May 29, 2010

Texas Beauty

5/29/2010 — cori
Gorman Falls

Fields of Wild Flowers

A Beautiful Firewheel

Our Campsite

A Deer in the Bush

Gorman Falls

May 27, 2010

How To Avoid An Answer

5/27/2010 — cori

This genius verbiage came to me this past weekend. We were in the midst of our latest greatest camping adventure down in the Hill Country of Texas. For most that know me, camping is not my forte. To quote a great saying: "some men were born great, other's had greatness thrust upon them" - my version: "some ladies were born to camp, other's had camping thrust upon them". I fall into the latter category. I go to see the joy on my children's faces. We won't even attempt to delve into the psyche that is my brain and try to understand the origins of my camping fears. If I were playing a word association game some words that pop into mind when the word 'camping' is uttered are: hunger, dirt, porta potty, acrid smoke, migraine, hard ground, snakes, bugs, get the idea. But I was not about to let my fears, negative associations or general dislike of the sport, hinder my kids from experiencing this adventure for themselves. After assuaging my fear for the past few years, I've actually come to like it, sort of, in it's own little way. I love nature, I love my family, I love fresh in a sense, I could possibly grow to love camping too. It all hinges on bathroom facilities when you get right down to it.

All that to say, I was assimilating in to my new environment for the next 48 hours. We were on a little hike after our first cook-out dinner. I'm still trying to shed the hee-bee jee-bees nature sometimes induces in me. Telling the children not to touch anything green is pointless. My eyes are darting back and forth across our path in search of any reptilian friends. Someone of the younger generation asks me a question. I hear it, but can't shake the stupor I'm in. I'm focused on the task at hand, I can not, under any circumstances, deviate from my search for snakes. I hear the question and know an answer is needed. I don't even know what the question was, so how can I commit to an answer? The best I could come up with was, "Okay Honey, we'll do that closer to later."

WHAT?!? Talk about non-commital and utter avoidance. I'm sure they felt they had my complete attention at the moment. Then Chloe actually called me down on my response. She's like, "Mom, what does that mean anyway?"

"It means, Honey...that I'm otherwise occupied and have no clue what to say at the moment and it just plain sounded good."

I'll probably post some amazing camping pictures for y'all....closer to later.

May 25, 2010

Get Well Soon

5/25/2010 — cori
I have been sick with strep throat the past several days. Bennett just can't handle this. All of us hoped I would get better, not for my sake, but for Bennett's. His compassionate heart was just bleeding for me. It was so beautiful to see his genuine concern. But he wouldn't let up. He was constantly trying to make me better. Like one more foot rub would do the trick. Or one more Berentstain Bear book he read to me would finally break the spell. He brought me water with a straw and a little note. He was constantly checking on me. And my favorite...bringing me Ludens, my absolute favorite "medicine". I am apparently the only adult on earth who thinks Ludens has any medicinal qualities...and thankfully Bennett believes me, because he showered me with plenty of them. Then in one last ditch effort to make me well he creates a powerpoint slide show for me. This is it:

Evidently, this picture represents serenity and encourages health and wellness.

The last part, written in the pretty font, is part of a Bible verse and I say to kids each night. I thought it was adorable how he got it mostly right and he interpreted "may he lift up his countenance upon you...." as "acountinents"...I'm just now learning that this is how he hears it.

Evidently, this is what I look like when I sleep. I like how my legs levitate. And just for the record. I do NOT snore.

More encouraging words, although a bit morbid. I'm hoping he doesn't think my strep throat will lead to an early demise.

This is us, without arms, standing next to a river, proclaiming our love to one another, seriously.

If this can't make a person well again, what can?

May 19, 2010

Know Your Name

5/19/2010 — cori

A couple days ago Bennett asked me what his name meant. Evidently, he'd been talking to some friends at school who knew what their names meant and he became curious as to what his meant. I remember that I loved what it meant when we chose it, but for the life of me, I couldn't remember what it meant when he asked me. Thus a trip down memory lane ensued when we had to take out his baby book to look up the meaning.

Bennett means: One Who Walks With God

He produced a big smile on his sweet little face.

Then this morning he tells me, "Mom, I've been thinking...I think I want to start acting like what my name means."

*this is where my heart is melting with joy over the sensitivity of this sweet child*
I told him that was a very mature thing to want to do and asked him what prompted it. He replied, "Well...I just think I need to start taking it more who I am."

Only God can inpart wisdom like that to a person.

I asked him, "What would that look like?" He sat contemplative for a few seconds and then answered, "I think I should probably starting thinking more before I act, put others before myself and just remember what it means to walk with God."

When God does the work, people are moved to action. I had no hand in this other than hours of prayer over his little life. It is a joyous thing to watch God at work in the hearts and lives of those around you and especially touching when one of those lives is your own little 8 year old.

May 18, 2010

Substitute Chef

5/18/2010 — cori
As I walk into the kitchen with my groceries for the week, I find a little note from Gavin on top of this cookbook. It reads, "Mom, for one week, can we please have dinners out of this cookbook? They look so good! Thanks! Love, Gavin" Where was he when I was agonizing over what meals to cook for the week? This is the most dreaded chore of my profession (mommyhood). I love to cook, I love to serve people, I love to see the smiles on their faces when they are enjoying my meals and believe it or not, I even love to grocery shop (I attribute that solely to the wonderful people at my grocery store). But I HATE, utterly hate trying to decide what it is we should eat week in and week out. I can't commit. There are too many options to choose from. I wish someone would just make a weekly menu for me. Life would be so much easier that way. But life is not about being easy and I'm too picky of an eater to let anyone else make our menu - thus, the cycle begins again each week with, "So guys, what should we have for dinner this week?"

Hence, you can understand the irony upon seeing this little note AFTER going thru the dreaded ritual of meal planning. That didn't stop me from running to Gavin and giving him a big hug for rescuing me from next week's torture session.

Since he was given the green light, he decided to write out our menu and then proceeded to write the grocery list of items we needed. I could get used to this. The whole "not thinking about it" part did wonders for my brain capacity that week. I felt energized, renewed. I might just promote him to my personal chef. Granted, he didn't pick one meal I could eat...but that didn't matter to me, I can always throw a salad together and be semi-happy.

Here is my new chef in action. He loved the freedom of controlling the family's food choices; of following the recipe all on his own without me standing over his shoulder. He actually told me to "Go sit down Mom, I can do it all." He doesn't have to tell me twice. I was actually surprised by some of his menu selections such as Greek Salad. He told me he just "loved red onions", since when? Come to find out, my whole family loves red onions, who knew? Matter of fact, everyone loved everything he made. There wasn't one "Ewwww...what's this??" or "Do I have to eat it?" like I'm normally accustomed to when testing a new recipe. He was praised, lauded and hailed a wonderful chef. Looks like I've cooked my way out of a job.

In this picture he's making Spicy Bean Soup. Even I liked that and I don't like beans. We each got like 3 spoonfuls only because he failed to notice the serving size. Just one of the many lessons learned while figuring out this whole chef business. Needless to say, we raided the refrigerator for leftovers afterwards.

Now on any given week we have meal choices already in pre-ordained days of the week...but that is just an outline, a guide if you will. Who actually eats what they plan on each day? We're not that organized. I like the freedom in deciding, "Hmmm, I don't really feel like eating that tonight, I think I'll pick this instead." Unfortunately, Gavin doesn't get that. He doesn't understand the whole 'feeling' part of this process. Bennett and I are in touch with our feelings, but Gavin, he likes to do things exactly like the book says, no variation, no deviating, stick to the rules and no one will get hurt kinda guy. So, when I switched up a meal on him and asked him to make Greek Salad on a day it wasn't written down for, he about flipped out, "What?!? It's not on the menu until Wednesday!" I like to refer to this 'feeling' as intuition. I had a feeling that the fresh ingredients needed would go bad before he made this dish and didn't want to see that happen, so I up-ed the day on him. I told him it's called, "going with the flow". Once he wrapped his brain around the idea, he was cool with it.

His hardest entree was one called Salmon Fish Cakes. Very labor intensive but also very delicious. He did such a good job and didn't complain one bit. However, I advise getting salmon that already has the skin and bones taken off. This particular recipe required a quick run to the store to get the right fish by the person who made the oversight in the fish department - me. But dinner was still great 2 hours later than expected. The one meal he never got to make was Quiche. He was really looking forward to that one and kept pronouncing it "kee-shay". It was quite cute to see the french chef in him come out. But, Mommy wasn't in the mood for kee-shay. I wanted pizza. We were able to twist the kids' arms on that one. Talk about role reversal!

He even treated us to Crepe's for dessert one night. Very cool. Why have I never tried this? I'm thinking I might start using the Children's cookbook from now on. We filled them with cool whip and jelly and had very happy tummies! The crepes that is - not the kids.

I'm liking the perks that come with older children: no more diaper duty, no waking at random times in the middle of the night, no more cleaning up all the food in and around a high chair three times a day, no runny noses...the list goes on and on. But believe it or not, I'll always miss those chores associated with those ages, but I'll also treasure the joys and unknown that each phase of life brings us with these, my most favorite people in the world. Growing into life is always a wonderful, risk-taking, love-filling, age-changing, mess-making, constant-learning, unknown adventure. Carpe Diem!

If you ever stop by, I'll make sure and have Gavin whip you up a little kee-shay.

May 14, 2010

The Paradox of Time

5/14/2010 — cori

Who can stop it?
Do we even want to?
Does it fly?
Or does it stand still?
Is it ours to make the most of?
Or God's to fulfill His will?

Is it a gift you can give?
Or something you treasure?
If it's something we're to use wisely,
Why do we so often waste it?
I can't take it with me when I die;
I can add no more to my life no matter how hard I try.

As time marches on do we remember or forget it?
Can you cherish a moment in time?
Can you capture it in order to share it?
Can you speed it up when its too hard to bear?
Or slow it down to show a loved one you care?

Do I count it by cycles?
Or focus on each minute?
Is it something my finite mind can comprehend?
Or is it one more thing to trust God in?

The only thing about time I know for sure:
There is a time for everything under heaven and
He has made everything beautiful in it's time.

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