Saturday, October 29, 2016

Nathan turns 11!

So this guy had his 11th birthday yesterday!

 I can't believe he is eleven!  When we left our church in Iowa one of our going away gifts from the senior pastor there was our cupcake carrier.  I LOVE this thing not just because it is practical, but because every time we get it out it reminds me of those sweet days in Iowa.  It took its last pilgrimage to school yesterday.

So Nathan's breakfast request yesterday was the ever popular "egg cups".  These were extra special because Joe got up and made them.  They were pretty awesome.  His supper request was a tie between pizza and his dear love of homemade tenderloins.  It was Friday, so we went with pizza.  We did up our game somewhat and got our family's favorite Butch's pizza.

Now that he has finished his hunter safety course, hunting supplies were on his list this year.  So he got a vest, a couple of squirrel calls and a giant tub to store all his future and current hunting supplies.

Nathan's loves are still football, hunting, anything he can play outside and video games.

We finished up his birthday by watching the third game of the World Series.  Much to my sadness he has chosen to cheer in the Cleveland Indians rather than the beloved Cubs.  He got his birthday wish...the Indians won last night 1 to 0 and took a lead in the series.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The bathrooms?

So I am in the process of interviewing for a new job. (That whole process and how God has brought me to this point is for another post.). I came home on Monday from the first interview to the chatter of my beloved children.  It was fresh on their minds as their father had just shared with them what I was doing, and, of course, I was later than normal.  They wanted to know ALL about it, but the question from my youngest man child was most intriguing. "What were the bathrooms like" he inquired.  "What?" Was my clear response.  "What were the bathrooms like?" He pressed again.  Me...stumbling over my words as I was completely perplexed over the question "I have no idea.  I didn't use their bathroom" "Well, mom, you really need to check them out the next time.  I mean, if you end up working there, you could spend a lot of time in the bathroom and you don't want it to be gross."

He may have a point.....

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Oh yes....this will be fun...

I am not afraid of much...well, snakes...I am very afraid of snakes.  And I don't like being home by myself at the dark....  So I guess I do have some fears.  One of my BIG ones is related to my teeth.  I HATE tooth pain.  I know that no one LIKES tooth pain, but I like to think that my fear of tooth pain may be a little greater than the average person.  I had quite a bit of teeth work done when I was a kid (that happens when you have several cavities and are missing two front permanent teeth).  Some of my most vivid childhood memories are sitting in the dentist chair, full of laughing gas and feeling that HORRIBLE nerve pain caused by that wretched drilling tool.  So you can imagine my excitement when I started having one of my very back teeth bother me.  Yeah...I was thrilled.  

I finally realized that it wasn't going away on its own and made the trip to the dentist.  I love my dentist.  Not because he is the best dentist around (he might be; I don't know and let's be honest...I don't care) but because he doesn't cause me pain.  The hygienist apologized for having to take the x-Ray and the dentist was SUPER gentle.  Whew!  

Well, the Endodontist that he referred me to made up for all of the non-pain I felt by my visit to my non-pain dentist.  I opened my mouth expecting the same consideration.  I had somehow convinced myself that he could figure out what was wrong with my tooth without touching it in any way.  Clearly I was wrong and maybe my expectations were slightly off, but that doesn't excuse him from BANGING on my teeth with his wicked little hammer.   And that wasn't even the worst!!!  No, no..then we took our air pressure thing and shot it with it.   What?!?!  This was proceeded with "ok. So I need you to tell me when it starts hurting and then tell me when the pain ends".  So, let me get this straight, you are going to intentionally cause me pain?!  Awful.  It was just plain awful.  

Diagnosis...cracked tooth.  Solution....root canal.  Oh yes....this will be fun.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Science Fair

About every three years my kids have a science fair.  This year both girls participated. Sara did a project by herself and Ashley partnered up with her best friend Zoe.  

Much to the delight of Nathan and I, Sara choose a project that involved chewing gum.  If you know Nathan and I you know we love gum.  Sara tested the longevity of the flavor of gum.

Ashley and Zoe did something a little colder.  They tested how different substances impact the speed of melting ice.  

They both did a superb job, earned As on their projects, got blue ribbons and had fun with their experiments.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

New adventures....and not just for me....

Well, it has been a whirlwind of adventure around here since Christmas.  I have had a couple of fun things that have come my way that I have decided to full advantage of and I thought I would share one of them with you.

I am now, officially, a travel agent.  I am so excited about this.  I absolutely love to travel and love working with people.  Plus, I think paperwork can be fun (which Imrealize is weird). So when an old friend was telling me about her company, I took the plunge and joined her.  I work as an Independent Contractor for Global Dream Vacations.  Check out the website or email me at to find out more.  And let me help you plan your next trip.  You can also "like" my Facebook page for travel tips and destination ideas.  It is Karen Horn-Global Dream Vacations Travel Agent.  Also, feel free to pass my name on to your friends and family.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Recent Loves

Winter is hard on least it has been the last few years.  I'm not sure why.  It didn't used to bother me.  Maybe it is my current job as when it gets cold and snowy, I can't get out with the kids, and by the time they leave, it is dark.  Whatever it is, it has been hard.  So this year I have been trying to be proactive about not wishing the days of January and February away.  These days count too.  I realize my attitude is internal and can't be control by externals, but here are some recent externals in my life that have been helping my internal attitude......

Recent loves...

My new Bluetooth speaker for my iPad.  I love it.  And our recent favorite pandora channel has been film scores.  If you wander into my house, it would not be unusual to hear us playing "name that movie" as we hear the soundtracks.  It has really made me want to track down Dances With Wolves and watch it again.  I had forgotten how great the soundtrack to that one is.

On the theme of music, this year we have started somewhat of a dance party ritual after breakfast. We crank up the music and enjoy the scurrying of brushing teeth and putting coats on. Our current favorites are Galaxies by Owl City (we have a choreographed dance from summer camp that goes with this one), Let it Out by Switchfoot and Greater by MercyMe (this is our youth group theme song for the year). It has really added some life to the beginning of our days.

Jamberry nail wraps....I have awful nails that typically look, well, awful.  Polish just cannot keep up with my lifestyle.  And, while these don't last quite as long as some have claimed, they do last a very long time on my nails.  And looking at flowers on my nails helps make me feel happy.

I have a one cup coffee coffee thing that I picked up at World Market over Christmas.  It cost me $6 and I love it.  I'm not sure the official name of it.  It is a large, ceramic cup that cone coffee filters fit in.  It tapers at the bottom to fit over a coffee mug.  And it, of course, has a hole in the bottom.  You boil your water, pour it over your grounds, wait for it to fill your cup and you are good to go. I love it!

The all school spelling bee is this morning. This is Ashley's fourth year participating in it.  She really can spell....she can spell much better than I can which really isn't saying much..  Anyway, the nerves tend to get the best of her. This morning at breakfast "success" as a parent was seen. All her siblings prayed earnestly for her...and not just that she would win, but for God's peace and His perspective and His glory to be seen.

Light Greek yogurt...several in my house are on special diets for various reasons.  The one thing we can all eat is light Greek yogurt.  I definitely should be buying stock in it.

You know that moment when you are at a friend's house that has older children for dinner and at the end of dinner you are so impressed because their older kids got up from the table, cleared the table without being asked and the proceeded to do the dishes without being asked?  And you did their parents do that?  And will my kids ever do that?   Well, that happened last night only it was at my house! I was so proud.  And if you asked me how I did it....honestly, I wish I could share my special formula, but I have no idea how it happened.  Thankful for God working in their hearts!.

And, finally, I am so very thankful it is not as cold as last year.  Can we all just say Amen to that!!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014

And with a blink this year is is a few snippets of the last couple of months....

I had surgery in October to remove some scar tissue from a previous surgery five years ago.  It went well be I got what my husband liked to call a "two week medical vacation". Hopefully, this won't become an every five year thing.

Soon after my medical vacation was over we ended up in the ER with Ashley with a possible appendicitis.  After a couple of weeks of gross tests by the GI doctor, we found that she has an intolerance to some foods, ulcers in her stomach and GERD.  Poor thing has a three month diet of nothing acidic so her stomach can heal....and yes chocolate is very acidic.

We've had a couple of band and choir concerts, including John's first band concert at the Christmas one.  It is always so fun to get to watch them play and sing.

We spent Thanksgiving at my sister's house this year with her family and my parents.  We figured it had been 9 years since we had all been together at Thanksgiving.  That one was at my house when we lived in Iowa and my youngest and her oldest were both newborns.  When two families are in ministry and one family is in the Air Force that is what happens...we had a great time this year.

We didn't have our Christmas open house this year because, well, it just didn't happen.  We did have a fun month celebrating our Savior's birth though.  It included many evenings out with friends, fun and games with our kids, a night of progressive dinner with the youth kids and another trip to my sister's to celebrate with my family.

Celebrating Christmas with our kids was so fun this year.  I think they all got their most wanted gifts..except no iPhones or smartphones generally, but I don't think they really thought they were going to get those. Nathan has joined his brother in the Lego craze and the girls are definitely showing their age by enjoying everything that teenage girls do....clothes, make up, music, decor for their rooms, shoes,etc. We've played lots and lots of board games and hit the movie theater a couple of times.  We haven't seen The Hobbit yet and that will get done before we return to our regular schedule.

We have had a really sweet time celebrating Christmas with Joe's family after Christmas.  It has been three years since we've all been together.  It is somewhat bittersweet because in the back of our minds we all know why Joe's sister and our brother-in-law and their three girls are in the states. It has been fun to get to know some dear friends of theirs from China who are visiting as well.  The language barrier is definitely there, but non-verbal communication speaks loudly sometimes.  Please continue to pray for our brother-in-law James as he battles lung cancer.  He had a scan this week.  Many of the tumors were gone or had shrunk Praise God.  But there was one in his lymph node that had grown a little.  They meet with the oncologist next week to determine the next steps.  

And with that I will say goodbye 2014 and see you next year!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Veteran's Day 2014

I love what my kids's schools do to celebrate Veteran's Day. The older three are involved in a club that organizes a breakfast and then they hold an assembly. At Nathan's school the 2nd and 3rd graders walk to the cemetery to watch the ceremony. This year Nathan was also able to attend the assembly at the older threes' school.  Nate's school is raising money for the honor flight and he was chosen to attend and help collect money.  

As part of the assembly they chose students to share their essays on what veterans mean to them.  Ashley was honored to be chosen to share hers this year.  Here is her essay:

When I thought of what to do for a Veteran's Day project, I first thought of who veterans are.  That's simple.  I thought "a veteran is a person who has fought in a war."

Honestly, though, I think that people sometimes take seriously the importance of veterans, but undermine the importance of war.  When thinking about battle, we occasionally replace gore with glory. We see photographs in history books of George Washington kneeling proudly at the front of a boat with a cape draped over one shoulder, and his chest puffed out. We see pictures of men pushing the flag of the United States to an upright position.

We neglect, however, to remember the gross, gory, humbling moments that form the honorable men and women.  We forget the times these people were in knee deep in mud, watching grenades explode as sweat and blood drip down their calloused skin. We forget the bombs and bullets that pierce the hearts of people who lose loved ones.  We forget the tears shed in an attempt to fill the void where loved ones used to be.

Veterans themselves, have to sometimes live with the fact that they took another person's life.  That was someone's mother, or father, brother or sister. That was someone's best friend.

Veterans, though, keep me safe.  They fight for every citizen so others don't have to.  For that, I am eternally grateful.  They keep America beautiful.  That is why, for my Veteran's Day project, I decided to explain what a veteran meant to me.  I will always appreciate veterans because of what they do to protect my country from sea to shining sea.

Here's some pics....A huge thank you to my friend Kelsey for taking pics and video for me since neither Joe or I were able to go!

Nathan at the cemetery with his class.

The band and choir performed Battle Hymn of the Republic.  Ashley is singing in the front row and Sara is in the blue hoodie playing her flute.

Nathan with his fellow third graders getting ready to collect money.

Ashley reading her essay.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Speech Districts 2014

Ashley and John both are participating in speech this year.  I am a huge fan of speech because I think it teaches and helps kids speak in front of a group of people.  It really helps their confidence.  Plus, my kids that participate LOVE it!  John did a solo performance this year.  Our family rule is that the first year you participate in speech or any type of solo and ensemble type of competition, you do a solo.  If you do a solo, you truly know what you are capable of doing.  You don't have any other variables.  So John did a solo.  Ashley did a solo and a duet this year. 

My battery died out on John's solo. fail.  I wasn't even working the week they had the competition so I can't use the excuse that I didn't have time to check it.  So that is why there are two videos for John.  I am also posting Ashley's solo.  I didn't get to see her duet as it was at the same time as John's solo.  Joe recorded her duet and I smartly uploaded it from his phone to my YouTube account only to then realize that I posted a video of the dog instead.  So the duet with get posted at a later time...

Monday, October 27, 2014


Our homecoming parade was a few weeks back.  It was the weekend after my surgery.  Fortunately, my parents were here and I was able to venture out to see the parade.  All four kids were in it this year.  Here are some pics from the was beautiful!

 This is the girls' band...CEC.  John is in band this year too, but only 6th-8th grade marches.
 Ashley led the band.  She is on the color guard and was voted by the fellow members of the color guard to lead them (there is an odd number of them).  She was pretty nervous, but did a great job!
 Here is Sara leading the flutes.
 So I promise that John is on this float.  He is on the other side and if you know him really well you can probably spot the back of his head.  We called his name, but John was in the zone and we all know when he is in the zone he doesn't hear anything!
And, lastly, here is Nathan on his float.  Fortunately, he was on the right side...or maybe I should say we were on the right side!