Monday, May 21, 2012

Moberly's Graduation

It's officially been 10 years since I graduated from the College of Education at Mizzou (May 2002).  That fall I took my first "real" job as a 3rd grade teacher at Gratz Brown Elementary in Moberly, Missouri... so it would make sense that I would have a class close to graduation. 
Yet in my mind, it doesn't quite seem possible; I'm not that old.

So surreal to see them as young adults; almost all of them were taller than me,
with Cory being close to 6'5"! 

Cory's parents, Lisa & Jim Briggs
(owner's of 4-Acres Nursery, where I worked several summers as his "hydro engineer")
Owen & LeeAnn Collier
(taught 3rd grade with her AND had her son my 2nd year... who also happens to be a giant!)

 It was also a great feeling to see that many of them were honors society members, with Logan being the class valedictorian.  Even though I didn't quite know what I was doing those first few years, it was nice to see that I didn't screw them up too bad.  :)

 Moberly High School graduation class of 2012.
I will always hold a special place for this group of kids as they were my 1st group of students, I had some of them twice as I moved from 3rd to 5th grade, and they were one of the few groups who knew me as "Ms. Cook".  I am SO glad that I have kept in touch with many of these kids (young people?) and that they remembered to invite me back for this huge milestone. 

Kind of makes me want to go back to teaching.  Kind of... 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day Weekend

Every Mother's Day, Hillside Christian Church has a baby dedication ceremony in which parents make a commitment to raise their child according to God's Word and God's ways.
Just as we did with Kaden two years ago, we decided to go through the Baby Dedication ceremony with Owen. Many parents had the same thoughts on this as there were around 80 babies dedicated that weekend over several services. 
daddy & Owen

That same evening, Stephenie & Dustin stopped by our house as they were driving a big moving truck from Omaha to Scottsdale.  
 cute brother & sister picture at Blue Sky burger
Of all the days for it to rain, it really rained while they were here... Ben and Dustin were still able to play a round (or two) of golf, but they had to drive to Dumas, TX to avoid the storm.
 Kaden wanted Stephenie to color with him... but made her do all of the work. 
Not only did he choose all of the colors to use, he told her where she should use them.
Chilled out Mr. Owen; he may have sat like this in her lap for two hours.

Of the 8 Cook cousins, 5 of us live out of state, and not just outside the border of Missouri.
We are scattered from sea to shining sea (San Francisco to D.C.) with Dan being over seas ½  the time.  Luckily we all still communicate and get together relatively often.
Thank heavens for modern technolory & the Internet!

Monday, May 14, 2012


A few months ago we got a brand new sandbox.
Well kind of... Brand new to us.
Kim McClure gave us Zander's old sandbox and it has been wonderful.
Kaden & Danni playing in the new sandbox

Playing with the hose that same afternoon. 
Unfortunately Danni came over without her swimwear, so she had to borrow a couple of bigger items from Kaden. 

Mr. Owen hanging out in the backyard.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

One Way to Pull Weeds...

Ever since the "summer of NO rain" (2011), our yard has taken a beating and has been plagued by Russian thistle (aka tumble weed).  We've sprayed it.  We've spent HOURS pulling it out by the roots. Nothing seems to phase it.  I'm not exactly sure how it multiplies, but it might be the most prolific weed we've ever encountered. 
Ben finally got tired of pulling it last night and decided to kill two birds with one stone:
practice his golf swing in the middle of the heavy weed patch.
If only our grass seed was this determined.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Oklahoma City 13.1

I have always been in slight awe of long distance runners but
I have never EVER considered myself a runner of any kind, much less a distance runner. 
I never believed that I could run further than a 5K, much less enjoy it.
Never say never...
Kristin & Jessica, OKC Memorial Marathon 2012

I was first inspired to run by Kyle, my aunt Kathy, and uncle Ed when they ran in the St. Louis marathon five years ago.  Unfortunately tendonitus & hip issues prevented me from running further than a couple of miles on top of not having the mental focus and desire to run very far.

THEN just last spring, when riding down to St. Louis to watch Jennifer run her 1st ½ marathon, Jessica & I looked at each other and said it was cool and all but there was no WAY we would/could ever run that far.  "People have gotta be ½ nuts to run that far on their own, without being held at gunpoint," was just one of the many phrases that came out of our mouths on that drive and the weeks preceeding the race. 

As we stood on the sidewalk, watching thousands of people run by and seeing Jennifer flash us a big smile as she ran past us at mile 9, something shifted in our psyche. Something about being there, seeing her and that many people of all shapes & sizes running made us both retract our statements and actually consider doing it ourselves...

A few weeks later I ran my first 10K, doubling my furthest distance ever,
but my running abrubtly came to an end as I was 6 weeks pregnant with Owen.
 Fast forward 1 year, and here we all are after the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon

Jessica completed her 3rd half-marathon, Kyle completed his 7th FULL marathon
and I did my 1st half!  I didn't really have a specific time to shoot for so my main goal was to "run" the entire 13.1 without having to stop & walk and to not kill/poo myself in the process. 
I am proud to say that I somehow pulled it off... and it wasn't that bad! I mean, I would actually do it again!
(AND I'm even prouder to admit that was able to nurse a baby after crossing the finish line. Ha!)
Although I am in desperate need of a shower, I LOVE Kyle's expression and the look on Kaden's face as he just snuck another granola bar. 
Thanks for doing this with me!

Jennifer, next time all three of us need to do a run together:
no babies, no pregnancies, no nursing. Just us girls (and maybe Kyle too).

click on pictures
My bib was: #13775
Kyle's was: #230

As usual, Kyle's photos are the most fun to look at. ;)