Papa, Kiki and Cherry

We had some visitors last weekend!  Well, let’s phrase this correctly-Carson had some visitors last weekend, since we know he’s the real attraction these days.

We’ve been showing Carson a picture of Nick’s parents and he would point to them and say, “Pa Pa” and “Kiki,” so he started calling them that as soon as they got here.  Carrie is still Cherry or Caca at the moment, which I kind of hope sticks permanently.

The weather was beautiful, so we took a walk to the end of the neighborhood to see the horses and cows.  Carson is currently obsessed with being outside and animals, so this is one of his favorite things to do.  However, I can tell we are entering that independent phase because he wants to get out of the wagon and pull it himself.  I’m hoping this doesn’t happen when it’s warm enough to run with him outside.

IMG_5636 IMG_5640 IMG_5643

I hear all the time how much Carson looks like Nick and maybe I’m a little biased, but they are studs.  This was the very first time he looked at the camera and said, “cheese!”  He normally still runs away, but he is starting to occasionally look when we have a camera out.


If you point to a horse and ask Carson what it is, he will yell, “neigh!”

His real love right now is cows, cows, cows. We have a herd of cows in our house and are constantly finding them on our pillows, in our drawers, in the laundry basket.

Checking out the cows with Papa Ed and Grandma Kiki.
IMG_5693 Nick and Ed are twins! I know what Nick and Carson will look like when they are older-clearly the Jochum genes are strong.

IMG_5699The only bad part about taking him outside is trying to get him to come back inside. It’s a battle which I can tell is going to test me as the weather warms up. Here’s to lots to patience!

Minute To Win It

Most people spend New Year’s Eve in fancy dresses and heels, but we were home in our sweatpants!  We ended 2014 by playing “Minute To Win It” games with the family!

IMG_5476 IMG_5477 IMG_5478 IMG_5479

I love watching all the little cousins together! The “older” cousins were constantly together as we grew up and I hope they will be the same way. Colby definitely took charge as the oldest of the group and had them playing games and following orders!


Brandi found a bunch of game ideas on Pinterest and we had SO much fun!  I’m hoping this will be an annual event.  The little kids even had a great time, although I think they were just laughing at the adults being crazy most of the time.

IMG_5485 IMG_5494 IMG_5498 IMG_5507

It’s pretty much a guarantee that if I hand the camera to my Mother, I will end up with fifty chins.  Or maybe I just eat too much cake.

IMG_5510 IMG_5514

Things got a little wild on the game front!  Lily burst into tears at one point and yelled, “but I wanted Gigi to win!”  Drama starts young when us ladies!

IMG_5520 IMG_5525 IMG_5533

Poor Callen definitely didn’t make it to midnight-he was out by 7 I think!


I’m pretty sure that Colby is Lily’s hero…she loves doing whatever he is doing!

IMG_5584 IMG_5575 IMG_5570

We had a great time ringing in 2015 with this crew!  However, 2015 has been off to a rough start, health-wise.  I’ve been sick since New Year’s Day-this year needs to shape up and turn around!

Fake Christmas Eve

We normally go to Aunt Della’s for Christmas Eve and eat a fancy meal of Papa John’s pizza.  This year, we pushed our celebration until after Christmas so the entire family could be together.  This was the first time we had ALL six cousins together in a few years!  Brandi and the kids got to come from Virginia this year and it was SO much fun.  We did all of our normal traditions, but just called it “Fake Christmas Eve” since it was on December 27.

IMG_5436 IMG_5473

IMG_5412 IMG_5415 IMG_5420

When we were younger, we used to make a family pyramid every year.  We stopped doing that once we all got a little bigger, but decided to give it a go this year.  I used to be closer to the top and have since been pushed to the bottom of the pyramid.  I’m just pretending it’s because I have big muscles. :)


Luckily, we didn’t crash to the ground!  We also had the little cousins try the pyramid.  Della had to jump in and add a little support-trying to tell four and six year olds how to hold the little ones up was quite interesting!

IMG_5438 IMG_5441

Grandmom and Granddad always give us money for Christmas, but always hide it in something interesting.  This year it came in a McDonald’s Happy Meal box.  Isn’t that cute?

IMG_5446 IMG_5455They’ve tricked us over the years and we’ve had to dig through containers, candy and tiolet paper to find the hidden cash.  One year no one found any money and we just sat there eating our candy like good little children.  They finally said “look in the bottom of the container!” and there was the money.  They were all impressed we didn’t ask where our cash was…but we were all secretly relieved it was there after all!

It’s hard to get a serious picture with these relatives….

IMG_5456 IMG_5459

but sometimes we all calm down and capture a good one.


Happy “Fake Christmas Eve!”

I Hear Santa On The Roof

Our flag pole was blowing in the wind on Christmas morning and it hit against the roof.  When Lily heard it, she looked at Mom and said, “Gigi, I hear Santa on the roof!!”  She was absolutely convinced that he was dropping off presents at that exact moment.  She told Gigi they had to be quiet so he thought they were asleep!!

IMG_5237 IMG_5240 IMG_5244 IMG_5246 IMG_5254 IMG_5265

Carson was very interested in eating his puffs from his stocking and checking out one gift at a time.  He would get hooked on a gift and not want to open another one.  I think we will get him two things next year!  One of the first things he opened was a truck, which he loved, so every present after he would say, “truck?!”  He has several new trucks that are constantly being driven around the living room and loaded with animals.

IMG_5291 IMG_5300 IMG_5327 IMG_5336 IMG_5342


Carson got a remote control car and was absolutely amazed when it started driving around. He loves driving it-I’ll be honest, he can drive the thing better than I can! I can already see him thinking his mother is a technology failure in the future.


Carson made a card at school with his handprints that had a poem about always remembering how small he was. It made me tear up when I tried to read it! My family thought this was hilarious because I NEVER used to cry about anything.

We had a great Christmas this year, especially watching Carson learn what it’s all about! I’m always a little sad when the holidays end, but I was ready to start taking down the tree when Carson started redecorating it with his toys:

Getting Ready for Santa

We started getting ready for Santa by decorating Christmas cookies on Christmas Eve!  I started doing this with Nick’s family while we were dating and it’s one of my favorite traditions now.

We always use Ann’s (Nick’s Mom) sugar cookie recipe, but now we have some extra special helpers during baking!  Flour and sugar end up everywhere when you have little hands helping you!

IMG_5075 IMG_5080 IMG_5085 IMG_5086 IMG_5088 IMG_5092

Carson was funny to watch while he decorated his cookie.  He would scoop up a small amount of icing and neatly rub it on the cookie-well, as neat as possible for a one year old.  Then, when his hands and tray were dirty, he would ask for a towel to wash everything.  Lily does not share the neat, careful gene….frosting was covering the counter where she decorated!

IMG_5095 IMG_5098 IMG_5103 IMG_5109 IMG_5121 IMG_5127 IMG_5139 IMG_5146

Another Christmas Eve tradition is for everyone to open one gift.  Lily had the hardest time choosing what gift to open, but I convinced her to open the one from me!  We bake together all the time, so when I spotted a kid’s apron and hat at Target, I had to get it for her.


Carson got to open a gift that he had been opening for the past two days!  We kept hearing little rips of paper and he would be trying to open the same gift each time.  At least he waited until Christmas week to start doing this!

IMG_5166 IMG_5169

When it was time for the kids to go to bed, we got a glass of milk and plate of cookies for Santa.  Carson clearly didn’t understand what we were doing, but he loves following Lily around anywhere.  She was SO excited to leave the cookies for Santa and the only thing that got her to go to sleep was saying that Santa only comes when you are sleeping.

IMG_5217 IMG_5228 IMG_5232 IMG_5233

It was time to sleep so Santa could come!

Christmas Program

One of our first Christmas activities this month was Carson’s Christmas program at “school.”  They had been practicing during the day for several weeks with the kids and apparently Carson loved to practice.  And by practice, they said he loved to roll around on stage and chew on a bell he was supposed to ring.

Well, that didn’t happen on the day of the program.  This is all we got for three songs:

IMG_5029 IMG_5042

I don’t think he has a future in theatre!!

However, he did get to hang out with Maeve, so his night turned around!


We also got a family photo where we are all looking at the camera, so I’ll say the night was a success!


Christmas in Springfield

We had our first Christmas celebration with my Dad’s family in Springfield.  Before the Christmas festivities started, Dad and I took a little history tour through town. I’m definitely a history geek like he is because I had so much fun hearing about old places like the old milk plant, school and ice factory.

We also went by the town square and I snapped some pictures of the courthouse.  Can’t you just imagine old cars and men in top hats walking these streets?  I felt like we had stepped back in time!  My Nana used to work in one of the buildings when it was a family store.

IMG_4786 IMG_4792 IMG_4817 IMG_4827 IMG_4861 IMG_4909

We also stopped by their old house on Main Street, which dates back to the 1800’s.  I wish we were able to go in for a tour because I love old houses.  If I had endless amounts of money, I would buy and restore old historic houses.


After our history tour, it was time for Christmas presents!

We have a new baby in the family!  Doesn’t Ethan look just like his mama?


My cousin Darren is a fantastic singer and guitar player, so he’s the perfect person to have around at the holidays. We get the best holiday tunes! And somehow everyone on that side of the family is musical and I didn’t get an ounce of singing talent. Boo!

IMG_4934 IMG_4938 IMG_4942 IMG_4954 IMG_4965 IMG_4966 IMG_4974 IMG_4979You can tell Ethan to smile and he will give you the biggest grin!  He’s a little charmer.


Carson ended the weekend by dressing up with Lily in her Princess Sophia heels. Daddy was just thrilled!

IMG_4995 IMG_4996 IMG_4998 IMG_5000

We had a great weekend in Springfield!  I always love when we turn into my Nana’s neighborhood because it reminds me of all the trips we took growing up.  Merry Christmas!