Apr 28, 2012

I Am

4/28/2012 — cori

Gavin was assigned an "I Am" poem to write in school as part of a collage project.  He is to write a poem and then surround it with pictures that visually show who he is and what he likes.  He came home and immediately got to work.  The words seemed to flow like water out of him.  I love any glimpse I get of his brain.  But this poem blew me away since the only poem style I have mastered is of the Dr. Seuss variety.  Thankfully, he has given me permission to share it:

I am intuitive and innovative
I wonder where my life will lead me
I hear distant echos of the past
I see cloudy images of the future
I want to carry out the task I was made for
I am intuitive and innovative

I pretend that life is like a whirlpool
I feel the force of the water, pushing me at all sides 
I touch the twirling current, spinning me around
I worry that I may soon be spun out of control
I cry when the whirlpool sucks someone down forever
I am intuitive and innovative

I understand that all things come to an end
I say to enjoy it while you can
I dream that I would someday follow my own advice
I try to relish every moment, as if it were the last
I hope that somethings never do come to pass
I am intuitive and innovative.

Apr 26, 2012

How To Handle Grief

4/26/2012 — cori
I actually have no idea how.  I've never lost anyone close to me.  However, I did lose a favorite dog once and that about sent me over the edge.  I'm a novice when it comes to this.  I have no pat answers.  I sure could have used some yesterday.

Last night, in a panic, Bennett starts yelling for us to run upstairs to his room.  So we run.  He's hysterical over his bird, Max.  Max is acting very atypical for a parakeet.  Bennett just knows something is wrong.  We start calling the pet stores.  We get advice.  We look up emergency vet clinics that take birds (none did).  We run to CVS to get a dropper (so Bennett can hand feed Max water).  We attach a heat lamp to the cage.  All in an attempt to show Bennett that what breaks his heart, breaks ours.

So we sit.  And we wait.  Together.

We are optimistic that maybe he'll make it til morning when we can rush to the vet as soon as it opens.  Bennett plans on doing an all night vigil with Max; holding him close to his heart and feeding him one drop at a time.  We desperately don't want to see a repeat of Azul.

But then the tide changes and Max takes a turn for the worse.  He's been stumbling all over the bottom of the cage, tripping and falling with every step.  Now he's just sitting in one spot, eyes closed and leaning over as if he's trying to lay his head down.  That's when we lost all hope.  Bennett is holding Max's head up, willing to keep him alive.

It didn't work.

Max put up a good fight.  It was too sad to watch, so we went in cuddled in my room instead.  Bennett was full of questions.  "I prayed.  I asked God to heal Max.  Why didn't He?  He could if He wanted to."

So true my friend.  I have no answers for you.  This is a hard place to be in.  It's okay to be angry.  It's okay to be sad.  Please try not to make this God's fault though.  Sometimes there are no answers.  It is what it is.  It's okay not to understand the 'whys'.  Words seem empty though in the midst of the pain.  So I stop talking and we just hold each other and I let him cry.

I let him stay home from school today to grieve.  Bennett is very free with his emotions and likes to talk about how he feels a lot.  We had many wonderful conversations, remembering Max.  He talked about what it felt like to lose a second beloved bird.  He said how bad he felt for Angel (his lone remaining bird).  And surprisingly, he thanked us.

He thanked me all day long for comforting him, for giving him the freedom and the time to grieve, for helping to cheer him up, for running out to get the dropper for Max (Daddy) and for cleaning up the cage and putting Max in a keeping place until his burial this evening (Daddy).  My son was full of thankfulness in the midst of his grief.  Amazing.

Two things of huge importance we talked about:

1.) When bad things happen that don't make sense and we know God can stop it, why doesn't he? As we were discussing this today he told me, "Mom, I'm still wrestling God about this, but I know He still loves me."  I told him how happy I was to hear that he chose to wrestle about an important issue to him and told him if he feels that God gives him an answer to please pass it on to me!  And I thanked him for his honesty.

2.) Try not to put up a wall to protect your sensitive little heart from hurt again.  It's a natural and understandable reaction.  It's the sensitivity that makes you love and care for all the animals so well.  It's part of who you are.  You start desensitizing yourself so that pain doesn't hurt so bad and you miss out on the beauty of life.  To quote Dumas,  "Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss."

Goodbye Max.

 Angel & Max

Here's Bennett's story in his own words.

Apr 23, 2012


4/23/2012 — cori
I couldn't be prouder of the two Chloes.  They put their collective heads together and came up with an awesome idea that just made outside play time infinitely more fun.  Introducing:  The Car Seat Swing

All these handy items were conveniently located in our garage.  Don't worry, it's not a permanent fixture.  You can assemble this little contraption in no time in any tree.  That's the beauty of it.

Apr 19, 2012

Convenient Friends

4/19/2012 — cori

I'm about to get on a soap box.  I just wanted to warn you.

Friends can be a beautiful gift or a painful reminder of deep hurt.  Friends can help carry you through or abandon you when you need them the most.  A friend is someone who laughs with you, not at you; who cries with you, not because of you.  A friend sacrifices for you.  A true friend will be "there" through the ups and downs of life, the good and the bad.

"There" is the optimal word.  It doesn't have to be physically.  But "there" counts.  It's critical actually, because it's that one word that proves the friendship.  If someone really knows you, they know how to read between the lines of what you say versus what you mean. They can see the light go in or out of your eyes.  They can hear the life and joy (or lack of it) in your voice.  They can understand the subtle nuances of your behavior and actions.

This type of friendship can only come from time spent together.  Quality time, not necessarily quantity.  It is not always comfortable or convenient.  You can't hurry this type of friendship.  It often goes places you'd rather not, uncomfortable places of arguments, miscommunication, misunderstandings and unmet expectations.  If you love someone enough, you go through those places with them.  You fight for what's important.  You love someone enough to wrestle through the hard times.  If you don't, you never valued the other enough to call them friend.

Unfortunately, now-a-days, our social media has watered down the definition of friendship to "who you know".  That's really all it takes.  They say it makes friendship easier.  Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy.  I don't want to share my life with my "friend" in small snip-its in some vast chat room.  I want them to really, honestly care.  I know that it is inconvenient to truly care in today's society.  Because caring takes time and who has that anymore?  We're too harried and over scheduled to develop lasting friendships.

Social media allows you to turn your friends on and off when its convenient for you.  That's not what true friendship is about.  An honest to goodness friend should care less about whether or not time with you is convenient to their schedule.  A true friend would rather incur an inconvenience on your behalf and never even mention it to you because your friendship is that important.

I pray my children will learn the "old fashion" meaning of friendship.  I wanted to write it down here so they would have a point of reference as they grow older and wiser.  I fear for the state of friendship in the world my children inherit.  I pray they be the kind of friend they wish to have.  I hope they see social media friends as 'acquaintances' or 'people I used to know' or 'friends of convenience' rather than that true heart to heart friend.  I pray they don't substitute connecting on social media with a 'friend' as time spent investing in that friend.  I pray they take time for the people in their lives that are important to them. I hope they learn how to be the friend the wish to have.

(photo credit: https://www.healthline.com/health/how-social-media-is-ruining-relationships#1)

Apr 16, 2012

How Do You Spell...

4/16/2012 — cori

As the kids were all gathered around the island after school today, each doing various homework-like activities, I decided to start quizzing Chloe on her spelling words.  But she informed me that she was deep in thought on a particular math problem and she couldn't acquiesce me at the moment.

Thankfully for me, Bennett wasn't busy doing anything but shoveling goldfish in his face and was eager to volunteer in Chloe's stead.  "Oh, Mom!  Please let me do Chloe's spelling words!"

"Uh.  Ok.  If you insist."

I then proceed to give him all the words on Chloe's sheet.  He is actually excited about spelling them and coming up with the appropriate and timely funny sentence to help us all get a better grasp of the meaning.

Chloe is suddenly free from her cumbersome math problems and proceeds to spell all the same words I just finished giving to her brother.

Gavin is at the island sewing a patch on his Tae-Kwon-Do uniform.  He's hyped about getting to sew.  He is now taking a Family & Consumer Sciences class in school and has been eager to show off his new found skill of button sewing and needle threading.  He seriously is thrilled that I've taught him how to sew on the patch that I previously sewed on upside down and had to rip out.  Not to be left out as he's haunched over with his sewing needle he begs, "Mom, can you ask me how to spell some words too?"

I can't believe this.  Since when do all my kids want me, no, beg me to quiz them on spelling words?  I find this very ironic since I'm not a huge stickler on spelling.  And now suddenly everyone wants to prove their spelling prowess to me.  So, here I am making up words (looking around the kitchen to find a word for him to spell) like: psychopath, camera, chandelier, corduroy, levy.  The only one of those words that I actually found in the kitchen was a camera.  I have no idea where the other words came from.  I didn't even know how to accurately spell them until I sat down to type this.  Funny how the brain works.

Apr 9, 2012

Who Do You Say That I Am?

4/09/2012 — cori
 You see these two, lovely ladies?  Why in the world would I put a picture of them on my blog?

Excellent question!  I'd like to answer that with a story:

I have 'celebrity issues'.  Apparently, people love to tell me who I resemble in The Movies.  Not. Good.  This causes me immense distress and constant paranoia wondering WHY they would think of me in such a manner.  I obsess over it day and night.  I wonder exactly what part of the movie did they start thinking I resembled the aforementioned celebrity.  Was it the way she looked?  How she talked?  What she wore?  Her character?  Her smart alek remarks?  Her no-nonsense attitude?  Tell me the WHOLE STORY please!  You can't just flippantly say, "Ya, when I watched this movie it reminded me of you."  Seriously?!  There is so much more we need to talk about.  Now.  Let's explore our feelings here.

Someone (I know quite well) told me, "You HAVE GOT to see 'Date Nite'.  Tina Fey in that movie totally reminds me of you, Cori."  Since I hadn't seen it yet, I was like, "cool, ok".  THEN I saw the movie.  And then I was like, "WHAT?!  HOW IN THE WORLD can you even compare me to her?!  What about her reminded you of me?"  I MUST know!  This is driving me crazy.  Cuz I certainly don't see any part of myself in the person she portrays.  Was it her sarcasm?  Her glasses and my original hair color?  Her crazy hair in that one scene? Or her ability to do all her stunts while wearing heels?

Then just the other day my neighbor throws this little tid bit at me, "We were watching the movie 'Blindside' the other day and both my daughter and I agreed that Sandra Bullock's character is so you." What does one say to that?  I don't have an appropriate response.  Apparently, I need to be working on one since this happens quite frequently.  I ended up saying, "Well...I guess that's better than being compared to Tina Fey in 'Date Nite'."  I wanted her to expound and give me the details.  But I was left to create multiple scenarios in my over-active imagination as to why she would see me as this character.  My brain hurts from over analyzing all the potential answers.

If you feel the need to tell me how much I resemble your favorite actress in your favorite movie, please make sure you're ready to spend a good hour explaining yourself and calming my heart with reassurances of your unfailing love for me despite who you think I may or may not resemble.  My self confidence will thank you later.

Apr 5, 2012

Eight Is Great

4/05/2012 — cori

Eight years ago
I didn't yet know you
I had no clue 
Your eyes would be blue
I couldn't imagine 
The joy you would bring
Each time my ears
Would hear you sing
Who knew the smile 
That lights your face
Would melt me each time
And remind me of grace
I didn't yet know
Exactly how much 
You would be crazy in love 
With horses and such
Who knows their child
Before they are born
God does and he teaches us
To not be forlorn
But to trust Him and 
He will show us the way
To raise you and love you
And help you obey
You are more precious
And dear to me
Than I ever imagined 
Anything could be
You are the gift
God knew I would need
I see Him in you 
And I see you in me

Happy 8th Birthday
My Love,

Life's A Dance

4/05/2012 — cori

I love Chloe's philosophy on life (it also just so happens to be the same as a song by John Michael Montgomery):

Life's a dance you learn as you go
Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow
Don't worry bout what you don't know
Life's a dance you learn as you go!

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