Oct 30, 2010

Being Bennett's Mom

10/30/2010 — cori
It's Birthday Time again, a time of reflection and reminiscing. My sweet, sensitive, relational, little boy is turning 9. His sweet smile has always been contagious. His need to make people smile, laugh and be happy is what drives him. He stands for Truth, Justice and the American Way. He hates to see unfairness in this world and takes it upon himself to try to right all wrongs. He MUST relate to anyone he meets (a trait he gets from Mommy). He MUST be holding, sleeping, or playing with a ball at all times (a trait he gets from Daddy). He has 13 stuffed animals that he calls his 'kids' and each have a name and a power. He can memorize a song, comedic line or saying after seeing/hearing it once (I'm jealous). He has a quick wit. He has a huge appreciation of art. He smiles the whole time he's playing any sport - he's so happy to be playing he just can't help it. He has an extensive knowledge of all things cheetah and would like to be a zoologist when he grows up (after his pro-football career, of course). Speaking of football, he said he'd give his Dad and me free tickets to sit on the sidelines of all his pro games and spending money to eat at the concession stand (sweet!). He's still at the age where he wants to marry me when he grows up. But at the same time he says he will take care of me when I'm old (like 40, he says). I told him the only way I'll live with him when I'm old is if he lets me eat cookies everyday and he said that was okay - so I'm relieved. He still calls me Mommy.

I learn so much from each of my children. From Bennett I have learned to draw what I'm feeling and that drawing pictures and giving them to people makes them feel better and helps get feelings off your chest. I've learned that giving people a smile goes a long way. He makes my heart smile. Every year Chuck makes a little slide show of their lives up to their current year and we put it to their favorite song. When we asked him what his favorite song was this year he replied, "Live Like You Were Dying". That is so Bennett. Every moment I get with him, I enjoy to it's fullest because that's what he does with those he's around. He has such a thankful heart.

Oct 18, 2010

Word Play

10/18/2010 — cori
No less than 3 minutes after waking up, Bennett wants to engage me in the meaning of words. He asks me, "Mom, does 'deca or deci' mean 10? Because decimeter means 10 meters and a decade is 10 years." You're right buddy, that's exactly what it means. "Okay then, I came up with some new words: a decimist is a person who sees 10 good things and 10 bad things. They're more like a realist. And a decanut is a donut with 10 holes." Pretty cool stuff, my friend. Way to use your brain.

He then goes on to expound about his thoughts on pessimists and optimists. He explains that a pessimist is skinny cuz they only see the skinny side of things and optimists aren't fat, but more like medium cuz they have bigger stomachs about things. They always see things full. What a neat mental picture to have to explain a word that is really only a concept. I think I want to be fat today when it comes to my outlook on life. But if truth be told, I think I'm more of a decimist.

Oct 15, 2010

The Door Stop

10/15/2010 — cori
I'm happy to see Bennett finally found a use for his deodorant. Because it sure isn't being used for it's original intent.

Oct 14, 2010

Greater Appreciation Needed

10/14/2010 — cori
Bennett made a pretty bold proclamation yesterday. "Mom, it is my opinion that people do not appreciate illustrators like they should. There are some really good illustrators out there and people only give the authors credit."

I totally agree my astute son. Especially when it comes to children's books. I will normally buy or borrow as many books by the same illustrator once I find one I like. The pictures are art and we have a high appreciation of it in this house. Especially Bennett. He illustrates everything, his math, his language arts, his writing...nothing is safe from "The Illustrator".

From experience, I have coined the saying, "It's all about the presentation." Meaning, if something looks good, it doesn't really matter if it is or not, if it appears to be good, the perception is that it is good. This works in interior design, marketing, advertising, web design, speeches, you name it. I automatically like the story more if the cover is beautiful or catches my attention. I love the story alot more if the illustrations are detailed. It makes me ponder the story more as I go. Obviously, this gene was passed down to Bennett.

Bennett has composed a list of illustrators that make 'the cut' in his book. It's cute because it also tells alot about what he's like and what he appreciates:

Susan Jeffers
Trina Schart Hyman


Bob Marstall


Gerald L. Holmes


Bill Watterson


Jan Brett

Oct 12, 2010

Too Hard

10/12/2010 — cori

When Bennett was 2 and he encountered a situation too difficult for him or was told to do something he didn't want to do, he would arch his back, stick out his bottom lip, summon his most whiney voice and pronounce, "Too hard!" and scowl at us. It was hilarious back then, especially if we knew the task was rather easy and he just didn't want to do it. With all the effort and hoopla he would put into telling us how 'hard' something was, he could have already accomplished the task asked of him.

Right now, I'm feeling very much like little Bennett. At least, that's how I imagine God must see me when I fuss and complain about things I feel are "too hard" for me. I've been agonizing over a particular issue for quite some time now. I often feel that in my mind, I'm complaining loudly that it's just "too hard" to do, therefore, I conclude, it (or I) must be wrong.

How in the world did I ever correlate hard with wrong? Because it's easier for my flesh to see it that way and make sense of it, at least that's my opinion and experience. Sometimes doing the hard thing is a matter of faith...you do it even though it's not fun, easy or other's around you aren't doing it, but you know that you know that you are supposed to.

It is in the hard times that growth is happening. Growth is not always fun. It hurts. Ever heard of 'growing pains'? I've often heard the phrase, "God loves you just how you are, but he loves you too much to not let you stay that way". Growth involves dying to myself, my flesh, being less selfish...that would qualify it as "hard".

It's hard to have a baby, but that doesn't make it wrong...it just makes it hard. There's joy at the end of the hardship. There's growth that you couldn't have had any other way. The Bible tells us to "count it all joy when you encounter various trials for they are building your faith" (my paraphrase). It also says to "give thanks in all things for this is God's will for you".

I choose to be thankful in this hard thing. I can only see the here and now. I have such a limited scope. I choose to trust God since that is called "faith" and that is what pleases Him. All life's struggles (and joys) are opportunities to bring us closer to Him. How can I not be thankful for that?

But that doesn't mean I still don't want to complain at times or stiffen my back in protest. But hopefully that happens less and less and before I know it, I can do "it" and not even realize how hard it is anymore. That's maturity. That's growth. Then it's on to the next lesson that will feel "too hard" for a time.

Oct 5, 2010

Questions

10/05/2010 — cori

I have 4 different kinds of questioners in this house. I love it. It has taken a few years of research before coming to this discovery phase, but I think I've finally got them nailed.

Here's Gavin's line of questioning (it usually involves my sitting next to a computer armed with a Google search engine): "Mom...what is one dimension?" Glad you asked honey. Because you know, that's another one of the million things you think you know until you have to explain it. He is expert at asking me those types of questions. However 'unsmart' I may feel by many of Gavin's questions, I love that he asks them because I continue learning new things every day - often things I wouldn't have thought to ask, thanks to the way his brain works. This little question/answer period we share often turns into a beautiful time of discussion and another way of seeing God in our lives. For the record (just because I know now and can explain it), one dimension is a line drawn from one point to another. While we were reading thru Wikipedia, we also learned that time is often considered the fourth dimension, something new I did not know and was excited to learn. Our little talk took us back to God and how He is not limited by any of our earthly dimensions and how grateful we are for that!

And then there's Bennett's line of questioning, "Mom, can I have 1 cookie or 3?" Why would you skip the number 2? Why go straight for 3? Why would 3 even be an option? Most would want 1 or 2...but not Bennett. He also loves to ask me the obvious such as, "Are we going to the store, Mom?" when we've just pulled up in front of it. We have a whole different line of reasoning going on here. Lastly, he loves to relate, especially if something 'bad' recently happened to him, for example: he accidentally breaks something, gets disciplined for it and then asks, "Mom, was there ever a time you broke something and your parents got mad at you and you felt this way?" Every. Single. Time. He has to know he's not alone in this world. I love my little relater.

Chloe only asks questions she knows the answer to. Why? I still don't understand. For example: she sees Chuck pull into the driveway through her window then she'll come downstairs and ask me, "Mom, when is Daddy coming home?" Since I didn't just see him pull into the driveway, I answer, "I'm not sure, Honey...it should be soon." To which she'll reply, "He's home now, Mom. I just saw him drive up." Then why ask?! She only asks, so she can tell. I guess in some warped sense this helps her feel smarter - but she doesn't need any help in that department since she is as smart as a whip anyways. She hates not knowing the answer to something, it makes her feel dumb - whereas, when Gavin doesn't know the answer to something, he wants to ask to find out. How do I get her from point A to point B? Obviously, this is a one dimensional project I have to work on.

Lastly, there's Chuck. I include him because, like the children, he's always asking me questions. His are similar to Chloe's...not that he already knows the answer, but he's not really looking for an answer. It's called a rhetorical question. And he's mastered them. His line of questioning usually takes place in the car. His rhetorical questioning was developed by his love of reading random billboards or store signs or anything he sees in the outside world (by outside I mean anything on the opposite side of the windshield) that has words on it. He'll read his sign...aloud...for all to hear and enjoy and then he feels the need to comment on it, but the comment comes in the form of a question. Example: we pass a sign that says, "dogs for sale". Well, now we've just opened a whole can of worms. He asks me (I'm assuming it's me, since I'm in the front seat with him, but maybe he's just talking out loud to himself), "Do you think they have Rottweilers? Do you think there's alot of them or just 1 or 2? Do you think they're licensed?" How would I know? I saw the same sign and there were no answers on them. I can only speculate as to answer. Do you really want one from me or are you jus thinking aloud? You would think I'd be used to this after 14 years of marriage, but alas, I am not.

Since I am the author of this blog, I do not have to divulge my type of questioning. :) But I'm sure it's not a secret to anyone who knows me. I live in a constant state of questioning...but I make sure to keep it in my head. I question everything, all day long, all the time. I guess our kids are just hard wired to ask questions, be they legitimate or not.

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