Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I just have to say

That I get to spend Thursday and Friday at home with my mom and my dad and my Lauren K.

And I am so excited :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Favorite Things: Start of Spring Break Edition

1. Small group last night.  It was wonderful.  At one point, we were sitting in the living room of a dear, sweet couple the age of my grandparents, with the spring breeze blowing in, the birds chirping, and the group praying.  It was so close to perfect I nearly cried.

2. My favorite facial exfoliate-r (spell check says exfoliant isn’t a word)

Mix together into a paste, apply and rinse.  Two days of this have removed a nasty dry mark across my whole left cheek that came from a face wash that burned my skin.

3. The Shopaholic book series.  I had read the two that our library had sometime last year….but I downloaded the rest on my Kindle this week and read them.  Mercy, they have no value other than entertainment, but I sure did enjoy them.

4. Tonight we get to enjoy all of these things:

5. It’s spring break!  And I am going home for a few days, and getting a pedicure with Mom and Lauren, and hanging out with my parents, and finding new clothes for my mom because she’s gotten gobs and gobs of compliments on the clothes I picked out for her at Christmas :) (It might not really be gobs and gobs, I may have made that up)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I definitely cannot eat…

Regular pasta.  It’s official.  I tried.  It was bad news. 

I have been experimenting with various foods the past few weeks to see what makes me sick to my stomach and what doesn’t.

I can eat sourdough bread without feeling sick at all.  I can have a piece or two of Pizza Hut’s thin and crispy veggie pizza (which is kind of my favorite pizza now) without any problem.  I can even eat half the bread on a sandwich from Subway on most days.

Last night, I thought I’d try pasta.  I still have a few boxes of Smart Balance and Healthy Harvest (that are coming to you next week, Mom) and I was completely out of brown rice pasta.  Have been for a few weeks, actually.  I haven’t been to Trader Joes since January…and the only brown rice pasta I found in the town I have to live in was too expensive, kind of gross, and fell apart while cooking.  So I haven’t eaten pasta in two or three weeks.  Which is a long time for me…. So I decided just to give it a try.  I was really in the mood for this ridiculously processed and fattening casserole that Andy’s friend JD made in college…with cream of mushroom and cream of chicken and noodles and california blend.  But I don’t buy condensed soups.  So I made my own substitute—a white sauce with chicken broth and low fat milk poured over the noodles and broccoli with chicken.  It was really good, for about an hour.

Then we went to youth group.  And I spent most of the hour standing in the back holding my sides.  It felt like someone had stuck their hand inside of me and was squeezing my intestines with all their might.  I know it’s disgusting…but that’s the only way I can think to describe it.

I had to lie down on the sofa for the rest of the night.  It was a complete and utter failure of an evening.

On the bright side, I only have school today and tomorrow and then I’m free for a week.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Nothing Much Happening

Things are quiet.  We had a quiet weekend….I had a quiet day.  Just quiet.  Calm.  Peaceful even.  Andy got the sinus infection I had last week, and he’s been miserable all weekend.  We went the drugstore and got the good Sudafed last night.  I guess it’s been a while since I bought that because I had no idea they scanned your driver’s license and put you in “the system.”

While we were at the drugstore last night, we were parked by a carload of sophomores from my class last year.  They waved and shouted at me.  Then at the gas station, another former student screeched out the window to ask if I wanted a glow stick.  Sometimes it’s really hard to be a high school teacher.

I think that’s another reason I like to leave town often—I can just be Ashley, not Mrs. Cook.

Today my classes started an assignment that I would have loved as a ninth grader—they get to write their own tall tale or myth.  It’s our really rough intro into the concept of mythology (so when we really start discussing Greek mythology they might get that it’s not real).  I’m so excited to see what they come up with.  I have some really funny, really creative kids, so I’m hoping for some really great samples. 

We’re starting a unit on basic parts of speech after spring break (NEXT WEEK!) and I am up to my ears in subordinating conjunctions and prepositional phrases and past perfect progressive verb forms.  It’s always really exhausting for me right before we start a big grammar unit because I have to teach myself the material.  I never had any formal grammar instruction after Mr. Brindle made us memorize thirty prepositions in the seventh grade.  I keep catching my own mistakes.  And other people’s, too.  Actually, the more I study it at school, the more I realize that a lot of people mess up a lot of stuff.  Like that sentence right there.

And that’s about it.  Honestly.  Nothing is happening here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sunday night, 7 pm

America’s Funniest Videos.

Be there.

And watch for a clip of an ATV rolling down a hill.

And know that you have just experienced the editing powers of one Andy Cook.

Awesome, I know.  I already set the DVR :)

It’s totally like a 27 second clip—but I am beyond excited that something my husband worked on and submitted is going to be on national television.  How awesome is that?

Catching Up

Things have been busy around here.  First, I had an upper respiratory infection that I had to go to the doctor for last week.  Then it appeared as though it wasn’t going to go away.  In fact, yesterday I emailed my mom to ask what it meant that mucus was coming out of my eye every time I blew my nose.  I woke up today for the first time in nearly two weeks with no cough and no stuffy nose.  So I’m hoping that means I’m getting better.

On top of that, last week was finals week, and this week is the start of a new trimester.  I’ve been busy doing a lot of planning and lesson creation.  The other ninth grade teacher and I hammered out our syllabus for the rest of the year yesterday, and I started to plow through some of the lessons and handouts.  I think I’m going to grammar-land today :)  And I get observed this morning at school.  And I’m just trying to get to know the feel of my new classes.  And I keep finding myself going back to my Purdue Ed roots—digging through old file folders looking for lesson ideas….because I would rather teach like I was taught to teach than to teach like I was taught.  I don’t know if that makes sense.  I want to teach along the lines of the reform movement, to make my kids responsible for their work and engaged, not to teach from worksheets. 

I also took on a lot of responsibility for a grant project that is due at the end of April.  So I have a lot of compiling and writing to do over the next few weeks in order to prepare to present to the state representative.

Then there is just normal busy-ness—going to the gym, getting groceries, running errands, making dinner, etc.  And I was gone last weekend for an AWESOME weekend in WL with my favorite former roommates.  And all that adds up to: I just haven’t even been around a whole lot lately.

I do remember that I was supposed to post baby shower decorations from the shower I co-hosted three weeks ago—so here they are :)

The Tables









Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Rock Star

My husband is basically awesome.  He can fix toilets, he does dishes, he is my biggest fan, and he can turn this


into this


in under a minute.

Now that’s hot.  Seriously.

Monday, March 1, 2010


So I just got a message from my sister saying that my aunt and grandma were checking up on me because I haven’t blogged….Well, once my snow days were over, things got a little busy.  I co-threw a baby shower (pics to come), went back to work and started prepping for finals and finishing up the last of the major projects for this trimester, graded like a madwoman, and made a last minute (for me, at least) decision to fly to Delaware for a day.

The reason for this decision: Theodore Eddie, born Tuesday, February 23 to Shannon and Brian Eddie.  Shannon and I have been friends since the first grade.  Last weekend, our friend Mariah called me at 10:55 AM and asked if I wanted to fly out to Delaware because we knew the baby would have arrived by then.  A few hours later, our plans were set and Mariah and I flew out to Philadelphia Saturday morning where Kari picked us up so we could all go to meet the little man.  Nothing I have to say will do the weekend any justice.  Just know that it was truly one of the best weekends I have had probably in years.  Between spending time with three girls who I have loved for essentially my whole life to  meeting a new sweet thing—my little love tank is on full.  I am starting to tear up thinking about how perfect it was.  You can’t even begin to imagine how thankful I am for the friendships I have in Mariah, Shannon, and Kari.  We grew up together, and that’s not something that any of us takes for granted.

Okay—I’m done.  On to the good stuff—the pictures :)


Kari and Theodore







Theodore with his daddy :)



This might be my favorite


The sweet little family




With Mariah



First fingernail trim





Grandma Sherry