Saturday, May 05, 2012

...Then Seattle

In March Matthew was asked to help with new station openings for Alaska Air. This means when they add a new destination, he will go help train the ground crew on Alaska procedures before the flights start coming.  So he was sent to Kansas City, MO for a few days to learn what to do, and I got to go along! His parents stayed with the kids and dog. I'll do a post about that trip eventually, but he also got me a really nice new camera (as an anniversary/birthday/Christmas present for the next few years) so here are a few photos as I tried it out in Seattle on our way back from Kansas City. These are artistic photos, not just snapshots of our trip, thus the purposeful blurriness.
Some street photography in downtown Seattle:
This picture says that life is blurry when you're focused on men...haha
"How deep..." --New York Times

Christy has a new job...

She loves her city!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Doggy updates

It's been a while since I added to our blog, so here are a few updates!
We said bye bye to our beloved dog Bingo at the end of January. He was 15 years old, and was in a lot of pain, and could barely walk anymore, so we had him put down. :( It was a very sad day. The kids all said goodbye to him in the morning before school. Bingo was the best dog in the world! He joined us 8 years ago, before we had kids. He was abandoned by our neighbors when they moved. We kept him hoping to find him a good home, when we realized what a great dog he was and decided he could stay! He has always been loyal and gentle with the kids, and had no bad dog habits except for occasionally rolling in dead salmon!

We now have a new dog, a pure golden lab named Honey! She is almost 3, actually her birthday is a week after Ashlen and Matthew's. She was given to us by a nice family who didn't really have the time to spend with her anymore. She's a very loyal, loving dog with lots of energy. Brennen has become her best buddy! Every night she goes to the kids' room to check on them, like she's saying goodnight, and comes to greet them in the morning.
She loves to go on walks too, but is terrible on a leash! I hope I can train her, but at least there's plenty of beach by our house and a few trails to run on leash free! Not Ward Lake (where this picture is) though. I guess Bingo wasn't good on a leash either! They just pull too hard. The kids are enjoying having a more playful dog, since Bingo had really slowed down in his last years.

Matthew update

Matthew has been working on our very old downstairs bathroom. Here he's peeling off the gross plastic shower walls that were peeling and oozing gunk from behind. We will be replacing it with tile, a new tub, and new flooring!

The first day of destruction went really well until this... Isn't that disturbing!! Yikes! While quickly stapling down a piece of fabric (with a hammer staple gun or whatever it's called) that goes under the new tub, he stapled his finger. One end went through, the other into the bone! So we spent the evening at the ER!
It healed quickly!

This is a lovely picture of what I would like our bathroom to look like! Well, maybe a simpler version of it!

And without a window of course..a window would only provide a not so relaxing view of our garage. But the bath will fill from the middle of the ceiling, like this one does!
Also shortly after starting the project, Matthew got hired as our church caretaker! This year we decided not to renew his contractor license, because we feel like God is leading us to other things...not quite sure what yet, but the caretaker job came available, and he is enjoying it! Although now our bathroom is taking much longer to finish than expected! That's ok. He still also works part time for Alaska Air.

He also has been involved in starting a new ministry at our church called The Upper Room. (Similar to the Monthly Grind, for those who are familiar with that.) It is a monthly night of music and performing arts featuring different local christian musicians, and occasionally will host other visiting musicians. Ketchikan is a very "artsy" town, and we see the need for a Christian venue for this kind of thing with the goal of getting all the churches together so we can get to know each other better, and minister to the rest of the community as well! Afterwards everyone goes to the little red church for dessert and fellowship! The first one was last month featuring singer/songwriter Barry Bynum from Texas, and it was a wonderful time! Unfortunately I don't have any pictures to post because Brennen and I were home sick during it! :( But I'll put pics of the next one on March 3.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Family Christmas Picture

Well friends, I'm obviously not going to get Christmas cards sent out by Christmas, so I'll just post a family picture on here and say Merry Christmas from the Cooke family! Here's the "best" picture we got. I was inspired from my sister Katie's blog post with their family pictures, where she posted some of the less perfect ones because they more accurately show the kids personalities. ( ) They managed to do a bit better than us with 13 kids! So I'm posting ours too. They're pretty funny.

"We can't see you, but merry Christmas anyway!"

Such a lovely shot... the bare feet, the messy shelf, the random all adds to the composition, don't you think? (and all those things are around Brennen, which definitely captures his personality!)

And this one could have been great...if it wasn't for Brennen half sitting on Logan's head, making him look like a Frankenstein! Well, you can pick which picture you like best and that can be your Christmas "card". Have a Merry Christmas everyone! :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Singing Christmas Tree 2011

Here are some pictures of our church's 30th annual Singing Christmas Tree. This year for the first time in a long time it was all done acapella or with live instruments instead of backing tracks. It wasn't perfect, but I liked it much better! Conductor Rob played one of his various instruments, like in the first pic he's playing flute. Scott W. played flute a lot also, Matthew played guitar and ukulele, Tim L. played picking guitar, and there was harmonica, a drummer, a bass player, and we now even have a cellist!!! I played clarinet in a little "salvation army" band that greeted guests as they came in. We even had to wear salvation army hats! It was actually pretty fun, even though we were all a little rusty and had some tuning issues. :( I realized I miss playing my clarinet.

Kid's choir was cute! Matthew playing his ukulele. The background was Creek Street (minus Dolly's house of course! If you don't know why, just look up Ketchikan's history!) We wanted it to be a local scene to celebrate the 30th year. I got to paint the background! It was fun. I really like painting murals!

Ashlen and Grandma John enjoying the music. We sit at tables and have homemade cookies and apple cider. It's one of the favorite local events!

Singing Christmas Tree videos

Matthew played along with a few songs, as well as being one of the sound guys! On this one he played ukulele, (which my phone didn't pick up very well) while the choir sang silent night.

The kid's choir was cute and did a good job! Logan is the little guy on the end and Meadow is 4 kids down from him. She says she doesn't like it because the lights are too bright.

Meadow's Birthday

Meadow is 7! We gave her a beta fish and her own little fish tank. She named the fish Isabella.
She had a fun girl party with friends. They decorated cookies and had icecream.

Later we had a family party, where she was surprised by the arrival of the other birthday girl, Auntie Christy!

This is the cake which Meadow decorated herself! So now we begin the adventure into older kid-ness! I'm quickly learning that 7 year olds get embarrassed very easily.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


We had a nice relaxing thanksgiving gathering. A few of us were nerdy enough to dress up this year because the kids really wanted to, but in the end none of them ended up doing it. Another couple (Tim and Hannah) was supposed to join us as well, but she decided to go into labor and have a baby instead!
Meadow made cute little name place markers, or whatever they're called.

Pilgrim Krista with Ashlen laughing at daddy


Bingo had a relaxing day too!

Friday, November 04, 2011


We woke up this morning to the first day of snow! The kids dug out their snow clothes and went out in the dark before the sun came up! They were so excited! Here are some dark pictures that have been edited so you can actually see something in them. My phone camera isn't good in the dark.

Hmm, last year's snowsuit doesn't fit so well anymore! Look at those bare legs with no socks on! :)

Finally some sun!

Yup, this year, an actual sunny day is a blog-worthy event! Brennen went out to play yesterday morning, and this is where I found him, leaning on Bingo. So cute! He said the rest of the yard was too cold because it was in the shade. It was about 35 degrees.

Later that one and only sunny day, we went on a nice walk with grandma on the salvage trail. Here are some cute pictures...

Silly Brennen and Ashlen...It's really different just having 2 kids all day, while the other 2 are in school!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Big Boys

Today was Brennen's 4th and my dad's 60th birthdays! We celebrated with a nice spaghetti dinner and yummy worm cake!

Brennen loves sharing his birthday with grandpa! Meadow decorated my dad's traditional applesauce cake with a helicopter made from raisins.

Mmmm, yummy worms in the dirt cake!

Yesterday we went for a walk to Carlanna Lake, and discovered a new trail along one side, which will eventually connect to other trails over the mountains! It was lovely! Meadow was being an almost-7-year-old -grump!

Cuties Logan and Ashlen! Ashlen is an amazing little hiker! She pretty much runs the whole way!