Monday, September 15, 2008

Remembering a Father

Robert D. Cook "Pops"

One of the greatest fathers I have ever known. (I know many)

Sept. 16, 2002 - One of the saddest days of our lives.

When I first started dating Shawn, his family was so welcoming. His dad picked on me A LOT. It's very easy to do if you know me :)

Shawn said that his dad always picked on people he liked so I knew that he Loved me. He was a very good family man. Worked a lot when his kids were younger, but still took the time to go on vacations, field trips, ect... And he was a GREAT Pa Paw. His grandkids were everything to him. He always had a way of pointing his finger that showed how he wanted things done. And he was talented. So talented. He loved gardening, photography, woodworking. He knew how to get in there and fix things himself.

Memories that I miss:

1. Camping. Pops and Sue would load up their camper and go camping. Our family, Charity and her family would all tag along. The grandkids riding their bikes. Making hobo pies. Even family and friends would come up and visit.

2. Going to show my family 3 wedding dresses that I liked sooo much and couldn't figure out which one I wanted. Bob went and picked one off the rack and I remember thinking, "What is he doing? I already have the ones that I liked." I pampered him anyways and tried it on. It was my perfect dress! How did he know?!

3. Going up the hospital daily and visiting him during my lunch. After once occasion my hiccups were gone and I said, "Yeah, my hiccups are gone. Knock on wood." He asked me to come closer and knocked on my head. Gotta love his humor.

4. It took Shawn over a year to convince me that a jackalope was real. (No, I didn't believe him at first). So at a Labor Day dinner, I made a comment about how they were real and when Pops said they weren't, I told him "Yes they are. We have one hanging on our wall." I don't think I have ever seen anyone laugh at me so hard before. I am suprised he didn't pee his pants.

5. Or when their camper had central vaccuuming. I am really blonde. My kids watch Disney. There is this movie called the Smart House where all the garbage sucks into the carpet and it cleans the house really fast. For it being an older model camper, I was surprised that it had this awesome function. Bob went right along with it when I told him how cool it was that their camper had this ability. Stop Laughing!

My time with him was shorter than some people were fortunate to have but it was just as important. I remember sitting next to him on the couch and just giving him big hugs. And then I think about my Meagan being born on his birthday by 1 minute. Hence, her middle name Faith. I think about him playing Patti Cake with her all the time and the last time she was in the hospital with him, he sang and played that with her, while I stood behind Uncle Mike with silent tears coming down my face. Him asking if she could walk yet. Stubborn stinker walked two weeks after he passed.

I think of Katelyn, Joseph, and Jake who had a little more time with him but were still very young. Will they remember what a great Pa Paw he was? Will they remember him building them a playhouse and not quite having it finished before he went to be with God? We will never let them forget.

His last morning, this great man was surrounded by a room FULL of family that loved him. His last breath was when his wife, son, and daughter were leaned over him telling how much they loved him. God's Grace.

Here is a poem I read at his funeral that I wrote:

What is a Father?

What is a Father?

It's more than a word.

The meaning is felt,

more than it is heard.

It's watching your kids grow

and play in the sand.

Wanting to always help them

and give them a hand.

It's walking your daughter down the aisle

on her wedding day.

Watching your son run

another football play.

A good father is someone

who will always be there,

always watching over us

letting us know he cares.

As time passes, you children

have kids of their own.

Then it's your grandchildren you adore

and always want to hold.

And whether their names were

Katelyn, Joseph, Meagan, or Jake,

it was laughter they would bring to you

and smiles they would make.

Please don't be afraid to look down upon us

and let us know you're there.

Whether it be by the sound of silence

or the wind blowing in our hair.

You always showed compassion.

Not only to your family, but friends.

Our love for you will always be strong.

We will never let it end.

As you look down from above

and watch over your loved ones,

please know we will always love you as

a great father, papaw, and husband.

Missing you dearly and forever in our hearts. Always with love,

Shawn, Jammie, Katelyn, and Meagan

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I love my jobs!

Shawn and I were taking a drive and drove by open fields with tons of deer grazing. The orange sky was beautiful. I had to lean over Shawn out the window though :)

There were a ton of deer on this field too. Every outdoorsman's dream. My husband didn't care if he was stopping the car behind us. I can't nag....I got out of the car for this pic. Beautiful!
I love my daycare kids and their families! I am so stinken lucky to have the crew that I do. I recently went out with my camera and just got some silly shots of them playing outside.

My buddy, Peyten

Little BFF's Jessica and Chloe

The kids thought they would do me a favor by using sidewalk chalk to decorate our logs.

My beautiful Meagan off in la-la land.

All my boys, all tuckered out. Nate S., Colby, Trenton, and Derek

And then I decided to do a daycare picnic this year. I have never done one before and thought it would be a good idea. Almost every family showed up. Even Kennedy and Reid, who I don't have anymore. At the end of the day my mom came up to me and told me how proud she was of me. I asked why and she said, "Because all of these parents love you and appreciate you and that makes me proud." I almost started to cry. I always think about how much I appreciate all of my parents that I don't think about how much they appreciate me. But I know they do. I get little love notes and they tell me all the time. I am so lucky!

Josiah on the swing with his dad and sister, Kaitlyn nearby.

Jessica all smiles.

Kaitlyn and her daddy, Mike.

My buddy, Reid. I miss him sooooooo much.

My princess, Paige. Her daddy bought mommy a baby and put it in her belly. At least that's what she tells me. LOL. :)

Brooke playing with Meagan and one of the twins in the water.

Katelyn brought her friends, Molly and Masiey (sisters)

I may be a little biased, but I do believe I have the most beautiful girls in the world. Katelyn's smile is worth a million bucks.

Unfortunately, I didn't get pictures of all the kids. I was busy playing hop sack races, egg spoon races, and a ring toss.

I usually do a at least one field trip a year with my group. I like to go in the fall to the pumpkin patch. Last year, we ended up at Crazy Bounce in Holland, due to weather. My parents better be lucky my blog wasn't going then. I have tons of pictures, mostly of them having just as much fun as the kids on everything! It was a riot.

Because I am low on kids right now, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do a field trip. I asked my daycare families to help do a fundraiser, selling subs to earn money for our field trip. The family with the most sales was going to get a Chuck-E-Cheese certificate. They did an amazing job! Raising $500!!!! Everyone got a little something for helping out.

So we have decided to do the fall field trip to the pumpkin patch with the whole works. We also are buying a storage cabinet for the back room. And we get to put money away for a pony party in the spring!

In case I haven't said it enough, I love my parents and their kids!

I will post photos of our field trip when we go on Oct. 11th.

And now for something else.... I have officially started a new business. 1-2-3 Vinyl. I had ordered some vinyl lettering for my wall. Shawn and I are always thinking of how we can earn some more money to get out of debt. And I thought... I could do this. I started looking up equipment, supplies, and Shawn cornered one of my daycare moms (ya know... the ones I love so much) and asked if she wanted to be my partner. The next thing I knew, we had a DBA, a machine, supplies, donated office equipment, and are working on a website. We will be mostly focusing on the words for walls, decals for vehicles, tiles, ect... but have also gotten an in on some possible real estate signs, decals for high school football teams, and lettering for jerseys. I am excited about this new adventure and am so happy to be sharing it with someone I appreciate so much.

If there is anything you are interested in, please E-mail us at or call me (231)766-3873.

We will be hosting our own vinyl party at Renee's house on Sept. 27th at 2:00 if anyone is interested. And wish us luck!

This is like what we will be doing (this is the one I ordered off the internet)

We are still building our website (so don't mock it :}, it will be done soon. And if you are reading this, thanks for caring about what is going on in our lives. We love ya!

Girls Night Out

It has been a few weeks since I posted. This summer has been extremely busy for us so I am making some time to add a few photos of my girls night out!

I don't take time for myself that often. It's usually all about the girls. Shawn gets to spend time with his uncle golfing every Thursday and he has guy time once in a while going to a football game or something. And as much as him and I need a date night (really bad), I also needed my girl time.

So I called up my sisters, my sister-in-law Amy, and my mom and said let's go to dinner and bowling. And let me tell ya, even on a Wednesday night, when we all had to get up early the next day, we had a blast! It was much needed talks, laughs, smiles, and time together. Thanks girls. Love ya lots.

Angie (closet bowler-LOL)

Mom and Jessica

Me and Angie!

Me and Jessica (and my third chin!)

Jessica, Mom and Me Amy and Angie--These two actually closed down the bowling alley that night. Rebels!

Amy, Mom and Angie- Mom had to get in on the shot.
We ended up having a lot of fun that night. I am so lucky to have wonderful people in my life and these are just a few. Lots of love to my sistas!