Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Our washer broke on Saturday. The repair man is scheduled to visit today, but in the meantime we've decided to purchase new underwear anyway.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

Bring down the house

We brought down the house on Saturday. 

The young people from our church stopped by the Cookie House on their progressive dinner. We fed them bread, butter and strawberry jam.

While they were helping themselves to slices of bread and watching Mennonite TV, the house suddenly lurched. There was a thud and I felt the floor sway beneath me.

A couple of us rushed to the basement. The previous owners had installed a metal support reaching from the basement floor to the floor joists, to help hold up the floor upstairs. While the house was unoccupied, the basement flooded. The water rusted the metal support and it finally gave way sending our visitors on a bit of a ride. 

Upstairs there's nothing noticeably different and we have plans to install a new support, this time on blocks or treated lumber. Until then, though, I've outlawed jumping jacks in the living room. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012


But you will receive power 
when the Holy Spirit comes on you; 
and you will be my witnesses 
in Jerusalem, and in all Judea 
and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Acts 1.8 NIV

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lang visit

The Lang girls visited the Cookie House Friday night while their parents went out to dinner. We had a marvelous time playing house, decorating cupcakes, reading books and watching movies about children in South Korea and Australia.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


One of my challenges in teaching is interacting with lots of people. By the end of some days, I'm so tired I don't even want to say "hi" to anyone.

I was talking with my friend yesterday and I admitted that sometimes I pretend not to see people in the hallways because I don't want to talk with them.

"But Amy," she said, "that's not what Jesus would do."

It was the reminder I needed.

And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Matthew 5:47 NIV

Monday, February 20, 2012


I may be twenty-nine years old. I may own a house and teach at the university, but I'm not too old to look out the window on a Saturday morning and ask to go to the sledding hill. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Friday, February 17, 2012


(with a snow plow) 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hot chocolate

Amanda and I made hot chocolate on Saturday. Actually, we made hot hot chocolate. We added homemade chili powder to the whole milk, 60% cacao and vanilla bean. Then we topped the concoction with sweetened whipped cream. We went for full flavor. Sadly, we added too much chili powder and it was so hot we could only manage one cup.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


 We met at the parsonage for church a couple of weeks ago. From my vantage point on the living room floor I had a different view of the faces of the congregation.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Early in the semester I overheard one of my students wishing for a break. I didn't have to respond, because one of my students from last semester informed him that Ms. Cook doesn't give smoke breaks. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012


"our call to mission was more about obedience than geography."
~Andrew Jones

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Oh it's beans, beans, beans

I like black beans.

So, Friday night I soaked a few pounds of black beans and I cooked them up Saturday morning. I tried some of the beans on Saturday and then ate a plateful Sunday afternoon. 

On Monday I ate black beans and rice for lunch. For lunch on Tuesday I scooped up black beans with tortilla chips. Julie made tortillas for dinner on Tuesday night, which we served with chicken, black beans, fresh salsa, lettuce and cheese. For lunch today I packed leftover tortillas and beans with all the fixings.

I still have half a pan of black beans in the refrigerator. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012


Can you guess our Sunday school lesson? 

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Our task is to make the invisible God visible. ~Kay Warren

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Guest door

My kitchen door wasn't worth sanding and staining (It has a hole in the bottom and the back is reinforced with a thin piece of metal). Instead, I covered it with a new layer of paint. I found a couple of permanent markers and turned it into a guest door.

When you come for a visit, you can sign my door.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Last call

Yesterday I placed my last call to Korea.

For the past year I've set aside five hours a day, five days a week for practicing conversational English with South Korean professionals. I taught online with an internet phone. My first call usually began at five o'clock in the morning (seven at night in Korea). Calls ranged from ten to thirty minutes with my student and me discussing everything from the dialogues in the textbook to Global Warming to the earthquake in Japan to their dateless Friday nights. 

At the beginning of the semester, the director of the English Language Program at SVSU asked me to teach a second class. Since I couldn't devote five hours of my day to Korea students in addition to teaching eight credit hours and tutoring homeschooling students, I decided to resign my Korean job. Since then, the number of calls each days has been dwindling until yesterday I made my last two calls.

My Korean job was an easy, work-in-your-pajamas job, which provided me with a purpose, an income and experience at the time I needed it. Now, I am looking forward to functioning at more normal hours and getting the day off for American holidays.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012