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.........


Friday, September 25, 2009

A visit with Anna

So I actually saw my daughter this person. Phew. That was so very nice. I drank her in and tried not to crash while driving. It was so very good to see her face. I talk to her a lot on the phone but it is just different to be in her presence. I must say it was a lot like watching a movie as it doesn't seem real to me that I was actually with her. Cecilia is spending the night with her which I am very glad. A week ago I was not sure as the activities of the dorm kids are uh.........questionable. But her room is very nice and is really a double room so Cecilia has her own space and they will be able to go to breakfast and hang out tonight and tomorrow. Wish I were there.

Anna has certainly become a part of the life of IU. Not in the party way but the academic way. She is very busy and very tired but still seems to be soaking it all in. I think a night to sleep in would be a good thing. I still find it very odd that now that I have seen her she will not be coming home with me. I hope I can handle that hole when I drive away on Sunday. We will paint the town red tomorrow and I will continue to stare without making her uncomfortable.

In the crib across the room is Ingrid. She is quietly sleeping in all her sweetness. I am staring at her too.

At home unfortunately Benjamin is having another asthma attack and Charley is discovering his breathing treatment thingy does not seem to work or we don't know what we are doing. Thankfully Charley feels confident to handle it tomorrow and get it fixed. Thank you Charley.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Trouble in the land of socks

Socks need to be our mission right now but I am having trouble fitting that in between dishes and clothes that might be tempted to start molding if they are not washed. We are in sock crisis. Last night we were running a completely crazy schedule and were home only long enough to cram some food in our mouths, get dressed for church and run out the door. Benjamin is learning more about this drill (finally) and obediently went to his room to get dressed for church. I always forget everything about Benjamin and his clothes seeing as his room is so far away and his roommate lives in the yard in a tent. The poor boy lacks foresight on most things. Well, he does seem to get now that his mother wants him in a relatively clean shirt, khaki type pants and dress shoes with black socks. There was wailing that came from upstairs and I went to see what was the latest problem. Benjamin was sobbing on the stairs as he not only did not have black socks, he didn't have ANY socks! Black dress shoes in hand and otherwise completely dressed, his mother looked at him contemplating how we were already late to choir practice and told the boy, "If Pastor Grobien can go to church with no socks and dress shoes, so can you. Get in the van." He sported his amused, confused Benjamin face and ran out the door to the van. It was in the upper 70's after all................

Today..........sock sorting..........not sure if men have no sock rules for summer/fall as the women have no white shoes rule after Labor Day..........I love deep thinking.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Through Stefan's eyes

Stefan is now almost three and when he is not screaming, can really be quite the little charmer. He does scream though. He has three basic things that seem to keep him happiest which should come as no surprise. First, his tummy needs to have a steady supply of food. Second, watch out if he gets too tired AND does not have much in his tummy - there is not eating coming from that boy then. Third, he loves to be talked to like he is a big person. When his little face does not get the amount of attention that he deems necessary, he is not a happy camper. It is most helpful to ask him very serious questions about his little life and he responds very seriously and seems to say with his eyes, "thanks for talking to me with a little respect mom and not like a fly on the wall that needs to be gotten out of the way since I am just a two year old." Obviously this is not any one's goal with two year olds, but seriously, I don't know too many people who really take the time to talk to them in any serious fashion. I do this with kids in public who look at me and start jabbering at me. I DON"T talk to the parents, but talk to them responding to their cherub chattering. Perhaps their parents think I am nuts and I can get away with chattering with them as I am a mom but...again.......why don't we talk to kids like they have brains in their heads? Stefan certainly does. He IS hard to deal with when he is tired but just like a grown up, do we expect grown ups to always be chipper when they are tired. I don't think we do. I think we are far more understanding and accommodating with a tired adult then a tired child. As adults we might think of an adult "get to bed and get some sleep. You will feel better." and with kids we can be basically, honestly annoyed that they can't hold it together when they are tired. Perhaps they just need more naps or something. Oh, I am rambling again but little Stefan (or Fefan as he is sometimes called) has had somewhat of a challenging life with all his eczema, which seems to rearing it's head some again, and I suppose I am just musing on how best to work with this little boy and what he is able to tolerate.

Other little boys I know also can be a little on the, how shall we say, active and opinionated side, like my Fefan and I must say they too can be quite charming when spoken too as if they are big people. I really think they think they are big people. Their siblings are so why aren't they???? Makes sense to me.

From Fefan's eyes, he sees a world he wants to be a part of and I guess I have been enjoying (when he isn't screaming) being a part of it with him. He is a cutie. Those big brown eyes will certainly catch someones attention someday. :o) They catch mine. The overbite is pretty cute too............

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Nice day at historical festival

I don't know what else to call it but I guess it is called the 'Trail of Courage' festival. We also saw that some call it the Trail of Death. It is a festival that has all sorts of reenacters and then of course many booths selling 'old fashion' stuff to tempt us. LaRena and I with I think....12 kids in tow headed off this morning and LaRena literally closed the place down. I am not surprised by this. I was a little tired after hauling Ingrid around on my back for six hours so I headed home thinking LaRena was close behind. She had stopped at the main building and talked to the people in charge about how things are set up there etc. I sort of wish the kids had the chance to see what was in that building but perhaps next year if we do this again. Both LaRena and I have driven by this museum and said every year that we should really go to that we did!

I do wish they had some more variety in the actual reenactors but I suppose for a local event it was really well done and very well attended. They had quiet a few performers, few who had anything to do with the time and people involved in the Trail of Courage but well worth watching . There was a group of bag pipe players who had a young boy who was very good. I was impressed. I enjoyed watching the dancers.

I saw a few people I hadn't seen in a long time which was nice too. LaRena made the comment that we could have the Horner festival and have Erik do blacksmithing and antique tools demonstrations, Anna spin and weave, Matthew could help with beekeeping and he could probably do some pioneer cooking as he is my chef, I could play my dulcimer, and Charley could have a booth where people could chop wood and get to throw it in bins. Doesn't this sound like fun. LaRena could join in with an herb garden and vegetable garden and have it all pristinely weeded and sell dried flowers and herb packets. Perhaps Martin could use his artistic abilities to learn how to decorate gourds. We shall see if we ever do this. We could put it all in one big booth at that festival or arrange our yard into a museum........doubt it.

So that was today. It was all very good and I am glad we finally did it. We can scratch off our list one more thing that we said we should do someday.

Am I irrational?

I don't think my last post was irrational and no one has said that seeing as it has only been there a few hours. But........I was certainly having a moment last night and I have no doubt other 'moments' will come. I don't think it is OK either to never say anything about this topic especially from the mom's perspective. I know plenty of mom's of many and I have no doubt this topic has rumbled through their minds especially those who are of similar age and older. I have not 'given up hope' but am a little more on the humble side now and not the assuming side.

There's no time to belabor this one so for those who have no love of such musings, there are some feelings that run deep and I would rather talk about THOSE things then just wander around bottling that up. For the record I am in in good mood and ready to go on to the next thing and do what God has given me to do now. It will all be good. Perhaps now I will not inwardly groan when the Bible talks about these older women having babies thinking I will be having babies till I am 50 and over. Ha! The joke WILL be on me if that were so. I do think I would love to talk to other moms who are in the midst and beyond this step. I talked pretty frequently with a mom at the pool this summer who had ten kids and the youngest was three. She was 41 I believe and there had not been any further babies. Interesting. It is all very interesting.

Friday, September 18, 2009

When do you become a mother?

Is it when you have that first little one or is it when you realize you may not have another. Do I look at my children differently when I see them with fresh eyes wondering if Ingrid will be my last. The Lord is the author and giver of life and I am not in charge. I am sure there are many who would find this post crazy but it is my life given to me by my Lord and it is how I feel.

As each child has come and was expected there was always the fear of what people might say or think. There was some fear of being evaluated or criticized. Then I got older and didn't care quite as much. Now I am older still and just wonder. I also know many who would say that Ingrid is only one years old and why am I even thinking about this but I am almost 43 and well........I ain't very young anymore. Time is passing and this may seem too personal for a blog post but again I don't think I care. My brain is beginning to process that 43 is 43 and the time is coming shortly when is VERY possible Ingrid might be it. Ironically I think now everyone is so used to another Horner baby that they actually ARE expecting we will be expecting but......I am having my doubts. Don't panic Karin. It may or may not be true but that does not prevent my brain from processing and my heart from looking at the children I have afresh and see them growing up quickly and one already on her own. I miss her and I miss the older ones already as I know it will not be very long before my household will shrink some more. Sigh. Seven seems small. I will try to appreciate every moment and I will also give it a good try to be patient and accepting of whatever life holds for me. Yes, this is probably too personal but I guess I would like people to know that this is hard for me. Harder than I thought it might be. If I do end up expecting again I certainly would not want anyone to poo poo my thoughts as there is no denying that this aspect of motherhood is near the end if it hasn't already ended. So I look at my children, especially the little ones with new eyes and perhaps now I am becoming a grown up and will do different things in life besides changing diapers and spoon feeding little people. Only the author and giver of life knows. I have already begun looking at newborns a little differently too wondering if that will be me again holding a newborn. Maybe being 43 is just the time when all this hits. Maybe I have just always loved having a baby to take care of and took that for granted. Maybe I shouldn't have watched one of Anna and my favorite movies and pined away for her too much this evening. Who knows. So I guess I became a new sort of mother today with different vision. Sorry is this was too sappy for you all. I guess..........I just love my kids and thank God for each and every one of them. Being a mother is just what God has given me to do and I am thankful for that too.

Doing the next thing

Today was the model for just doing the next thing. The morning began very slowly. I was supposed to be at our homeschooling co-op friends home at 10:30 and it did not look like I was going to make it. The kids and I actually slept, as this is GREAT sleeping weather, till almost 8:00. Some of them slept beyond 8:00. I didn't care. I made up some pancakes as Stefan ate most of the granola yesterday. He was hungry. The kids were pleasantly surprised. They had worked very hard the last few days between school work and tomatoes so it seemed like the right thing to do vs. the oatmeal drill.

At co-op I just put each group through their paces and didn't spend any more or any less time on any subject then was necessary. Both groups are pretty easy to work with and really a pleasure to be with so that makes for a nice day. There are those who seem to still resist the concept of homework but I am trying to encourage them to do the next thing too. Seeing as both families have graduated kids who did not fail in life because of their habits in grade school, I guess I am not panicked.

Back at home, Martin and Cecilia made some more tomato sauce to go with the chili for Sunday afternoon at church. They are VERY good at this and seem to have this project down to a science. If only we had more time to get a little more done in that department but again, will accept what gets done as it gets done. I made a lot of chicken salad from yesterday's barbecue chicken for our outing tomorrow. I even squeezed in a bike ride to burn off some personal frustrations which don't involve anyone but me (so to speak) and I'm glad I did that, I might get some winter biking equipment so I can continue as long as the roads are dry. Sigh. I am getting faster so it does not take up as much time.

After the kids get done watching their silly movie, most of them are going to bed and Cecilia and I will make some more gingerbread from the "More with Less" cookbook. That is SO yummy. Cecilia helped make some for Anna yesterday for her care package. My family is shrinking but will try to make the most of it. OK......there I go having a moment again. Perhaps I will have to get a headlight so I can bike in the evening once it gets even darker, sooner. Sigh.

Matthew made yummy rolls (Cecilia made some yesterday!) and we should be all set tomorrow. We are finally going to this 'Trail of Courage' (I think that is what it is called) instead of continually driving by it and commenting how we should go some year. So.......I will try to blog about how that went tomorrow. It should be good.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I keep hearing people say things to me about how amazed they are by how much I get done around here. I wish I had high speed so I could post pictures of how much we don't get done around here. There are many a day, which most people I know can relate to, where I lay great plans and then as hard as I try, I am sidetracked, waylaid (spelling?) or perhaps even the phone rings endlessly and I just don't get much done. I do not like attempting to get much else done but school during the week as that will ensure that school wouldn't happen. Anytime I think I can squeeze in some ironing or extra laundry then homework, piano practicing, math drill etc. just doesn't happen. My lawn mower hates me lately and even trying to get to giving the lawn a hair cut doesn't work as the dumb thing doesn't want to start or keep running for me if it does start. Prior to mowing the lawn I usually have wasted time looking for my scruds, making sure the little people are taken care of, everyone is busy and not killing each other, and then.........I go to the mower and rrrr.rrrrr......rrrrr........rrrrrrr.........nothing. So goes another day of accomplishments.

I am blessed with children who know how to can tomatoes though. That is a huge help as I am certain I would not get to that at all otherwise. There is nothing more exciting and perhaps therapeutic to them than to smash tomatoes down through the strainer and watching the auger has its way with them. The thrill is starting to wear off as we are nearing 50 quarts. They made at least 20 quarts today with a big vat of salsa to boot.

So.........I guess it is the kids who get a lot done and I spin my wheels between diaper changes, laundry reboots, and trying not steal a nap when my bed is calling to me. I do not get a lot done. I think I used to. I suppose I do still cook and stare at the miss-matched socks when the kids come downstairs barefoot for church complaining they don't have any.

Just bemused I am...........

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday morning happenings

Friday evening I biked the boys about three and a half miles south of us to their camp area. That is Z.B. Falcons to the locals. We put their gear in the Burley behind my bike and off we went. I suggested to the boys that they could bike home Sunday morning (they didn't hear this I don't think) and rode back home a lot lighter. Their Scout Master looked a little surprised to see me there with the boys.

On Saturday I was contemplating Martin's ability to remember to stay on the side of the road and decided to bike down Sunday morning and ride them home. It is pitch dark til a little after 7:00 now so I left with Burley in tow and headed south. Martin was to be acolyte so I needed to make sure we got home in time to clean up and leave. It was cold and VERY quiet. I loved it. Zipping down the roads with not even the birds up chirping, brain able to contemplate stuff, while wondering if I should have worn a jacket, is incredible. It got brighter and brighter and the noise did not increase too much and there was NO traffic. Perhaps it was just too early on a Sunday morning for anyone to be up but I must say it was kind of nice.

I got to their camp ground to discover they didn't know what time it was and weren't sure how they were getting home. They were a little surprised to discover we were hitting the road and leaving for home immediately. One scout tried to suggest that Matthew load their tent in the Burley with the rest of their gear for me to haul home too but I sort of laughed and said that wasn't happening.

Hauling their gear back was a lot easier than going there. It was colder going back. I am slowly getting back into shape and happily report that I have carved off 25 since March. Wow. I don't want to think about that too much. I am determined to keep biking through the fall and as long as I am able to. I would like to stay in shape if possible and not drift back too far in the other direction. It is sort of nice that none of my nicer clothes fit too well anymore and I am not going to do anything about that either. Fitted clothes are best but a little sag won't kill me. Skirts are the best for this condition. Sigh. At least I know weight loss is possible so that is reassuring.

We did get to church in plenty of time and the service, sermon, everything was divinely awesome (Anna thought I said awful on the phone......giggle). A great morning and maybe I will bike again next Sunday morning just because.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Thankful Charley does not travel so much anymore

I can't remember how long ago it was but Charley used to travel to Europe about once every two months for at least a week. Yes, he gained the miles and I gained the endurance to keep single parenting but it wasn't easy. I put up a good front I guess. Charley and Erik return tomorrow from Pennsylvania. They went to Charley's parents farm auction where all the rest of the stuff on the farm was sold. I haven't heard from him since the sale so I hope all went well. That is all a long story as to why he went at all but needless to say I missed him around here. Yikes. Erik is a huge help as well. Matthew and I crashed each evening and watched a movie together and ate some goodies. He too misses them as flying solo with the little people is a challenge. He watched both Stefan and Ingrid on Friday while I was at a funeral. Very tired young man by the time I returned.

We got a little bit done today but each day seems like such a struggle. I want to get a lot of tomatoes canned as there is nothing quite like it in winter cooking than my own canned stuff. The kids do most of the processing now but they will have homework to get done too so this may be a challenge. After the kids were all in bed I went into the kitchen and observed the fall out from the days endeavors. Wow. I have my work cut out for me but I could not help but see Stefan's little shoes deposited by the refrigerator, the smoshed tomato from Ingrid playing in the basket, toys randomly spread on the floor, and then to stop and think of how I will truly miss this someday. Who knows, that day may be sooner than I know, and my own inability to handle their busy little selves bumping around the house, does call me to repentance and I will at least be able to think endearing thoughts now, when all is quiet, of their sweet little faces while they muddle through the day too.

Sigh. I miss my Anna who calls me regularly. I thank God for His goodness to me in giving me such a wonderful daughter. She grew up fast and so will the rest of them. Hearing about the escapades of some of the other college kids around her, I am taken aback by all that I take for granted in my own children. I am SO glad I have perservered through the homeschooling and I know that we will all be closer as a result.

I should be reading right now and will have to find a lot of time to do so. I don't know where all this time will come from to read but so far so good I am at least on track with where we are in school.

Looking forward to the Divine Service tomorrow despite knowing Matthew and I will be juggling Stefan and Ingrid. Hope I have enough Cheerios and raisins...........

Friday, September 04, 2009

Missed Anna even before I talked to her

Matthew and I ended up watching a very modern take of King Arthur last night. It was.....different.........but full of lots of action for the guys to enjoy. I know Anna would be impressed that I actually stayed awake for a such a long movie but actually succeeded in doing so. Anyway, I was missing my Anna last night and little did I know at the time she had a somewhat stressful afternoon. I am happy for her on the one hand that the result of her stress will be she will get her single room but of course that won't happen without the additional stress of her roommate not understanding why Anna does not want boys in her room. The roommate also did not seem to understand that Anna wanted her own room right from the beginning but hopefully this isn't dwelled on and Anna's fears of everyone on the floor disliking her will not hold true. I am glad she has met A LOT of people as compared to her first few days on campus so I am sure that will help.

I was going to blog the other day on how glad I am that I homeschooled Anna as the discussion she overheard her roommate have with her parents was rather sad. I suppose it is the 'norm' for kids to not like or appreciate their parents but that is not the case with Anna or our family. I do not recall despising or feeling like my parents were losers when I was Anna's age. This is just sad. It was stated to Anna yesterday that she should not care what her parents think and that what they thought doesn't matter. Sigh. How can you not feel sad after hearing that?

Anyway, I am proud of my Anna and hope she does not receive too much flack for holding an opinion. The transfer process was actually not too hard to obtain as in the roommate agreement, Anna's roommate refused to abide by the 'no boys in the room' policy (I think that was an evening request???) so the RA in charge of this said they would have to make some room changes. It is what Anna wanted to begin with so I should be happy for her. I am. I just hate all the insinuation that Anna is being unreasonable. I'm glad she ended up having a pleasant evening afterward.


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

This is exhausting

I suppose in a few weeks it will be less exhausting but I am trying to get my school stuff organized while schooling. I sat down a few times (probably here with the baby) today and seem to have not stopped at all. I have hyper energy to keep working away at putting books where they need to go but will probably fall asleep with a book in my face. I am hopelessly disorganized right at the moment and find myself more than a little on the irritable side while trying to have the boys work on assignments, find and put away books, weed out books from last year and maybe fold a little laundry from camping in between. I suppose this is the same post as the last one. Not very exciting. I pretty much put off doing all of this in light of the rest of the summer, Anna getting ready to leave, partying with Anna and the kids, and hanging on to summer as long as I could. Sigh. Now I feel like going and reading a book that I wanted to get read over the summer but guilt may keep me from doing that. I am pretty far ahead on the required reading for my literature classes so that is good but there is also the preparation for my other classes. Ugh. To think I once considered doing this in a larger classroom setting. I have no clue how I would have kept up with that.

Ingrid, the tornado, is working as hard as she can to trash everything in her path. That is developmentally correct but perhaps a little maddening at the same time. At least she destroys stuff cheerfully. She does not seem to want to settle down for the night. Oh? Well maybe she has now changed her mind. Yippee! She is finally out for the night. Can you say energizer bunny? I knew you could.

Tomorrow I hope to continue to lay the ground work for the kiddos to figure out what in the world they are doing in their school work. Perhaps if it warms up enough I will take a few kids to the pool in the evening to soak in one last hurrah. I will miss the pool. Did we actually have summer this year????

I am hoping to not have nightmares tonight. Last night's were of the doozy variety with people yelling at me and it was WAY too real. It was only a dream. If looks could kill though I suppose it would have been reality considering who was in the dream. Will I ever let that go? Or.....just get over it????? Perhaps not.

I love talking to my Anna girl on the phone. She is doing fantastic. She is responsible, responsibly worried enough about whether she might not be being responsible, and basically settling in and figuring things out. You go girl daughter of mine!!!! She's the best. I am surprised people are not just beside themselves with grief that such a wonderful girl is not with them now but letting other people enjoy her wonderful presence in Bloomington. She is really quite amazing and comfortable odd and I love it.

Now back to my regularly scheduled program......zzzzzzzzz...............

Starting the new school year

Well, we are stumbling along but getting something done. I am very excited to implement the Literary Analysis program that I did a few years back with Anna. No offense to Anna but I would like to push these kids a little more to do a lot more with it. I see the reason behind the authors madness to write, write, write, in different forms and emphasis and perhaps I will even do it with them to get my brain working a little better as well. The program reminds me of the "This is Your Brain on Music" book in that he has them writing regularly and I have impressed on the kids that the more they write the easier it will be. I am excited for them.

There is the usual mayhem of the little people vying for my attention which can be a little heart breaking at times as there is only one of me. I am trying to get the kids so they can work a little more independently and not need so much explanation from me. Perhaps I will have more time for the little people then. Sigh. The older kids really should not need me to hold their hands too awfully much now so here's hoping this will work.

I am also slowly catching up on stinky laundry, camping mess and not be tempted to work only on that in light of school days tripping by. Yes, it is only day two but it seems like I can not waste a day. If my beginning is sloppy so goes the rest of the year. I am happy to be co-oping with another family again but do not want my days at home to just be recovery days from coop days.

I have also noticed that my blood pressure went WAY down over vacation. Interesting. I suppose if my life only comprised of taking little boys to the bathroom on their little tractors, donning their helmets for every trip down the road to the potty, then my blood pressure would stay down. I spent a couple hours one evening just cleaning up owies and bandaging them. (that was sort of yucky really). "Now kids, you really must keep these owies clean or they will get infected. Mommy does not always have time to chase after your wounds......" So goes that evening. Now I am home, chasing after appointments and bills and trying not to spend too much money on food and running around. "Where are Ingrid's winter clothes?" I ask frustrated by another thing to find. She grew and it feels like fall outside and, and, and.......calm down Karin dear.

Well, off to help Matthew in another gourmet meal from the galloping gourmet Matthew. Thank the Lord for help in the kitchen.