Bethany Breanne Photography's website/blog

Some People Just Don’t Understand

The Cook family is a close-nit, hardworking everyday family. The only difference is that they are Mennonites. They are deeply religious and value their relationship with God very much.

The family consists of Leon and Wendy Cook and their nine children Aaron Cook, 30, Joel Cook, 28, Amy Cook, 26, Julie Cook, 24, Besty Cook, 22, Brian Cook, 20, Libby Cook, 17, Logan Cook, 15, and Naomi Cook, 13. Seven of the nine children live at home with their parents, Aaron Cook lives in another house in Midland with his wife Lauren, and Joel Cook lives out in Pennsylvania with his wife Judith and daughters Kaelyn and Janessa.

Libby, Logan and Naomi Cook are all still in school and are home schooled by their mother Wendy Cook. Every morning everyone does morning chores around the house and farm, then go off to work or start school. Libby, Logan and Naomi do their morning chores such as feeding the chickens, shining shoes, vacuuming and even practicing their piano lessons. The three then all study bible passages, sing hymns and do school work until about noon when they go and do their afternoon chores around the farm. “School normally starts at about 10 a.m. after morning chores, but with people coming to the stand out front it gets disrupted quite often.” said Naomi Cook.

The entire family helps out around the house and farm. They take care of their roadside produce stand, take care of animals, and the men bail hay during the summer and fall seasons. The women sew, cook, and clean around the house. “We use scraps from the dresses we sew to make quilts for a charity through our church.” Cook said.

Even though the family is a bit different they are accepted by most of the community, but sometimes you have the few who aren’t as accepting. “We’ve been mooned before,” Betsy Cook said. “People just drive past and yell all sorts of things.”

The Cook family eats lunch on Oct.14 in their Midland home. The family is made up of a father, a mother and nine children, seven of which live in the same household as their parents.

Naomi Cook, 13, listens as her mother Wendy Cook gives her a spelling test during their morning school hours on Oct. 14 in their Midland home. Three of the nine children are still in school and are home schooled by their mother. "School normally starts at about 10 a.m. after morning chores, but with people coming to the stand out front it gets disrupted quite often." said Naomi Cook.

Wendy Cook, of Midland, traces a square on a scrap of cloth from a dress she made on Oct. 14 in her Midland home. "We use scraps from the dresses we make to make quilts for a charity through our church." Cook said.

Leon Cook, Logan Cook, 15, and Libby Cook, 17, all of Midland set up their produce stand by the edge of the road on Oct. 8 in the yard of their Midland home. "We have at least one person stop by daily, if not many people who stop by to buy from the stand, especially during our blueberry season in the summer." Libby Cook said.

Logan Cook, 15, and Libby Cook, 17, both of Midland look out the window watching their parents and siblings leave to go run some errands on Oct. 14 in their Midland home.

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