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.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sisters at the lake

Girls just wanna have fun in the water!

I love watching these sisters play in the lake!

Father, thank you for the free and joyful relationship between these two sisters right now; the innocence, the delight they have in each other; the laughter and the fun.  May these many hours of shared happiness create a deep and lasting love for each other in their hearts.  If conflict should arise between them when they are grown, please Lord remind them of these things that they share, and give them love for each other that carries them through difficult days.  Amen.

Friday, July 29, 2011

baby bonding

Is this how you do it, big brother?

Eldon now can be convinced to share with Pete: 
almost any toy, and even sometimes, a corner of blankie!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

the joy of wheels

Even Peter gets to enjoy the wheeled entertainments!

They carry me around and almost never drop me... 
so they should be able to drive me around safely too, right?  

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Aggie love

Nana and Aggie picking green beans!
We had quite a feast up north!

Nana got sick one day, and Aggie was very concerned.
"I'll water Nana's flowers for her."

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I'm one of them!

The Cooks on the Motorcycle...

The kids are waiting for scooter rides, not motorcycle rides.
Not yet.

This was Pam's motorcycle!
Now it is mine!

I actually drove it tonight!  I was pretty nervous but it sure was fun!
I had it all the way up to 25 MPH!

Now it just needs a name...

Ice cream smirking

Of course, a trip to the beach is not complete without ice cream.

Oh Marcus.

Before the top of the ice cream was eaten, he bit his cone.  Not just one bit, but several, in a perfect line down the middle, from top to bottom.  Maybe we should have left him at the lake.

Of course, this chocolate ice cream mess got them talking about other brown disgusting things.  Before I knew it they were all laughing out of control with potty humor.  Josh drove with a straight face, normally the one most annoyed with those jokes.
Funny though, when I got them calmed down, he "accidentally" hit the rumble strips...  and one of the kids said "Moby tootered! hahahahaha!!!!"  

I saw that smirk, honey.  

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lake Michigan

We are coming home from our 2 weeks vacation!  We had a great time with both sides of the family- I will post pictures and stories gradually as I find the time!

We took three trips to Lake Michigan (Manistee Beach) last week.  The wind and the waves were a wonderful break from the heat.  And the water was the PERFECT temperature: 70 degrees!  

The one time Aggie and Marcus were still during the entire vacation!

Right at this moment we are driving home- yes, I am blogging in the car!  I love technology, and I love having a husband who knows how to make it work for me! I actually don't mind the car ride today!

We are returning home with only 1/3 of the children.
Lorraine and Aggie are having their week at Grammy's; and Seth and Marcus are staying with Aunt Katie and Uncle Jason (they also have two boys- Lord help them!)

I consider this week, with only my two babies to take care of, my post-vacation vacation.  The only major thing on my list is to potty train Eldon.  Otherwise, it should be pretty relaxing.
(I hear you laughing.  He is too.  Oh well.)

Thursday, July 14, 2011


I can't skip the blogging on a day like this!
I almost forgot about it, such as been the constant blessings of health towards Aggie!

July 15 marks TWO years since Aggie's surgery!
TWO years of seizure freedom and health!

Oh Aggie, this morning I sat on the big swing with the little boys, and you performed your gymnastics on the bars of the swing set for me.  You just amaze me, dear one.  This week will mark 2 years since your brain surgery.  2 years ago I never would have let you go on the bars like that, knowing a seizure could strike you at any minute.  

Images of seizing Aggie, dying Aggie, are still vivid in my mind.  They stimulate both fear and rebellion as I watch you on those bars today.  It is not impossible that epilepsy could overtake you again, right now, and that scares me to death.  And yet, I rebel against that, and rejoice with you in your good health, and am so happy that you can be allowed to take risks once again.  The sickness that was stealing your moments, your voice, your mind, even your breath, and almost took you away completely has been silenced- so climb, swing, delight, rejoice my hummingbird!  Laugh at my gasps as you always have, and smile that bright smile while I pray, for the millionth time, Jesus hold Aggie close!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Time off...

It is vacation time for the Cook family!  
I am taking time off from the housework and the normal routine, 
and soaking up the sun, the family time, and the pampering of grandparents.

See you in two weeks!

God, please make at least 30 minutes of this vacation feel like this!

Sweet Pete

My sweet Pete!

He took his first step yesterday!

We leave for MI with a crawler, 
but will likely come home with a walker!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


I don't like to not be the boss.

I'm going to be a daddy so I can be the boss of my kids.


A Conversation with Aunt Mary Anne:
Marcus: "Schneider, I want to do something good."
Mary Anne: "Like what?"
Marcus: "I want to make a list."
Mary Anne: "Ok. What should we put on list?"
Marcus: "1. Go to Lauren's house." 
(She said, "they are not home." He said, "Let's just go where they are.")
2. "Have some cookies there."
3. "Do chalk"
4. "Watch Elmo for Eldon"
Marcus: "I am tired."
Mary Anne: "Do you want to go to bed?"
Marcus: "No. I just want to make a list"

Saturday, July 9, 2011

just CHILL.

Eldon, my dear little Eldon....
Really, you just cannot live your life acting like every bug, every conflict, every idea in your head, every time you need a drink, every airplane sighting, every neat thing you see out the window, every SINGLE thing is a five alarm, full blown, EMERGENCY- a let's call the National Guard CRISIS!

It is simply unsustainable, my dear.

If we are to survive these preschool days, we have got to find a way to help you chill out.

Perhaps a nap?

Everythings-a-crisis attitude might be fixed by a nap, right?
So I laid him down early, and enjoyed a half hour of peace while the big kids swam.  Then we sat down for a snack, and as we were eating, we see Eldon coming outside- naked, and covered in pen.

Of course, to him, that was not a crisis.

Friday, July 8, 2011


Thinking, conspiring....

implementing the plan.

Wow boys, you are so, so sneaky.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

fishers of fish

A fish eventually bit, and stole Seth's pole away. 
It it has not been sighted since.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

my waterbugs

My waterbugs swimming for the fourth time today!

This time, with a friend, and surrounded by lightning bugs!

mom vs. peas


Eldon puts his peas in his water, with a smirk.
They tattle, and I reply, "Oh son, you are SO eating those anyways."

Before I commence the force-feeding, I take a picture so I can gloat about my pea-feeding victory to you all, and give you another laugh at my son's expense.

Smirk, click... and CRASH.

Immediately after I took this picture, he "accidentally" spilled the whole works on the floor.  Water and peas mixed with the mess already there.  Yuk.
"Gr, you are still eating those!" I say, as I move Seth to get under the table.  As I move him, HIS spoon full of peas falls on the floor.

That one was totally my fault.

Sometimes it is just better to give up.

Monday, July 4, 2011

please pray for the Orban family

A prayer request for family tonight:

Please pray for this family

My sister's husband- Jiquirria is his nephew.  He drowned this past weekend.  He was only 12.

God, please comfort the Orban family, and all those who knew and loved this little boy.  Comfort all of us, as tragedy reminds us that we are in a world that is crumbling- a world that needs salvation and redemption.  Have mercy, Lord, and give us eyes to see Your grace, to receive it in Your Word and Your Son.  Comfort us with Mercy Himself, Jesus, who has died and rose for us all.  Keep us safe in Him, and sustain us until that day when tragedy and tears are past.  Amen.

zoo day!

What a fun day we had with friends at the zoo!
Who knew, the 4th of July was the perfect day to go!
No crowds, and cool weather too!

Waiting for the elephant show! 
Petie was more interested in mommy than the train experience...

 The much-loved chariot!  Thanks to Lauren for sharing, 
and sharing, and sharing, and sharing it!

Train ride!
Complete with anxiety, courtesy of daddy, 
who warned them about the DARK SCARY tunnel full of bats,
 and the part when the lion comes up to the train looking for somebody to eat!
Thank goodness, that lion must have been sleeping this time.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


From yesterday's Megaplaydate

2 families; 13 kids!

Thank you God for abundant lives- for the wonderful, exhausting blessing of children!