Our Family

Our Family
Benaiah, Justin, Melinda, Abishai, Keturah, and Jared

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Year 2, Day 38: Getting Ready

Phew, we had to work hard on schoolwork today in order to be gone for a couple of days this week to Michigan.  I'm glad we had a whole day at home in between things.  There was some groaning, but overall the kids worked hard.  I do have a little more energy with the B vitamin complex, so I tried to work hard as well.  I did get 1 of the 4 big phone call/projects done: calling Medicaid to update income information and to find out why they didn't cover Justin's prescription on Friday (it was OTC Flonase), and I found out they still had very old health insurance from who knows when listed for the kids.  I couldn't even remember when this particular policy was in place, it was that long ago!  Whoops!  I worked hard enough, that I was warm enough not to wear socks all day! Meanwhile, Abishai gave him a nice cut about his eyebrow falling on the edge of the end table in the living room.  So, we got to try out the new naturopathic neosporin cream we made yesterday at co op!  Yeah!  The kids watched David Macaulay's Pyramid video today.  I have it on VHS, but it's wearing out, so YouTube to the rescue!  They seem to enjoy it well enough for it being an hr long program.  Then they had their normal 1 hr of screen time.  Abishai tornadoed the house all day, so we had to do a perfect pickup tonight.  The kids did it in like 10 minutes time though.

The highest temp of the day happened at 8 am - 60 degrees F.  Time to play on the porch and throw open the windows for a few minutes!

We are starting on Ancient Egypt studies, so of course we had to do this activity!  We did it 4 1/2 years ago, too!

Mummified Justin!

I also talk to them about embalming loved ones who die now, and that process.  I find it fascinating, and hopefully they won't as naive as I was going into taking care of my parents' arrangements as I was.  I just like to tell them everything and anything I know and try to relate it to something current.  I did say that Grandpa Cook's body has been embalmed and such, and that it will look and feel a certain way if they chose to go up and see his body.  They didn't go up and see the little guy's body form a couple of weeks ago.  Talking about it was also a way for me to prepare my mind for Thursday as well.

Now, break free!

We used less than one roll of toilet paper for both of them!  It was a big roll though and they had fun throwing it around afterwards.  Abishai loved it, too!

Justin was much more talented at wrapping Keturah and not letting the toilet paper tear.

Go scare Justin!

I was trying to encourage Abishai's fascination with building, so I built this for his cars.

I love this picture!  I asked Abishai to turn around, raise his hands, and say, "ta da," to show off his valet parking skills.  Instead, this is the stance he took.  "Yeah, I'm cool, aren't I?"  It's either this pose or clasping his hands behind his back that melts me!  Such grown up poses!  But yes, he drove each big wheeled toy into the kitchen and lined them up one by one.
Gotta play with Sissy's Barbies!  With his cars, going in and out of the little door!  He played with the little kid Barbie's and kept putting them in and out of the two beds in the playsets, rearranging the blankets and pillow as well.  He kept asking for help to put the "kie" on the baby doll.  Cute!

He would put the cars in from one side, close the door, run around to the other side, open the door and put them back through.


Well, I'm not sure that belongs there!  Abishai also today wiped his nose on his sleeve/hand and then wiped that sleeve/hand on the side of his shirt when I said, ew, don't do that!

We are going to be gone for barely 24 hrs.  This is what the little Lady packed.  She even got her own plastic baggie for her toothbrush and toothpaste, and will add her hairbrush and deodorant in the morning.  Yup, she belongs to me, because I overpack!  Not this time though!  I'm being very intentional!

Justin also grabbed the only suitcase he knew of in his closet and filled it.  He said, "It's better to be over prepared!"  Or something like that.  Sigh.  They both did very, very well.  I'm glad they've learned how to pack at a young age.  I didn't go on many sleepovers, so most of my experience on learning how to pack came from flying back and forth to NH while in college, or flying with kids all the places we've been.  I'm just now starting to feel really confident knowing what I really need and what I can let go of.  I still have to talk myself out of certain things though.  Unfortunately, I do have to make sure I pack enough food in case the meal options don't have enough naturally gluten free items.  Plus, my own meds of course.
Tomorrow, a couple of need showers, and I'm going to try to get the kids to do some more of the homework.  I hate rushing them and pushing hard, but it's just necessary sometimes.  I know that all my co op friends would say, "don't worry about it!" and if we don't make the deadline, then so be it.  But I would also like to try.  The cousins are coming up from New Orleans, so in case they are available, I wanted to make sure we weren't stressed about classwork.  But overall, we didn't have to really rearrange anything to make this quick trip.  The New Orleans peeps did, never mind driving 17+ hours almost non stop.  Please pray for all of us traveling, because one cousin and his wife are coming up from TN, his parents are coming from KY, another one of Leah's siblings and wife are coming from Ohio, plus the other two sets of cousins from various places.  We're not a huge family, but we are a little far flung.  Maybe, just maybe we'll see some snow up there, too!  I'm wearing my black boots just in case!  They aren't great for big snow playtime, but they keep the feet dry enough in a few inches.  Which reminds me, I need to make sure kids stuff mittens and "ha-hats" (Abishia's word) in their bags just in case.  We usually rely on hoods and put our hands in our sleeves.  But onward, and prayers appreciated.  Sad event, but always a happy reunion with the Cook (and Johnson) side of the family.  I wrote about it last Thanksgiving, but both families are so very solid in their love for each other that no one squabbles over the minor stuff.  When it came time for physical objects to be divided up between everyone after Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Johnson died, we all got (ok, we got a lot, but we didn't beg or even ask for it!) a share and they were kind to each other.  And when Gary and Leah and the siblings helped clean out the Cook's final house, each took what they wanted, and Grandma and Grandpa Cook were only allowed to bring so much stuff with them to Gary and Leah's house (where they lived for a year or so before moving up to Michigan with the brother who is single).  So, what's left isn't a big deal and I anticipate no fighting on Thursday.  I have heard tales told by Gary himself of families fighting during the funeral services of loved ones over little things like a ring!  Not in these families, nor in my own family.  For my family, it's probably because I have most of what's left and no one has room nor do they really want what's left.  They have gotten a few things that they specifically asked for though, but again, no fighting!  Moral of the story is, don't fight over "things!"  It's a sad occasion but a happy reunion!  I'm looking forward to seeing my nieces again, especially since I know it brings my kids so much joy to be with them.  It will keep them all busy during the car ride from Indy to Lansing and during the visitation part on Thursday.  God has certainly blessed us on every side.

And best of all, is that it is a CELEBRATION because we know Grandpa Cook is in Heaven.  We can CELEBRATE him, and his influence on so many churches and people all over the place, from Maryland, to Ohio, to Indiana, to Kentucky, to Michigan and probably even further.  We can pay tribute to his physical body that housed his spirit for so long (nearly 90 years!)  We are grateful that we all knew him, even just a little bit, over the years, and his love of Jesus was passed down to us all, including his preaching legacy to his son Bill Jr., to Gary, to Jared and Aaron, and others.  What a legacy.  Here is his obituary:

He was born in Ontonago, (Portsmouth), OH, January 15, 1928, the youngest of four children to Charles Bonner and Gladys Ruth Cook.  He graduated from high school in 1945 and shortly after, joined the army, being sent to East Africa to be a radio intercept operator during WW II.  Upon return, he enrolled at Lincoln Christian University where he met and married Mary Ellen Bender.  They wed on his favorite day of the year, Christmas, 1949.
Bill served small Christian churches as a preaching minister in IL, IN, MI, OH, KY and as the director of maintenance of then, Eastern Christian College, in MD,  where he also supply preached on weekends. All told, Bill preached for his Savior for 62 years.   At various times to supplement his preacher salary, he worked in a broom factory, lumberyard, as a car mechanic, as extra snowplow help in Michigan’s rough winters. After retiring from the pulpit, he worked for AT&T as a supervisor of printing presses then moved to Wabash, IN where he was an “interim” minister for 17 years for the First Brethren Church in Mexico, IN.  The people of Wabash also knew Bill as a long time greeter for Wal-Mart. On Saturdays,  he donned striped bib overalls to be Wally Wabash, a railway conductor w/a train whistle in his pocket.  He delivered Meals on Wheels for several years, always looking for ways to be with people.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Mary Ellen and by their four children: Polli and John Bates, Bill C. and Pam Cook, Leah and Gary Johnson, and Ed who had the privilege of caring for his parents the last two years. Bill has five grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.
Thursday, Feb. 9th, will have visitation from 9 – 11 a.m., memorial service at 11:00.  All will take place at Holt Christian Church, 2424 Washington Road, Lansing, MI  48911. 

I won't be blogging tomorrow, so I'll be back to it on Thursday!  Good night!

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