Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas 2016

We had a great Christmas holiday. Here are a few pics of the season.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Candy Houses

Our great aunt Anne taught us several years ago how to made sturdy, larger gingerbread houses. We have now made this a tradition.

To make these houses more sturdy and durable, you create a house structure with a cardboard.

You then lay icing as mortar and graham crackers as brick. BRILLIANT! A finally, we use icing to embellish the house.

Here are our 2016 houses. We ended up taking two to the local nursing home to spread some cheer. :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


Mom and I enjoyed a little GETAWAY to Fredericksburg.

Friday, November 4, 2016

A Strickland Heritage

There is a Historical Marker in the zipcode of Moody, which was the long forgotten area of Eagle Springs in days past. This marker sits on the property of Eagle Springs Baptist Church. 

It reads  "This congregation grew from an early Coryell County fellowship known as the Church of Onion Creek. Worshippers met in a log building until it burned in 1854. In 1858 this site was acquired for a new church building. In the same year, the Rev. John McLain, a Baptist Missionary, organized the Eagle Springs Baptist Church from the earlier congregation. Charter members inclded J. H. and Nancy Estep; Evan A. and Tabitha Culpepper; Wyatt, Naomi and Serepha Hall; F. M. Elmira, and Mary Grimes; Daniel Jones; and C. S. and Zura Strickland. By 1880 Eagle Springs was a thriving community with two grocery stores, two doctors' offices, a post office, and a school. The congregation grew also, with many baptisms being held in the Leon River. During the first decades of the twentieth century, families began moving away form Eagle Springs. The community school was closed in 1935, and in 1948 members of Eagle Springs Baptist Church voted to disband. The church building was retained, however, for reunions and occasional services. It is one of the few remaining structures in the Eagle Springs Community." 

Some of these names mentioned here are Joel's ancestors. Joel's grandfather, Walton Strickland, son to C.S. and Zura, has spent years preaching in this old church building, to sort of keep the memory and heritage alive. 

This year, Joel was able to speak and have the girls come up and share a little bit. It truly was an honor. 

Down the road you will find the Post Oak Cemetery. This is the resting place for alot of the Stricklands. Its a peaceful place. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Fall Floydada Trip

We love this time of year because it brings us out to rural west Texas. Our hearts look forward to time with our farming family.

We enjoy walking through the cotton fields and watching our Uncle Robert strip the cotton.

We also enjoy the many many many many pumpkins. We can pick as much as we want!! :)

But the most enjoyable times in Floydada are the times spent with the family, especially our Pawpaw Barnes. We know our times our limited with him, so we want to soak up every minute with him.

Thursday, July 28, 2016


DJ is 11 today and we celebrate!! We love having this lil' man around. 

He is courageous, never bats an eye at adventures.

He is a servant and loves to fix things. He really is the 2nd man of the house.

He also has a great sense of humor and is always joking around. 

He's pretty ingenious, almost scary at times! 

But most of all, he dearly loves his family and is the most loving uncle.

We love you Dylan!! Happy 11th!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Strickland garden 2016

Strickland Summer

Ephesians 5:15-17 says "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is." We try to emulate this in our household, but sometimes we find ourselves watching an entire season of Amazing Race within a few days time. ;) In general, we do take this admonishment to heart in our scheduling and daily grind. I find the more proactive we are in our planning the less reactive we have to be. 

I've always been a planner, but not so intentional about summertime until the spring our pastor introduced a new idea at a staff meeting. He challenged the staff and congregation to intentionally think and plan the summer. I am so thankful for his wisdom. He created a template to fill out to consider a few things. I have compiled his template, with a few of my tweaked versions, along with his teachings on this subject into a drop box file. 

Fast forward almost 7 years, I feel a bit rhetorical in our summer planning. SO much so that I have this desire to share the whats/hows of our summer planning and scheduling. Sometimes I fear judgment/criticism as I share. Please know I humbly submit these ideas. Please also know we are an average family trying to pursue the will of God and glorify Him in all we do. We do this imperfectly but nevertheless continue on that great mission for we know it will bear great fruit. 

With all that said, I'd like to share the ways we operate during the summer months. These methods and ideas have been adapted over time from others who have gone before me or have been alongside me in the trenches. Each family is different so take these ideas to use, not use, or adapt as you see fit.

As a homeschooling family, we divide our year by thirds. We have the spring segment (Jan-April), summer segment (May-Aug) and fall segment (Sept-Dec). We organize our home, activities, and academics by these thirds. This helps me stay sane. So, right now we have begun our summer schedule. Yes, May is considered summer in our house! YAHOO! 


FIRST: A few weeks before each segment, I sit my family down with these templates mentioned above. We list out goals, desires, and needs. I get a four month calendar ready and gather, write out, and list all of our commitments, trips, meetings, and such. 

I then plan out certain days to do certain things based off our needs.
--> We will continue to homeschool two days a week this summer. (We never stop reading, learning math and language. I also take this opportunity to help my kiddos with any weaknesses.)
--> We have the other days for fun summer activities. For instance, we have been swimming at a friends pools for 9 years now. They have been gracious to allow us to come every Monday. SO Mondays are swim days. 
--> We also like to have FUN FRIDAYS. This is a time to go do something fun. (Zoo, Nerf Gun Wars, bowling, laser tag, skating, museum, slipnslide, outside adventure of some sort)
In the past we would have SCIENCE DAYS, COOK DAYS, and all kinds of days that met needs and activities that stretched our family in a good way.

SECOND: Once the calendar is all organized, I create a weekly schedule so everyone knows what to expect each day. I print and laminate this weekly agenda and post it up by the calendar. 

NEXT: A valuable resource I found was the acronym BORED. How many times do you hear the kids say "I'm bored!" Or want to just veg out on media?? This BORED acronym has revolutionized my household. I tweaked the original I found to fit my family. I printed and posted it by the calendar. You will notice the weekly agenda has it listed too on each day of the week we are not schooling.

Ways we flesh out BORED.
B: This is the opportunity to let your kids create. Usually its something with Legos in our house. Sometimes I make them draw something. Or what a great way to get these kids cooking! Today DJ made cookies for a gathering tonight. 
O: Outside play is self explanatory. Early in the morning is a good time when its too hot. We also have a small pool for the boys to waste some energy on. 
R: I make the kiddos read AT LEAST 30 minutes each day. We usually do this in the afternoon. It makes for a nice quiet time. We have certain books we read over the summer, but the most of the reading is pleasure reading.
E: This is a double E. No one has complained thus far. One E is less gratifying than the other. The less gratifying, exercise, can be walking our dogs, using our step master, or doing rounds of pushups. I usually measure what exercise will look like each time. (ten pushups, 300 steps, two blocks of walking the dogs, etc) The more gratifying E is earning. I created an opportunity for the kiddos to earn money OR media time. Behind each card is either money or minutes for media. The kids sure do enjoying the fruits of their labor.

D: There is alot to do around here. I am always willing to accept any help I can get. Helpful things can include checking the mail, helping with a chore, or assisting with a meal or a project. The sky is the limit here. 

LASTLY: While I like order and structure, I've learned I need to allow room for spontaneity and life's curveballs, and more importantly, the Holy Spirit, who cannot flow in and through me if I remain rigid and closed. So we allow room for changes and adjustments to our schedule as needed. 

Here is to a fun, refreshing summer!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Spring Formals

I'm These lovely ladies have had the opportunity to dress up this spring. These girls are so beautiful. It sure is fun seeing these girls all polished up.

Spring Protocol
The girls come together with their class to review proper etiquette. The everyone dresses up to have an elegant night on the town. Sure was a fun time.

A few weeks later these girls enjoy prom. The theme was ONCE UPON A PROM. It was a lovely evening with friends.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Murder Mystery

We threw a fun SWEET 16TH party for our daughter. It was a MURDER MYSTERY. This was a fun time for everyone to be guilty until proven innocent.

We basically came up with a plot with characters. We invited friends to come and assigned them a character to create and embellish. 

We were having a "CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION" for the town. We had the mayor, townspeople, a realtor, farmer, baker, business men, sheriff, and more come to enjoy a picnic together. 

Suddenly, someone falls ill and dies. It appeared to be a poisoning. After the CSI team scans the land they find the poison bottle with a receipt. This ties the murderer to a few more items, a ring pop, and doritos. 

As everyone was questioned and it was finally concluded who the murderer was. EVERYONE did a fantastic job! We then enjoyed cake and ice cream and ended with AWARDS. 

We handed out specific awards to everyone. It sure was a fun party. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Taylor's 9th!

Happy birthday to our joyful nine year old.

Seriously, this guy was smiling in the womb.

 He has always been marked with the spirit of Joy from the very beginning.

So blessed to have him in our family!