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. So....my 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? Well........now 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. So.......in 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. Hmmm......so 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, Ben.......in 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!