Romans 16:19 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.

What is innocence and how do you explain it to a 7 year old?

Romans 16:19 is one of Sophie's memory verses this month and she was trying to understand this concept. Only an hour later the following conversation took place....

Sophie looks over at me and says, "Mom, I know the 'S' word, BUT I don't use it."

Me (flabbergasted), "Who told you about the 'S' word?!"

"Ellie, but she doesn't use it either."

"Sophie, I am so sad right now. Its like that little innocent part of you that didn't know that word is now gone because you know it. I wish I could protect you from all the bad words out there." Seriously, I am almost tearing up.

Then Annie pipes in, "I know the 'S' word, too."

Me (even more flabbergasted), "WHO told YOU?!"

(Of course and why didn't I see this coming?) "Sophie."

Eyes wide and staring at Sophie in disbelief, I say to Annie, "Come whisper it in my ear."

Sophie looks like she is laying on a bed of nails with increasingly heavy weights being placed on her chest as Annie makes her way across the room. She knows she's done more than lost a piece of her own innocence, she has now helped Annie lose a small piece of her own. She also knows this probably means more tangible trouble in her world.

Annie leans close, sweet 4 year-old smile on her face and whispers, "Stupid."

Me, incredulously, "Sophie, what is the word? .... Say it!"

Eyes full of fear, she says, "Stupid."

Internal sigh of relief, and then classic mom line, "Now just don't let me hear you say that to anyone else...especially Benjamin."

Small piece of innocence found, right where we left it. Thanks, Lord.

Happy Birthday, Ben!


OK, This is a blog for those diehard Cook Family fans out there. Why? Well, I mean, how interesting is a two year old's birthday unless he is a two year old you love and adore? Here is Benjamin's big day. A moment of silence as I mourn the loss of his babyhood. One thing for sure, he's a baby no more!

Girls, its HIS birthday, thus HIS present!

My sister said I made a mistake buying Ben musical intruments for his birthday. The only mistake was letting Annie near the Triangle. Its hidden now. I'll have nightmares about it for weeks!

Ben is talking more and more. His favorite word of the week is car (see below):

Cah-argh! (think a pirate saying "argh!") you aren't mistaken; it is a helicopter

Cah-argh! ....train this time....

Cah-argh! ....and....train again.

Annie on the Tambourine...Triangle having been hidden.

Yes, blue is her color, even in icing!

Fire! New toy!

First born female sister taking over when baby brother can't figure out he's supposed to blow these things out.

I don't like this HAT!

I do it, BY-MY-SELF!

Maybe this end will work better....

I give up. I didn't really like it anyway!

Annie: Can I have his?

Still loves to clean up after himself. Ask me again in about 12 years!

Canadian Thanksgiving (Yeah, we DO have our own!)


Our own traditional holidays take on a new meaning when we live in a different culture, and we tend to make the most of them. This, in combination with a bunch of new holidays from this culture, makes celebrations here a big deal!

You may remember last year some kind folks hosted a big Canadian Thanksgiving bash and over 50 people turned up. This year we can count at least 24 of those from last year who have left the country, so we weren't sure what the turn out would be.

The gathering: minus Beth (taking the picture) and a few late-comers

This year, though there were less of us, we had just as good a time as last year. We even took extra time to play games and get to know each other better. It also meant a lot to the girls, who are a little unsure about returning to Canada next year....yet another affirmation that Canadians are OK after all!

Sophie with "bear of a dog" Myrrh (like what the wisemen brought baby Jesus) who is as gentle as a lamb.

Ben LOVED Myrrh and followed him around all evening. Here they are, seeing eye-to-eye.

Almost Two, and Too Cute!

Benjamin turns 2 tomorrow and it is hard to remember where the time has gone. So on this last day of his "babyhood", I thought I'd give us all a glimpse of those sweet early days and some more recent shots that look a lot more like "2" than "baby" : )


Less than 24 hours old and sharing a hospital bed with me at the time of this shot.

Is there such a thing as "too much love"?

Favorite place to someone's arms!


Hanging out and watching Mary Tyler Moore.

Into stuff, as usual.

"Mom, will you please stop following me around with that camera? I'm BUSY!" One shoe off, one shoe on, my son (Benjamin) John. Note: the new backpack (Thanks Aunt Anne) we are hoping he'll quit carrying around the girls pink purses...probably not!

Coming Attractions...


Coming Soon...

Updated picture and sidebar information on the Tremendous Threesome.

Subscribe now for the latest updates! Don't wait!

Why do I feel like I should be wearing a polyester suit and loud tie and telling you that if you subscribe now, I throw in an extra blog entry now at no additional cost?

(More manipulation...Crying babies always pull at the heartstrings....This one has nothing to do with this post)

I have just realized that I have one, sole subscriber to this blog. Thank you, Shauna! This is pretty sad, because although I am really grateful to Shauna for subscribing, I haven't even SEEN her since my days at Liberty (which we'll just say was a LONG time ago)! Where are the rest of you?! I mean, at least my parents and siblings would be subscribing, one thinks. Come guys. I need the moral boost right now...SUBSCRIBE (transitioning back into polyester suit guy)...

...Its really easy and I've even added a link in the sidebar for you to facilitate your subscribing.

That's me, helpful polyester suit guy.