Thursday, December 31, 2009

This Page Intentionally Left Blank *RE-POST*

A FUN *RE-POST* from September of 2008........

I consider myself a “smart” person.
You know the type.
Seriously, it’s a problem.
My husband says - It’s a “Hulings” thing.
(my maiden name)
According to Dan - (We all think we are smarter than we really are)
And, it’s the worst when we all get together.
we all talk to each other
like we are SMARTER than we really are
in order to sound smart
in front of each other.

Dan hates it.

(Between you and me - Dan really has no idea how smart we REALLY are)

For those of you that are still reading,
Here is an example:

I WISH with all of my heart,
that I had been the one that wrote the following statement.

SERIOUSLY, I “COULD HAVE” written this.
(in fact, my brother may have written it)

'This Page Intentionally Left Blank' could be one of the oddest sentences in the English language. Found in instruction manuals around the world, it indicates that the page on which it appears has been purposely left empty of words or pictures. But once this phrase has been printed on the page, the page is no longer blank; in fact, it is intentionally not blank. Therefore, this statement is only correct when it has not yet been made. Once it has been written down, it is instantly wrong. By virtue of self-reference, the phrase is denying its own existence and contradicts itself.

Thank you to the genius that wrote down my exact thoughts.
(Thanks, Tony. I’m sure it was you…..)

Grand kids

For all of the times I get a great "sibling shot" during the Holidays, we don't often get a shot of all of the grandkids. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


The kids are thrilled that Grandma Kim and Aunt Jamie got them ROCK BAND for Christmas. They have spent the last few days JAMMIN' !! Check out the clip below!

The funnest part of ROCK BAND (so far) HAS TO BE when Dan and his brothers did their own version of EYE OF THE TIGER - NICE! Luckily Ryanna was helping out on the drums!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Morning

How do you know when you're old?
When it's Christmas Morning, and your kids don't believe in Santa Claus anymore. They want to "sleep in" and they already know some of the presents they are getting, because they shopped for them on ebay.....

For the first time in years, we stayed home all day on Christmas 2009.
Hope you had a great holiday!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to my kids!!

When I look at you I see……
a special gift God gave to me.
The reason you’re so special, you see
is because YOU started our family.

When I look at you I see……
a perfect picture of joy and peace.
Our family laughs because of you
while your heart of compassion remains true.

When I look at you I see……
my baby who grew up to be
a special ‘cook’ who humbly lives
while happiness blooms where you freely give.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My year in status updates.....2009

1. Kristie Cook is still trying to figure out which one of you TP'd my house last night. Good Job!

2. Kristie Cook is wondering how a 14 year old designs a myspace page, texts her friends, talks on AIM, watches TV and studies for a test - ALL AT THE SAME TIME??

3. Kristie Cook just got done working out. (Who am I kidding, I just rode on a bike for 21 minutes. I couldn't make it any longer - plus I needed to check my email)

4. Kristie Cook is excited that Tyler got a lead role in "Fiddler on the Roof" for the Spring Musical!! Congrats Ty!!

5. Kristie Cook spent a happy day with the fam at Cannonsburg. Eyli went on the chair lift for the first time!! (No, mom still will NOT go on it - too scary!!)

6. Kristie Cook is at Crystal Mountain with the fam for the night! No snowboarding for me - I'll sit here in the cabin and drink hot cocoa!

7. Kristie Cook can't really write the status I want to, because it is inappropriate. (Although it would be really funny.)I'll just say - wish me luck today!!

8. Kristie Cook is still laughing at her husband, who told me last night: "I was always shy around girls - I still am - put me in a room w/ 5 woman, & I CLAM UP & can't talk!"

9. Kristie Cook just got done practicing her song for the WMAAA Talent Show - (luckily my singing partners could both be starring on BROADWAY - they make me sound good)

10. Kristie Cook now remembers why (6 years ago) she VOWED never to watch The Bachelor again. I roped my husband into watching the last hour, he will now make fun of me 4 weeks.

11. Kristie Cook HAS THE DAY OFF!! Will spend the whole day with my cute husband. Don't be jealous!

12. Kristie Cook is happy her friend, Carolyn FINALLY joined the cool people and got on FACEBOOK!!! Welcome to the "in" crowd, girl!

13. Kristie Cook - apparently my 12-year old son sends at least 100 text messages a day?? I made him read them all to me, so I could BLOG about them.....

14. Kristie Cook Can NOT believe my husband only checks his email every 5 days...... Are you kidding me???

15. Kristie Cook Is thinking of starting my SIT-UPS regimen today! (In hopes that I will be able to wear a bikini in 3 days) Maybe I should have started it last month?

16. Kristie Cook - Mexican sunshine makes you RED! Enjoying the day INSIDE - another massage, maybe?? Can't beat Spring Break.....

17. Kristie Cook I officially made a decision this morning...I am sending for my kids and my dog, and staying here in Mexico - It's been so nice knowing the rest of you! I'm sure I'll see you again in Heaven.....

18. Kristie Cook to all of you people who want me to "tell your husband to call me back" - I'm going to say this once and for all - I have been asking him to CALL ME BACK for 18 years - hasn't worked yet. So, if any of you talk to him - have him call me back.......

19. Kristie Cook is happy I won the bet with Jeff. New coffee cup for me..... ;)

20. Kristie Cook - Dear Facebook: No matter how many times you offer it to me as a "suggestion" - I will not "become a fan" of "I love McDonalds".......

21. Kristie Cook Oh My Goodness - my son conducted his FIRST "Cook Underground" quote today - and got the job......(Maybe Dan should let him QUOTE all of the jobs? - Just an idea)

22. Kristie Cook Original Plan for the day: Housework, Laundry, Mass Mailing to every kid in the school. Actual Day: Took kids to Grandpas Boat for a ride, Visited the love of my life at his job-site, watched the nephews play at the mall PLAY area, and went to Starbucks.

23. Kristie Cook is wondering what it means when my kids are MUCH MORE upset that the "oxy clean" guy died VS Michael Jackson.......

24. Kristie Cook interesting how vacation breeds hope.............the question always remains - is it false?

25. Kristie Cook Just now realized that I have a wireless signal in the camper....... I have been walking down to the registration booth every morning for the past week. [I am so lazy]

26. Kristie Cook is 'working' with Dan today. (wearing a white shirt, drinking starbucks, texting, checking facebook, running for parts, reading a romance novel....)

27. Kristie Cook is once again at the campground laundrymat....i should just sleep in this little room.

28. Kristie Cook hanging in GH with my friends, waiting for the parade to start.....

29. Kristie Cook what does it mean when you are using a public (school) bathroom and the door reads ' I love tyler cook' ? ? ? the kid is 12......

30. Kristie Cook just now realized that 18 years ago today- I started 'going out' with my best friend....

31. Kristie Cook Hoping everyone in Fruitport is OK!! A HUGE 5-minute storm wiped out a TON of houses/businesses.....Dan just went to try and help Grandma, whose yard is covered in trees.

32. Kristie Cook still thinking of my fruitport friends and family......but, no worries- both starbucks stores (gh & sternberg) are open and operational!!!

33. Kristie Cook - Still no power at the school = another day off for me! SNOWDAY!! I think I'll have another cup of coffee......

34. Kristie Cook is listening to Tyler read the Bible with his Aunt Jamie. And, listening to Aunt Jamie explain what it means to Tyler.... <3

35. Kristie Cook Excited about the weekly "Flashback Friday" on the blog.....

36. Kristie Cook may see a dim light at the end of a very long tunnel......oh wait, it could just be the reflection of a tiny gum wrapper.....

37. Kristie Cook my sister just went school shopping with us....she says " it would take me 3 whole days to make enough money to buy your kids school supplies"....hmm

38. Kristie Cook enjoying the *priceless* look on my (rule follower) 10 year old's face when we passed a 'two men and a truck' moving truck .... and there were 3 men in the front seat.

39. Kristie Cook yes, it is possible to flush your car keys down the case you wondered.

40. Kristie Cook just realized the only thing I ate today was 3 Cinnamon Dolce Lattes..........

41. Kristie Cook- ahhh, confidence feels good. It is invigorating to know that operation 'be quiet and sweep everything under the rug' is officially OVER.

42. Kristie Cook riding in the van while my daughter is driving......God help me.

43. Kristie Cook -So much to say....Today I am thankful for the wonderful people I call friends. Today I am sad that my best friend left for 3 days to go to camp - (even if it is because he loves the kids @ WMAAA). Today I am excited that my baby niece will be born. Today I am anxious about my future. Today I am disappointed that some people can't stand up for what's right, because of fear. Today I am happy that God is on my side.

44. Kristie Cook I have a beautiful baby named after me! Alayna Kristine was born at 1:55 pm, 8lbs 4oz - Congrats Andy, Karrie, Dominic and Brecken!

45. Kristie Cook Nobody came make me *laugh* like my best friend - After telling me 3 camp stories I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe! I'm so happy he's home!

46. Kristie Cook standing in the rain doing dismissal duty....and,as always, looking for the promise of a rainbow through the clouds

47. Kristie Cook Just when I was starting to doubt myself, I have a long talk with my Grandma, and realize I am still on the right track..... Grandmas have a special way of encouraging you to stand up for what is right....

48. Kristie Cook -The bad news is the transmission went out. The worse news is that I can't drive to starbucks at my convenience.......

49. Kristie Cook Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers for my dad! He is resting comfortably, and continues to be an encouragement to all of us around him.

50. Kristie Cook -Psalm 122:6........may all who love this place PROSPER.......

51. Kristie Cook about to drive my 13 year old to the gas station so he and his friend can buy a red-bull (I think they want to pull an all-nighter) - I have to be the worst mom in the world..............

52. Kristie Cook about to sit through a sudden death overtime at the WMC regional soccer finals......i hope my dad's heart can take this excitement!

53. Kristie Cook About to head outside and pick some money off of the money tree in my back yard........

54. Kristie Cook -Gosh darnit. I. Miss. My. Harley.

55. Kristie Cook Enjoyed my day off with my niece and nephews......I asked Dominic if Baby Layna could have A GUMMY SAVER too. He said, "NOOOOO, Baby Layna eats boobs, Dom eats gummies!"

56. Kristie Cook God bless STARBUCKS, and the cute boy who brought it to me - which makes my crappy day *bright* again.

57. Kristie Cook I love my son with his brilliant 'tech mind', as he just FIXED my printer by taking it apart and putting it back together - He even had a piece left - he just said, "Oh well, this will be good to PICK MY TEETH with!"

58. Kristie Cook - Besides all of the REALLY important things, like FAMILY, FRIENDS and GOD's GRACE, I spent Thanksgiving incredibly thankful for the word *integrity* and the Public Act No. 267 of 1976.

59. Kristie Cook -In honor of my last 30 days with braces on my teeth, I went ALL OUT and got RED bands put on today. Merry Christmas!

60. Kristie Cook just decided to leave the Christmas lights plugged in over night...for the 1st time EVER...because my 13 yr old told me it would be impossible to start the tree on fire that way. (mythbusters is his favorite show)

Friday, December 18, 2009


It was December of 2006 and it was the LAST DAY before Christmas Break. The day when everyone is happy, everything is about excitement, and the kids are bouncing off the walls. At the time, my brother Tony was also on staff at the school, as the in-house "techie". I guess it must have been the spirit of Christmas that prompted him to bring his guitar to work that day, as I don't think he even likes to sing Christmas Carols. It started off as a mini version of O Holy Night in the hallway, but progressed into a full-fledged traveling concert throughout the school.

The energy that poured out of those kids flowed straight to our hearts as we continued to deliver many different versions of Rudolph, Frosty and any other fun Christmas Songs we could come up with.
The kids sang and danced.
They jumped and wiggled.
They cheered and hugged.
Because, on THE LAST DAY everyone is happy.

It was one of the most enjoyable days of my life, not just because of the kids, but also because I spent some great quality time singing with my "rock-star" brother. You know, Tony and I didn't always see eye-to-eye when we grew up. But, it's moments like THAT ONE when I realize - 'yep, he's MY brother.' We both walked away into our Christmas Break with a happier heart and a sore throat.

One of my precious parents, WENDY, snapped the photo above. When I returned from Christmas Break that year, a copy appeared on my desk. I kept it in my desk for at least 2 years, and then misplaced it. I spent the last few weeks looking for it, to show you. I was unable to locate it, so I emailed her last night asking her if she had an extra copy. It appeared in my inbox this morning.

On this LAST DAY before break, I continue to stand in amazement at the outpouring of wonderful people that I have been blessed to know while working at this fabulous little school.

Friday, December 4, 2009

FLASHBACK Friday - making memories

One of the funnest days in my life was the day my brother, Andy, got married.

Tony, Jamie and I wrote a musical poem for him and Karrie, based on some childhood memories. We performed it at their reception and up until TODAY there has only been one VHS copy of this performance. In honor of FLASHBACK Friday, I took Grandma's VHS tape, and had it converted to a digital format.

The good news: We finally have a DIGITAL copy of it.
The bad news: The video quality is really bad (but, it's still worth watching for the audio!)

As I re-watch it tonight, I think the scariest part might be my dance moves....

It was August 16, 2003 and....

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


We were extremely thankful to spend THANKSGIVING with Grandma Nancy from Florida! She came up for a visit, and the kids loved having her here. We were lucky enough to get a picture of all the grandkids. But, you all know how that is - Tyler is always the one that looks out of place. He gets that from his dad.....