in Stockholm made for a really great trip. We told everyone at home we were going to Sweden to participate in pagan celebrations.....not really. I did enjoy the choir singing National Songs and still wish I could get a copy of these songs.

We are planning to have our own fires today in our yard. The practical side to these fires in Sweden is that neighbors would combine their yard waste and make a big bonfire and of course they would have a party and eat and spend time together. The kids are very excited about doing this but I think it will be just our family unless any readers want to join us. Anyone is welcome to show up. There will most likely be two fires with one for cooking on. Yum, yum.

The most hilarious thing about that day which a cousin emphatically insisted was NOT a Swedish custom, were these men and boys dressed in peasant garb who......ran or rode up to a May Day gate thingie and would......try to beat a cat out of a barrel. It was a stuffed cat but they said they used to use real cats. Hmmmmmmm.........not my ancestors although there are Norwegians on my mother's side.....hmmmmmmm.......

I was not able to get the pictures to post as I wanted them too but of course you are all brilliant enough to figure it out. I hope you all get out and clean your yards and roast some doggies, hamburgers and if you have some Scandinavian blood how about fish. Enjoy!!!!