Thursday, December 31, 2009

Got the cold

I end the year with a cold that has decided to become laryngitis. Rats. It is most amusing to me that Anna keeps trying to point out to people that I can't talk but everyone seems to have more and more questions to ask me. I can't answer. Or at least I can't answer loud enough to be heard so they keep asking and looking at me expectantly. Hmmmmm.......

We have had a nice Christmas with quite a few guests etc. I would have loved to have a few more but it hasn't worked out. Our friends Marty and Marcy were over today and as she is the mother of an organist we had fun talking about the trials of being an organists mother. Har har. Such a burden. Marcy have that odd understanding of each other that just clicks. We don't see each other very often but it is always nice to get back together again. It was just nice. Charley had fun chatting with Marty about................wood.

I was hoping to have some other friends over tomorrow afternoon and evening but we shall see if they want to expose themselves to this cold. It will probably work as it seems to be the 'sleep it off' type of cold. Laryngitis is a pain though.

The kids have been playing games together and that sure beats the tv going. I get sort of tired of movies being the 'interaction' around here. They got quite a few fresh, unruined games this year and I hope they will keep them intact. I like playing games myself. I got myself one of my favorite games, Five Crowns. I love that game.

Sigh. Charley is taking the kids to church tonight. Well, at least the older kids. I can not believe how much church I have missed as I look forward to this time of year but our little kids just seem not able to handle night time services so we are tag teaming lately. I guess it does give me more one-on-one time with the younger kids so that can't be bad.

A New Year tomorrow. I don't tend to make any more resolutions except the yearly attempt to plan meals so I don't waste resources. Charley loves this sort of resolve. Otherwise, back to work with school and Charley to work. Happy New Year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Not feeling like doing anything

We are all in some sort of stupor. It is supposed to be a break for us afterall. It doesn't feel quite right though. I know I have worked extremely hard, endlessly this past fall leading up to Christmas and there are so many things I would like to do in the midst of all that busyness but there is not time. There is time now and I don't feel much like doing them. The time is passing quickly til I need to be responsible again in the school department. I'm slowly working on finishing cards, finishing wrapping the kids presents that we will hopefully get to Wednesday. I want to exercise but hate the stationary trainer. I should do it tomorrow and perhaps I would have more energy. I did not have indigestion until I stopped exercising. I'm tire of the indigestion so I should start again. Snow tires anyone? I think they cost too much. Sigh.

For a person who has not had many question to ask I am full of them now. I'll keep you in suspense as to whether I will post any of my findings. So much to wonder about and so little do I understand. Sigh.

I am hoping to clean out most of my room tonight and tomorrow. It has been the Christmas dumping ground for awhile and the chaos must go. I'm just writing more of the same here so that's all for now.


I must say my brain is befuddled on many levels. True I am publically saying this and perhaps should keep my confusion to myself and perhaps will not even state what I am confused about but I do find it interesting that just when you think you have seen or thought about most aspects of life, things come up that leave you in a state of confusion. I hate it when I feel this way and then try to proceed with the day without letting confusion muddle me too much. It is not worth talking to too many people about my confusion but I am certain someday I will have to. Sigh. How does one keep confusion to themselves. I think guys are better at this skill and perhaps many women are. I think I stink at this.

On the practical side I need to get something done today and I definitely need to set up the bike trainer and get on it. My countenance would at least be slightly improved by getting some pent up energy out of my system. I'm sorting some of the dreaded socks and sock sorting is enough to increase anyone's confusion. Was there a sock like that in that pile? Then there is Mt. Laundry and perhaps I should wrap the presents to the kids which we haven't exchanged yet. Pretty lame eh? They exchanged gifts with each other so far but the onslaught of gifts from grandparents and other friends makes me hesitate adding. We will do it. Erik is at Camp Grandma so we will at least have to wait till Wednesday.

On other fronts I want to finish working on helping my dear husband with janitorial issues at church so we can keep up better with the filth that lots of church loving people can create with little effort. Twice a year deep cleaning does not cut the mustard in light of nose blowing, cheerio dropping, paper doodling, bulletin leavings, dinner crumb spread that a broom does not always pick up, etc. Phew......point given and taken. I watched Stefan yesterday wipe his nose and then wipe his hand on the pew............just one example of sharing the wealth.

Well............better go tackle some things..............and turn my confused brain off. Machine Karin. You are a machine. Don't forget it.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Post Christmas exhaustion

After much preparing, eating and everything else that goes with being the mom of this bunch, I am SLOWLY moving today. Church was great this morning and it was of course nice to have our Pastor back on his feet. Everyone seemed to have a sense of calm or perhaps they too were exhausted. I was creeping around slowly between chatting with people. Since I fake being awake, I wonder how many other people do the same.

After feeding a friend's lonely cats and picking up some milk and filling the car tank.........I am home. There is the fallout from Grammy and Grandpa and Uncle Steve and Aunt Brenda still everywhere. The dishes are almost caught up on and I have not done much laundry in weeks. Hopefully the laundry does not give itself away. I keep trying to chill out on the couch but jump up to do this or that and my body is screaming at me not to eat any more out of the ordinary stuff and to try and kick up my heels and rest. The kids are outside sledding and snow boarding. I picked up a few snow boards at a garage sale last year for five bucks and I think it was a worthwhile investment as I would never have bought them new and the kids love them.

Since I am not listening to my body, I might seriously go hunt my husband down and tell him to put me in line. (Translated - don't expect anything too spectacular out of me today in the line of cooking and cleaning and heads up..............I need to make myself chill). To further explain.......we are expecting a new little Horner in July and I have a very hard time sitting down and behaving myself when my body tells me to. If you got bored with this post before this paragraph you will not have caught that..........

My tummy screams tea and also twinges of aches from the instantaneous big tummy look that comes with baby number nine. Had a few of those this morning while walking from one table to another in Bible class and had the cross eyed look of "Ouch, that hurt, hope I can get to a chair soon" I'm not sure why that happens but suppose it is the older mom thing. With all the colds going around, I thought it might be humorous to name the baby phlegm in honor of all the nose blowing. It sounds a little like Sven so we could say it is a Scandivanian version of..........uh..........John or something. LaRena suggested if there were twins to name them phlegm and phlam. Har har. Maybe I can sneak a nap.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Silly things I've learned this year

I learned a lot of the same lessons this year as others such as weeds grow very fast if you don't pull them.
Mice will continue to find a way in anywhere and will be a constance annoyance and no one's home can stay mouse free forever............even the church......
Um..........taking on a little exercise and building up from there is better than blitz exercising. Sometimes you have to buy store bought bread to keep your sanity. It's ok and the bread making police will not put you in jail for doing so.
Trying to cut spending seems to be Murphy's Law that things will start breaking or your kids will put holes in all their socks.
There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.
Never become too attached to any item as it surely will break.
The latest thing I learned that there are still a few people left in the world who don't care if you finish their gift and give it to them later. They understand. Phew.
That's all I can think of right now...........oh yes, used Amazon books is my friend.........

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

It has been a good Christmas this year but not without things that have been new and different. The services have all been wonderful but minus our Pastor who succumbed to the stomach bug. Major bummer for him and his family. Assistant Pastor to the rescue. There a lot of people sick this year and I can say we all gave Christmas greetings sort of from the distance. It was good to see everyone and of course these bummers, as we were reminded of do not change the fact that Jesus was born.

My dad, my brother and his wife all are sick as well, so instead of them coming today, they are all at home convalescing and we hope to get together soon. Sigh. The kids are rolling with the punches and of the remaining well people at church, a few families may stop by to play games and eat later on. Paranoia runs rampant but as I always say, if we can avoid spreading the wealth then avoid spreading the wealth. Sigh. Praying all are well soon and those who are not sick, do not become so. By this time next year, we will have to be reminding each other of "remember when everyone was sick last year?". I think I will begin praying for a healthy Easter for my family, my church family and become more vigilant on teaching my kids sanitary habits.

Jesus is born. We rejoice in that and look forward to the services of all twelve days of Christmas and Epiphany to come. Things were just a little different this year...........

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Need more keys

There is NEVER a dull moment around this house. This morning Charley left early for church to take care of the sidewalks etc. at church. I was moving pretty slowly and wondered if the rest of us would even make it on time. Leaving my bed was definitely a challenge and facing the kids, breakfast, and whether we had clothes to wear was not something I even wanted to think about. So when we were left with just enough time to get there I went out to the van without my coat to load the little kids and Matthew came following behind me. I turned around after buckling them in and Matthew proudly announced he had locked the house up. What????? My coat, purse, keys, phone and diaper bag were in the house still. Oops. I was a little freaked out as it was cold, I had no way to call anyone to let them know we were stuck and the kids program was later in the morning to boot. I was visualizing getting very cold and having to walk with all the little kids to a neighbors which is not very close to us. Well, fortunately Matthew remembered there was an emergency van key under the van so he got down on the ground and got the key and we were able to drive to church. We kissed and made up and everything worked out fine. The greeters at the door asked if they should take up a collection to get me a coat - har, har. We need to make some copies of the house key to give to a few more people and perhaps plant one somewhere in the outbuildings. The children's program was great and the kids really enjoyed preparing it and putting it on for the congregation. It is so much nicer when the kids are enjoying what they are doing and really want to do a nice job which they did. Yay! Hopefully they can do that again sometime. It was a great experience.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas cards

Below is a facebook post by Mr. Scott Schreiber which I thought was rather good. I have to add that I am quite understanding to those who don't manage to get one in the mail to me every year. My favorite Christmas card from anyone ever was from my high school friend Jeanne who when I read her letter that year, which I did not notice was the year before's letter, and poured over how much she was longing have another baby and had a tear come to my eye at her longing. Then I took out her family picture of her husband and little guy marked from the year before and then noticed another picture behind it. I flipped it out and it was a picture of her little man holding his new little brother dated the current year. I screamed with delight. So anyway, if you get a card from the Horners know that it is not always without challenge and I send hugs to those who might miss a year or two......or three.......or five. I understand and am just happy to hear from you when I do.

A note from Scott Schreiber.

Confession: I listen to a "Christian" radio station in the mornings. Discussion: This morning they wanted to talk about the "year-in-review" letters that some folks include in their Christmas cards.

I was quite dismayed to hear some people call in and describe their distaste for these letters. They discribed them as bragging and immodest and making other people "feel bad" because the letter writer has always had such a perfect year.

Friends, when I see a Christmas card in my mail, the only thing I have is gratitude that the person thought of me and my family enough to send us greetings during this busy season. If they include a letter, even a "form letter" annual update, I am glad to receive it. When I read of the joys and accomplishments in their lives, I rejoice with them and thank God for His blessings on them.

I can not read their letter and take from it insult or offense, for these are not included in the letter. If I say the letter makes me feel bad, I have obviously taken out of it something that the writer had not included. Therefore I have sinned against my neighbor and the 8th commandment (You shall not bear false witness) because I have not put the (obvious and ) best construction on the letter and the reason for it....

I don't usually include a letter in my Christmas cards, but I still hope that none of my friends are as callous and self-centered to have this angry reaction to such greetings.


I can see why my mom likes making mittens. I've only made a few pairs but perhaps I will make more. Small children especially seem to love them. I'm not sure if I can find time to keep it up as much as my mother does right now, but perhaps I will find more time some time in the future. Mittens are just part of my childhood, my children's childhood and hopefully my children's children's future. Maybe I will even use up my yarn stash on them. Hats are equally fun.

I have one mitten down and one to go for Ingrid.

Friday, December 18, 2009

That last post was.........

slightly incoherent. I must have been tired or something as that sentence structure was pretty frightening. up early and made coffee............check. Fed the little people their daily breakfast regimen. Then went to Morning Prayer at church. Love it. Morning Prayer always reminds of Daily Chapel at Valpo but we would kneel at the Lord's prayer so am not sure why we choose to or not to kneel. was great to see all of my kids lined up in one of the near the front pews. They are ALL home. Yay! Ingrid was busy peeping over the top of the pew and making me nervous walking back and forth on the pew. She is VERY busy in church. So whoever watches her is busy too. Anna spared me the watching this morning and paced around with her. She didn't have to do that but it was nice.

After church we went home and ate lunch at 10:30am. We were hungry. I left to go hunt a ball of yarn to make Ingrid a pair of mittens to match her new coat. It took awhile to find the right yarn but finally decided and I have already made progress. After yarn hunting I went to go pick up Matthew's desk top computer. I had to get an Internet adapter which happily does the trick. He is happy. My kids are 'connected' after not being connected for basically their whole existence. Cecilia is having fun using my old laptop and likes to write people email. She likes to receive it too. You would have to email me to request her address though which is a very Cecilia like address.

Looking forward to Morning Prayer in the morning tomorrow. I love this time of year. I better go make the pizza now so I can get back to knitting.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Picking up Anna and more

I left yesterday to pick up Anna. I didn't get there til 6:00pm as my biking addiction got the better of me and I didn't get out on the road till one and not on the road till 2:15. It was worth it. My route is about ten and three quarter miles. It was the coldest it has been so far at 25 degrees but it didn't even bug me.

Anna and I went to Panera for dinner and then took the car over to University Lutheran to park it. We had a brisk walk back to her dorm and then..........big excitement here...........I pretty much was wiped out and went to bed a little before nine! What a wimp. I slept till eight! I think I needed to catch up on some sleep or dorm rooms have a sleepy effect on me or something. Anna was up studying and whatever else.

In the morning she went to take her final which only took her a half an hour and then we went and got some coffee and a donut on our way to pick the car back up. Isn't this exciting stuff. OK........enough of our trip. We listened to Harry Potter on the way home and now we are back.

My new laptop arrived an hour after I left for Bloomington. Erik bought himself a new laptop and Matthew has a new desktop which he purchased and it will come in on Friday. We are VERY behind the times in this department and my kids have not been involved socially online with anyone. Well, at least the boys haven't. I hope they can use their new toys wisely and benefit from getting to know some other people more or feel included in all that.

Another exciting post in the life of the Horners..............

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Books, the library and me

As usual I am thinking about what books I would like to read and enjoyed reading Jane's goals for herself from her blog for 2010. I don't read enough but love it when I do. I need to really rip myself away from our new found ease of high speed and plant myself in a chair with a book more often between all the life responsibilities that scream for attention. "How Green was my Valley" was well worth the effort. I would like to read more of his stuff too in the future.

While thinking about all this I opened the newspaper to discover that the library is increasing its fines again. Oh brother. Amazon will love me all the more. I am not very good at getting books back in on time so this just encourages me to use the library less than I did before. Amazon has these wonder penny book deals with 3.99 shipping for most of the books I want. I really want to read Rutherford's 'New York' which came out recently but am not ready to stomach the 17.95 Amazon price just yet. I find if you wait a year or two it can be found CHEAP! I have plenty on my list to keep me busy in the meantime.

The biggest catch with the library is books on tape. I don't think I want to buy them but may start collecting some favorites. We shall see. I should work on selling some I am not interested in so much and sort of trade.

Once and Future King is my current read for school with the kids. I read that a long time ago so am rereading it now so I can better grade their papers etc. I want to read the Harry Potter books, a book about Charles Lindbergh that looked interesting, Byzantium, the third and fourth Twilight books (which I don't have either) and several other books that others have recommended that I have found very cheap on amazon. So..........perhaps I will become disciplined and read some more between now and July..........and then perhaps even more after July as I will stuck in a chair more often.


Monday, December 07, 2009

Stupid computer

I am trying to copy and paste something onto the old blog and it won't let me. Love this modern technology. I will have to print it out tomorrow and retype it. Maybe I will just post my post on reposting old posts. Did that make sense?

I am contemplating doing something fun next year for me..........we shall see. I won't even say what it is, I will just let you wonder. I have to chat with the family to see if it would be alright with them. was an intense day. It's over and time to go nighty, nighty. Not anything else too exciting to report today. My algebra skills are improving. That is exciting. I can at least fine the mistakes made in their problems if I can read their writing. If I can read their writing the problem is more likely to be right. Interesting concept.

Haven't biked in a few days but I think I may try tomorrow if I can find the time. Or perhaps I won't be able to find the time!!!! Argh. That's all for today..........

Sunday, December 06, 2009


The last few days have been basically good. It is nice to have Charley's parents here. The kids get more attention. It is pretty mellow around here. I've been personally less than perky but am working on that. Tonight I think I might race the kids to bed. Yawn. I have thought on and off about quitting blogging. Maybe I will, maybe I won't.

I'm counting the days till Anna is home. It will be fun to go and get her next week. I can't decide if I am taking Ingrid with or not. Maybe I will just for the mere entertainment of it. I can just see it now. Anna and I walking her around the dorm halls. Perhaps if she starts screaming we will walk to the outside of particular screaming people's doors just for kicks and giggles.

Sigh. Much of my day was obsessed with chasing after something. far........yuck. Better three than none. Will report further numbers later........if I keep blogging.

That's all for now.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Might repost

I am contemplating reposting my posts. I deleted them in concern that perhaps I hurt someone's feelings but frankly have reread them too many times and personally just see them as having said that I need to laugh more and church atmosphere doesn't always lend itself to that. I have been thinking a lot about church life. I think a hearty, let's not take ourselves too seriously, honest look into church atmosphere can never hurt anyone or any church. I was simply contemplating my own pleasant surprise of realizing I miss ridiculous, laugh at ourselves, comiscerating, non-important conversation. I grew up in Valpo which is another one of those hubs of intellectual, theologically heavy places (whether you agree with them or not - PHD's abounded), grew up a Pastor's kid, grew up pondering the church and what it looks like, grew up being seen as that 'pure pastor's kid' who you better behave around, grew up with a dad who also graduated from college, like me, at age 20, undergrad, seminary, Master's degree, PHD under his belt...........phew. Emmaus, like it or not, is full of intellect. Intellect is not a new experience for me. Neither is pious, wonderful worship having grown up listening to God, I mean Rev. Dr. Nagel amoung others, for years at the Chapel at VU. So how to meet the balance between intellect and down to earth, we're all in this together, encourage one another relations is sort of tricky. Having grown up with plenty of intellect floating through the hallways at home, the hallways of my peers, I know that intellect does not always look outside itself. I suppose I could also say to be fair, that intellect should be cautioned to not become self-absorbed. It happens. It should be guarded against. Intellect is valuable but so are people and their ordinary lives.

I personally need to take stock in the beauty of just oridnary life. I was reading Peter the other day where they were saying how they had all heard God say "This is My Son with whom I am well pleased." Their observation and report was striking to me in that it was part of their 'ordinary life' They heard it themselves, they relayed their life experience to others. It related to me and my ordinary life. It certainly was not an ordinary experience but it was their experience and they were sharing their experience with their fellow Christians. It was again, just striking to me. I need to have time to share MY experience with others. It doesn't HAVE to be at church of course but church is not just intellect and the desire to obtain more. My church IS my family in so many ways so why wouldn't I want to share my life experience with them???? The Christian life is experience, sharing it, laughing about it, crying about it (I do enough of that to have a PHD in that subject), and caring to hear other people's experience. I value that time and can not always cope well if that opportunity does not present itself. I love how so much of God's word is God's people's life experience. What I was talking about in my deleted blog posts was a need for that time. I need time to reflect on how God's word applies to my simple life through laughing, thinking out loud with, and enjoying the experience of others and my own experience.

So I contemplate serving my neighbor by taking an interest in them. I desire, as anyone does, to be served in the same way. This can be a challenge. I do not see this post as some bad reflection on my church or the pastors. My pastors are great in taking interest in their people. I personally am contemplating who I can reach out to, laugh with etc. Who might be hurting. Who would be served by some comic relief. I am a person who honestly cares deeply for others. I think others do too but perhaps we all need a kick in the pants sometimes to remember to do that. I just pray I can remember this more than a day or two and remember to take the time to just talk with other people. That is all. I meant what I said and I said what I meant. I need to laugh and enjoy people more.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Resisting impulse purchase

Charley sort of shocked me by saying it would be fine with him if we upgraded the laptop with a new laptop. I must confess I almost jumped on that as it was tempting, sounded good, sounded fun's a lot of money. I think we will wait awhile. Best Buy does have some great deals on hp's that are a lot more computer than we have now. That made it all the more tempting but this laptop will do for now. It is tempermental and locks up from time to time (sometimes more frequently than other times) but it behaves pretty well. I can't mess with my pictures too much but as my brother Steve mentioned, there will be after Christmas sales as well and the prices only get a little better and give you a little more computer. Sigh. I sort of surprised myself from going from almost the checkout cart to just deciding not to do it at all. Weird.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Another reason I love to bike

Yesterday was by most people's definition, dreary. I guess I would beg to differ. It didn't really rain too much until late and dreary is what you make of it and as the saying goes, it is in the eye of the beholder to determine what dreary is. I took my bike ride despite the 'dreary' forecast and I am glad I did it. There is a different sort of beautiful to a day like yesterday. It was completely quiet except for what animals were scurrying around. The leaves, even though they are not on the trees anymore, are truly beautiful carpeting the forest ground. I love it. Without the leaves in the forest you can see evidence of past generations buildings, the remains of stone fireplaces and foundations. This sort of thing reminds me of my dad and my quest to find the home places of some of our ancestors in Sweden. Those reminders of the past are even here in our young nation. It is pretty cool.

The other thing I enjoy is observing all the different sorts of homes there are. You can tell what has been added on. Some of the homes are so tiny you wonder who lives there but they look pretty cozy. Some of them are so new and huge you also wonder who lives there. Most of the homes in the country are well taken care of and you can see the care that has gone into them. South of town is rolling hills and it is just stunning to get to the next hill. When I bike towards dusk the sun going down puts a whole new spin on the ride. Of course it also makes me spin faster so I am not out when the sun IS down.

Yesterday I saw two different groups of deer and a red shouldered hawk. Coming upon these animals in the quiet is something that calms my soul and gives me cause to pause and marvel. Dreary days keep the complainers inside and affords me more wonder of God's creation. Not that I don't enjoy seeing people but sometimes I see so much of people that it is fine with me to be alone spinning down the country roads.

I hope to keep this biking thing up as long as possible barring snow and the temperature getting too low. I guess I can not complain for dreary skies as there is still much to wonder at. Getting outside is good for me at least to get over dwelling on the lack of sunshine and obviously there is much to see. Maybe it will stop raining sometime today so I can escape and soak some more 'dreary' in.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Trip to PA

We had a very nice visit in PA. Too short as usual but nice just the same. Everyone there seemed to be doing well. We went to visit the Rodenbeck's on Friday night. Scott was in charge of some sort of 'night out for mom and dad', do fitness activities with kids at their church. You find out just how homeschooled your children are when you participate in such activities. Poor little Benjamin had not a clue what a relay race was (not that this is a requirement for life) so when the relay began he thought he should just go with everyone else. Taking turns running was not explained of course since everyone else there knew what a relay race was. So........instead of running down and around one cone he ran down and around all the cones. He is only six but my not very well behaved brain had a compulsion to shout "Run Forest, Run" as he cheerfully went about his business of not knowing what in the world was going on. No, I am not going to start having the kids run relay races so they can be more properly socialized. I have a distinct memory of our older kids having similar difficulties and they were younger but older than Benjamin is now, at a gunny sack race at some other Pennsylvania gathering. I also know for a fact that Anna was not asked if she knew how to run relay races when she applied to college so this will not be added to my long list of things to do. Or........evil giggle..........we could have everyone run relay races at Thanksgiving to be eligible to eat dinner. Hmmm.....

Our visit with Rodenbeck's themselves was very nice. We will have to see if we can stay a little longer next time so I can go to the nearby IKEA and Erik can go to the museum there. How will I remember that????

Saturday noon we were at Mary and Floyds in Somerset. They seem to be doing better than the last time we were there. The kids had fun feeding the old horse up on the hill. Even Stefan was not scared of it this year and kept dragging his siblings and dad out the door to go visit it. They fed the horse apples and that was their basic entertainment at the Reeses this year. Oh.........that and playing Old Maid where the Old Maid card was more worn than the rest so the kids knew which card NOT to pick as it was too obvious. Then.........I played the game with them and solved that little problem of critical hard is it to hide the mark on the card behind other cards. The biggest lesson learned in that game was 'what does it mean to play fair and not cry if you get the Old Maid?' They were perplexed how I tricked them.

Saturday night we went to the Walkers home also better known as the place with the cows and the legos. The younger kids got to bottle feed new calves. I have not looked at the pictures yet but that was a lot of fun. The Walkers work harder than anyone I know, getting up at 3:30am to do the morning milking and working most of the day with maybe a nap until 8:30ish at night. I don't think I would be able to handle that. Horners work hard but not THAT hard. We enjoyed our visit with them as we always do and Cindy continued the Somerset tradition of trying to kill you by feeding you to death. We ate WAY more food than we usually do while in Somerset. The kids just kept stuffing it in endlessly. They don't eat that way at home so I guess they were enjoying the freedom to eat or something.

Sunday and Monday we were at Mary and Floyds again for more of the same. The kids also managed to go swimming and rot their brains out in the hotel room watching silly movies.

Walmart provided the opportunity for us to run into Charley's Uncle Ed and family. Richard, their son, is in his mid-forties now and he was helping him mom load groceries. I saw him first as we pulled in. His mom said Richard told her "That was Cha Cha." (Richard is mentally handicapped). So........we visited in the parking lot. I now have a new name for Charley thanks to Richard. Richard is so very cute. We also ran into Mary and Floyd's daughter-in-law Pam and her daughter Lisa and granddaughter Hayden when we stopped to get a few things on the way out of town. Charley (Cha Cha) finally called my cell phone as he thought I was just going to run in and get milk and wondered what happened to me. Uh.......yeah..........I visited with them for quite some time.

So ended our mini vacation. We left a little later than we had planned Monday afternoon and got home pretty late. I think Stefan developed a fascination with rest stop potties and suddenly needed to go to the potty a lot. Another child was not feeling so great (probably from over eating) and I thought we would never get home for all the stopping. Anyway........we are home. Yay! I love my house, I love my nest, in all the world my nest is best!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Walking by it

There are few other things that can bring me down than areas of the house that have been neglected and so I continue to walk by them...........till the mood strikes and I tackle, conquer and divide. Yikes. We have this attic walk way that is 'finished' and used as an area for the baby crib, storage area and some kid's dresser. It is every kid's favorite dumping ground for old Kleenexes, random pieces of paper, dumping picture books that they have read, leaving the comics that have been snuck up there to be read until their mother figures out they are missing. Ingrid dumped a potted plant over months ago and it broke and went all over behind her crib.........emphasis on behind the crib..........out of sight..........out of mind. These types of places are overwhelming to me and easy to avoid as long as possible. Yuck. Today is the day. I have way too much energy to conquer these areas and will probably end up exhausting myself and fall in a heap in the evening from being on my feet all day chasing grossness. Why do I do this to myself?????? I might actually let someone go upstairs in my house after today happens again. If I appear bedraggled in the evening blame the sleep clutter.............what will tomorrow bring????????????

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Long but good day

There's a bad pattern around here of the short people getting up earlier and earlier.....I need to go to bed earlier and earlier brain is also setting itself to wake up that early!!! Bad, bad, not good! You would think they would be worn out enough to make it to at least........6:30? I can't imagine what life will be like when the youngest kids here will be teenagers. I guess I will catch up on my sleep and might be caught at the door in my pjs at noon.

Church was good as usual. Was able to pay attention most of the time which is always a good thing. Voters meeting.........not my favorite thing but always........interesting.

Noticed after unloading Ingrid from the van that she is MUCH too big for her infant car seat anymore and she is now officially graduated to the backwards toddler seat. She did not appreciate the headlights in her eyes when we drove home after dark. Much screaming!

Went on a brief walk with my buddy LaRena this afternoon. That was nice and we should do that more often. I need to remember the carriage next time though as carrying Ingrid on my back is becoming more of a challenge, especially with long distances. Carrying her around the house is one thing but taking a 'walk' is hard.

No bike ride today......maybe tomorrow. Bleary eyed tired and should go read a book for school.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Various things including today

Today was certainly a marathon which most days seem like that lately. I even squeaked in some reading instruction with Benjamin this morning. Wow! I find I have to get to his reading work first thing or the very thought of how it sometimes goes arye might prevent me from even starting. Some of my kids have learned easily without much effort from me and some........well it takes a little longer.

The day really started at 5:30am with the little Fefan coming down soaked to the gills and just wanting dry clothes and wondering when the playing could begin. I sucked him into bed with us and proceeded to try and coerce him back to sleep. No dice. I eventually attacked him with a stuffed dog puppet and he became a giggle monster.

Breakfast............boring glorious Saturday morning pancakes and no granola.......again. My little bowl of sugary cereal took me till 10:30 before the sugar crash forced me to indulge in some fish chowder and a dill pickle from last nights dinner. Yum. Yeah, fish in the morning is not everyone's cup of tea but I love it. Haven't had any herring in awhile so chowder is a close second.

The rest of the morning was full of searching and destroying the laundry piles and sorting the sock mountain. Wow. Everyone has quite a bit more clothes in their closets/drawers and the living room is much cleaner. Yay! Doesn't this thrill you???? Cecilia helped till it was time to go to Cooking Club with the most wonderful Karen. Honestly I would have forgotten if she hadn't shown up at the door! Rather the other girls showed up at the door and Cecilia ran out of it. Cute. I believe she had a great time.

The boys worked on a 'secret' project which I need to devote some time to investigating tomorrow. I'm pretty excited about that. Tobias also came over and shot all his arrows and some of ours into never never land in the field. We will have to have a search and rescue mission with the kids before it snows. I don't think they shot anything.

Late afternoon I took a glorious bike ride into the sun set (almost literally) and enjoyed the scenery once again and even saw another biking nut. I usually see people walking their dogs. I have to say the little Chihuahua's scared me more than the Weimaraner that always comes to bark at me. I thought the little buggers might shoot into my spokes but safely got around them and gave a cheerful hello to the smiling owner.

The evening zipped by. Helped Charley figure out our lovely computer that limps along to get the church budget updated and printed. Fun. Watched too much tv and spent way too much time figuring out how to spell those two dog breeds above. I really MUST go to bed so I don't get too droopy in church in the morning. :o) Ingrid would never let me do that though. Tomorrow I hope to go on a simple walk with a friend and get a little work done on the 'secret' - not telling.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sandhill crane day

The kids and I had fun going to Jasper-Pulaski State Park to see the cranes today. Benjamin is jabbering in the background on this video. You can actually hear him over the deafening noise of the birds. I was not sure what to expect but am glad we went. There were thousands of birds all over this field and the video was of one of the times a large amount of them took off and starting either flying away or resituating themselves. I would take the kids again some time...........perhaps in the spring when the sun going down time would not be quite as cold.

The trip home was pretty uneventful aside from the three year old who refused to use the port a potty at the park screaming he needed to go potty and then mad I ate the last cookie. Good thing we found a gas station out there in the sticks with a decent bathroom. The child really needed to go. I'm sure everyone wanted to know that.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Marching Orders and relating to our children

I was chatting with a friend yesterday about a book she had read regarding our relationship with our children. It had sort of a new thought or emphasis that I suppose I've read about before but it is usually put in terms of nurturing and not specifically in terms of using the term "marching orders". It was discussing the caution that we can get in the habit of only relating to our kids in terms of giving out 'marching orders' and not in terms of just having fun with them or talking with them about whatever. I thought it was a good warning to give especially in terms of a large family as there are so MANY marching orders to give out that we can easily fall into the trap of not talking with them and only seeing what needs to be done and having them do it. Sometimes my days can be like that in order to get through the day but I think I do make some of a point to chat with my kids. Sometimes I probably talk more with my kids about how things are going then worrying about the marching orders so I suppose a happy medium can be met. I just blogged on chatting with my daughter dear in Bloomington. Her marching orders are to keep marching - har, har. I can hear her marching in the background when we talk! Anyway, I think I need to keep this more in mind with my middle children as they are not really old enough to be having discussions about their life plans or at least they don't seem too interested and they easily can be taken advantage of in the 'get it done' department and forget to just sit down and have fun with them. There is a ton of work to be done around here and the potential for much giving out of marching orders but in the end, that is not the most important thing for them. Life can not only be about tasks and I personally start to go nutty when the emphasis is only on that. Why would I assume that is not true of the little people in my life too??? They are people with thoughts and feelings too. A favorite past time of mine is to stare at their eyes while they don't know I am looking and wonder what they are thinking about. Why would I assume they are any different than me with a desire to be related to.

Ways I have fun with them is to work with them and talk with them while we are working. I also try to make a point of taking kids with me to the store and really could do better on that one. They would enjoy the outing and it does give me an opportunity to talk with them. I recently took Benjamin to the store and you would think he just landed from another planet as he had SO many questions about everything. I NEED to take that boy out more. Cecilia was not much different. Benjamin in fact assumed I was taking him Christmas shopping as that was probably the last time he went to the store...........last year! Just sitting down on the couch and reading a book together or even not together while listening to music is a good thing. Grabbing their Scout book and helping them through doesn't hurt. Helping them with their Catechesis rather than just asking them if they've done it. Laughing more and helping them see they are more important than marching orders. Chilling out and laughing over stuff rather than stressing over them. Sigh. Double sigh. I hope my kids know they are more important than the marching orders I give out.

Instructions, instructions and forgetting the child inside that head. Not good. Sigh. Marching orders - uh yeah. I know I hate having relationships built on what I should be doing next so good old fashioned conversation and talking about why the stores put candy in the check out lane can only be a good thing (so mommy will be tempted by a Heath bar again). I love being appreciated and I love conversation myself. I hate only being talked to about the tasks at hand and the next fire to put out. It is the least I can do for my kiddos is take time to talk with them. I love my kids and certainly hope I can keep this in mind with all of them. I really think my house would look a lot nicer if I would just stop talking to them so much about life but.............see the words is not always worth it.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Silly thoughts

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I am sure that last post was less than convincing to the crowd who puts no credence in proceeding in faith. Oh well. Anyway, it has been a long and busy day and I should hit the hay. It started out with my washing the floor and then someone promptly spilling milk all over the place. It did actually improve from there. I got bunches of stuff done and not enough school work done with the six year old. Matthew helped him with his math and actually did a pretty decent job with him (Benjamin). Perhaps I will have to pay him to help out with that but Matthew has enough stuff on his plate he probably won't be able to squeeze that in.

The evening concluded with me frustrating myself by going to church and first off looking forward to that and then..........fussy, loud Ingrid decided it was best to go home and hit the hay. So she promptly fell asleep on the way home and now most everything is quiet. Better grab a book and try not to let it hit my face.

Cat skeletons in trees

You know how people fish cats out of trees as they are afraid they will get stuck there. I loved the scenario presented to me once upon a time (I think it was my husband who spent too much time fishing a cat out of a tree in our backyard) that you don't see too many cat skeletons in trees. Well, for some reason I equate this scenario with anyone claiming that 'family planning' must include the reasoning that we should be able to provide for them. Of all the families I know who have large families, no matter what their income, I have yet to attend any of their children's funerals because they failed to be able to provide for them. WHO provides for them??? Hmmmm...... I know quite of a few people who have come from large families who are much older than me and they have nothing but love and affection to express for their families and since they are still living I don't think their funeral occurred as a result of their parent's 'poor planning'. Of any of these older people who admitted to feeling hungry at any time, they still are well adjusted, contributing members of the church and the world at large.

If there are any hungry today that are known, then shame of me/us for not giving them a hand. But.........I also don't know too many who do not willingly lend a hand to those they see in need or at least could be helped from someone else's generosity. I am refraining from even mentioning the 'proceeding in faith' duhness and remembering who gives life to begin with as that seems to escape some people. But duh.......that is true too. I personally try, as my poor mind remembers, to pass things along when a need is there. Not patting myself on the back but this still seems like normal behavior even for the most earth hugging people who might want some recognition for doing so, to love their neighbor and be thankful for what they have even if they do not realize it was not for their perfect planning that God continued to provide for them.

So.......if I am not available to do something due to the fact that I have a whole bunch of children's funerals to attend, then I am sorry and I hope to be able to make time for y'all in the future. I need to scoot as my added resonsibility is doing her best to trash the house as fast as she can.

Can't blame it on dial-up anymore

It used to be people would try to call and someone would be on the Internet with the phone being busy all the time. Well, we don't have that excuse anymore. Now, the new thing is for it still to be busy with me talking to my dear eldest daughter on the phone. My mother might be calling too. My mom is responsible for this habit I think in that growing up we talked a lot and then again when I flew the coop we still talked a lot. Now with the great gift of cell phones and Anna is between classes or avoiding her homework at night..........she calls.........or I call. I love it. We are a great distraction to one another. I hope I will talk to my sons as much when they fly the coop but of course if I keep up the same pace, then the phone will always be busy and forget getting through the line. I sort of assume that there are not that many people who might be trying to call anyway so blah, blah, blah we go. It's fun. :o) If someone really wants to get ahold of me try the cell phone. At least I'll know you called and I might stop talking to my daughter or mom long enough to return your call. :o)

Anna has seven classes today so I suppose I will get a lot more done. :o)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Little Fefan

Otherwise known as Stefan is three years old today. Phew. It's been a busy three years. His last year has been basically good. He still has eczema but it doesn't seem to make him as crazy. So far this morning, I made him pancakes and he is exercising his threeness in insisting he pick out his pancake, carry his own plate, get his own fork, pour his own syrup and..........finally after much fuss has gotten some calories in his stomach. He is totally in a mood to 'do it himself'. Hopefully if we keep a steady stream of calories coming his direction he will remain in a good mood.

His accomplishments of last year were conquering the potty training, asserting himself in being tidiest child in the family complete with dustpan and broom, and he now might look in your direction if you are not a family member. He is really pretty sweet and I am looking forward to some serious snuggle time with him. Of course if he decides to scream at me and not want to do things together I will try not to giggle at his opinionated self.

Happy Birthday Stefan!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Noise and the dad

This may seem like Mr. Obvious to those readers who read this silly thing and look from the outside but it occurred to me last night that I have been single parenting for several months and I basically just need some relief or least some sharing of the noise better known as 7 kids making a lot of noise and a lot of messes with only me to listen. The dad certainly has been around a little more but he also has had his work stress so I have not even asked or expected much of him in the line of support. I guess I am just a wimp and NEVER could have a been a military wife as I frankly do not love going it alone here. I am just noised out. So after a little discussion last night and the dad coming and helping with some daddy things, I felt a great sense of relief and calm. This mom can certainly feel like a nut with the demands, demands, demands that kids throw your direction and then all of that can be accompanied by noise - whining, arguing siblings, screaming tired toddlers. It is just exhausting. So.........I just need some dad support I am thinking for the critical times when moving forward simply feels like a challenge.

Dads do need to help their crazy wives. Crazy wives whose only role seems to be chasing the kids, cooking, cleaning, laundry, do benefit from some sort of outlet. I am not getting any outlet right now either with all the chasing. The school chasing is also exhausting but we persevere. Anyway......if I could impress on the dad's what a difference it makes to help with little details, like speeding the procrastinating, cute little buzzards to bed or speeding the kitchen clean up along.....then.........well.........then there could be some calmer wives and mothers out there and calmer kids as well. My role or the mom's role is constant maintenance. I would love to have that extra time to snuggle more with my kiddos (hey, I could rename this blog Karin's buzzard's - ha ha!) instead of only being the maintenance person. "Pick this up. Put away your laundry, work on your homework, have you done this? Help with cleaning. You made a mess, clean it up. etc......." How much nicer it would be to be remembered for something more than chasing after their needs. I used to read to the older ones regularly and I now have to make a conscious effort to remember to do this with the kids now. The dad can help with that too. It pays dividends in smarter kids you know!

So dad's.........we mom's give up most everything that interests us, horn playing, reading, participating in any sort of groups, sleeping........for the good of the family and because our kids and husbands can't seem to live without us but seriously, this mom and many other's need some relief every DAY ! This mom has no option to just every evening go do something else. This mom is a little weary and other mom's get to this point too. It doesn't hurt to try to help out a little more and remember that your wife's brain might implode if one more evening goes by without a little help. I should not be trapped into thinking I need to be a hero for my stressed husband and I know the men folk need to be told what is needed but hint, hint.......if your wife is imploding.......step up to the plate and hit it out of the park!!!!! After all Joe DiMaggio otherwise known as my husband, you ARE very good at helping with the little darlings and your cuteness while sweeping the living room and reading to and diapering short people makes my heart swell. It also makes my heart beat..........slower and more deliberately. Love you dear!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

What else is there to talk about

Sorry. One other thought. If I am constantly cleaning and chasing scum, that leaves very little time for me to do anything that might be very interesting or be more interesting to others to talk about other than chatting about scum in our houses. Listening to 'discussions' on things more interesting leaves me feeling sort of out of it as my mind can not even wrap itself around a subject which could be interesting to me if I had time to devote brain cells to it. I dreamed of keeping up with the reading with the older kids this year again and it has not been happening. I will give it another go but I do wish I had something more interesting to discuss with other people other than my discouragement and feelings of being overwhelmed. I will 'try hard' to try to focus on other peoples lives right now and it is true I have been sort of a boring downer. Yikes. I think the struggle is I would like to be able to enjoy my children and find very little opportunity to do that when the rest of life looms. Oh........the other stresser is having my husband stressed from people all around him losing their jobs and wondering what his own future is as far as where they will be working etc. He is not exactly capable of helping destress things right now and so I chase after trying to make his life easier and even that has not been working well lately. There is only one of me. That is all. I'm not helping myself here.


I have been on a total mission to try to descum my house. If you are having quality school, you do not have quality cleaning. So, I've been 'trying' to get up early and get to details that otherwise are neglected. We of course have not gotten to all the details and I use "we" loosely as it is mostly me getting up at five something to conquer and divide. This mission leaves me very restless with 'ants in my pants' syndrome. I can not say it is the most satisfying mission either as my dear husband does not even notice any change and I frankly get pretty discouraged. I FRANKLY would much rather be reading a book or playing my horn or riding my bike. I have no doubt that these are the most difficult years of the mommy gig where house cleaning is concerned. It is also difficult to get quality thorough school done when I am restless and crazed with cleaning. Sigh. So goes another negative blog post but that is what is new with me.

On a more positive note (maybe) I had a fantastic time with the Anna this weekend and am so looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas for a little more time. We are hopelessly close and connected with one another and understand each other better than most. I was contemplating my restlessness in regard to having a little taste of her home, and I think I become more restless as I miss having her 'understanding self' around. We still talk and write naughty texts to one another. Texts are very silly.

I can't MAKE my kids do what they are supposed to do. I can only be the ever nagging mother, chasing after their lists and hoping for the best. But this role is also something that would frankly not be my first choice. I do not enjoy getting after them when I wish I could just trust them to do what they are supposed to be doing. They do a pretty good job but there is still the stress hanging over my head that increases my cranky muscle. Yes, I heard the homily last night and I am attempting to cheerfully process my vocation but sometimes I can just feel panicked. Sigh. negative. Get a grip.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Karin the mess

Pulling myself together to take the Anna home. The weekend has been good but the house is a mess and so........I fall apart. No one has to fix it. It will all be ok eventually. I hate mice, the fact we have to cook, clean, and create laundry. I love the verses in the Bible we heard this morning of no more tears. Love it. Sounds very attractive. Great service this morning when I was able to pay attention. Great to have Anna to revel in Emmaus. Great to celebrate with Pastor Grobien for his third anniversary of his ordination. Thank you to him from me! I need to laugh more and he definitely helps me in that department. Should probably give him a call for a laugh booster shot.

Love my friends, love my family, and of course Love my Lord. Not in that order. Loved my Goddaughter coming to visit Emmaus this morning. Will love my hours with my girl on the way home.


No land phone

Just so you know, the land phone is not working but.......the internet is. How funny. I will check into the phone later today. The wind must have done it in.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Home for a few days

My Anna is home for a few days. It is SO wonderful. It was worth every rain drop I drove through to get her. It feels so good and right to have her here. We picked this weekend as there were two Emmaus services for her to soak up and refresh herself with and YES, that is wonderful too. I know it will pass way too quickly but even for a few hours of being all together I would do it again. I will not type too much more as it will hurt and make me cry but it is all good and I will enjoy every smile and laugh together in person as I can. We talk a lot while she is at school but having her bodily here is just different. Her siblings are enjoying it too and overall life is 'normal'. Sigh.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

It is DONE

Here is one of the pictures of the vestment cabinet completed. It was well worth the effort and is now happily at Emmaus filled with wonderful vestments. Woo Hoo! Happy for Emmaus and proud of dear husband for a job well done and brought to completion. He can now breathe and is looking forward to a quiet evening inside the house and is going to go pick up a movie to watch with the elder crowd this evening. I have a yummy dinner in the oven for us to all eat together with him at the table as well. That will be a refreshing change. There are more pictures on facebook.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Alone time and sleep

I may have to establish some new habits. I am not sure if I am capable of this though. I am becoming majorly sleep deprived. Some of my sleep deprivation is self induced. I tend to like to have a little alone or adult only time after the kids are in bed. An hour or two of not answering questions or giving directions floats my boat. Of course there is silly internet time too. So I usually manage to get to sleep between ten and eleven depending on whether husband darling wants to watch silly tv with me, or college daughter dear wants to call and giggle about insanity etc. Sigh. I love this time. But.............Ingrid has taken to getting up in the three to four o'clock a.m. range and this morning got up at 4:30 and would NOT go back to sleep.........until now. It is 6:38 a.m. and I've had my coffee (yes, with caffeine) and the poor little Ingrid dear is tuckered out.
Her poor tuckered out mommy was beside herself this morning just wanting to catch a few more winks. I am thinking I might have to get to bed earlier and then have my alone time at 4:00 a.m.????? Ouch. I SOOOO need to have a night of quality sleep. My sleep deprived college daughter and I have much to commiserate on. I am glad I don't have a test in the morning though.

The biggest problem with sleep deprivation is having the energy to face what I have to do during the day. I keep pushing myself to stay on my feet to get that load of laundry put away or follow through with dinner plans so I am not tempted to make scrambled eggs for dinner. I feel asleep on my feet at times. Then there is the cranky wanky sensations that sneak up on me.

Right now I am contemplating dear Polly's suggestion of using a squirt gun to get the teenagers up in the morning.........heh, heh, heh. I am also hoping I can get Ingrid back in her bed so I can move around and get something other than silly blogging done. Good morning everyone else! On to the rest of the day!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Almost done and cooking from scratch

The second coat of polyurethane is going on and we are definitely in the home stretch. I don't think there is any other way he would have gotten this thing done except to go all out and work intense hours on it to complete it. I think I heard the vestments talking last night and saying something about the rumor that they won't have to fear for their lives for much longer. I am sure I heard them. Ok.......getting a little (a lot) tired.

We have NOT eaten together very much lately and that has to start happening again. I can't seem to manage to get food done at a reasonable hour anymore either. Cooking from scratch is what I always do (mostly) and I can tell you quickly why I have never been very successful keeping up with the winter squash in the past. It takes too much time to prepare. I am hoping to get a bunch peeled up and frozen so dinner is not so time consuming. The preparation and clean up is making me a little nutty. Pots and pans all over the place. The veges were free though so I should use them. Sigh. I shouldn't have any trouble sleeping through Ingrid's teething tonight. Yikes. I still need to clean up the mess and the kids still have some homework to do. Double sigh.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Squash Mobile

Today Erik went to help our vege farmer friend clean up his fields. I winterized the bees there this morning and when I picked him up, he let us pick some butternut squash to take home. When he says pick some squash, he means the equivalent of ten bushels. Last week we probably brought home 7 bushels of acorn squash and spaghetti squash and this week we probably brought home seven of butternut squash. I have squash to share. I am hoping to use it a lot this winter. Half the battle is finding the energy to process it so you can eat it. Perhaps we will all turn orange. Matthew hates butternut squash so I am not sure how that will work for him but the rest of us love it.

My van was full of acorn squash last week and is now full of the butternut. I drive the squash mobile. I hope to give some away tomorrow morning. There is no way we can eat all that.

It has been a long day. I am asleep in my chair but should go make some granola for my hubby. He is preparing to attempt to stay on his feet to stain the vestment cabinet. It is beautiful. I suppose some would say too beautiful but like anyone in their work, he does not like to do something half way and there is something to be said about having something nice for the vestments anyway. I hope to help him carry the back of the cabinet into the great room here in a minute and I hope I don't hurt my back. I have a twinge from carrying it from the barn to the front hallway. Rats........

Squash anybody????

Brain still not working

I meant to say Ingrid and Cecilia are now sick........Ingrid.....Martin.......hmmmmm.........I can see how I mixed them up.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Long but productive week

This has been the week of the flu but will not bore you (again) with all that. I will call this the evaluation week or the parent/teacher week. How can that be if the parent is the teacher? Well, since we were home all week, we were totally focused on getting homework done and I was totally focused on figuring out who has been doing their homework and who hasn't. Very interesting. I suppose that is what makes me 100 percent mean. Right at the moment we are all taking a breather as it is Friday night. Matthew and I are listening to book two of Harry Potter. I am determined to get through those things and figure if I carry the books on cd around while folding laundry or doing dishes, I will finally get through them all. Martin and Cecilia have caught the bug now too. Matthew says I am like Mrs. Weasley. Well they are like the Weasley boys.....we got rid of the chickens and I don't have time to knit anymore but do occasionally drool at a sweater pattern.

Anyway, everyone is working hard for the most part on the old homework thing and I need to exercise my accountability muscle even more than before. I am going to simplify some areas with one kid and ride herd on another to just keep at it, and two others are homework maniacs and is cute. Two others are cute too and one of them might be learning as much as the oldest cute kid.

Sigh. My brain is going constantly on how best to serve this crowd. I neglect my friends and family although some call occasionally and I see a few here and there. That is always special. I go biking almost every day so I can process all I need to get done and figure out how best to do it without losing my mind. I try to keep all this school stuff in perspective and really do appreciate the benefits homeschooling affords. Phew. I know Anna made it through with me and is doing quite well at IU so I will hold onto that. It will all work out in the end. Sometimes I wish I had a teacher's aid to help with the grading and then a cook would be helpful too. One can dream...............

Not done yet

Cecilia got sick last night so clearly her headache from the other day was not just a form of the sickness or maybe it was. Hopefully she is done. This sickness seems to be never ending. I should have done what the Great Brain's mother did and shoved them all in bed together or something and perhaps gotten this over with a long time ago. There are people in this world who know how much I loath the stomach flu in large families. I am not crazed or a control freak but practically speaking if someone says there is stomach flu in their family I very well might take my children and run like the wind. You have permission to run like the wind from us. It won't offend me and don't overprocess my feelings while you do so. Ingrid was so pathetic with it and the flu has otherwise just been taking it's sweet time getting through the family. I just pray Charley is spared as he has his 'project' to work on.

I need to go reboot the laundry and muster the strength to declutter some of the house. I have a compulsion to wash the floors over and over again. How do you know they are really clean???? I hate the stomach flu!!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mom observation

I am sure this applies to dad's too. Yesterday, as I was developing an acute case of cabin fever, and I had finally gotten everyone to bed, I decided to sit down...........alone in my a M*A*S*H episode...........and eat ice cream. When I dish myself that 'eat by yourself quietly' bowl of ice cream I look forward to the silence and reveling in every bite. Well..........five minutes into the eating process, here come Cecilia who sits on the couch and stares at me and then starts crying. "What's wrong daughter dear and why are you up and why are you crying?" "I don't know........sob, sob." says Cecilia. Well she was probably crying because her mother dared to watch something without her and dared to eat ice cream alone. I also get this picture in my mind of the badger Francis and her thinking about what the moth on the screen reminds her of..........whack and smack goes the wings on the screen..........whack and smack remind her of.......I love that book.

The observation was, your own families tend to take great liberties whining at their mothers. Whining at mom is an inalienable right. It seems never ending on some days and then my poor husband comes home and makes some Mr. Obvious observations about what is amiss in the house and in his innocence can not understand why his wife is growling at him.

Mom, what is there to eat?

Mom, I can't find my math book.

Screaming at sibling over offense.

No mom, I do not have my assignments done.

Fine! I will do my homework that was due two weeks ago. Stomp, stomp.........

Karin, it looks like people in this house have thrown their stuff all over this room! (they did honey. Obvious. but thank you for pointing that out to me or I may not have noticed.)

So........all of these things are in the whining category. Funny, we spend most of our life whining. If a friend calls, then we hear their whining and they hear ours. What a hoot. I personally am suffering from acute cabin fever and have a HIGH need to interact with ADULTS so nearly a week of just dealing with my poor family, who as most families, sees mom as the person to whine and be disagreeable to, I am looking forward to seeing other humans! Funny as well, if non-family members whine at me about their troubles, I don't even care!!!!! I laugh or listen intently and am comforted that it isn't just me. I shouldn't laugh at their suffering but they are laughing too.

Laugh more. Listen more. Oh..........don't whine at the mom or at least limit your whining. She already knows your troubles and is just trying to help make them go away. Maybe I need to move into Erik's hermitage but of course I hate camping so scratch that thought. Do remember to clean up after yourself and probably most of all (non-reality thinking) instead of whining about the state of affairs, roll up your sleeves and do something about it!!!! EVERYONE might learn something by your willingness to make some of the subject of whining GO AWAY!!!! Now I will have to have my kids read my blog...........


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sicko update

Today Cecilia had a headache most of the day but nothing worse than that. Yippee. She seems better and no one else has come down with it so perhaps we are out of the woods. I SO do not want to get other people sick as the throw up thing is NO ONE'S favorite thing. I think I tend to want to spare people even if there is a potential of one of my kids coming down with it once it gets going in the family. Sniffles are one thing but..........spreading the throw up thing to other families, especially since most families I know have babies and many children, just does not seem very nice. There is nothing more horrifying to my imagination then to have another kid inform me their sibling was throwing up earlier in the evening while they are smiling at me and spending close time with those around them. Ugh. Sigh. I am and ornery. This is the way we wash our hands, wash our hands, wash our hands..............Goodnight!

Spoke too soon

Two days ago Erik stressed to me that he would sleep in his hermitage till the end of October. Well...........he changed his mind. The next morning he announced that he was moving back it. He's been out there at least six months. Now he is back in his room with his tools and his six year old brother.

Monday, October 12, 2009


The new challenges of biking are, I think I need to do some 'research' on how to stay warm when biking in colder weather. I know I biked in colder weather in the spring but it kept getting warmer so it wasn't too daunting. Now it is getting colder and no doubt it will continue to get colder. I have Charley's biking pants that I gave him a few years ago and now seem to be mine. Then there are my to fit a hat under my helmet. Speaking of helmets, I have a fat head. I couldn't find my helmet as it got buried in the back room under some blankets, so I was trying everyone else's helmets on and I must have quite the fat head. Their helmets just pearched on the top of my head and I couldn't cram them on at all. I almost went without a helmet but good thing I didn't as in my usual grace and style I managed to have my first spill on the bike. What an oof. It hurt at first but like a good horse rider I got back on and headed home. At the moment I feel fine..........we'll see what the morning brings. Basically I want to keep exercising as much as possible this winter and if the roads are dry, I love to bike so will have to figure out how best to do that. My family is so much happier if I am biking.........;O). I am sure others are happier too.

That is all for now.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Hermitage

As my eldest son walked by me a few minutes ago with a pillow I realized I probably have never mentioned that he has been living in a hermitage since last spring sometime. Maybe I did mention it but I can't remember. Well, he says he will continue sleeping in the tent till Reformation Day. There are some cold nights coming up.........yikes. He loves it out there. His dad did the same thing when he was his age so this is sort of cute. I don't think Charley stayed out there as long. He had a school bus to catch in the morning so perhaps that was a deterent to getting up in time. Brrrr............exciting post eh? Just thought it was worth mentioning the odd habits of my children...........oh, the hermitage is a tent..........

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sickos again

What a day this has been. I wrote a great big lovely post about it and then the computer did bad things and did not save it. Oh well. Not that exciting.

Martin is now sick. Stefan was sick again this afternoon. Our plans for tomorrow keep getting simpler but I am a little disappointed none the less. It isn't the kids fault but one of us parental people will miss Matthew's confirmation now. Sigh. I guess the rest of my day tomorrow and plans to enjoy visiting with his Godparents and others will have to wait. Sigh.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Made lemonade

Since we did not go to Ft. Wayne today, I decided to attack the house when I wasn't taking care of the little fellow. He slept for three hours this afternoon and woke up hungry. While he was sleeping I had all the kids remove all of their clothes from their dressers and bring it down to be put away. I asked that they keep only long sleeve/long pants (that would be winter) stuff in their closets and everything else had to go. It is occurring to me that I didn't even bring in any winter clothes from the storage area and they had enough already squirreled in the closets to call it good. I think that means they have too many clothes. They now can close their closets and life is a lot less overwhelming in there. I still have Stefan and Ingrid's stuff to go through. Perhaps I will get to that next week.

I went through my closet and it was like shopping without going shopping. I have these three baskets on top of my wardrobe that house the opposite season clothes. This seasonal switch is like visiting with old friends so I suppose going shopping without leaving the house was not so bad. Low and behold I found three pairs of skinny jeans in there. Phew. I needed those. I also found my belt so if they still don't fit I am armed to not have to keep pulling up my pants. That's another phew. I feel ready to face the winter now.

I now have four bags of stuff for the seminary and I am sure I could come up with a lot more. I was going to take that stuff today but obviously that didn't happen so I will have to find someone going that way to take them along with them. They are screaming to leave our house!

So the day was not too bad and hopefully no one else decides to get sick as soon as my eyes close tonight. Poor little Stefan got sick in the night and I never heard it. Being an inexperienced sick kid, it did not occur to him to call for me. He just went back to sleep!!!! Poor thing. Sorry if you just ate dinner.............

That is all for today...........I think.........


I shouldn't get my hopes up or plan fun things. I was hoping to go to Ft. Wayne today and do something fun with the kids for a change but the little Fefan is not feeling the best. I can neither take him with or leave him home to torture Matthew. What would be the point of that . He is simply miserable. So we are going to do the usual school thing/cleaning gig and maybe I will go this afternoon if he is feeling a little better. I will just go by myself with the Ingrid if that is the case. My younger children seemed most confused anyway about what we were doing so I suppose it is best not to confuse them and just stick to the home front. Dragging seven kids to do anything is another word for torture at times anyway. Sigh.

Time to go figure out how to help Stefan now. Hope he spends some quiet time today. It's been basic crying and screaming so far.........

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Also losing my marbles

After returning from piano lessons and continuing to treat the rotten milk drinker, LaRena shows up for co-op. Yay! I was actually organized and ready to put those kids through the paces. I did miss Nick though......... Anyway, LaRena looked rather tired and I think I just AM tired lately so we vowed to make the best of the day and perhaps even end a little early since we were down one student. Stefan fell asleep in my lap at noon and I decided to brew some decaf for the weary teachers. I forgot for awhile that I had even done that but when I went to go get the coffee it looked sadly watery. I couldn't figure out what I had done wrong........hmmmm.......

We survived co-op and I made it through the rest of the day including buying more food for the pigs (rabbits). Dinner was yummy with Cecilia's chicken topping from cooking club and her dad insists we do that every time (yay Karen!). Martin and Cecilia made pumpkin and apple pie for everyone and of course feared we'd give it all away before they got to eat some. (we didn't). Then I went to make my weary, worn out husband some decaf and...........figured out why LaRena's coffee was so watery. I forgot to put the coffee in the coffee pot!!!! There it say in the grinder. I am losing it! So LaRena and I had some lovely hot coffee flavored water earlier and didn't seem too bothered by it. I guess I need to clean the pot out too!

The other stupid thing I did the last few weeks was not being able to find my glasses. I was getting desperate last night and actually even asked a friend to pray I find the dumb things. Well, literally minutes after I hung up the phone from that conversation I decided to go back and look in my cosmetic bag from when I went to Bloomington a few weeks ago. I had looked there already so it didn't seem possible they were there. Inside I found this little zipper side pocket.........they were there. Marbles spilling everywhere (my brains) and I will also have to think of other silly things for the friend to pray about. That was amazing - har, har. Perhaps I will stop falling asleep in Bible class now as my contacts can make me sleepy. We shall see what other ridiculous things I will do today. Ummm..........eggs without the eggs, toast without bread, baby without diapers...............

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Forgot what day it was

This morning I indulged myself by sleeping til 7:15. It was great. No kids were up (yet) so I decided to get a few things done. Why not? I can get so much more done if the kids are still sawing logs. So I decided to just let them sleep while I brewed my coffee (naughtily drinking caffeine in the morning again) and checked the old email and then decided to wash the floor under the dining room table. It was getting very disgusting and the time seemed right. Low and behold Stefan was a the table and he had retrieved a sipper cup from the fridge and was sucking it down as fast as he could. I don't think he drank enough yesterday. I washed the floor while he jabbered away about what I was doing. I love these two year old moments.
All the while I was thinking about how I had til 10:30 or maybe 11:00 until co-op started and what might I get done in that time. Still no other kids were up and then around 8:15 it dawned on me! Ack!!!!! Tuesday is piano lesson day!!!!! AT 9:00 a.m.!!!!! I forgot!! Well the mommy alarm went off loud and clear, the kids understood perfectly that there was definitely a problem and they needed to move fast. In fifteen minutes they got dressed, ate, got their music and made it to the van. We made it to lessons with five minutes to spare. I am not sure what is wrong with my brain but my floor is clean now.

Oh.........just as I was getting ready to run out the door Stefan threw up. The milk he got from the fridge was bad and for some reason he still drank it. He is fine now but it took the morning for his stomach to settle down. Poor kid. Poor Erik who was left with him and got to clean the throw up off the couch. Sigh. Hope there is nothing going on tomorrow morning.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

The Vestment Cabinet

As I am writing this the first pieces of "The Vestment Cabinet" are being glued together. I am not sure how long ago, two, maybe three years ago, Charley agreed to make a vestment cabinet for the church for the beloved, amazing vestments. Just this morning, when taking my eldest son to church to fill the candles, I dared to put my big toe in the sacristy to see what the vestments are hanging on now. I've never even put my little toe in there. Ahem. Yeah. Need something better than that....uh....hanger thingy to hang up the vestments. (Interesting room.) Why did this project take so long? Well, I can tell you why. It is huge. It is intricate. It will be beautiful. It is daunting. If I were Charley I would have been more than a little daunted by this project. After two (plus) years of gently asking and wondering how that was going to less than a month ago having a not so very nice conversation with him about 'just get it done' he has sold his soul to the vestment cabinet.

The man, in between the stressors at work and trying to perhaps change a diaper maybe or say 'oh yes, I remember Ingrid. Did she grow since I last saw her?' has gone from his day job, immediately to the barn to work on the cabinet. He stays in there on his feet till he flops in bed late at night. Or of course there were the couple times we visited with others that helped him come inside and eat and then see some other hunanoids. Do I write that to make anyone feel guilty? No. He isn't looking for any recognition but his weird wife now wonders if this work of art belongs in the sacristy????? Perhaps it could be a Lutheran confessional or something. It is huge!!!! Can it sit in the sanctuary? Of course not. But it is beautiful and amazing and I can honestly be awed and stunned by it.

Anna does not get her gift for art and precise craftsmanship from her mother. That would be the dad gene. Wow. I do miss seeing him around in the evening but I suppose he was usually busy chasing after this old place before he was working on that. His whole weekends outside of church the month of September have been constantly in the barn with a bite or two eaten in between. We have done nothing 'fun' as a family in a month including not even watching a simple movie together. He makes me tired just thinking about it but I suppose this is nothing new as he always has had his sleeves into something that keeps him busy. Although he did used to come in at night to tuck a few kids in etc and of course eat with us.

So I lift a toast to the fact that the end is in sight. Old man winter is knocking on the door and Charley is trying to beat the cold. Fortunately a fellow Bosch worker is over helping to do the gluing and another Bosch employee will be handling the varnishing. I am proud of him and he actually has enjoyed the experience and learned from it. The cabinet will serve its purpose and I am glad. No will go in and study the vestment cabinet or wonder if they can learn something from the Behemoth in the sacristy but.............and plaques............but know it was a daunting task and a work of love for his pastors and congregation. I do hope people can use their imaginations to recognize what a labor of love it has been and my apologies to my husband (I will tell him in person) for ever thinking "why can't you just put that thing together?)There...........that is all I have to say.........for now.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Figured out why I am hyper

I should NOT be taking time out to do this but I am so hyper I cannot help myself. It is very interesting to me that certain people's reveling in their 'poor me's' is making me confront my own issues. In thinking about the mentality of poor me's I am recognizing that I don't know a single person who does not in one way or another revel in their great amount of daunting whatever in their lives. Drat that vocation thing does drag us down doesn't it? The particular person/people who revelled to my personal frustration have made me want to get off my duff and attack my daunting lists. I find it comical in an ironic sort of way that our daunting lists leave us wanting attention etc. Poor me. I am as guilty as the next person about this. It also makes me over process what compassion or the lack there of looks like. Another person's poor me's can honestly make me a little mad. I know that shouldn't be but frankly the, everyone has something daunting in their lives thing does not make it a contest to see who has it worse. Boy that sounds cold. How do I cheerfully show compassion and yet address other people's responsibility to do what they are given to do now and help them recognize that EVERYONE has daunting stuff to face up to. My daunting list does not give me any public recognition of importance and the funny thing is the 'mom thing' is not recognized much at all as having any significance to rest of the world at all.

Gosh I have been guilty of feeling sorry for myself and thinking 'poor me.' Stop it. Easier said than done. I quickly gravitate to poor me when I see an infant or contemplate others potential of enlarging their families and then bam I might start overprocessing fretting over that. That IS my biggest issue right now I would say. I crossed off the list for now being frustrated with hyper ADD family members, daughter flying the coop, and my inability to get it all done (this I am sure will all real its ugly head again) and so I am now learning to be content from month to month without the poor me thing, trying not to cry thing, and will try to keep MY vocation thing clearly, cheerfully in front of me. Ha! Life is so funny.

So that is why I am hyper. I don't even dare to write this stuff as there are so many theologically versed people who lurk around that I am certain that what I am thinking and processing is somehow off. Sure I know all of this post might smack of some sort of self-righteousness but frankly I see everyone floating in the same boat and dealing with our own sin (or not) and me hyper. I have a strong need to face my own poor me's right now so there! Na nee na nee poo poo! I will do my best to exercise my compassion muscle for my neighbor's struggles and poor me's. It is the least I can do in light of my own.

All in a day's work

I feel like we have hit a groove here at the Horner household. The husband is hyper-actively working on finishing the vestment cabinet. This is huge as the job is DAUNTING to say the least. He is doing a beautiful job and we push to the finish line. The sheer number of pieces in this thing is unbelievable so I have no doubt it will look amazing in the end. It is quite large or will be when it is put together so perhaps we should have a tea party inside it before it is moved to it's final resting place..........the sacristy. I hope the vestments can hold on (hold up?) as they have been patiently waiting for a more secure home. Enthused smiles at his long in coming push to finish this thing are always appreciated but of course can not be expected. Ok........I can and will keep up the encouragement in this department because this project certainly is not a 'published' project but has equal amazing qualities that perhaps can only be appreciated by the down to earth type of person. He has gone every day from his day job (which we are glad there still is one) to coming home without eating and working through the evening till 9 and 10 o'clock to get this done. And I thought I was the energizer bunny lately.

The rest of the household has been figuring out how to take their education a little more seriously. Ok, a lot more seriously........... I feel like a drill sergeant in many ways, holding them accountable to trying to keep up with the amazing reappearing clutter, the amazing amount of dishes produced and then on top of all that keeping up with stepping up the expectations for their schooling. The kids were grounded from tv as there was consistent neglect of their school work and certainly no serious consideration taken of the fact that they were falling behind in many subjects or not doing them at all. I might even up the ante and make it a month from when they catch up in some subjects. The younger ones tried to trick me (not really intentionally) as they 'forgot' they had been grounded from tv and called me while I was out playing with bees to ask if they could watch a movie. Not only did they forget but I did too! I said yes initially and then my brain engaged and remembered the tv ban and called them back. They were in disbelief!!!!! What????? Why????? Goes to show you how seriously they take what I say. Hard nosed Horner rears her ugly head. There has been progress though and they are clearly working hard but some still struggle with follow through with the subjects they struggle with. I guess we all do that don't we. I struggle with eating fruits/veges and drinking enough water and do you think I follow through?????? Not. Perhaps they should ground me from chips and salsa and chocolate in the check out line. I am so weak.

Tomatoes are on my docket this weekend as most of the family is disappearing for this and that. We (I) need to become a tomato processing machine. I would love to fill the shelves to reduce the grocery bill and improve meals as long as possible. The mere thought of chili with home canned tomatoes makes me drool.

Ok, need to go attack this day and continue to help THEM work on self-discipline. I suppose I could try and eat some broccoli to console them.

Thursday, October 01, 2009


Different experiment this time. So my dear husband's job after 23 years is somewhat in question. No one knows for sure what is happening and no one then can tell us what to expect etc. The only 'plan' that Charley and I have come up with is to figure out what it really takes to make it from month to month financially. So we are running a little experiment and it is pretty interesting. Duh. We are seeing what it really takes to make it from month to month by living as if we are making A LOT less. Our goals basically have been to not decrease our giving, not eat poorly, take stock in what we really need and not go the route of 'gosh that is a cute little outfit for cute little so and so' but........hmmmmm.........there are plenty of cute 'vintage' stuff in containers to put on that cute little hiney so restrain yourself.

Generosity is not being discounted and that is not to say we are proud of that but we don't want to forget our neighbors in our experiment. I guess it really isn't an experiment but a reality as the job truly is in HIGH question. The rant with the kids is to at least attempt to think about taking care of their stuff so it doesn't break and have the 'money grows on trees, we will just buy a new one' mentality.

Food issues in the past have been that what is brought home from the store really is to last the week and not eaten in a few days and start looking for more. I'm more motivated to keep up on the granola making in light of the expense of store bought cereal that results in soon hungry kids anyway. I can not say I am making myself crazy with this either. I am simply trying to be more conscientious about planning meals so there are not further science experiments in the fridge which would just frustrate me and especially the dear husband who sees money being thrown in the garbage for the sake of oversight and poor planning.

I sound like a rich brat I suppose as yes, in retrospect I have been concerned about these things but not to the point of really wondering how many paychecks are left. Charley does have some alternative possibilities in mind if the job went belly up so that is good. The Lord has not failed to provide for us yet and I suppose both of us growing up on definite budgets makes all this less painful. Life does not have to be really expensive with a little planning and ingenuity.

I don't believe in taking too much stock in coincidence or God sending me booming messages but sappy example of His provision is little Stefan needed shoes which I was not finding in the shoe resource bin to fit his little feet and I did look at some 'cheap' options for his little feet at the store one day. Passing them up and coming home hoping to look again in the store house, Charley came home with a bag of clothes from a friend in Ohio. Inside the bag were the exact size shoes Stefan needed and they were Clarks! Clarks for my almost three year old. Aren't we happening parents???? So I am thankful and duh, these things will work out.

I think the kids are thinking about all of this but per a few comments yesterday, I do need to chat with them about not lying awake at night wondering what is going to happen to us etc. I don't want any of them worrying. I suppose it is nice that they are considering their choices but I also think I have not talked to them enough about how much or little they need to process all this. God daily and richly provides all we need to support this body and life. This IS most certainly true. He never failed to provide for either Charley or my family growing up and neither of us lived a posh life by any stretch of the imagination. Oh........there is a blog post that has been in the making for a long time. Stay tuned.........pastor's kid/brat - professor's kid/brat - growing up and my view of the world and the world's seeming view of me. I will have to get up early again tomorrow.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Increased piety

I have been reminiscing about when I was at Valpo and going to daily chapel. There was a group of us who hung together and went every day. Well, when I met Charley he suddenly became a more regular attendee to daily chapel. I don't know that he never went before but he suddenly was there very frequently. True, he happened to be friends with a lot of my friends and even roomed with one the year before. Just an aside story, when Charley first arrived on campus his freshman year, his mother made contact the dorm chaplain...........Rev. LeRoy Martinson, and asked that he made sure her son made it to church. So imagine their shock when the dorm chaplain's daughter became the girl their son intended to marry. Small campus.......I guess you could also say that the dorm chaplain did make sure their son attended church but perhaps not for very pious reasons.

So, there are a few boys who are becoming more regular in their attendance at Indiana University. It will be interesting to see if the Baptist boy shows up on Sunday. I am sure there are many boys who become more pious depending on when their hearts go pitter pat. I think my daughter aspires to young men who have been pious all along but we shall see. She is definitely not interested in going pitter pat at all herself right now but how to sort out how to help the young men stop asking her out and just be content to hang out in a group. The trials my beautiful young daughter is going through. Such problems.........