Saturday, November 29, 2008

7 Random things

Another post? Why not? My house is clean, most of the children are in bed and my husband is asleep on the couch......again. No he is not in time out, he just tends to nod off about this time in the evening.......

1. I was sent to the Principal's office in kindergarten. I lied to my parents about how I got my feet muddy which resulted in their calling the principal. You see I told them that my brother pushed me into the mud when I was coming home from school and so that is why my Winnie the Pooh boots were muddy and I tracked mud all over the carpeting. I did not take into consideration that I had a half day of school and he had a full day. Oops. My parents called the Principal to inquire why Steve was out wandering around when he was supposed to be in school. So, I was called out of class by the principal and.......I had to confess. Ornery young.

2. I used to run ten miles a day. This was in my junior high, high school days. I would come home from school and take off on quite the route. I was like the mail man and it didn't matter what the weather was like, off I went. I was an addict. My other addiction of practicing the french horn I think tempered this addiction in the long hall.

3. I played the french horn A LOT in high school, college days. I have the most awesome horn on the planet and it plays like a dream. It is a pre-WWII Kruspe - sigh, and is very compliant. I will try not to run upstairs and wake up Charley practicing. If I were not the mother of eight I would pursue playing professionally but.......I won't. Maybe when the youngest is five, I will take it up more seriously again. Oh, I almost forgot. The Kruspe horn was designed by a man named Anton Horner. I am not kidding........

4. My swim teacher at the Valparaiso YMCA was Al Capone's granddaughter. All I remember is that I learned to swim and I was fascinated by her gigantic form in her black swim suit. I was of the tiny, skinny variety and I think I paid more attention to what she looked like than how to swim. I did eventually learn though and she was nothing like her grandfather :o)

5. I called my horn teacher in 1985 to inform her that I was marrying a Horner. She was amused and happy for me. She was the best horn teacher on the planet too. :o)

6. I was a HUGE Paul Simon nut growing up and finally saw him in concert in April of 1991 at his "Born at the Right Time" tour. I was eight months pregnant with a certain Anna and was PLAGUED with false labor. Dad and I went and it was fantastic. I bought a "Born at the Right Time" shirt large enough for me and our upcoming bambino and amused the doctors. The one was at the concert and asked what I would have done if I went into more serious labor. I told him I would have asked if there was a doctor in the house.

7. In high school I worked at a YMCA camp and spent several weekends jumping off of cliffs at a state park. I never dared to dive off of them but have a distinct memory of a fellow camp counselor doing this. I lack the grace and style to do that and figured I was more likely to land where I was supposed to if I jumped. I also did this in the Quetico Provincial Park (spelling?). I might have dared to dive there but I can't remember (maybe I hit my head). I don't think I have ever told my parents any of this and am still amazed to this day of the things they let me do. Of course they didn't 'let' me do this as I didn't ask. I also carried a canoe on my back for a mile on a long portage there.......I guess that is fact number 7 1/2.

There you have it. It was a little hard to think of these things but hope you learned something new and that you didn't yawn too much, right Karen?

Cleaning frenzy

If I take Ingrid on a ride in her pink fuzzy snow suit every day around noon, then my house will look fantastically wonderful! She takes such nice naps after our little outings that yesterday I found my bedroom and today I dejunked much of the basement. Phew. My co-op moms will hopefully be able to notice the difference and perhaps Martin will sneeze less. I found quite a bit of stuff that I had been looking for in both locations. I even found a return that I had totally forgotten about. Ingrid just sat in her seat and snoozed during both events and it didn't even matter how much noise went on around her, she slept and I banged around throwing stuff away and putting other stuff away.

Yesterday, while cleaning my room, the rest of the kids played outside for literally hours. I didn't call them in and they didn't ask if they could come in either so......I left them out there.

Right now, I am going upstairs to enjoy a strange snack. At the farmer's market, a vendor was celebrating two years of business there and was giving each customer a pizza dough. So we dug around in the fridge for toppings and came up with mozarella cheese and pepperoni. Yum. Martin just announced it was done so.....later!

Why I hate shopping season

Is it the season of giving or getting? Are these people shoving thru to be sure they get the best deals for their loved ones????? I took Ingrid with me this morning to the farmer's market and struggled past literally herds of people who did not even flinch while I obviously stood there holding her up in her car seat waiting to be able to move forward. One lady though could get a job as the baby's advocate. This very tall man shoved past me and she said loudly "Hey! Don't you see this lady is carrying a little baby?" He ignored her and kept plowing and then she apologized to me. I just smiled and said thanks. Fortunately I knew exactly what I needed and didn't have to stay long.

I try hard to get as much 'shopping' done before Thanksgiving. The news this morning about the shoppers in New York was one of the most disgusting things I have ever heard. Sigh. When a man's life is secondary to bagging the deal, this is just sadder than sad. So.....I will stay away and have someone watch Ingrid at home if I need to go buy eggs at the market and I have noticed even the supermarket is not much better. I see people give me looks of disgust while I slowly go through the store with Ingrid in tow because I am slowing them up. I love staying sheltered in my little abode.

Friday, November 28, 2008

What I am thankful for and my kids are amazing

Starting backwards, I must say that my children never cease to amaze me. They might bicker, whine, clutter etc on any given day but given a cause they work their tails off, are reliable, can accomplish amazing things and I deeply appreciate it and am deeply spoiled. Making Thanksgiving dinner with a never ending nursing child is tricky. It is also tricky to keep the house in order while doing this. The day began pretty quietly with my using up some pumpkin from the pumpkin murder last week. I made several pans ofmuffins and a loaf of bread. Ingrid must have been happy or being held at the time. When those came out of the oven, the 24ish pound turkey went in. It was a Horner turkey so they are never small.

Next......the root soup. Matthew is the peeler, chopper, go getter in the family. My dh restored our authentic root cellar this fall and it is FULL of roots! You have to get on your shoes, coat etc. to go get any of this stuff. A root cellar must be the old time equivalent of a refrigerator for much longer keeping with less rot. It took MANY trips out there to get turnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, etc. Phew. What kid would want to tromp out there and get all of this stuff willingly and cheerfully. Martin and even Charley joined in the peeling and chopping. Butcher knives are so much more fun and dramatic to chop up a butternut squash. I am sure there is an element of challenge in this undertaking so maybe that is why the boys are willing.

Anna tackled spinach salad and table setting. Martin did his share of running and peeling and cleaning. Erik hauled Stefan and Ingrid around A LOT! Anna also hand washed the wood floor and scrubbed the yuck out of the guest bathroom. Cecilia and Martin washed most of the dishes from dinner prep and Cecilia also washed the kitchen cabinets from all the drips and yuck that magically appears on cabinet. Martin made apple pie. Can you see WHY I am amazed and thankful! I was of course active in all this along with orchestrating what to do when and how to make all of this come together.

Thank you mom for the cranberry jello salad and the pies!

Things I have thought about on the day after (too busy to think much about it on the day) which I am very thankful for this year.

My husband still has a job

My husband works hard to save us money so we can afford this bunch and still be able to be generous in other ways. He also does his best to be helpful in and outside of our house in the various ways he is able. And.......he puts up with me as best he can.

I am SO thankful for the wonderful women in our coop who work tirelessly to educate my children and theirs. It is working and the kids are learning and doing so cheerfully.

I am thankful that my eldest has the study bug and is working hard to work away at her academic achievements as responsibly as she can.

I am thankful for my eldest's scholarship which will make next fall so much more manageable. Proud of her!

I am thankful for Erik's amazing work ethic and willingness to do almost any job handed him. He has a wonderful propensity to see needs of other people and is proud to help them.

Matthew is a dream in the kitchen, the home, child care etc. He works hard in school and I am very thankful he has found a Boy Scout troop he loves and can fully participate in.

Martin is also such a hard worker and very willing to do whatever he is asked to do. If there was ever a ten year old that could help a family with chores etc., he is the one.

Cecilia is the dish washer and friend and companion of her little siblings. She is beginning to stretch her wings a little and play more of a role in the daily doings around here.

Benjamin is Benjamin and I would say I am thankful for his smiley ways and his ability to stay entertained and safe without much worry. He was bug control in the garden this summer. Buckets of Japanese beetles. Wow.

Stefan. What can I say. He is doing so much better in the skin and allergy department, I thank God daily that life is not as stressful, even with a new baby, with his new ability to be happy. He is still a bottle addict among other strange things, but overall, we are really enjoying him so much with the decrease in itchiness and skin brake outs.

Ingrid is healthy, no eczema, growing and smiley and cute. What is not to be thankful for?

I am so thankful for our church and fear taking it for granted. I have posted before on all I am thankful for there so.......ditto.

I am thankful that my children have ALL of their grandparents still living and basically healthy. There are even two in their eighties now. Amazing.

I am thankful that no one makes fun of me for my gramatical and spelling errors. Thanks you guys for your patience and understanding........

I almost forgot all of my great friends who still love me and my family despite our many weaknesses and foibles.

I am sure there is much more to be thankful for but to avoid the post getting on the long side......I will leave things as they are.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cleaning and tarnish

Sorry about that last post. I felt I needed to tarnish my image a little bit as this mom of eight is not quite the wonder person that some people might think........he does think it is funny though.....excuses, excuses.

We are doing the cleaning that does not get done from week to week. Week to week cleaning includes trying to keep up with the laundry, dishes, floor washing (yes, this does happen perhaps twice a week) and keeping the clutter monster at bay. I think the clutter monster would go away if we got rid of all of their toys. Pieces, pieces everywhere. I am good at creating clutter as well with books and papers landing in random places.

I need to cook a little too as Thanksgiving is here this year. I went to the farmer's market a little bit ago and they were giving away tomatoes! I was a taker of course and tomato sandwiches are on the menu today, salad tomorrow. I think I need to tackle bread this afternoon and attempt not to trash the kitchen. The kids are all helping which is of course wonderful. We need to put together some of our dreamy 'root soup' too. I think that will be the pre-meal, ward off the grumpy wumpies tomorrow. I just like it. Perhaps I will find time to post it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hockey stick....Run over

My husband and I have a joke about this hockey stick that has been kicking around our yard. If he is in one of his hyper moods or hyper focused moods and fails to show up in a timely fashion for dinner.......I get the hockey stick. Did you know I am a husband beater? So I make an appearance in the barn or wherever he is with the hockey stick in hand. It's always a sudden appearance with little warning. He thinks this is hilarious and it keeps me in better humor as at least he laughs when he is in this sort of trouble. The hockey stick was always successful in getting him moving in the right direction. The kids would even suggest it if he was not showing up. "Get the hockey stick Mom!" Well......someone left it in the driveway and....sniff, sniff.....I accidentally ran it over. What am I going to do????? No more hockey stick. It was a cheap plastic thing but it did the trick. It has been in use for several years now. Sob. How will I get him to the table when late? He might go hungry now. Isn't this sad? I was seriously quite disappointed. He doesn't know about this yet. Maybe he WILL go hungry.

Pitch fork?????? Hmmmm........

Monday, November 24, 2008


I like mornings but then I don't. If I wake up before everyone else then I have about an hour without any noise. My kids have a lovely habit of sleeping until someone wakes them up. Stefan doesn't always but most of the time he does. So there I sit or run around with my cup of coffee either having a quiet moment or getting stuff done without interference and I have to decide whether to wake them up. It is the hardest decision of the day. If I don't wake them up then we will be dreadfully behind but......I will have this great hour or so alone without having to send them on vacation without me. If I don't wake them up, then we won't get all the morning chores done and we'll have to start school etc and be behind in general.

If I wake them up, I might not keep my patience with selective blindness in decluttering rooms and clearing tables. The kids might fight or ignore their responsibilities until their mom reminds them. I don't like being their brains and shouldn't be their brains but sometimes it just happens that way. I DO get tired of this.

I figure that when whoever is the youngest turns five, this decision may not be so difficult as five plus year olds are pretty easy in comparison with babies and toddlers etc. I probably won't care if they sleep till eight as I will be more able to help see that evening chores are done completely etc. Evenings are nicer in general for me as it is a lot calmer and easier to deal with getting kids to bed then dealing with them all scrambling for breakfast and ignoring everything else that needs to be done.

I am whining. I will get over it. It is nighttime and I still need to run out and get the Scouts back but going to sleep is in sight. Hopefully Ingrid sleeps better tonight. Decisions, decisions.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Our God Our Help

The hymn "Our God Our Help in Ages Past" always reminds me of Valpo. They used to sing that hymn for every homecoming and graduation Sundays. It must have been used many Sundays in between or it wouldn't remind me of Valpo days. We sang it this morning. It reminds my older kids of another event. Being rocked to sleep or back to sleep at night. You see if you sing this hymn, rocking and patting their backs, it has the desired effect usually. No it is not a lullaby by any stretch but the line about "our hope for years to come" amongst others must have been somehow comforting to this sleep deprived mom. Anna told me she would find herself humming it as an older child and couldn't remember why she was singing it. It must be engraved in her brain from being a small child. Memories.......

I probably will be singing that hymn again this evening. Three month old (almost) with a very runny nose. She was up for an hour or so in the middle of the night last night. Poor thing. Too bad she can't blow her nose. Babies with colds are so pathetic. I am not positive it is a cold as nothing else seems wrong but her perpetual runny nose. Blah, blah, blah.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I learned this morning that I will be flying solo this week - Monday thru Wednesday - as the dh is traveling. He forgot to tell me. Opps. Flying solo has some benefits as I think I switch into laid back mode and probably get more reading done, but with Thanksgiving on Thursday, I will probably take advantage of my kids not working on dad things, by doing some deep cleaning and more interesting cooking for Thursday. There is still school to attend to but at least Tuesday we can focus on some of this stuff.

I also tend to stay up too late while dh is away. Although if we work too hard during the day, I might fall asleep at 9:00 instead. We shall see.

I went to Valpo today for dad's bday and had a nice time. Ingrid charmed her grandparents. She cooperated at lunch and slept thru it. She seems to love her snowsuit and it's warm and snuggliness keeps her nicely sleeping. Cecilia wrote my dad a birthday letter and it said "Dear Grandpa Nancy". I think she distinguishes the grandparents via the grandma's names. I thought that was pretty cute. She asked him to write her back. I am sure it was his favorite card.

It is freezing down here in the basement so I will sign off and return to Hawaii - the land of the woodstove.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Escape artist

NEVER muse upon other people's children escaping their cribs. We have NEVER had a child who did this and either the boys taught the two year old or he figured it out on his own. What a nightmare. Yes, he could graduate to a bed now and I guess that will be the plan since his little sister will need the crib sometime in the not too distant future.

The previous seven children saw their cribs as their snugly place which they didn't mind going to. Mom always came and got them out when they woke up and mom always seemed so happy to see them at that time. The cranky monster was tamed for a few hours and now the little cherub, or the mom, were ready to face the rest of the day. Sigh. The funniest thing was that when they graduated to their regular beds, it took months for them to realize I didn't need to come get them, they could just get out of bed. Those were the days.

Stefan is upstairs complaining about being tossed back in bed again. Maybe he is realizing I mean business as it is a little quieter but perhaps I better spy on him to make sure he is not dismantling one of his brother's creations. I guess since it took till the eighth child to have this problem, I can hardly complain.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


My dad is 80 today! Wow. I find this hard to believe and I am sure he does too. We have plans to do lunch tomorrow as someone else beat me to it today. I would say most other people would not put my dad at 80 either. He is every doctor's dream of following diets, exercise, and he definitely keeps his mind busy. He is still active at church with bell choir, discussion groups, and outside of church there is the Sons of Norway group. No this is not a post about Prairie Home Companion but these groups do actually exist. There is no Sons of Sweden group as far as I know so Norwegians get his support.

Fond memories from my eighteen years or so at home would be his inexhaustible ability to listen to, and talk and talk some more. We could always count on his body sitting still listening to us ramble. We did give him a test one time and he couldn't remember anything we said but all and all he took the time to sit there. Other bonding moments included popcorn at night, love of good music, holiday concerts, daily chapel at Valpo in the college years, and a mutual desire to talk about stuff deeper than what the kids are doing, but rather stuff that involves me. Not too shabby dad.

Our most intimate excursion was to Sweden in 1998. He was 70 then and we had commiserating time to talk in excess. I learned stuff from that trip that I would NEVER have learned without that extra travel time to chat. Martin came with us as a fourteen month old little person and the stories we can tell from that journey are both hilarious and endearing.

Ingrid is reading this post and cooing.

So, Happy Birthday Dad. I look forward to lunch tomorrow and hope you have a great day today.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rubber pants

I forgot about my rubber pants hunt. I bought some of those lovely things a few years ago from Babys R Us so I went back there. FIrst off I can't believe there is a store that large just for baby supplies but at least they still carry rubber pants. I asked the sales lady if they still carried them and she looked stumped. "Rubber pants.....uh.....what are those?" "You use them with cloth diapers" I patiently reply. "Oh, oh, I think I know what you want" and she took me to the disposable diaper section and showed me a package of disposable something. "Uh, use them.....with.....cloth diapers......" She said something about carrying washable training pants for a 24 month old and all this time I am holding 3 month old Ingrid. I followed her and I was beginning to think I would have to order them online but, lo and behold there were rubber pants next to the training pants. They are the good old fashioned Gerber rubber pants, no frills and they work. I have never seen my kids sweat in their rubber pants so I am not sure why breathability is such an issue. They are cheap, they work and eureka, they still sell them. The store lady had never heard of such a thing before. The only hope of their still existing will be the same way I learned about mother. I will have to pass this lovely skill along to my babies when there are grandbabies on the way. Cloth diapers are not hard and as many diapers as this little person creates, they MUST be cheaper. I do love the new system. I would tell you about 'the new system' but.....I need to go be responsible. Ahem......4:00 a.m. bonding events with my five year old do not motivate me to get moving. It was an experience just like Anne of Green Gables and the croup scene. He was crouping away, cough, cough, cough and finally threw up (thanks for sharing :o) ) and the coughing stopped. Phew. After talking him into going back to bed, we went and got a few more hours of sleep. Responsibility......vocation is a bad word this morning.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ingrid at Barnes and Nobles

Ingrid and I are pals of course. I ended up taking the boys to Scouts this evening and after tackling a few errands, the little person had had it with running around. So.....I made a beeline for Barnes and Noble. She was pretty much crying quite a bit at this point. The last time I was the driver for the Scouts, I went there and A LOT of people stared at us and one lady made a comment about how small she was. Why does everyone point out that she is small. Is she small compared to some of the gigantic babies I've seen? Are there no other average babies? I find this an odd observation.

Anyway, I headed for the knitting book section and found a chair in an inconspicuous spot. Yes, I found a book my family would be free to indulge me with for Christmas..... After she calmed down, (it must have been the patterns) I searched out a German dictionary for Anna and went to check out. The man behind the counter said "Cute baby". He paused, stared, then said "Snotty". What could I say? So I said "Well, that's honesty for you." The man kept staring. I sort of snickered and had to look away. He would not stop staring at her! People say and do THE ODDEST THINGS! What does it mean if my nearly three month old has a runny nose? Should I lock myself up? Or.....what does it mean when they comment how small she is? Weird. I just do not know what to say back. People with babies must not go anywhere unless they are at the grocery store past my bedtime. I think that is one of the few places I see babies. Or maybe I just don't go anywhere. Actually, I am such a klutz that I am sure my inability to move smoothly through a store with a whimpering infant just adds to their need to say something.

So that is this evenings adventure.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Little Miss Ingrid

Little Miss Ingrid
Sat on her tuffet
Spitting out curds and whey

The poor girl blurps and blurps. I have found myself driving down the road with my blurp rag on my shoulder. Always be prepared and armed to clean up blurp. I wonder that looks like for the drivers coming in the other direction? Fortunately we have blurp rags in abundance. I have taken up the cloth diaper brigade again with Ingrid. I used cloth with the first four but Charley's Europe journeys put me over the edge and I entered into the disposable diaper world. I discovered a system that is not so hard so this has been a lot easier. Perhaps I will blog with my resources sometime. It is tempting to put Stefan in cloth but I don't really want to man two diaper pails. I would rather not mix Ingrid's easy diapers with the more, ahem, dirty variety.

Certainly Ingrid must be getting enough to help her out in the growing department. She 'explodes' with great regularity and I need to keep the diaper bag better stocked for 'long' outings like church. I resurrected the Lands End diaper bag as I need more room for her extra clothes etc. I have attempted to take cloth diapers with too and they definitely take up more room.

Another riveting post about my life. Blurping and diapers.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Believing what you read

Since I have kids of all ages I have been struck by the natural progression of learning and that what the books say about their cognitive development is absolutely right. I studied these developments in school but how many people get the chance to see them all at the same time and have the experience with each age level to see the end result. I still agree with my resource in Mr. Maloney in Teach Your Children Well, that some kids need to hear things ten thousand times before they remember it. It is not just that kids turn ten and they magically learn. I do think that cognitive leaps do help, but the poor mom has to wait for that. Nervous laughing.....

I have also been a little ticked off at the homeschooling grammar world. There is Simply Grammar and other such curriculum that gives them just a little bit of grammar a day. The Well Trained Mind recommends Rod and Staff and now that I see it in action I know why! When we homeschoolers scoff at busy work, we need to stop and think what is the difference between busy work and work that trains, trains, trains the child in sentence structure and writing in general through writing the problems out. This seems probably obvious to some people but I do wish I had my older children do more of this when they were younger. Now they are back peddling and having to learn this stuff late and without a lot of time to put it into practice.

When someone tells me their child couldn't spell till high school, I will now believe them. I have had my share of kids who spell in gibberish and now......are starting to get it. I will still bang my head against my portable board when it takes literally years to reach these points but hey, they are reaching it and so there is hope for the younger ones showing signs of late blooming in spelling.

It is easier to relax while beginning Benjamin's reading journey. Most homeschoolers start having panic attacks as the grandmas quiz their grandchildren on what they are doing in school. "Well, he is flopping around between rooms and hopes to be recognized and communicate with someone or.......they flop around hoping mom won't notice them quietly leaving the room." Benjamin goes to Science with Mrs. H. but doesn't know how to read???? I love homeschooling. He is very proud of his Botany time.

Ingrid is napping so time to.......RRRRUUUUNNNNNNN!!!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

A typical day

When we are not having coop, we stay home and have math, reading, homework etc. I feel as if each of these is a test of perseverance. I just recently added Benjamin to my to do list and the academic day begins with him now. He is learning some sounds and I stare at him and then the ten year old boy across the table who NOW makes comments of disbelief that his little brother doesn't know this stuff. The ten year old boy is just now reaching a better comfort zone with reading. So Benjamin is just beginning and is not quite 6. Will it take till he is ten till he is comfortable reading? Phew. Don't have a panic attack Karin. There is an even older sibling who took till he was nearly eleven to read with any level of confidence. I have spent A LOT of time in my life teaching children to read and it is my most daunting task. I had two kids learn basically from eaves dropping so I suppose that made up for some of the tedium. Benjamin is cutely enthusiastic right now so I will attempt to stay consistent and keep up with him.

After reading lessons with Benjamin, I have a few kids working on brushing up on their spelling skills. This is going well and I am happy to have willing participants. I tried all summer to get to this subject with them and it took till the flu broke out to get them on board. We missed a few weeks of coop due to the length of the bug to get to everyone.

After spelling everyone works on math. The need to persevere and keep after their grading and corrections is definitely a test of my endurance. The baby in the meantime of all of these subjects has been snacking and snoozing all day. I hold, hold, hold her and juggle books and other kids asking questions between it all.

This afternoon we squeezed in a dvd on the Constitution which was less than riveting. I think I took a nap in there somewhere.

I resisted all temptation to do the dishes or do laundry so I could focus on these kids and their subjects. The older kids seemed unable to be too serious about their math by the time we got to it. I do think overall it was a good day. Yesterday was much the same.

Ingrid is oddly asleep and seems to be asleep for the night. Now I don't know what to do first or if I have the energy to do anything. So ends another exciting day on the ranch. Anna and I are watching Dumbo and I would have to say this is a very strange movie. I put this movie on for Anna and Erik when Matthew was a baby thinking I could catch a nap and they both burst into tears shortly after it began. That ended the nap. I guess I would cry too if my mother was taken away from me. Very weird.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Nose blowing lessons

Benjamin does not know how to blow his nose. A very likable member of Emmaus caught wind of this (or heard the snorting) and offered to teach him how. He prides himself on his ability to teach this skill to children. Well......I have offered my children money to do this so perhaps I will have to get him a gift card if he succeeds. But, he discovered last night during what he thought would be the first and last lesson, that Benjamin truly is a challenge. I have had many people mention to me that he should learn to blow his nose as his snorting is pretty gross, but frankly, I already have tried and tried and teaching nose blowing is harder than you think if the nose blower doesn't come by this skill naturally.

The child and his teacher paid rapt attention to one another during this charming lesson. Benjamin nodded in understanding to the directions to close his mouth and breath out through his nose but......he sucked in anyway. His teacher smiled, tried not laugh, and kept prodding him with tips and......Benjamin is not demonstrating understanding. He now has an assignment to practice breathing through his nose. I somehow need to remember to remind him to practice.
How to remember this with my mile long of list of things to remember will be the trick. Maybe we can offer a pizza party in celebration as seriously, a kid being able to blow his nose and not gross out everyone around him is no small feat where this child is concerned. He is still very smiley and charming though despite his handicap.

Did you learn anything or were you prompted to deep thinking????? :o) THIS is the deep thinking I process during my days. :o) Keep smiling, like Benjamin.

Learning anything from my blog

There is a lot of chat amoungst the bloggers about awards for learning something from other's blog. Really, I am not sure what anyone would learn from my blog other than what life is like here on the homestead. I don't see anything glaringly educational from how things are done here. Or, maybe that is not what people mean. I guess I don't feel I learn a lot from blog reading but it is enjoyable to hear other people's thoughts and what they are doing. There is always the political views but frankly, unless I had any spare time at all, I do not feel confidant enough to make comment. My dh has been reading the Wall Street Journal lately, and he maybe has more knowledgable opinions to offer but blogging is not his thing.

So, a new post is forthcoming on......nose blowing. What can you learn from that?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chicken chores

So now that there are no chicken chores, the boys are remembering every evening to try to get one of their siblings to shut in the chickens. Aaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!! This was a chore that was rarely remembered but NOW we remember it. It is odd to be able to just wisk food scraps into the garbage and not have anyone storing them on the counter for the chickens and forgetting them till they rot. I do honestly miss seeing them in the yard. Our outdoor pictures just won't be the same and we won't need to be quite so persnickety about people checking their shoes at the door. Phew. Chickens do take up a lot of my brain cells so I guess I might replace those thoughts with thoughts of......weeding or.......getting the counter cleaned off more often.

We have had a few odd days or rather weeks of only one day a week of co-op. I am not exactly as organized as I was when we had two days a week. There has been one interruption after another due mainly to sickness. Wow. Are we done for this month? Here's hoping.

My camera is off to the camera repair shop on warranty. How can I do without a camera with a two month old around? I guess I will pick up a few disposable cameras or something. If I knew the big three or at least two were going to somehow recover, then I might go get a cheap digital but things might not go that way. Hmmmm........decisions, decisions.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


The rest of the chickens left just a few minutes ago. Does that mean I should change the name of my blog? We probably will get some more chickens in the spring but we also may enjoy our freedom so much that we don't . What will Charley and I do now that we don't have to ask the infamous question, "Did you lock in the chickens, boys?" What will the boys do knowing they can stay in their beds and not have to go out in the dark when they have forgotten. I think the mom will vote for no chickens. Free range chickens are sort of messy in an all around way. They leave deposits everywhere, dig up my flowers, and create a huge mess in the coop.

I would still like broiler chickens and if we get layer, only have enough for us.

The only other excitement around here was the 40 pound coon that landed in Matthews trap. Chip discovered it and managed to get in a tussle but doesn't seem too worse for wear. We drug him to the vet for a rabies shot update just in case. He was less than thrilled about that and got a clean bill of health.

Ingrid just posted this post before I was done so some people may have gotten an odd post. She was trying to tell me to stop typing and go change her diaper. ;o)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Stefan's bday so far

So he began his bday at 3:00am, screaming from his crib. I have no idea why he was up but at least this screaming did not involve cleaning anything up. It took Charley and I a combined four times up the stairs to convince him it was night time. Charley even took him out on the front porch to show him it was dark. Happy Birthday Stefan! Needless to say he has been grump ever since. He then got up at 6:20 and Matthew got him up that time and took him downstairs for a "Ba". Ever since the time change his schedule seems all mixed up. That is one thing I have against day light savings time, you cannot explain it to a two year old.

I made him his favorite meal for lunch and we sang him happy birthday. He cried. He smiled when everyone said 'yay' at the end. He is now back in bed and the rest of his family is resting up for the rest of his bday. After church tonight we will have cake and give him his present. I got him that Usborne book where the mouse goes all over the house. We have an old one but it is getting pretty worn out so thought he might enjoy a new one. I will have to keep it safe from his siblings.

Ingrid slept from sometime in the evening on my shoulder (I think 10 something) till 7:30 this morning. I thought at one point in the night she threw up but I must have been dreaming. But I also think Charley heard it too. was a long night.

We are looking forward to church this evening. I feel like I haven't been there much in a long time and I guess that is true with all the sickos. Maybe life will get back to normal. My house needs to get out of normal. Perhaps I should have just gotten up and cleaned in the night while Ingrid was sleeping?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

This seems too easy

I was the sickest (Yippee?), Matthew came in second, but otherwise this flu has seemed too easy in light of how sick some other families have gotten. Duh, I am not complaining but it seems too good to be true. Benjamin, Martin and Anna still seem fine.....hmmmm......

Today we are going to watch this video that explains the Electoral College. That seems appropriate for not so sick crowd. I want to understand this process better. The explanations I have heard still perplex me. Maybe we will get wild and crazy and watch some of the other government dvds I picked up. They were cheap and claimed to be only instructive and not entertaining. That is what it said on Amazon. Does it have to be entertaining?

Benjamin can't blow his nose. I have offered money to whoever can teach him and so far there have been no takers. Who said we have a poor economy? Not one kid in the family or even a few outside of the family, have taken me up on this. Stefan can blow his nose........

I need to remember Stefan turns two tomorrow. Being a seventh child and having a birthday seems anticlimatic. His mother is having to put a posty note up to remember????? Hmmm.....
I don't even have a little something for him to unwrap. I don't know what that something would be though either.....

Election day.....oh boy.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Five down, five to go?

I haven't checked with everyone but it seems that five out of ten have been afflicted by the stomach flu plague. If we count Cecilia not eating for two days a week ago than we are perhaps up to six. I am daring to eat something today. When a family of our size is potentially exposed to such a plague they shudder in anticipation of what might be to come. At least I do as I am the clean-up brigade. It is a good thing I was the first one to go as now I am freed up to tackle what is to come. Isn't this a pleasant post?

I suppose I should go check out the ones who have not appeared yet. I might even dare to eat some chicken noodle soup. My smallest children have discovered the joys of jello. Charley was lamenting that Stefan learned how to say jello but yet doesn't seem to ever say daddy.......sad dad.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Something unusual happened yay!

I (as usual) forgot that Stefan was bumping around the house aimlessly. Ingrid was asleep (wonderfully long nap) and I was frenetically cleaning the kitchen. Charley did say something about keeping Stefan out of the new room as he had been painting the windows.......and......I forgot. Just like the kids, I forgot. Shocking isn't it? He kissed the window....twice. We are now contemplating if we should leave his lip marks on the sill.

By the comments to the husband about everything else he needs to do around here........he might literally self-cum bust.