Mar 30, 2016

Recreated Processes

3/30/2016 — cori

The other night at dinner (those famous last words), we were having another fascinating talk. I never know what to expect when Gavin brings up a topic. I was pleasantly surprised with the direction of this conversation:

"You know mom, it's interesting how most inventions and machines people have created work to recreate processes that exist in nature and in people."

"Oh ya. Hmmm. I've never really thought about that before. Can you give me some examples, Sweetie?"

Internal Combustion Engine mimics the stomach

Cameras mimic our eyes

Computers mimic our brains

Telephones mimic our vocal chords and ears

Airplanes mimic birds

Solar Panels mimic photosynthesis

Pistons/Pulleys/Motors mimic how our muscles work

Bi-ped Robots mimic the human ability to walk on two legs

Google/Siri/AI mimic how our brains and neuro-receptors interpret human speech and commands and work with the information

Mind-blowing!!! I wish I could have thoughts like these. This is why I am forever learning.

Mar 19, 2016

Minecraft Tutorial

3/19/2016 — cori

I love this. It is rare...Gavin and Chloe doing anything together. I guess that's why I love it so much. She realizes that if she wants to spend any time at all with Gavin, she's going to have to do what he likes...which is anything involving computers. So come the weekend when it's time to play Minecraft, Chloe is ever at his side watching him navigate and build his world. He (secretly) loves the audience and attention. She asks all the right questions in all the right places and cheers him on. I'm sure she's learning a ton too being as Gavin has automated farming, created a redstone mechanism that controls a trap door, terraformed an island, made a village auto breeder, linked nether portals together by placing them in the correct coordinate locations and automated a fishing hut. How else would she ever learn these vital life skills if not for her older and wiser brother handing down the tricks of the trade? 

Mar 18, 2016

For the Love of Cookies

3/18/2016 — cori

I love this guy! He embodies my love of cookies. I can relate to him. We are one. That is why when I saw the commercial below last night during March Madness I laughed so hard. I just sat there with a stupid grin on my face. It made my day. It makes me so happy. It is brilliant! This is me. This is what I look like making cookies.

Mar 15, 2016

Extravagant Grace

3/15/2016 — cori

This movie! It is one of my all time favorites. I can't help but cry every single time I watch this. I am incredibly overwhelmed by the grace shown to Jean Valjean by the priest. It is extravagant grace. It's this kind of grace and love that changes people at the core.

None of us are beyond the reach of grace. None of us deserve it, no matter how good we live or how horrible we live. Everyone deserves a second chance. It's not up to me to decide whether or not someone is worthy, deserving, changed or not.  It's not about "right" belief. It's about how well you love.

This is also a good reminder that stuff is just that...stuff. We cannot stay so attached to it that we put it above another human being. The priest could have taken the moral high ground and had Valjean punished for his crime. But he chose the path of non-violence (by not insisting on punishing him). He chose life (punishment could have been death for his offense). He chose love (instead of embitterment after helping a poor stranger). His choice showed sacrifice - sacrifice of his possessions. Sacrifice of his ego. Sacrifice of his rights. He gave his love, stuff and grace away without the surety of these actions truly affecting change in this man's heart. He ultimately knew that love overcomes fear and hatred. 

Mar 13, 2016


3/13/2016 — cori

This sweet boy has been home sick for the past week with the flu. Being stuck in bed for days at a time is hard for anyone, but especially when a super active 14 year old. Being still is not one of his favorite activities. Never has been. But it gets worse.

Not only did he miss school most of the week. He also came down with a strange rash all over his body. Odd, I thought. Maybe it was just a typical reaction the body has after breaking such a high fever. Two days after the rash, he wakes up and says his legs are killing him. He can barely walk. Literally. He was hobbling around like an old man in great pain.

He said his calf muscles were in tremendous pain and he couldn't move them or put weight on them without excruciating pain. Our first thought was dehydration. That would make sense after being so sick for so many days in a row. We practically drowned him in Gatorade and water. But by the end of the day he was worse off than when we started.

The monkey wrench in this whole thing is that this was the very last weekend of basketball tournaments for the season and for all of his 5 years in traveling basketball. It was kind of a big deal. He really wanted to play at the State Tournament and we couldn't blame him. But what about the whole legs not working thing? This could be a problem.

We were at the Doctor's office first thing Saturday morning asking if he should play ball this weekend. We didn't want him to do permanent damage to his muscles if he tried playing. I had done a little research the night before and had a suspicion of what the problem might be. I mentioned it to the Doctor and she agreed. 

The blood tests results came back positive for Myositis. A very rare complication of the flu virus. It is an inflammation of the muscles, usually on both sides of the body. Thankfully, it was only centralized in his calf muscles. As with any virus, it just takes time to run it's course. No muscles were damaged because the Doctor wouldn't allow him to play basketball.  Now, on Sunday, he's already walking much better. But man, is it nerve wracking! Every parent wishes they could take the pain for their child. To his testament, he didn't complain, he didn't feel sorry for himself, he just spent time reading and watching college basketball. We got lots of good time together and found something to be thankful for even in the midst of this unfortunate circumstance.

Mar 12, 2016

Epiphany of Weeds

3/12/2016 — cori

There must be some connection to spring and weeds and epiphanies for me. I seem to have my best life thoughts while pulling weeds during springtime. So it would come as no surprise to anyone that I had another epiphany today!

Every time I look out back, all I seem to see are weeds encroaching upon the lawn. Since we are having an unseasonably warm late winter, I thought it would be great to use this awesome weather to get a head start on those weeds before they started growing again - kind of beat them at their own game.

So I head out back with shovel and work gloves in hand. I was amazed with how easy those pesky weeds were to pull up. I was able to make a lot of headway. It was awesome. After a while Chuck got home and joined me. I commented to him, "It amazes me that left to itself, the garden will just continue to grow weeds until it's overcome with them."

Then I was quiet for a real long time contemplating on that deep thought.

I realized that gardeners have to be very purposeful in their weed-pulling. The timing is crucial. They also have to be diligent. A garden doesn't just stay in a state of beauty left to it's self without someone working on it. It requires hard work to make a garden delightful to look at. Not only do weeds threaten the beauty of the garden they can actually choke the life out of it. Invasive species can kill all the hard work a gardener has done over the years if not taken care of quickly.

I was starting to see a lot of correlations to life.

God speaks of pruning us in the Bible. I never saw it as a good thing. I saw it as me not doing things right or good enough for him, so he would have to get rid of those things. But that's not it at all. Left to myself, my "garden" will become overwhelmed with things that are not supposed to be there. Because He loves me, he removes these things in my life so it will be beautiful again.

Cool, huh?! I thought so too.

Mar 8, 2016

Sick Strength

3/08/2016 — cori

Bennett was home sick from school today. Once Chloe got home he asked her, "You wanna go downstairs and play basketball?" Obviously, he couldn't stand to lay down a minute longer. As they're heading down the stairs he pinches her shoulder as any good brother would. She shrieks,"How can you still be strong Bennett? You're sick."

"Chloe. I'm always strong." End of discussion. Apparently his strength knows no limits. Must be nice.

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