Sunday Softball

Last Sunday, Daniel, Nehemiah, and I [Joseph] went to Little Rain Lake Park to play Softball with a few people from Church, and their friends. We had a good 20+ people arrive--more than enough for two teams. It was a lot of fun playing! Mrs. Griffis kindly gave us these pictures of the game.
This is me watching the ball to make sure it wasn't caught. I made it to second, and came around to score 1 batter later. Mr. Warren (in the Pujols shirt) is pictured in the background.

Daniel is pictured here in one of his many at bats. Daniel made it to base safely (over 4 times) either by hitting or walking. Daniel and I were on the same team, and hit back to back--which made for a good combination considering we both almost always made it on base each at bat!

Nehemiah is pictured here after a foul bunt. Nehemiah had a few hits, and an excellent display of defense. (Several well timed grabs).
Softball, baseball and the like are always a lot of fun, especially when played with friends. In fact, we boys often play baseball (with a tennis ball) on the front lawn. It's been America's favorite past-time, and it will always be ours too!

"First" day of School

Today is the "first" day of school. The reason that is in quotation marks is because at our house, school is not confined to dates. Nonetheless, we have begun school full force today. We have a schedule which loosely defines what we're doing at a given point in the day.
We will be continually changing it over the course of the year, and despite activities (doctors appointments etc.) it works quite well for helping us keep on pace during the day.
We each have quite a lot of subjects to cover. Above is a sample--a stack of Noah's schoolbooks this year. Subjects are not limited to books however. Drawing, Physical Excercise (i.e. Baseball) and leisure reading are just a few.
I [Joseph] am teaching Anatomy to Noah and Elijah. Today we learned about how the Egyptians knew a good deal about human anatomy--especially regarding the preservation of a corpse. The experiment we had today involved "mummifying" an apple! We put it in a mix of baking soda and salt and are supposed to let it sit for a week. We'll find out what happens next Monday--but I'm assuming it will be mummified in some way!
For a while I've been saving up for a bicycle--I got it online from Walmart.com, and it shipped in last week from Sacramento CA. Mama had some packages that needed to be delivered, so Daniel and I biked to the post office in town, and took a leisurely ride home through Immokalee, and down Bedford Lake Rd. It is a lot of fun riding--especially now that the weather is starting to cool off some.
We will keep you posted on events that happen and we hope you enjoy reading our blog!


Champion Reader

As a family, we recently participated in the Putnam County reading program. Lasting from June 12th-July 30th, the goal was to see who could read the most books. Over 5 libraries participated, including Melrose, which we often visit. All of us read books, (including Abigail) but Noah definitely read the most. He read the most books not only in the Melrose Library, but in all of Putnam county. He read a total of 334 books! Noah received a trophy and a "Key of Knowledge" award.


Late Night Trip

Saturday night (the 14th) the whole family was in Jacksonville/Orange Park to run errands, and pick up Papa when his airplane arrived from Virginia. We had already gone by Wal-Mart, Jo-Ann's, Starbucks, and Texas Roadhouse when we found out Papa's plane was delayed, and would not arrive until around midnight. Thus, we found something fun to do---mini golf! We had coupons from the library, and decided it would be a great time to use them.
One of the many animal statues around the course, Elijah is next to this unique "sharp-toothed" hippo.

Noah, Nehemiah, and I [Joseph] next to the waterfall. The family split into two teams on two courses. We did the "Paradise Lost" course, and each got a hole-in-one! All of us made our shots in three or less for the majority of the course.

After mini-golfing we arrived at the airport but still had time to burn. Thankfully Nehemiah had brought a glove and baseball, so we played catch in next to the parking lot. Later that night (I'm not sure when) Papa's airplane arrived and we picked him up. We arrived home around 2:00! Papa headed off to another course this week, but will be back on the weekend.
It was great being together as family, and we can always have fun--no matter what time it is!


Camp Good News

Photo courtesy of Camp Good News

This week (Aug 8-14) marked the 4th week I (Joseph) have served at Camp Good News. Located in picturesque Hawthorne FL, Camp Good News is a ministry of CEF. (Child Evangelism Fellowship) Dozens of children show up on weekdays during the Summer (occasionally a few weeks in the winter and spring). Both Anne and I had the opportunity to serve this year. The normal day lasts from 9:00-5:00, and is filled with activities. Just a few of them include: playground, activity field, Reptile Round-up (a place to keep caught lizards/snakes) South Twin Lake, the water slide, and much more.

I often work with children, (especially at home!) but I had never worked in a camp environment before. The weeks I spent at CGN were important to me in many ways.

The first, is the chance I had to grow closer to Christ through devotions by myself and with the children--plus every night I was able to worship with the other counselors . The relatively secluded environment of Camp allowed for much thought and study in The Word.

The second, is that I had the chance to befriend and work with many children. They all come from different home situations, and are all varied ages and it has been a joy learning about God alongside them, whether in Bible time, or just talking one-on-one. They regularly test my patience to the limit--but God uses them to teach me how to improve.

The third reason CGN has been such a good experience, is the fellowship I have experienced. Thursday night is usually "counselor night" where we have a BBQ dinner, a swim in the lake, and worship time. I have met new friends, and had the chance to work with those I knew. Being with other counselors was one of the most exciting things of CGN.

Camp Good News has proved a friendly, Christ-filled experience where I grew in Christ, made friends, and ministered to others. Though extremely trying at times, it strengthened me, and taught me things I probably wouldn't have learned elsewhere.


Noah's Catch

Recently, Nehemiah, Noah, Elijah, and the neighbor boys were fishing at the lake, when Noah reeled in this big bass. It's approximately 15 inches long, and although we never weighed it, it was probably a few pounds. This is by far the largest bass anyone of us has caught--and the fillets are big enough to feed a couple of us Fishing in the Summer is always reel fun!

A few pictures from Daniel's trip

This picture of me was taken outside the Rhea County Courthouse. During Summit John Stonestreet gave us alumni a tour of the courthouse. During the tour we toured the museum and sat in the courtroom and talked about the events leading up to the trial.

This picture has me (In my newly earned Blue Beret) next to a P-51 C Mustang painted in the colors of the Tuskegee Airmen.

This is a picture I took during National Blue Beret while on duty, at sunset, in the Warbirds section of AirVenture 2010 in Oshkosh Wisconsin. The USAF labeled airplane is a C-47.


Daniel is Home

I am finally home after two weeks of Summit and two weeks of Civil Air Patrol's National Blue Beret. I want to thank everyone who prayed for me. God was very good to me this summer. If you would like the complete story I have it in an email. You can email me at inordertokeepit@gmail.com and I will send it to you. It is two thousand two hundred plus words.

- Daniel Cook