Monday, August 31, 2009

It took all summer

I dreaded yesterday all summer but it has come and gone and I survived. I am pleased with my 'plan' of having stayed there camping all week as we were able to go visit one afternoon and then to go to church with her on Sunday was awesome. It gave me a chance to see her settling in, dealing with the weird things that have happened and handling them and also to see her happy and excited about the new stuff in her life. She is genuinely happy and I am happy for her. I think it would have been a lot harder for me to just drop her off on Wednesday then go home. Charley got a chance to stomp around campus as well and he is very impressed with what he sees there. He takes note that the many opportunities at IU were just not available when we were at Valpo. I am not sure they are available now at Valpo.

I did my crying over the summer and I am sure I will have my moments especially at church but I think I am prepared to move on and we are having much fun chatting on the phone about all her adventures there. I could not be happier for her if I tried. I don't think I will talk less with her but actually more in many ways. It is hilarious to hear her observations and sort of live through her. I suppose many would say we are disgustingly close but I certainly would never deprive her the opportunities she is having there to just keep her close at home. If I disappear some weekend you will know where I am.

Now if only I had my school stuff more organized for the kids at home!!!! I am sort of exhausted from last week and know there are still tons of things to do around the house. Better get cracking.......

Monday, August 24, 2009

Last day

Today is the last full day at home with the Anna until Thanksgiving most likely. We had the most interesting time at Target looking for some storage containers to put her 'dresser' like stuff in. I am SO glad Charley is taking her and her stuff on Wednesday as he is all business and will be able to help with the roommate sharing aspect of her room. I did tell her that as far as her room went to just leave it a mess and I would take care of it when I found the time (hopefully before Thanksgiving). I must admit my chest sort of ached a few times today. It still does. I MUST keep the tear duct pipe in check. I will certainly miss her Anna self popping in and out of the house and probably most of all her Anna self not being at church will be most difficult. She has had the wonderful opportunity to play A LOT this past year. I guess I just expect her to be there playing. Sorry Sandy. I especially enjoyed forgetting she was playing and thinking to myself, "wow that was great" and then realizing it was Anna and not Sandy. It is her presence I suppose that will be missed the most. I know there are others who have made more long term goodbyes and they are in my prayers A LOT but I will still miss my daughter dear.

Need to go get ready for church.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Starting to feel nauseated and keeping busy

I took Anna out on another 'figure out what else we need to pick up' for school trip. We said we were getting her ready for first grade since last year we talked about her first day of kindergarten. She had a good year btw and even learned how to count and say her abc's in German well enough to test out of three semesters at IU! Not too shabby. Anyway, while we were out thinking hard about what else we were forgetting (already thought of something), we talked about her schedule and the fact that she most likely will not be back in South Bend till Thanksgiving. Sigh. I am sure I shouldn't even be writing about this and I have been doing my best to shove these thoughts to the back of my mind. I hope to go down in October, perhaps my birthday weekend (Matthew's bday too) to see her and spend a little time together as her schedule allows. She is organizing her clothes so I can easily put her winter clothes in the car to take down to her then.

She is my daughter and really my best friend outside of the hubby. We think out loud together and reprimand each other together, and are silly together, serious, working etc. together. She has been a very good daughter to me and I will miss her. I know she has a lot of growing up to do too but is confidently forging ahead. I am certainly THANKFUL for the Internet and cell phones in this case and know that we will still talk.

In the meantime, we will continue to have a nice time together and I am keeping busy with preparing for our vacation and school and finishing up what she needs for the fall. I will try not to puke as this comes to mind.

There have been some looks of pity come Anna's direction but really I do not pity her. She is excited and ready to learn and work towards her goals. I don't think that at all means that she will not miss her family. I don't think she will miss any of us as much as she will miss her baby sister and little Fefan. I have observed her squeezing the stuffing out of them lately and holding them tight and long. Isn't it great that any young person her age would so value the tiniest brother and sister in her life. They will grow and change the most while she is away.

I need to proceed with the day. Off to keep busy!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sense and Sensibility

I took time out this afternoon while folding laundry to watch Sense and Sensibility again with my kids. I love that movie and I love that story. I've never read the book and perhaps I can squeeze that in somewhere, but I find it astoundingly refreshing that the characters actually seemed concerned about their reputations. If ONLY people gave a hoot about preserving their innocence or even in their wonderful unspoken fashion protected each other's reputations and their basic need to stay pure till they were able and ready to be married. I know that those stories are fiction but still, I do think people actually thought about such things once upon a time. They actually stopped to consider appearances of too intimate of conversation between two people of the opposite sex and perhaps gossiped about who liked who or who was spending time with who. Now it just seems excepted that young people date around, have intimate times via time together or on the Internet with the whole chat thing. I can see some benefits to chatting in that people can live far apart but still, it seems a little odd to me at times. I could have titled this post The Internet as well or perhaps I might rant on about that in another post. It just makes me sad at times that the Internet can pull us away from our families who live in the same house with us and promote relationships with others that can be more than they should between very young people. I have not pushed the Internet with my boys at all thus far, although I think it would be nice for them to some degree as everyone else seems to be so dependant on it. My boys don't have tons of friends and maybe that is why but really, when I was their age (and yes I was a girl) I went to my friends homes or called them on the phone to talk and I could tell all their intonations and expressions for what they were. The Internet has caused problems even for my family in misunderstanding both from within and without.

I can remember a time when perhaps I had four kids, that the email groups became way too much of an obsession for me and an escape. I neglected my kids and my family and shouldn't have done that. It is still somewhat of a draw and I am processing that but am also processing how to direct my kids with all of this. I suppose my boys are not very interesting to other boys their age as they do not watch sitcoms, play video games, use the Internet, or chat with everyone at church online. I wish they had some more intimate friends (boys) to share guy time with but for now Boy Scouts for Matthew and adults for Erik is the way it goes. I was VERY happy for them at the Higher Things conference that they had some pal around time with friends. They have some occasional get togethers with other boys but that is not that often. I hope we can work on that some more. Oh.....this makes me think that some people may suggest they line up more of a social life but frankly I have told them they are free to invite people over and we try but life is busy and they really are not suffering poor mes over anything. It is their mother who worries about it more than they do.

I should have made this two separate posts but I guess I still may ramble on about this later. Keep in mind this post is about Horner culture and life, the later part. Everyone makes different choices and I suppose I will ramble on about some life wisdom I have imparted to them in another post. I have been thinking a lot about all those conversations as Anna is getting ready to leave and I am very pleased with her confidence and definite opinions regarding herself and relationships with other young people around her. We all have room to grow and she certainly does too but overall she is very balanced. She is much more balanced than I was at that age. I thought I was just all so wise and wonderful and certainly wiser than my parents and other adults. Oh brother. I think that did travel through a lot of my college days. I see this in the young people around me and it makes me feel older anyway to hear myself thinking the same things that were prattled on at me by older people then. College kids have very little life experience in the way of supporting themselves, taking care of others, having kids and responsibilty, thinking about other people besides themselves and......that is normal and natural. Of course they haven't . I do think Anna has learned A LOT in her assistance around the house and she really is not very critical of me at all or acting superior. I am proud of her and I love her a lot. Better stop typing now.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Self Discipline

Ugh. I HATE self discipline. I am not sure I know anyone who LOVES it. This getting older thing is a pain. I know that if I exercise my blood pressure stays in check. If I don't, it doesn't. I did great on exercise from March till July and then for all the busyness got out of the habit. I look at the schedule and wonder if I will be able to fit it in if I am feeling worn down by the schedule and perhaps snow and ice outside? I am not a fan of indoor exercise so can I manage to actually get up early and do that before the kids get up? Really? Even earlier if I want that cup of decaf and a few moments of quiet time before the milk spilling and cereal dumping. Please bug me people to keep up on this.

I undid my decaffeinating of myself. I buckled and started making Charley regular coffee and couldn't wait till mine was made. NO SELF DISCIPLINE. Weak I am. I am pretty sure coffee and chocolate (love it) are also at the root of my new problems. They of course contribute to my shaky hands which is also a genetic problem. I am very thankful I did NOT inherit the arthritis problem which my poor brother is now suffering with. Each generation has picked a victim for that issue. My brother has been battling the arthritis since at least late thirties so this is not a new thing for him but just one that seems to effect new areas.

It seems basically true that everyone has some self discipline issues whether it is health issues, money management, house cleaning habits, preparing for things like classes or papers or presentations. I don't think I am alone on this one. I don't think I know anyone who has it all together and if they appear to have it all together now then......they will turn 40. :o) 40 somethings must be the decade that we more fully appreciate the finite creature understanding of our lives and I have no doubt that will become even clearer in the 50s. The main issue is not that we don't know what we need to do to overcome our issues of self-discipline since I am sure that is glaringly obvious in each case - spend less, eat less, clean with routines routinely, prepare early for what is coming up, and DON'T DRINK REGULAR COFFEE!!!!! PASS BY THE CHOCOLATE IN THE CHECK OUT AISLE!!!!! Pathetic. Yes sinful nature is alive and well.

I just get tired of weak me not having the self discipline to simply make these issues go away. I am a sad example for my kiddos in many respects and can hardly criticize them for the issues they suffer through. We can encourage one another through and try not to let it pull us under the table. I TELL my kids to nag me about not drinking coffee and drinking enough water etc. I suppose they can feel some satisfaction in that their poor mother needs all the help she can get. Besides these little health bumps I can hardly complain but feel pretty sheepish for my inability to pass up chocolate and my quick dash to the coffee maker upon falling asleep in mid-afternoon. Sigh.

We are off on a family bike ride this evening so I suppose my blood pressure will be in check for another day. Feel free, like I said to nag or encourage me in this regard.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Remembering Redeemer

I've been in contact the last few weeks between Anna's graduation and a few other instances, with people from our old church. The hardest thing for me to do when we left was to leave the people we loved. My kids had so many grandparents and I had so many people who just watched out for me that was most certainly hard to say goodbye and I am sure it was confusing to them. I was expecting my seventh child at the time. Well one of the grandmas called again recently. She has actually called a few times this summer. The first time she called to share with me that her daughter's youngest child got married. This might seem a little out of the blue as lots of people's grandchildren get married but Carly was special to the Horners and especially special to Charley as when she was a toddler Charley just stared at her sweeetness and thus......we had Anna. Carly's grandma knew that as of course Charley had to tell her over and over how cute Carly was and how badly he wanted a little girl of his own. Well, now Carly is married and her grandma was sweet to remember that.

Anna plays the organ the last Sunday before she goes at Redeemer and at first she seemed regretful as she loves Emmaus (there is a Divine Service on Monday though :o)) but then she remembered all her 'grandparents' at Redeemer who still love her and are proud of her and stop us on the street to tell us how much we mean to them. Sigh. This part is still hard. It is not wrong that we switched but we lost contact with a lot of Grandparents as a result. There were many members who did offer to lend a hand to make sure I got a break or whatever. Needing a break is not quite as critical as it was as my oldest kids are pretty reliable. I still am not able to just go to events such as last weeks conference very easily as I hate burdening my older kids with the little kids so that I can 'go have fun or soak up a seminar.' This will not change for quite a while I have no doubt. My leaving the home with older kids and the baby is also not always the best as my dear husband appreciates me being home for a reason.......he does get a little overwhelmed and my vocation is not his vocation so it is still not 'simple' to just leave. This can be sort of frustrating. I think I leave some sort of impression on people that I can just handle life all the time but I frankly am not that good at it all the time. I want my older kids to gain the benefit of the social times with other like minded people but am torn by the burden at home and the inevitable neglect of my little people. Too bad there isn't a train like Hogwarts has to transport them where they need to go. I am not sure if there is a Marshall retreat this year so haven't even started agaonizing over that but maybe I can figure out something. Boy.....that got a little off topic. The funny thing and good thing about Emmaus is that we are not the freaks with tons of kids as there are many large families. We don't stand out as people who might need help. There is no easy solution to that except to perhaps ask around and see if there are other families who might need help when it comes to these special events. I still will struggle with not always going with but I am also struggling with my own kids puppy eyes when they wish they could go too.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ingrid gets a dress

Ingrid now belongs to the privaleged group who possess a dress made by Anna. It is adorable. I will have to wait till she has eaten her breakfast to put it on her. Of course I will also have to put a picture up. She is not old enough to appreciate this incredible event but we will have to preserve the memory for her so some day she will look back and know her oldest sister remembered her little self.

Now the sewer is stubbornly not getting up even though her two year old brother is in her room 'shooting' her and yelling boom, boom, boom......such a boy. I bet he won't get a dress. It is Tuesday morning and time to get ready for piano lessons X4. I hope to get a quick pool trip in this afternoon plus more cleaning of my disastor room and mount laundry.

Speaking of cleaning my room. I mentioned to mother yesterday that I was cleaning my room and she said it sounded like I was a kid. "What did you do today Karin" asked the mom. "I cleaned my room Mom." Ah, just like old times right? My room is better known as 'where to dump stuff when you don't know what to do with it' room.

Piano is going well. Matthew has proudly memorized his piano piece and I can tell is truly paying attention to what is needed. Yay! Cecilia has quite the knack for paying attention to what is asked as well. Anna is winding down her piano lesson career before leaving in two weeks. She will spend her last morning in South Bend at piano lessons. Martin is plugging away at his lessons as well. In my data base I must remember to push the boy to actually learn his notes better than he knows them now. It has been nice actually to hear people playing scales. Who knew that would be something to be enjoyed. I remember playing horn scales ad nauseam (spelling?). I am not sure my parents enjoyed that. Which reminds me. I need to find space in my impossible fall schedule to practice the horn so I can play in church again.

Off to the races!

Monday, August 10, 2009

What's new

Last week we had the pleasure of having Lydia with us for most of the week. It was very nice to have another older girl around. I hope she didn't think we were too loud as she is nice and quiet. We spent a lot of time at the pool and then took a wonderful trip to Evanston, IL for some fabric shopping, consignment store gazing, and book shopping. I only bought one book about cathedrals in Europe. It explains all the different features and the history. Since I have been to several of them it looked interesting to me. We are also studying the Middle Ages and Renaissance this year so perhaps I can sound like I know what I am talking about when we talk about Cathedrals. I studied them a little in college in an art history class and enjoyed it then so maybe that will help too.

I really don't know what all else to write about. Anna has been sewing like crazy and I have been trying to stay awake. I think I am addicted to caffeine again which is a bad thing so will have to work towards weaning myself off again. Ugh. My cute little health issues all point towards NOT drinking caffeine. It took quite a while to get off of it the last time so MAYBE I can succeed a little faster this time. My allergies make me fall asleep in a chair too.

School is just a few weeks away and I think I have everything figured out and just need to place my school order. I need to get on that SOON or I won't have what I need in time. I think I am getting ready mentally to tackle school again. I just hate accepting the fact that summer is almost over and feel like I did not soak in enough happy rays to help carry me through my winter blahs. I hope to keep biking as long as possible and have the clothes to help get me through for quite awhile.

I need to hunt down some boxes for the Anna dear tomorrow. I am not sure where to find any. There is always the liquor store I suppose.

Well, this is not a very exciting post as per usual but will push post anyway.

List too long

In the next two weeks I have a ton to do. My allergies are leaving me pretty tired and the day to day mess that ten people create is not staying clean. I don't know where to begin but then I also don't want to just work, work, work. The pool closes in three weeks and then I know that I will have to stop having fun and get back to the business of school. On my current list I have honey extraction, tomatoes to harvest and put up, house/laundry to keep up on, cooking so we don't spend money on the easy stuff, lawn mowing with a mower that doesn't like to work, school plans, school order, potty training the two year old, helping dh with his goals and aspirations, (fun when I can have it), helping Anna with whatever she needs to get ready to go, camping to prepare for, and, and, and......oh yes, daily nagging about math, piano practicing, dishes.....and, and......

Ok, this is why I haven't been blogging. My mind is on some other things which I don't have time to think about and have to fit that sort of thing into getting everything else done.

Oh.....I have been thinking or remembering when Zach left for school and what exciting things he did before he left for school. What I can remember is that he did not party but rather helped his mother and felt a little guilty to leave her. Dear Anna is helping me too and feeling a little guilty to leave me. I think she should give him a call to have an understanding ear hear those anxieties. We will be alright and move on with what we are given to do here. I do not want dd to feel guilt as I am sure Zach's mom did not want him to feel guilt either. So.....that has been on my mind too as we drown a little here in the mess and then the heat and allergies fight fiercely against us getting anything done.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Where did she learn that from?

Anna is such a good girl. To attempt to make a long story short she has been in contact with her roommate for the fall and for awhile we were getting a little concerned as to whether this would work. There was a lot of facebooking and a few texts and the responses at least on our end were leaving us perplexed. So.......I suggested she call her and talk to her and give up on the Internet communication. Phew. What was scaring us to some degree, with a little phone communication has now left Anna concluding that her roommate to be must be feeling a little anxious and nervous and just has a need to make sure all the bases are covered before she leaves home. Those people who know us well, know that we feel like we are doing fantastic if we know there is something to eat for breakfast but worrying about how to decorate her dorm wall outside of the crucifix was not heavy on Anna dear's mind. It was the worrying that was worrying us. We are SO not worried. Perhaps we should worry more but there isn't any time left to work harder on worrying since my chief worry lately involves getting my 'naked boy' Stefan to figure out how to keep underwear dry. I need to find him a longer shirt so he has a more modest attire. :o) Internet communication is so VERY confusing. I am sure people used to feel the same way about the phone. Both parties have been most respectful to the other and I now feel things will most likely work. What I wonder where she learned that from, is she is pretty good at putting the best construction on the situation and not as prone to panicking as her dear mom who was a little freaked out by the Internet conversing. Phew. Thank you Lord that she figured that out and most likely not from my shining example. :o)

Time to go be responsible.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Trivial Pursuit - a different sort of assessment

I actually like this game. I remember beating my trivial fact expert dad once because I knew that Captain Kangaroo had bangs. That was a moment of triumph. He truly is Mr. Trivia. Anyway, I picked up a version which has both kid and adult questions and we played on Saturday night. That was a scary experience. My dear children of ALL ages do lack a certain knowledge that you can only get from watching TV. It is a puzzle to me if it is really worth having the kids watch the news etc. and the news obsessed relatives will nod their head knowingly that I 'should' have them do this. We haven't missed it so far and read the newspaper which certainly can't be better than the TV but it can't be worse either. Sports and weather terms seem to be lacking in their knowledge bin. What an odd assessment of their abilities as my eyes rolled back in my head at their strained brains over sports and weather questions. Sigh. So they need to go to Grandma's more often to watch baseball and football etc. "What ball has fake seams?" Older child did not know. Ugh. "What is another name for cyclone or tropical storm?" - hurricane. Younger and some older children did not know. I think we need to play some more to see what else is lacking.

Sunday, August 02, 2009


We took a little family bike ride this afternoon and actually made it about fourteen miles. That was especially amazing for Cecilia who has a single gear bike and made it the whole way. I did alright dragging Ingrid behind and she did fine as well. We never made it to the pool but at least we know we can bike. We might shoot up to Michigan next weekend and bike between a few wineries. I've wanted to do that for a long time. We'll see.

Tomorrow I am going to Ft. Wayne to pick up one of Anna's friends for a few days. We are hoping to finally make the Vogue fabrics trip on Thursday.

Our neighbor Jim, of Jim store fame, finally accepted our dinner invitation and is right now talking Charley's ear off outside. I am glad. He is a very nice fellow. His whole family are great to have as neighbors and have been especially good to us. We keep him entertained I have no doubt.