Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Of Pilgrims and Indians

Photo by Libby
Our house was overrun by Pilgrims and Indians Thanksgiving evening. Carmen's girls wanted to put on a Thanksgiving play.

Shortly after Uncle Paul, Aunt Sandy, Jimmy, Carmen and the girls arrived we transformed paper bags and colored paper to white caps and feathered headbands. Then we scrounged up a bowl of plastic food, substituted the piano bench for a table and recruited a pianist. Our first performance was a success. After it's initial debut, we repeated our performance and transmitted it via Skype to Christie in Alaska. 

Aaron, Carmen, Joel, Amy
When we were growing up, Carmen and I often staged Christmas and Thanksgiving programs for audiences of patient relatives. We found a picture of Carmen, Aaron, Joel and me, posing as pilgrims one Thanksgiving. It was only after everyone left that I looked at the date on the album and realized the photo was taken twenty years ago when Carmen and I were Bethany's age. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

The end

Disclaimer: The last image may be disturbing.  

Sunday, November 28, 2010


The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than those who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.     ~H. U. Westermayer

Saturday, November 27, 2010


for Kaelyn and her Tia Amanda 

Friday, November 26, 2010








The menu included beef tips and noodles, chicken, mashed potatoes,  dinner rolls, tossed salad, coleslaw and a marshmallow-fruit salad. One of the perks of being in the bridal party or one of the immediate family is leading the food line.

Aaron and Lauren were eager to pose for photos of them kissing.

Lauren signing her new last name for the first time.

Several girls vied for the bouquet. Any unmarried girls old enough to gain her dad's permission were invited to participate.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


One of the blessings for which I am most thankful this year is my cousin and her family. In July, Jimmy, Carmen and their girls moved from southern Michigan, to pastor our church. Besides the sermons that Jimmy prepares and delivers, our church benefits from three delightful girls in our Sunday school. They fill us with laughter and surround us with hugs. Best of all, my life-long friend (Carmen was born six months before me) lives just a few minutes away and I see her several times a week.

Jimmy, Carmen, Bethany, Rebekah, Abigail and baby-- you are a blessing in my life!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Getting ready

Clouds of hairspray hung in the air of the ladies' restroom of the Fraser Road Church of God early Saturday afternoon. I followed Lauren and her bridesmaids as they styled their hair, adjusted their dresses and prepared for the ceremony in the late afternoon.

Lauren's maid of honor, Anna, fastens the buttons on the back of Lauren's gown. Lauren's mom patiently sewed rows of tiny buttons on the front, back and sleeves of Lauren's gown. The dress was patterned after the wedding gown worn by Lauren's Grandma Gladys. 

Lauren's mom helps Lauren step into her sandals while Lauren holds up the layers of her dress and slip. 

Lauren shares a moment with her mom, Jan Spiker, before the ceremony. 

After dressing and styling their hair, the bridesmaids pose with the bride (left to right: Libby Cook, Julie Cook, Anna Flentje, Lauren Mae Spiker [soon to be Cook], Faith Roy, Naomi Cook, Betsy Cook)

Wendy Cook, mother of the groom, adjusts Lauren's veil. 

Lauren and I pose together. I witnessed the events of the day through the viewfinder of my camera. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mr. & Mrs. Aaron Cook

1 of approximately 1,100.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


(and I'm not even the one getting married today!)

Friday, November 19, 2010


The days grow shorter, the nights colder, and the wool thicker.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


In preparation for hosting guests this weekend, Naomi and Logan steam-cleaned the carpets and upholstered furniture.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


While Lauren and her mom have been busy planning the details of the actual wedding day this coming Saturday, Aaron and his family and friends have been digging holes and splattering paint to prepare Aaron's house for his bride.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Detroit Institute of Arts

Friday, in honor of my birthday, we toured the Detroit Institute of Arts. Established in 1885, the museum houses over 100 galleries and is recognized as having one of the best art collections in the United States. One of the DIA's most famous artifacts, which we saw on the tour, was Vincent van Gogh's self-portrait

We only viewed a fraction of the museum, though it was more than enough cultural exposure for Logan who, according to his testimony, was more than bored. Despite his feelings, he acted like a gentleman and carried my camera bag through the entire museum without complaining.  

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.
Psalm 33:3 NIV

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Black Forest Waffle (with melted whipped cream, the result of squirting whipped cream on top of warm cherries before running upstairs for my camera)
Julie made black forest waffles for my birthday breakfast. Chocolate seemed to be the theme of my birthday. Libby created a chocolate cake, filled with raspberry jell and covered with chocolate frosting. I also received a Lindt dark chocolate and chili bar, a Lindt white chocolate and coconut bar, Ghirardelli "Dark & Raspberry" squares, Ghirardelli assorted squares, milk chocolate peanut clusters, Mackinac Island Fudge ice cream, Moose Tracks ice cream, and hot chocolate mix. It was a sweet birthday!