Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dear Andy -

Yesterday I got to babysit for these cuties. The first thing I realized is that Brecken is almost as big as Dominic, now.All I can say is -

Thank goodness for:
  • Comcast ON DEMAND (Little Einsteins & Mickey)
  • The Snack Cupboard
  • The Piano
  • and this VASE thingy that Dom has LOVED since he was born

I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving Weekend. We miss you around here.

Your Big Sis
(and your little boys)

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Cooks

Six reasons why this is a
PERFECT PICTURE of the Cook Family.

  1. Socks are being sorted, because Dan said they had to be. Do you see me in this picture? No, because I only sort socks ONCE-A-YEAR – on Father’s Day.
  2. Dan is diligently sorting the socks, with a pair of underwear on his head.
  3. Katie is FED UP, and is ‘kindly requesting to be excused’ from this chore.
  4. Tyler is the smart one, and figures if he sits there with his mouth shut, Dan may just make Katie do the whole thing by herself, considering she’s the one that is ‘kindly requesting to be excused’.
  5. Eyliana is still young enough to do exactly what her dad tells her.
  6. Dudley is happily enjoying time with his family, where almost everyone is in the same room, and he can play with as many socks as he wants.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dear Andy - Happy Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving -
today we took our ANNUAL "(very-smart) Fab Four" Holiday Picture. You know - the "gay one" that I make you SIT STILL for - on EVERY holiday. It somehow wasn't the same without you.
However, the three of us look more like siblings than you do, anyway. At one point, we substituted Jamie's dog for you. He actually looks more like our sibling than you do, too.

Hope you had a bunch of GREAT FOOD for Thanksgiving. I ate an extra piece of Apple Pie for you. We actually had SO MUCH food left over - we couldn't figure out why - Mom finally said, "It must be because Andy didn't eat."

I am thankful for you. (I'm also thankful that we have more leftovers this year)

Your Big Sis

Top 10 - What am I thankful for this Thanksgiving?

  1. Divine Intervention – God’s always got my back.
  2. Daniel Wayne Cook – and all of his 'Dan'nerisms.
  3. Kaitlyn M., Tyler W., and Eyliana D. Cook – and everything they are that reminds me of their father.
  4. My new boss – for Influence, Respect and Change.
  5. My Bestest Bud – and her wisdom and encouragement.
  6. 420-some students at WMAAA – and all of the little germs that come with them.
  7. Friends at Faith Harbor Ministries – Old and New.
  8. My 2nd Best Friend – and his unconditional love.
  9. My extended family – there’s like a million of you.
  10. All of you that read this nonsense everyday – even if some of you don’t leave comments – yep, I’m thankful for you, too.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dear Andy -

We watched the new 24-REDEMPTION Sunday night. It was the best 24 yet (take my word for it)!! I thought it was a 2-hour Season Premiere. Turns out it was a 2-hour TEASE. Apparently, we won’t be able to watch any more episodes until January.

Did you watch it? Probably not, because the American Music Awards were on at the same time – so, you guys were probably watching that.

Common, don’t tell me that now that you’re the Cheif Honcho over there, that they don’t give you TV time?? You’re probably sitting there drinking STARBUCKS right now reading my letters. (I know…..Without the whip cream, of course.)

Your Big Sis

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

When you have braces- PART 1


1. You CAN’T open plastic packages with your teeth. It’s impossible.
2. You CAN’T bite your nails, or cuticles. I obviously USED TO do that all the time. Now my nails look great.
3. You CAN’T eat without brushing your teeth afterward. Well, you CAN, but you shouldn’t. (Take my word for it)

Monday, November 24, 2008


I've decided to give up texting, I think -
Did you know there is no 'apostrophe' option when you are sending a text?

(I know.)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Is growing!!

We had a great Sunday Service this week, and the STEERING COMMITTEE will meet again tonight to get our constitution written. Thank you for the all of the thoughts and prayers for this growing ministry in Muskegon.

Romans 12

17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"[d]says the Lord. 20On the contrary:
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."[e] 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Dear Andy -

Because you are probably the ONLY ONE who would notice or appreciate this, I have included a picture of my new placemats. I'm thinking they will last me through the Holiday Season.

Thanks for caring about such things.....

Your big Sis

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dear Andy -

Now, that we can "Send" real letters -
This is just me "catching up".
  • Jamie got a new puppy! I haven't seen him yet, but his name is TYSON - and he is a beagle mix.
  • Dad started a new church - Faith Harbor - and Dan and I are excited to start serving! On our first Sunday, last week, we had 46 people in attendance!!!
  • Cook Underground isn't doing that good, so Dan is now DRIVING A SCHOOL BUS. He went back and finished getting his "P" and "S" endorsement so he could drive our school to field trips!!! He loves it!
  • Dan did not see ONE deer when he was "hunting" in the woods - he did, however, see a deer on the way up to the woods. It was standing on the side of the road, bleeding out of it's mouth. My husband got out of his truck, chased the deer through the woods, jumped on its back, stabbed it in the heart, and slit it's throat. NO, I'm serious. (He was attempting to save it from suffering, because he figured it must have gotten hit by a car) I'll let him tell you the story over Christmas.
  • Eyli has a piano party today - you would not believe how well she is playing, now!! She's come a long way since - Ballerina Bears (or whatever that song was called) :)
  • Tyler is playing indoor soccer and they win every game like 13-2.
  • Katie is LOVING highschool, (a WHOLE SCHOOL of girls just like her - Ya, it's wonderful......)
  • We are going to Thanksgiving at moms new house. I am trying to convince her that we should "Deep fry" the Turkey this year!! We'll see how that goes :) We will miss you........
I'll write more in the coming weeks.
Keep in mind - I ATTEMPTED to send Swiss Cake Rolls with this letter. If you didn't get them - they must've confiscated them.

Bummer for you.....

Love You,
Your Big Sis

Monday, November 17, 2008

What's wrong with these pictures?

I'm just not ready for WINTER, yet.

Neither is this leaf.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bittersweet - PART 2

Today brought the beginning of a journey.

A journey of FAITH, where a group of believers met as a small church body to explore God's Word and encourage each other. Our new Pastor, happens to be my dad; and the group of friends surrounding us is SMALL, but MIGHTY.

We took communion, explored God's Word, sang a-capella, got to know each other &
took pictures of the very first SUNDAY at
Faith Harbor of Muskegon.

For now-
we are meeting at WMC high-school in Muskegon at 10:30 am on Sundays.

Our kids made use of the "church is over, but our parents are still fellowshipping" time - and decided it was a great opportunity to relax and 'text' important people.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dear Andy -

I was not surprised to find out that you figured out a way to get more “beginning of the line cafeteria time”.

That is so like you –
  • Wait a week
  • Assess the food – Is it good? Just OK? Yucky?
  • Once you realize it’s good
  • Make a move
  • Make sure you get the job
  • That gets you to the food faster
Brilliant! My brother is a genius!

I also got word that you can’t receive Swiss Cake Rolls in the mail! Bummer! I will have to eat the box that I bought for you.

Keep Floating!
(Are you on a boat?)

Your Big Sis

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bittersweet - PART 1

What do you do when God calls you in a different direction
Especially when you are the type of person that likes to STAY in the same little box you were always in
When you feel the loss of what you left behind SO BAD that it's gut-wrenching
When you're excited and scared about the future all at the same time
When you have to say "God, are you SURE?", even though you know you're not supposed to

I've been attempting to write a NICE LITTLE BLOG about the recent change in our CHURCH life. Every time I sit down to do it, I GOT NOTHIN'.......

This week I received this letter from one of my bestest friends.
It warmed my heart
It made me feel like God was telling me, "you'll be fine"
And it WROTE my blog
All at the same time.
(Now, that's a good friend)

Hey Girl,

I've been thinking about you a lot lately and all of the changes. By changes, I mean you leaving.

It's bittersweet. Bitter because we won't be worshipping together on Sundays. Bitter because we have come to love you and your family as our family. We have been blessed by having you in our lives.

Sweet because it's difficult to do anything but celebrate when people you love answer God's call, even when it takes them on a different path. The interesting thing I have come to realize out of all of this is that though we are on different paths, we are still going in the same direction. The direction of the cross, the direction of Christ. That is a beautiful and joyous thing!

So I want to say to you, my friend, I will miss our time of worship, but I celebrate with you. Enjoy and be blessed on this new adventure God has called you to.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dear Andy -

Last weekend I went to Chicago. Although I protested, Dan was adamant that we COULD NOT “visit” you at the Naval base.

I’m so sorry, I really wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday in person.
I did, however, see 2 NAVY guys in the Water Tower Place Mall. Dan pulled on my arm, as I proceeded to walk up to them.
All I wanted to do was ask them if they knew you. My plan was to have them SNEAK a Swiss Cake Roll back onto base, in celebration of your birthday. There are 2 reasons that you are not eating a Swiss Cake Roll as you read this.
  1. Dan held me back, and convinced me that those 2 sailor boys wearing white sailor hats could not possibly know you.
  2. Dan held me back, and convinced me that those two sailor boys wearing white sailor hats may be your superior officers.

Ya, bummer.

Hope you enjoyed your birthday!
Did they give you an extra dessert or something?

Your Big Sis

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

'Dan'nerism of the week

Although I don't always post them every week,
are still a weekly occurrence here in our house!!

Dinner Table Conversation -

Katie: I don't know why Tyler is so embarrassed of me in front of his friends, whenever I go into his school, he pretends he doesn't even know me.
Dan: Well, ISN'T that the CAT CALLING the POT BLACK.

I married a bus driver

Like every other small business, Cook Underground, Inc. has felt the impact of the Michigan Economy. This winter, Dan will be making some extra money by driving around in a bus.

Because he already had his CDL license, it was a matter of him taking some “bus driving” classes over the past weeks before he could officially “drive” kids around.

He will start by driving the “field trip” bus for Tyler and Eyli’s school. And hopefully, he will be able to pick up some shifts as a “sub” at local schools in the area.

Last week, he took his first field trip to Grand Rapids with the WMAAA 4th graders.

Phone Call –

Kristie: West Michigan Academy, this is Kristie.
Dan: Hello, this is the WMAAA Bus Driver.
Kristie: Yes, what can I do for you?
Dan: I am just calling to let dispatch know that the 4th grade has safely arrived at their destination.
Kristie: We don’t have any “dispatch” here.
Dan: (I know, babe, I’m suppose to call into “dispatch” when we arrive.)
Kristie: OHHHH, Ok, thank you for calling, Bus-Driver!!
Dan: I will let you know when we leave to come back to school.
Kristie: Will you take me on a date tonight?
(The Bus Driver is HOT!)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Top 10 - WHY I love the Windy CIty

#1 - There's a STARBUCKS on every corner.

#2 - The people here can always see the best in people.
The Wicked Witch was really a NICE person.

#3 - The Talbott Hotel and it's luxurious shower.

#4 - Alfredo's Babershop

#5 - A place where you can buy cool snowboarding clothes, and the people who sell them don't care that you don't snowboard (because you're afraid of the chairlift)

#6 - The ANNOYING cab driver that honks at you when you're walking, suddenly becomes your best friend when you need to get somewhere fast.

(We almost died on this particular cab ride)

#7 - Three floors

#8 - I'm really close to my brothers house,

no, I haven't found him yet.

#9 - Alone time

#10 - There's a STARBUCKS on every corner.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

You've Got Mail - Opposites Attract

  • I LOVE email.
  • I check my email all day long.
  • At work I have a little picture of an envelope that pops up on my screen when someone sends me an email.
  • When I get home from work, I check my email right when I get through the door. (In case someone sent me one while I was on my way home).
  • After dinner, I check it again.
  • Before bed I check it again.
  • The first thing I do when I wake up is check my email. (While the coffee is brewing)

Dan checks his email once a week.
Just today, he answered an email I sent him last Wednesday.

  • Dan LOVES the mail in the mail box.
  • He checks to see if the mail lady came 3 times a day.
  • When he's home he watches for the mail lady like she is bringing him a present (instead of a bunch of bills)
  • Every time he leaves the house, he stops at the end of the driveway, gets out and checks the mailbox.
  • When he returns to the house, he stops at the end of the driveway, and makes the kids get out to check the mailbox.
  • (Sometimes he even checks it AFTER he already got the mail out of it for the day)

I NEVER check the mailbox.
As far as I'm concerned, I'll wait till the bill collectors call me on the phone.

Or maybe they could just send me an email?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Dear Navy Boy,

Dear Andy,

Whatever you do, make sure to watch this video ALONE! Do not show it to your Navy friends, as you look like a total WUSS. It doesn't help that Dan is such a STUD and makes you look bad.

(Just between us - I think he rigged up the game so he wasn't getting SHOCKED at all, and you were.)

Hope all is well on midnight watch.....

Your Big Sis

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The 'D'-Blanket

Dan really likes to DUCK Hunt.
He hasn't gotten any ducks yet.

He DESIGNED this DUCK-blanket that he made out of lightweight fencing and FAKE GRASS.
He zip-tied the grass to the fencing, to create a blanket to cover up with.
Then when the DUCK's fly over,
he JUMP's OUT from under the blanket and shoots them.

He went Duck Hunting again yesterday.
He took his NEWLY invented DUCK-BLANKET with him.

Still no ducks.

No worries.
We could always use it as a DOG-BLANKET.
Dudley loves the thing.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Swiss Cake Rolls

Dear Andy -

I know I've been told, that I should not send you too many letters, and cards. So, I decided to write your letters here on my blog. That way, if you are able to sneak into the OFFICERS QUARTERS, and get onto their laptops, you could just read the letters here. Feel free to leave a comment or two, so I know that you've read them.
(Post the comment anonymously, so as to hide the evidence.)
(Actually, write the comment in TOTAL secret code, so no one can prove that you were on their laptop)

As I was thinking of you yesterday, I began to feel sorry for you -
FOR HEAVENS SAKE - I'm sure there are no LITTLE DEBBIES at boot camp!!!
So, YESTERDAY I proceeded to eat a SWISS CAKE ROLL, in memory of our wonderful times together. For some reason, it didn't seem quite the same without you. :(

So, I then proceeded to eat another SWISS CAKE ROLL, for you.

(Yes, another entire package.)

I love you,
Your Big Sis