Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Even MORE purging

I went through even MORE stuff today. The diapers etc. just happened to be in the line of fire while Ingrid was playing in the tub. I gifted Charley with all the 19 plus year old diapers and have only kept the cream of the crop. Stuff which I have held onto for years because it was given to me as a gift are now.........gone. I still have more work to do up there and should make that a priority to be organized for the baby. The biggest problem for us all is figuring out how to keep it organized.

I went through our towels and sheets. Half of them were towels from when I grew up and the rest were VERY worn out. We only use the towels in there which are nice so.......get rid of the rest. The sheets..........bits and pieces of sheet sets we used to have. Gone. They will make good woodworking rags. I now have room in the closet to put all the cream, sprays, contact junk, the few bottles of nail polish I possess into and not scattered all over the counter. Amazing! We might even be able to find our tooth brushes with only a glance.

The bedroom is ready to be painted!!!!! The crown molding has the nail holes filled by my amazing friend. Get 'er done! I dusted and washed the floor and am slowly (or maybe not so slowly) sifting through the junk which occupied the underneath side of our bed. I am hoping that some of the precious stuff which was being stored will actually become something attractive on the wall, nicely arranged. Wow. I do regret not getting Ingrid's baby picture taken and put up with all the rest. I will have to find one of our home pictures to blow up and include with the rest.

The garden still looms and I don't know how I will be able to do that too. I still try to do fun things with the kids so their summer will not be all about work. I can't do it all that is for sure. I have no doubt I will have to spend more time tomorrow putting away and organizing but perhaps making some yummy food for the slaves.

We did catch a band concert this evening at Notre Dame. That was fun. Tomorrow is another day.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Baby thoughts

In light of how close baby is, I think I spend most of the time marveling we will meet this little person SOON! As Stefan would say, the baby will stop hiding. I hope I will be able to share the baby with other people as it still can amaze me that we are expecting a baby at all! Newborns are amazing. I have seen several in public lately and these little people just sort of stun me. So.... will patiently persevere, not think too much about how babies come into the world, and simply look forward to meeting him or her. Sigh.


Just did the math as I keep getting the question of how much time is left before the baby. There are twenty days till my due date! The last two girls were a week early so that could mean as little as two weeks. Wow. The boys all seem to like their predicted arrivals. Should be an interesting next few weeks.

I am still running around trying to get rid of as much stuff as possible. I see excess, weird stuff EVERYWHERE! We went through linens today and I found a few more bedspreads which have not been used in years. So........two more garbage bags of stuff and one happy dry sink with no strained hinges. Sweet! I spied a hideous plaid coat in the closet which I think will drift to Goodwill and there are some odd, I am sure wonderful for somebody, dishes which I can see must go. Pacing life is the trick. I am trying to behave!

I think I will weed the garden more. The nature of weeding can sort of help out in certain labor and delivery departments. I see from the forecast that later next week it will be cooler so that would be a great time to do this.

We are loving the pool. Stefan graduated to the big pool today. He is using a 'noodle' and paddles all over the pool. I need an older kid or myself to hang out with him though as it does still make me nervous. He told me the bottom of the pool was scary. Uh......yeah. We will keep him off the bottom of the pool. Will try not to have nightmares.

Charley was at the Scout camp all day with the boys and I think he had a wonderful time. Hot and tired though. The boys have the best troop there is in my personal opinion. You could not ask for better leaders. I am sure they will have a blast.

Tomorrow late afternoon, we are taking my parents to dinner to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. I hope all goes well and that everyone enjoys themselves. This weekend has been very busy. Next week I am hoping will not be too chaotic. Being home and staying home is a relief.

I'm rambling. I did hear some good news today or least very potentially good news so that was nice to hear. Very nice chat with an old friend. I will leave it at that but was greatly encouraged that some things in her life might get better.

Looking forward to tomorrow.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The rules

We have now filled half of our 15 passenger van with stuff to give away. You read correctly. I do know a few others who have accomplished this feat. Charley did ask if there was anything left for the children to wear but trust me......there is. Today was boys clothes. Anna enthusiastically informed me that if the baby is a girl we will just have to have another baby and it better be a boy. She wants six brothers and she thinks the clothes are cute. Okay then. Sounds logical to me.

The rules of getting rid of stuff were this. If no one hardly ever wore it - give it away. If it was white, had writing on it, or resembled a bumble bee - give it away. If it was some weird piece of clothing which matched with nothing we have - give it away. If three children had worn it over and over again and never touched the beautiful clothes that remained - give it away (or throw it away). We are just tired of seeing the same outfits for that long. :o)

If it had many holes in it - throw it away. If it was stained to badly - throw it away. There were a few 'family relics' which also went bye bye - shocking.

Things we found - three social security cards. Um........some pictures that might get put in an album someday. Some doo dads of my grandparents which the children might break I did save as perhaps someday I might want to actually use them. This was a few little items.

Blankets - a few afghans shockingly left. Some baby blankets which we personally have too many of - left. A twin bedroom set which was mine as a kid - left. It is too nice basically and we are too countrified.

The paper bins will be the most painful but perhaps we will find my birth certificate so I can renew my license some day and perhaps a few random car titles that seem to be missing. I hope also to have the kids thin out the toys again even if they want to store some of their legos for their own personal stash, that would be fine with me. There is so much temptation to just trash our basement that it really needs to leave rather than continue the toy headache. Writing this makes me tired.

Progress has been made. We laugh our heads off at the ridiculous stuff we have kept and hopefully can find enough time to make some more progress soon. Tomorrow we will definitely rest!

Friday, June 18, 2010

More purging

Anna was inspired to go through the girl's clothes today. That was an adventure. We also went through some shoes and blankets. The stories you can tell going through clothes the kids have worn. It is amazing the memories attached to them. Despite all the memories we were able to get rid of ten plus garbage bags full of clothes etc. for the Seminary. We have TOO MANY CLOTHES! We picked out to keep those things we really loved and knew we would actually use. The stuff going to the Sem is also lovely but you can only use so much. Sadly many things were ruined in storage so we had a few garbage bags too. Dry rotted shorts, swimming suits etc. also had to leave. The most shocking thing I threw away today was my baby blankie. It is thread bare and who is going to want it so.......I let it go. Sigh. I remember being in the basement of the house I grew up in, taking shelter from a tornado that really was only a block or two away from us and then realizing I left my blankie upstairs. I asked my parents if I could go get it. "NO" (duh). Fierce storms abounded tonight too, praying for friends, as I ruthlessly let the blankie go. No I am not going to go retrieve it.

We were supposed to paint today but got four to five hours side tracked by the girls clothes. Our friend's daughter dutifully sat and watched and listened to all the funny stories from the clothes. It was fun and funny. She even asked me to elaborate on some of the stories later. The one I skipped earlier was sort of a sad story so had to ponder how exactly to tell her. She seemed to understand. I have a weird ability to remember who gave us just about every piece of clothing and also who I remembered wearing them before we got them. A lot of stuff was from my parents as baby gifts, bday gifts etc. but after five boys and three girls........time to bless someone else.

That was our day. It was a good one outside of the raging storms. Time to go settle down with a book. Perhaps we will tackle the boys clothes tomorrow. We did this once before but we are now more ruthless..........

Friday, June 11, 2010

Humbling times

Creeping up on the ninth month before Horner 9 certainly is an interesting time for me. I think I have always been painfully independent, a self-starter, goal setter and achiever, and I have a spoiled husband who is used to my doing A LOT around the acreage to keep up etc and keep up with the first eight! "Keeping balance" so to speak has certainly been a challenge or at least more of a challenge this time. WHY would I consider asking anyone for help? Why would I consider asking my husband to help more with night time routines? But in reality, I might have to humble myself even more and do just that in the next month or so. When dh helps with night time routines, dinner, pjs, diapers, prayers and matter a factly putting them to bed, the evening is a cinch! But....asking for this help can be ever so humbling for me in light of what I said before.........little miss independence. There are many ways that Christ shows mercy and love to me. I am slow to recognize that and slow to remember. I have certainly received help through others but I think we all have a fierce need to fight this help and remain 'in charge' of ourselves and not let others care for us. We have to 'figure things out' for ourselves and resist the input and help of others.

Our 'mother culture' is such that if we mom's can't 'handle' handling everything, then we have no business having any further children. Hmmm......I have problems with this modern thinking. Communities used to help each other. I read some study that in Asia, to help prevent post-partum depression or basically to just help the new mom, the Grandma's and Aunts etc. would help care for the other children for........ready?.....two months. Wow. That is a lot of rest. It seems the church can do the same sort of thing, but better, caring for body and soul. We provide dinners which is an extremely big help, but I know speaking for this mom, I am hesitant to allow the church family to do more than that. What mom would not be relieved to have this help though. We moms just set ourselves up to 'be able to handle' things ourselves. The Asia study was interesting to me in that there is a LOW incidence of emotional stress in new moms in countries with this help. It was just interesting to me is all.

Older kids. My kids can 'handle' things but I do think that older kids should not ALWAYS bear the whole weight of family additions. The dad is in charge. The mom can NOT do it all. Kids are still kids. We watch them struggle with completing their own responsibilities. They certainly know how to help with their younger siblings but with MOM TOO! I have sympathy for my own children as they help with their younger siblings a lot and are pretty sensitive to the needs of other moms with their kids so........this is yet another reason this mom does not take care of herself or allow others to do so. I should be able to handle it. This is not pick on dad time but there must be SOME reason God made the dad stronger with deeper vocal is just more efficient with their input.

The mom in this country is supposed to either be back on her feet handling things or back at work in a matter of weeks. This is a thinking-out-loud processing moment. Not a request. (That was a backwards statement). Is having a baby or struggling with anything a sign of weakness? a sense yes. Is that okay? Yes! Strong in weakness. Isn't that what we are taught? I think we do not let ourselves and others live it though. Come Lord Jesus!

So I have had many goals to get this house in shape but I realize I need to take all that one little step at a time and chill. If it gets done great. If it doesn't that will have to be okay. I ALREADY HAVE a ninth child to take care of and my independence stands in the way there as well. We can not 'see' the child but I still need to take care of him/her. I am just going to have to swallow my pride and keep things calm and simple. Calm and simple is not the American way. I am looking forward to the new little one and do not want to miss out on the fleeting time that infants are infants. Chill Karin.

Thankful for Christ's love and mercy for even me.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

They have each other

I have always prayed that my children remain close as they grow up. I have thought about how perhaps I am TOO close to my kids in some ways as we get along very well. Well, duh.......that is not so bad. My kids know how to party with each other. They also actually usually like each other. The boys went to visit Anna in the spring and it was so nice to see how happy they all were in the pictures they took (I wasn't there). My older kids take remarkable care of the younger ones and talk to them like they are human and not just annoying little siblings. I suppose I can hold out hope that they will continue to get along as they grow up and go their separate ways. I have the oddest conversations with them. We talk about the younger kids endearing qualities and things seem to strike us funny at similar times. Perhaps we are too easily amused. I have worried we are too close too at times like I said before so obviously this is not all bad. My friends growing up were almost always outside of my family so perhaps I wish my kids spent time more with other people their age. I'm just thinking out loud here so this is not pointed at anyone locally - take heart - this is just something I have observed about this bunch of kids of mine. I'm just puzzling out what is different about their child hood. I did love having girls to talk with and commiserate with as a young person and then the guys...........well, I just got along with them and did not have lots of deep conversations with them. I guess facebook sort of does this for them and my kids have made some hilarious, close friendships there. Friendships don't have any particular recipe so I'm grateful for the times they have with other kids no matter how it happens. It doesn't matter where I am going with the kids, we always have a great time. Sure there are the serious times too but usually we are laughing. So..........I am thankful for all of these things. It is good.

Balancing act

I have totally been feeling like a juggler on the home front. Yes, my kids are truly the most helpful kids a mom or dad could ask for but they also have a life and should have opportunity to spend time with friends etc. I do think people assume that I can not spare them at home so do not invite them to do things very often but of course that is not true either. I CAN spare them and get a little sad that they don't seem to have much friend interaction. I'm not sure what I can do to help in that department. I feel like the summer is going to flit by and it disturbs me a little that yet another summer will be remembered for all the work we did at home. "We" is everyone not just the Mom and Dad. We will most likely quit the fair after this summer especially where animals are concerned so MAYBE next summer can be a little more free to have fun together as a family or with friends. I can start to feel a little panicked for being the glue to keep everything together and running as smoothly as possible but still take things one day at a time.

Later this month is my parent's 50th anniversary so will be at least getting together for a dinner out. That should be nice.

My brother has worked for about eight years on a wooden boat which he has made in his garage. He has invited us to the launching of the boat near Chicago so will have to decide if we are all going or just some of us. At that point I will be in my ninth month so may keep the youngest kids home while Charley goes with the older kids. I hope someone will take pictures though.

My dad and Charley's dad played dueling little strokes in the last two weeks. They are both fine but have had medication alterations. Being eighty something is tricky. We need to get to Illinois for a visit to Charley's parents so will have to work that out. Perhaps he and Anna can go with a few of the kids when she plays in Chesterton in a few weeks.

I personally am feeling fine in the pregnancy department and sort of forget that is even a factor. I'm grateful that things have settled down in the false labor department. I SO want to get SO much done in the house that I have to remind myself and Charley that the reason I might be tired might have something to do with being close to baby time. Every moment seems busy with getting stuff done so down time is appreciated but few and far between.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I am TOTALLY ruthless now thanks to a little help from the daughter dear. I suppose someone could criticize such ruthlessness but it is completely true that I am no different than my children. I wear my favorite clothes A LOT and then the clothes that might work once in a while just........sit there in the closet and take up space. I usually am weeding through those clothes to find the same clothes that I wear all the time anyway. Same as the kids...........Benjamin, haven't you had that same shirt on for four days???? Okay, I'm not that bad but there is a quick turn around with the laundry.

Then there is 'stuff' and stupid papers. Today you can all beam at me as I threw away.......are you ready????? The ridiculous notebooks from "Marriage Encounter" which I would NOT want my children to find when I am dead AND have no intention of ever reading again and I seriously doubt the hubby will either. No I did not consult him. What does one write at one of those conferences ANYWAY?????? Nothing that we will cuddle up on the couch and read again together someday. I threw away one of my diaries from my childhood too as it only contained the most selfish, weird information anyway. Anne Franck I am not!!!! No poetic remembrances either. Not even anything deep!

The hard part is coming in the next few days. The unorganized, piles of papers MUST be tackled. We will have to have a bonfire if it ever stops raining to burn all the bank statements from the 90's on. How about all those old Sunday School materials which might be useful someday (NOT) or........all the kids memorabilia which guilts me in the containers. I will be the old woman in the nursing home with the baby pictures lined up to finally put in albums. Someday........

And so the decluttering continues. There are only so many weeks left. I am hoping to chase my husband with the hockey stick or some of the trim boards in the hallway, to get the trim up on our bedroom walls, put fresh paint on and get rid of several pieces of furniture. The old broken furniture HAS to go!!!!

I still do not want anyone to give us anything new either. Or at least it would be nice if some discretion is used and NO I can NOT be the clearing house for other people's clothes they can not use anymore. Sorry.......sounds mean but I really can not handle it. I do know some great people that go to the Seminary every once in a while so they clothes can just go directly there......

Monday, June 7, 2010

Daily summer life

I think I have been home long enough from vacation to tackle the yard and more decluttering. When I am sitting around I can just SEE the junk that needs to leave. I find it easier to mow the lawn though than get through the junk around here. Junk is overwhelming. My brain has been doing a juggling act trying to help the kids balance garden work, work their dad wants done and then keeping up with the house and food. The older kids still have math to finish up so that has to squeeze in someplace. Sigh. At least it is not humid and yucky out today so I feel like I can focus on some of these things myself.

Anna found a whole bunch of pictures from when she and Erik were toddlers. Very interesting. We were sorting some of the girls clothes this morning so the clothes we had just gone through were in these pictures. My kids need NOTHING!!!! Neither do I really. As many times as I have seen stuff wrecked I continue to hope that we can pare down Christmas AGAIN so we don't start the vicious cycle over again.

Time to go do some more laundry and fight the good fight.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Count down

I've started to slow down in stores and ponder tiny onesies with no stains on them and how small they are. Baby is not SO far off. Between now and then (about six weeks) the boys have a Scout camp out, Boy Scout camp itself, the 4H Fair (I think we are not doing this again after this year), Anna has Higher Things, and then.......somewhere around that time is baby time. In between these events we want to throw out and give away as many things as we can lay our hands on. So far so good. The amount of garbage we have found laying around in the kids rooms We now have a plethora of bowls and silver ware safely back where they belong.

I have also very recently been remembering that after other babies have been born I felt so 'mobile' afterwards that it was incredible. Wow. I am feeling pretty immobile now but for some odd reason can still walk behind the lawn mower. The thought of going down the steps to get something from the freezer is far harder to do for some reason.

Stefan and Ingrid have been charming my socks off (it is summer so that is not so hard). Stefan talks my ears off and Ingrid mimics him and her vocabulary is booming! She has been saying the funniest things and even is beginning to dress herself AND the most amazing ability she has observed and acquired is foraging in the kitchen. Amazing. This must mean I don't feed her enough? Or she has a healthy appetite.

Teaching Anna to drive has been way too much fun. We have covered lots of bases with little mishap. We need to hit in town driving a little harder but she has learned A LOT in a short amount of time. We even have a driving cd with spy music she made special for these lessons. I started instructing Charley how to drive Friday night..........he looked at me oddly which meant "no thank you".

Many interesting things going on..........need to turn my lame computer off. a little update going there.