Thursday, October 29, 2009


I love the way God made Zibby. Especially her eyebrows. I know it's a funny little thing to admire but to me they are precious. With them she shows her life...excitement, sorrow, frustration, fear, peace, and endearment. I love the way they match her coppery hair. And when the sun is on her face, I love the way they sparkle, almost as if the Lord sprinkled her all over with gold. I often find myself just sitting, admiring, and marveling that such a beautiful person was formed in me. Thank you Jesus for our Elizabeth Jane...if I feel such love for her, Yours is unfathomable...keep this in her heart always. Amen.

Friday, October 23, 2009

More like dessert granola...

Aaron is leaving for our church men's retreat this weekend so I decided to make him and my dad something special to snack on during the drive over the coastal range. Usually I make cookies but feel a bit burned out on that, so I decided to search the internet for a granola recipe. I came across this one and thought I'd share it. It's a keeper for any chocolate fan...(like my sweetheart is!) I'm thinking it would make fun christmas gifts could get really creative with the packaging :)

French Chocolate Granola:

3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans or almonds
1/2 coconut (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1/2 cup or more finely chopped bittersweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 300 F

Stir together dry ingredients.
Heat honey and oil over medium heat.
Pour honey mixture over granola and stir well.
Spread granola out evenly on an edged cookie sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway between, until golden brown.
Take from oven, stir again to keep from sticking together, cool.
After granola is cooled, pour into bowl and mix in chocolate.
Store in air tight container.


Monday, October 19, 2009

A little bit of life...

Last night after we tucked Zibby in we noticed she was holding a Barbie very close to her heart, making sure the barbie could peek just out of the covers, she snuggled the doll and said, "Zibby pray." This was her prayer: "Tank yoo geezus for dis wunerfool, wunerfool Baarbee, in geezus name..Amen!"

Life is so sweet in the little things.

Aaron giving Benji a haircut on the back porch.

Abby Sue and her friend Abbi Eckelman (who Zibby just calls "Eckelman") making their own Apple Cider stand on a Sunday afternoon to raise money for the kids at the mission in Mexico who need glasses.

Memories that make you feel truly alive.

Tank Yoo Geezus!

Friday, October 16, 2009


I like the word "Autumn". She is the only season with two names, Fall and Autumn. I think Autumn fits her best. She's warm and cool, she's radiant and solemn, peaceful, mysterious, and yielding.
I feel the need to store things up in Autumn. Dad gave me a bunch of left over cabbage and carrots from our Oktoberfest booth so I decided to make my own version of sauerkraut. I cooked it all down in a brine of apple cider vinegar and broth then added some spices and canned it. I love how it turned out. It looks so pretty in the jar I almost don't want to use it. I'm sure we will though. It goes great with sausages or in soups. Not to mention the "cleansing" qualities. :)
Yesterday I went along with Ben's class to Bauman Farms. It was the perfect Autumn morning...foggy, crisp, and vibrant with color. It was so much fun riding in the tractor and tromping through the muddy pumpkin patch filled with stalks of indian corn. After we watched the cider being made I noticed Ben looked a little upset so I asked him what was wrong. "They pretty much just murdered the apples in there Mom" said my 6 year old son. I tried not to laugh and encouraged him that apples look forward to becoming apple cider. It made me think again on the fact that Ben has such compassion...even for apples! I wonder how God will use that one day.
Last night was our annual Pie Social at school. It's always a lot of fun visiting with the other families that have become such good friends. I couldn't help but feel a little sentimental, wondering if we will be here next year to enjoy it. I soaked in everything I love about's quirky little schoolhouse building, the playground surrounded by rolling farmland, the amazing teachers, and dear friends that our kids have made. It is a very special place and one I thank God for daily.
Thank you Lord for creating Autumn and making this place for us to savor it in.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dot Can Swim

So today I was "cleaning" our very large cast iron bathtub...I say the word "cleaning" lightly, because I came up with an easy way to clean the tub and shower curtain at the same time by filling the tub up with water and bleach then let the bottom of the curtain (where it really is the yuckiest) soak for the day. Even though this method is truly lazy I still feel kind of ingenious for coming up with it.
Well, this morning I filled up the tub, poured in the bleach, and let it get clean on it's own. Unfortunately I forgot that our cat, Dot, has been in the habit lately of jumping into the tub to get a drink from the leaky faucet. So, as I'm sure you've guessed by now, a few minutes after I filled the tub I hear a loud splashing coming from the bathroom. Zibby was taking her nap, so all at once I realized...poor Dot! I ran to the bathroom and found the poor cat...skinny, soaked, and shocked to say the least!
I just wish I could've actually seen her swimming in the that would've been a sight! I wonder if her fur will be a little lighter now?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Momma's Dress

Before Zibby was born my grandma gave me a few dresses that were once hers, her mothers, and one that my mom wore when she as a toddler. Zibby has always called my mom, "Momma". The other day she saw Momma's sweet little red polka dotted dress hanging in her closet and said..."I wear dis one!" I almost objected and then thought to myself, "Hey, why not, it's now or never with the rate she's growing." I'm so glad I put it on fit just right. She toddled around in it all morning, smiling, and twirling. I even took her to the grocery store in it. An older woman commented, "Oh, look, a little girl dressed up like a little girl!" I think I knew what she meant. As I watched Zibby running up and down the aisles I could imagine my mom wearing the same dress all those years ago, following my grandma along, looking like a "little girl" too. I guess there's just something about a little girl in a pretty just fits.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Just a few more!

Pictures continued....

Mt. Angel Oktoberfest & Central Oregon

Since my camera has been broken, Dad has been letting me borrow his. I'm so thankful to have captured some of these precious memories!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Bumpy Roads & Beautiful Views

I just love it when Aaron has to "work" in Sunriver. Central Oregon is one of our favorite getaways and it it holds so many special memories for us. Whenever Aaron has to go over the mountains for work we usually try to tag-a-long. This time we were blessed to stay at the Sunriver Lodge. I have been to Sunriver a number of times but never had the chance to stay at the lodge. It is so rustic and beautiful. Our cabin looked out past the river and trees to the blue mountains in the distance. The kids were especially excited that we had a hot tub the size of a small swimming pool just outside our door. It was so fun sitting in the steaming water at twilight, watching the sky change and the stars begin to peek out.
After Aaron finished work on Friday we took the kids out to explore Lava Butte, Paulina Lake, Paulina Peak, Lava Lake Cave, and East Lake. Just last week Aaron had been blessed with a new company car, the Subaru Outback....and wow, that car rocks! The road up to Paulina peak is very bumpy, dusty, winding, and scary! When we got to the top the temperature had dropped to 39 degrees and their was a dusting of snow on the trees. It was the most amazing view I think I have ever seen. It felt like we were all alone at the top of the world! Needless to say the new car is now covered in dust and little handprints. The Outback has been officially initiated into the Koch Family!
Of course we had our ups and downs....( what would life be without temper tantrums and a few attitude adjustments?)...but it was well worth it. Aaron and I know that we need to take advantage of the opportunities we have now, while the kids are young, to spend time together...hopefully nurturing in them the love of adventure, exploration, and rejoicing in God's amazing creation. At the end of the day we will all remember the breathtaking view from the top of the mountain even more than the bumpy road we had to take to get there.