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Sunday, March 15, 2009, 7:52 P.M.
Well, the weekend I was anticipating didn't unfold as planned. On Wednesday, I had an appointment with my chiropractor. He suggested I not run the Shamrock Run due to my lingering hip tenderness. I don't want to risk injuring myself and losing the Kona Marathon; so, I scratched the Shamrock Run. On Thursday, I noticed that my voice sounded funny, and immediately had fears of laryngitis. As it happens, my fears were not unfounded. I tried talking quietly while teaching and limited my singing practice. I knew I wasn't 100%, but thought I'd be fine for my gig in Nashville. Wrong. My voice was shaky when I practiced, then completely shattered when I performed. I managed to get through the first set, but could only whisper after I left the stage. Thanks to encouragement from my family and Nashville friends, and to some creative changes to my set list, I made it through the second set successfully. Surprisingly, it wasn't as terrible as you might imagine a performance by a gal with laryngitis could be. However, I went ahead and canceled my gig at the Ross Country Jamboree for Saturday night. That change made me sad, because Kim, Jenny, and I had a smashing show planned. However, being in Bedford on Saturday meant I got to spend plenty of time with Mac on his 15th birthday. We went for a walk, sat in the hot tub, and played plenty of Wii Fit.

What's Up Picture Jo singing without a voice
What's Up Picture Jean Ann & Gordon
What's Up Picture Mark & Jo
What's Up Picture "Happy Birthday, Mac!"

Thursday, March 12, 2009, 4:04 P.M.
On Tuesday, Mom noted that Ed and I have some purple violets growing through the brown grass in the front yard—the first sign of Spring! For more warmth, go find your Hawaiian name. Mine is Ioana. Finally, check out my monthly article that appeared in today's Times-Mail.

What's Up Picture A sign of Spring
Tuesday, March 10, 2009, 8:14 P.M.
On Sunday, I had the privilege of seeing Katie Stam for the first time since she was named Miss America. It was great to catch up with her, even if it was only for a few moments. She signed autograph cards for both Sam and Mac. It was a nice end to a relaxing weekend. Next weekend will be considerably more eventful. I am performing at the opening of the season at the Little Nashville Opry on Friday night, running the Shamrock Run in Indy on Saturday morning, and performing with Kim and Jenny at the Ross Country Jamboree on Saturday night. It will be a totally awesome weekend—if I don't die of exhaustion! I'll try to keep my mind serene like this sunrise!

What's Up Picture Jo with Miss America
What's Up Picture Downtown sunrise

Friday, March 6, 2009, 7:13 P.M.
Happy 03-06-09, and Happy Belated Square Root Day (03-03-09)! We've been enjoying temperatures in the 60s and 70s this week, which has been a nice change from highs in the teens. Today after school, Ed walked a few holes at Otis Park, and I followed along. It was nice to be outside in T-shirts and light jackets! Interestingly, one year ago tomorrow, we had a snowstorm that caused an early dismissal from school. That's why I love March: you never know what you're going to get! In other news, the applied skills ISTEP tests are done! To celebrate, we had a special convocation by Larry The Animal Guy. It was one of the best convocations I've attended at BMS. We saw so many animals: a python, timber wolves, a ring-tailed lemur, etc. It was an educational and fun event. I recommend that you check out Larry's web site, which I've added to my Fun Stuff page.

What's Up Picture Jo at Otis
What's Up Picture A python shown by
Larry the Animal Guy
Monday, March 2, 2009, 6:58 P.M.
Happy March! Ed's parents, Steve and Selma, kicked off March in style by hosting a Hawaiian-themed dinner party last night in celebration of my Lilly Endowment. Selma even found a radio station out of Hawaii and played it while we were eating! Mom brought a cool Hawaii cake as well. In a mix-up at the bakery, Mom's original cake said, "Happy Birthday, Hawaii!" That sentiment is just a bit early; Hawaii will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its statehood on August 21. Speaking of useless knowledge, my students are enjoying another dose of ISTEP excitement this week. The new Spring version of this standardized test is MUCH harder than its predecessor; many students didn't even finish in the time given for the first two sessions today. To alleviate the stress, BMS is having several spirit-like theme days. Today was Sweats Day, a favorite of the teachers. I wore some Joe Purdue sweats Dad bought me in 1986. They finally fit! :o)

What's Up Picture Happy Birthday, Hawaii!
What's Up Picture "Jo" Purdue

Wednesday, February 25, 2009, 6:59 P.M.
Last month during the BIG SNOW, my buddy Lisa asked if she could deliver anything to me via her four-wheel drive vehicle. Jokingly, I told her I'd like to have a 1,000-piece puzzle. A couple of days later, I had a "Yes We Can" President Obama puzzle in my hands! Sam and I enjoyed putting it together. At one point, I accidentally mixed up my puzzle pieces with my goldfish snacks, and almost snacked on a piece of President Obama's tie. In other news, there was a little blurb about my receipt of a Lilly Endowment in today's Times-Mail. Also available today is the complete list of Lilly Endowment winners. Go see all the neat projects Indiana educators will be experiencing this summer!

What's Up Picture Sam working on the puzzle
What's Up Picture Obama back together again

Sunday, February 22, 2009, 12:22 P.M.
Big news: ED AND I ARE GOING TO HAWAII, and I'M GOING TO RUN A MARATHON! Yesterday morning, Ed came inside with the mail and said, "Jo, you have a thick letter from Lilly." In October, I wrote an application for a Teacher Creativity Fellowship, part of the Lilly Endowment Inc. The Endowment offers 120 grants of $8,000 each to Indianaís public and private school teachers for projects of the individualís choice. I wrote my proposal to go to Keauhou-Kona, Hawaii to run the Kona Marathon, a marathon that supports CCFA. When I opened my letter from Lilly yesterday, the first word I saw was, "Congratulations!" I still can't believe it's real. In just 126 days, on our third wedding anniversary, I will run 26.2 miles on the west coast of the Big Island in Hawaii. WOW! (Check out the Kona Marathon web site to see the course map.) I celebrated yesterday with an awesome show at the Ross Country Jamboree. Kim, Jenny, and I had a great time doing lots of harmony together. Don't miss the Kim-Jen-Jo show at RCJ on March 14. It's gonna be great! Did I mention that I'm going to Hawaii to run a marathon? :o)

What's Up Picture Jo, Jenny, & Kim
What's Up Picture Dad & Mom at the show
What's Up Picture Jo & Kim singing backups
Thursday, February 19, 2009, 8:48 P.M.
The annual Survey Project Results are available online! Due to the snowy weather, the project had some frequent interruptions. However, we were still able to have some fun while learning a lot. While you're checking out my students' work, and when you do, may sure you check out the "What We Learned" link. It's my favorite part of the site.

What's Up Picture A 6 North student at work
Saturday, February 14, 2009, 12:47 P.M.
Happy Valentine's Day! This weekend is a gig-less weekend for me, so I'm enjoying some time off with Ed, my Valentine, who gave me a gigantic box of yummy Dots. That's a perfect Valentine's Day gift for me! Today, we're planning to go watch some Stars basketball with Mom and Dad, and to visit Bloomington for some dining and shopping. For some Valentine laughs, check out my Everybody's Talkin' column that was in the Times-Mail last night. Finally, the only damper on the day is that I missed my long run. I'm having some tenderness in my left hip, so I'm taking some "rest-from-running" days.

What's Up Picture Dad & Jo at a BNL game
What's Up Picture Valentines
Sunday, February 8, 2009, 11:43 A.M.
Yesterday was my first race since the fibula fracture. I was nervous for two reasons. First, I've only been training four days a week in order to avoid another injury. Second, I had made a pretty lofty goal of breaking 28:00 in order to qualify for preferred seeding for the Mini Marathon. A warm day and a flat course helped me obliterate that goal and finish with a time of 26:50—my best ever 5K time by 42 seconds! Getting a PR was great, because it showed me I haven't lost fitness as a result of my fracture, and that my training plan is on track. I was thrilled that no one passed me during the race, and to learn that I was the fourth woman to cross the finish line. Success! It was also exciting to see a lot of my running friends achieve PRs as well. I posted photos and a more detailed race synopsis at Gotta Run.... Also, check out the Fun Stuff page for a new feature—a box that shows the details of my five most recent runs. It's pretty cool! I wrapped up the day last night with a gig in Corydon. We had a lot of fun, but I was exhausted. It makes me a bit worried for the three back-to-back singing/racing events I have scheduled over the next three months. One of those is a race sandwiched in between two nights of singing gigs. Eek.

What's Up Picture Jo finishing the 5K
What's Up Picture Garet, Jo, & Bob
What's Up Picture Jo singing in Corydon

Tuesday, February 3, 2009, 11:41 A.M.
Happy Snow Day... again. This is the seventh snow day we've had this school year. If we miss one more day, I will be going to work on my birthday. That will be a first! What a wonderful 30th birthday present. In other news, Joseph was a big success! We had two performances, and about 700 people attended each one. Our Sunday afternoon show was especially fun, as it was our most seamless performance. I made a slideshow of pictures that Ed took during that matinee. Please check it out, and enjoy the vibrant color, fun, and energy that is Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat! Go Go Go Jo! Next up: C4C!

What's Up Picture Official cast photo

What's Up Picture "Jacob & Sons"

What's Up Picture "Joseph's Coat" ending

What's Up Picture "Go Go Go Jo!"

What's Up Picture Pharaoh scene

What's Up Picture "Hands off my KFC."

Friday, January 30, 2009, 10:48 P.M.
After the last snowflake fell on Wednesday, the layered snow and ice measured 13", and this town was closed. Ed and I haven't been to work since Monday. The roads are still a mess, though we got a glimpse of asphalt in some places after the sun made a brief appearance today. Due to the conditions, we've been enjoying lots of indoor activities, though the phrase "stir crazy" has been uttered now and then! Today, we ventured outdoors in the car, and it felt great to be free of the indoors! Mom and I thoroughly enjoyed our favorite snow activity, snow painting, today. I made a slideshow to share the snow painting pics and other pics I've taken of our winter wonderland. Enjoy! Overall, this wintry weather has been pretty neat and memorable. The bad parts have been the cancelations, which included one of Ed's team's basketball tournaments and opening night of Joseph. Also, we're going to have to make up all these snow days! If we miss two more days, I'll have to go to work on my birthday. That would be a first!

What's Up Picture A squirrel in a tree
What's Up Picture Jo snow painting
What's Up Picture Jo & Mom being "Zax"
Tuesday, January 27, 2009, 6:42 P.M.
For two days, everyone in Bedford was talking about the approaching snowstorm—so much so, that I started jokingly calling it "Blizzard '09." Last night, we had 4½" of snow fall, after which I made a little video to document the situation. Then, I decided to go for a run. I tried not to look at the people that drove by me; but when I did, they were either laughing or glaring. Of one thing, I am sure: they all thought I was crazy! Check out the video to join in the Snow Day fun! School has already been canceled for tomorrow, but we're hoping to be back by Thursday! That doesn't look promising, since we have an additional 6" of ice and snow on the way.

What's Up Picture Jo on a Snow Day
What's Up Picture Ed shoveling snow
Sunday, January 25, 2009, 11:20 A.M.
This has been a week full of achievement! First, Sam learned that he has been named the GPA Valedictorian for BNL's Class of 2009. That means he has the highest GPA in his class of 355 members. You can't imagine how proud we all are of him. His years of focusing on academics are paying off in a big way with his college acceptance, his scholarship earnings, and now his Valedictorian status. Way to go, Sam! Next, I am proud to report that I am still pain-free in my training, and have started to post faster times and longer distances. It feels SO GOOD to be able to run freely without the fear of weak bones. Hooray for a great running week! Also, Ed's basketball team had a very nerve-wracking win yesterday. Then, an exciting week was capped by watching Katie Stam, Miss Indiana 2009, win Miss America last night. Mom and I couldn't stop screaming when she was announced as Miss America. It's so cool to have Indiana take the title for the first time. Add to that the fact that we personally know her (old pageant buddies), and it's even more exciting! Check out the Times-Mail article here. Finally, it's survey time! Visit www.survey.jokai.net to complete my students' survey!

What's Up Picture Sam Cobb
BNL Valedictorian 2009
What's Up Picture Katie Stam
Miss America 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009, 7:26 P.M.
The understatement of the year would be to say that it was cold this week. It was FRIGID! In Bedford, the low of the week was -6° with wind chills in the -20°s. BMS operated on two-hour delays on both Thursday and Friday due to these cold temperatures. On Thursday morning, I ran before school. It was -3°, but I was well-layered and moving the whole time I was outdoors. To be honest, everything below 10° feels the same to me: COLD. I am finding more and more, though, that I adore Winter. Who'd a-thunk? We stayed warm at BMS by having a pep session on Thursday (where I participated in a funny balloon game), and an Academic Convocation on Friday. BMS's assistant principal, Larry Lafferty, left BMS Friday to become the principal at one of the county middle schools, OMS. As horrified as I am that he's leaving, I'm happy that he has this opportunity. He was hired on an interim basis, so I'm hoping he totally hates OMS and comes back home. :o) In other news, last night began the 2009 tour of country jamborees. I appeared at the Ross Country Jamboree in Scottsburg and got to make some music with some of my favorite people! Good times!

What's Up Picture Pep session fun
What's Up Picture Jo & LL
What's Up Picture Jo & Dave at RCJ
Monday, January 12, 2009, 6:12 P.M.
Happy 58th Birthday, Daddy! I never posted the pic of Let's Go that was on the front page of the Times-Mail on January 2. It was taken by Garet Cobb; we're not related, but he's my running brother now! I've been getting in lots of great training—without pain! Training is about to get a lot more exciting with 2" of snow and lows of -7° on the way!

What's Up Picture A Let's Go run
on New Year's Day
Thursday, January 8, 2009, 1:42 P.M.
Happy 69th Birthday, Steve! I awakened at 5:15 this morning, and was greeted with an inch of beautiful, freshly fallen snow on which to enjoy my run. It was a little difficult to navigate, but not too slick, for the most part. I waved at all the plowing and salting City trucks I saw, and had high hopes for a two-hour delay. When I walked in the door, Ed said, "School is closed." WHAT? We're going to be attending school into June this year, I'm afraid. In other news, BMS has been enjoying Spirit Week this week. Tuesday was Nerd Day, and Mom and I celebrated in style. We missed Red & White Day today, but tomorrow is the teachers' favorite: Sweats Day! On my unexpected vacation day today, I added some performers to the C4C site. C4C is 100 days from today! Finally, check out my latest Everybody's Talkin' column. It discusses the upcoming performances of Joseph.

What's Up Picture Jo & Mom on Nerd Day
What's Up Picture The treacherous, school-canceling inch of snow
Sunday, January 4, 2009, 5:08 P.M.
I have finally gotten around to learning how to use the video software that came with the camera Ed gave me for Christmas. To practice editing, I strung together some of our Christmas clips, set them to music, and made a neat little video I call Merry Christmas 2008! It's completely silly, and shows that Ed giving me this camera may not have been the best idea! Ha! I've decided that any videos I edit will just be added to my JoKai.net Slideshows page. For instance, I put Merry Christmas 2008! in the Holidays section. I hope you enjoy the silly video! In other news, I've got a fun gig calendar for 2009. Check out JoAnnaKaiCobb.com and come to a show! We'll have a great time!

What's Up Picture Jo & Mom on Christmas
What's Up Picture Jo kissin' Uncle Stan

Thursday, January 1, 2009, 8:16 P.M.
Happy New Year! I started the year, as is tradition now, with a Let's Go run downtown. Two thousand nine is going to be an exciting year for the Cobbs! It's Sam's graduation year, it's the third year for Croonin' for Crohn's, and it might be the year I run my first marathon! Ed and I got the C4C web site up and running at the beginning of the break. Hard to believe it's time to plan C4C again, but we can't wait! Once Joseph is finished, we'll begin planning in earnest. In other news, I've been perusing old pics the last couple of weeks. Here's one I found that was taken on Christmas Break 1991-92. It's 12-year-old me with my puppy girls!

What's Up Picture C4C... #3!
What's Up Picture Jo with Kate, Dan, & Bit

Saturday, December 27, 2008, 7:07 P.M.
Happy 89th Birthday, Gramps! I can't believe it was 71° today! In the post below this one, I mentioned that it was 13° on Sunday. Crazy weather! It was even thundering yesterday. This makes for some unusual running attire; I ran in shorts and a T-shirt on Christmas Eve! The Cobbs and Hackneys had a fabulous Christmas. We were able to attend a ton of family gatherings and surprise each other with fun gifts. Perhaps the most memorable moment of the week was when Uncle Stan gave us scratch-off lottery tickets, and we all thought we'd won a bunch of money. Turns out we misread how to play the game! Haha! Ed gave me a new tiny video camera for Christmas, so be looking for some new videos to make their way to JoKai.net. I gave Ed a range finder, and he was able to use it at Otis Park on this warm day today. Yesterday, I received a nice surprise when I found one of my beloved childhood records had been digitized and was available online—for free! The album is called Care Bear Christmas, and I've worn everyone out by playing it over and over. One of my favorite Christmas gifts came in the form of a phone call from my bone doctor; he informed me that some pain I've been experiencing is NOT another fracture. Hooray! Time to get serious about training for the Mini! In web site news, I archived the Fall 2008 What's Up posts, and there is a link to them at the bottom of this page. Also, I've revived the JoKai.net beach theme! If you can't see the beach layout, or if the site looks strange, delete your temporary internet files and refresh the page. I'm thinking about making a new wintry layout, but I want to learn how to use this video camera first!

What's Up Picture Covering Christmas miles
What's Up Picture The Cobb boys
What's Up Picture The real Cobb boys
What's Up Picture Care Bear Christmas
Click the album to
download it and drive
your family crazy!

Sunday, December 21, 2008, 11:21 A.M.
Happy first day of Winter! As of 7:04 this morning, the days are officially getting longer. What a perfect day for Winter to begin since the high is 13° today! Brrrrrrr! I thought today would be the perfect day to share a gift I received from my friends, the Linebacks. They know I have a penchant for penguins, so they commissioned some artists to create some penguin-themed ornaments for me. They are BEAUTIFUL! And here's the best part—the artists were volunteering their time for LIFE Pantry, so LIFE benefits, as well! In other news, Christmas Break has begun well with a couple of relaxing days. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!

What's Up Picture A plethora of penguins...
What's Up Picture ...from the Linebacks!
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