Thursday, July 21, 2016

Koceich Crew Update

Wow...has it really been three and a half years since I blogged????  Life with four kids and three jobs is a bit hectic (although blessing-filled and fun)!  So many memories are being made.  I have high hopes of going back through pictures and blogging the stories as best I remember them.  But, let's be real...that probably won't happen until Sam hits the teenage years and it's the only thing to do to keep myself from rolling into the fetal position in the corner because my kids don't need me anymore.  Dramatic much???  Moving on...  I prefer to live in denial and tell myself they will always be here and need me.  Don't even get me started on the fact that Madison is about to start her senior year of high school.  I mean, I was just teaching her to quit playing in her mashed potatoes.
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN???    OK...before the tears start flowing (and believe me, the waterworks started already during her junior year), let's move on to the task at hand.  It's time for an update on these amazing kids!


You are dancing into your senior year of high school with grace.  I am transitioning out of mom phase and into friend phase and I absolutely adore being your friend!!!  You are easy to love!!  You are easy-going and funny and joyful!! You have your dad's sense of humor and the two of you could make witty comments about the same subject for an hour and it would not lose it's charm.

You recently began working at the Natatorium teaching swim lessons.  I love to hear you talk about your students.  Even though some of them drive you crazy, you can tell they all have a piece of your heart.  You want them to learn and grown and understand and you give your all to make that happen.  I am not surprised that you usually have the groups no one else wants.  These younger swimmers wouldn't be your first choice either, but you would not tell the coach that.  You always take what you're given with a smile and a great attitude!

These days I sometimes have to pry you out of your room to join us for family outings.  You are like me and need your alone time.  You have been gracious about sharing a room with your sister even though you two are polar opposites.  But, I also know how hard you work to make sweet connections with her and with your brothers too.  I could not have asked for a better role model for them!!  They each adore you (although it might be a bit hard to read that sometimes, I promise it's true).

You have a maturity and wisdom far beyond your age as you hold tightly to your faith!!  You are secure in your beliefs and humble, gracious and kind to everyone who believes differently!  You are safe and sincere and I know the LORD will use these gifts to bring His truth and love to others who might normally feel judged and condemned.

I am so proud and grateful to be your mom!


You are the meaning of your middle name of Claire...clear and bright!  You are full of personality and spunk!  You have kept me in stitches lately!!!  You have a very silly and clever since of humor. There really is no pause to try to think of something funny to say, you always have a one liner ready to go enhanced by a silly voice and hysterical body language!!!  You are the life of the party and the party is wherever you are!!

I most often describe you as being 300%!  Whatever emotion you are feeling you are feeling it three times more than anyone else.  You care deeply about injustice.  At your age that often translates as being hurt that things don't seem fair at home or school.  But, you also have a sincere heart and when you are calm enough to talk things through you take to heart the things we are teaching you about how to deal with injustice.  I have no doubt God will move mountains through you!!!  Justice will be addressed head on and with passion!!  (hmmm...I wonder where you got that from) ;)

You are also the caretaker of the house.  I am certain that if I were away for a month you would take over all of my duties without missing a beat!!  You are the opposite of lazy.  You see a task and you complete it without hesitation...even the ones you don't really want to do!  We recently moved you up to senior team in gymnastics.  They have wanted you to move up for a couple of years, but it's a big commitment we weren't quite ready to make until now.  You've been on senior team for just a couple of weeks and already soaring through news skills and routines.  Determination is your fuel!

You are very intentional in your relationship with God.  You take to heart what you learn in your devotional time and really ponder how you can apply it to your life.  You act on your convictions with consistency and sincerity!

I am so proud and grateful to be your mom!


It is impossible to be sad around you!  You are filled with light and love.  You are constantly hugging and cuddling with me and, although that's not my love language, I am soaking it in!  I know it is fleeting!  You are 95% of the time smiling and happy.  You have the most positive "glass is half full" personality and you love life and people!  

You are a people-pleaser.  You want your parents, teachers and coaches to be proud of you and you are absolutely a wreck if you feel like you've let any of us down!  We are working on remembering your identity is fully in Christ!  At home you are quick to say you are sorry and and are truly repentant when you make a mistake! 

You also have a God-given heart for the lost.  This is mostly the other 5% of the time you are sad.  Whenever we talk about hard things going on in the world we try to speak through the truth that people are fearful, hurtful and angry because they don't have Jesus, not primarily because of whatever the issue is at hand.  It's always deeper.   You are genuinely sad and heart-broken for those that don't have their hope in Christ.  You were laying in bed deep in thought one night and daddy came in to say goodnight.  When he asked you what you were thinking about you said you were thinking that there has to be a way to make a giant speaker system that could reach every part of the world to tell people about Jesus. Be still my heart!   I believe compassion and evangelism are two of your spiritual gifts!   

You and your brother have a really special bond.  I truly thought bringing Sam home would be the hardest for you because you would no longer be the only boy or the youngest.  Well, from day one you have been his best buddy!  The age difference between the two of you doesn't mean a thing to you!  You absolutely love to play with him! I love to watch this precious bond!!  

I am so proud and grateful to be your mom! 


That unfading smile says it all!!  You are so filled with life!!!  I am sooo grateful for your siblings because there is no way I could keep up with that energy on my own!!   You bounce from place to place giggling all the way!  You don't miss an opportunity to make us laugh!!  You are not deterred by your seven-year-old vocabulary!  You make up words constantly!!  If it sounds to you like it might fit the topic, it's good enough!!  You do not want to be slowed down by silly things like not knowing words or exact pronunciations! 

A favorite story of you from our recent vacation...  We were at animal kingdom and as the sun was setting the vendors with their light up toy carts started making their sparkling appearances on the corners of the streets.  We were walking past a cart when Perrin, a Disney cast member, playfully jabbed at you with his flashing Mickey Mouse Light Saber.  You did not miss a step.  You immediately ran around him to his cart, grabbed your own saber and the dual was on!  You were not intimidated by Perrin, or the fact that you didn't have permission to grab the saber.  You were set on "defeating the bad guy".  You had us in stiches!  

I would call you our courageous lion cub!!  You are cute and the baby of the family so we make ourselves see you as little, but the truth is I can already see your courage and determination blossoming!  On our vacation you were ready to ride every roller coaster you saw.  You were too short for most of them, but had they let you, you would have been first in line with hands up the whole ride!!  You have determined since the vacation to eat lots and lots of vegetables every day since I told you that is how you will grow taller!!  

You also have a very sensitive heart!!  If your feelings get hurt, the quiet tears fall freely!  You don't make a scene or argue to get your way.  You just take it very personally!  Being denied riding the roller coasters was a tough day for you!!  You do however bounce back quickly and are ready to go on to the next adventure when it peeks around the corner!  You teach me so much about resiliency, courage and determination!!

I am so proud and grateful to be your mom! 

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