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!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Rest of the Finished Cotumes!

Here ate the rest of our completed costumes for the Reformation 500--Enjoy! Now Iv'e got to get to bed:):)
Good Night, Y'all!
Callie Sue:)
Lovely Margaret
"Yes, floof my dress, servant!"

"You ready to dance a jig???"
"Here we go!" (I would try to make it sound like he had a scottish accent, but I believe it would be better for all of us if I didn't try:):)

Lil Brothers:)
Cute, cute!!
Well, see y'all later!
Posted by Mary

Thursday, June 25, 2009

First Completed Reformation Costumes!!!

Here are our first, finally completed (WHEW!!!) costumes for the Reformation 500 in Boston!
CJ--A brave Scottish Covanentor
(and a mighty cute one at that!)
"For Christ and Kirk!!!"
Abby-- A lovely Scottish Maiden
Posted by Mary Noelle

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Best Gift

Today was my 41st Birthday -- woo, hoo!!!  I was very busy doing payroll, tax preparations, paying bills and getting ready for our big trip to Boston.  But during the day I took some time to reflect on the events of the day.  The best gift a person can receive is a godly family.  I am so blessed by the Lord for giving me the precious family that I have.  No material gift could bring me the joy that I experienced today just being me!

The day started out with each of my precious children giving me a hug and saying, "Happy Birthday, Mama!" Even little Wills was coaxed into it with his sisters prompting. I received phone calls from all my siblings, both my parents, and my mother in law.  I got another call from my sweet nieces and nephew who sang "Happy Birthday" to me! I almost teared up while they sang because of their thoughfulness.  I recognized each unique voice of these children I have known and loved for so many years, but I thought "Hey!  This is a happy occasion! NO TEARS!!"

My dear children made me the breakfast of my choice, made special cards and notes, a batch of cookies I requested,  as well as watching William for me while my husband took me out for lunch :)
Then most of the Discher family paid me a visit tonight with a gift and some precious fellowship.
I am truly blessed with these sweet and thoughtful loved ones. 
Just being thought of on my "special" day and being appreciated in that way means so much to me.
I thank the Lord every day for this wonderful family!

Posted by: Mama Stricklen
(My Mama may be the only one who recognizes the post time as a familiar one!)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day Daddy!!

Happy Father's Day Daddy!!!
We LOVE you and appreciate you!
We hope you have a good Father's Day!
                                               Love, Your Children
"The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice:
and he that begetteth a wise [child] shall have joy of him."
                                                                Proverbs 23:24
                      "A truly rich man is one whose children
                  run into his arms when his hands are empty"

" A father is someone you never
outgrow the need for"
Only a dad with a tired face,
       Coming home from the daily race,
 Bringing little of gold or fame
                   To show how well he has played the game;
              But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
            To see him come and to hear his voice.
Only a dad with a brood of four,
 One of ten million men or more   
 Plodding along in the daily strife,  
          Bearing the whips and the scorns of life,
      With never a whimper of pain or hate,
            For the sake of those who at home await.
Only a dad , neither rich nor proud,
Merely one of the surging crowd,    
Toiling, striving from day to day,     
 Facing whatever may come his way,
 Silent whenever the harsh condemn,
   And bearing it all for the love of them.
Only a dad but he gives his all,       
         To smooth the way for his children small, 
Doing with courage stern and grim  
 The deeds that his father did for him.
This is the line that for him I pen:     
Only a dad, but the best of men.      

Posted by: Callie           

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Summer Days

Collecting the summer rains - How exciting!
Something is wrong with this picture
I don't know what
Just something!
A child shouldn't be sitting beside a TV
IN a cabinet
Son and Father
Grits: "What am I going to do with this child?"
Growing in the Word
"How to Get Dressed
in  4 Easy Steps"
By William Stricklen
Age 2
Rip drawer open at the risk
of it falling on your toes
(Wear cowboy boots every day as a precaution)
Choose the slobbiest shirt in there
that would go best with worn out sweat pants
Give your older sister a glance as
she tries to make you smile
Proceed in getting dressed -- But be prepared
to choose another "favorite" outfit in about an hour!
Future Pilot
Lazy Summer Days
Brothers always have a good time outdoors
"Cotton Top"
Friends Always
Rain Lilies
A view of Bok Tower from our deck
Excitement!  A New Liner = Clean Pool!
...And Summer Nights
Old Glory flying proudly on Memorial Day
Those stained glass windows finally doing what they were intended to do!
Dreams really do come true - Thank you, Lord!
 Callie took this beautiful Sunset picture in our yard
 Wild Children
(Whose are they?)
and where have their parents been??
Well, there is Daddy!
Daddies make the best horsies!
In the Kitchen
Hmmm, What to do with lots of jalapenos?
Get your gloves and goggles.....
And make some "Stuffed Jalapenos"!! 
These were absolutely divine!
Hava sum PIZ'ZA!
(Ok, bad Italian accent!)
Callie has become quite good at her homemade pizza :)
Margaret's first pie
Homemade Dill Pickles
We ended up with loads of pickling cukes from our garden.
Callie made some dill pickles and I made some sweet ones.
Callie's Dill Pickles - Sorry, no pictures of the Sweet Pickles
Church Picnic in the
"Enchanted Forest"
and Blackberry Picking
Making preparations for the church picnic
Home grown peaches and lots of other goodies
Mary decided to make a chocolate cake
It was delicious!
We have to bring some freshly brewed iced tea!
Our family at the picnic
My parents enjoying the beautiful property the
Lord has provided for them.
This property has become a very special
place for their grandchildren ~ Lots of memories here!
The Waldmans and Dischers along with Terrie and Amanda
William's bucket never seemed to gain any berries!
Sweet Friends
I love this picture!
The end of a lovely day!
Unusual Visitors!
Argghh!!! I'm here to seize the tea!
Hand it over!
Ahh, Yes, Darling!
Oh, no!  I think they have affected my child!
Four Bad Mice Come for a Visit!
(The bad mice play while Jane and Lucinda are away)
We came home one day and found these pictures on our camera!
They came just looking for mischief!
Smile big, Mandy, You'll regret it later!
They incriminated themselves
by leaving these on our camera!
I see Hunca Munca,
but where is Tom Thumb?
(Or is that Grace modeling for the latest oudoors line of clothing?)
(Or could she be stealing peaches - She is known for that!)
Disclaimer: Now, now girls.  Don't be too mad at me!
This was PAYBACK for something (?) long ago.
  You know Aunt Molly doesn't do stuff like this
very often :)