Dec 29, 2010

It's What I Like About You

12/29/2010 — cori
I had that old song stuck in my head as I was reminiscing about the fun we got to share as a family last night. I just love these people. I don't want to forget what it was like when my kids were this age - the crazy things we do that we call "fun".

*stepping on to soapbox* - I'm really big into teaching the kids how to entertain themselves...I HATE that children nowadays don't feel like they can have any fun unless they're being entertained, either by way of video games, t.v/movies, expensive toys. All those are fine in moderation, but children need to learn to be creative and innovative with their time and talents. That is one of the best gifts we as parents can give them. They need to learn to not be scared of silence, those are the times of peaceful reflection and times when their minds and bodies are processing everything they are learning and taking in from the world around them. I desire to foster that ability in my children. They will make much more serene, reflective adults with the ability to think through problems at an earlier age if they learn this lesson as children. I recently heard an amazing quote by David Schiller, "Noise creates superficiality- it is the curse of our modern times." *stepping down from soapbox now - thank you for listening*

Every night at dinner the kids ask, "So, what are we going to do tonight guys?" First of all, I love that they want to do stuff with us still. I pray that when they're all teenagers, they'll still be asking that question during dinner. I also love that our schedule isn't so overbooked with activities right now that we get to enjoy each other's time after dinner.

In order to beat the inevitable question, I bust out with, "So...I have an idea about what we can all do after dinner tonight." The kids were thrilled that I took the initiative. Not like I'm not the constant 'event coordinator' in this house. "How about we put our book on c.d. on the computer and all sit around building legos in the gameroom while we listen. What do you think?" The applause for such a genius plan was instantaneous. They couldn't wait to 'get the fun on'. Then it struck me, not alot of people would probably find this fun - I'm so glad my people do!

As Helen Keller's, "The Story of My Life" was being read to us, we were all studiously cowering over the legos trying to find just the right pieces to make our random creations. And it was warm. And it was peaceful. And it was fun.

*side note* - it's ironic that we were listening to the story of a lady who had to live in silence her whole life. Yet after listening to the story of her life in her own words, I'd have to say I don't know that there is a person out there who has experienced life so fully, with such reward and had such excitement and appreciation about life as she did.

Dec 21, 2010

Beauty

12/21/2010 — cori
This is the only thing going through my head when I behold the beauty of these two times of day: Psalm 65:8 "They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs; You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy."

Sunrise

Sunset

FYI

12/21/2010 — cori
I discovered a bright, pink sticky note attached to the bottom of my computer monitor written in Chloe's handwriting. This is where we put all the important things we want to remember. It reads:

To get into Chloe world, she has to know if you
can fight, protect and listen to her.

I think I might start posting notes around the house informing others how to get into my world. I kinda want all those who will fight, protect and listen to me as well in my little inner-circle as well. She's onto something big, I think.

Dec 20, 2010

Chloe's Christmas Carol

12/20/2010 — cori
This is one of the songs that plays over and over (ad nosium) on her snowglobe. Chloe can't seem to get enough of it. She sings this chorus over and over (ad nosium) all day long:

"Deck the boughs of holly with ivy, fa la la la la la la la la"

Just thought I'd share that little Christmas tidbit for the rest of the world to enjoy. I wouldn't want to hog that song playing on endless repeat in my brain alone all day. I like to share.

Gavin & Technology

12/20/2010 — cori
I gave my old phone to Gavin several months ago. I pretty much used it as a phone. I opened it when it rang and I shut it when I was done talking. That's all a phone is for. Actually, I must confess...I did download my very own ringtone. I couldn't stand the ringtone options given. Thanks to Tim McGraw, I got to hear "Just To See You Smile" everytime my phone rang and my heart went pitter patter. It was joyous. But that's about the extent that I meddled with my phone.

Now you take that same phone and put it in the hands of a pre-teen boy who is not technology challenged like his mother and you'd be surprised what a simple phone can do. Of course, he took the time to read the entire manual and to play with all the features. I did not.

So the other day I hear this person talking in the house. It was almost a robotic sounding voice. I heard this 'voice' downstairs, where I was. Everyone else was upstairs. I heard the 'voice', was freaked out, but chose to ignore it since I had no clue what it was. Plus also I thought my ears were playing tricks on me - it wouldn't be the first time I thought I heard something that wasn't really there. In order to save face, I ignored the pounding heart and cold sweat that broke out at the sound of this spooky, random voice and just went about my business as normal.

Less than 2 minutes after the alleged 'voice' Gavin runs downstairs and says, "Mom, was that my phone that just rang?"

"Uh. I didn't hear any phone ringing."

He comes back into the room I was in after retrieving his phone and informs me that he just missed a call. He then proceeds to tell me that he made a new ring tone and asked if I liked it. When I gave the quizzical, 'I-have-no-clue-what-you're-talking-about' look, he demonstrated it for me.

When his phone rings, it now says, "Gavin. You have a call. Answer it NOW!" (it 'says' this at least 5 times.) This 'voice' sounds like a robot but come to find out, its Gavin's own recorded voice, altered just a tad. How creepy.

I asked him, "How'd you do that? I didn't know that was possible."

"It was easy", he replied. I guess I'd know more about all this stuff if I was an 11 year old boy.

Dec 19, 2010

The Offering Plate

12/19/2010 — cori
We do not typically attend church. We love Jesus but do not have a church home. LONG story. If you had told me 10 years ago that we wouldn't be raising our children in church, I would have not believed a word of it. But thus is the position we've found ourselves in whether people like it, agree with it, or not.

That being said, my children have been to church plenty. We've visited many, many churches - all different types. Each church does things a bit different. Take for instance the collection plate.

Today we were at a very formal church. It is time for the offering. Bennett is sitting at the edge of the pew. The man hands Bennett the plate. Bennett takes it and just holds it. He has no clue what on earth to do with it.

I notice his awkwardness, but for the life of me, I can't do a thing about it because I am struck with the worst case of situational giggles. He just sits there looking bewildered. He doesn't understand why someone just handed him a very heavy plate...but oh well, I guess I'll just sit here and hold it until he asks for it back.

I finally compose myself enough to take it from his grasp and pass it down the pew. I reach over to whisper to Chuck what just happened and end up in a fit of giggles again (church is the best place to giggle!). Now both of us have tears in our eyes over our ineptitude of teaching our children what to do when a collection plate is placed before them.

Chuck asked Bennett on the way home what he was thinking when that man gave him that plate. This is a direct quote from Bennett, "I wondered where all the cookies went." Oh really. Why would someone hand you an empty plate with no cookies on it? "I thought that everyone else already took the rest of them."

Of course he would think someone is handing him a plate of cookies in church.

Something I Can't Do

12/19/2010 — cori
I'm sure you'll be surprised that even this late in life (37 years old), I've discovered yet another skill I am deficient in. This may not come as much of a surprise to anyone who's known me for any amount of time, but the one with the problem is normally the last to know about it (or own up to it). I should keep you in suspense no longer...actually, I'm not exactly sure that there is a name for this 'problem'. Let's call it the: 'I-can't-give-word-examples-to-corresponding-letters' challenge. Clear as mud, right?! This might help explain. It is my favorite comedian in the world talking about this little known 'problem'. (He actually gets to that 'bit' around 2:30 mins. into the skit). Enjoy:



This skit better enables me to accept this little known quirk in my life. If Brian Regan has a problem with it and is able to 'own it' among his audience, who am I not to?

Here's a recent example of my pathetic word/letter association attempts in real life:

An elderly person we know called yesterday to ask for our address. I gave it to the person, but they totally got it all wrong. Great. I knew what was next. I was going to have to spell my entire address to a very old person with sub-par hearing. The number part was easy, then came the street name.

I have a confession to make...I hate my street name. In order to be grammatically correct, it should have an apostrophe in it and it should not be one word. This little fact makes it that much harder to communicate it over the phone to an elderly person. So I start with the first letter, that's easy enough, but eventually I get to "N" and I say as in "nap". I was very proud of myself for coming up with that one under duress. I chose to say "W" as in "window", "F" as in "Frank", "O" as in "oh", "H" as in "hat" and "S" as in "silly". At this point, I'm frantically looking around the kitchen for items that start with the letters that I still need examples for.

Brilliantly, I was able to come up with "C" as in "cow" - although I have no cows in my kitchen. But then I started loosing it...my mind went utterly blank and I got a huge case of the giggles. Chuck was in the living room laughing his head off at me and my little "problem" and leaving me hanging with a dear elderly person on the other line waiting for my next pathetic attempt at another letter/word combination.

My voice is cracking from suppressed laughter. My heart is beating so hard from stress that I start sweating. The belly giggles are coming on strong. I can't focus. I just want to scream the letter into the phone and say it over and over again until the person gets it right because I CAN'T THINK OF A WORD TO GO WITH V!

It also doesn't help that I have this Brian Regan clip on repeat in my mind and it's only making matters worse. Chuck doesn't even offer to come rescue his bride. He let's me lie in this pathetic bed I've made for myself.

I finally confess, "I'm not very good at this." To which elderly person, mercifully responds with "V as in victor?" "YES! YES! V as in victor - that's a good one!" 12 minutes later the whole ordeal is behind me and now elderly person wants to small talk with me. That's the next thing down on my list after pathetic letter/word associations that I'm horrible at.

This day just keeps getting better and better.

Dec 7, 2010

This Son of Mine

12/07/2010 — cori
The relationship Gavin and I share is such a dear, sweet, gift in my life. I love seeing the world thru his eyes and the unique perspective he holds. He is full to the brim of questions. They are the fuel that gets him thru each day. I get a smattering of them each day. When he was younger, he used me as one would use an encyclopedia. Now a days, I'm a little slower than Google and seemingly know a lot less than I did back in the days when he was 4. His rate of absorption of information and love of learning are exponential. Much of what he thinks about and knows come at me in the form of questions. Here are the ones from yesterday (and these are only the ones I remember):

1. "Mom, if you had a large magnet and a bunch of nail filings and you were to pick up the magnet, would the nail filings distribute evenly on both sides of the magnet?"

Hmmmm....excellent question my son. What do you think? (I have learned, over the years, to answer his question with a question for 2 reasons, 1. I often don't know the answer, so I'm stalling and 2. he already has an answer formulated in his head and wants to tell me his hypothesis.)

"I think they would distribute evenly."

You think so scientifically, Honey. Do you how a scientist would handle this question? They would do an experiment to find out the answer.

"Well the problem with that is that I don't know where to go buy a bunch of nail filings. Although, I've heard there is some in our food."

Gross.

2. "Mom, if you could pick one millennium as the most important as far as discoveries, which one would you choose?"

Do I have too? Which one do you think it is?

"Well, I just look at it as, if you were to take away one of the millenia, which one would we miss the most? I think it would be from 1000 - 1999."

I totally agree!

3. "Mom, if Jesus was born at night, why do we celebrate his birthday the day after he was born? We don't do that for my birthday."

Honey, there is so much about the Christmas season that is just traditions of men and customs taken from pagan religions. We would really need to do an in depth study of this to find out the real answers. But at least for now, it reminds us to focus on Him...and that is a good thing.

I took these pictures of him while he was studying at his desk the other day (the photo quality is poor because my flash quit working). I wanted to remember every little detail. From the messy cork board, to the picture of me he chose to use as his computer screen-saver. It brings a smile to my face every time I walk in there. Looking at his desk often reminds me of the "Absent Minded Professor". He thinks its perfectly neat and sees nothing wrong with his work station. I also love the statue of a boy sitting on a stack of books reading with a super-villain sitting on his shoulders poised to attack - that is so Gavin.

Dec 3, 2010

Fresh Breath

12/03/2010 — cori
I would just like to state here and now for all to hear that "I hate gum". I feel better knowing that's out in the open now. I have TMJ and the whole chewing gum thing doesn't work well for me. Plus that whole smacking sound that's made when people chew really grates on my nerves. But I LOVE fresh breath. So, by default, I've had to become a 'mint person'.

Have we discussed my position on fresh breath? I didn't think so. In the words of Tim McGraw, "I like it, I love it, I want some more of it." Let me explain. I am an ocd toothbrusher. The dentist even had to tell me to take down a notch - don't brush so much. I brush at least 6 -10 times a day. I'm an avid fan of fresh breath and clean teeth (but do you think I take the time to actually floss? That would ruin my efficiency. Only right before my dentist appt. - like they can't tell). It's not always possible to break out the toothbrush while, say, at the park. So, I've been forced to fine an alternate method to trick my brain into thinking my teeth and breath are actually clean even though there is not a toothbrush or sink in sight. Enter - the breath mint.

This little pack of fresh breath heaven is my constant companion. I have one of these little fake toothbrushers in my car and two more in my purse (in case I run out). My children have decided that they too, love to have fresh breath. Actually, I think they prefer to suck on one of these rather than brush their teeth - but this wasn't a battle I wanted to fight. I just gave in and assumed they adored fresh breath as much as their mother (f.y.i kiddos- it doesn't get rid of stuff between your teeth).


However, my little fresh breath bubble was burst when after offering one of these little golden gems to my mom she responded with, "You know those have aspartame in them, right?"

Uh. No I do not.

"You know that aspartame is a known carcinogen, don't you?"

Uh. Yes I do.

"Would you like one of these instead?" And then she whips out her little cancer free fresh breath alternative, also in a convenient little carry along tin.

Hmmm....what is this goodness? No aspartame? I can have fresh breath and live a few years longer. Bonus! I am against all known carcinogens, just for the record. If I had even taken a few seconds even to glance at the ingredients in the evil pack of fresh breath, I would never have subjected myself and my loved ones to it's treacherous claws under the guise of 'fresh breath'. But alas, we have been rescued and are no longer ignorant fools only concerned about our mouth odors...we are now informed consumers, willing to pay twice as much for green tea mints so that we can have fresh breath and live.

But what to do with the three tins of 'the other stuff' I have left? I just left them in the car and let the kids finish them off. So the other day Chloe sees that they're still up there and asks, "Mom, can I have a breath mint?" Without thinking, I hand one back.

Gavin gasps! "Mom! So, it's okay for us to have poison mints?"

Uh. Yep. I've got to get rid of them.

Chloe replies, "I'm okay with poison mints. I like them."

Evidently Gavin equates aspartame with poison. I think he knows something that many people prefer to overlook. Even his own mother.

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