Giving Thanks (inspired by)

Thanks be to God, Father, Son and Spirit, for the abundance of good things he pours on His children.
We are but few, but His blessings are many.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

monkeys for Nana

Note to Nana-

You may have noticed five wild monkeys on your porch early this morning. I ordered them for you- you don't have to thank me now! They will be great help to you as you pack for your trip to Indiana tomorrow. They may not help you pack per se, but they will help you get back in grandma shape since we didn't have time for a full out boot camp this time.

Be warned- they are a little quirky. Instructions are as follows.

The smallest one is very cute as you can see.... but don't forget to bring wet wipes with you wherever you go- he has not had a dirty diaper in three days now so it could get ugly.

One of them has compulsive eating problems- that one likes to eat rocks, shoes, jewelry, paper, matchbox car wheels, sidewalk chalk, bugs, whatever he can get his hands on. If you need your floors cleaned, he's the one for the job. Just try not to let him get bored- if he does he will fall into his most favorite hobby- pinching and biting the other monkeys.

Another one is emotionally challenged- try not to speak too loudly, wake him up early, make him go out in public, serve him food that he likes or doesn't like at the wrong time of day, or make him wear clothes that don't match- any of these behaviors may result in uncontrollable fit throwing and crying.

Yet another one is attention deprived, so please keep all eyes on her at all times so that she can show you her artwork, her athletic abilities, her dance moves, and her hilarious bodily functions- and please don't forget to praise her abundantly.

Don't worry though, the tallest monkey is a good second-in-command. She knows how to read now, you know, so of course that means she can also make and serve dinner, run all the monkey games, and dole out discipline as appropriate.

Have fun, and drive safe tomorrow! (Don't let monkey number three convince you that he has his drivers license. He most certainly does not.)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

a blessed, quiet week!

Ah, naptime. For the rest of the kids it is planned and sometimes forced, but for little Eldon it is a welcome guest any time, anywhere, for however long he wants. He is sitting on the table in his bouncer in the picture above, belly full of baby food, waiting for me to clean him up. I, of course, got distracted by something else for a minute or two, which gave him the perfect opportunity for a nap. Sweet, sticky dreams little one!

Not much to report from the Cook house this week, and for that I am grateful! Nobody is sick and the back-to-school routine is going more smoothly each day. We have had plenty of time for fun and games this week, and the boys' favorite, tractor rides!

Marcus is probably the most naturally "country" of our kids. Here he is, going for a ride on a "big green tractor!"
Josh and I got to go out for our anniversary (thanks again to the brave souls, Annette, Allie and Megan!) My mom is coming down this thursday-we can't wait!

And the mom's group is up and running! I love the mix of people this year, and I love the book we are doing too! (How Christianity Changed the World) Don't forget, you moms out there, let me know about the upcoming retreat! Even if you are not able to make it to our friday meetings, you are welcome and encouraged to join us Sept 18!

Sigh, naptime is over already....

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Nine years ago today I married my best friend!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

weary from the weekend!

The picture above just sums up our morning.

Marcus was up hollering all night last night with a cough and possibly ear infection (or a headache?) We stayed home from church this morning, along with Aggie, Seth, and Eldon who all sound awful with their coughs. Josh and I are exhausted, but this morning Marcus kept trying to start a wrestling match with the other kids (they were not amused). Then we tried to get him to have room time while I made lunch- he threw an enormous fit and ended up passed out face down on the floor- hence the picture. He ate a huge lunch, had a great nap, and is now back to trying to find a wrestling partner!

Marcus worked hard for me yesterday- here he is dragging a bag of corn- he helped me shuck it too! What a little worker!

Seth was a worker yesterday too. He helped me clean his room yesterday- he used his big muscles to help me move the furniture and everything! Of course cleaning the room lead to the discovery of many cars he hasn't seen in awhile! He decided to put all the ones "with smiles" on his bed in a line. Here he is with the mommy car, the daddy car, the grandpa truck, and all the kids and their friends! (Katie Burbrink you are one of those friends!)

Aggie likes to do "school" with me, which is nice because she does have a bit of catching up to do! Here she is with her hen (we are working on short vowels this week.)

Poor Lorraine got sick on her second day of school- she had a fever so I had to keep her home. She was SO sad! But on Saturday she bounced out of bed and got a pretty dress on. Here she is working on her homework! She sure does love first grade!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

back to school!

Lorraine went back to school today- here's my big first grader! Last year it was a little hard to see her go.... but this year she is so excited, and I am so grateful to have such a fantastic school right across the back yard! May God uphold the teachers today!

She was sent off with lots of love and hugs from the siblings (of course!)

I suspect Aggie will be a little lost without her for awhile....

Monday, August 10, 2009

"Seth did it" and other news...

Aggie had her post-surgery checkup today and everything is looking good! She did have one weird "spell" this weekend- she got very dizzy and uncoordinated, complained of a tummy ache and just wanted to go to bed. We don't think it was a seizure- after she slept she was fine again. Though I admit I was a little panicky, now I am pretty sure it was nothing. She had been fighting the stomach flu so it probably had something to do with that. The doctor was very pleased with how she's doing (he even hugged her when he saw her!) and this she is ready to begin a very gradual medication wean- YAY!

AND another exciting thing (for her mama) She got her blood drawn today and did it WITHOUT screaming! Way to go, brave little Peter Pan! Funny though, she was not so tough this morning when I was brushing her hair. "MOMMY you are brushing on my owie!!!" she said as she cried and held her head with a pathetic look on her face. "Honey," I said, "Your owie is on the other side." "Oh." (suppressing a smile.)

In other news... Seth enjoys contradicting everything today. (No I don't! I can just hear him!) "Here's some chocolate milk for you honey!" I don't like chocolate milk! "Ok then let's go outside" Nooooo i want some chocolate milk! Meanwhile Marcus has a mild cold and so is a little clingy today, but he still has enough energy to say his new favorite phrase: "Seth did it." He says it over and over, even when he's just walking down the hall talking to himself.... "Seth did it. Seth did it." And Lorraine is my little princess, my helper, my big girl who can't wait for school. She helped me bring Eldon to the doctor today and then we went to Walmart so she could spend her tooth fairy money.

Eldon also had his 4 month well check today. He is doing great, the doctor said he's at a six month level for his development in fine motor skills, gross motor skills, AND verbal skills! He said he won't be at all surprised if he is CRAWLING by his six month check up! So of course when we left the doctor's I immediately went to the store to buy a baby restraint to put an end to this nonsense- I am not ready for ANOTHER mobile little person! I didn't know they made such things, but it's really kind of neat.. It's kind of like a tiny straight jacket with Mickey Mouse characters on it.. he doesn't like it yet but I think he will get used to it. Ok I am kidding- were you worried? :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

monkey'ing around!

The work of "re-education" and "obedience training" continues- the kids have learned a few new words in the process too! No, not those words... but you can ask them what "solitary confinement" is and I bet even Marcus could tell you! I taught them that during a speech I like to call "Being in the same room with your other siblings is a privilege not a right!!!!!!!!"

We have a good deal of water in the basement at the moment... so instead of dwelling on it (we have to wait until the ground is not so saturated then it should drain!) my strategy has been to STAY OUTSIDE as much as possible! Yesterday we went to Seymour to return a movie and ended up stopping at a park, then leaving that one to find another park (with potties), then returning the movies, then going to Wendy's, then stopping at another park! I earned my rest last night!

Pictures from our latest monkey adventures:

Miss Schneider came over for Lorraine's home visit, and of course Lorraine is very excited to start school next week! (Yes, next week for those of you in the land of Michigan... we really do start that early down here!)

Of course Aggie had to get in on the picture too! And the conversation, and the hugs (along with the others!) I'm sure glad Miss Schneider has the patience for lots and lots of little ones!

Seth is getting ready to try a few new things at the playground... which means his injuries are more frequent, and of course his screams are louder! He sure is not the toughest little boy I know! But he is pretty funny.... the other day he had a very vivid dream about his brand new running shoes. He woke up sputtering: "Mommy my running shoes! they ran away! and we had to chase them in the van- you drove and I sat on your lap to steer- then they FELL in a HOLE! " I guess we finally got them by the end of the dream. PHEW!

And here is Miss Aggie, enjoying her seizure freedom! Yes, this scares me to death... but seizure-free Aggie is actually quite coordinated and capable- and it sure is nice to see her so active! (most of the time!)
Marcus likes to monkey around like the rest of them when he can! My favorite things he says at the moment: "AWESOME!" and "DOG GONNIT!"
An ideal summer day!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

stressful blessings

Eldon is clingy today- teething and boogering all over everything. He is happy as long as I am holding him, so right now he is sitting on my lap trying to chew his fingers off as I type. This has worked well for us in the past, but I just learned that his abs are getting stronger. He spontaneously tries to sit forward and of course he bumps his head on the desk. I guess I can learn to type with my elbows together.

The children are happy to be back home, but must undergo intense re-education training. They seem to have forgotten every rule they have ever learned... even the most basic. I do not blame the grandmothers at all... I think it was simply the weeks being away from home, Aggie stress, and unpredictability. Now that we are back, the kids are hoping the boundaries at home have changed..... or disappeared altogether.

Here are some of the questions they have asked of me lately, directly or indirectly.

Is it ok for us to spit at each other?
If I scream loud enough, will you be convinced the broken toy or injured sibling is not my fault?
Can I eat paper? How about beads? Sand?
Will you notice if I throw my food on the floor instead of eating it?
Do you mind if I kick the baby?
What do you mean I need to use silverware?
Will I trick you if I pretend I no longer speak English?
You don't really think I am going to take a nap, do you?
If, instead of sleeping, I kick the walls as hard as I can, what will happen?
Will Marcus look good with a bucket full of sand on his head?
How many times can I ask you the same question before you go bonkers?
By “go to bed” you meant “hide in the closet and play,” right?
I can't chew on the couch? Since when?

After a few days of questions like these, big innocent eyes, patronizing nods, false humility and apologies, and a return to the very same behavior, when mommy has finally HAD IT- they have the audacity to be surprised!!! (Boy, what'sa matter with HER?)

Sorry guys... You don't call me queen mommie for nothin'!

I am blessed to have these kinds of things as my major stressors today.