Wednesday, June 29, 2011

today is funday

...but it's actually wednesday.

noah likes to ask what day it is. pretty much every single day. multiple times a day.
i don't really mind.
sometimes i just tell him straight up what day it is.
sometimes i sing it to him.
sometimes i say it in a funny voice.
he thinks i'm silly.

we went to centre island today with our dear friends, the humphreys.
we got to the island before them so we had some family time in which we enjoyed some good old fashioned swinging
(why yes i did dress my boys in the same outfit. it helps to find them in public places. i know. genius.)

(o hello runny nose!)

and of course...rides, rides, RIDES!

(even though it looks like jude was cowering, he loved every second of it. promise.)

and then once we met up with our friends there were some more rides!

(okay, so noah totally loves rides. he's SO happy!)

and we went on possibly the fastest merry-go-'round known to man. seriously. it was fast.
and apparently i took a lot of pictures. but it was good. because it's been a few days since i picked up my camera and took some pictures. and some turned out pretty good (if i do say so myself).

and it was oh-so-good to hang out with dawn & eric again. we've had some good times and memories with those two and it's sad to say good bye for who knows how long (though i hope no longer than 2 years!). 

and (last sentence i start with "and", i promise) the kids went the entire day with NO NAPS. we didn't get home until 8:40pm so it was a loooong day. but they did really well, all things considered. 

so maybe it was funday and wednesday all at once.

Monday, June 27, 2011

right here. right now.

a week and a half ago i was running when i tripped and fell.
big time.
it was more incredible than embarrassing if you can believe it.
i was shocked at how far i flew and the velocity with which i flew.
i could not have stopped myself if i tried.
because of this major wipeout (Major Wipeout! - HIMYM fans?) i've had these ridiculous scabs on my knees and my left elbow/arm. i forgot how bad a "picker" i am. it's probably borderline obsessive. is it easy for anyone not to pick a crusty scab?

just me?

okay. moving along.

today i took the boys for a bike ride in their new bike trailer that my parents bought for their collective birthdays to enjoy for this summer while we're here. it was a pretty long bike ride for someone who hasn't really done a long bike ride in quite some time. just over 10.5km. (my butt really hurts.)

i'm glad exercise is part of my life.
i want and need to exercise.
not just because i feel like i'll get fat but because i actually enjoy working my body and i feel better physically and emotionally after i exercise.

i like the length of my hair right now. sometimes when i let it air dry it looks awesome. sometimes it doesn't. (right now it looks awesome.)

on the craft docket for this week with the boys is this and this. i'm excited for both.

sometimes i feel like cramming my social calendar chock full.
sometimes i feel like hibernating.
right now? i feel like i might actually be somewhere in the middle. which is a good thing.

when the seasons change is when i find it hardest to fight materialism in my heart.

i think i'm falling deeper in love with Jesus. for me and Jesus it's always been gradual. no shocking testimony here. (aside from the fact that He chose me.)

i'm also falling deeper in love with jamie (we celebrated 7 years of marriage on saturday) and i'm so thankful to have married a man who loves Jesus more than he loves me. i'm also really thankful for God's grace and mercy to me and jamie.
we were so young and immature and selfish (okay, so i'm pretty much speaking mainly for me) and yet He has used us and changed us and held us together so that i can honestly say that i do love jamie more today than i did 7 years ago.

i am continuing to surrender my hopes and desires for what my family is "supposed" to look like and am holding my plans loosely in my upward-facing palms. i have lots of hopes and dreams and desires, but i'm learning to want what Jesus wants most of all. it's usually in this state that my dreams and hopes end up aligning with God's plans and desires for me. so good!

this is the part of the blog post where most people go back and edit and delete.
but i have many people in my life that i love dearly and haven't been able to share with as much lately and so here i am. unfiltered. unedited. this is me and my heart and my life as of recent.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

where i find myself

i didn't ever expect to be homeschooling my kids.
i grew up in the public school system and in general it was an extremely positive experience for me.
of course junior high was awkward but i look back with no regrets.
i loved high school.
public school turned out to be best for me.
but i know that is not everyone's experience.
and it's okay.
but i always assumed i'd be sending my kids to the public school "just down the street".
and i think if we were staying in Canada, that's probably what we'd be doing with noah come september.
but we're not.
so i'm not.

so i find myself immersed in this {daunting and extremely overwhelming} world of homeschooling.
it's unreal how vast and varied the options are.
and to be honest, because i've been so overwhelmed by it all, i haven't done much research.
i keep telling myself,

it's just junior and senior kindergarten. how hard can it be?

i've downloaded a few free resources from the internet and a friend gave me one of those all-in-one curriculum books you can buy at costco and was on my "to do" list before we make the big move.
and then i stumbled across some lesson plans on the focus on the family canada website.
they aren't necessarily "homeschooling" resources, but are a resource for raising and training children up in the Lord. they're called Kids of Integrity and they're F R E E.
i quickly scanned one of the lessons {go figure, i choose the one on obedience. where do you think we're struggling right now?} and download it. then proceed to download the rest of them.
i don't know if i'll use every single point of every single lesson, but what a great foundation to build upon and use to help teach and train noah and jude {although i'll mainly be focusing on noah at this stage}.

i'm actually starting to get excited about homeschooling and i have no idea what my game plan will be for when we get back, but i'll trust that God will continue to lead me and us where He wants us to be. my job is to respond in obedience. whatever that looks like.

so this is where i find myself.
starting the homeschooling journey.
and i'm okay with that.
for now.

what route have you chosen for your child(ren)'s education?
do you have any resources you love?
and helpful tips or websites?
i'm all ears...

Friday, June 24, 2011

from 6 to 13 5 years.

5 years ago it was just the six of us. 

Mike, Elisha, Jamie and I road tripped it to Windsor to hang out with the newlyweds, Steve & Regan. 

Now there are thirteen of us. 
6 adults.
7 kids.

It didn't feel like there were as many of us as it looks. 
Does that make sense?

It was fun. 
I have some good memories that I'll recall over the next two years with fondness and thankfulness to have such wonderful people in my life.

*photo credit to Regan Thomson (or at least to her camera. and to the kiddie ride attendant that took the picture.)

Monday, June 20, 2011


Yesterday at church we brought the boys into the second service (we had just gone to the first service) because we wanted to see our friend's baby boy get dedicated.
We tromped up the stairs and sat in the balcony.
We sang one song and then the worship leader started talking a bit about what God had been teaching her.
When you're with kids, any kind of "quiet" time seems to stretch on and on into infinity.
In my mind, she was talking
a lot.
And Noah wanted to draw so he was ShoutWhispering to me that he wanted to draw an "H" for me and an "O" for Daddy and so I said that was fine and gave him some paper.
Jude was forgoing the ShoutWhispering and loudly pointing out the many fans that were on the ceiling.



Yes. Yes. Lots of fans.
Here, have an Altoid.


Noah ShoutWhispers


And then Noah catches the word "children" coming from the worship leader.

In a ShoutWhisper:


Yes, she said children. She's talking about how we are God's children. If you love Jesus, you are a child of God. I love Jesus so I'm God's child.


Oh Noah. You do make me smile.

We sang a couple more songs and then got to watch our friend's son get dedicated.
And then we high-tailed it outta there! {read: Jamie scooped up Jude and Noah stomped all the way down the balcony stairs, across the balcony and then slid down the banister that I used to slide down when I was a little girl.}


i go to therapy. 
a few times a week.
but i don't see a counselor.

it's laundry.
i hang my laundry on the line.

and it's like therapy for me. 
it used to frustrate me.
how long it took to hang everything up.

but now i actually enjoy it.
i'm not sure what happened along the line for me to get where i am
but it's soothing.
and sometimes (most times) i'm a little ocd about it.
i hang all the shorts first.
then the tees.
and sometimes i colour co-ordinate them as i hang them.
it's my little system. 
i think it's something i can accomplish and tangibly see results.

today is a perfect day for laundry.

a perfect day for therapy.

*please don't misunderstand and think i am making fun or light of therapy or conditions like ocd. i realize there are reasons to go to therapy. hanging my laundry helps me clear my mind and feel relaxed. it is therapeutic for me. thanks.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

a home to call our own

we have a home in Uganda!

you can read the story about how we found it here: on our ministry blog, the Strickland scoop.

it was quite the adventure and nothing short of what i expected finding a house in africa to be.

when we move there and i put my 'womanly' touches on it, i'll post some pictures of the inside, but for now here's a shot our friend took when he went to scout it out before we visited last week.

a home!


To my Father,

I love you. I am so thankful for you and for the role you've played in my life. You've been a quiet constant that remained steady even during the rocky storms.
Now you are the grandfather to my children. It does something inexplicable to my heart whenever I hear one of my boys call out, "Grandpa?" (you know I'm thinking of Jude's little singsong voice when I write that, right?).
Thank you.
We (me, Jamie and the boys) all love you very dearly and are so thankful we get to spend these months with you before we leave.

last summer in Quebec with Jude.

To the father of my children,

I love you.
Jamie, I always knew you'd be a fantastic dad. I often thought you'd be a better dad than I would be a mom. You love your boys. And they love you.
You can tell the influence you have in their lives and especially Noah's as he says things like,
When I grow up, I'm going to be a Daddy and have a beard and go to work on a campus. Just like MY Daddy. Oh and I'm going to drive a car, too. 
He emulates you. He wants to be you. And I know you don't take your role lightly (as you might have some believe) as you strive to be a man who loves Jesus and loves others.
Thank you for being present.
For valuing our family above other things.
Thank you for valuing Jesus most.
We love you so much!

pretending to sleep.

wrestling time on the bed.

Friday, June 17, 2011

beach day

we went to the beach today.

breathe in.

breathe out.

so relaxed.

it was hazy. but lovely. 

going and coming back

we went to the beaches today.

i am going to miss this city. this country.

so much.

it's hard to know where to even begin. we flew for over 17 hours to be in africa for 6 days.
we found a house.
we met the people we'll be working with.
i remembered the smells of living in an over populated city with diesel pollution and people coming up to your car window wanting to sell you things and sitting in traffic for 2 hours. we sat in traffic a lot.
i have very mixed feelings.
in a way, it's good. i know what i'm going into and it's causing me to miss my familiar already. it's causing me to soak it all in before we leave. it's causing me to grieve.
i feel strongly that this is still where we're supposed to go, but there is an ache that i feel that wasn't there before.

i am scared. i am cautious. i am excited. i am happy and thankful for the house we found - my home for the next two years. i have so many questions and thoughts and things to find out before we go.

i still have peace.

at Murchison Falls

the African Queen going to the base of the falls

our future home. just kidding. it's a village we passed on safari.

i love giraffes.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dear Strangers in Paris,

To the man on the bike with baguettes in your basket weaving up and down the narrow street,

To the 2 young teen girls who did a double cheek kiss goodbye on the metro,

To our waiter wearing a black bow tie who insisted on pouring our wine for us every time we got low,

To the gorgeous woman riding a moped smoking a cigarette as you navigated your way onto the sidewalk around a bus,

To the guys who mooned us while we were on our boat tour of the Seine,

To all the patisseries with your baguettes and croissants and pain au chocolat,

To cafe patrons sitting outside with your beer and wine, smoking your cigarettes,

To French people everywhere with your adorable accents,

...thank you. You made our experience of Paris completely wonderful and unique and I can't imagine our two days in Paris any more perfect (besides for the rain and overcast skies).

Sunday, June 5, 2011

rock of ages

i woke up with this song in my head.

wash me, saviour
or i die.

we head to the airport in 45 minutes.
i am quietly freaking out.

have i forgotten anything?

do i have all my information that i'll need?

i'm going to miss my kiddos.

jesus, keep and hold my sweet boys. watch over them. protect them. 
sustain my parents as they watch them.
keep and protect jamie and i.
go before us. lead us to the home you've prepared for us.

wash me, saviour....or i die.

Friday, June 3, 2011

tender heart

I was busy making dinner tonight when Jamie came in from barbecuing and told me this story

I was outside when I heard these soft crying sounds and I turned and I saw Noah crouched down and softly (slightly fake) crying.
I said, "Why are you crying? What's the matter?"
He said, "I'm sad and I'm crying because these flowers are dying." and then he pointed to some wilted flowers.

When Jamie told me this I just about died - my sweet boy with such a tender heart. Crying over flowers.

Jesus, please keep his heart soft and tender for the weak ones in our world. Give him the wisdom and the compassion to go out and do something to make a difference in the world.

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