Monthly Archives: August 2011

Interview with the Nieces

A few years ago on Valentine’s Day, the Sandusky Register ran an article titled, “Kids Views on Love”. They asked grade school kids in the area different questions about relationships and love, all the smushy-wushy stuff that makes grown ups smile, but kids crunch their nose in disgust. The article was so adorable I cut it out, laminated it & it’s currently a bookmark in my bible.

For this blog I decided to do a similar interview with my nieces. Although, I didn’t ask them their views on love entirely, some of their answers were just as adorable. Haylie is 8 & in third grade, Alexis is 7 & in second grade.

Hope it brings a smile to your face.

 

1.           What do you want to be when you grow up?

                Haylie: A doctor because you make a lot of money.

               Alexis: A singer because I like singing and making people smile.

2.           How should a husband act?

               Haylie: He should be nice.

               Alexis: He can’t be ugly & mean.

3.          If you could be any animal what would you be?

               Haylie: A dog because you get to play & sleep all day.

               Alexis: A guinea pig because they’re cute &  soft.

4.         What’s the hardest thing about being a kid?

               Haylie: Doing the dishes & cleaning my room.

               Alexis: Cleaning my room.

5.         What do you think is hard about being an adult?

              Haylie: You have to take care of the dogs & pay for everything.

              Alexis: Driving

6.         What do you think the word “Love” means?

             Haylie: You like someone & being around them makes you happy. 

             Alexis: They make you happy & you smile a lot.

7.        What are you afraid of?

            Haylie: Ghosts

            Alexis: My closet & under my bed because of the spiders.

8.        If you could change one thing about the world what would you change?

             Haylie: I’d be the president & make everybody be nice to each other.

             Alexis: I would turn people into ice cream because ice cream is good.

9.       If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?

             Haylie: I’d take stuff to the people on the other side of the world.

            Alexis: Cedar Point & I’d ride the Iron Dragon

10.     What’s one thing you want to do in your life?

             Haylie: Visit Antarctica and see the polar bears, penguins, & whales.

            Alexis: Go to Disney World & have a pool.

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Never Give Up!

 

 

I want this in poster size!

 

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Happy 80th Birthday, Papa Cooper!

On August 15th, 2011 we celebrated the 80th birthday of my Grandpa, W.C., Cooper.  My Grandpa, who grew up poor in Alabama, moved to Ohio in his early twenties, married my Grandma and settled down to raise 4 kids on an income he earned working a factory job. My Grandpa, who had 49 years of memories before he became my Grandpa in 1980. My Grandpa, who carries many titles, but to us 14 grandkids & 12 great-grandkids he’s known as “Papa”.  

My Papa, who has the lightest set of blue-grey eyes you’ve ever seen, sits on his porch faithfully and waves to all passerby’s. He knows the mail-lady by name and knows her story, as he does everyone who stops by for a visit. Whether he’s out camping, at church, eating breakfast (lunch or dinner) at his favorite restaurants (McDonalds, Bob Evans, & Chris’), he always makes the time to sit down and chat with you. My Grandma has pictures of every single one of the grandkids, in some cases great-grandkids, asleep on my Papa’s lap. He’s pulled grandkids in wagons, broken up fights, wiped tears, carved turkeys, loaned money, fixed cars & toys, offered advice, & each day of his life, has loved every one of us since his grandkids started being born. He loves to laugh, loves to tell jokes, is laid-back and easy-going, but is stubborn when his mind is made up. He loves his wife of 50-plus years & has stood by her side through good and bad times, standing strong during her 4 battles of cancer; one time, when he himself, was battling his own fight. He loves the Lord, being in his presence you know he’s one of God’s living angels, the epitome of “quiet faith”. He’s the type of man who has buried both his parents (his mother passing away when he was 2 years old), his step-mom, & every one of his brothers and sisters, but knows he’ll see them again one day. He’s lived in Ohio for 60-some years, but still refers to Alabama as his “home” and would pick the Crimson Tide over the Buckeyes in any match up game.  

He’s a pillar of strength and security, never wavering with his dedication to the loyalty of his family. My memories of my papa span only 31 years, but long after he’s gone, and long after I’m gone, the traits and morals that he’s instilled will continue to be passed down throughout our family. His legacy is love.

I believe his best years are ahead of him. 80 is the new 60!

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Advice to myself, from myself

Recently my dad was cleaning out the attic at my parents house. Stored behind boxes of Christmas decorations he found a tattered box with the name, “Carey” wrote out in faded permanent marker. Held inside the box was a treasure chest of my childhood; a collection of Breyer model horses-many purchased with hard-earned baby sitting money, a Bride doll still in its original package-which was a gift from my Grandma Cooper on my parent’s wedding day, when I was 10 months old, and a pink paperback book that I recognized immediately. I’ve had many journals over the years, but this was my very first one. Started on December 29th, 1989 the first entry consisted of, “I got a keyboard for Christmas and a phone. I’m never letting my cousin Stephanie use them after what she did today. Well maybe.” I was 9 years old, in fourth grade and apparently much quicker to forgive than I am now.

I don’t believe in coincidence. I don’t believe in accidents or luck. I think everything happens for a reason. I believe that prayers are always answered and if you allow God to work in your life he will show you how to heal, how to forgive, and the direction he wants you to journey down.

Finding this Diary was an answer to my prayers. I’ve looked for this book for years and  assumed it got lost in the shuffle of a move. My dad has cleaned out the attic numerous times and just now found it. Reading this diary was almost therapeutic. It helped me understand some of my thoughts and behavior that, as an adult, I still have and what events took place that originated some of those thoughts. I think this was the right time for me to read it, the right time for my eyes to be open, and my ears to listen.

The whole time I was reading the story of “me”, from a child to a teenager, I kept saying to myself, “Oh, Carey if you only knew” and “this worked out so much better than you ever could’ve imagined.”  The diary is hundreds of pages long and spans the years of 1989-1994. My handwriting changed from childlike manuscript, where words are spelled exactly as they sound, to the loopy obnoxious cursive teenage handwriting that I still have to this day. Although, these are only a few excerpts & sentences, their thoughts that helped shape the person that I am today.

*February 10th, 1990“My brother lost my moms doll. I have to keep a secret about it. I guess I will ask him to pay me for a week to keep a secret.”…Advice to myself: Carey, to be nice to your brother, Chad. He will defend you and forgive you, when at times you didn’t deserve it. He does this because he loves you. Besides, wait until your teenage years he has a whole book of secrets on you!

*December 30th, 1990- “Tomorrow’s New Years were going over to GGW’s the 4 grandkids! Like we do every year!”…Advice to myself: Carey, treasure these memories with your Papa & Grandma Cooper and cousins. There will come a day when your Grandparents won’t be here on earth and you’ll sit around with your cousins talking about memories of New Years spent eating shrimp, performing plays, & drinking grape juice out of champagne glasses at midnight. These are stories that only you four will share, stories that will forever link you with your cousins and grandparents.

*January 16th, 1991- “Down in Saudi Arabia war broke out. Iraq took over Kuwait about 6 months ago and won’t give us our oil supply. So we had a war. My dad might have to go down by the end of the month.”…Advice to myself: Carey, although your dad doesn’t go, years later your brother Chad will have several deployments to Iraq. It will be one of the most stressful times your parents will go through. Be supportive (even when your mom and sister-in-law go crazy selling yellow ribbon car magnets).

*June 24th, 1992- “I asked Jesus to come into my life. I was so happy I could scream!”…Advice to myself: Carey, you will forget this memory, this moment, and how you felt. You will spend many years away from your faith. A faith that your grandparents and your parents instilled in you. You’ll make decisions that will disappoint God and your parents. But, eventually God will draw you back to him. Broken and defeated he will slowly heal your heart and your being. He’ll remind you that you’re forever in the palm of his hands and that you’re still a work in progress. Don’t ever doubt it again.

*June 24th, 1992-“I don’t know if he went to heaven or not, but wherever he is I know he’s with my Great-Grandma and I just hope that he’s happy”…Advice to myself: Carey, even though this particular sentence was wrote about your Great-Grandpa Henderson’s death, you’ll have the same questions, over a decade later, when your Grandpa Henderson passes away. Just remember that even though he could be difficult, he showed love in the ways the he knew how.

*November 23rd, 1992- “Well today mom told us she’s pregnant. I’m so mad.”…Advice to myself: Carey, boy did you get this wrong! You spent months angry, jealous, and embarrassed over the thought of your family changing. What you didn’t realize is what a blessing your baby brother, Luke, turned out to be. He is such an important part of your life and you get the chance to watch him grow into one amazing, kind, compassionate, caring man.

Entry after entry about fights with my parents, insecurities over the way I looked and struggles with friends and boys. How great to have a record of memories! At some point they’ll be a teenage girl in my life who’ll say, “you just don’t understand” (as I’m sure I said to my mother once or twice) and I’ll be able to hand her my old diary, full of the struggles and pains that I went through as an adolescent. And maybe it’ll be the common ground that helps her through a rough time in her life.

It’s never to late to keep a journal for yourself. I urge everyone to start writing one. One day, in twenty or thirty years, you’ll sit down and read it with eyes that have survived and realize you’re so much tougher and braver than you ever thought you could be.

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Smartest things heard in… July!

I have a confession to make (most that know me, this will not be a surprise). I am a quote junkie. Ever since I was a little kid I’ve  jot down smart (sometimes not so smart) things that I’ve overheard. You could always find a notepad, whether in my pocket, purse or book bag somewhere within reach. When cell phones came around you would find a “quotes” folder located somewhere in my phone.  Anytime anybody ever said anything or I read something that made me go, “I like that” it got wrote (typed) down. When you start paying attention to the things people say you’ll be amazed at how profound (or hilarious) people can be. Once I found a piece of paper in the parking lot at a grocery store that said simply: To do-buy bread, mail bills, hide gun, call Sharon…Seriously, how can you not love that???

People are amazing!  

July Quotes:

7/1-“Irony: when the best thing in your life is the result of your worst mistake”-Quotes & Scriptures 101-

7/2-“Laugh as much as you breath and love as long as you live.”-Real Love Tweets-… “Light up the darkness”-Bob Marley-…”Anything God asks of you, He always gives the grace to do it.”-Joel Osteen-… “Somewhere in this world someone is looking for someone exactly like you.”/”Someday everything will make perfect sense. So for now laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, and know that everything happens for a reason.”-Quotes & Scriptures 101-…”There’s no love without forgiveness and there’s no forgiveness without love.”-Daily Thoughts & Inspirations

7/3-“One of the best friends you can ever have is your own conscience.”-Joel Osteen-…”Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked”-1 Timothy 1:19- …”True happiness is the result of being who God created you to be.”-Pastor Jim Cooper-

7/5-“The more you try to control something, the more it controls you. Free yourself & let things take their own natural course.”-The God Light-…”I should’ve fought for you.”-movie Crazy, Stupid, Love-

7/6-” Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.”-1 Timothy 4:15-

7/7-“Dreams don’t mean anything unless you put action behind them”/”Don’t do anything now that you’ll have to apologize for later”-yours truly (in a conversation I had with a friend, it was such good advice I had to write it down so I didn’t forget I said it, haha)-…”God’s only mistake is letting kids grow up into adults”-Little House on the Prairie-

7/8-“I focus on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead”-Phillippians 3:13-

7/11-“Nothing changes if nothing changes.”-Cathy(?) Finnigan on show Intervention-

7/13-“We are a part of nature, not above it.”-Dr. Planco-

7/14-“Every choice comes with a price.”/”Do everything you can before you quit on someone or something”-Dr. Phil-…”Find the joy in your life.”-the Bucket List-…”There is nothing said or done that cannot be forgiven.”-Matthew 12:31-…”I’d sell off the whole world to get you back. I’d trade the entire creation just for you.”-Isaiah 43:4-… “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way; if you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”-Sally Forth comic strip (I saw this quote in 3 different places over the course of two days)-

7/16-“Don’t let the past dictate who you are, but let it be a part of who you are.”-some Amish guy I was chatting with at the Amish market-…”Survival is your strength not your shame.”-Jaycee Dugard-

7/19-“Trust your intuition. If something tells you, ‘something’s wrong’, ‘something’s wrong’.”-Dr. Phil-

7/21-“Live halfway between reality & fantasy.”/”Love yourself. You’re all you’ve got.”-Lady Gaga-

7/25-“Know exactly what your dreams & goals are and stick with them”-some mom talking to her daughter in front of me in line at Super K-

7/26-“It’s impossible,” said pride. “It’s risky,” said experience. “It’s pointless,” said reason. “Give it a try,”whispered the heart.”-Ashley Judd, via Twitter-

7/27-“Get rid of, “if” and start saying, “when””-Joel Osteen-

7/29-“A tattoo is one of the few investments that you’re guaranteed to have for life.”-Jay, my tattoo guy-

7/30-“You cannot change or heal what you don’t acknowledge. Face it, embrace it, and release it.”-daily thoughts & inspiration

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