2005 September | House of Horne

Introducing Josiah James Horne

Josiah is here! He was born Friday, September 30, 2005 at 1:33 a.m., weighing in at 8 pounds 8 ounces and a healthy 21 inches long. Though the labor dragged out a bit, Tricia is doing very well. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ll just leave it at this for now:

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Can we say “NESTING”???

In some of my “spare” time lately, I’ve been cooking and freezing meals, hoping to stash up a nice amount of food for after the baby comes, so that when we are in the midst of wakeful nights, and lots of feedings, and just the exhaustion that comes from having a sweet newborn around the house, I will not feel much need to spend time preparing food. Along the way I’ve logged what I prepared into excel so that I do not lose track of all of it . Today I printed out my inventory spreadsheet and learned I have an amazing 28 meals (and by meal, I mean things like a 9×13 pan of lasanga, which is way more than just one meal for our family!) all set to go! Wow!! Here is what they look like in my garage freezer:

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I do not think much more will fit in here, do you?? Some of this food is from a class at Super Suppers a couple weeks ago, which I tried for the first time. I’ll let you know what we think of it AFTER we taste some of the food! But it was definitely a fun time with friends, and I put together twelve meals in just a couple hours. The rest of this is soups, chowders, casseroles, meatloaves, lasagnas, and other meals that have been all prepared, minus the final cooking. To say I feel a sense of accomplishment over the state of my freezer is an understatement. Indeed, I feel rather like a mother squirrel storing up for winter!!

The “Tail” of the Gecko

Those of you who may be in doubt as to my love for “nature”, when nature means bugs or tiny creepy crawly things, should have no trouble understanding my thoughts on such matters after reading this.

The other day, as on most days, I was doing laundry. I had set a group of towels/sheets on the kitchen floor just outside the laundry room to await their turn in the washer. When I went to pick up the linens, I noticed a tiny little worm that must have been hiding underneath them, wiggling about on the floor. I’d never seen a worm like this…it was very thin, and had unfamiliar coloring and markings on it. And then there was the matter of the way in which it was wiggling – such a strange way for a worm, sort of twitching back and forth on the tile. “Odd,” I thought to myself, “I’ve never seen a worm behave that way before.” Still puzzled, I continued picking up the towels until, to my surprise, a tiny gecko darted out from the rest of the pile. When I looked at him closely, I about swallowed my tongue because I knew then that the worm I had seen was in fact no worm. Know why? because (you guessed it): the gecko was TAIL-LESS!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!!!!!

My husband, who is almost never home in the middle of the day, had just dropped by quickly on his way to a lunch meeting and heard my screams. When he asked what was wrong I could only point and gape and make sickening faces at him.

The little boys came running to see what all the commotion was about, and of course offered their enthusiastic comments to brighten the situation for mommy:

“Oh, look at the cute lizard!” “Where, Mommy, where’s the lizard?” “What’s wrong, Mommy?” “Can I pick it up?” “Oh, look, he lost his tail – poor lizard!” “Look Mommy, there’s his tail!”

And on, and on, and on.

Before we could do much about the gecko (or his tail for that matter) he darted under a well-placed chest of drawers, where I most certainly was not going to chase after him. I finally stopped having contractions and went back to my laundry.

Fast forward to later that evening: as I was heading back to the bedroom with my snack (Baby likes a snack before bed!) who should appear in my path but my amphibious friend from earlier in the day!?! I just about stepped on him. Again, he managed to flee to safety, this time under the bookcase. I wasn’t about to move the large bookcase to try and extricate him from the premises, so I guess you could say we had a houseguest for the night.

Well, the next day saw the end of the gecko’s tale. It was little Abigail who discovered him, expired, not far from where I’d seen him the night before. “Poor little gecko!” she cried, bemoaning his sad end. “Poor, poor thing,” she echoed, again and again. Sweet girl, she has such a tender heart, even for reptiles.

I admit, I am not so tenderhearted toward geckos, but I am touched and humbled by my children’s fascination and respect for God’s creatures, be they great or small.

“All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful: the Lord God made them all!”
~Cecil F. Alexander

Back to School

The last week in August (yes, I am a bit late, but we’ve had illnesses around here and my picture guy has been totally under the weather!) was “back to school” week, and part of the fun was that because each of our three children returned to school on a different day, we had the pleasure of focusing on that particular child on their special day. (It should be noted that Jonathan refused to pose on his own on his first day so his only pic is with his brother on Nicolas’ first day of school!)

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Jonathan returned to Rainbow Connection Preschool on Monday morning, to attend the Pre-K class. He was very excited to get back to school. His teacher visited us at home the previous week to introduce herself to us and Jonathan and to help him feel more at ease on his big first day. They are doing so many fun things this year in Pre K and his particular teacher does a lot of music along with other activities in her classroom, so this appeals very much to Jonathan. Perhaps his greatest excitement is the fact that he will get to enjoy lunch at school this year for the first time.

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Nicolas’ first day at the same preschool was on Tuesday, where he entered the “2 1/2’s” class which meets two days a week. This class is somewhere between the 2’s and 3’s, and designed for “older 2’s and younger 3’s”: they stay with the smaller class size but utilize much of the 3’s curriculum to teach the class. Nicolas’ teacher has won his heart already, and he is thrilled with his little class. Like his big brother, he too is very excited to get to take his new Bob the Builder lunchbox to school and eat with his classmates this year.

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Abigail returned to The Covenant School this year as a big 1st grader. Wednesday morning was opening Chapel for the entire school and our whole family trooped down for the big event. We are delighted with her new teacher, a dear lady who put Abigail (and several of her other nervous classmates!) at ease immediately and whom I am really looking forward to working with this year. Here is a great pic we got of Mrs. Beller and Abigail:

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The transition from Kindergarden to 1st at Covenant feels like a big deal. Abigail now attends school 5 days a week for the first time (their K program meets M/W/F or T/TR depending on the option you choose), she and her classmates are in desks instead of seated around tables, and there is even homework, in very tiny amounts. But in addition, she will enjoy Choir, Music class, Art class, Nature Study class and a few other activities which she will enjoy having as part of her school week. She (and I!) still get to enjoy early dismissal on Mondays and Fridays and we take advantage of the 12:30pm end time on Mondays to allow her to attend ballet in the early afternoon instead of the late afternoon/early evening, which is a lovely fit for our schedule.

I’ve never said much about Covenant, but after a year there, we are truly in love with it. It’s a classically-based Christian school, with a lot of Charlotte Mason influence thrown in. The balance between outstanding academics and a nurturing environment where these little hearts and minds are cultivated to love learning and all that it entails is wonderful. The faculty is loving and caring, and because the classes are so small (at 13, there is technically one more student than there “should be” in Abigail’s 1st grade classroom!), the teachers get to know their students and their families extremely well, and can work individually with children as needed. The families, which make up the heart of the school, are wonderful, and the whole place feels more like a close-knit community than an educational institution. We learned firsthand last spring after our accident about the amazing compassion the folks at Covenant have for one another as people brought meals to us for weeks and weeks, and Abigail was transported to school and back by different moms and dads for the remainder of the year. We feel very thankful that Abigail has such a school to go to.

It has been a huge blessing to get everyone settled into their school year before our 4th little Horne makes his appearance. Carpool is up and running at both schools, and I have some wonderful help this year which I am so grateful for, esp as we look forward to the birth of our baby and me not driving perhaps so much in the first few weeks after that great event!

I hope everyone else is enjoying their “back to school”, whether your school is far away, right inside your home, or somewhere in between!