Friday, January 14, 2011

Cochran Family Letter - 2011

Greetings to all our family and friends,

We trust you had a blessed 2010.  We always enjoy getting your pictures and letters.  One goal we have for 2011 is to pray for a different family each evening that has sent us a letter.  For those of you that read our blog who we have never met, please leave us a comment and tell us about yourself.  We would like to be praying for you as well.

I had purposed to get this letter done sooner, but as many of you know I developed appendicitis last week and have been recovering from surgery since.  I’m doing much better now.  Thank you for your prayers!

Here is a brief update on each of our children.

Shenandoah loves to play with her big sisters and brothers.  She enjoys playing dolls and making things in her play kitchen.  She communicates very well and has special names for each of her siblings.  She calls Seth – Eth, Stasia – YayYa, Sienna – Inny, Sabrina – Meme and Savannah – Nanny.  It is such a joy to see her personality mature with each passing day.

Sayer loves to roughhouse and help daddy outside.  He is a very inquisitive little boy and enjoys taking things apart to see how they work.   He loves to play with Shenandoah, Stasia and Seth outside swinging on the swingset.  He’s a very rough and tumble lad that is showing his fair share of testosterone.

Seth will be 8 at the end of this month.  Last year he had 2 ER trips.  He wasn't able to celebrate his birthday on his birthday because he went to the emergency room with pneumonia.  Later in the year while riding in a play car down our driveway, he flipped over and landed on his chin (you can see pictures here).  He enjoys learning phonics, math and drawing.  He loves to explore outside.  Ellen and I don’t believe he saw a tree last year he didn’t climb.

Stasia turned 9 last year. She likes school very much and also likes to explore outside.  She enjoys making cards, sewing, playing with Shenandoah and climbing trees.  She also made an emergency room trip last year when she fell and cut her forehead on a dining room table chair while playing chase with Sayer (ouch!).

Sienna is ten years old and maturing into a lovely young lady.  She likes to read and help in the kitchen.  With Savannah’s POTS challenges (you can read about them here) she has really stepped up her help in the kitchen and the rest of the home.  She also enjoys serving her father.  Last year she learned how to make my coffee and loves to make it for me each morning before I go to work. 

Sabrina still loves to work outside with our animals and enjoys being our family's 'goat girl'.  Currently, we have 2 goats carrying babies and we hope to breed a third very soon.  This summer we hope to add raw goat's milk to what we sell on farm.  Sabrina also enjoys working in the home and has picked up a lot of responsibility in the kitchen this year as well.  As with the others, she loves to learn and read any good quality book she can get her hands on.

One of the biggest things for Savannah this year was finishing her formal education.  She is very excited about being done with this phase of her life and looking forward to devoting more time to other things in this coming year.  Last year her beehives did very well.  She harvested 175 pounds of honey in September.  She also was able to get to the bottom of her health struggles (you can read about them here).  She enjoys feeling better and is very thankful for what the Lord has taught her through them.  This year she plans on continuing her studies in specific areas of interest, working with our online business “Toward Eden”, teaching piano to some of her younger siblings and hopefully being able to have another very good honey harvest!

I returned to Active Duty in the Air Force last May for 3 more years.  We will remain at Vance during this time.  Because of this, I was able to pin on the LtCol rank I was promoted to in 2008.  I am enjoying the 25th FTS very much.  Our current plan is for me to retire at the end of this assignment and remain in Oklahoma.

Ellen still very much pours herself into her role of wife and mother (she says if she could just sit and read books with the children and play all day things would be great!)  She enjoys homeschooling and teaching the girls how to be keepers at home.  Her and the girls have worked diligently this year on canning fruits and jams from the trees on our property.  They canned over 500 jars in all!  She has also led the girls in developing recipes from our food pantry.  This exercise recently culminated with us not visiting the grocery store for the entire month of December!  It's very freeing to know you don't have to rely on the local grocery store shelves to feed your family.

We continue to hone our skills of gardening and managing our 5 acres. This past year we planted elderberry, raspberry, currants and grapevines. We created several "lasagna" gardens last fall that we hope will provide rich soil in which to plant this spring.  Gardening is still a weak point in our skill set that we hope to improve upon.

We look forward to hearing from all our friends each year.  We would appreciate it if you would drop us a note with your updated email addresses.  It will help us to get our pictures out easier next year.  We are grateful for God's rich grace in our lives and all He has provided for us.

Until next year,

Phill, Ellen and the rest of the family.


Lisa said...

BEAUTIFUL!!! You all look so happy...God has really blessed you! We loved the card and picture, and I can't wait to hear from you, Savannah!

In Christ,

Milcah said...

Oh my goodness. I'm looking at the wording on the comment above. I'm just clicking through blogs and happened upon this one. I joined as a GFC follower and was leaving, but decided to come back and leave a comment. My thoughts were Beautiful, Happy family :). We don't know each other, but I do admire a family who believes in my God!