Sunday, December 30, 2007

With Baby Brother in Tow

Is there anything any better than a baby brother? Not to Big Brother Jordan! "Big J" and "Little J" share a special relationship together! Thank You, Jesus, for brothers!

Our White Christmas

What a special surprise it was for us to enjoy a "White Christmas" in the Country this year!

Friday, December 28, 2007

A Very Special Christmas Present

Here is a very special Christmas present handmade by our dear friend Jaime Lyn. Isn't it cute?

A Star at the Top of the Tree

Here is a lovely picture of the top of our Christmas Tree. Notice that the branches form a beautiful "real" star right up against our ceiling. This is the most natural "star" we could come up with! Happy Jesus Birthday!

Our Christmas Newsletter

Strang Family Christmas Newsletter 2007
Greetings Everyone!
We hope this finds all of you, our dear family and friends, healthy and blessed by God. Well, another year has quickly passed and it is time for our annual Christmas Newsletter. We will begin with the youngest and most popular member of our family... Baby Judah!
Our baby boy has grown into an adorable one year old. He is very little, very cute and VERY feisty! Judah continues to thrive in spite of his heart defect, his many doctor visits, and his two hospital stays. He is a spirited little fellow and currently weighs in at 15 lbs. 10 oz. Though very small in stature, he has quite a big personality. Judah uses American Sign Language to “talk” to us and he has about 4o + signs now with which he can fully communicate. When he is in a “less expressive” mood, he will use his words and say “Da-Da” or “Ma-Ma” and maybe even choose to use some of his barnyard animal sounds! (Okay... So he spends a lot of time with our 17 chickens, 4 goats, and 1 barn cat...) His latest favorite noise is the sound of Daddy’s electric toothbrush which he makes whenever it is “brush your teeth time”. All in all, this little guy is loved, pampered, and doted upon by his six adoring family members.... Spoiled?? Well, maybe just a bit! But we want him to know just how special he is to all of us! Next year he looks forward to “Child Training Boot Camp 101”!! Hooray!!!

Eden, age 9 years, has finally accepted — with cheerfulness — her blessed title of “Resident Laundry Girl”. This past year, Father and Mother added many new responsibilities to her “to do” list... including... but not limited to... washing dishes, cleaning toilets, scrubbing floors, vacuuming carpets and of course cleaning the girls room and organizing all of her “stuff”. When not doing her household chores, Eden can be found outside checking on our flock of 16 laying hens and one rooster. She makes sure that they are all well fed with plenty of organic feed and lots of fresh water. In turn, they supply us with farm fresh eggs. Yum!! In her spare moments, Eden enjoys piano, ballet, and sewing... And she even dreams of becoming a world famous cello player (???) Lest you think she is perfect– we must report that recently she became enraged about her patent leather shoes not fitting properly and promptly threw them at her sister. It was not a pretty sight. Oh well, at least she makes great chocolate chip cookies and that is well pleasing to her Mother!

12 year old Jordan — affectionately called “Brother”— keeps himself very busy up at the piano. An avid music lover, Jordan puts a lot of extra effort into his piano practice and is always ready to jump up (with Baby Brother in tow) to lead us in Family Worship after dinner. When he is not busy with piano practice, Jordan can be found collecting wood, chopping trees, and building all kinds of neat stuff outside. He has other chores to do too — like garage sweeping, mudroom cleanup, and daily trash detail (this would include “chicken trash” found in the bottom of the chicken house). During his indoor rest times, he can be found with his head in the fridge looking for leftovers... That’s right! Nothing goes to waste here and Mother can always depend on Jordan to eat... and eat well! Jordan’s favorite subject in home school is speech and the girls all agree that he has “the gift of GABBING” and should win the “Best Talker Award” at any upcoming speech tournament! And to think he started out a quiet boy!! Jordan’s latest accomplishment was slithering down the stairs while bound and gagged by a secret intruder in his bedroom. Do you think that kept him quiet?? Seriously though, we thank the Lord for the great help that “Big Brother” is to our family and we hope to heap LOTS more work upon him in the upcoming year... to greatly improve his work ethic, of course! Well, isn’t that our job as parents??

If you happen by our property on a beautiful sunny day or perhaps you arrive at our house on a cool and rainy afternoon chances are good that you will find 14 year old Bethany out and about doing what she loves best. Rain or shine, sleet or snow, sun or clouds... one can find Bethany spending a good portion of her day enjoying the woods outside our back door. She can often find herself “lost in wonder” somewhere within the great green evergreens that the Lord so majestically created behind our house. Sometimes she is reading her Bible or praying or maybe working on her favorite wooden art, that is, her walking stick creations. When it is chore time, Bethany busies herself with our growing goat herd. Right now, she and her sister Shiloh tend our two fleece goats and our two dairy goats. If all goes well, we hope to have the girls caring for goat kids and milking the mommas in the late spring to provide our family with healthy goat milk. When indoors, Bethany works hard at piano and violin and her least favorite subject which is school work. She still enjoys ballet and finds square dancing an especially fun treat (girl partners only, please!) Bethany is co-editor of her own magazine called “Virtuous Women” and is looking forward to trying her best at the upcoming NCFCA Speech Tournaments next year.

Being the firstborn in a family has always had its ups and downs and it is no different for Big Sister Shiloh. At age 16years, Shiloh is a lovely young lady with an irresistible desire for good books of antiquity. She will gladly spend many hours of the day in a comfy corner in our home enjoying a great book of yesteryear. Because of this, Shiloh has learned so much about the way young ladies conducted themselves in the “old days”. She then uses this understanding to encourage other younger ladies through the “Virtuous Women” magazine that she and Bethany co-edit together. Shiloh is dependable and loves to come along side of her Mother to help prepare healthy meals for the family. Some of her greatest creations are fabulous fresh salads and yummy pasta dishes. Having prayed for a LONG time for a baby for our family, Shiloh shares a special relationship with her youngest brother. (We do have to constantly remind her that he will sooner or later allow his true (sin) nature be known just like the rest of her younger siblings!) Shiloh has become especially proficient at poopy diaper changing, residual messy food clean up, and baby talk/sign language interpretation. She plays the piano and violin and enjoys ballet, square dancing, speech class and has become very social with a group of nice girls that go to “sewing circle” together. When outdoors, she works hard caring for the goats and looks forward to breeding them and then taking care of the goat kids. Being raised a city girl for most of her life, we’d say that she has adjusted quite well to country life! Shiloh loves babies and talks of maybe becoming a midwife someday— although she really doesn’t like algebra and hopes that she won’t need that for delivering babies! All in all, Shiloh carries a lot of responsibility in our home and we all really appreciate her helpful spirit! Oh — and NO!! She is not driving and she does not have email!

Ken, by the grace of the Living God, thankfully finished his probationary year as a fireman/paramedic in July 2007. He has been strategically placed at one of the busiest fire stations in the area. He still arrives home from work in the morning with a hot cup of Starbucks for Cindy and a smile on his face. After each of his shifts he needs a morning nap with Judah due to the fact that he is usually awake all the night before! Wow! What a Man!!! Ken takes his role of fatherhood very seriously and seeks to please God in his ever increasing responsibilities of training up godly offspring. Cindy... well, she just prays A LOT! And as long as the Lord keeps providing her with lots of chocolate.... Well, you know the story there! She is one happy Momma!

By the way, our Christmas picture this year is of the children dressed up like Israeli children for “Missions Sunday” at our church. When you see our picture please “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” like the scripture commands us in Psalm 122:6. If you would like to know what we are doing on any given day of the year, tune in to our family blog which is

“Oh give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” ~ Psalm 136 May our wonderful Lord Jesus bless you all as we enter into 2008.
Love and Blessings,
Ken & Cindy
and Shiloh, Bethany, Jordan, Eden and Judah

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Violin Recital

This past week, the girls played in a Christmas violin recital. Jordan accompanied them on the piano. It was a beautiful evening!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Christmas Tree

This past week we went up the mountain and found ourselves a beautiful tree. Next we all took turns cutting it down. Then we headed home and set it up in our living room. Here are some pictures from our trip!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hanukkah 2007

This evening we had the wonderful privilege of celebrating the first evening of Hanukkah which is an annual festival of the Jews that is celebrated for eight days in the month of Kislev on the Jewish calendar. You can learn more about celebrating all of the Jewish holidays by finding this book: "A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays" by Robin Scarlotta.
Earlier today, the children and I studied about the early church and the many martyrs that gave their lives for their faith in Jesus Christ. The "spice candle" on the left in our picture is lit in honor of Polycarp who was one of many Christ honoring believers in the early church. He was martyred under the rule of Hadrian, emperor of Rome in AD 155. While being bound at the stake, he prayed out loud, "Lord God, Father of our blessed Savior, I thank Thee that I have been deemed worthy to receive the crown of martyrdom, and that I may die for Thee and Thy cause."