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.

Friday, August 22, 2014

prayers for eldon...

Oh Eldon, kindergarten is still hard for you.

Again, you needed "rocking chair time" before school. You've been worrying about school today since yesterday morning. I snuggled you and I made sure to give you a "kissing hand." You giggled as I described my love going from the kiss through your arm and warming up your heart. Then you remembered our coming parting, and you cried. I just held you, wishing I could make you smile and keep the tears away. And then down through the hallway came the words that would do just that.  Marcus, in his deep scratchy voice, singing "Oh baby you got what I need..." You smirked, and I smirked, and we giggled. I said, "I wonder if he'll sing that to his teacher when he goes to school today?" and you were cracking up imagining that. Marcus heard us laughing and was happy to have an audience. He came in the room with his sunglasses and his "air guitar" (toy guitar) and sang to us.

When your ride came, the tears came, and I hate that more than you know. The kissing hand wasn't enough, and you howled.  On the outside I'm calm and reassuring, but inside my heart is breaking for you. Oh my dear Eldon! As the van pulled out of the driveway, I saw you sitting on your sister's lap, looking toward me, toward your safe warm home where you'd rather be, with a pathetic, tear-streaked face.

But I know God is with you. I thought about that as we snuggled during devotions this morning. When we read God's Word together, we're not just filling you full of ideas. It's so much more than that. Jesus is not an idea, He's a person, and you are connected to Him, and He abides with you.

Jesus, hold my reluctant kindergartener close to you today!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Remembering Grandma Cook

Reflections from Larry on the day of his mother's funeral (M. Louise Cook)

Something that came unexpectedly with my mother's passing was the realization that the mantle had been passed on, and that now my siblings and I were the "older generation. We now are the patriarchs of the family.
I reflect back on mom's life and wonder, "What was her legacy?"  One hundred years from now will anyone care or remember that mom and dad had been married for over 65 years?  What about all those thinks they worked so hard for? Already their house is falling into disrepair, and it will soon by gone. Everything seems to be so temporal.
I realize that fame and fortune are not going to be their legacy, but what is?  I then thought of my sister who has quietly for over the last ten years been fighting a battle with cancer.  She has not complained.  She has not publicized her fight. She has just gotten up each day and fought her way through that day.  That is a legacy she received from my mother.  Mo accepted where she was in life and wasn't a baby about it.  She took each day as it came, and moved on.
Then I thought about my brother who 30 years ago lost his son in a tragic farming accident.  While that was a battle for both he and his wife, they didn't give up, they didn't turn on each other like so many do during that type of tragedy.  They pulled as a team through the hard times. That is a legacy they received from both mom and dad.  You may get beat up, but you never give up.
I remember that my mother taught Sunday School, and did Bible studies for many years, and I remember the hours she would spend preparing for the studies and lessons. Another legacy. If you commit to something, give it 100%.  A sloppy, half-hearted effort is not acceptable.
So, as my children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews hear these words being read, I am counting on them for keeping this legacy alive.  You have Mom Cook's blood in you: you do not complain.
You have Mom Cook's blood in you: You do not give up.
You have Mom Cook's blood in you: You give 100% to the task God has set before you.
You have received a spiritual heritage you can be proud of. Make us proud as you carry on with mom's legacy.

-- by Larry Cook

Photo: August 19 2000... Our wedding 
August 19 2014 Grandmas funeral


Monday, August 4, 2014

back to school!

Yes, we start school this early down here!
Summer went way too fast!

Our "practice run" with our new jobs and routines yesterday was a little rough, but somehow, today went beautifully. (I think the exitement had something to do with it.) 

All dressed and ready!

My kindergartener!!!

Someday, Peter...

The five school kids...

One remains.

Starting sixth grade...

Starting fourth grade...

Starting third grade...

one crazy picture...

Time to go!
(Don't be worried, Eldon, it will be really fun!)

Starting first grade...

Love this:

And finally, kindergarten drop-off

He got sad when it was time for me to leave!
(Tear my heart out!) 
He put on his brave face though- no tears. (for him at least!)

And then there was one.

A candy bar for the preschooler!