Help us bring home Rose

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Christmas Story

The Christmas Story
by Strand kids
and Will kids
Once a long time ago, there was a young girl named Mary who was betrothed to marry a man named Joseph. An angel appeared to Mary and told her she was to be with child and she was to call him Jesus. Joseph also was visited by an angel who told him of the baby Mary was carrying and that it was God's son. He chose to continue with the engagement. They, along with everyone else in the country had to go to their families home to be counted.
So Mary and Joseph made the long trek to Bethlehem.
They were so tired and searched for an Inn to stay because Mary was so close to giving birth to the baby Jesus. ALL the Inns were full but one Innkeeper allowed them to stay in the stable. It was there that Mary gave birth to her newborn son and wrapped him in a cloth and laid him in a manger.
Mary and Joseph couldn't believe that they were holding, rocking, kissing and singing to their Savior.

In a field there were shepherds who were watching their sheep. All of a sudden, there appeared an angel of the Lord who said, "Fear not. I bring you good tidings of great joy. For unto you, a child is born in Bethlehem. And his name shall be Emmanuel. Go and find him, you will find him in manager."

(yes there were blue elephants in the field that night as well)
The shepherds found the babe just as the angel had said and they bowed and worshiped him.

Three Wise men came also to see this child whom the prophets had foretold. They brought him gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh.

)(I think that is when Mary and Joseph broke out in a dance)

They all were in awe of what had just happened and praised God for this miracle.

They prayed and thanked God for allowing them to witness the birth of a King. One who would grow to be the King of Kings.

A king who would one day save the world.

(This is obviously an abbreviated version and there are many wonderful and important parts of this story we left out. But for 6 kids 7 and under-this was long enough, trust me.)


Last night Travis and I watched a movie called "Mugabe and the White African". It was on Netflix and said it was a documentary about white farmers in Zimbabwe who are being forced off their land.
I really enjoy watching docs and anything about Africa, so we thought it would be a good one.
It WAS!!!!
I was on the edge of my seat the whole time as it followed a family who farmed in Zimbabwe and was being harassed by the gov. to leave. I won't get into all the political issues surrounding this movie, but what I was so impressed with was the family this doc. followed.
At first, they didn't mention their faith in God. They were just good people wanting to live their lives and stand up for what is right. Then as the movie progressed, it was so evident that they trusted God for EVERYTHING! They HAD to! They trusted in God for their safety, for their lives-which is the hardest, I think. We trust God for so many things, but in America, most of us don't have the threat of someone just barging through our doors and taking everything we have. We can call the police, if that does happen. But these people didn't. They lived everyday with the threat of that happening and they watched as it happened to many of their fellow white farmers. They even had their 3 young children living there too!! I think it would be easier to trust God with my life but putting my children in danger is another level-which is odd because God loves them more than we do.
When they were interviewed about it, they would continue to say that they trusted God with their lives and running away never solved anything.
Saying it is one thing, but living it-which they did- is a whole other thing.
Three of the four adults were kidnapped and severely beaten in attempt to get them to give up. Thankfully, they survived and continued to fight for their farm.
I pray I can always have faith like that! Faith in God to supply ALL my needs-not WANTS-and if it came down to it-my LIFE and/or my children's lives.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Time

(Sorry the photos are in the wrong order)

Our Christmas week has began!! We started off by decorating a gingerbread house together. The kids had fun with all of the candy and imagining having a real house made of gingerbread cookie. We tried something different this year and let the kids open their presents not on Christmas Eve or day.(Thanks Dawn for the inspiration) Since Travis is off this week we decided to do it today. The kids were excited when we told them they could open their presents-it was a total shock to them. They even sat nicely while we figured out how to get the self-timer on my camera to work:) So here is some pics of the last couple days:

Oliver getting his creative groove on with a Lite Brite
Thatcher the Viking playing with Woody

Addis with her new dollhouse

Sebastian with his favorite-Buzz Lightyear

We tried to have them open one at a time to make sure we could see every one's reaction-didn't work though.

Family picture before opening presents

On their best behavior because they know what's about to happen:)

Their finished house.

Do I really need to tell you Addis was excited to do this?


Patiently waiting for the decorating to begin. I think when we do this again next year we will maybe buy more icing and candy. We ran out of icing and some of the candy was so small it was hard for the little ones to handle. But still a fun thing to do!
WE are enjoying our time together as a family, but we are still so aware of the members of our family who aren't with us. Hudson would have been there right in the middle of it all-playing alongside his brothers. M & A will be opening their gifts from us soon and hopefully be excited to be a part of our family soon.
Now that the main present part is over, we are looking forward to concentrating on Jesus' birthday. We have a cake ready to make and some activities to help keep our minds on what Christmas is really about.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A little getaway

I just got back from a wonderful little getaway with my sisters and mom. For my sisters birthday she wanted all of the sisters and mom to meet her in NYC for a weekend. She planned the whole thing from the Broadway show to eating places. She has a friend who lives in Manhattan who said we could stay at her place.
It was hard for me to leave my kids and the responsibilities I have as a mother and wife, even though I knew it was going to be a fun time together as sisters and mom.
I flew into the town my sister lives and was able to spend a full day just hanging out with her family. I have never had the privilege of being an auntie to my nephews and nieces so this was a treat.
On Friday we drove into the NYC and met my other sisters and my mom who drove from MO. Once the shock of us all being together in NYC wore off, we started our amazing weekend.
We ate at some great places and shopped at some fun stores. (Although it was more window shopping)
We saw Wicked on Broadway. It was my first official Broadway show on Broadway, so I was so excited. I have always wanted to see one and growing up had dreams of performing on Broadway. (Oh how dreams change)
It was amazing, as expected. I cried, as expected.
My sister planned for us all to get mani-pedi's in the morning. The place had massage chairs while you got your pedicures, which was a highlight for me. We all left with beautiful hands and feet.
We created many memories and funny moments with each other. I won't bore you with them all.
But I just wanted to warn you that if you happen to have stomach issues and you are out at nighttime, THERE ARE NO PUBLIC BATHROOMS......ANYWHERE.......not that I experienced that, just wanted to warn you in case YOU happen to be in that situation. :)

As much as I love the city life and can see myself living there, I had no problem coming home to my, when compared, boring life. I love where I am right now and where God is leading us.
Thank you Nicole for planning this memorable weekend and thank you Brittany, Shelby and MOM for all coming and being who you are to make it what it was-A GREAT WEEKEND.
And a big THANK YOU to Travis, who watched the kids and had the house CLEAN when I came home so I wouldn't have to the next day.
I will post pics soon.