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!

Monday, September 05, 2011


This past weekend Matthew & I went to Seattle yet again, where Matthew had the privilege of performing a wedding for the first time! It was for Brendon and Lynette Mix. Brendon and Matthew became friends while working together for several years at Alaska Airlines, before Brendon moved down to the Seattle area. After moving there, he asked Matthew what church he should go to, and when he went there, he ended up meeting Lynette, who just happened to be visiting the church that Sunday! When they got engaged, he asked Matthew to marry them because he was someone Brendon looked up to as a good Christian example, and because he played a big part in them meeting in the first place! Matthew said he would, but only if he could do their pre-marriage counseling. He wanted to be sure that they were right for each other, and they were going about it in the right way. He certainly doesn't want the first couple he married to end up divorcing. So, over the past 2 or 3 months, we met with them once a week on skype, and went through a book on preparing for marriage. We really enjoyed doing it, and are confident that they are in it for the long haul, and want what God wants for their marriage. Here is Matthew and the groom just before the wedding...both a little nervous!

It was a beautiful, happy wedding! Matthew did an excellent job, and gave a good short sermon during the ceremony. Some of the family said it was one of the best they've heard at a wedding.

This was having Brendon say the vows.

Official license signing The weather was warm and sunny. They had an outdoor reception on this grassy field. I just had to make Matthew pose in his suit and tie with our rental Mustang (they upgraded us for free) with Mt. Rainer poking up in the background. Probably not a scene we will see again! :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Go Bumpkins!

Logan had his first soccer game today! His team is called the Bumpkins. (Logan is the one in blue shorts, in case you couldn't tell). They were cute. They basically ran in a pack chasing the ball, all around the field including behind the goals, and through the crowd of families watching the game. Brennen got upset because they all ran through the volcano he was making in the dirt! Logan kicked the ball a few times but mostly just followed the crowd around, and tried to get his friend on the opposite team to pass him the ball! He had fun once he got into it. They all did pretty well for only having one previous practice! They don't keep score or anything at this level so I have no idea who "won".

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sunny In Seattle

Last week, we finally gave up on seeing summer time sun and warmth here in Ketchikan, so our family and my parents came out from under the clouds to warm, sunny Seattle for a couple days. We just wanted to have a bit of nice family time before school starts. We all invaded "the Chrusty Hotel" (Christy's house) and had fun visiting the usual playgrounds and mall with the carousal. The next day we went to Alki beach. It's a nice area to visit, and the kids loved watching jets taking off overhead and ferries going by. They spent hours digging in the sand. I already put this picture on facebook, but I like this one of the boys.

Each one wanted to be buried in the sand!
Then were quite covered when they got up!

We ended our lovely day with a stop for ice cream at Baskin Robins, then headed off to the airport to come back to the clouds and rain. Meadow got her lovely golden locks cut while we were there. Her hair was always getting in a huge knot, so we decided it was time. Here's the before and after! She's lovely with the shorter hair too, and she likes it because she can brush it herself instead of mommy's painful brushing!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Finally Some Summer!

After a very wet, cold summer, we finally have some sunny days! On one day we went with my parents on a beautiful hike on Connell Lake trail. The kids are excellent hikers, and ran most of the way, even Ashlen, who also makes so much noise she scares away all the bears for miles around!
Meadow was calling herself a nature girl and posing for forest pictures along the way. She also said she's going to name her kids Shore and Berry Bush!

I love being deep in the forest! It's so beautiful.

Today was the Blueberry Festival! The kids liked this fish fling game. See the (rubber) fish almost going in the hole? Meadow also participated in a spelling bee. She did well sounding out the words which were hard for a 6 year old. She didn't quite win though.

Krista met up with us, and shared her blueberry popcorn!

Monday, July 04, 2011

4th of July

We had a lovely cold, very rainy, windy 4th of July! But that doesn't stop Kechikanians, as you can see the usual crowd came out to watch the parade. I'm just glad we have a parade, as many places don't, I guess. It was a rather strange one though, with the "tattoo float" which had half naked people creepily standing on the back of the truck showing off their tattoos...and accompanying rolls and you can imagine, it was quite a sight, along with the person dressed up in the sasquatch costume...??? Hmmm. The old lady driving her power chair with a roof over it and holding her little fluffy white dog on her lap was pretty dynamic.. and the senior class of 2012 who were dressed as cave men, had one brave (and shivering) lad wearing, um, nothing but a little flap in front and in the back, true cave man style, if you know what I mean..! Not smart on a windy day! Haha, (he did have skin colored sort of tights on, but still...really??)

There was plenty of yummy candy to pull out of the mud puddles!
Poor Ashlen didn't seem too impressed, but she didn't complain either.

Meadow and best friend Jenna, soaking wet and shivering at the end of the parade, but they had a great time! We had friends over for a barbecue, and the kids spent more time running around out in the rain, then Matthew set off a few firecrackers on the deck for Meadow to watch. (The boys were sound asleep and could not be woken up) It was a good day!