Sunday, December 31, 2006

Christmas in the Caribbean

Well, two cruises in six months... I doubt we will be able to maintain this pace, but we'll enjoy it while it lasts. The week before Christmas we went on a cruise that left from Galveston and headed to Cozumel and Costa Maya with my parents, my sister and one of her friends. Our ship for the five day cruise was called The Splendour of the Seas. We laid by the pool, went to the beach, and snorkeled while all our friends were doing their last minute Christmas shopping. It was definitely a trip to remember. One funny thing that happened was that we had the same cruise director from our last cruise in June on the Adventure of the Seas as well as one of the entertainers. Here are a few pictures from the Cooley Christmas Trip to the Caribbean.

Muster drill
Cozumel, Mexico

Service project in Cozumel. While we were waiting for our excursion to depart Gloria practiced her Spanish and helped these guys paint the wall.

As we walked the streets of Cozumel we came across a group performing traditional folk dances.
Beth and her friend Casey had their picture taken with these guys later in the day.
Beautiful Costa Maya
The Cooleys
Wayne, Beth, Marty, Gloria and Daniel

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Sunday Night At The Gaylord

Daniel and Trey hanging out with the Longhorn. Shhhh...don't tell Trey's family...he is a Texas Aggie!

The ladies......from left to right, back row: Kathy and Jenn, front row: Me, Shelly and Kelly.

Rick and Jenn

Woody and Kathy

Trey and Shelly

Me and my sweetie!

This past Sunday, Daniel and I, along with our LifeGroup headed to the Gaylord Texan Resort to visit the ICE! Exhibit. The exhibit is a 14,000 square foot structure, kept at 9 degrees, filled with two million pounds of hand-carved ICE! It was so neat! We walked across an ice bridge, slid down an ice slide and walked through a beautiful Winter Wonderland. Afterwards, we spent some time exploring the hotel and taking pictures!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

Last Wednesday night Daniel and I purchased our first Christmas tree. We decided to get a real tree this year to avoid the hassle of trying to store or move an artificial tree. So, after work on Wed. we headed to the garden center at Walmart to look for our tree. A cold front was moving in and in the amount of time it took us to purchase our tree, tree stand and tree skirt the temperature had dropped a good twenty degrees. We had to head to Daniel's parents to use a saw to cut the bottom of the tree before placing it in the stand. On our way home the temperature continued to drop. By the time we reached home the wind had increased, the temperature had dropped another ten degrees and while we were trying to put the tree in the stand it began to rain. What an adventure! We eventually got the tree in the stand and in the apartment. And's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Thankful for Turkey Day

Picture #1- Uncle Daniel sharing a sweet moment with Kylee and Hunter.

Daniel and I traveled to Florida to spend Thanksgiving with my family. We had such a great time. The house was overflowing with people and food...which makes for a great holiday. My oldest brother Bill came with my niece and nephew (Kylee and Hunter), my Aunt Pat and Uncle Marty were there as well as their daughter Diane and her boyfriend Richie, my Aunt Gloria stayed a few days with us and my stepfather's cousin from Chicago, Roberta, spent a few days with us as well. Of course mom and Jim were there and it was good to spend time with them. Daniel and I are thankful for our families.
Picture #2- all worn out from a day on the playground.
Picture #3- Me and My Aunt Gloria.

Pictures 4 & 5- Just some cute kids!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Smores and More

A couple weekends ago Daniel and I went camping with two other couples from our LifeGroup. We set up camp in Mineral Wells State Park. It was beautiful but COLD! Woody and Kathy, the leaders of our LifeGroup, along with Trey and Shelly headed out to Mineral Wells a little earlier than Daniel and I. Daniel and I arrived a little after dark, to find our tent pitched and a fire ready to cook our dinner.

We had a delicious dinner of grilled chicken, baked potatoes, fresh bread and campfire beans. After dinner we gathered around the fire, to try and stay warm, and roasted marshmallows, ate smores and drank hot chocolate.
It was a cold night...the temperature dropped to the low 40's, but Daniel and I were warm for most of the night in our sleeping bags.

Saturday morning Daniel and I woke up early and joined Woody sitting by the fire. Once the rest of the group was up we enjoyed a breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon and tortillas as well as cowboy coffee (coffee made in a sock). After breakfast we cleaned up, broke camp, and spent some time hiking around the park. It was a beautiful day and truly a great trip.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Date Night!

Last week Gloria and I decided we needed to have a date night. We had a a jar full of change that we decided to take to CoinStar at Tom Thumb and use it to pay for dinner that night. Gloria suggested that we go to Houston's, and we had a great dinner that night. Gloria ordered crab cakes and I had barbecue pork ribs. Gloria and I had a lot of fun that night... as usual.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

One Cute Kid

This is such a great picture of my nephew, Hunter Thomas! He is going to have all the girls chasing him with those big blue eyes! They just better not try and take his ice cream away from him!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Third of a Year

I can hardly believe that four months ago today, Daniel and I became husband and wife. It has been a fantastic journey thus far. We love doing the ordinary every day things of life together including our daily after dinner snack of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream and Hot Fudge!

Some of my favorite times with Daniel are the times we share together at our dining room table. Each morning, with the exception of Wednesdays, we have breakfast together, three days out of the week we are able to have lunch together, and each evening we sit down to eat dinner together. Those times are filled with great conversation and on most occasions laughter. I love cooking for Daniel and he loves eating!

I know this is a random post, but I could not help but mention that today is our four month wedding anniversary and I love being married to Daniel!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Wide Awake!

Well, it is 3am and I am wide awake. Rather than continuing to toss and turn and disrupt Daniel's sleep, I am in the office reading other people's blogs and trying to figure out why I am not asleep. There is not much to do at 3am as there is not really anything worth watching on basic cable and although I am not tired, I cannot focus to read. Hmmm....

Daniel and I had a busy weekend this past weekend. Friday evening we joined a group of friends in celebrating our friend John Berry's birthday at Pappadeaux's. Saturday morning we had an early start as Daniel took the GRE and I met up with some friends to shop for a baby shower we are hosting. Saturday afternoon Daniel and I watched the Texas/OU Game. Hook 'em Horns! Saturday evening we drove out to Prosper, TX to attend a wedding shower in honor of our friends Sarah and Allon. We will be headed to Shreveport, LA in a few weeks to attend their wedding. Sunday morning, Daniel and I had a mini-date as we spent a little time at Starbuck's on our way to church. Then off to church we went for a good time of worship and fellowship. Sunday afternoon was filled with Daniel attending a meeting and I ran errands. Finally about 5pm we both were home and it was time for laundry and dinner.

All in all we had a great weekend. I was a little tired yesterday morning when that little annoying thing called an alarm clock went off, but it was worth it!

Well, perhaps I will attempt to catch some zzzzz's before it is time to start another day!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

An Eschatological Perspective

Well as some of you know this school year will be my last … I hope at DTS. As this realization sets in I am experiencing a couple of somewhat divergent emotions: the satisfaction of completing a long and challenging task and the fear associated with not knowing what or where the next task will be.
The title in case you are wondering is sort of a double meaning. Eschatology refers to the study "last things" or "end times" in theology, and my thoughts are often focused on the end of this road at seminary. It seems that it is human nature to look for completion and finality in life, and I suppose graduation represents that sort of thing. I also see that the end is simply a new beginning with new uncertainties for Gloria and I. As I reflect on this I realize that the real final and completing event that I ought to always be yearning for is the blessed hope of the return of Christ (Tit 2:13). Only his return will bring the final completion that human nature is looking for and release from an uncertain world.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Beautiful Fall Afternoon and My Handsome Husband

Today was just an absolutely gorgeous day! It was in the low 80's with clear skies and plenty of sunshine. Daniel and I opened the windows of our apartment and enjoyed the cool air and the anticipation of Fall. We have a great little balcony on our apartment where we have enjoyed dinner several evenings this past week. Sweet times! Daniel spent a good part of the afternoon outside reading.

Isn't he cute? Check out his new look... what do you think?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Friday Afternoon at the Depot

I have recently started working for an auto insurance company. I am assistant to the VP of claims and so far I really like my job. This past Friday afternoon around 4:15pm the natives became a little restless as we began to dream of the upcoming weekend and time away from the Depot. I ran out to the car and grabbed the digital camera....and this is what ensued....

A typical afternoon in Dallas. Here we have traffic going both northbound and southbound. Notice the ice cream man pushing his cart in the middle.

Because very few people drive the speed limit around here, the poor ice cream guy did not make it very far before being hit by one of Dallas' many crazy drivers.

Unfortunately, the ice cream man was seriously injured while everyone else had minor damages to their vehicles.
Tip for the day: ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEATBELT! And... don't become and ice cream man!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

From the Cooley Kitchen

I thought it would be fun to every now and then post a recipe on our blog. Daniel has enjoyed bragging about my culinary experimentation and I thought some of you may want to try some of the recipes I have been experimenting with.

A friend of ours created a cookbook for Daniel and I as a wedding present. She compiled recipes from our families and friends. I have truly enjoyed trying these recipes out on Daniel.

One of our new favorites is Tortellini with Cherry Tomatoes and Corn.

The ingredients you will need:
1 (9oz) pkg. fresh cheese tortellini, uncooked
1 (10oz) pkg. frozen whole kernel corn
1 clove of garlic, halved
2 cups quartered cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 Tbl. grated parmesean cheese
1 tsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. pepper

Instructions: Cook tortellini in boiling water for 3 minutes, omitting salt and fat. Add corn, and cook 3 additional minutes, drain well.
Rub the inside of a large serving bowl with garlic halves, and then discard the halves. Add tortellini mixture, tomatoes, and remaining ingredients. Toss gently to coat.

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Precious Little Ones!

Ok, so any one who knows me knows I love to brag about my precious niece and nephew. They are just so sweet and bring such joy to our family. Here are a couple of pictures of Kylee and Hunter in their new bunkbeds. Are they not some of the cutest kids you have ever seen?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

My Wife, the chef

My wife has been dazzling me with her culinary delights. She cooks dinner almost every night. I have some pics from a night when she baked salmon in a lemon butter sauce with some garlic, green peppers, mushrooms and rice. It was really good.... mmmmmm

Jonathan Edwards and John Piper

There is a lot of reading going on in our house these days. Daniel is in the midst of working on his thesis. He is writing on the relevance of Edwards' epistemology for postmodernism. For those of you who are thinking "what the crack?", epistemology is the study of the forms, sources and methods of knowledge and postmodernism is in part the rejection/skepticism of static, timeless, universal knowledge. Some of you may still be thinking "what the crack?" and that's ok. I spend about 75% of the time asking the same question.

Edwards is an interesting individual and comes from an even more interesting family. Here is a quote from Marsden's book, Jonathan Edwards: A Life, " Jonathan Edwards is sometimes criticized for having too dim a view of human nature, but it may be helpful to be reminded that his grandmother was an incorrigible profligate, his great-aunt committed infanticide, and his great-uncle was an axe murderer." Who would have ever thought one of America's finest philosophers and preachers would come from such a background.

This afternoon Daniel and I strolled around Barnes and Noble and Borders looking for Marsden's book and perusing the shelves. I came across a book by John Piper, The Purifying Power of Living by Faith in Future Grace. Being the Piper fans that we are, we decided to purchase Piper's book. Interestingly enough, the final chapter of Piper's book is entitled, The Debt I Owe to Jonathan Edwards.

Piper is well known for the premise of his writings, "God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him. " I believe if Edwards were alive today he would shout out a hearty AMEN.

I have only read one of two introductions to Piper's book this afternoon, but it has already left me with some theological "cud" to chew on. Conversations around the Cooley household in the days to come could prove to be interesting with all this reading going on.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

My Husband's Thumb!

Daniel has something wrong with his thumb! I never noticed it before we got married, but in the past two months it has become more and more apparent. It looks perfectly normal, it is not some ghastly color, it does not have a weird crook in it, the nail is pretty nice and well trimmed. What in the world am I talking about then? Nothing out of the ordinary... Daniel has a green thumb! I was shocked to discover this, but it is such a nice surprise. Daniel bought me a chrysanthemum plant shortly after we returned from our honeymoon. It was beautiful at first, but after a couple of weeks in my office it looked terrible. I brought it home and tried to salvage it.

A few days later, I was outside watering our lemon tree (inherited from the Petros) and Daniel came out and started pruning the plant. He REALLY wants that plant to survive!

Not only does he have a green thumb, but he has great taste in flowers.

Last week I received flowers on Monday and Friday. They were beautiful!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Church Search

Daniel and I have been visiting churches for the past few weeks. It is not an easy process to pick up and leave a place where you have established roots and begin looking for a new place to worship, but Daniel and I both feel like we need to explore some other options. We have visited Bent Tree Bible Fellowship, Irving Bible Church, and Northway Baptist Church. Last Sunday we visited Northway Baptist Church and Jesus' words in Mark 10:14, "Let the little children come unto me..." had a whole new meaning.

Picture the pastor and two kids, possibly 10 and 12, sitting on the stage in easy chairs discussing baptism and the commitment these two kids have made. A sweet picture isn't it? Now picture a third child about 3 years old with bleach blond hair, khaki shorts, and flip flops sitting in an easy chair expressing his need for a microphone. The picture becomes a little comical. But wait it gets better.

Imagine a strong sermon on Romans 12:1-2, a baptismal service for the two kids pictured earlier, and the challenge to leave all and follow Christ. Enter 3 year old surfer kid. He makes his way back up to the platform where the worship minister is leading the congregation in song, heads straight to the area on the stage where the easy chairs and microphones sit, picks up a microphone and begins singing. Luckily, the microphones were turned off, but everyone in the congregation was aware of this little dude and soon bursts of laughter could be heard throughout the church. Tired of playing Milli Vanilli the little surfer dude then makes his way to the edge of the stage and has a seat. Unbeknownst to him, an older gentleman has approached the stage and soon the little guy finds himself being carried out of the service.

Our first experience at Northway was a picture of what it means to have child like faith. We will be visiting Northway again this Sunday... perhaps we will learn another lesson from this rambuctious three year old, but if not, I am sure we will leave changed!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Is Anybody Out There?

Daniel and I were just wondering if anyone ever reads our blog. We really enjoy posting and sharing photos of our adventures, but are unsure if anyone takes the time to actually read this stuff. So....if you are reading our blog...please post a comment!


Bitter-Sweet Moments

Saying good-bye is one of the hardest things I think we have to do in life. I hate good-byes almost as much as I hate moving. In the past two years since completing my Master's degree at Southwestern Seminary, I have had to say good-bye to a dozen or more friends as they have moved about the country and some of them even to remote parts of the world. This week I am saying good-bye to my sweet friends David and Heather and their precious little one, Makayla.

Heather and David both hold a special place in my heart. Heather and I became friends in the fall of 2002 when she came to Southwestern. We met at church and soon after became close friends. She is more a sister to me than she is a friend. David and I also met at church; however, we have an even more interesting friendship... David was a student in a Hebrew class that I taught on a few occassions for a professor at seminary. I would have never guessed he would one day marry one of my best friends. Just this past Sunday we laughed about this as we sat at the dining room table in the Cooley Casa enjoying some chicken enchiladas. Heather and David have given me the privilege of being "Aunt Glo" to yet another little one and I am so thankful.

Life has changed quite a bit for the three of us since the time we all met. Heather and David were married... I caught Heather's bouquet just three days after my first date with Daniel and now just short of two years later, Daniel and I are married and just a few short months ago, little Makayla made her grand entrance.

Saying good-bye sure is hard, but I am so thankful that as brothers and sisters in Christ it will only be a short time until we are all together again.

So long sweet friends! God Speed!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Post Wedding Report Part Four

The wedding itself went so fast, but it was good... the best day of my life.

We just got our wedding video yesterday. It was interesting to watch it and see that day again. It was cool getting to see all the people that were there that day, and I got to see my wife in her dress all over again.

After being home almost thirty days since the honeymoon, I think I might have found myself the best wife in the world.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Waco Weekend

I am sure many of you are probably getting tired of reading about our wedding and may even be wondering if we have anything else to talk about... so.... I decided to take a reprieve from the post wedding update and tell you about our trip to Waco last weekend. Nothing too exciting happened, but it was a nice little escape from Dallas and I did get to hear some dirt on Daniel.

Why did we go to Waco you ask? Well, Daniel is a Baylor graduate as are a number of his friends. Al and Karla, two of Daniel's close friends, decided to celebrate their birthdays in Waco with some of their college buddies. So, Daniel and I joined them for dinner at George's and a visit to some of their favorite college hang outs. I had the opportunity to see where Daniel lived in college and to have some coffee from Common Grounds.

Sunday, Daniel and I attended church at University Baptist Church. David Crowder leads worship there when he is in town and this past Sunday he happened to be there. Daniel and I both really like David Crowder so it was kind of a treat to see him at UBC. After church, Daniel took me to the Baylor campus to show me around. We went to the bear pit, but it was just too stinking hot for the bears and they were asleep in a cave. We were able to see them through the glass, but I was hoping to see them up close and personal. We walked around campus and took a few pictures, but it was SO HOT! We then met up with Al and Karla and some of the other Baylor bunch at Ninfa's for lunch. Mmmm....mmmm...good!
After lunch we got back on the road and headed for home with a quick stop in Hillsboro at the outlet mall where we purchased Casting Crown's new CD and some Starbucks!