Tuesday, February 08, 2011


I've decided to take a temporary (or permenant, who knows) hiatus from blogging. For a long time now its felt like more of a chore, another thing on my to-do list to get through. And, as you can tell from my frequency, it falls to the bottom of that list.

I started blogging back in 2005 as a way to let family know what was up with our lives. Since having Henry, struggling (sometimes mightily!) with homeschooling, and all the other things that fill up our lives right now, Facebook fits better. I can do just a one or two sentence update and its done. Its faster and easier (especially for photos) than blogging. Almost all my family and friends are there too.

So for now,  no more blogging. Maybe I'll pick it up again, maybe not. I don't feel any compelling interest now to do so, but who knows :)

If you aren't already a friend of mine on Facebook, please add me! http://www.facebook.com/kristi.horn

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Um, yeah, really bad with this blogging thing lately. I promise I have not stopped blogging forever, just short term. We've been crazy busy and the time to write out a longish blog post has not materalized. Between stressful homeschooling session (its so hard with a 2 yo and infant, yikes), extra-curriculars, doctor appointments, etc, etc. I just feel like vegging out when free time appears.

But I will be back. Shortly :)

Friday, December 03, 2010

We’re still kicking!

Its been sooooo long since I’ve blogged. I say it every time, but life seems to fly by and I keep putting off blogging. This time of year always seems so hectic, even though by most people’s standards we live a quiet life.

Henry had his 2 month visit a few weeks ago and grew a lot! He was 12lbs, 5 oz (75%) and 24 inches (90%). He grew 3.75 inches in a month!

The week of Thanksgiving we had our first snowfall of the year and that was exciting. As is our norm, we braved the icy roads to drive to my Mom’s and visit and let the kids do some sledding. We took our regular route but had to turn around after seeing this ahead
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We did eventually make it there when we took an alternate route. To our surprise, Peter and Shelly came up from Federal Way and visited too! Great fun. Note to self, buy son new snowpants so that he doesn’t have to sport “snow capri pants”. Last year these fit fine!
Thanksgiving was good. We celebrated on Saturday as that worked better for our family and it was good to just hang out and visit with everyone.
Henry really liked Uncle Michael
We tried something different and had dessert for lunch, and then followed it with the Thanksgiving meal. Was kind of a neat way of doing it.
My cousin Ben :)
Henry and Aunt Becki
My Mom set up a hot potato game using an actual hot (well, warm) potato!
Oops, someone got knocked out of the game earlier than they wanted…
My sibs
Ethan was the hot potato champ and his prize was the beat up potato!
We celebrated Jenni’s 18th birthday too. My baby sis cannot be that old!
We set up our Christmas tree on Sunday. This year we got a real one. It smells soooooo good. I don’t mind vacuuming up the needles either. Well worth it :)
On Wednesday we went roller skating with Ethan’s Cub Scout pack. J and I haven’t been skating since our early teens and the kids had never been. It was stressful! It was more crowded than we expected and even though we had my sister Jenni to help us, there didn’t seem enough grown ups to go around.
Poor Ethan, he had a hard time. At one point Jenni and I had his hands but his slipping around was so comical that we almost fell from laughing so hard. He was laughing with us too… it was so comical! We got his wheels tightened up and he did better then. Gwen caught on fast!
Elsa did NOT like the siren they played every once in awhile and walked around teh whole time like this
Here are some random pics from the last month.

We got our family pictures taken last weekend and they came out pretty good!


Thursday, November 04, 2010

Holiday season

Life continues to whirl by. We’ve had the kids in swimming lessons twice a week, plus Cub Scout meetings, plus our regular visits to my Mom, meeting with friends, MOPS, homeschooling, and all the various other things that come up have meant we are quite busy. I’m glad tonight is the last swimming class because it means two more nights we get to stay at home. Jason will be even more happy as he’s the one who has been taking them!

The kids have really shown massive improvement with their swimming in this last session. Its tempting to keep them in for another session, but its just too much running around at this time of year with all the other obligations we have. So we’ll skip this next session and see about the next or maybe the one after that. We value our evenings at home with the family and J and I are in agreement that being gone every night of the week is NOT what we want for our family. Swimming can wait :)

We had a blast on Halloween. The weather was perfect, and we went up our street to the church, did their Trunk or Treat (very well done with bouncy house, popcorn, drinks, and fun games for all ages) then came back. The kids got a lot of candy, but not as much as in years past. No complaints from me about that! Aunt Margaret came and watched Henry at the house so we didn’t have to worry about him and that was nice. The kids love dressing up and being their character for a night. Here’s our pics from the night.

Our pumpkins. The kids sketched what they wanted and I carved. Ethan did Henry’s, obviously!
Gwen’s reaction to getting a full size candy bar!
Elsa being chauffeured from house to house in her stroller.
Henry is now 2 months old! Whoa. When did that happen? He’s grown so much and I’m excited to take him in next week and find out his stats. We'd planned on having family pictures done last weekend, but I decided to cancel and wait until he’s smiling more on command. I really want his baby picture to be with a smile! A few nights ago the kids and I gave him a bath and he enjoyed being the center of attention of his siblings and smiled and looked from face to face as they poured warm water on him and tickled him gently. It was a such a sweet moment. The kids love him dearly.
I was supposed to start my healthier eating/living plan this week but yeah… .didn’t happen. For one, Halloween candy everywhere! Makes it hard. Also, I’m so hungry and tired. That combo is not a good one for eating less and working out more. But I’m determined that next week I will go to the gym at least two times and do weights at home at least once. History has shown that I do not lose weight easily (or at all) while breastfeeding, but at least I can build up my muscles again and be more toned. In the past I’ve lost my baby weight pretty much in the first 6 weeks. This time, not so much. I’m basically back at the weight I was last spring when I started working out. So I have to lose all that weight again, plus the extra 10 lbs to my goal weight. Sigh. I’m not going to even think about how hard I had to work out to get there and how I can’t do that now with a baby, but I will just take it one day, one week, one month at a time and eventually I will see some progress.

I’m excited that we’re now in the holiday season. I love Thanksgiving and Christmas… my favorite times of year. I want to really enjoy this year and not get bogged down with the commercial aspects. Every year I try to do that and some years it works and others no so much.
Oh, I wanted to share this darling video of Elsa singing. One night it was just her and me and the baby at home and she wanted to sing. So we did, and I caught it on video!
And here’s another of the girls dancing a few nights ago. They love the Mama Mia soundtrack and can’t help but dance when they hear it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Been awhile….

I find time slipping away from me so often these days. Some weeks I am amazed that its time for our weekly get together at my Mom’s or the weekend again because it simply doesn’t seem like enough time has passed.

If you can believe it, I’m STILL sick, though not ragingly so. Its just under the surface. Not really enough to be noticeable, but it kinda feels like there is a sock in my throat and I now have a cough. There is also still some sinus pressure. It just won’t go away. While I no longer feel miserable, I don’t feel great either. Elsa has a runny nose too. I have a feeling that we have a very bad winter health-wise, but I’m praying its not so.

We decided to try hiring someone to come in once a week and help out with cleaning. They came for the first time last week and I was so nervous! I didn’t know what to do. But they were good. There were two ladies and they did a ton of work in 2 hours. They come again tomorrow and I need to decide what I need done. The bad part is that most of their work is completely obliterated in a week, but that happens to me too. Just the nature of 4 kids and two grown ups and a big dog. However, it is pretty nice to not have to worry about mopping the floor or cleaning bathrooms. They cleaned our master bedroom from top to bottom and for the first time in a REALLY long time Jason slept without a sneezing fit.

Last Thursday we joined the YMCA and after we figure it all out we’re hoping to go there as a family twice a week to workout, then maybe J and I will each take a class on some other night. I don’t want to work out, but I do desire a healthier body and I know it will give me more energy overall. I find gyms so stressful. I feel like I don’t know what to do or how to do it and then there is the process of putting the kids in the childcare and all that drama! But I’m going to force myself to it and hopefully it’ll start to be easier :)

Homeschooling is going well. We’re on a roll now and most days we can finish up everything for both kids in about 1.5 hours. They are enjoying it and Gwen has vastly improved on her reading (yay). Ethan is a trooper and works so quickly. I could probably do double lessons if it were just him, indeed, last year we did double up most days because he works so fast.

Elsa is such a charming 2 year old! She is talking so well and many mornings she crawls out of her crib (she does that now) and we have a little chat in our bed before we start the day. My Mom has been taking her to the Y family swim on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and she LOVES it!

Henry is growing fast and still is a chilled out baby. The midwife weighed him last week and he was 10lbs, 10oz! He’d gained a lb in a week! He just started smiling (check the pictures below) and coos a little too. He looks so big already, not newbornish at all anymore.

Jason and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary on the 12th. Its our 13th year together! Those numbers make me feel old :) I’ve been so blessed to have Jason in my life. He’s a great husband and Dad. We didn’t do much, but my parents took the kids Friday night and we were able to hit a restaurant, tour the Y, and just enjoy a quiet evening (well, as much as Henry would allow).

Snapped this pic of Miss Gwennie at a friends wedding last weekend. She’s just so darn cute and grown up!


Baby H’s first bathtub bath… He actually really liked floating and having warm water over him.




Some pics I took at random



And then a series I took trying to get a good shot for my Aunt!




A captured smile!


Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Saving money and other things

The past week I’ve been immersed in various money saving/making things. Last Tuesday I attended a couponing seminar held by Amber from Coupon Connections NW. Wow, it was so interesting! Lots of good tips and ideas. After I left the seminar I was able to go to Albertsons and buy 30lbs of flour for $6. That didn’t even require a coupon. I will never be a super-couponer, but I realized I could do soooo much better just by reading ads and buying smartly. We already do pretty good (in fact, I’d say quite good!) with our food budget, but there is always always room for improvement.

One of the things I heard about at the seminar was Amazon Mom. Its a program from Amazon.com just for parents and caregivers. Signup is free and no obligation (i.e. no credit card required). You get 15% off all baby items like diapers, wipes, clothes, etc. You also get Amazon Prime for 3 months, which is their free 2-day shipping program. Every time you spend $25 in a single purchase of baby items, you get an extra month of Prime. If you don’t spend $25 in baby items in a single order, your Prime will expire after 3 months. Again, no credit card required and thus no worries about something renewing when you didn’t expect it! I signed up on October 1, nicely taking me through the Christmas season and thus saving me quite a bit in shipping! I’ve never ordered diapers online because I felt like I was getting a fairly good deal in the store. Well, Amazon has GREAT prices! Especially if you sign up for Subscribe & Save, which gives you an additional 15% off and ships items to you automatically after a specified period (you can choose weekly, monthly, or longer deliveries. You can start and stop the automatically deliveries at any time.). I got brand name diapers for .10 cents a diaper, and brand name wipes for .01 cents a wipe! That’s awesome and shoot, can you beat having it delivered for free to your door with 2 day shipping? I highly recommend it!

Another thing I’ve started using this week is Swagbucks. Amber talked about this at the seminar. Its a program that gives you points for web searching. After you earn x amount of points, you can use those points for various things. The best deal is the $5 Amazon gift card (takes 450 points). You can earn points other ways by doing surveys or whatever, but since you already use search engines anyway, using their search engine and being awarded points automatically is the easiest way to accumulate. I’ve been using it for a week and I have over 600 points. They have a toolbar you can download that lets you easily search and earn points.

One more mention, since I have these things on my mind, I’m a member of Opinion Outpost and take surveys through them. Occasionally I do product testing. Its very easy to do, takes just a bit of your time, and you can earn money. Not a lot, but some. I’ve been doing it for about 1.5 years and just today hit the $250 in earnings. I’m saving it up for… something. Haven’t decided yet! After signing up, its important to fill out your profile because this is what generates your surveys. They have to know what you like and have in order to send you the right surveys!

Anyway, enough of that. I just have found all these things very interesting and hopefully they’ll help us save money in the future.

Now, the other things.

I have a bad virus and feel quite poorly. Yesterday it hit me FAST (woke up with a tiny sore throat, raging just a few hours later). I though for sure it was strep and so went to the walk in clinic for a test. Turned out not to be strep, but some viral infection that has been going around. Its pretty miserable. I was so disappointed it was not strep. Sounds funny, but I just wanted antibiotics so I could feel better and not be infectious quickly. I have to admit that I totally lost it on the way home. I just cried and cried. A real good pity party for myself. Then I cried when I was at home and kept crying most the night. I can’t explain why exactly, I just couldn’t stop. I was so tired, and felt so bad, and felt like, “Oh great, another part of my body that is broken/feels bad”. Jason wasn’t home either, so I was trying to feed and wrangle the kids and I just felt like I could not do one more minute of this. I just sat on the couch with the baby and cried.

Some people have wondered if perhaps I’m depressed because I’m crying so much lately, but I don’t feel depressed. I just feel overwhelmed and frustrated. I have to think that those feelings will pass in time. Most days I feel like we get by ok. I just focus on today and what I’m doing that minute and try not to over think. But when something goes wrong or frustrates me, I’m very susceptible to losing it immediately.

The kids are doing ok. Lessons have been going well (though we haven’t managed any since Monday this week) and Gwen is improving with her concentration and effort. Henry is an amenable child and and goes with the flow most days. He’s so awake and aware these days. Next week all the kids (even Elsa… my Mom is going to take her during the day while I school the kids) start swimming lessons again and this will help burn off the energy that overflows in excess this time of year and in our too small house/yard.

Jason was told that he’ll be getting a promotion at work! It hasn’t come through yet, but should in the next week or so. He’s really pleased, as am I! He’s worked hard for Costco and his boss has been great about recognizing this. Now only if his commute didn’t take almost 1 + hours each way…

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The new normal

That’s what I’m trying to find right now… our new normal.

Jason went back to work yesterday and the day went ok, despite me feeling quite anxious about it. Its very strange. I don’t recall ever feeling this anxious about being alone with the kids, but this time I do. Part of it is that I haven’t done childcare on my own for a MONTH! Yeah, that long. I figured it out… I stayed a week at my Mom’s while J was out of the town, had the baby that weekend, then J stayed home for 3 weeks. It feels a little strange now to be the only adult at home during the day. But we’ll figure it out. I always have in the past and I will this time too.

I’ve been struggling with muscle tension and headaches. I think its mostly due to lack of sleep, but also holding this new little creature and muscles that haven’t been used much getting some use. Feeling under the weather does not help my emotional state, which swings all over the place each day. At least one cry a day is typical, as is feeling like everything is fine one moment and then wishing I could hide under a rock the next.

Henry is a good little baby. Not much of a fusser, though he grunts and squeaks a lot at night which makes it hard for me to sleep. He nurses like a champ and today the midwife weighed him and he’s already up to 9.5 lbs! That’s a 2.5lb gain in two weeks. He already looks so much older.

Yesterday I started up lessons with the kids. Originally I wasn’t going to do that until next week but I kinda thought the kids needed something to do. They have been massively bored the past couple weeks. Though our day went pretty good, I feel a little discouraged. Gwen is resistant to my teaching her. I’m hoping that this will ease after we do this for a while. I worry though that homeschooling just isn’t the most effective method for her. Ethan thrives with it and loves doing schoolwork. Gwen has a very different learning style and I don’t know if the problem is that she feels she needs to impress me or she’s scared of failing in front of me or what. Hopefully time and routine will resolve the problem.

On Sunday we took the kids to the park to play for a bit. Here are some pics we took.




Gwen’s favorite pose… the “princess pose”


Elsa’s attempt at a princess pose… I think Gwen needs to work with her a little!


Attempts at a group kid shot. Not perfect but pretty cute. Can 6 year old boys smile normally? I don’t think so!



Friday, September 17, 2010

More pictures of Henry

Not much has been happening around here. We've kept close to home and haven't done much since Mr. H arrived. We do have more pictures of the little guy though.

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We had him in a bowl so we could get his weight. He’s already 7 oz above his birth weight!

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He’s a very good little baby, other than his propensity to spit up a LOT! He’s a solid eater every 2.5-3 hours so I am getting a few hours in a row of sleep at night. Unfortunately I came down with a cold (with sinus pressure, ugh) that is making me feel quite poorly and not exactly helping me get back into “normal” life.