Nov 30, 2012


11/30/2012 — cori

The other day I get this random text from Gavin:  Hi Mom.  What is the plural of rhinoceros?

Since no one is really ever prepared to receive, much less answer a question like that, I responded the only way I knew how:  add an es

By this point, one would think I have my masters in English and know all phonics rules backwards and forwards since the reply came to me so easy.  I was feeling pretty confident as I made my way through the grocery store after hitting 'send'.  But then my over-analyzing brain kicked into the next gear and started making me question my automatic response.  I don't know...could it be rhinoceri? just like octopi?  How many times have I had to use the plural of rhinoceros?  How should I know?  Why in the world is he even asking me this question?

So, in typical fashion, I text him back and pedal backwards a bit, trying to save face incase I'm wrong: I'm not 100% sure about that answer...why don't you look it up.

Within seconds I get his reply:  actually it's rhinoceroses

It didn't dawn on me until days later, that both Gavin and I originally spelled rhinoceros wrong in the beginning of this little adventure.  We both thought you spelled it 'rhinocerous' - with a 'u', so then by adding the 'es' (which I WAS right, by the way! a huge boost to my ego) as the suffix, we thought it sounded like 'rhinoserusus'; but it's actually pronounced 'rhinocer oh ces'.  Get it?! you know in case you ever find yourself in this same predicament.

The ONLY thing going through my mind through-out this entire exchange was Brian Regan's skit on "Stupid In School".  Sooooo funny and so appropriate for this little life moment.

Nov 24, 2012


11/24/2012 — cori
Thanksgiving is such a wonderful time filled with so many traditions and things to be thankful for.   The last four years, a tradition we've been very thankful for has been spending this most wonderful holiday with Chuck's brother John and his wife Karen.  There is no shortage of laughter or food when we're together.   This Thanksgiving we....

Spent time with John & Karen

explored the beauty of Aspen filled forests

and the splendor of Gooseberry Falls

stood feet away from wildlife

 reflected on the calm beauty of nature

took lots of pictures of each other

spent time as a family

held up rocks

 crossed bridges

 kept our brother from falling

 climbed cliff faces

stood on the edge of the world

climbed rocks in Lake Superior

played Quelf

played Guesstures

did Thanksgiving yoga

did Thanksgiving headstands

fried a turkey we could actually eat

ate a delicious dinner

dressed up for dinner in formal attire

played football in sleet 


11/24/2012 — cori

Sometimes I feel....
not good enough
not strong enough
not forgiving enough
not kind enough
not happy enough
not thoughtful enough
not adequate enough
not worthy enough
not patient enough
not smart enough
not beautiful enough
not loving enough

Then God whispers to
my heart that He is...
good enough
strong enough
forgiving enough
kind enough
happy enough
thoughtful enough
adequate enough
worthy enough
patient enough
smart enough
beautiful enough
loving enough

My inadequacy fades
In the light of His glory.
When I focus on all I lack
That is all I see.
When I focus on who He is
I allow Him to fill me.
Jesus is enough.

Nov 18, 2012

Suffering With Someone

11/18/2012 — cori

Chloe has an unusual problem...she is too flexible.  Because of her over-flexibility, sometimes her knee gets hyper-extended.  This is excruciatingly painful.  She can't move her leg.  It's as if it gets "locked" in place.  To move it in any direction makes it feel as though it will snap.  It takes a good half hour to ease her leg back to normal.  That's when she's calm.  But if she keeps screaming out in anguish, the process can take up to an hour or more.

Today was one of those days.  We never know when this will happen or what causes it to happen.  Today she was simply trying to stand up from a chair and collapsed to the floor hugging her knee to her chest and screaming in agony.

And I am completely helpless.  There is not one thing I can do for her.  The doctor has said it just takes time to ease the knee back into position.  In the mean time, I just watch and wait, helpless and in agony with her.  I promised her I would sit with her through the pain and comfort her and walk this road of suffering along side her.  I tried desperately to keep her calm and comfortable.

Even through the pain God showed us some beautiful truths.  I was able to explain to Chloe that this is exactly how Jesus is with us, "Just like I'm sitting here with you while you suffer, Jesus is right there with us while we go through hardships in our life.  He didn't promise to take away our suffering, but to not fear it because he was right there with us.  Always remember this day, Honey.  When you are walking through a painful time, know that Jesus is suffering with you, just like I am today.  But you will grow so much through this suffering.  You will learn how to endure, how to see the good that comes out of it, how to be thankful for it."

We then went on to talk about how each time this pain has happened, she's learned something about the pain and about herself.  She's learned she needs to stay calm; she needs to wait it out; she can't rush to fix it or it will make it worse; she'd rather have two legs that hurt once in a while than one that had to be cut off.  She was able to find something to be thankful for in the midst of her pain.

It's hard to hear the natural wondering of her heart, "Why?!  Why does this have to happen to me?"  Haven't we all asked that at one time or another?  How do you answer that question?  Sometimes there just isn't an answer.  All I knew to say was, "We don't always understand why things happen, Sweetie, but we can learn to trust God and turn to Him in the midst of our suffering knowing that He is suffering with you just like I am.  Because that's what love does.  You may never know why, but can you learn to let His love sustain you?"

It was a very long hour.  But we came out on the other end of it closer.  I could understand her pain better and she could feel my love for her in a new and deeper way.  You don't have to have answers to suffer with somebody...just compassion to feel their pain as your own.

Nov 17, 2012

Little Bird

11/17/2012 — cori

There was once a little bird that was always afraid.

Afraid to sing.

Afraid to fly.

Afraid of other birds.

His Maker asked him, "Why are you so afraid Little Bird?  Why don't you do what I made you to do?"

Little Bird replied, "Well, you see, I'm not very good at flying.  So I'd rather not do it.  And my song is nothing like that of the blue bird, so I'd rather not embarrass myself and sing.  And all the other birds already seem to know each other, so I just feel in the way and left out."

His Maker thought this over, "Hmmmm....seems like you've given this lots of thought.  You know I love you even if you never leave your nest, or never sing one note, or never enjoy the company of other birds."

"Yes.  I know.  I just don't want to disappoint you.  It's easier not to try.  It's safer to stay right here.  There aren't alot of birds like me, you know."

His Maker replied,  "Oh, believe me, I know.  When I made you, I made you unique.  I gave you the song you choose not to sing.  I personally think it sounds beautiful.  I gave you those graceful wings to dip and dive and perform special feats that not all birds can do.  I gave you a personality that I knew other birds needed to be around.  It makes me sad for you that you choose not to share the lovely gifts I've given you.  It makes me sad that you are choosing not to live in fullness of Life."

Now Little Bird furrowed his little brow, stuck his beak under his wing and thought long and hard about what his Maker had said.  He never thought of it that way.

All he knew was his fear.

The fear blinded him to his gifts.

His fear kept him from showing his Maker how much he loved him and how thankful he was to be alive.

"Well....if it really makes you that happy when I sing...I guess I could give it one more try....but I warn you, it's terribly off key and sounds nothing like the Chickadee's crooning."

The Maker couldn't suppress a little chuckle.  He listened as Little Bird tweeted away.  His heart filled with the love of Little Bird's worship.

All of the sudden, some of the other birds of the forest started flying by his nest.  He was starting to get embarrassed but kept singing anyway,  knowing that it made his Maker happy.  Then he heard soft voices saying, "I never knew he was even here.....Listen to that unique song, will ya, it's spectacular....Now our morning songs will sound even better with this one in the mix."

Little Bird was amazed.  The other birds didn't make fun of him after all.  All this time he was afraid for nothing.  He stopped his serenade and introduced himself, "Hi, I'm Little Bird."  All the birds were friendly and couldn't wait to come back and visit again.

Once they left, Little Bird said to his Maker, "Guess what?  After I started singing for you, I realized that I didn't need to be good at it.   The other birds liked my song, can you believe that?!  And now I don't need to be lonely anymore either."

Jolly laughter echoed from the Maker, "See what joy comes from giving your gift away.  You bring joy to my heart little one.  What are your thoughts on flying?  Afterall, it is one of the main things you were created to do."

Little bird hemmed and hawed.  He realized he had wasted so much time being afraid, maybe, just maybe he might be wrong about flying as well.  Afterall, he'd always wanted to try it. It looked so fun when he saw the other birds doing it.  That's part of why he felt left out, they were all flying around without him and would never land on his nest to see how he was doing.  But maybe, if he tried flying out there, he could go visit all the other birds.  But what if he fell?  What if a hawk swooped down and snatched him up?  What if a strong wind blew by at just that moment and smacked him to the ground?  What if he looked stupid flapping his wings?  Oh my....this is a really hard choice.  There are so many things that could go wrong.  Not to mention, flying is just not safe.

At just that moment, the Maker sent another bird over to visit Little Bird.  Little Bird had never seen this bird before.  Why this bird was beautiful and was flying in such fun patterns.  The other bird called out to Little Bird cheerfully, "Would you like to fly with me?"

Little bird, stunned that another bird wanted to spend time with him, called back, "I'm not good at it, plus it's not safe.  But thanks anyway."

"Silly little bird.  You were created to fly.  Don't be afraid.  It's fun.  It's exhilarating.  It makes our Maker happy.  Not to mention, it's alot easier to make friends and find food when you fly.  I'll be with you.  We can fly together.  If you get scared, I'll comfort you.  What do ya say?"

Little bird's heart beat faster and faster.  He knew he always desired to fly.  He was tired of being lonely.  Tired of having wings that didn't do what they were made for.  He decided in that one instant to throw caution to the wind.  His Maker said that he made this gift for him.  He loved the Maker so much.  He thought he would try one last time to use the gift from the Maker.  Maybe if he fell, the Maker would catch him.  He had been afraid long enough.

"Here I come....."  and off his perch he dove.

It was then that he heard the Maker's voice calmly soothing him, "Not one sparrow falls from the sky without me knowing about it; fear not."  At that little bird soared and dipped and dove with his new friend by his side.  He finally felt free.  He finally felt alive, not afraid anymore.  He knew in that instant that this is what he was made for.  That it makes his Maker happy when he flys.  He knew he was worshipping his Maker doing what he was created to do.

And the Maker was happy indeed.

Nov 14, 2012


11/14/2012 — cori

Yesterday, Gavin shared a quote with me that I couldn't stop thinking about.  It is credited to Einstein, although after doing a little research, that is debatable.  But I admire the man so much, I'm going to join the camp that gives him the credit for such a thought.  

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree,
 it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” 

It gives voice to my passion of interest driven learning for children....actually, for all people.  Children are born with such a strong desire to learn about the world around them.  Then we stifle them by putting them in these institutions that tell (us & ) them what they have to learn when, even though they may not be ready or interested.  So sad.  Learning happens all the time for children, especially during play.  We've robbed our children of being allowed to learn in the way that comes naturally to them.  That reminds me of another thing Einstein said:

"Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the life-long attempt to acquire it." 

I love having these conversations with Gavin.  Come to think of it, he reminds me a lot of Mr. Einstein.  See that huge smile on his face...that is what reminds me of Gavin most.  Always happy, eager to learn, wanting to share with me everything even when I don't comprehend it (like XOR's...whatever that is).  What a joy to watch our children grow, develop interests and dreams outside of our own, pursue knowledge in areas we didn't even know existed and still hold on to the joy of life and learning and living.

Nov 12, 2012

Chuck's New Lotion

11/12/2012 — cori

I've recently been into trying to switch over from the typical hazardous house-hold cleaners and solvents to much more earth friendly varieties.   This is a long process since we don't realize how much we rely on Johnson & Johnson to help us clean our houses and our bodies.  I want to be responsible and wise with the chemicals we put near/on/around our bodies as well as the negative side effects those same chemicals have on our environment.

I started making easy changes like switching over to a natural dish soap.  Then it was on to natural body soap (our new favorite is Dr. Bonner's  orange castille soap).  I figured if it worked this good on us and also didn't harm the environment, then let's see what else I can do.  I quickly switched over to also making my own laundry detergent.  LOVE IT!!!  It's very cost effective.  And safe.  The next logical step would be deodorant.

The only reason I even thought that was because I saw an article on the same site that I found the ingredients for my laundry detergent.  I was all over that one.  I've known for years that over the counter deodorant contained carcinogens, but I just couldn't find a good organic substitute.  And I hate to smell anything less than nice.  So, I just continued risking rubbing those cancer causing agents all over my skin every day, hoping I could dodge the bullet.  But once I found this recipe  there was no going back.  IT WORKS!!!

The solution to my dilemma is here.  The only problem is, where do you put it once you make it.  It looks a lot like the coconut oil we use everyday for lotion.  I actually decided to put it in one of the old coconut oil jars I had that was empty.  Unfortunately, I forgot to tell Chuck about this.  Oops.

You see, he uses the coconut oil to rub all over himself, especially in the winter months when the cold, dry air causes his skin to become scaly.  It works like a charm.  Both of us now have wonderfully soft skin thanks to the coconut oil.  However, this is oil.  It comes in a glass jar looking like a gelatinous mass when it gets too cold.  But when it gets warm, it turns into liquid oil.  We usually keep a spoon in the jar to help us apply the oil.  I also keep a spoon in the deodorant jar to help apply it, since it too, has a very liquidy consistency.

It's amazing what a little mis- or non- communication can do.  Chuck comes out to the kitchen after getting ready for work today and announces, "I just rubbed your deodorant all over my face and arms.  Just thought you'd like to know."

I couldn't stop laughing.  He is not going to sweat one bit today...and if he does...he needn't fear his head or arms stinking.

Come to think of it...this reminds me of another incident involving deodorant being used for other than it's original intent.  Like father, like son.

Nov 8, 2012


11/08/2012 — cori

Head bowed low
Hands open wide
Giving up my will
Releasing my pride
Wherever you lead
That's where I'll go
I am your sheep
My job is to follow

In the times of joy
Through the path of sorrow
When I understand
Or when the truth's hard to swallow
The journey is long
But the burden is light
My heart entwined with Yours
No need to fear or to fight
The circumstances that each day brings
For You walk before me and shine Your light

Your will is revealed to me each day
I accept it humbly and continue to pray
That I see You in each person I face
Remind me to serve and always embrace
Each challenge that arises
With Your love and Your grace

May these not be merely words
Or ideals I hold on to
But action flowing out of love for You
I may not always want to accept Your will
In those time I pray You make my heart still
Replace all the worry and doubt
And remind me what life is truly about
Serving and loving and giving my all
 My daily Salvation, to You do I call

Head bowed low
Hands open wide
Giving up my will
Releasing my pride
Wherever you lead
That's where I'll go
I am your sheep
My job is to follow

Nov 6, 2012

Short Term Memory Loss

11/06/2012 — cori

I think I'm the president of that club.  I always have been. It's just gotten worse (or more noticeable) as I age.  Even as a kid, I distinctly remember (and that's saying something since I have already confessed to having such a horrible memory) forgetting the order of washing my hair.  Seriously.  I remember sitting there in the tub reading the 'directions of use' on the back of the shampoo and conditioner bottles because I could never remember which one you were supposed to use first and if you were supposed to have your hair wet or dry before you apply.

Thankfully, I've moved past needing to read the back of the bottle.  Now I simply can't remember if I already added the conditioner or not.  I can't tell you how many times I've gotten out of the tub, brushed my hair and noticed the tangle of knots still in it - a tell-tale sign of having forgotten the creme rinse part of my routine.   So back in I go to redo my hair.  Like...this happened just last week.  Just one of the many weeks of my life to which I could repeat this same, pathetic tale.

Now I've upgraded to a new forgetfulness.  We don't even want to count the number of times I've gotten out of the tub with only one leg shaved.  The worst part is, I don't even notice until the next day.

Why am I confessing this?  Good question.  I dont' want my sweet kids thinking that their aging mother has dementia because of her forgetfulness.  I want proof, recorded for posterity, that this little thing called, "short term memory loss" has plagued me my entire life. I don't want them to start putting labels on everything for me  - "door", "keys", "cupboard".

Don't even get me started on the garage door and my curling or straight iron.  Every day for years, I would close the garage door, back out and start driving to work or where ever and then get to the end of the street and not remember shutting the door.  I just couldn't live with myself if I knowingly left the garage door open all day - an open invitation for anyone to come take whatever they need.  So, I would turn around EVERY DAY and go back to double check.  Maybe 2 times out of 100 did I actually forget to shut it.   I got to the point where I built in time to do this circle around routine so I wouldn't be late.

Then there's the whole curling/straight iron thing to worry about.  How could I live with myself if we came back from running errands only to find the house burnt down because of my dumb iron.  Seriously, I would be looking on the horizon for smoke coming from the general vicinity of our house as we would be driving home because I would be so nervous as to whether or not I actually turned it off.  Unfortunately, I don't remember about the status of my hair styling aids until we're long past the turn around point (at least for Chuck anyway).

How about one more for good measure.  I have played a card game called Nertz since I was like 13.  I know it like the back of my hand.  You have one pile that holds 13 cards called your Nertz pile.  Every time we sit down to play that game together, I secretly question how many cards are supposed to be in that pile, 13 or 14.  Most of the time I put an extra card in for good measure.

If there is something really important, now-a-days that I wish to remember, I just tell it to Chloe and ask her to remind me later.  Since she has a tape recorder for a memory, it's a set-up that works just great for me.  Plus, she loves to remind of things.  Win/win.

Nov 5, 2012


11/05/2012 — cori

Chloe was telling me about a conversation she had with her friend the other day.  Apparently friend  already knows who she is going 'vote' for for President and she was adamantly telling Chloe why, "I'm voting for [this candidate] because [the other candidate] says he would give money to the poor and I think that is wrong.  You need to earn your money."

I guess Chloe let it drop and that was the end of the conversation.  But it doesn't mean she didn't stop thinking about it.  As we're out and about today she tells me about this conversation with her friend and then adds, "But Mom, I was thinking...doesn't Jesus say to give to the poor?"

I love, love, love that my daughter goes immediately to what Jesus would do.  No politics.  No side-taking.  Just Jesus.  Sometimes we adults make things too complicated when they're not.  When we put others above ourselves as Jesus did, it really isn't all that complicated.  I wish all the grown ups could remember that during this election season.

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