Monday, August 30, 2010

Bugles and soccer horn thingies

I think our greatest challenge to homeschool is getting everyone to get up in the morning. I overslept so everyone else did. Charley rarely oversleeps so I have finally relented and have given him permission to 'raise the dead' anyway that he pleases. Getting up even one hour earlier would increase production immensely. He was wondering if Anna left her vuvesuala (spelling?) horn at home but she took it with. Matthew has a bugle which I am not sure where he has put it. That would be awesome. Charley has such musical talent.

We managed to get some math done today. It amounted to teaching people how to go about their lessons and hopefully someday they will not need as much of my help. Of course one of the books is missing. Life around here has continued to have one thing after another occur so getting organized has not happened too well. We did get rid of a lot of stuff though over the summer and also found some materials which have been missing for a long time.

It was 90 degrees out today so we took advantage of the pool in the afternoon for awhile. I love the pool. Unfortunately I take advantage of my favorite part of the pool which is sweating in the sun and just soaking it in. Evan never seems to cooperate and sleep in his car seat when we are there so the Karin tan is probably over for this year. Had a nice talk with the Francks and my brother on the phone while I was chillin in the shade so that part was good. Ingrid thinks she is a big girl and wants to play in the big pool. That part is bad. We do hope to return tomorrow.

This evening is full of running around to Scouts, church etc. and then collapsing when we get home. I'm already pretty sleepy.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Taking ownership

I have been thinking about a conversation I had with my previous doc about how to help a dear friend who seemed SO bogged down with her problems. This led to his sharing how he has all different sorts of patients. There were some who listened to his advice and he admitted they were few and far between and there were most who honestly just loved the problems they were having and didn't really want to be rid of them. It gave them something to dwell on. My pastors have called that wallowing in it. I like the terminology of 'owning it' though too. Does a medical issue possess you? I think they do for a time. Is everyone burdened with your issues? We all handle things differently and I don't think we should NOT talk about our 'problems' but taking ownership and loving our problems is a problem in and of itself.

I have been chatting that up with my kids with their whining and complaining about those things they don't love to do. JUST DO THEM as that is what you are given to do now. Owning your loathing of them does not help you get them done. Owning medical issues does not help you either. If someone tells you to take vitamins to help with this or that..........then remember it, make it a priority and do it!

Clearly I am a bit weary of poor mes right now in my little life. I have suffered with them myself. The biggest poor me is in the line of chores and basic routines that need to be done. Just do it kiddos and get it over with. it. Acne.......wash your face regularly. Hate them every day. House dirty......clean it. The house cleaning one is the one I think our whole family is the worst about. Stop complaining about the mess and pointing out what is wrong and clean it up!

Sigh. I just like the concept of reflecting on NOT taking ownership of our problems. Am I taking ownership of this or that or am I doing what I am given to do and getting on with life????

So there. :o) My deep thought of the month. Not so very deep but seems to apply to so many issues lately.

Friday, August 27, 2010

School and work

Erik is officially signed up to take Sociology this fall. We were considering Psychology but apparently rumor has it the prof is pretty tough so we went with Sociology as it is a freshman requirement for the major he is considering. He also finally has a picture ID so I can now drag him to the blood bank to give some of his wonderful O neg away. ;o) I'm sure he is delighted.

Erik also received high praise from his temporary employer which was very nice for both of us to hear. He bonds very well with older people which I have always found sweet. He is good at listening to and taking an interest in what older people have to say and is not wrapped up in just relating to his peers. I am sure this will prove to be an asset to him as generally speaking showing respect for your elders is valued by employers. If he does succeed in getting at least an associates degree in nursing, his ability to listen to older people should also prove to be an asset to him.

It has been a great couple of weeks for Erik and I see him contemplating his future and becoming more serious about taking on what he needs to do to be able to spread his wings on his own. In reflecting on his high school experience he has learned a lot of things very well even if some of it took longer. He HAS grown up a lot. H still does some goofy kid stuff that all kids are prone to do. I'm glad he is receptive to the mom 'chitty chatting' at him with all her sage advice. Lol! My kids put up with quite a bit of that.

I bought a basic checkers game to play checkers with Benjamin and of course the rest of the kids. I want to play a lot of games this year with them as it helps them learn and plus it is what memories are made of.


The summer is basically over and Anna left a few hours ago to go back to IU. I will miss her. It was a little difficult to witness her saying goodbye to her siblings last night. She put all the kids to bed basically and kissed them goodnight and goodbye. To be silly she even asked Erik if he wanted her to tuck him in. :-) She is a good sister. This morning she held Evan and kissed him up as he was staring up at her. I will have to do better at posting pictures this year.

Today I help Erik get registered for a class. I am glad this is working out for him. He has been getting his feet wet with a job too working for the kids piano teacher scraping and painting her house. That has been a good opportunity for him to make some money.

Time to keep plugging away with this day. It is fallish this morning so will not be going to the pool (again) but the weather report promises to heat up for the weekend. Will work well for the pool but not for church. I need to tidy up Anna's room too for Charley's parents visit in a week. It seems too empty and lonely right now. I will miss her......a lot.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Can we cram any more things in?

I thought this week would be calmer..........not. Last weekend I got the brilliant idea to sign Matthew up to do a car wash as his fundraiser for his Eagle Scout project. As a result we were more under the gun to get his paper work done so he could proceed. So far he has raised over a fifth of the money in pre-sold tickets. I managed to forget the kids choir rehearsal on Wednesday as I was running Matthew to get his last signature. He also had a lesson on how to upholster chairs since his project is making 30 new chairs for the church's choir area. He impressed Lois with his ability. I need to go get the foam so he can continue working on that part. I am glad he will have some help with this project or rather that it is required to have people help as the whole project done by one person would take forever. Yay, power tools!

I spent another part of the week helping Erik with his paper work to be able to take a course at a local college. He has never done anything like this so he had bunches of questions to ask. It is interesting to walk through this process with the kids as there is a LOT of explaining to do to help them understand what is being asked, why, how to do it etc. What is a GPA??? It has taken him a long time to accomplish his goals with his schooling but at least what he has done he has done pretty thoroughly. I do not feel like I have gypped him. We have bunches to get done this year but he seems really ready to tackle the task.

Anna goes back to IU tomorrow morning. I've been sort of numb thinking of that but excited for her too. She is obviously more confident of herself and ready to go this year. Looking back she seemed very young last year. She thinks she has too much stuff to take with her but I think it is just right to make herself at home. We are also more experienced at this game to help her plan and tackle everything from classes, finances and even eating. Charley is taking her down and starting out at 5ish so they can get her settled, eat and get to her 1 o'clock appointment. She has a full day tomorrow. Oh, I also need to take Erik to the college to get him registered.....when am I doing that???

Saturday is the actual car wash from 11 to 3. The boys are busy making signs for that now and will later be going out to sell more tickets. He is over a fifth of the way there. I think I said that already. I somehow need to pick up food supplies before then to be able to pull together some things for Sunday. I should defrost a bunch of stuff now so our dinners will be covered and not spent getting pizza. Sigh. Martin and Cecilia have become more handy in the kitchen so this helps.

I hope to start school in a more serious way on Monday so hopefully find time in all this to get that stuff more lined up if the activities from this week and weekend don't totally wipe me out.

But in spite of all the craziness I can not help but stop and ponder how much we have to be thankful for. Some friends are going through some pretty stressful times so their stress does result in my being in awe of life as it is. Every day is a gift. Every day with my kids is a gift and I am thankful but obviously not thankful enough. Sigh.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Currently my struggle is how best to approach the eldest son's school plan for this year. He will be 18 in the fall and has discussed many possibilities of vocation choices. It does sort of boggle my mind as Charley and I do have an involvement in helping him with these choices and how best to follow them. I think helping Anna was perhaps too easy as she did have some very definite ideas. Erik's ideas are a little more fuzzy and he does not have the same knack for academics that Anna had. Testing is more of a challenge and confidence plays in too. He would like to take a class at a local school to get his feet wet and I think he will be following through with this. Sometimes I wonder if we are wasting his time on this idea and perhaps should look into some sort of vocational school. Sigh. I think we will proceed with the class at the college and continue looking into further guidance.

Teaching Testing skills is what is most daunting to me right now. I can easily see how much time is realistically available and then the many choices ahead of ME of how to use it; teaching Benjamin reading etc., grammar with all of them, math of course with all of them, their spelling sucks, writing is not their forte either. Sigh. What to do. It should be an interesting year. There is only me to map out this task list and prioritize what is what. Charley can help of course with planning but the doing is a bit tougher. Start small is what usually works the best here but with Erik the testing is breathing down my neck in October or November.

I should be sure to look back at this time of the year next summer at the same time and see what has transpired. That is one reason I started this whole blog to begin with was to keep a little bit of a record of how life is progressing.

Praying for endurance to follow through..........

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Eczema update

I think it is safe to say that Evan does not have eczema. A few of my kids have gotten mild patches later in their little lives but Stefan had it early and fiercely. Evan's baby acne is not bad either so this is good thing too. I am very thankful for this HUGE blessing. Stefan's eczema was one of the most stressful things I have ever experienced which I suppose is minor compared to some people's stress. I can also say that Stefan's eczema is clear right at the moment too so he is a happier guy. Yay!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Decluttering School

Thanks Susan.....

I guess I did not think about the fact, that by focusing on just one or two subjects for a chunk of time, that is the same as decluttering school. I am of the awful habit of thinking too large for the kids with their schooling. They are pulled in too many directions and we fail to do a really good job in any of them. The guilt, the guilt...... Perhaps I was inspired by all the dejunking around here to just keep it simple and take care of the basics. I hope to start soon but my in-laws are coming for a week so we will have an interruption before we have hardly begun. We can probably get away with morning school as my father-in-law is hard pressed to get ready for the day before noon.

Tis the year of the three R's for the Horners. Anything else will be a bonus but I am not going to get too worked up if the bonus subjects are not given the proper attention. I want to have time to read out loud to my little people and pay attention to them. I think I will keep writing about this as maybe I might be less fearful of failing with all this.

We are late getting up for piano lessons. Stefan and Ingrid are especially adorable this morning. Sigh. Evan IS growing for which I am very thankful. It should be good day.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Facing life right now

I have sweet little Evan here working on the pudge (I think he is getting some) and thinking about how to keep life in perspective while facing the new school year. So far I have accepted that this will be a year of working mostly on their weaknesses and not taking on more school goals then we can ever possibly do. Less is more.....I am pretty much overwhelmed even by the LESS but will also try to just be happy with whatever we get done.
We have spent the summer throwing stuff out and giving stuff away. We could probably start all over and get rid of even more. I am beginning to not care about saving ANYTHING in our house but of course I guess we should hang onto some clothes and pots and pans to be able to eat. I should not recklessly get rid of the stuff I have enjoyed in the past which is impossible to do now, in hopes that some day I will do them again. It is tempting........
The kids are totally on board with getting rid of stuff so their junk is getting more in order too. This is sort of a boring post. It also makes me a bit sad to see how much money we have poured into this junk through the years. I am trying (easier said than done) to only purchase for the kids what they truly need. For instance Cecilia has spared us shoe expense for years but now is shoeless besides one pair of sandals so I got her a couple shoes which are quality enough to last till her next growth spurt.
This post is not a lot different than the rest of my posts but perhaps I will think of some more interesting things to talk about if I keep this up. It is nice for me to look back on (or it can be scary too) and see what has been going on through the year. I read a whole bunch of old emails recently and THAT was scary. Yikes. DELETE!