Wednesday, April 26, 2017


A couple of months ago I injured my back and have spent the last weeks trying to heal.  I went back to yoga too early and reinjured it again and ended up in a lot of pain.  Sam heard me talking to Matt about the pain and came in the office.  He was acting like he wanted to ask me something but just couldn't get it out.  I thought he was asking if he could watch TV or play video games or have some candy so I kept saying, "no you can't...".  After standing there for a while I could tell he was really trying to work up his courage.  He said a few times, "This is so embarrassing."  I told  him he didn't have to be embarrassed and could tell me anything.  He finally worked up the courage to say, "Can I pray for your back."  It was the sweetest thing ever.  Then overwhelmed with emotion he started crying as he prayed for God to heal my back and take away my pain.

God has given such a beautiful and giant heart to my sweet boy!!!  Love him so!!!

Friday, January 6, 2017


HAPPY 17TH BIRTHDAY to our amazing Madison!!
This birthday is your last birthday under our wings and, although we'd like to keep you there forever, we know you are ready to soar!
Here are 17 of the MANY things I treasure about you...
1. You are kind. You have a sincere heart toward people. You do not make rash judgments, but instead seek to understand and find the good in everyone.
2. You are happy. You have a peace-filled heart that is contagious!
 3. You are secure. You don't try to fit the mold of popular or cool but instead you are so comfortable and content with all God made you to be.
4. You are strong in your faith. You hold steadfastly to the Truth of God and walk daily in obedience to Him.
5. You are funny. You love to laugh and make others laugh with you. I LOVE your humor!
6. You are smart. God has gifted you with an amazing mind! I can't wait to see all He will do through your life.
7. You are comforting. Because of many of the attributes I listed above (and many more) it is steadying to be around you.
 8. You are beautiful. You are stunning because God made you that way, but even more so because your inner beauty shines so brightly in your demeanor.
9. You are an amazing friend. You are a safe person who takes care of hearts entrusted to you.
10. You are determined. I love to watch your determination in swim to improve your times and push yourself.
11. You are strong. I LOVE that you work hard on dry land work outs. You don't slack and take the light weights or the easy workout. You push yourself and you embrace your strength.
12. You are sensitive to the needs of others. You quietly watch people and seek to encourage anyone in our family or in your circle of friends who needs encouragement.
13. You don't hold grudges. You don't take the irrational behavior of others personally, even when it's directed at you. You are so secure in who you are and understanding of what others endure that you roll with the punches.
14. You are humble. This is one of your richest attributes. You do not consider yourself better than others, but instead serve and seek to lift others up around you.
15. You appreciate the arts. You love choir, museums and culture. You truly notice God's beauty in the world around you.
16. You are brave. When something is a challenge to you, you push through. You allow yourself to process the fear but you don't let it stop you from accomplishing the tasks ahead.
17. You are mine. I can't even grasp how much God must love me to allow me to be your mom. I cannot begin to tell you how much you have blessed my life. I love you more than words can describe and I am grateful for each day with you!!! I am ALWAYS in your corner and praying for you. I am excited to see the adventures God has for your life and for eternal impact He is making through you each day!! I LOVE YOU!!!!

Friday, September 23, 2016


Wow...a teenager already! You are poised and ready for all God has in store!! I know you will live vibrantly for Him!! Here are 13 of the many things I love about you...
1. You have a determination in all that you do. You love to set goals for yourself and you persevere in accomplishing them.
2. You love beautiful things. From clothes and hair styles, to sunsets and song lyrics, you appreciate and add to the beauty around you.
3. You are a nurturer. You are always looking for needs you can meet. You love to care for others and you seek out creative ways to make others feel pampered.
4. You are a justice-seeker. You have a very strong sense of right and wrong and you are very active to righting the wrongs around you.
5. You are intentional in your relationship with God. You think deeply about Him and relate His Word directly to your every day life.
 6. You are HILARIOUS! This has really developed in you this last year or so. You are so funny and it makes you soooo happy to make others laugh and feel at ease.
7. You feel DEEPLY! Whatever emotion is on your heart at the moment is felt 300%. You are all in!!
8. You are a great friend. You work hard at your friendships. You truly want your friends to feel loved and appreciated and are always thinking about how you can bless them.
9. You are responsible. If you are entrusted with a task, you make sure to complete it and to the best of your ability.
 10. You have a heart for evangelism. You truly from deep down in your heart want everyone to know the love of Christ and you seek intentional ways to share it.
 11. You have a spark. You do not back down easily when you believe strongly about something (which is almost always). And, although there are many times this has been a humbling attribute for you, I know it means you are a fire-starter and combined with your need for justice, God will break chains and move mountains through you.
12. You have a high amount of energy. I am so jealous of this one!! :) You are energized BY many of the above attributes (determination, justice-seeking, responsibility and more) and you use that energy FOR many of them (nurturing, loving etc.)
13. You have a heart full to the brim with love. You pour out the love of Christ in so many tangible ways to those around you.
I love you so much, sweet Abby Claire, and I am so very humbled and grateful to be your mommy!! 


Wednesday, September 14, 2016


Happy 11th Birthday to my dimple-cheeked and freckle-kissed precious Max. Eleven of the many things I LOVE about you...
1. You always have a twinkle in your eye. You see the glass as half full and you love people. You have never met a stranger and can make anyone feel at ease in a conversation.
2. You are extremely tender-hearted and affectionate. Your biggest frustration in life is that Sam is shying away from your hugs You try every trick you can think of to get him to give you hugs! Not to worry...I will take them all!!
3. You love random information. Your favorite books are fact books and you love to share these random facts as they pop into your mind.
4. You have a compassionate heart for the lost. You feel a deep sense of sadness for those who don't know Christ and are determined to share the Good News. You especially want to find a way to share with people who have never heard the name of Jesus.
5. You are joyful. I constantly see that dimple and know there is a smile behind it. Life is fun and adventurous to you.
6. You are quick to forgive. You don't hold other's offenses against them. Even after the worst of offenses from siblings against you, you work hard to mend the relationship and keep the friendship in tact.
7. You truly see value in all people. You are a friend to all and see people equally.
8. You are creative. You love to sketch and paint and you see the world through a creative eye.
9. You are an incredible brother. You adore your siblings and you are very intentional in finding ways to connect personally to each of them.
10. You are a gentleman. You often hurry to beat me to the car so you can open my door. You feel so happy when you think of something you can do to care for me. You are a night in shining armor.
11. You love the LORD and you shine your light brightly for Him. I know the plans He has for you are adventurous and full of love for humanity. I can't wait to see them unfold!!
I LOVE you!!!
<3 Mommy

Friday, January 8, 2016


Happy 7th Birthday, Samuel Yacob Koceich!! It is such a blessing to be your Mommy!! Here are 7 of the many reasons I adore you!!
1. You keep our family in giggles with your constant silliness.
2. You have a tender, loving heart that sees the best in others.
3. You give the best cuddles.
4. You have unstoppable energy and never just simply walk from one place to the other...there are always cute little Sam hops in your steps.
5. You have a "glass is half full" attitude and are ready to take on the world.
6. You are completely enamored by your siblings and watching their absolute adoration and love for you gives me tummy flutters!!
7. You have taught me about God's redemptive love in deeper, more tangible ways than I could have ever known before.

2016...1 of 52

Sweet 16!  Fits her perfectly!!

My FB post about my precious girl!
And, of course, the yearly birthday questionnaire.  I wonder if they will still fill these out for me when they are in their 20s and beyond???

Sweet sixteen. How can it be? You have carried yourself so beautifully through the first sixteen years, I have no doubt all the years to come will be inspiring and filled with purpose! I am your biggest fan and so indescribably grateful for you!!
16 (of the innumerable) things I love about you...
1. Your grace...You show such grace in how you interact with others and you have a sweet way of loving/including everyone with a genuine heart.
2. Your humility...You are quick to sacrifice for the benefit of others with a quiet and content spirit.
3. Your contentment...You don't seek things or applause for your worth. You live simply and securely in your identity in Christ.
4. Your introspection...I love to watch you think through your own personality and how God made you unique and with a purpose. You are happy being you!!
5. Your happiness...This one goes with contentment but takes it further. Not only are you content, but truly happy with the life God has given you. You choose happiness even in tougher situations and can always manage a smile.
6. Your kindness...I have watched you respond in kindness in situations where most would not. It is your default.
7. Your pure heart...I love that you unashamedly love things like cute puppies, Olaf and Tim Hawkins. You have no desire to “be cool”. You choose to live in the light of Truth.
8. Your are soft spoken and never harsh. You are a safe friend to anyone who needs a friend and trustworthy.
9. Your intelligence...You are a smart cookie and a thinker. But, you don't see yourself as superior.
10. Your silliness...You LOVE to laugh and be silly and keep us smiling.
11. Your example...You are such an amazing oldest sister. You lead by example and kindness and, as a result, have siblings that truly look up to you (even if they won't admit it some times).
12. Your beauty...You are beautiful inside and out and you radiant the beauty of Christ.
13. Your adaptability...You are so easy going that you can adapt to any situation (even being lost in the wilderness of Africa) with a smile.
14. Your adventurous spirit...You have such an adventurous spirit. You are ready to see the world and because of your ability to adapt (see #13) to just about any environment/situation, I have no doubt you will have many adventures!!
15. Your strength...Just recently I have really seen this blossom in you. You have set boundaries and will stand up for what you believe in with confidence.
16. Your sincerity...You truly love people from all backgrounds, personalities, experiences. You have a sincere heart that truly desires good for others.
I love you soooo much, my sweet Madison!!!

Friday, May 30, 2014


We were excited to get to attend training for our upcoming short term mission trip through SIM at their offices in Charlotte. We really enjoyed getting to meet other short-termers getting prepared to go out all over the world. And, we truly grew to love the SIM family! Excited for our trip this summer to Ethiopia.
I couldn't believe this gorgeous sunset I was able to capture. God's art is breath-taking!
Madison's final choir concert of her Freshman year. We thought we were only going to do choir for one year to fulfill her fine arts requirement, but she has loved it and I believe being involved in the arts is soooo good for a well rounded development!