Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pictures-Weekend Wanderings

Another beautiful weekend......with lotsa fun stuff. Friday during the day I slept in (sshhh, don't tell my hubby ;) Then met Dad, Mom, and Isaac at the park for lunch....played did NOT take naps....neither one, very weird......but they did play in their beds for 3 peaceful hours!!! So I had my coffee and Jesus time since I couldn't drag my rear outa bed in the mornin.

That night we went to some friends that are in our church family. Had an AMAZING evening of yummy yummy food, great fellowship, and BLISSFUL hanging out with adults as the older kids took our kids under their wings and PLAYED WITH THEM ALL NIGHT LONG.......If any of you know Jon and Melinda Bachtold, they have the greatest kids ever and I will be hiring them to do some serious babysitting soonly!!!! Gabe came home that night with a life sized stuff dog (he's allergic to the real thing AND allergic to dust, so we took all stuffed animals away, but it breaks my heart how he wants to pet dogs, so he is so sweet how he carries this dog everywhere with him. )

Saturday morning was another good morning....we had beautiful weather all weekend!!! I met up with my friend Lisa (and forgot to get pictures ;( who was home for the weekend up from St. Louis and enjoyed the fantasical tea room in town and good talking. Then it was off to pick up my Mom to go shopping, eating, and hanging out WITH NO MONKIES!!!!! This is a rare treat for the 2 of us as we usually always have the was the funnest 8 hours ever!!! We found good deals on cute clothes and had some yummy Lonestar!!! AND......I purchased a fence!!! Finally!!!!! Good deals going on at Menards too! I'll have to post when we get the project going.

Oh, and all these pictures of this beautiful baby is sweet little 11 day old Hannah Grace....born to my cousin/big sis Marci and her husband. Big sisters Jess, Emma, Leah, Abby, and big brother Drew welcomed her home. Isn't she just precious?!?!??

And her beautiful Mama too of course ;)

We headed over to hang out with our old church family today and had another great day of hanging out, fellowship and good food. And a not too shabby family photo ;)

We went to Susie's after church.....the lady I lived with for 9 mths when I moved to Watseka, before I got married. It brought back lotsa sweet memories when I put Ellie down for her nap in my old room there. Seemed like forever ago!

The guys always like to sneak a good game of RISK in when we get together.....

It was an extra special day because my brother Joshua was with us too.....he is dating one of our friends Nickole....who is Susie's niece and she also goes to Living Hope where we used to attend.

There was so much fun stuff for our kids to do......Gabe got no nap and went to sleep fast tonite after playing so hard all day.
I am always trying to come up with new and fun things to keep the kids occupied....they LOVE to play in water so we got out the tupperware and gave toys baths ;)

I think I know what we will be doing ALL SUMMER LONG!!!!

The monkies escaping the parents who are trying to put their jammies on.....what a circus....

Our happy little bundle of energy....that is becoming quite the spitfire...

The other night at Dad and Mom's, Gabe went and laid down on the couch next to Paw-Paw
and said, "I don't feel good......I don't feel good." He thought my Dad was sick, but then when he found out he was only taking a nap, he suddenly felt better and thought a nap wasn't necessary.

A typical Ellie shot.....running with food smeared all over her face, happy as can be......

Don't you just wanna come play ball at our house!?!?!?!?

Hava happy week from all of the monkies at the Stroughs!!!! *HUGS*

Friday, May 29, 2009

Love Yourself

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: The world has a prescription for anyone who feels worthless:
“You need to learn to love yourself.”

The truth is, we do love ourselves—immensely! When Jesus tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves, He’s assuming that we naturally love ourselves. The same thing is true when Paul tells husbands to “love their wives as their own bodies.” He says, “No one ever hated his own body.” In other words, husbands are to love their wives as they naturally love themselves.

We’re constantly looking out for ourselves, sensitive to the way others treat us. We’re easily hurt, not because we don’t love ourselves, but because we desperately want to be accepted and treated well.

The way we get purpose and meaning in life is to see ourselves as God does—as sinners in need of His mercy. We find our value by accepting His incredible love.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pictures-Rodeo Time

These are 2 of the cutest cowboys I ever saw...........
Jake's battle wounds.....his motto: No Blood, No Glory.....this is what came of his 6.5 second ride!

At first we thought it was a tail-whipped wound....but after watching the video over and over....
it was confirmed just what big sis Laura thought she saw, a hoof in the face ;(
Yikes....he was one lucky boy on Saturday night.....

Here is the Champion Bull Rider--Kyle Seals untaping Jake's arm

One of my "adopted cowboy brothers" Cody Putnam....he's a real sweetie!

Cody and Jake doing the waiting game in the chutes.........

Jake's 6.5 second ride......he did awesome!!!!

Cody's ride....don't remember how long

For all of you who know this fine young bullfighter......Matt Metz: Master Bullfighter in action

Matt's girlfriend Lindsey: this was the young bull riding event.....she did great!!! Can I say brave woman1?!?!?!?!? I thought I was a real country girl...but not compared to this!!!

Ranch Rodeo 2009
One of the greatest bullfighters you will ever meet...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Soak up the Sun!!!

Since ya'll know I am a country girl AND I LOVE THE will be happy to know, I now
I have the proper research done so ya'll can quit telling me I'm gonna die from skin cancer if I don't quit tanning ;) Because seriously...we're all gonna die from something, right?

I found all this great stuff at:

Jordan S. Rubin, N.M.D,. Ph.D. author of The Maker’s Diet

“Civilizations throughout history have understood that he sun is vital to human health. The human skin uses the energy from the sun to manufacture vitamin D for the body. This hormone/vitamin is important for many reasons, including its role in strengthening immune system functions and proper mineral absorption.

Critics claim that exposure to the UV rays of the sun cause higher rates of melanoma and other forms of skin cancer. This might be true for a small population segment—those with compromised immune systems who don’t consume adequate nutrients (especially healthy fats). However, the people who actually get the most exposure to sunlight in different parts of the world exhibit the lowest incidence of skin cancer. The only logical explanation is that exposure to sunlight is not unhealthy.

What is unhealthy is exposure to sunlight with the diets we consume. Rex Russell, M.D., notes that when sunlight activates the phytochemicals in healthy foods, consumption of those foods not only blocks the harmful effects of UV rays, but they also produce ‘antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer components, as well as pest repellents.’”

Dude, did you have any idea that you can produce your own pest repellents?? Me neither.

The skin and the sun's rays work together to produce vitamin D in the body. When the sun's UV rays come into contact with the skin, DNA molecules quickly convert more than 99.9 percent of the rays' energy into harmless heat. Meanwhile, UV rays stimulate the skin's production of vitamin D, which is essential for immune response, mood stability, and bone health. In fact, inadequate doses of vitamin D have been linked to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), osteomalacia (a softening of the bones because of defective bone mineralization), and, intriguingly, increased premature cancer mortality.

That's right. An increase in cancer mortality when we don't get enough sunlight.

A study by the Institute for Cancer Research in Oslo, Norway found that higher vitamin D intake has a protective effect against some cancers. The study also found that vitamin D improves a cancer patient's prognosis; people who get more sun exposure are more likely to develop skin cancer but are less likely to die from other cancers.

In fact, that study estimates the number of lives saved by people doubling their sun exposure might be 10 times higher than the number of fatal skin cancers that would result.

So get out there and soak up the sun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


This morning I overslept.....had full intentions of getting up early to drink coffee and spend time with Jesus. At 7:45, I woke up in fog....seriously thinking about rolling over and sleeping more after weeks of BUSYNESS. But Gabe was I got up, got him some milk and shut his door again as he seriously acted like he needed more sleep.

Little Miss Ellie had not made a peep. So I decided well, I'll make a pot of coffee and try to get at least 1 cup in since the kids have been normally waking up at 730ish the last couple weeks.

The Good Lord knew how much I needed time with Him this morning in a baaaaaaaaaaad way.
Not only did I get to oversleep and 1 cup of coffee........
I got the blessing of 2 little monkies sleeping until 10 AM!!!!!
And got my whole pot of coffee drank.........and lotsa good time with Jesus.

AND....when I woke both kids up they were as happy as could be.....played together for hours without fighting at all. (And the past couple wks have been completely opposite of that!)

These are my favorite monkies in the whole wide world.....And even those these past couple wks have been crazy with Jase's musical, birthday parties, award ceremonies, graduations and parties......And Jase and I both lacking much time in The Word....we made it thru this season.
Because of Jesus.......we got thru the craziness. We got thru the frustrating times of treating each other poopy because of our own stupidity of not staying close to Him and the Cross.

Because of the daily gifts He gives us:
1- Forgiveness of our selfishness, our mistakes, our impatience
2- Grace that overflows our home
3- Peace that passes all understanding
4- Rivers of Joy
5-LOVE for us, even when we don't deserve a bit of it......
Jason and I were talking last night how much we are learning from our mistakes....we just have to daily make the choice to apply to our lives what we learn even when it's hard.
Honey....I love you and am so thankful that you keep loving me even when I keep messing up.
To my Mom....thank you for always listening and keeping us covered in prayer.
To my dear friend Angie....thank you for being a sounding board too but most of all for reminding me that I can do this, because I have it in me!
THANK YOU JESUS....thank You that when we walk thru these valleys, that no matter what, You are still with us when we get to the other side. And though the refiner's fire may get really hot at times, thank You that You never fail to give us refreshment with Your Living Water!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Pictures-Isaac's Graduation

Congratulations baby bro!!!! We're so proud of you!!!!

Oops random shot of Ellie snuck in ;)
One of our "adopted" brothers....Logan
A sweet girl I used to babysitt and have stayed friends with....Evan Mae
Isaac and a coworker of mine's son, Jordan
Isaac had just gotten his diploma
This picture is hard to see, but one of Jason's students (senior, Austin Rieger) sang a patriotic
song. This was the first time I can ever remember someone singing at graduation. All I know is Mr. Schmitt said they did such an amazing job at the Pops Concert, he wanted someone to sing at graduation.
He's done!!!!! He's officially a "big people" now.....
In Memory of the 4 students in their class that went to Heaven.....Blake was one of them.