Wednesday, November 28, 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS

I wanted to be the first one to wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS and I want to share a scripture/picture/idea with you. I may have been beat to the punch about being the first to wish you a Merry Christmas because "Christmas" is everywhere already. But when you think of it, is the world around us celebrating the real true Christmas? I have to wonder?

Luke 2:9-12
And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. (10) And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. (11) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (12) And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”


We as Christians know that Christmas is more than sales and shopping and decorations and baking. Christmas is a time to reflect on how God showed His great love for us. We celebrate the birth of the Christ child. God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to be born. His birth brought great joy to the world. Shepherds, wise men, and angels all shared in the excitement of knowing about this great event. They knew this was no ordinary baby. The prophets had told of His coming hundreds of years before. The star stopped over Bethlehem just to mark the way for those who were looking for this special child.



As we start off this Christmas season, I pray that you will be able to find the true meaning of Christmas. A scripture I have thought on for this season is this: 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 “May the God who gives us peace make you completely his, and keep your whole being, spirit, soul and body, free from all fault at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you will do it, for he is faithful! 

I am praying you all will see the symbolism in all of our cultures celebrating. (The gifts, the star on top of the tree, decorating, the nativity, etc.) I also pray He will give you PEACE and keep you this season. 

I would also encourage you to find a good devotional for this season so you may fully reflect on the first Christmas story and experience God's character. There are so many out there- in book form or on apps.

May God show His abundant love over you this season, May you be able to fill up full and pour it out on others.


Much love,
the6Stricklands

Monday, September 10, 2012

10

Let's look back at our ten year anniversary.

I did a TOP TEN COUNTDOWN here on our blog.
Here are links to those posts.
#10
#9
#8
#7
#6
#5
#4
#3
#2
#1

A Testimony of Ten Years

Sunday, September 9, 2012

11

(coming soon)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

12

"I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich."
~Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford, "Identity Crisis," M*A*S*H
 We are known as the6stricklands. 
Joel and I never imagined there would be six of us. 
We are truly so blessed and so rich!

Friday, September 7, 2012

13

Dont ever underestimate the power of prayer.

Philippians 2:1-5 is a scripture that has been the banner over our marriage.   
 
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

We have turned that scripture into a prayer. 

"In our marriage, we pray that You'd give us the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, and intent on one purpose. We ask that we'd do nothing out of selfishness or empy conceit, but we would have humility of mind. Lord allow us to regard one another as more important. Help us look out for each others interest- not just our own. We want to have this attitude in You. In Jesus Name, AMEN."

We encourage you to find a scripture for your marriage and to pray it in.  Not only does the Word say that the prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective, but you are praying the Word over your marriage. Thats like a double blessing right there!!!!!!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

14 Days

 Never go to bed mad.  Stay up and fight.  
~Phyllis Diller, Phyllis Diller's Housekeeping Hints, 1966

Ephesians 4:26
 
"...do not let the sun go down on your anger."

This is a scripture we have taken seriously in our marriage. We have had numerous late nights of hashing out our differences.  It sure is nice to start that next day new and with resolve.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

15

In fifteen days we will celebrate our 15th anniversary. 
Watch the Strickland Site for our15 favorites.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

In Loving Memory


A few days ago marked the anniversary of a very special person's birthday. Cindy, who was Joel's beautiful mother went to be with Jesus in 1988. She has been gone for 24 years now.

I find it amazing how I personally never knew this woman, but yet I miss her so deeply. I know so many others who knew her and loved her and miss her deeply as well. She was a very special woman who was greatly loved and loved greatly!


We6Stricklands took some time to reflect her life and her heritage, we concluded that within her death, there was so much life. How does life come from death?

Well, we know Cindy now has an everlasting life in Heaven with her Savior. We know she is pain free with a new body and that she looks down on us with joy.  

We are in awe of  God's goodness as He sprouted new life in Joel's family with his step mother- affectionately know by all her grandchildren as "Granny". I would love to write about her story and how the Lord united her to "mother" this family. God is so good.

We also see her still living on in our lives. Her values are being carried on through her children. I know there are so many things that she had sown in to my dear husband's heart that he will always treasure. These values are being carried onto our children and our children's children.

We also see her genetics living on! We chose to make the collage above out of these particular pictures because we see our family in them. If you know our family, look at the resemblances. Our daughters K&E wanted to add these pictures in. 

Her namesake is even being carried on- our sweet niece is named after her. There are more things to mention about Cindy's legacy, I'm sure Joel's family could even write a book!


We concluded that Cindy's time here on earth was surely a gift. Truly a gift of life that just keeps on giving. 

Happy Birthday Cindy! You are greatly loved and missed!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

September

Man oh man! This is a screenshot of my iCalendar. 
 
August was busy but September is gonna be busier! I will be thankful for this season of busyness- for everything we are doing- we have been called to.

I love September because it ushers in fall. It is the month of new academic beginnings with our homeschooling- there is so much hope and excitement.  This is also the month that we celebrate our wedding anniversary. 15 Years this month! (Watch for some special edition XV posts coming!)

I know September is also marked by tragedy. I remember 15 years ago hearing the news of Princess Diana's death. It was a sad loss. This month also marks the anniversary of the devastating 9-11 attacks. It forever changed our country.

As I pray over this month, I do so with gratitude, with heartache, with reverence, and with anticipation for the new season.  
He is good..all the time...and even in September.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

School Time

It's August. I sit back and watch as the locals schools start back up another year. So much hustle and bustle going on. Tax free weekend came and went and all the school supplies aisles for are starting to diminish. The ads for new clothes and haircuts are fading. And this week- kids are being shipped off to someone else for full days of education and learning. 

I have to admit, I get a little envious when I hear moms share their relief that they're kid-free or have scaled down to just a few for the day. Or like today, a momma friend of mine posted a picture on facebook of the inside of her car with kids, and then on the way home with no kids. Ohhhhh I couldn't imagine the things I could do at home with no kids. There would be countless ways I could work and earn money, catch up on sleep, get a pedicure, write on my blogs or catchup on my devotions, play with friends, workout, clean and organize my home, date my hubby, or join up with staff happenings at my church, etc......

But. I have to lay that all aside. And know that God has a greater calling for me. He has me home- to disciple my fabulous four children. Why? I always ask why this time of year! WHY GOD?? WHY MUST I STAY HOME? WHY CANT I SEND MY CHILDREN OFF SOMEWHERE?!?!  Kind of like a kid in the toy store asking why can't they have that toy! My questioning comes from a selfish place in my heart where I want life to be ABOUT ME. 

God so gently and generously renews my vision, and reminds me of my purpose and why we do what we do. I wanted to post our purpose and our vision for why we do what we do and how we do it.  Writing this post really does gives me peace and clarity. But I also hope it will refresh and energize you fellow homeschooling parents.

Read the WHYS and HOWS by clicking here

Thursday, August 9, 2012

SEVEN

DJ turned seven on July 28th. 

We are so proud of who this young man is growing to be. 

He got a remote control helicopter for his bday and couldn't be happier. 


His sisters also made him a bday cake. 
 They put so much time and effort into this cake, I was a proud momma!


On his actual day he went on his first mountain bike ride with his dad. 
 DJ got this bike from a family friend.



We also spent time a few days later at Chuck E. Cheese with friends.


"Thank you Lord for this boy. I pray this next year will be full of wonder, safety, joy, growth, and discoveries! Amen."

Thursday, July 26, 2012

An EXCELLENT Movie Recommendation

Our family is always on a mission for a good movie. Unfortunately, they are hard to come by. :( My parents are big into foreign films, and they introduced us to a movie called "The Secret of Kells".


This is a good clean movie with some creative-amazing animations. The story is set in the eighth century and gives a fictionalized account of the creation of the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament together with various prefatory texts and tables.


There is so much history to recover in this movie. 
~The Book of Kells is one of Ireland's finest national treasures. I am personally intrigued by this book, and hope to someday see it with my own eyes. It was created by Celtic monks ca. 800 or slightly earlier. The text of the Gospels is largely drawn from the Vulgate, although it also includes several passages drawn from the earlier versions of the Bible known as the Vetus Latina. It is a masterwork of Western calligraphy and represents the pinnacle of Insular illumination.
~ The Vikings were such intriguing people full of such horror they bestowed on their victims. This movie gives a glimpse of the common attacks on the abbeys by the "Northmen". In this movie, the main characters uncle- Abbot Cellach, is focused on creating a wall of protection for the Abbey of Kells. It portrays his fears of the vikings and their attacks.



There is also many Biblical/Spiritual parallels.
~The whole point of the movie was to create this book- so it may "Turn the Darkness into Light". The movie doesn't talk about the gospels, but we all know the Book of Kells is full of God's written Word, or as said in the movie "sacred texts".
~ The young boy, Brendan, ends up being the ultimate illuminator. He is such a humble boy and ends up going away and  completing his mighty work on the book. He comes back with the book completed and saves the day. He looks just like Jesus when he comes back. We have marveled how symbolic this part of the movie reflects Jesus fulfilling God's will. 


Our family has had many many dialectic conversations stirred up from this movie. We even own the soundtrack and listen to it all the time. The6Stricklands LOVE this movie.

Be mindful- there are a few weird characters, who all bring a creative element to this story. There are no big scary parts, but a few spook moments while he is out and about searching for Crom Cruach.

The best part about this movie review, is you will find this movie anywhere! It is also on instant watch on Netflix.

Hope you all can watch and enjoy it! Reply to this comment and tell me what you think of the movie. OR maybe you do a movie review and reply with a link to your blog. Would love to learn of more wonderful movies!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Grapes



We were SO blessed today to get to hand pick grapes from a beautiful large vine behind Joel's grandparents yard. It was not easy handpicking those grapes, and I'm so glad we 6Stricklands pulled together to get it done! 



Once we picked them, we boiled them in a huge pot. Oh the aroma!! We then strained the mush to savor every drop of the juice. We then bottled the juice for canning- 2 gallons of grape juice! PLUS I was also able to sweeten a pitcher to drink over ice. Yum!

We then brought home the juice and we made it into a ton of grape jelly. I was also very delighted to make a low sugar grape syrup for our snowcone machine. YUMMY! 
Below is a picture tutorial from start to finish. 


We are SO thankful the Lord has blessed us with generous grandparents and so thankful for grapes- of course!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Marble Run fun!!

Just in case you haven't noticed, I have been adding fun things to do with the kiddos this summer. These have been SUPER SIMPLE activities that require little money. We recently set up a marble run out of the swimming pool noodles. You cut the noodle in half, there is a crease in the middle- perfect for a marble run! Set up a track using several noodles, and masking or painters tape. Then get your marbles lined up for some fun!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Grocery Shopping

Goodness, I hate to go grocery shopping. 

So, I try my hardest to eliminate shopping trips by taking two major trips a month. I know what I need to get and how to make it work for 2 - 2 1/2 weeks. I cook almost everything from scratch. I learned alot of money saving tricks from this book, which I highly encourage anyone to read, FAMILY FEASTS FOR $75 /WK.

This is what the back of my suburban looks like after making all my stops.


Boy oh boy does it take alot of time to shop and unload all of these goods! There is nothing like having an empty and nicely cleaned cupbard and fridge- then filling it with goodies!!

Harvest

We have been enjoying our produce from our garden. Since this momma has been working hard to eat CLEAN, having a garden is paramount! 

Here are a few things we've been munching on. 



FUNDRAISER!!

We are selling playdough to earn money for the girl's upcoming mission trip to College Station. The large tub has about 1 1/2 cups of dough. The small tub has about a cup of dough in it. All are fresh and could last up to 6 months with normal use. Email if you are interested! :)

GOO! EWW!!

So, we did another fun hands on project. GOO.

Basically you mix 1 HEAPING teaspoon of Borox with half a cup of warm water.
Then you mix half a cup of liquid glue (we used clear) with a little less than a cup of water, add 2-3 drops of food coloring. Mix the two together until it forms a solid. Take the lump sum out with your hands a mold and form it. BOY OH BOY we have had some fun with this stuff!!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chalk Paint- super easy!!!

We made a batch of chalk paint today. SUPER EASY and so much fun. We have a kiddo with pink eye, so this was a great way to use up our time!

Basically you mix half part cornstartch and half part water. Then we added a little food coloring to make our colors. So much fun!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Kayaking on the Brazos

We have become a kayaking family over the past few years. Yesterday we were finally able to talk our Nana into joining us. She LOVED it! Who wouldn't love it though! We had a great time. :)



Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer time fun!

video
video video

Coloring Rocks


 Yesterday we collected several rocks from our kayaking adventure. Today we decorated them. Basically wash any kind of rock, and put it in the oven to cook. Then peel crayon wrappers. After your rock is hot, color it with the crayon. The crayon instantly melts onto the rock. Its beautiful! We made these today.




Wednesday, June 20, 2012

33

I turned 33 today. Weird. Im 33, with four kids ages from 5-13, and married almost 15 years. If you do the math, you realize I got started early with marriage and family. The exciting thing about that is I will still be young when the kids are old enough to leave the house!

Anyway, my bday was lovely. I had breakfast made by the time I got home from boot camp. Brittini came with lunch, and we kayaked for dinner!




This birthday was all about quality time and I just loved hearing from the people that mean the most! On facebook I got 88 birthday messages! Golly I felt special.
This is my parents facetiming me. So sweet- I love them both so much!


Anyway, I read this quote- had to share it here. May I have many many birthdays!
Birthdays are good for you.  Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.  

Monday, June 18, 2012

Creativity

I just love my kids creativity.

The other day I found this sign at the bottom on the stairs. I went to inquire about the sign, but ended up interupting the trial run for the show. haha. So, before bedtime, I enjoyed an amazing light show put on by the one and only DJ and Taylor. SO FUN!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fathers Day

Our dad is our superhero and we are so blessed he is ours!! 
Being a hero is not about doing big things occasionally, it's about doing small things consistently.