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 23, 2012

Cory Year in Review

If I really want to get our Christmas cards/photo in the mail and to you, my dear reader, by Christmas, next year I resolve to start in October.  I swear that is what it will probably take to accomplish that goal.  

Well, you have made it to our blog.  You were either curious enough to learn more about our year, really frustrated that you (or your kids) couldn’t find all of the things wrong with our photo, you have too many houseguests and needed an escape, or you’re bored.  Whatever your reason for being here today, welcome. 

Two years ago I (Anita) was up to my eyeballs trying to finish my PhD.  I had grandiose plans for all the time I’d spend with John and the kids, devote to hobbies, cook fabulous meals, and spend meaningful time with friends.  I had plans for this blog to really blow up.  Oh, yeah. Then I remembered all the things I had neglected while studying and life has resumed the regularly scheduled programming of work, home management, church involvement, and relationship building.  My job is still rewarding and impactful.  Working with college students, particularly fraternity and sorority leaders is really my calling and a passion.  I work with a great staff and am so blessed to go to work every day joyfully! 

John still works at the CUB (student union) as the Associate Director.  Two years ago, John was running quite a bit and sort-of training for sprint triathlons.  He has now gone “insane” and can be found in the garage doing the Insanity workout most days.  He thinks his running days are over, but he is in great shape otherwise.  John is involved at church on the finance committee and co-leads a University student Bible study on Sundays and has led our home group faithfully for about four years. 

Over the last year, we have sort-of adopted a Sri Lankan, chemistry doctoral student, Kamal.  He is super hard working and spends all of his waking hours in his lab, studying, researching, writing, and preparing for presentations.  He is exceptionally smart and has enormous potential in his field. We have so enjoyed having him become a part of regular life in our family and include him in some of our family hang-out nights that introduced him to many popular movies that he would never have seen otherwise. Last weekend, we introduced him to Sky High (a trampoline warehouse) and laser tag.  He is attending church and lunch afterward with us and being part of a home group most weeks. 

Top row: J & A celebrated 17 years together in May; saying goodbye to Eric Lockhart (and Bekah too) with friends, happy birthday to John, Anita’s Dad and Shirleem.  Middle Row: Anita celebrated the 4th with girlfriends and sangria, John is doing the insanity workout(s) and roped Harrison in for a session (1 was enough for him), our friend Kamal and John at Easter, John dressed as a gorilla on Halloween and scared trick-or-treats for hours. Bottom Row: Anita’s family during the Fritz Family Closure Weekend, just Anita (never in photos because she is the photographer), Anita and brother Dave during February visit, and Anita’s rock star small group at the Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute (June – in Indianapolis).

 Harrison (10) is totally into Lego Ninjagos (what a racket that is), computer games, and also started playing on a club soccer team this year (rather than the parks and rec league).  Soccer is a great sport for him because he is constantly moving in this game, and that is right up H’s alley. He also played basketball, baseball, and set a school record in a particular running event.  Because he has so much energy, I think he will be our kid that plays multiple sports.  He has two speeds: fast and faster!  Harrison is in his third year of CUB Scouts this year and LOVES it!  It has been fun for both he and John to get involved in something like this together! He continues to be a ham and keeps us laughing all the time.  Oh, and note the hair.  His goal is to grow it long enough to cut and donate it to Locks of Love (he has a friend that did so and inspired him to do the same).  Any suggestions for how to keep a 10 year old boy’s hair out of his eyes are welcome here. And now that you know, please don’t judgeJ…trust me, we thought it was a phase and he would cave in long before now.

Top row: H’s U10 boys soccer team, posing for my new camera, dying eggs, H is really bulking up (ha!). Middle Row: H played keeper most of the time and earned the nickname “The Guardian”  from his teammates, H loves Ninjago, playing mid-fielder, H is a good hitter – had a handful of homeruns.  Bottom “section”: H is a daredevil on the diving board, is in 4th grade, is the goalie for his team, is thrilled after his first home run with two runners on base, sparklers never get old, and H also pitched and played short stop sometimes.

Camryn (14) is in eighth grade and can’t wait for high school.  She played saxophone for two years and piano for four, but decided she doesn’t love either, and gave them up. She is more focused on her schoolwork now and less stressed.  She played soccer this fall with a new team in Moscow (8 miles away) when there weren’t enough Pullman girls her age to form a team and made many new friends in the process. She loves attending our church’s youth group and is a light to many of her friends. The “girl-drama” of 7th grade seems to be behind us (thank you for that answer to prayer) and she is a more happy-go-lucky teenager again.

Top Row: C & H share a love-hate relationship, C plays a lot of soccer (keeper about half the time), played piano until this summer, turned 13 last January and is my most willing photography subject (isn’t she gorgeous?). Middle Row: more soccer, running track at Lincoln Middle School (she didn’t want to, but we required it of her, and of course she had a great time). Bottom row: I love C’s beautiful eyes, she LOVES converse shoes (owns 5 pair right now) and friends make the track meets fun (of course!).  

Spencer (17) is a junior in high school and is also enrolled at Washington State University as a running start student.  This year he is taking Calculus 1 & 2 and Chemistry at WSU which will count toward his HS graduation requirements and honors history and English at the HS.  He is a great student, and while he plays club soccer in the fall, he gave tennis a shot last spring.  Last summer, he took up unicycling (yes, the one-wheeled riding contraption) and now owns three (apparently one must have multiple sizes) and has taught his friends to ride as well. He has a great group of friends that hang out at the Cory House often and attend youth group together.   The garage has been transformed into a serious Table Tennis Arena for hours of enthusiastic play with his friends.

Clockwise from top left: Spencer scored his second ever goal during the one game I was able to attend and take photos!  It was an amazing play and rare because he plays defense (one of the positions near the goal) and therefore is rarely close enough to the other team’s goal to score!  S is a junior this year, decided the Homecoming dance isn’t that fun, and when to a dinner with friends “dressed up on top, sporty on the bottom” and then had buddies over for a pin pong tournament, not a very willing photography subject, loves, love loves our locally owned Calzone place, playing defender, and officially taller and bigger than John.  

Last year, Harrison’s letter to Santa included a wish that our 11 year old German Shepherd/Rottweiler Ellie, wouldn’t die.  She had a stroke the day after Thanksgiving and was on a roller coaster through the month of December.  We had to say goodbye to her just after the New Year.  While John was quite close to Ellie (I kid that she was my sister-wife), he was OK with not having another dog.  The majority of the family was not and finally in November we adopted Zeke our 5 month old German Shepherd.  Yes, he is a puppy, but he is a good dog (98% of the time anyway) and the younger kids and I are fully responsible for him and loving having him around.  Isn’t he just adorable? Zeke loves John to pieces, despite his reluctance to get another dog, and we kid him that he is an “animal-whisperer”.  We also have our old, fat, and moody cats, Simon & Chloe. Can you tell I’m a dog person?

 Clockwise: cute, adorable, feisty, adorable, cute, embarrassed (to be wearing a Santa costume) and loveable.

We had a busy summer and fall:

  •  I saw family on one trip to the Midwest for work (serving as a facilitator for a leadership institute for fraternity/sorority students)  and friends during another trip in the summer and then spent a weekend in Nebraska with my siblings helping Dad clean, purge, and get ready to leave the family homestead when he moves into town after he and Shirleen (a lovely woman) get married in February!  
  • John spent several nights in a tent with Harrison at Scout camp and he and Spencer went on an 8 day trip of a lifetime – Beyond Malibu (a trip organized by Young Life).  On this trip in July, John and Spencer, along with 2 other men, 2 HS guys, and the 2 guides, had an extreme hiking, camping, climbing experience and because of the elevation “enjoyed” winter conditions for most of it.  The “brochure” didn’t quite provide all the details that might have discouraged them from going.  Still, it was a great trip and John’s plan is to stay in good-enough shape to go on the same trip with Harrison in six years. (See photos below).
  • John and Camryn had a week-long visit in Iowa – to see (and in Camryn’s case, be spoiled by) family.  Just for fun.  Just because adults should have time alone with their family of origin too.
  • Camryn also got to go to Young Life camp at Washington Family Ranch in Oregon for about a week.  She had a great time, but unfortunately none of her close Pullman friends could go so the friends she made at camp are a little harder to keep in touch with – luckily she’s a texting wizard.
  • As usual, (I write with sadness in my tone), we said goodbye to dear friends this summer.  The Hoops family moved to Missouri and the Lockharts to Arizona.  Both with God’s direction guiding them, but rats, we miss them.

So, this is the update. Photo collages illustrate the annual happenings, and if you have even more time, go back through the blog.  It will be a little glimpse into our everyday life. It is the Cory Connection. 

Oh, I almost forgot!  Here’s what is wrong with our annual Christmas card photo (shown clearer here than on the card):
 1.       Please tell me you didn’t believe for a second that any of us would ever wear the various Christmas shirts, vests, hats, and crowns as real fashion. So, there are 5-8 things wrong with this picture right from the start.

2.       Anita is wearing her wedding ring on her right hand.

3.      Anita is wearing only one earring.

4.      John is wearing a sign on his back that you can see in the mirror.  It says, “kick me”.

5.      The Christmas countdown calendar says there are 80 days until Christmas.  Please tell me you know we do not put up our real Christmas tree in September. Maybe next year, we will work on our Christmas card 80 days prior and you’ll actually get it before the 25th!

6.      The photo on the wall behind Anita is hanging from one corner.

7.      The star on the Christmas tree is upside down, and nestled about a foot from the top of the tree.

8.      Many Christmas decorations are turned around (they are homemade and actually have a front and a back).

9.      Out of place on the mantel where there is a growing collection/display of Santas is a blue Kush ball toy.

10.    Spencer is wearing mis-matched shoes.

11.    Spencer is wearing jeans.  OK, that would not be “something wrong with this photo” in most families, but Spencer is part werewolf and his body temperature runs so hot he rarely wears pants…even when it snows!

12.    Spencer has an ornament hanging from his right pant leg.

13.   Camryn is wearing a boot on one foot and a white sock on the other.

14.    Spencer is moving his hand in the photo – oops, that is because I accidentally chose the wrong photo for 100 cards! Ugh!

 Wishing you the peace that only comes through the One who came at Christmas!
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