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.