Head blogger: Anita Cory, wife, mom of 3, sister, sorority alumnae, Christian, Sorority/Fraternity Life professional at WSU, former Paper Pals Design Team member, dissertation writer, and all around friendly 40-something in Pullman, Washington.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Addition to "John's Year"...this one is fun!

Oops...I forgot to include this highlight under John's year...

Last spring, John and 2 other young men (OK, the other two were young, not necessarily John), were asked to help in a demonstration at church. That's all I'm going to tell you...you have to click on the link below to see for your self. It does help explain one of the photos on the Christmas card....

Have fun!



Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Eve at the Cory house

The real reason for this celebration is…the birth of the Christ, Emmanuel, Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor and Lord and Savior!

Here in the US, many of us have a distorted view of Christmas…sometimes here in the Cory house we do too. We make lists (OK, I make lists), we shop, we bake, we give gifts, we play, we craft, we shovel snow, etc. Do we get up at 5:00 for the “blow out” time with God? Do we remember to thank God for everything we have, get, want, and give? Really nothing on the list will matter if we don’t keep this celebration in perspective.

We’ve been trying to make sure our kids remember the REAL reason for all that goes on in this season. Jesus’ birth. Last night on the way home from the Christmas Eve service, when asked, Harrison told us the real reason for Christmas is to “give thanks…for Jesus”. How true, how eternally true, are the words out of our little guy’s mouth.

We feel blessed to know Christ as our Lord and Savior and to live in a country where we have the freedom to speak His name and worship Him.

Hallelujah! We are free indeed!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Time is flying at warp speed...John & Anita think so anyway!

Remember when you were a kid and time seemed to go by so slowly, and now as an adult it seems to go by so quickly? Well, I have mixed feelings about this whole issue of time. Here’s why:

Time has moved too fast:

How did I get to be 40 already? Really, I don’t “feel” 40…oh wait, I sort of do, and had foot surgery in late October to prove it. I was overcome with a “weird” sense of dread about turning 40 back in September, a feeling I didn’t expect, and had never experienced about another monumental birthday. Hmm…that was weird, and I’m over it now, but if you’re really bored, check out my blog posts from back at that time. Sorry everyone…I’m good, really, I’m OK nowJ In fact, since I refused any sort of celebration for the grand 4-0, I think I want to have a “last day of 40” party next year on September 13th! You’re all invited!!!

Time is moving too slowly:

Taking 2 classes at a time when you have to take about 30 classes is an excruciatingly slow pace to work on a PhD, yet, alas, that is what I’m doing. Most semesters the classes are interesting, I enjoy the learning and can handle the workload. This semester has drug along at a snail’s pace and I’ve struggled. Nonetheless, I’m more than halfway there, so it makes sense to keep after it…As one of my colleagues across the country says about his PhD, “we’re beyond dating now…I think we’ll be engaged soon”. So yes, I’m sort of “engaged” to the PhD at this point.

Work takes A LOT of time:

Right…I don’t have an 8-5 type of job…and unfortunately, I don’t get paid overtime. As the Director of the Center of Fraternity and Sorority Life at WSU, I’m blessed to have a great team, and get to work with the best and the brightest students on campus (with the occasional blip on the police scanner to keep me on my toes).

A highlight of the “work-life” each year is the annual Association of Fraternity Advisors Conference in December. I just returned from it in Denver (on the 7th) and had a great time connecting with old friends and colleagues: Bobbi (my grad school mentor), Kyle, Kelsey, Cori and so many others!

It is Time to invest and engage:

Our old friends Ric and Lisa are back in Pullman (after the Army took them to West Point and Germany) and John and I are co-leading a University students Sunday morning Bible study with them. This is a VERY different group of students than I am accustomed to, but we have loved this opportunity to engage with them and our old friends.

With our new friends, Trent and Maria, John is leading a “grow-ups only” Bible study. This fall, we used a book/DVD by Lee Strobles, “The Case for Christ”. I highly recommend it for seekers and believers alike…you will be changed!

No time like the present:

As you might have guessed, or know for a fact, I’m the planner, scheduler, and list-maker at the Cory house. This year, I’ve reflected much more on just being in the moment, not letting “time” be the consuming ruler of my life. Hanging out with friends, visiting family in the Midwest, and loving on my kids and John is really the best thing I’ve done with any and all of my time this year!

What does barely a day over 39.99 look like? Click here:


Other issues with Time:

As you can see from the photos on the blog, the stress of John’s job at the Student Union Building, has caused him to lose his hair this year. Ha! OK…not really, but IF he had hair, I think he would’ve lost it this year.

Here’s why:

In May of 2006, the old student union building, the CUB, was closed, all the departments, student groups, etc. moved to various, less-than-ideal locations elsewhere on campus, and a major demolition and renovation project began (to the tune of $86 million). This alone, as you can imagine, was quite a job.

Then over the last 2 years, with an increasingly feverish pace, everything old (policies, staffing, budgets, etc.) became new (or at least different) again. The building project and ramping up for the August 2008 Grand Re-Opening, really stretched everyone, I’d say especially John, to their limits.

Aside from the University students Bible class and the Home Group I mentioned earlier, John has had “no life” this year. Poor guy…work, work, work.

OK…I guess we did go camping in July…and went to Nebraska and Iowa for David and Stacy’s wedding, went sledding in the record-setting amounts of snow with the kids, caught a movie here and there, but then it was back to work. We are all hoping his work-life will settle into a manageable predictable schedule again soon, and he can “get a life”.

We are blessed, with although busy, meaningful jobs at the University and are thankful for the time we have had here. We never thought we'd live in Pullman, WA this long, but we really do love it here....and have a good life!

What does John look like without hair? Click here: http://www.slide.com/r/dCdslkVU1z9BQ6V4Wn0q2VRfF2h35lCD?previous_view=lt_embedded_url

There is more to come...on the annual updates...but for now, Merry Christmas everyone!

Thank you God for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Harrison's Big Year...

You’ve heard the stories, you know he is a legend, but really, you have to be around this little guy to get the full picture.

Harrison had a big year:

  • Learned to ride a bike without training wheels (this is way earlier than the other two did it)

  • Learned to roller blade

  • Climbed onto the roof to “assist” John with the Christmas lights (last year, at age 4 1/2)

  • Slid down the big water slides at the water park (yes, he’s tall enough now)

  • Adorably served as the ring bearer for David and Stacy’s wedding, with the equally spunky Cora as the flower girl. They were quite a match…

  • Started kindergarten and can now “spell his whole name with his eyes closed” . Go here for the rest of the story...(http://babybirdy.blogspot.com/2008/12/harrison-john-or-why-i-cant-wait-until.html

  • Has learned many Bible verses and played many a fun games at AWANAs where he is one of the Sparks

  • Suddenly took an interest in drawing and using markers to make wonderfully decorated paper airplanes

  • Switched between three main alter egos: Raphael (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle), Darth Vader (Star Wars) and Bumblebee (Transformers). With three Halloween costumes that all still fit, you never know who might exit Harrison’s bedroom on a weekend morning.

And, yes, Harrison spent some time as another animal altogether this year. See what I mean…

There is never a dull moment in, around, on top of, or outside the Cory house with this little guy in the picture. There are so many more stories to tell, we could start a blog about his antics.

For now, click here to get a glimpse into Harrison's Big Year...


We love this little man!

Monday, December 22, 2008

My girl, I'm talkin' 'bout my girl...my girl...

Camryn, our little sassafras lass is almost 10 and in the 4th grade!

She is usually such a happy-go-lucky young lady… but like the weather changes (moods) about every 10 minutes. Now, you might be thinking, “that sounds awful”, but actually it’s great. We know with Camryn that she isn’t going to stay too mad/sad/sassy for long…about 8 ½ minutes usually, and then she’s back to her cheerful, playful, giggly self.

About this time last year, Camryn announced, “I’d like an American Girl for Christmas”, to which I responded, “what is an American Girl?”. Oh, friends, what a dangerous question to ask a girl in the 8-11 year age range. For those that raised daughters before me, you already know about the excellent marketing and capitalistic quest that is the American Girl doll “industry”. You see, these dolls are “special” and help young girls learn about history (which they do, with the accompanying books, etc.). But in the end, in my ever-so-chastised opinion, they are “just dolls”. Well, suffice it to say, two weeks before Christmas is not enough in advance to ask Santa for one of these dolls.

Camryn, like her brother, is willing to save and save and save money to get what she really wants. By April last year, Camryn had saved Christmas, birthday and allowance money and was ready, able and very willing to order her first American Girl doll, Mia (the doll of the year). So, Mia arrived in May and Camryn has been a great little Mom ever since. Apparently, this makes me a “real” Grandma (so says my dot).

See what I mean here:


Camryn also has great friends in Sydney, Cierra and Ayonna…they all share the love/obsession for American Girl dolls, and all go the same school. With the over abundance of testosterone in the Cory house, I love when Cam has “the girls” over…they are so funny and giggly and cute!

She is doing pretty well in school (although she doesn’t like it that much), and coming along really well in piano. Her piano teacher this summer and fall, Miss Christina, is nothing short of an amazing college student, a hard working piano major at WSU. There are a couple of photos from Camryn's spring recital in the slide show (below).

Last but not least, Camryn loves gymnastics. While I doubt my lanky, nearly 5’0” little girl has a career in this sport ahead of her, she does love it and has so much fun in her tumbling class in particular! Check this out…

As the Mom of only one daughter, I treasure all of these "girly" things with her...she is "my girl"! Click here to see some of our favorite "Cam memories" for 2008!

We are so blessed by Camryn!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Spencer's Year in Review...

You are probably saying, “wow, Spencer ...

· Is huge (yep…5’4”…almost as tall as Anita)
· looks so much older
· is wearing glasses? (only for gaming and seeing things at a distance...and reluctantly at that)
· has great hair or needs a trim (depending on where you are in the “hair length for boys” spectrum).

We are saying, “wow, Spencer is a great kid”.
Here are the top thirteen (for his age) reasons why:

13. He may be one of the only 7th grade, almost 13 year old boys, that tells his Mom and Dad “Love ya” at the end of every phone conversation.

12. He has become pretty good playing his alto saxophone over the last year, and states that band is one of his favorite subjects. He is in the concert and jazz band….take a listen at the clip below!

11. He loves playing soccer…a game, by the way, that is action packed, and great to watch…even if the road trips to some of the games are really long.

10. He is in Algebra. Yes, the math class he is in counts as High School credit (John and I aren’t quite sure how we ended up with such a smart kid).

9. He is pretty techy...totally into IMing his friends, replacing his lost ipod (which he adored) and is on the verge of being our “in house” tech support…I for one, can’t wait!

8. He is a really hard worker. He mows, rakes, shovels snow (and dog poo), pet and babysits...all to earn money for __________ (electric guitar / amps, ipod, etc.).

7. Speaking of dogs, he lovingly cares for our dog, Ellie, each and every day without fail. Of course, as a result, she loves him dearly!

6. After taking acoustic guitar lessons for 1½ years, he has switched to taking electric guitar lessons and after a very snowy winter and wet spring and summer, saved enough money from the things in #8 to buy it himself. He’s focusing on jazz guitar right now, so he can be one of the few, the proud, the elite, guitarists in the jazz band at school.

5. He loves youth group at Emmanuel Baptist Church. Who knew youth group could be so much fun, but could also turn a church-going kid on to Jesus in such a meaningful way?

4. He has good friends: Mike, Henry, Josh, and Nolan…all great kids…the kind we are so glad he has chosen (and vice versa).

3. He is an all around good student. School comes pretty easily for him and he would get Bs without much effort. So, he has set his goal to have all As…(again, is he really my kid?).

2. He is John’s mini-me, through and through. He is a deep thinker, and engages with us on tough topics on a regular basis. He loves God and is a young man after His Heart.

1. He is our son…and we are so delighted in him!

Go here for a Spencer's Year in Review Slide Show:


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More on that note:

... it is beginning to look alot like Christmas.

Oh, the mad rush of "Christmas preparations". Thankfully, I'm not riding on the back of a donkey, hoping to find a place indoors to have my baby, versus a stable. Nesting takes on a whole new meaning if you are going to live in a stable with a newborn.

Of course, I am so grateful that Mary and Joseph's "list" had on it, right at the top, bring God into the world as a baby, raise him up, and allow him to be sacrificed on my behalf. So, compared to that, these preparations are absolutely nothing.

Nonetheless, I offer, the photo collage and list below to give you a glimpse into my "December To Do List". Please do not judge on how many items on the list are checked off...I am finally done with studying for the Statistics final and can turn my attention to these items.

  • Update address list for people I know moved but now I need to track them down
  • Send Christmas Cards
  • Bake copious amounts of cookies and goodies for staff and friends
  • Make or purchase teacher gifts
  • Wrap presents here on the home front
  • Make presents for a few select people
  • Create Paper Pals Design Team "limited edition, by Moi" kit
  • Finish photo slide shows and video for future blog posts...i.e...check back soon!
  • Wrap and mail presents to far away family (check)

On a happy note, the photos below show you some of what has already been done, or enjoyed:

  • A visit with my parents, just in time for my Mom's birthday on December 1st. We had delicious treats and lunch with her Aunt Denise (always a great time)
  • Decorated the tree
  • Visited sister Tricia and cousin Jey (w/ wife, Lori) in Denver
  • Hang Christmas lights

Yes, it really is the season to be jolly!


Monday, December 15, 2008

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas...

...everywhere you go.

Yes, we had our first snow in Pullman over the weekend, which brings out the kid in boys of all ages.

Harrison wanted to go out in the snow on Friday evening around 8:00 pm in the dark, black night, to play in it….luckily, he was willing to wait until Saturday morning (although it took some persuading).

Then, it was Spencer and his buddy Josh’s turn on Saturday morning…at thirteen, they couldn’t wait either.

On Sunday, John got his turn and took the boys sledding on the perfect sledding hill in Pullman. Since all I want for Christmas is a B (passing) grade in my statistics class (the final is this week), I was at home studying and not documenting the first sledding of the season…sorry…maybe next time!

So, yes…the snow is here, the tree and lights are up, the packages that need to be mailed are wrapped, and...

it really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas!



Monday, December 8, 2008

A new perspective on the old Christmas card...

This image is coming soon, to the mailbox near you...but that is about all that will be in the mailbox from us...for the rest of the Cory Connection, Christmas Edition, you'll have to check back here often to see what we've been up to!

Little by little, all these photos will be explained. Each new post will bring musings, tidings, updatings, and will wishings...

From all of us here at the Cory Connection...we look forward to sharing with you all about 2008!