Thursday, December 30, 2010


I helped take the youth and children's choir around to some memebers of the congregation to sing carols to them. Seeing these dear older people beaming at the kids was very sweet. I do not know how many of the kids saw the looks on their faces. One of them mentioned how each year gets more difficult for her with the loss of friends and that the kids singing made up for that sadness. She had tears in her eyes. I thought to myself how I might feel when I am their age (God willing). Three out of four of the visits were to people who still are able to get to church. We see them there too and they seem basically the same from week to week. It was good to see them in their element for the real people they are. One of the women has been a shut-in for quite some time. She is immobile and was laying on a couch in the hallway of a nursing home. I know she heard us as her eyes were open and a tear came to her eye. We should do this more often. Loneliness must be a huge factor in their lives. I'm not sure how I would fare in the same situation. I have a tendency to look very closely at people eyes and see what is up with them. So even in very old immobile people the eyes say so much. A tear in their eye with all those marvelous kids crowded around them singing with gusto is what makes Christmas more special for both of them. I hope the kids realize how much it means to them. It means a lot to me to see the kids joy and willingness to just naturally go and do this. They are a fantastic group of kids. They drip Jesus very naturally to others and it was obvious it was a joy for the older folks to hear "Joy to the World" and other great carols sung for them on this sixth day of Christmas. I'll be happy to drive again!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bike Trainer

The new bike trainer is AWESOME! I never thought I would enjoy exercising in the house. I am too addicted to being outside, away from my four walls. I like this thing as it is challenging and involves quite a bit of concentration to keep from killing yourself. I guess I have always liked a challenge. 10 minutes wipes me out so far. The good news for me is that 10 minutes also wipes Charley out so I do not feel like such a wimp. I wasn't here yesterday so missed doing it but did manage to job from the Shedd Aquarium to the Soldier Field to get something from the van I forgot. Happily I was able to do that with only a few stops. I is pretty plump so would like to reclaim or find my body in there someplace. I succumbed to ice cream last night to top off a long day. Everyone but smiling Benjamin is still in bed. Evan is sleeping on my shoulder and I probably should go hunt down some recipes for leftover ham and.......squash. I am taking Matthew dear to lunch for all his fantabulous assistance lately. Lately is not a good word to describe him. He is a big help to me all the time. Applications for his future wifeling will be accepted and reviewed as they come. Seriously, this boy knows what is needed and does it. Amazing. The rest of the kidlets are not too shabby either but Matthew has a gift for seeing a need and filling it. It should be a good day.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Only one wrong turn

this time. Last summer I managed to get us pretty lost in a neighborhood south of downtown Chicago on the way to the Shedd Aquarium. Today we ventured back to the Aquarium with some free vouchers. I happened to write the Shedd with a few complaints about their entrance procedures and a few suggestions to improve the experience. I was not expecting anything in return and suddenly I was offered free tickets for our whole group to return to the Shedd again. Our group was 13 people so I took 13 back with me and we had a much better time. I only took one wrong turn on the way there and it wasn't a fatal one sending me off to Wisconsin or something and only took a little jaunt to get us back on track.

Almost all the kids had a blast. Stefan decided he wanted to go home as soon as we took his coat off. Sigh. He just doesn't like to leave home I guess and I should have remembered that. I thought he would enjoy the bigger whales and things but he stubbornly objected. He makes displeasure an art form. I guess I am a seasoned enough parent that it didn't bother me that much. Matthew weathered the storm some with him and I appreciate that greatly. I took him for the last hour or so and just sat with him and watched the beluga whales dancing around together. Very amazing.

Well, the fun wore me out. Stefan is happily home. I'm hitting the hay earlier than usual. I can't wait! Late dinner and ice cream I shouldn't have eaten round out a nice day with the age group I get along with the easiest. Kids. I think I still am one.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

But do you read them?

Christmas letters. I write the silly Christmas letters in this family. I do think people have sort of liked them in the past and I HAVE to include humor but seriously I wonder how many people, after nine children and two crazy adults, really take the time to peruse our lives. It becomes the 'War and Peace' of Christmas letters. AND from reading other people's blogs and letters etc, when it boils right down to it our amazing children live very similar lives to the other amazing people we know. These letters could be categorized by age of parents and age of children and then another subcategory of age span of children and juggling college bound/college going/married/grandchildren sort of letters. I take comfort in the similarity of our lives to others but love to laugh my head off too so will most likely send the featured letter out to our dear friends and relatives. To make my dh happy I will put a condensed version of truth to those poor children i our letter whose lives were fictionalized. Matthew (doesn't want me to change his part) - Scouts, Eagle project, smart, helpful, enthusiastic. Cecilia - awesome piano player, performer in plays, still in the Amelia Bedelia stage. Benjamin - learning to read and do math. The rest is all basically true but I think it was Mendelssohn who most inspired Anna to change to an Organ major......or something. So......hope y'all enjoyed that. We most certainly did and are now plotting our future letters of mirth. God bless you all!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Another version

Condensed version of family letter - Anna - IU, many play piano, church, homeschooled and there is another kid (not on the way). The end and God bless.

Love the Horners

The most awesome Christmas letter

Dear Family and Friends,

We pray for you all as you come to mind. Christmas letter sending helps me to remember you all in prayer even if it is once a year. It has been an unbelievable year to say the least. I will give you a short synopsis (or as short as I can make it). A little over a year ago, we discovered we were expecting our ninth child. He is sitting next to me right now being cute. Evan Jakob Sebastian came into the world July 16, and he has been a precious and wonderful gift to the family with his smiles and snuggly ways. We are thankful for his safe delivery and that all has been well.

Charley's year has been a whirlwind of emotion. Rumors were flying at work that Bosch would possibly leave South Bend and though we hoped they would hold off on that decision, it has come to pass that they indeed will be leaving by this time next year at the latest. He will be working here in South Bend till the bitter end but we will not be moving as far as we can foresee right now. He is proceeding with confidence and I am grateful his reputation as an excellent engineer precedes him. I've never ceased to brag on his engineering ability.

The kids have all been busy as ever. Anna is a Sophomore at Indiana University and has switched her major to Organ Performance. She played organ in the Halloween concert at IU and was so moved by the experience that she knew all she ever wanted to was play spooky organ music. The church there has elected her to Fellowship Deacon. Her acceptance speech was, “Welcome to the most boring year this church has ever seen.” That's my girl! In other news, Anna has taken up dancing as a hobby. She's going to join a chorus line this summer. As for her love life, she just likes to keep people guessing. One wry look to the winning guesser!

Erik is 18 and I spontaneously graduated him from High School about a week ago. We still expect him to write a valedictorian speech. He spent half the year confusing our friends by answering the phone in a British accent. We have given up all animal raising and Erik had the pleasure of loading up the chicken coop on the trailer and driving into the sunset to our dear (very dear) friends (hopefully still friends) the Wolfe's. His eyes regularly glaze over as he ponders his gorgeous girlfriend in North Carolina. I have to bring him back to South Bend regularly where his responsibilities now include working on finishing up house projects and designing coffins until he is motivated to get a license and an outside job.

Matthew has no love interests that I am aware of. He is rigging up the house so it can fly to Paradise falls. He has been inflating balloons for weeks and hopes it will approved as his Eagle Project. Too bad he didn't think of doing this with the chicken coop so we could have avoided the trouble of getting it on the trailer. He got an airsoft gun, along with his brothers. They will soon be for sale on Amazon for those interested. Matthew's nose is as congested as ever. We would be keeping kleenex companies in business except... Snot. Lots of laundry.

Martin enjoys Scouts and is our conscientious student. He is working on his “Helping the Elderly
badge so sometimes he does what Anna asks him to. He loves to practice the piano too. Drinking songs are especially popular. I am happy for that as it is all less of a struggle. He grew three inches after getting into some Ent Draught. Our little Hobbit is growing up. He doesn't have any love interests either, though surely every little girl wishes he did. Hobbits are powerful charmin'.

Cecilia also loves learning. She is graduating college top of her class because, as a homeschooled girl, she is naturally a prodigy. Currently she is on tour playing piano in every major orchestra. She is sharing a room with Ingrid, who asks for help getting out of the crib every morning, but somehow is not heard. Anna chuckles and thinks of her days sharing a room with toddler Cecilia. Big C. is now in possession of Mathew's bunnies because he is too busy blowing up balloons. Cecilia is too busy to consider a serious romantic relationship, but DID walk down the aisle just yesterday with her husband Joseph in the church pageant.

Benjamin is still Benjamin. He helps with firewood and cleaning the house. He loves vacuuming and sweeping and throwing away trash so much that we have to tie him to his bed at night to get him to take a break and sleep. He is 7 and dating the love of his life, Abigail. They want to run off and join a circus be we haven't let them, plus she lives too far away. We went on a very pleasant vacation in May to visit his girl and her family, so we could get to know them.

Stefan and his Woody and Bullseye dolls are inseparable. They go on rip roaring adventures together. He has discovered that he can produce a noise like a broken kazoo with his nose. He is in love with... his Woody Pjs and wonders “Are there MORE of these at Walmart?”. He stores all of his leftovers promptly and properly in the fridge. He is happily single. His OCD would prevent him from getting too close to any girl.

Ingrid, no longer the youngest has stepped right into he big sister shoes, along with the shoes of every other family member. Lots of missing shoes. Her babies and Barbies are all securely tucked into their napkins and oven mitts, up and down the stairs and everywheres. She fancies being a single mother, adopting all the emaciated and and disproportionate children in the world.

Evan, by far the cutest, as he most closely resembles Anna as a baby, is the center of everything and has an evil glint in his gorgeous eyes as he spits all over everything. Mom uses Eau de Blurp.

At this point in the letter I would like Anna to take over to write about MY year, as she had NOTHING to do with the letter to this point. You know it's true. Mom. Mom was pregnant. Then she had a baby. She isn't pregnant right now. Stop asking. She just needs to throw some more firewood and maybe take over the housework from Benjamin. She and dad have been, believe it or not, so bored with their 9 children, that they took it upon themselves to adopt our 65 year old neighbor, Jim Edward Carson-Horner. He goes with on family vacations while I sit at school and rot. They failed to ask my permission before taking this course of action. Does this mean that I will be his legal guardian in the event of their untimely demise?

Everyone is home for the holidays, at least until Cecilia has her next gig and Matthew flies off with the home. I hope you enjoyed this letter as much as we enjoyed our rip-roaring year. Peace and love to y'all, bros.

Love, The Horners

NOTICE: This account has been loosely based on the lives of the Horners. No animals were harmed in the making of this letter.

Post pregnancy fatness

As with every child, I gain more weight after the baby than before. I think I have finally figured out why. Before the baby I am the crazed pregnant woman who still loves to mow the lawn, work in the garden, and even ride my bike for as long as possible. After the baby I am in the dairy barn and not a lot of physical work happens. Mr. Evan will begin his cereal/solids career soon so perhaps I will spend less time in the barn???? All my kids gain well until around five months and then their hyper Horner genes take over and they start to level off in weight gain. Their mother does all the weight gain for them. Sigh. Christmas is a terrible time to fight this battle too. Maybe I should get my maternity clothes back out??? It would be cheaper than buying bigger clothes. All my 'don't be so negative' friends could just grin and bear it and let me wallow in my fatness till it drives me to action. Eating is fun! I hate the fact that I am not even eating THAT much and we do eat healthy meals so what gives with this silly body of mine??? I would hate to think what would happen if I was eating frozen dinners, less veges and the like. My children are sticks. My husband is also a stick. Hmmmmm.......I will stop thinking about all this now and go get the kiddos up to work on the kitchen makeover.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Old Christmas Pageant stories

Cecilia has progressed in her Christmas Pageant career. WAY back when, I think she was 2, she decided to participate by singing with the kids. The day of the pageant arrived and sweet little Cecilia was up in front with the cute singing kids, singing 'Away in the Manger' but Cecilia was not singing. She got bored and decided to start pacing up and down the rows of kids. Charley and I saw this happening and he scooted out the back door of the church, went into the basement and up one of the stairways (not Emmaus). The left doorway in front of the church slowly opened as the little cherubs continued to sing 'Away in the Manger' and when dear little Cecilia got close to the doorway, an arm appeared and suddenly Cecilia disappeared. Her feet were last seen flying out the door. It was most amusing and people still talk about that today. Um.

Tomorrow she is Mary. I hope she behaves herself. ;o)

Friday, December 17, 2010


I have graduated my second child Erik and he has advanced to the school of life. We will help him pursue his various endeavors as best we can but are now pushing him a bit to get his license, get a job, learn additional skills and in the mean time be employed by his parentals around the house during the day. I am amazed by how similar sons are to their fathers. Charley took a year off of school to 'figure it out' after High School and it looks like much the same is going on here. There will be an eight hour work day expected till such a time as he gets a job else where. Who knows, maybe he can jump start the 'family business' enough he won't get a job away from home but I will be pushing him that way and treating work at home as just that - work. Right now I have sicked him on removing the rest of the wallpaper paste from the walls in the kitchen and his first job will be redoing the kitchen walls and preparing them for painting. I am hoping by the summer to have the counter replaced but am considering a cement counter so it will have to wait till it is warmer. I suppose we will call him our personal contractor. We shall see how long it takes till he gets his job applications filled out. We have beat the academics for long enough. He loves to learn on his own but as with the school of life he will have to work on that in his off hours. I think everyone will be happier this way. I guess we should put him on the same sort of vacation schedule as his dad. I'll have to consult the dad as to how that works.

The boy has worked hard with many adversities and done well, but the time is right to work on the next stage of life. I am proud of him all around and will continue to be. College is not an option right now but it doesn't mean it won't be in the future. There will be a graduation party some time in the not too distant future. The biggest party will be seeing him learn and grow in his future.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Not much has changed

I can't get the part of the Depression article out of my head where it states that the two things treated like gold were coffee and chocolate. When has that NOT been true then. I think our economy is grounded (pun intended) on coffee and Chocolate. Just imagine God's good gift of coffee not being there??? Or chocolate???? Of course you non-coffee drinkers just be quiet, but life is just not the same without my coffee. Between chocolate and coffee, the need for magnesium and sanity, it makes perfect sense to me! I find this pointed out in literature too how families protected their coffee supply for their weary mother to have even in the face of dire straights. I suppose the tea drinkers feel or felt the same way about their tea. I have coffee on the mind I guess so please pardon this ever so deep post. Now to finish my coffee and get the lazy louts out of bed to greet the day. I need little espresso cups lined up for them all to have the most productive day.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Great Depression

I can not figure out how to make the above link more 'blog pretty' but have been pondering this post which some facebook friend shared not too long ago. The article speaks for itself. I joke that Charley is the youngest survivor of the Depression as he grew up poorer than any of you can imagine. I don't think he really knew it at the time. His mom was the chief bread winner and worked at a 5 and dime type store in Somerset, PA. They always had decent pants and shirts to wear to school and Scouts etc. But they also kept a huge garden, lived on a farm as this blog post stated so had their own meat. They didn't do it perfectly but they could eat. His mother was embarrassed for me to see their home the first time I visited but it really didn't bother me. I admired her where for all. There was not water heater working the first year I visited their family. They heated it on the stove.

Anyway, they knew how to work and support themselves in spite of it all. This article has raised some interesting questions between Charley and I. Charley ultimately learned how to work hard from his farming boss Floyd, whose son died last Friday. He knows that David learned how to work from Floyd as well. We have thought that we have taught our kids how to work too and have done our best to instill in them work ethic. Just this morning we discussed the need of having a nice snow blower for long lane. We have six boys........we are probably going to sell the snow blower and regroup when they all are grown. All the extras cost money. America has made its own issues between energy and technological gizmos.

The portion in the article about our grandparents not going out to eat and always having cash in their wallets. Um yeah. My parents did not go out to eat in the 70's. We have become a 'going out to eat' society. My Grandma always had 300 dollars in her wallet in case the banks failed. When I cook at home with the yum yums we have grown from the garden, it does strike me that I could open my own restaurant as our grub is far healthier and frankly yummier than most of what we get out. Charley and I perhaps have gone out about 6 times this year which is more than we have in the past frankly. We go out to have a few moments to just communicate. I used to take the kids out for their birthdays but that has sort of gone by the wayside too. I have taken a few kids out this year to have some one on one, talk about their future type of time and I do take Anna out when I have the chance to fatten her up and I have gone for a bagel and coffee with some friends. I am not saying we are such stellar people but it amazes me how fast even these little expenditures add up. Sigh. Who knows what is coming down the pike. I think Grammy and Grandpa used to go on a walk together to have alone time or took a picnic basket which are now home decorator objects. Hmmm.....

We used to have animals but got rid of all our supplies to be able to focus more on projects which might bring an income. I don't regret that.....yet. The meat being there has been awesome but it still cost to raise them. I hope we can focus more on the garden. The nutritious veges have paid for themselves many times over. Eat what we can come up with. The honey too has been worthwhile. I am constantly on the look out for deals to help curb our living expenses. I think LaRena and I may tackle the dried beans venue next summer. Beans were not eaten in the Depression for nothing. They gave their tummies protein and nutrition. Sigh.

I will most likely keep up these thoughts here. Money and provision do have their stressors but not doubting God for his provision is a comfort as well. Tough choices are made and our kids learn even through all of this thought process. Two best books to learn thrift are "More with Less" and "The tightwad Gazette", both addressing the American spirit of entitlement. Not saved through our good works certainly but common sense has it's place. Thanking God for His every nudge. I will try to wrap this up but I guess if I were to give awards in thrift I would give them to my mother-in-law, my dear friend LaRena, and the Reese clan. Simple ways just make sense. Thanks for teaching me y'all. The article is worth pondering.....just saying. Hope the link works.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Or single parenting........I am SO done tonight. Sneeze, "I'm hungry", pick up stuff, spill milk, need to go to the bath room, Mommy, mommy, mommy!!!! trip hit their head, spill wheat berries all over back room, clean them up almost......, 'please come and pick up this mess" response or crying, "I'm poopy mommy", "read to me", "i want milk", Mommy, mommy, mommy, "I'm thirsty" (me), "I need to pee or I will have to change my diapers" (me again), phone rings - millionth time today, observe dust bunnies playing every where, screaming, still didn't go pee, Charley calls - his feet are frozen, (he is driving home from Pennsylvania with no heat in the truck), three kids shoving books in my face, spaghetti spit out of child's mouth on laptop, finally getting kids to bed but not quite, headache, need wine, laughter, not have my eyes bug out of my head, where's Jack (24)?, Charleys feet are still freezing, ring, ring......."for the last time I am not interested in the Tribune and I told you that the last three weeks you called and gave my children the impression that you HAD to talk to me." (pathetic whimpering on my part pleading with them to not call me back. Mom calls......"who's Jack?" and "Please post on facebook when they get home", baby screaming in back ground.


Elbows jammed repeatedly in chest fighting infection (still), teeth brushing wars, "good night mommy, I love you. Can I have some water?" "I don't think it is a good idea", irritating gives in and runs up and down the stairs wants out, dog wants in - no one lets him in (don't get a dog ever)......bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, bark.......child walks by door.....bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, bark..........other small child, "I'm not going to bed", "Yes you are - let's change your diaper. Oh, you are dry, let's use the potty" purposely pees in half taken off diaper complete with looks of effort on face. Smiles sweetly at me while I sing to her and wraps her up with a blankie. Lay her in bed, "'I'm not going to bed" loud crying and wailing. Bark, bark, bark, bark, bark bark,...........

You know the drill...........except the bark, bark, bark.......maybe

smallest four besides Evan in cream. Wine cooler, Mr. Bean's Holiday, wait for Charley to come home......Jack 24 season 8 arrived. yay. Drive a little faster Charley. safe.

What to do with pictures and such

Erik is working on decluttering the picture pile left from when we painted in....June??? and actually hanging these things on the wall. He keeps bringing me old family pictures and my eyes roll back in my head. I do not have a good place for these thing anywhere. I keep suggesting to him that he put any picture I don't know what to do with above the toilet. I don't know. Decorating is not my strong point. Decorating to me means getting the crud off the floor and the surfaces and maybe just maybe dusting the surfaces. Oh children!!!! Could you please remove this stuff from the floor????? Please???? You don't need a degree for this interior decorating. The fun we have here.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hearing God's Word

Hearing the word of God tonight at church was much like looking at the stars and contemplating how the same stars I see here are seen all over the world. The same Word of God I heard tonight is heard and read all over the world. Sadly not everyone hears it like the stars are seen. Tonight I contemplated God's promises and how beautiful it is that the same love God has for me is the same Word and promise our dear friends in Pennsylvania hear. The same Word David heard and spoke to his family. This seems so duh but at times is just so much more profound than other times. God's word and love for us through His word is just truly unspeakably remarkable. I don't usually blog about such things as I am always afraid I will say something wrong so I just think about these things in my head and I suppose talk to myself there. I am not sure it has ever struck me how thankful I am for how God's Word is there for everyone. We get so nuclear in our lives and those who we love who are far away, living their lives, loving and of course sinning against one another just as it happens here in our own homes, have this incredible Word of God and His promises for them too. I do not think I think too far outside my own little world very often. There is a great part of me that hates separation from those who are near and dear to my heart. I will try to sleep this evening, miss not being able to be there with my husband at David's funeral, miss not being able to hold our dear friends in my arms and love them. Sigh. I love them dearly. I love God's Word more dearly this evening as eternity speaks louder than every day life. I pray for David's father who is hurting badly. I so pray that he can somehow manage to hear that same Word of God tomorrow and know his heavenly Father loves him so much more than he could ever have loved his own son David. Lord have Mercy.


Found out yesterday that our dear friend David Reese died on Friday of a heart issue (don't know the specifics). He was in his 50's and leaves a beautiful family. I always thought I would be comforting him at his parents funerals. My heart is so heavy for his wife, parents, children and grandchildren and siblings. I rejoice with him that he is with Jesus now. I feel like my own brother died in many ways. Whenever we were in Somerset, we saw their family and every effort of was made to get together. He shared a birthday with Anna and we all talked about that too at every visit. We spent so many wonderful times together. I'm thankful for his modeling of fatherhood, priorities, love of his Lord and faithful attendance to my husband who considered him in the category of dearest friend. Sigh. They modeled to me the meaning of spontaneous hospitality and love for family. What a dear family. David's mother and father, Mary and Floyd, are our second parents. To hear Floyd's dear voice sharing the death of his son. I so want to be there for them. The weather is horrid. It is snowing like crazy and the wind chill is predicted to also be horrid. I will hold down the fort here and Charley is going. I know readers of this here blog don't know this family but prayers for safety of travel and for the comfort of David's family are appreciated. Sigh. Heavy heart.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Three points to Gryfindor

The contest continues. The troops seemed to have stumbled some this week but some showed great improvement. Keeping things up through the week is tricky. They have forgotten that keeping up on things makes it a lot easier. The biggest scandal to me right now is the cow webs. Argh. I am falling behind in the floor washing. But.....over all the contest is going well. Charley made up a point system and has taken to taking away points from dear children who mess up another kids area without cleaning up after themselves. That gives the victim points and takes away points from the offender. The brilliant realization this week is that CHARLEY needs an area and I have designated the back entry way as his as his stuff is what is back there and Cecilia has that area right now and doesn't know what to do with the stuff. So..........perhaps we will need a new judge? I guess I can judge his area and he can judge mine. We lead an interesting life here, we do.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Benjamin is showing some improvement in his reading with consistent teaching happening. A few months ago he could barely read and now something seems to be clicking. We started a spelling program (finally) and I am having Benjamin do it with us too. My older boys spelling has needed help for awhile so we have the 7 year old on up to the 18 year old who wants to conquer and divide this spelling struggle. So far so good. Sequential Spelling is a good program. I have Benjamin spell all the words outloud and think through it with him while the others just make sure they have it spelled right. He actually did what the program said and in four days, from not spelling ever in his life, can spell the words beginning and beginner. I'm impressed.

The gist of reading itself seems to finally be clicking too. Consistency is key in this process as with any process in education. Carving out time and routine have always been the key to success here in our house. Kids who do not 'catch on' quickly need daily routine for success and that is most of the battle. I think that homeschoolers have a great tendency to be random and it is not helpful for the struggling learner. We are getting far more done as time has gone by this school year, than we have in a long time. It is the same routine. We are actually prioritizing our read alouds and that too is becoming more and more successful. The kids love it. I am happy the ease of schooling Benjamin is becoming less of a chore. I am happy also to see that they all seem to be catching the desire to learn. Now if only there were a few more hours in the day. Benjamin went to bed jumping up and down saying how much he is looking forward to spelling tomorrow. Yay!

Seeing what they do

Feeling a little zombified this morning, I am seeing how long it takes the kids to realize they have stuff to do. One is practicing the piano right now. A boy just came in and asked if we were doing Catechesis. When do we not? Hymnals are appearing and one boy is on the couch. Okay then. He is turning to shoot the piano player with his Nerf gun to drop a hint. There is a flurry of playing in the other room. So I will begin and see what happens I guess. Piano player here......

Monday, December 6, 2010

Now to stay home

Took Matthew, Ingrid, and Evan to Ft. Wayne today to visit with friends and for Matthew to participate in a book talk. I think I only managed to do or say three stupid things so that is not too bad but I can sort of laugh about it. I will have to send this to the poor souls who had to endure my foot in my mouth. The first thing was that I did not recognize Lora. My brain seems rather foggy as of late but it has been a few years since we last saw each other. ARgh. Sorry Lora. Then I said something stupid about people being 25 and still home..........I meant I hoped said child of mine figured out SOMETHING to do with their life by age 25. Poor Bethany must have found me a little ditzy. There was one other one........I will just forget that......

Needless to say, the day was nice, getting away is sort of nice but it leaves me pretty worn out, people at home seem rather confused when I am not home. I was very glad to get home safely. Snow was pretty blinding on the way home. I stayed at the Scout meeting for time and safety reasons. The Scoutmaster's cat sent me into allergic attack. Yikes. I clearly am not around cats very often as I didn't think it would be that big a deal. One hour shouldn't be that big a deal. No cats!!!

Now I am home and watching another 24 with Charley.

Confusion does reign when I am not home so I should remember to stay there!!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

"I love my job"

I took Evan for his follow up appointment at the surgeons in Ft. Wayne this morning. We left a little after 6:00 this morning for his 8:15 appointment. When we got there, the receptionist told me the doctor was in surgery. He had been in surgery most of the night for trauma cases. Ugh. Poor him. I mentioned to the nurse that the doctor must run on adrenalin. She said she asked him about that recently and he replied that he didn't care as he loved his job. I can tell he loves his job. He looks lovingly at his little patients and it is obvious they are his chief concern.

This was a good reminder to me that it is true, I love my job too. I was talking later to my sis' about how although we love our jobs, we are all very good at whining about them. That makes me sad of course but maybe for a few days I will remember how much I do love my job. It takes a ton of brain work, although my eldest daughter dear says I think too much. I suppose I do. Perhaps I am afraid of failing my kids or something so it can stress me out and cause me lots of anxiety. We are a bunch of whiners in truth. The poor mes are the trap to fall into which can end up draining the people around us. I can tell my kids not to get the poor mes and then break my own 'rules' by having my own. Of course too when we have the poor mes and want to poor out our troubles to others we most likely rarely think about the poor person listening that they might be stressed too, might have too much on their plates, or have had a yucky week. Sigh. Life is so very interesting.

Sis' and I also talked about how our stressors can make us want to go screaming in the other direction, but these little people, entrusted to our care, need our loving touches and patience. Even little Evan, peering deep into his eyes, I see his little face lighting up with delight or sadness and he really feels that. Too bad we poor miserable sinners can not love our neighbor easily, but I am truly thankful that Jesus forgives me my weaknesses in this department and in repentance or not, I soberly proceed with the little people (and not so little people). The doc exuded Jesus too to me. His office had Jesus all over the place. I thanked him for not being ashamed of Jesus and he told me it was his pleasure. Smile.

See.........I think too much.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

10 minutes to call my own

Way back, when Anna was born, I was given a key chain fob with the little saying, "A Mother's prayer is for ten minutes to call her own," or something like that. Well, I got ten minutes and a bit more this evening. I still have the Evans up with me, but Charley took the older kids to church and Stefan, Benjamin and I read together for about an hour. Since I got up a little before seven, I have literally been teaching all day in one form or another. I even taught through lunch in between bites. It blows my mind to think of how much brain processing went on today. I am happy for the brain processing that went on for the kids today. They worked harder and more efficiently than ever today. I have a lot to be thankful for in that regard and the big kicker is that they did it cheerfully and for the most part I was able to concentrate on one kid at a time. Deep sigh. Mentally spent. So, with ten minutes to call my own, before they return from church, I sit stupidly blogging. Evan is now asleep in his adorable sleeper bag (love those things), the clock is quietly ticking, and there is NO OTHER NOISE! Wow. This does not happen very often.

Tomorrow, the middle kids go to the seminary to sing, the older boys go to the library book sale, and I take Stefan to the doctor to see about his asthma. When the kids return from the Sem, someone needs to take Martin shopping for his Scout trip. I think I am going to get Martin and Matthew both a pair of wool socks for the weekend camping trip. Then on Friday morning, I am up before the birds to take Evan to Ft. Wayne for his follow up appointment. See, I am still processing. What is the next thing to do?????

The funniest thing I have come to realize this year, is that the more we concentrate on finally overcoming our grammar deficiencies, the more paranoid I am about making grammatical errors. I suppose the refresher course will do me good. I think having a dad who always corrected my grammar doesn't help me with grammar paranoia. I look at something I have written and then become stumped by whether it is correct. This is EXTREMELY silly!!! So tired head, turn off, go lay Evan down, and perhaps run a load of laundry before collapsing with Charley watching another episode of......24!

Carpe diem

One of the greatest challenges I face, with this large family, is to get them MOVING in the morning. They are kids and either they do not like their mother's irrational need to accomplish something or they do not have any irrational or rational needs to seize the day, themselves. The very best days are the day after I have ranted at them about wasting time. The next day they are such cherubs. Oh, if we all could just merrily plug along, doing what we need to do in a timely fashion, and of course look to the needs of our neighbor with selfless love. Hmmmm......I need to have some sort of pep rally or dad reminder time on Sunday night or something. They would hate it if dad routed them out of bed. I would hate that too. I just long for a consistency of realizing they need to jump at the day to get something accomplished, including cleaning up after themselves. I think this would be better known as the army and a drill sergeant and I don't look too good in fatigues and army boots. They will have to settle with their half drugged looking mother armed with her coffee mug., hoping to catch a shower before ten in the morning, looking at them askance as they loiter around and conveniently disappear.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The timer works

That FlyLady principal of using a timer has really worked with my middle kids and their math. There are 30 problems and I told them several months ago that it should take about a minute a problem. They have me set a timer and every once in a while ask me which problem they should be on. They usually get done before the 30 minutes are up. Math used to be SO painful but now it has become pretty efficient. For once we are clicking along with their lessons. The other odd motivation for my dear Martin is that he heard that he could possibly test out of classes in college if he studied hard in grade school. Well, that boy is definitely motivated by the possibility of getting out of more work. Hey, if that works, great! He told me this morning he better be studying his grammar more. Wow. I will hang onto the bright spots on this dreary winter day.

Giving up

I am giving up my goal to read Harry Potter 1 - 7 once again and replacing it with the goal that the living room floor can be found by Christmas. Reading. What is that? Goals can be so silly. Maybe by 2015 this goal will be reached and by then I might not care. I'm not sure I care now. Evan is trying to escape his little ickle bouncy seat so better go strap him down.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Questions I wonder about

My quickie question of the day is.......while waiting for the hospital staff to come get us for Evan's surgery, I took note, not for the first time, that an older gentleman sitting in a wheel chair, was being addressed by his wife as if he were a child. The other women who interacted with him spoke in a similar manner to him. But.......later on he struck up a conversation with us and was obviously a very intelligent, talkative, lucid person. question is - why do WOMEN talk to older men as if they are children???? I hear this sort of thing pretty frequently and then I, being an over thinker, put myself in the poor man's shoes and wonder if they notice or care that they are being condescended to? I pray I don't do that to the elder men in my life. Are men really children????? I would like to think they are not. Anna mused it is the result of feminism to treat men like they are 'slow' or incapable of understand. Hmmmm.....I see her point and perhaps she is right.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

More verbal

I have been over processing an interesting conversation which happened recently. I was discussing with a friend, the possibility of Erik going and living in Pennsylvania for awhile to help some farmer friends of ours. Cindy is in need of a kidney transplant and just she and her husband do all the work on their dairy farm. They work harder than anyone I know and the cows don't wait for anyone to be free to milk them. It has to be done. Cindy just found out about this although she knew it was coming someday as her mother had the same condition. She is still in the stunned state and has not put her name on the list. Anyway, Charley and I hope to talk to them about Erik coming out and getting trained so that he could be available to come and be ready to help on short notice.

I mentioned to the friend I was talking to that there is not a church there that Erik could go to easily and his reply was that church only mattered to me and didn't matter much to Erik. Heart drops to stomach. Two things.......he doesn't know Erik as well as he thinks but also this conversation is a serving as a catalyst to be a little more free to invite our friends outside the church to church. In other words perhaps be less polite about 'respecting' their lack of value for the church. I was pretty hurt initially but now see it as an opportunity to point out why the family he loves so much to spend time with are the way they are. As far as I can tell and my prayer of course is it will remain this way, my children would not have it any other way but to be in attendance at the many opportunities there are to partake in God's good gifts. I guess I take this for granted more than I should. Indiana University has NOT drawn my daughter dear away from the church but rather Christ remains central in her life and He is faithful in sustaining her in any challenges which have come her way.

I suppose the friend is correct in that it is typical for the church to be more important to the mom than the kids and the children are 'drug' to church. I don't have this problem, and I am very thankful for the faithful pastors God has provided for us and our family to teach and confess God's word to them and the importance they put in the opportunities given to receive the Lord's supper as well. The kids 'get it' and it is part of their life every day as it should be. Our prayer is they will find faithful spouses to continue the Word of God being as first as we poor miserable sinners can muster. So as we celebrate America's Thanksgiving I personally will stare at my children and thank God for His faithfulness to our family and His forgiveness of Sins. Charley and I have much to be thankful in this regard. And........I will continue to love my neighbor and not be pissed off at his comments but rather forgive and look for opportunity to help him understand without personally being defensive.

As I was was finishing up the apple pie Erik helped me with just now, I hurt my brain some more thinking about what exactly is different about Emmaus. At Emmaus there is a correct understanding that (duh) every individuals faith and life is THEIR faith and life. Each individual's confession of faith is important and emphasized no matter how old or young they are. Catechesis is for life and the emphasis is not just for those who have been 'confirmed' but also for the very youngest on up to our wonderful elders in the church. Parents teach their children why we do what we do in faith as best they can but the pastor especially communicates this to each child, youth, parent, grandparent and the same attention is given to each individual. The words confession of sins, forgiveness of sins, confession of faith are for ALL ages instead of categorized by age and maturity or lack there of. (rambling now) I have never heard my pastor categorize the people of the church as being able to 'handle or understand' this or that and each individuals faith and life IS because Jesus is and not because of what grade they are in. But.....isn't the way it should be???? So I am thankful for the Shephards given to our family who do not sugar coat our faith and decide for me that my children 'can't handle' sin, death and the grave or putting it right on the line that Jesus is EVERYTHING and in ALL they do. Thank you Pastor and Asst. Pastor for what you do!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

No sweat

Thanksgiving dinner seems to be not that much more involved than any other day around here. We will most likely be just our family tomorrow as we are sort of 'skipping' the family gathering this year. Evan has outpatient surgery on Friday and then this evening we just returned from a short trip to Pennsylvania. I hope to rest as much as possible tomorrow. We will stick the turkey in, whip up some stuffing and chop up some squash to eat. I think I will just assign everyone a dish and go with it.

Evan's surgery IS on my mind as I look in his cute little trusting face and think too much about telling him no and managing to get to Ft. Wayne with a hungry mad baby. I know it will be for his good and I am sure I will be doing my best to hold myself together during the procedure but am thankful his issue is not something more serious. I will be so glad when it is over with and we are back home again. We might have to chill out somewhere afterward but will SO want to be home as soon as possible too. Sigh. Jesus loves Evan so much and will hold onto that. I am also thankful Anna is home this weekend to help some with the other little people who hate it when I leave.

Sleepy tired from our journey so am stumbling off to bed now.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Vacation amusement

We are on our annual pilgrimage to Pennsylvania to see our farmer friends and stomp Charley's home stomping ground. We of course have forgotten a few vital items such as Benjamin's nebulizer, Woody and Bullseye, more than one shirt for Stefan and.......I guess that is about it. This year we did bring along an additional passenger, our neighbor Jim. He is retired, single, and comes to dinner pretty frequently at our house. Charley and Erik went over the weekend to a tool meet in Bloomington and about a week ago we invited Jim to come with on our family trip. He came with Charley last year to the family's farm auction and had a great time. He talks a mile a minute. Perhaps he is making up for all the time he spends alone as a single person with his house full of tools. His tools don't talk back to him. He is greatly amused by the family antics. He also keeps Charley in line so I don't have to! It has been pretty hilarious. Charley doesn't react to questions from the Jim. This morning Charley, Jim, Erik and Matthew are on a mission to get maple syrup sugaring supplies. Jim LOVES it out here in the sticks. He informs me of what it is like here which I also find amusing since I have been coming out here for 25 years but that is okay too.

We have thoroughly trashed the hotel room and will be taking off hopefully soon to go back to the Reese's. They are 79 years old this year with 18 Great Grandchildren so far. We go out to the Walker's dairy farm this evening for another wonderful spread of food. Fat and getting fatter.......I can not wait to get my hands on some wood to chuck!!! MUST DO SOMETHING!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Contest week 2

I can not say that contest week two was as successful as the first week. We did have our share of distractions with Charley's job etc. Then I kept them hopping with their school work so maybe that is why. Charley was not here Friday to 'judge' the rooms so tomorrow night will be the night when he returns. I personally got a lot done today with areas which are 'my' responsibility and the kids who were here helped with some really bad spots. I am encouraging them all to keep up with washing the floors in their areas and MAYBE our socks will not be so yucky anymore. The drawback with this is that the dirty spots seem to stick out to me more but hey, I shouldn't complain. It is better than it was. I think most of our challenge is keeping up with what Ingrid gets out. She did manage to spread chocolate pudding all over our new bedspread. It is in the washer now and I am hoping it comes out clean! I might be the winner on most improved areas this week. Woo hoo!

My challenge which I am going to dare to put on here, is to read all the Harry Potter books by the New Year. I have read one to four in the past but can't remember much of it. (Scandalous I know) Perhaps we will make reading challenges for everyone for the next month and a half or so. Sounds like a plan to me. We started this in the summer but it petered out in the end. This is also the third time I have started rereading number 1 so I will have to make myself scarce here and go work on it!

I love you mom!!!!

Stefan must tell me this 50 times a day. Well now everyone tells me this all day long. Pretty sweet eh? it goes like this....Stefan says, "I love you mom!" and I say, "I love you too Stefan." Then a few others say this and Ingrid in Ingrid talk says it and if I do not immediately acknowledge her with "I love you too Ingrid." she proceed to scream over and over and starts crying, "I LOVE YOU MOM!!!!" Love is interesting at times isn't it?

Friday, November 19, 2010


What a week! It isn't over yet either. Today's topic of contemplation is encouraging the dad to spend more time in conversation with the children. This is not his forte but frankly the kids avoid the dad in topics concerning life Here it is one week after being informed of the dad's imminent job loss (some time next year) and their daddy dear is on top of things, not despairing and his reputation proceeds him with his colleagues. This is a good thing. conversation with the kids I suppose it has struck me to point out to them that their dad has not gotten where he is over night and building a reputation for being an awesome engineer started when he was rather young. Dads can be useful in passing this along and moms can be wimps in enforcing the kids talk to their dads about the tough stuff.......making it in life. Since the kids do not tend to drift his way, I am encouraging him to remember to drift their way. Sigh. My knowing answers to what needs to be done will not make them do it. Hhhmmmm.....where is that hockey stick?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It is all relative

Today is not a lot different than any other day in my life. I have my Benjamin who consumes most of the day with his lessons in school. He is pretty dyslexic as far as I can tell and I have to repeat and repeat and repeat the instruction. The obvious to others is something I need to reteach again and again. What is the difference between a big B and a little b. I think I might be over 10,000 times now. Sigh. It is SOOOOO time consuming. I love this little boy. I have been here and done this with another child and tell myself every day that a few years from now, Benjamin too might want to read Harry Potter or whatever strikes his fancy.

In the meantime the two year old spends much of her day frustrated and the older kids try to pick up the slack in paying attention to her. I would love to take time to just sit and read to her more or even play with her. Evan is starting to play with toys and is pretty much adorable but he still spends much of his day interested in his stomach.

My dear husband is facing the big unemployment thing. We know it is true now, the question is how much longer. His severance package will be pretty good and we hope he can hang in there till June for his 25th anniversary at Bosch. Hmmmm.....I will get tired of thinking about that. I am trying to make things pleasant at home and yes, sometimes I do feel like crying because I know how much both of us hate red tape and we will have to use up a few rolls of that. We basically suck at red tape but are trying to improve. Resumes......yuck.

There are bright spots. I won't elaborate but at least there are some. Regular life without the stressors can be a bright spot too. I felt well enough about the job thing yesterday and today but I suppose having to witness Charley go through the end of everything he has known is hard to watch. Sigh. I suppose I wouldn't feel half this way if some of the kids would see to their responsibilities without so much parental encouragement and also the pain of the tedium of Benjamin's school lessons.

This is getting too long, but we are also sort of canceling Thanksgiving gatherings as we will be visiting friends earlier in the week and then Evan has outpatient surgery on Friday. We will do something small at home and be glad Anna is home for a few days. All of this leaves little time to breath.

Get over the poor me Karin. It will all be okay.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Holding onto God's promises

The rumor mill at work is nicely cranked up again and Charley says 'the' announcement will be later this week. Oh joy. Now we will find out the very likely news that we will be unemployed people soon. Good thing we went out to dinner last night as I doubt he will be in the mood to do that any time soon. God richly and daily provides all that we need to support this body and life. I will be sharing that A LOT with him in the days to come. We have some ideas. I will get a job if I have to. This is probably sharing more than needed but I have to get it out somehow. I pretty much hate this but I also know a few other families who have no idea what lies ahead so I can't be too discouraged. Guess what is for dinner!? Squash! God richly provided it and it fills our tummies so we are glad and thankful. Pray for Charley this week as I have no doubt this will be a very stressful week at Bosch. Sigh. Holding onto God's promises more and more with every passing day. Too bad I was normal and didn't remember this as much when we felt comfortably employed.......

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Biking and the weird

Biking was rather nice today. I got to the end of the road where I either turn back or turn the corner and go further and.......I went further. It was a good work out to be sure. Contrary to some poeple's opinions, my fatness will need some serious wood chucking too to rid myself of a lot of it. Then there is pacing it all. Let us see here, there are the kids, food, laundry, cleaning etc., drinking enough, eating enough, not eating too much, the basic every day check list. Resting happens while teaching and simply having the little guy need me again....this rest does not seem to be enough I guess. Sigh..I will start again tomorrow and maybe fit in some biking during the week. But......biking was good mentally and physically. Amazing the changes in the scenery since March. The squeaky windmill is gone, some people put in roads, and some woods were cleared. The hills are the same and I think I was a little stronger today. Duh. I guess I just realized why I was able to hit the hills as hard as I did - I am not expecting a baby! Hmmmmm......that does make a difference.

My dear children have been focusing on our oddities.....again. We are normal for us I guess. There are some silly, cute reasons behind this focusing. I will just learn to appreciate our oddities more I guess. I am assured that it is okay for me to be 'different' so okay.....

Was that fuzzy enough???? Time to hit the hay. The little cherub who went to bed early last night, got up a lot in the night. Here's hoping he sleeps for a little while tonight so I can catch some z's.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

By the book baby

Evan is now our fourth 'normal' baby by the standard of what books say babies are supposed to do. Anna slept all the time, Erik (our only 'fat' baby) slept pretty well too, and Matthew was basically a napper and early to bed kid too. Martin.....began the no nap syndrom. Cecilia didn't sleep in her own bed until she was well over two, Benjamin slept at night but didn't do well during the day, Stefan the same and Ingrid.......ditto. Evan takes great naps and went to bed at 7:30 this evening! He keeps going to bed earlier and earlier! Wow. This might mean I will go to bed earlier too. Welcome back normal baby!

Enjoy being fat????

After sharing that I was getting a little weary of being fat and even getting fatter, the kid's piano teacher said to enjoy being fat. Very interesting comment. I suppose I haven't been as worried about my fattness this time around. I always seem to start getting fatter too. I find it ironic that despite my fatness and doing EVERYTHING they say to do to help the baby get enough nutrition yada yada yada, I have a baby who has the wettest, messiest diapers but doesn't gain weight that quickly and I just get fatter. Well, Horner babies just do not get huge on this mom and probably wouldn't for any other mother. He may be getting more than the last few kids but he isn't that much bigger. I suppose that means he is just right. Right for a Horner kid.

I WANT to go biking more often to fight the fat. The bike now has a flat tire which needs a new tube so I will have to wait till that gets fixed. It is a good thing I enjoy biking in the winter. Maybe by next summer I will be less fat.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Contest week 1

Everyone worked hard that is for sure. Some of the rooms were definitely more difficult than other rooms. Charley was the 'judge' and he did take this into account. We made a most improved category. For the future the prize is going to be five dollars to the room that is in the best shape and five dollars to the most improved room. We will do it again this next week. Martin was the winner this week and was also most amused by his dad telling him that there was no quarter round on the trim in his rooms and that he would have to count him down for that. Har har. The experiment was a success!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Contest revision

So far the contest is working. The work is pretty daunting though as the detail cleaning is sadly neglected. So dear husband has come up with a revision of the contest. Everyone will keep their assigned area and on Fridays he will determine the winner of the week. He might give a runner up prize too. There have been improvements but there is much left to do. I need to work on my area but am not included in the prize getting. I have my own idea of who is winning so far but I think for at least this week the prize needs to be given based on 'most improved' area. Stay tuned........

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's Crowded

My little Evan has bronchitis. Sigh. Of course, as all good mothers do, I googled bronchitis in infants and found that bronchitis is more common in infants who are in daycare and those living in crowded living situations. Yep. Our house certainly is big enough so that we might NOT be crowded but everyone loves Evan so they can't stay away from him! All of my kids school work is usually done in close proximity to the Evans and me so there too, every sneeze, cough and picked nose is not too far away from sharing with everyone else. I suppose this is how people years ago got sicker as their families were larger so they could share more. I am trying not to focus too much on the other scary things I read as it is the internet of course and not a physician. My understanding is that bronchitis in infants is usually a result of having RSV which most kids have before the age two. Some require hospitalization. Obviously that is the part which freaks me out and I should not borrow trouble and just keep working towards his improvement. These things are of course out of my control. God, sometimes I don't like lessons in trust but okay, I will proceed in faith and keep taking care of the little guy. Part of that care is banning all kissing of his cuteness, washing hands more often and cleaning surfaces more. Sounds impossible. Praying for the boy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Sometimes it all boils down to bribery. Gazing about my house and wondering how to tackle it all, I decided to give the kids a contest. I assigned each child a different area to clean and they have till Friday to get it done. School work comes first and I can still ask them to do other things like cleaning the dishes together etc. Charley will be the judge of this contest. Included in their assigned area will be their bedrooms. It can't hurt can it? They are free to ask me for advice on how to improve their areas too. I asked them what they would do if someone stopped by unexpectedly and wanted to go upstairs to their rooms or to any area of the house for that matter. they are on to the contest and we shall see what happens. Now to think of a prize.....

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sometimes I want to cry

Yes, I am whining again. This homeschooling thing can certainly be stressful at times. In this house at this moment I am juggling nursing the baby, trying to teach Benjamin to read and do math, Matthew is practicing the piano, Erik is working on his class work, Ingrid is perpetually sad this morning, Stefan is needy, and Martin and Cecilia will need their math graded soon. There are extraneous needs, like calling the health insurance about some coverage issues, paying bills etc, which are looming as well. I will stop now. I am focusing on my lack of patience at the moment and still trying to keep doing the next thing WITHOUT crying. Stefan still greeting me with, "I love you Mom." "I love you too Stefan." Ok Stefan, I will try to pull myself together here.........enough said. I think my stress builds from having to repeat myself over and over again when little people can't seem to understand me and also everyone talking at once. Duct tape......

Saturday, November 6, 2010

What am I doing?

I was asked an interesting question this week. I was asked what I have been doing lately. Hmmm.....I figured out the question meant 'what was I doing for myself'. Funny, I think I am satisfied without worrying too much WHAT I am doing for myself. What I do for myself generally is take care of my family. That is still doing something for myself. The question was initially perplexing because I thought it was pretty obvious what I have been doing. I truly enjoy spending time with my family. I can't say I love the clutter but overall I do a lot more with them than just do their laundry. We pray together, sing together, learn together, eat together, work together and the list goes on. When I look into their eyes I see another person who looks back into my eyes and I value what I see. I value their individuality. I am not ashamed of 'just' being their mom. True I do teach them too but this is not drudgery. We have our daily challenges which mostly amount to being frustrated by whining or not listening but that really is not that bad.

I think there is an assumption that people can not be happy unless they are somehow being fulfilled with something outside their families. I am not sure I am explaining this exactly right, but the emphasis on outside fulfillment just pulls the family apart. Even the kids do not HAVE to be constantly socially plugged in. It makes me very happy to hear my kids express that they miss each other when one is away. The nine of them all together will most likely not be all together much longer. Anna is already away at school but she is still part of our home family for now.

So what have I been doing???? What I am supposed to do or at least I thought so.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Not usually. Sigh. There is stuff everywhere. Oh......this is whining again right? I keep telling myself to breathe and not worry with all the Krug all over. So the other game is to get something finished and try not to worry too much about what is NOT done. If I keep plugging away and my discipline is in seeing Benjamin EVERY day, then he will see progress. I am telling the poor boy that perhaps we can 'trick' Stefan and Ingrid into learning too if he helps me to help them. Who is tricking who here. Benjamin thinks it is funny. He can be so talented at the poor me's as his little brother knows how to get his goat and then the weeds grow before Benjamin's face and he can't discern what matters and doesn't and the whole day will go down the toilet for the poor boy. Focus Benjamin. Help ME focus Benjamin. We can do this. Ingrid..........don't be so sad please. She gets so two year old frustrated it breaks my heart. So I delegate someone to grab her, hug her, feed her and read to her instead of tolerating the endless crying and ignoring her. Sigh again. Not enough of me but I suppose the older ones will be WAY tolerant or perhaps too tolerant of screaming toddlers. They will definitely know the fact that toddlers scream sometimes and be able to laugh a little about that.

The Krug will be easily conquered a few months down the road when the Evan is older and can entertain himself for longer periods of time. He is sleeping on my shoulder at the moment and is nice and snuggly and I am reminding myself how fleeting this will be. I close my eyes and soak him in as Stefan, his older brother, chirps at me how he loves me. Sweetness and bliss. Perhaps if I keep my eyes closed I won't see the Krug as much. Right????? Sounds reasonable to me.

"Oh Benjamin, are you done writing Ben, Ben, Ben, Ben, your cute little pattern making lesson????? Time to move on.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Using what we have

We are continuing the 'game' of watching what we spend. It is not that we didn't used to pay attention as I think I have stated before. So far we are doing pretty well at basically using what we have here. We always buy in bulk from the Amish, things like oatmeal and wheat berries so we have plenty of supplies on hand for basic ingredients. Now the daily 'game' is peering in the refrigerator and seeing what bit of this and that needs used up. Today it was some leftover pumpkin puree and some applesauce. I threw them in a recipe for pumpkin biscuits and the applesauce worked just fine with the pumpkin. They are also, not surprisingly, almost completely eaten already. Tomorrow I plan to use up some cherries in my morning oatmeal. I figure pumpkin or cherries in oatmeal would taste a lot like pie. Yum. The kids are getting better at eating leftovers too. I actually like it that there is not as much in the fridge at a time. Everyone also has been more willing to cut up the pumpkin and squash so that I can use it for meals. It works!

Charley gave the kids another challenge. We are keeping track of the utility bills and he told them if they helped bring the bill down, that he would pay them the difference in the money saved as he would rather give our money to them than to the utility companies. Sounds like a plan!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Slow and steady

It is slow and we are trying to keep it steady - Benjamin's reading lessons that is. He needs the steady more than anything for him to make progress. I think he is getting close to having things click for him. I am trying to keep it simple and keep going over everything we have done together patiently and in small amounts each time. The hardest part has been keeping this regular. I am easily distracted by a need to keep everything else steady. So my strategy is to progress through each day in the same way I might proceed to get out of debt. I pay who I owe the highest interest to first and the most. In this case I owe Benjamin the most, Erik probably the second most where it concerns writing and test taking, and then Cecilia and Martin with their math. It has taken till the last week or so to get some consistency in our routine and the kids are picking up the pace now. Patience. Slow and Steady. Anything can be accomplished 15 (or a bit more) minutes at a time. I do believe we hit every day this week with consistency. Almost November......I guess it could be worse.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wood God

Thus begins another season of worshiping the Wood God. The wood stove is being uncovered from being a clutter catcher right now. Of course my resolution to not use it for a horizontal surface was given up a long time ago. It is supposed to be 28 tonight. Brrrrr....... We just found our fall/spring jackets and now we have to hunt down the winter ones.

This morning we moved our hoards of squash and pumpkins to the root cellar and basement and some of it was delivered. We should be eating some this evening but we also had salsa to finish and a disaster kitchen to clean and as many potatoes as we could dig to dig. Believe it or not the kids got some worthwhile school work done in between all of this.

I have been reading Mrs. Piggle Wiggle to the kids and they are loving that. It will have some effect on them for a little while. I am pleased that reading out loud is happening. I still have not accomplished working on any book for myself. I am still pleased with the slow and steady wins the race philosophy around here. It is working.......slowly but ends another school day.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Chasing it

I have been making some attempts to help my dears figure out how to chase their education. That is what I say to the oldest two here, "Chase it". We start each day with our stomachs of course and then some panic kitchen clean-up, followed by catechesis and hoping no one has a break down in the middle of it. The next stop is reading out loud to them for awhile, followed by mandatory math for everyone. With math I set a timer and they have to complete it in that time or will be sent to bed early as there is no reason math should take all day. We try to keep track of how long math took each day so they stay on track. Because of limited time, we have been skipping the reading out loud part this last week, but I really don't want to skip it. If the day is good, everyone proceeds to grammar, their own reading, and some Science. Fitting Benjamin into all this is tricky as I seem to lose him or the rest of them with an interruption like paying attention to just one kid!!!! So my goal is to snag that kid over breakfast or reel him in at bedtime.

Consequences for not chasing it are an early bed time and absolutely NO internet. The internet is only allowed after the sweet darlings come to Charley or I and convince us it is okay for them to get on it. So.......they have to chase it if they want it. I have found this is working pretty effectively for the oldest ones. Now the trick will be remembering this is the rule. They know how to play me. If I can get three of these days in for sure then I know it has been a good week. It doesn't always happen. I am holding to that wonderful advice I heard years ago of lowering my expectations and then I won't be so dissatisfied and frustrated with them. It is nice to see they are making any progress at all. I think they are also seeing the benefits of chasing it too. They are seeing the error of neglect too. Sigh. Plug along and don't think too hard about it and we will be happier! I won't push them out the door into the passing bus this way either. I find it humorous that homeschooled kids have a fascination with school buses. If only they really knew what creeps into their parent's thoughts.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Comedy with their mom

I have been trying to teach Benjamin the basics, such as the days of the week and the months of the year. I have NOT had circle time with the little people with little sun and rain stickers etc. All the kids have listened to this CD which has a cute little song about the days of the weeks and the months of the years. Well, this morning Benjamin could still not say these correctly so I started singing those cute little songs and my dear older children all broke into song with me. It sort of reminded me of the Alleluia Chorus as they were amazingly loud. They don't miss a beat in their inheritance of weirdness from their mother. Benjamin enjoyed it too. So now I am thinking they will be joining in on this just like the hymn of the week if they are in ear shot. I am glad they know their days and months. I'm glad too that they are fun loving and have a nice sense of humor.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Irony of saving money

My favorite money saving book is 'More with Less'. It is a cookbook. I am not sure I would define myself the same way as this book but it did teach me a thing or two. I guess I have been a "everything in moderation" sort of person. Well, I do find it amusing that the month I get rid of all our debt, we become somewhat financially challenged. It seems as hard as I try to cut back, the more things break. Keep laughing Karin. I can not say I am driven to save money in a crazy way but I have been very free to spend money on things we didn't really need in the past. The feeling of entitlement seems to easily grow on a person. Getting rid of bunches of stuff helped me see we don't really need to get MORE stuff to take care of.

My greatest weakness is currently books. Books can get me in trouble that is for sure. Between medical stuff, food, gas, trying to save for future vehicles, and a few miscellaneous things which kids need like shoes for organ lessons, shoes for growing feet and a few birthday gifts we seem to burn through quite a bit. Sometimes it seems even those things are out of line as we have greatly reduced our spending and still seem to not get much further ahead. Our septic system, as I have mentioned, finally will get fixed tomorrow, our stove is still broken, and a few more feet need shoes. More money...........I hate money.

With all the predictable expenses I am trying to be more responsible with treats like grabbing sandwiches while out with a kid on errands, sugary cereals (ouch to the pocket)(never thought I would see the day when I actually looked forward to my oatmeal!) and even the occasional chocolate craving. OF course part of all this is motivated from the mystery of Charley's job in the future and having a buffer. I am staring at the fridge and groceries and trying to use what is most likely to go bad first, use the veges from the garden and researching all sorts of yummies online, and eating meat from the freezer which we already have. Pretty crazy eh? Charley of course is FINE with this. We can still eat like kings with a little creativity. I will attempt to not make myself nuts with obsessing. Anna did talk me out of picking up a sandwich this afternoon when I finally got Erik out to get his new glasses ten months after his appointment. It all adds up doesn't it Anna dear.

Oh, I might get criticized for this post but oh well. We are still trying to have fun with this. I ask who is going to murder a pumpkin today so we can make pumpkin this and that and turn orange. I see the benefit to just staying home and snuggling with my kids and learning stuff together. This is probably getting boring but I have no doubt I will continue to chase after this thing for awhile anyway till it is much more of a habit and not so much of an impulse. I will have to post the hilarious article I read called something like "15 different situations you should NOT use your credit card". It was on Yahoo or some such place. I can't remember the exact title but it was pretty enlightening.

Just one last word of encouragement......I still love ice cream and I don't make it from scratch........can I kick that habit????? And...yes, yes, I know none of this craziness will 'save me' but keeping my head on straight can't hurt too much either.


Between hungry babies and screaming toddlers, I think I finally have all my plans in order to keep sailing smoothly through the school year. Progress. Deep sigh. I am hoping to keep on track or at least keep crossing things off so that my small people get some more attention. Right now I am dashing out the door to finally purchase new glasses for Erik who should have gotten these four months ago but life keeps happening! Then a quick trip to purchase milk, butter, and eggs and back to the trenches.

Screaming two year old equals headache..........

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I might write a book

Way back when I had perhaps four kids I looked for books on advice on raising a 'large' family. There really aren't any. I did find one book called something like, "What I wish I knew sooner". It was written by a mother of ten or so kids and it was hilarious, sobering, etc. I liked it. I could probably put my hands on it if I got up off the couch to do so.

I might write a book by interviewing all my fantabulous Lutheran friends with large families and compiling the truths we have learned. I think about this book writing when I peruse other blogs and see people pondering doing things I have done and wish I hadn't, I want to scream a warning or at least tell them my experience. Perhaps people don't really want help though. There are many romantic ideas of raising lots of kids and having animals too. Sigh. I have a lot to say about that. I can think of the chapters:

Dreaming of having a large family
Having three kids and being asked how you handle all those kids
Giving up on cloth diapers
Doing everything by scratch to 'save' money
Thinking raising animals would be a 'neat' idea
Organizing our stuff (??????)
Cutting costs
Cutting costs again
Revisiting cutting costs
Taking up a second pew at church
Cathechizing our kids
The day I sent the FlyLady a letter bomb
When things go wrong
Flying the nest
Kids and 'relationships'
Kids getting married
Figuring out that your kids can only invite family to their wedding as there won't be room in the church.
Grandkids while having your own children
Family shrinking
Empty nest????
Smiling at families with lots of kids
The funeral

Those might be a few of the topics. Would anyone want to read it? I probably offend people at times on blog responses as I have been there and done that so I rarely remark. There is also the, every family has their own take on things, but that is why I would interview people to get more input of their experiences. I am sure I would have fun commiserating with other moms and dads at a bare minimum. Why doesn't this book get written? Because we don't have time to write it!!! I can dream.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Trying not to be overwhelmed or whine

It is just another week filled with unexpected stuff. Two of my kids were hired to help our vegetable farmer friend and perhaps I should have said no. I am short handed at home and am struggling to get dinner on the table. Why am I typing. I am feeding the little person who is keeping me on my toes as well. Two kids are fighting and chasing each other around the house. I do NOT begrudge Evan his need to eat but seeing things which need to be done everywhere does stress me out a bit. So I am whining. The other end of the stick is to just greet every new challenge as it comes and NOT feel overwhelmed. I do know that once Evan is more independent I will be able to tackle more things with a vengeance. The laundry and dishes seem constantly out of control no matter what that FlyLady person says. My dearest husband had a sudden urge to pour other comment on that one. Sigh. Breathe, breathe, breathe.

Lots of things seem different this year and one of those things is trying to do a more thorough job with the kids on their schooling. We are home most of the time and have limited trips out of the house but even that has been challenged by doctors appointments etc. Things just seem different. Struggle, struggle. I need to spend A LOT more time with Benjamin and his reading and math. I need to help I can.....and then I was looking forward to reading a lot more with the kids and that came to a screeching halt last week. I do sense that EVERYONE seems to be crazy busy. I hear people talking about life calming down. REALLY? I just can't see that happening any time soon.

Yes, I am whining. I need a few more of mes or patience to wait a month or two for Evan to become more content longer. I am also trying not to worry about the weight gain thing with Evan and remembering I better look into that baby cereal soon enough. I guess I will worry about that once I cross a few other bridges.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A song for everything.......

"Oh, we sing this song about the sewer. About the sewer, we sing this song. Together we stand, with shovel in hand, to keep things moving along." Having worked at a summer camp, the wealth of stupid songs keep us all slap happy I guess. The septic system is still screwed up and the septic dudes have not shown up to help us out. Sadly, the system is not designed for this many people. Still singing that song............

In other news, the kids found Anna's missing boot in the van while I bought milk at Aldi's after church today. It has been missing for almost two months and kids have trampled on it and spilled on it without taking any notice. How can you NOT notice a boot under your feet??????? The pains large families suffer from the soup otherwise know as the van. My nursing sling was also on the back bench floor being trampled. ?????? I just do NOT understand. I will try not to think to hard about this strangeness and just accept it as our plight in life. I'm not sure I can call that my cross to bear...........oh well. I can not even imagine driving my little dream car - a green, convertible, little European car thingie. Sounds good. Two and a grandkid, when the time comes, zooming around town.

Found a rotten potato on the kitchen floor next to a container which has been sitting there for months. How does this happen? Probably happens the same way Anna's boot could be left undetected for months on the van floor. Same problem.

I have decided that since there certainly isn't enough time or me to chase after all of this stuff with the Evan in arms, that I am basically geering bedtime on each child's willingness to help pick up after themselves and others. If they stand still, staring straight ahead, after being told the same instruction several times, then a seven o'clock bed time is in order to help their brains along the road to recovery or increase their awareness of what is going on around them. Sharpening of their brains might help some around here, plus if they can't do the work then, it will free me up to do some of it myself when I am not taking care of them til too late in the evening. Evan can just come with me.

That is all...........for now.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I was blessed to spend the afternoon with my Goddaughter who is now 21 and fairly newly married. As she said, we should get together more often. We had great conversation and she had lots of questions about life choices etc. When she arrived to meet me, she had "The Well Trained Mind" in hand and peppered me with questions about homeschooling. They are not even expecting at this point but she is enthusiastic to investigate these things now. It was a great talk. I am glad I am able to help her and humbled she comes to me for advice. I wish the rest of my Godchildren lived this close but perhaps, as they get older, I can figure out ways to talk more with them. If I am remembering correctly, myother two Godchildren are 6 years old at the moment. I am also pleased that my 21 year old Godchild and her husband have settled into an LCMS church even if it is not my own. No joke - pray for your Godchildren as duh, God answers prayer. I think more and more about that as my own children get older and are closer to being completely on their own. I am thankful that even when I forget to pray, Jesus has that covered too. Sigh. Praying about a lot of things. Now I need to remember how many different things I said I would send her as far as information goes. I should have made a list.

Friday, October 15, 2010


School and family seems to be getting easier and easier as we slowly get back in the groove of school and routines. Charley has been taking at least one day off a week so he doesn't loose his vacation days. He spends his 'vacation' working here at home. He 'borrows' a kid here and there to do weird things like pour cement or chop wood. The wood splitter broke today. Oops. I hope Charley survives this. He loves his wood splitter.

Matthew is having a bunch of boys over this evening to party outside and probably in. It should be interesting. I am hoping to party some with a friend too. I am somewhat addicted to making food stuff from all the free produce which has come our way so have been making up stuff to share. The pumpkin black bean soup in Taste of Home was incredible. I am considering tweaking the recipe to make the same thing into enchiladas. It should work.

Took the opportunity to go biking this afternoon. It seems that I should figure on going every other day in light of someone having to watch Evan for me. I might go my old route next time and go the whole ten miles. It is SO beautiful out and getting outside and in my own little world is a plus. There is no lawn to mow as it is too dry.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I am currently being hugged by my huggy little guy Stefan. We are having left over night which includes eating what is there before anything else is put on the table. Sounds frugal eh? I am just not good at cooking just enough so Charley has something to take to eat at work and not mass quantities. Kids coughing and heading to bed SOON. I unleashed the mean old mommy rules again so they will be there much sooner than usual. Eating what we have here does work better than I think it would and so does staying home as much as possible. Appointments seem unavoidable and wreck havoc on routine. Sigh. Not much as to report other than managing every and their goals and needs pretty much can give me a headache. Current project is cheerfully doing our school work and such with out being such cranks...........early bed time............

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Charley and I are having 'fun' working together to save money. Duh, I know we can't control what might go wrong, like our septic system going hay wire, but we are attempting to be more conscious of our expenditures. There are things we can do to save a little more efficiently and responsibly such as planning meals, not having so much 'fun' with frivolous purchases of media etc. Sigh. The rumor of Bosch moving to Detroit gets stronger as time passes and we would like to not move so will have to pray for other solutions and basically for God's will in all this. I am NOT freaked out which Charley sometimes forgets and attempts to 'protect' me from by not sharing this information with me but it really helps the family to realize what is going on. So Charley has taken up going to the bread store for us, is helping with processing some food which was basically free to eat this winter, and also goes on milk runs. This saves on out of the way trips. Everyone knows how to do this of course, it is just a pain to keep up with. I appreciate his willingness to work with me and he feels better knowing effort is being made to make conscious decisions.

So........we went out to eat last week for my bday. Holding with tradition, boring though this sounds, I got myself a gift. Charley called uncle on this years ago. And as tradition goes, I went outside last night to fetch him from his hobby of digging holes and pouring cement, to ask him please come in and give me my birthday gift. He comes in and asks where it is and 'wraps' it up and gives it me. I open it with the appropriate exclaims of surprise. It really was a gift to both of us this year. 'His' gift to me seasons five and six of 24 bought used on Amazon. Our addiction can carry on now. I think we are going to start over when we are done as they are pretty entertaining.

My brain is screwing itself into more thriftiness and not changing our giving. The Lord will certainly take care of us, but he sends boats and helicopters too. I like being able to work with the husband on these goals as sadly we have not taken the time to manage finances so well in the past so off we struggle along on this continued adventure. My other birthday gift to me was to completely eliminate ALL credit card debt. It happened Monday. House, vehicles, and credit cards all paid off and zeroed. Time for a new debt to crop up but maybe not. It seems that is the way things go but at least it seems more like progress. I don't have a payroll job but am trying to do what I can to get organized and help out more.

I will shut up now........I am sure this is nothing new or that exciting to folks........just thinking out loud.

Monday, October 11, 2010


It is our family tradition for everyone to be sick during birthday week. Today is mine (mild symptoms), Matthew's is tomorrow (now coughing), and Erik's is next week (not sick.......yet.....holding out for his birthday). I think a great percentage of my kids get sick on their bdays. So......we are certainly chilling out today. I was sort of hoping to take Matthew out for lunch today or tomorrow but I don't think that will happen. Unschooling does solve a myriad of problems. I am not too stressed by the sickness interruption. We are taking life very slowly today. Last year it was the stomach flu so I am NOT complaining!!!!

Our septic system is stressed so have to take care that we don't stress it further till the septic pumper outers come. Our system is NOT designed to handle this many people. We bought a high efficiency washer the last time we stressed it out. Now I think we will have to visit the Cheaper By the Dozen motion study of shower taking. My kids love long showers. Who doesn't? That will have to wait for next summers pool attendance........long showers during the breaks.

So goes the day. I think I will go open a jar of herring in honor of the day's 'festivities' (aka nose blowing). Too bad I can't find a tomato to go with it.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sweet old man at the grocery

I LOVE it when this sort of thing happens. I was at Aldis with Cecilia and Evan and I suppose since I carry my babies and don't leave them stuffed in their car seat, I draw attention or something. So this older gentleman, his wife and I were trying to get through a tight spot in the store and of course we were all having a contest in manners. I was having a little bit of a struggle controlling my now heavy cart while balancing Evan on my shoulder. The older gentleman asked me if both of my children were girls and I replied that no the baby was a little boy and that Cecilia was in the middle. The gentleman got that look of curiosity on his face and asked "Oh? In the middle? How many children do you have? Nine??? Really? I came from a family of nine." It was so VERY sweet to see this man's eyes just light up like the little kid he once was. I asked him if they had a lot of fun growing up and his eyes lit up even more. He had a captive audience of enthusiasm to share his memories with. It was a fun talk. When we parted ways he told me that he has the greatest respect for women and for mothers. He added that he was proud of me (doesn't even know me) and what I was doing for my kids. AWwww! I should have invited him over so he could reminisce with the kids and they could see the joy that man had in his family. So......that was the high point in my day. Love it!

Not humanly possible

Today I am attempting to clean up a bunch of stuff scattered all over, make some goodies for a party this evening, get to the store for a party tomorrow, not have anything socially odd happen, focus, perhaps get to the vege farmers place again, um, um...........not all possible. Feeling sort of torn in too many directions. The Evan needs me too and the kids can't hear my pleas to get rid of the clutter and swab the decks. Sigh again. Basic comment between dear husband and I was that we are trying to accomplish too much in too little time. Conflicted.......and then there is the burning desire to rest. Rest? Will try not to rest with too much guilt.

Sick kiddos to boot........

Sunday, October 3, 2010


makes me smile most of the time. He is almost four now and if ever a three year old warmed my heart, he has. He greets me so sweetly in the morning and we talk about all the little things in his little world. He quietly comes into the room and says "I love you so much mom". Sigh. How can that not melt a heart? "I love you so much too Stefan". He is very independent in many ways. He likes to have a part in the decisions in his world and not just be told what to do. I tend to ask him questions when we have to shift gears like, "Have you seen your shoes lately Stefan? Do you want me to help you find them or can you do it yourself?" He says "Sure, I can find them" and runs his skinny little legs away from me and produces his shoes. I love the "Sure!" He is my eczema child. I had been thinking how his skin condition as an infant and toddler changed his world the other day. He also has a peanut allergy and he takes that pretty well in hand now even as a three year old. (I did screw up and give him a donut with peanuts on it recently, but Benadryl to the rescue stepped in - sigh) Anyway, after spending a few days thinking about this another mom just out of the blue this morning, mentions how eczema kids do have a very close tie to their parents for all the close and careful care they received. Funny that is what I was thinking.

He had his first communion last week and he intently paid attention during the Words of Institution and told me what Pastor was doing. Melted my heart again.....he snuggled up and folded his hands and made room for me to be able to kneel with Evan beside him. I will remember that day fondly.

He is intense to be sure and when he is not happy we all know it. Force doesn't work too well but talking to him with respect does. He has actually taught me a lot about relating to children. His sensitivity and the reactions seen in his face help me process the hearts and souls of my kids. They are not just kids, they are people with emotions, needs, sorrows, and times of joy. What happens now effects them. It effects their little hearts. I think I approach my kids a little differently now or perhaps am more tuned into them as individuals.

Stefan's little self changed me in many ways. The stress of his eczema and then his one allergic reaction rocked my world. He lived through it. That event changed me. I spent more time holding him and comforting him than any other child in the family. I think that is why he is so snuggly even now. He helps me see the needs of the other kids and the contrast in their baby hoods and helps me to consider my approach with each of their individual needs etc. I still screw up but it still has been helpful. I've known all this in my head but somehow my heart is effected differently through all this.

Thank you Lord Jesus for the suffering Stefan endured to help me be a better mom to my kids. It was worth it. I love you too Stefan! Jesus loves you! Stefan, "There is my Jesus" as he points to his crucifix before turning out the light. Yes, there is your Jesus Stefan. He loves you. He always will.

Friday, October 1, 2010

How long does it take

It amazes me how long it takes to actually finish something around here. I have yet to find a mom of many who did not nod knowingly in agreement. Everything does go faster if I am able to help but I think that comes from years of experience figuring out the best form of attack and wanting to spend as little time as possible doing it. Kids seem to not understand the concept and then love to complain how long it took. It just is a fact around here that accomplishing a load of laundry or even getting the kitchen clean for the night is a feat to be a little bit happy about. I would form a support group but there is little to no time to attend or risk coming home to more work than we would have had if we stayed home. So I go to church instead. It works.

I know that when the little guy Evan gets a little older, it will not seem as daunting but it will probably be Advent then when his happiness improves so we will be busy for different reasons then and still need to clean the kitchen and do the laundry. Tis a season of not getting too worked up by the mess and only inviting people over spontaneously who will understand and not care what lies in their wake. Kidding.......I just need to not care as much but care enough to survive.

My brain just wants a little rest once in awhile from not calculating what we can accomplish in the spare time between events. Sleep would be a plus but that is sort of hit or miss depending on if Evan is sleeping or if we stay up too late at night watching Charley's addiction called 24. I am getting better at being satisfied with a lot less in the school department and trying not to make my family miserable if they didn't keep to a schedule. They are enjoying what we do get done still so that is all that matters. I can not explain that to anyone easily who holds themselves and others to high expectations but my not biting their heads off is also an important lesson for them to learn from me. It makes living with myself easier too.