And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Came Early......

Every year for the past six years we celebrate Jesus' Birthday a little early. We travel back to PA to spend a couple of weeks with our family.....but before we leave home, we have our own little Christmas celebration with our lovies.  (I am trying to call where we presently live "home" instead of always referring to PA as "home".....although it will always be "home" in my heart.)

Anywho....Noah, Nate, Lauren and Luke were so excited this morning.....they have been all month.....waiting for today. We don't do the whole Santa bit...we never have....just not our thing. We really do try to focus on the birth of our Savior. A real birthday celebration with cake, singing, candles and gifts. 

Jared reads about the birth of Christ as each lovie adds a figurine to our special little nativity we've used every Christmas morning since Nate was a toddler. It really is a precious time as we read about Jesus and then we pray together.  We opened our gifts and had lots of smiles all around.

And the best part is.....we get to do it again next week! We are all looking forward to spending time with our family. Jared has a nice break and I really hope he takes this time to relax. As for the kids....they will be plenty busy.....they love, love, love being with their cousins. I will be enjoying the daily hugs I get from my parents who I love and miss so much.

I hope to blog while in PA....but just in case you don't hear from me for a while, I wish each and everyone of you a blessed Christmas, and may your heart be filled with the love from our Savior. Merry Christmas.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011


The number of.....

.....days since my last blog post

.....loads of laundry waiting to be washed

..... photos I took at our church sing-a-long on Friday
192 at our homeschool Co-op this afternoon

.....helpers I always have in the kitchen when I am baking

.....days left in my evening Bible study

.....hugs I give my lovies each day
I lose count

.....average hours of sleep I get each night
(and not always in a row)

......Christmas bulbs that Luke has broken

.....people we have in our home each Sunday after church for lunch

.....teeth Nate has lost so far

.....days until we celebrate our Christmas here in Indiana 
4 I have wrapped
(procrastination is my middle name)

.....days until we travel back to PA to celebrate Christmas with family

.....lovies who are excited for Jesus' Birthday

.....books that I am reading

....students in Jared's biochemistry class

.....glasses of milk Noah drinks each day least dolls that Lauren plays with every day

.....times we have breakfast for dinner each week
at least 1

.....nights that I rock Luke to sleep
every night

.....hours a week I spend preparing for our homeschool lessons

.....verses Noah and Nate have memorized this year

.....years Jared and I have been together

.....chapters I read in my Bible each day
not near enough

.....times Nate tells me he loves me in a day
at least 4

.....mornings I walk with my neighbor in a week

.....times I thank God for my husband
every day

.....cookies we have baked this month
10 dozen or so

.....lovies who took a bubble bath this evening

.....inches of snow we have had here

.....times I check on my lovies in the middle of the night
at least 1

.....minutes we live from our church
12 movies nights we had last week

.....goodnight kisses I give each night

.....days until the celebration of the birth of our Savior

.....blessings from God
I am still counting

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Wreath....

 Our family has never done an advent calendar....until this year that is. I was inspired by some other moms who were doing it this year, and thought that I would give it a whirl.  The one I made was nothing fancy, but our lovies look forward to opening the envelope each day to see what is in store for us. I've tried to make each activity something we can do as a family.

I am trying to savor this special time leading up to the celebration of the birth of our Savoir.  

Some of our activities have included: A pizza picnic inside, Christmas movie night, Christmas craft, dinner with friends, ice cream picnic on the floor of the family room. The following photos are of our Christmas wreath the kids made.  

Just some left over Christmas decorations and some pretty decor from Michael's craft store. We made a special trip while Daddy was at work, and I let the kids pick out some stuff.

I could do an entire blog post on the many faces of Noah.....he is the most difficult of all of my lovies to get the candid shots I love.....hamming it up comes naturally to this guy. I have to admit, he often makes me laugh when I have my camera out trying to take photos of them all. The other three just do their thing, and Noah sometimes makes it a point to act goofy for the's been like that forever with him. One of those things that I love about my oldest son....he always knows how to put a smile on my face.

Jared loves to do crafts as you can tell by his facial expression in the background of the above photo.

I know this looks like serious business. When I was going through the photos, I thought man...they were really working hard on this wreath. 

I always enjoy watching little matter if it's painting, turning the page of a book or molding playdough. I have a thing for chubby hands....something that is not a shortage in this house.

They each took their turn placing pine cones and holly berries. I just stood back and took the pictures....making sure not to intervene. I really wanted this to be a true kid creation...something they can look at and know that put it together themselves.

My four little lovies pose with their homemade wreath....I love it!

Noah is sure to let anyone who walks through our front door that he and his brothers and sister made this all by themselves.  

Just a little crafternoon at the Cochran's. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Tree.....

Today was a memorable day for our family. We drove to a tree farm and picked out our very first "real" Christmas tree. Yes you heard me right. Jared had a real tree growing up as a kid, and loved the experience of going and picking it out. I grew up with an artificial tree, and have had one every year until this year.

I just can't tell you how excited our lovies have been this past week, knowing that we were going to pick out our tree on Thursday. To them Thursday couldn't come soon enough!

So we get to this really beautiful tree farm and after Jared talks to the "tree man" about the different types and such we are on our way.  The following is basically a photo documentary of our time at the farm and bringing the tree home, with some comments here and there from me. There are alot of photos....but.....I knew this was a day that I wanted to capture some memories. We are going to look back one day with  smiles on our faces remembering what a special day it was for our family....then laugh out loud when we think of our first "real Christmas tree".....and you'll see why.

Jared is talking to the "tree man" about pines, spruces and firs.....and Lauren is very bored as you can see.

I loved the atmosphere of this place. There were so many sweet holiday touches I noticed when we first arrived.....thought that I would add these photos so you could get a feel of the place.

This very well may be one of my all time favorite photos of Noah and Luke together. Although I do prefer the candid photos overall....I have to say that this one is pretty special.

We head out in the old front wheel drive sleigh, then park and walk around the farm to find the "perfect" tree for our family.  It was a gorgeous day....a little chilly, but we were glad to be out there. 

We were at the right place at the right time. I couldn't help notice our shadows as we walked along....of course I made everyone stop. 

There were some muddy areas.....and Luke just couldn't resist. And I stood there like a good mama taking pictures of him as I watch him step in the mud.....hey these are some of those sweet moments I love to capture.....even if it is a bit messy.

So after looking around for a good 45 minutes or so....we find "the one."  We knew that we didn't want a really large tree, so we were trying to be cautious of the height. Even though we have 8 ft. ceilings, we wanted to make sure that there would be enough room for a star....Noah really wanted to put a star on the top this year. (I usually have a big red ribbon up there.)

So we get the thumbs up from Noah that this is indeed "the tree." All the kids love it....and that's good because we are tired of walking and our some of our feet are wet!

In order to make this a true Griswald family was imperative that Jared saw down the tree himself.

This is the nice "tree man" who takes our tree back to the loading area. We need to meet him there where they will prepare our tree for travel.

Of course Noah is in the lead. I like taking up the rear.....I so enjoy taking photos of my most five favorite people as they walk a head of me.  And I was thanking God for them today.

So back at the loading area they cut off any dead limbs and try to get it looking nice. They put it on this one machine where it shakes all of the loose needles off, so you don't have a big mess to deal with. Well, Nate thought that this shaking machine was the coolest thing ever.  Look at that smile on his face. He was bummed when we told him that he couldn't sit on the machine and be shook. 

Lauren and Luke were just confused about what in the world these people were doing to a tree. It was funny to see their expressions.  These next few photos were neat to me because I have never seen how a tree is bound up before....and because I am easily amused and so are my children. 

Ok, so I know what you're thinking....this tree looks kind Yea, I thought the same thing, but I kept that little thought to myself.  After Jared attached "the tree" to the hood of our big bad mini van we were invited inside for some hot cocoa and popcorn.....I had four very happy little lovies at that moment. And a happy husband too, because they were also serving hot cider and he loves popcorn just as much as the kids.

We get "the tree" home and Jared gets some muscle from the big boys to carry it in the house.

Please be sure to wipe your feet....come on in! apparently we cut down a dwarf tree. Jared and I couldn't stop laughing after we first put it up.....(we tried to be careful not to make the kids feel bad about the mini tree), we said that we really liked it....but it was just a little shorter than what we are used to.....and that my friends is an understatement. (We even tried putting the thing on an end table to give it some height.....but then it just made it look like a little tree sitting on an end we took it down and came to embrace the fact that we have a dwarf tree.....and that's ok....because kids love their tree!)

They helped their Daddy string the lights.....and Noah was excited to put the star on the top of the tree.....which  there was plenty of room for.

We will finish decorating "the tree" tomorrow. We put one bulb on it this evening, and Luke took it off, through it across the room and shattered it.....good times!!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...