Where The Orange Blossoms Grow....

Hello! Welcome to the Stricklen's blog. We hope to keep our family and friends up to date with what is going on with our family. You will find a variety of experiences posted here -- you may find pictures of the never ending project of building our house, Callie helping William with his first steps, Mary studying a rare insect species, or perhaps you may be terribly bored with Molly's numerous fruit trees, berries, vegetables and rare plant pictures! Who knows what we may find Chris and CJ doing -- probably something having to do with a tractor or machine of sorts. Abby and Margaret will keep us entertained with costumes from other lands or a fairy story. Whatever we post, we trust it will lift your spirits and bring honor and glory to our Lord!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Crossroads '09 Conference

While traveling I-75 on our way to the Conference we
passed a huge Confederate flag flying in the wind.
Chris whipped off on to the closest exit. He said "I've passed that
flag too many times. I'm going to see where it is and
what the story is behind it."
It is at the Suwanee Farmer's
Market and it was erected there along with a
Memorial to the Confederate Veterans by the
Florida Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Chris was born and raised in Florida and
as always been proud of his Florida/Southern heritage-
now even more than ever - as he is truly understanding the
real history and philosophy behind what our Southern
forefathers believed and the Christian culture they


A little reflection time. I'm sure
many of his ancestors served the Confederacy proudly :)
Callie gladly researches the details!

Now this person may be one of MY Confederate ancestors!
This was among the names on the memorial.
Look at the 4th row down.
My Great Grandmother on my Mother's side
was named Ethel Holt and was from North Carolina.
We'll have to research this as well.
My mother was born in North
Carolina and is a truly southern lady!


I consider my heritage to be Southern as well.
My roots were planted here in Central Florida.
God sovereignly called my Grandparents and Parents
to Central Florida over 35 years ago and I have
lived here ever since(minus 1 year in KY).
I was honored to be part of a family that was instrumental
in starting 5 Christian schools in the Central
Florida area. I met my husband at the last one
we started. I watched the hand of God providentially
take care of our family all those years while we
were doing His will in this region. I watched
my Grandfather and Father face
jail time for standing on their
Constitutional rights at
one of our schools. I watched and experienced
God's Sovereign hand
on our family as He led me and my sister
to our husbands in that tiny Christian
school in Central Florida. I have listened to
and been fed by my Father as
my Pastor for over 28 years
and my husband has had the privilege of
being under his teaching for over 20 years.

The place God
planted our family those
many years ago and all of these
experiences and memories make up my Godly,Southern
heritage for which I am truly grateful
and would not trade for anything in this world.
Our extended family
has had a tremendous impact for God's kingdom in
this particular area over the past 28 years!


Now enough of being side tracked, on to the



(The following was excerpted from my sister, Beth's, blog www.thedischerfamily.blogspot.com
She did such a GREAT job condensing the entire Conference, that
I decided to post her summary here - hope this is ok, Beth! Thanks!!)

A conference which enlightened our family and refocused our vision.
We in America are truly at a crossroads.
We are all aware that this out of control spending of fiat currency
cannot last forever. We are financially and morally
bankrupt and under God's judgement,
yet as Christians, what is the "next step"?

At this inspiring convention, we were very much encouraged in this area.
A few things we brought away from this conference were to...

-- Plan as a family for the future - both physically and spiritually.

-- Have goals as a family in order to be proactive in confronting our culture for Christ

-- Train our children (and ourselves!) to think beyond an entertainment based lifestyle -
encourage a productive lifestyle instead

-- Even and especially in the face of disaster, we have opportunities to impact our society
the kingdom of God

-- Children are a blessing from the Lord and are the arrows that we send into the future for His

-- Encourage our daughters, to give her heart, her time, and her talents to her father and
his vision, and she will be ready to do the same for her husband

-- Encourage our sons to be ready for marraige with a 200 year plan for his own progeny

-- Ensure that all entertainment is compatable with the vision God has given our family and not
detracting from it

-- Encourage siblings to work together in harmony

"Where there is no vision, the people perish..." Prov. 29:18

By: Beth Discher

"Redeeming the Time Because the Days are Evil..." Eph 5:16

Mr. and Mrs. Botkin
The entire Botkin Family

Wills found a friend

And was quite taken by her!

The little boys did a good job of keeping
quiet during the long sessions

Margaret made some friends
(So did the older girls - just no pictures!)

I guess one session was just too long

The Botkin sisters play the harp beautifully!!!

My dear mother and I. It was a great time for our
entire family (minus the Millers in AK and my
brother Jason who sent Ashley and Savannah with us :)

~Mary and Grace~
The children appreciated the Conference as
much as the parents!

Patriarchs of the Families

These men are serious about

the spiritual and physical

futures and well being of

their families

We pray that God will

give them wisdom and guidance

in these coming days.

My Father leading in prayer

My dear husband

Beth's husband, Eddie



Mr. Special!

Wills and Mommy

Mary enjoying fried pickles

Beth and Chris' Mother, Susan
Decisions, Decisions!
Anyone who knows Eddie knows
he doesn't like deciding what
to order!

One sweet face

And another
And another!
Grandma Sue and Wills at breakfast


The Best of Friends

We will cherish these moments in time;
hold them close to our hearts

And think of them when we miss
you most


Lunch with the Whiddons by the River

The Conference Center was right on the Chatahootchee River

Brooke and Callie
Sweet Nina

Laney ~ Who is sweet as well ~

Timothy and Michael
CJ's great friends!

*~*~*~ Little Timmy Willie*~*~*~

*~*~*~The Whiddon and Stricklen girls*~*~*~

See you next time!

God bless and thanks for reading!

Posted by: Mama

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Happy Days at Home

It's good to be alive and well and serving the LORD!!

Jumping for JOY!!

~~~~Mr. Fix It~~~~

He has all his tools

He repairs stairs...

And lawnmowers....

He EVEN fixes toilets!!

What's blossoming?
A few things :)

Apple Trees



Plum Trees

Blossoming into a lovely young lady

Peach Trees
We have 3 varieties this year!

Navel Oranges


Brussel Sprouts and more Cabbage

Brussel Sprouts!

Callie's "Sea Island" Cotton plant
(She's in charge of the cotton growing trials)

The Quest for Friendship
By William Pearce Stricklen

Here Kitty, Kitty! Will you play with me?

I'm really nice to cats. I'll give you LOTS of cat food!
I'll dump CUPFULS in your dish!

Do ya like weeds?

Leaving so soon??

++++++ Contemplation ++++++


~~~ One Busy Boy ~~~

Mmmm, I think I'll help myself to a little tea!

Central Florida Rednecks (Don't ask!)
Dressed, posed and photographed
by Abby
CJ's expression is really quite revolting!

Playing with kitty

Riding horsy Climbing through fences

Tired baby :)

**** Visitors at Home ****

Kitty is always a welcome visitor when she comes to fetch
ice for her family

Please stay a while, Sarah!
Yes we have plenty..... This will allow for about 20 minutes of
good conversation!
What could be on Gracie's mind?

They just LOVE Pete!

Callie is busy putting her new commercial Singer to good use

The finished product - Callie is making matching dresses
for all 4 girls for this year's Father Daughter Retreat :)

Chris welding ~ He put sides on his dump trailer

Our water tank overflowing

Water is a beautiful thing - I thank the Lord every day
for clean, wonderful water!

The orange tree by Chris' office
A beautiful Central Florida sunset


Good night and God bless each of you!
Posted by: Mama