Monday, November 30, 2009

It's the MOST wonderful time of the year!

We just could not wait to decorate for Christmas this year. All we lack is the outside decorations. We are enjoying our Christmas books, nativity, clock, music, candles, movies, tree, train and so much more!! We even sent out our Christmas cards today in the mail!

Here is a pic of our tree. More holiday pics to come!

We just kicked off our CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD unit in school. Read more about that at the Strickland School site.
We hope you have a wonderful Christmas!
Remember- Jesus is the reason for the season.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


The past couple of days, we've been thinking and talking about how blessed we are. We weren't just talking about the tangible things like our home, toys, and things...

But we were first thinking about our immediate family. We are so thankful we are the6stricklands. We cherish our friendship and marriage. And who knew we would have two daughters and two sons?! Things in our home can get crazy and messy at times- but we wouldn't give any of that up for anything else in this world.

Then onto our extended family. We have so many great people on both sides of our family. Sure, there are family issues that occur on both sides, but whats thicker than blood? I like the quote "Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family." (Anthony Brandt) So thankful thats all that matters- we started as a family.

Then we were talking about our spiritual family. (Ephesians 2:19) The people of our church- and even moreso in our lifegroup. The commitment we have to eachother and to God. The together learning and growing deeper in the Lord, the unified prayers we share, the good times and the bad times together. Life would be so lonely without these people in our lives! SO thankful for all the relationships in our church body!

Then we got to talking about our Almighty God! Its so very overwhelming to possibly think of all the things He has done for us. We are SO thankful for His undeniable GRACE that has been poured out over us. We are so undeserving.. and yet He is so willing! We are SO thankful, so so so so thankful for His guidance, His unconditional love, His faithfulness, His help and His provision over our lives.

Psalm 100

A psalm. For giving thanks.
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.

3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Oh my- oh my! It has begun!

The Strickland girls are sucked into the world of American Girl. Now, I have to say- Id much rather them be into A.G. than other options for girls this age. Its just SO EXPENSIVE!!

It first started with our trip to Williamsburg last year, and then reading about the American Girl "Felicity" who lived in those times. Then we realized there was more to A.G. when we got our first catalog!

So finally, for Christmas, we told the girls we would get them their first doll. My mom (aka NANA) and I took the girls to the American Girl store in Dallas. We have saved and saved and saved because anything "American Girl" will cost a pretty penny!

Here are a few p

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Our beauties!

Two reasons here-------------->

------------>why I do what I do.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Homeschooling at the speed of life!!

The title of this post is the title of one of my favorite homeschooling books! But the title perfectly depicts our lives right now. Life, homeschooling, family is all just speeding though time! I cant believe we are in November!?

Anyway, just thought I would update the Strickland Site with some fresh new pictures! First off, it was my moms birthday. This is us posing at a park last weekend. I love and admire this woman for who she is and where she has come and where she is headed. She is way cooler than I am!

Look! Its the moon!!

Can you believe that I took this picture of the moon? Read more about our new educational tool here on our school site.

We had a special visitor over a few weeks ago. We hope he comes back! We took this picture at the Baylor parade. 2 Stricklands = 1 Braden!!

Our boys (2 and 4) consume so much of me these days.

Recently, Taylor has broken a vase, my cd player in my car, and Emily's wallet. All things precious, but we are mindful how more precious he is than our things. Because my goodness this boy is adorable and I God did that on purpose!

DJ is mister personality. He us very strong willed and has his own ideas about things. We do alot of negotiating. He really is turning into a fine young man. We are working on being truthful right now.

The girls have been absolutely amazing these days! Not only are they growing more beautiful each day- inside and out. They are such wonderful students, daughters, big sisters, ect. Homeschooling is going wonderfully. They enjoy the co-op on Fridays. They recently had their first Choir performance, it was perfect!

In art, we've been doing alot of quilling. Read more about that on our homeschool site.

Wouldnt you know our garden is still growing! Our mums are blooming so beautiful!

And our tomato plant is going at it again too! The weather has been wonderful for the plants!
Our roses have been gorgeous and they smell so good. Kayla cut some and put them in a vase on my desk and it was such a blessing to smell them!

We also have alot of basil. So I found a recipe to make some basil olive oil. Can we say - Christmas presents??

Other than these things mentioned, we've survived Halloween, pin worms, bed time battles, and the flu.

We are still in Financial Peace University and its going great! We are learning alot of tools and implementing them into our finances. I tell you, our money is behaving so much better! Hopefully one day I can blog more about it.

We also just started leading a lifegroup. We love our lifegroup people! So many personalities, so many giftings...its been a joy to be able to lead out this group of people! We will be serving in our first outreach at our churchs meal to the homeless at Thanksgiving.

So excited about the upcoming holidays! We are lovin' the colder weather too!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


We have always known we are super as a family of six. Finally we were able to dress the part!

What to do with all that candy???

If you're like us, you more than likely have a ton of candy from last night. We hardly did any trick or treating and still ended up with alot of candy. Below I have adapted some ideas mixed in with our own ideas of some things you can do with all that candy!!

We usually lay it all out on the table and sort it, bag it up and farm it out. Read all the ideas below:

1. Recycle it. Practice instant recycling. Screen the candy your kids bring home. Take out any candy your children don’t like or you don’t want them to have and then send that candy back out the door with other trick-or-treaters.

2. Freeze it. Put the chocolate bars right in the freezer to save them for later. Frozen chocolate takes longer to eat, so children can’t wolf it down so quickly.

3. Bake it. You don’t have to freeze the candy to keep it fresh. Kept in an airtight container, it will last long after Halloween. Later, you can bake a make things. Click here for some yummy candy recipes. My favorites are the chocolate dipped pretzel rods.

4. Melt it. Melt chocolate for s’mores any time of year. Place a chocolate bar and a marshmallow between two graham crackers on top of a paper towel. You dont necessarily have to do this over an open fire, microwave for about 20 seconds.

5. Stuff it. Gather the leftover goodies and stuff them into a (homemade or store-bought) piñata. Crack the piñata open at Thanksgiving or wait until your child’s birthday.

6. Create it. I love making cards with candy. They are called "Candy Bar Cards" You dont have to do all the candies on one card, you can add these witty one liners with the associated candy.

You were a Life Saver this week! (Life savers)
Bar none - You're the best! (Bar None candy)
Here's a kiss and a hug for someone special! (Hershey hugs & kisses)
Thanks for adding "Joy" to a child's life! (Almond Joy)
You're a star in our galaxy! (Milky Way)
It's a real treat to work with you OR to know you! (any candy)
Thanks for your whopper ideas! (Whopper candies)
You're making a Mound of a difference! (Mounds)
You're a real slugger! Keep on batting for children! (Baby Ruth)
We're nuts about you! (anything with peanuts)

7. House it. After Halloween, kids can’t wait for Christmas. Save Halloween candy for gingerbread houses. We did this last year and was a huge hit! Dots, Gum balls, m&ms, and skittles were wonderful to have plenty of.

8. Wear it. Make a candy necklace. You’ll need an assortment of lollipops and colorful candies with twist-wrap ends to make this idea from the National Confectioners Association. Cut a 14-inch strand of thin twine or fabric ribbon. Tie one end of a wrapper of candy or lollipop stick tightly to one end of ribbon or twine (leave about two inches of ribbon free for tying at the end). Attach candy by knotting the ribbon around the wrapper ends or lollipop sticks until the necklace is complete. Leave two inches at the end. Tie the ends together and wear the latest in edible jewelry!

9. Decorate it. For fun you could create a mural out of candy. Or create Christmas ornaments from candy. To make a train, take a long pack of gum and glue on round candy for wheels, a square piece for a smokestack, and something round for the bell on top. Attach a loop of gold thread or ribbon for hanging. Look at simple geometric illustrations (such as are in coloring books) for other ideas. Coat your ornament with an acrylic sealer so it won’t deteriorate and you don’t draw bugs.

10. Share it. Take your leftover candy to the office. Or better yet, fill a coffee can with candy and bring it to your local nursing home, homeless shelter or a charity for the staff to enjoy. Add a note that says, “Thanks for all the good work you do.”

We are giving some to Joels hard working staff, and put some in a bowl in our entry way for guests to enjoy.

And of course, we are keeping our favorite candy to enjoy for ourselves.. (This is a pic I took of Taylor sneaking in the candy first thing this morning. He had eaten 5 Hershey Kisses, a couple of suckers, and a few smarties)