Bucket List

I don’t have a bucket list, but I’m thinking I should write one.  So far, since I stopped writing on this blog, I have done a bunch of things I could mark off such list, if I had one.

Last year I went to hunter’s safety course, and passed, so I could go hunting with my boys. Hunting was quite cold and not really on my list of things to do, but I did it. One of those things I never would have thought to put on my bucket list.

hunting hunting2 hunting3

Last December Eric and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary and our gift was a concert.  I had never been to a concert like that in my life. We went and saw Tran-Siberian Orchestra’s Lost Christmas Eve.  It was such an exciting and fun experience! 🙂

TSO2 TSO3 TSOticketsWinter lasted forever last year and I think this coming winter will probably do the same. It has been chilly these first days of October.  It’s a beautiful time of year though!  I love fall leaves!  Their smell, the crunch under my shoes and their beautiful colors!

Photography has been happening, though I haven’t been shooting a lot lately. :\ I did 2 photo shoots in September. One was a wedding and another was a maternity shoot.  Weddings are beautiful and I think I really love SMALL weddings! I’ve never shot a big wedding, but it’s not on my bucket list. 🙂 I get stressed out about small ones enough that a big wedding would just send me over the edge. hehe Anyway, it’s been an ok year as far as sessions go. I would definitely love more sessions.

This past July we went on vacation and had such a great time!  Vacation is NEVER long enough!  We decided to do a sight seeing trip and just enjoy the USA.  Our first stop was Colorado to visit my Aunt Cindy and Uncle Fred.  It was a visit that was too short, but we loved every minute of it!  My bucket list item from there was sitting on the summit of a mountain!  I had been to Colorado before, but never did that.  It was exciting, dizzying, and the road up the mountain was a tad scary!

DSC_0652 copyEric made a snowman in July because he could.

DSC_0496 copyDSC_0561 copy DSC_0582 copy DSC_0630 copyThe kids liked their mountain top experience ok, but Grace was a little freaked out over the heights.  Ryan experienced altitude sickness the worst out of all of us. He and Grace didn’t climb up to the summit of Mount Evans because it was freezing and scary. 🙂  Nathan came along!

We traveled through 16 states total on our trip and the kids still talk about it and what a great time vacation was this year!  I’m so glad!  It was such a fun, family time together!  I hope we can do another trip next summer and make more memories like that!

We started school in mid-August and I am enjoying the school year.  Of course, I was more excited about starting school than everyone else in the family. hehe  We are in Paths of Progress this year and are enjoying learning about different inventors this year!  Nathan is technically supposed to be a 9th grader this year, but i decided to just hold him back one more year.  I figure it’s ok if he graduates at 18.  🙂  Ryan is 7th grade and Grace is 5th grade this year.  These last few years of homeschooling have been so wonderful!  We love the Trail Guide to Learning series, and I am so thankful for them!

Maybe I’ll sit and write out a bucket list of things I’ve already done and things I would like to do in the future and make a page for it on my blog.

God is Good.

It’s Late…

 And yet here I am writing a post.

I really enjoyed the weather yesterday. Beautiful, warm, and perfect. It’s been like that for a couple weeks now. Today Eric and I were talking, and I told him that I wish winter could be like yesterday all year long. haha  I dread winter.  Our driveway scares me, and I don’t like being stuck in the house all winter long.  *sigh*  Ok, I’ll quit my pity party now. 🙂

School has been going very well this school year. It’s been a little rough this week, but we did have a 5 day weekend and it’s always a little hard to get back in the groove after time off.

Trim Healthy Mama.  I just wanted to share the link in case anyone is interested in a new eating plan.  Some would say diet, but I say eating plan.  It’s basically a low glycemic plan that keeps carbs and fat meals separated.   Eric and I started eating this way in April. Eric does cheat, and cheat a lot sometimes, but I try to keep him on the straight and narrow.  That’s not always an easy job.  I’ve not lost a lot of weight, but I feel pretty good.  Eric has lost some, but seems to be at a stall right now.  I’m considering putting us on a fuel cycle (also in the book) for a few weeks.  We shall see.  I need to prepare for that! 🙂  Pinterest and the Trim Healthy Mama facebook groups are really helpful.

Well, it’s very late and I need to get to bed.  I’m a little rusty at this writing thing, but I am going to get back at it on a regular basis. Practice is always great! 🙂

DSC_3984 copyAnd just for fun, this is a Saddleback Caterpillar. I just found this the other day and thought it was super cool. I also learned that it has a very painful sting.


Hello, remember me?

Obviously, I haven’t been writing in my blog much lately.  I’ve been in a funk about writing.

Lots of ideas have come and gone over the last month and a half since my last posting.

Winter is really wearing on me this year.

DSC_8661Every day looks like this. *sigh*

Schooling the kiddos keeps me busy during the week.

This past week Nathan came down with strep throat.

Thankfully he is on the mend and no one else has come down with it! Yet. . .

My junk piles are crowding my house and my mind.

Today I managed to almost completely fill a 30 gallon garbage bag with junk from my craft corner.

Also almost filled another 30 gallon garbage bag with clothes and things to donate to the Thrift store.

The other day I cleaned out a bunch of old recipe books I don’t use and threw a bunch of junk paper away.

It’s refreshing!  I need to keep throwing things away and getting rid of thing we don’t need.

It’s amazing how it just builds up over the years.

We can sure stand to get rid of a lot more “stuff.”

Last week we made some maple syrup, but I’ll save the rest of that story for the next post!

If only it would warm up enough to get the sap flowing. . . 🙂

My kindle has many good books on it right now.  So many I don’t always know which one to read.

I decided to read a few of the devotional ones at the same time.

I’m reading one about Proverbs 31 and I’m sorry  the name escapes me right now.

Another one I started reading is a Lenten Devotional and there are hymns and a verse for each day of lent.

It’s really good and it gives a history of how the hymns came to be.

The other one I read from time to time is 101 Devotionals for Homeschool Moms and I love those devos too!

In fiction, I’ve really been enjoying books by Chautona Havig.

I’m waiting to get For Keeps (Aggie’s Inheritance) so I can have all 3 books in that series. The first one was so good!

Photography is still coming along, I guess.  I’ve been so uninspired lately.

You can see what I’m up to on my Photography Blog.

We did lose a chicken a few weeks ago. 😦

DSC_8214 copyCrazy Comb was her name.

It was such a sad and awful day for the kiddos.  I felt bad for them and for the chicken.

The chicken suffered so much and I’m only just learning what it probably was that killed her.

DSC_8658 copyUnfortunately, Grace’s pet chicken, Henny Penny is now afflicted by the same thing.

What I thought was egg bound (which really might have been at first) is something else called Egg Peritonitis.

It’s pretty sad to see.  I’ve been giving Henny some penicillian shots, but I don’t know if it’ll help her.

I haven’t been draining her (I’d have to research how), but she is rather swollen.

I feel bad for her and especially bad for Grace, especially since it’s her pet.

Another hen has a really weird egg bubble near where the eggs come out.  I’ll have to keep my eye on her too.

Ahhh!  Sometimes chickens are too much!

I always wanted to be a vet growing up. . . guess I’m getting my unofficial run at it now.

School is going pretty good lately.

Is it going as I planned?


But it’s still going well.

The kids love hearing the stories about Daniel Boone.

They love doing their read aloud time.  Especially Ryan! 🙂

Have I mentioned lately that we LOVE Paths of Exploration?

We do!

Math has been a struggle lately with Nathan and Ryan.  I’m trying to decide what to do.

That’s something I’ve got to talk over with my husband and move forward  with a new plan.

DSC_8325 copyDSC_8320 copyDSC_8318_1At the end of January and beginning of February I took the kids roller skating.

They had a great time both times!

I had a great time chatting with friends at both skates.

We couldn’t go to yesterday’s skate since Nathan was sick.

That was a bummer because the kids really enjoy it!

Hopefully next month!

So that about sums up what has been going on lately.

If you made it through this post, God bless you! 🙂

Thanks for reading, too.

Goodbye 2012

It has been a most interesting year!  God has been SO good to us  – again – and  I can’t thank Him enough for all the MANY blessings!

Here was what I had hoped to accomplish through this past year:  Organizing My Life in 2012

I didn’t go crazy and make a bunch of goals and, yet, I still failed at many of them.

Thankfully I can take that list I made from last year and start it again.   Why not, right? 🙂

My goals are still the same.

DSC_3888 My main goal is to be HERE, in the present, with my children.

I feel like a failure in this department and time is getting away from us.

The kids and I have made a goal to read through the Bible this year!

I’m quite excited about starting this with them TOMORROW!!

The thought occurred to me the other day and just seemed like a wonderful idea!

I found the New Year Bible Reading Challenge through Pinterest!

Join us if you’d like!  We would welcome the encouragement!

Another goal for the children and I,  is to memorize Scripture!

It’s been a fail for me/us since just after the beginning of our school year started in August.

Been reading through the book of James a lot and plan on memorizing the rest of it.

I have chapter 1 down pretty good and most of chapter 2, but I need to get busy!

God has much to teach me through His Word, but it does help to spend time in the Word!

DSC_4433 copy

 One goal I have accomplished is taking a photo per day this year!

Sometimes it was hard, but it was such a great experience!

My goal is to do the same starting tomorrow and improve more in my photography.

One of my highlights this year was meeting Tracy and Kristal!

 Such a blessing to meet internet friends in REAL life!

Not sure if anyone follows this blog much, as I haven’t been writing much these days.

That’s pretty sad.   😦

I was thinking about dusting off my pen and start writing in a journal again.

Some of my crazy thoughts I don’t always want to share on my blog,

but writing does help me sort my thoughts out and think things through better.

So while I may not be on here blogging as much, I will do some updates here and

will definitely be keeping up with my Em’s Photography Adventure blog.


We’ve been enjoying school a lot this year.

I’m so thankful for Paths of Exploration!

The kids are thankful too! 🙂

Now I must close with this last post of 2012 on Strobel’s Happenings.

DSC_4999 copy

Have a blessed New Year!



1. Homemade Cream Cheese 2. Bag of snacks for chickens 3. Acorn Squash with apples baked inside 4. Princess Grace.  5. Soldier Ryan.  6 -8  Nathan using the leafblower and the guineas seeming to enjoy it.  They didn’t leave him alone while he was blowing leaves.  It was rather comical!


9. some poofy weed thing I think is pretty.  10.  Our Guineas with our neighbor’s guineas.  It was quite a convention.  11.  Spearmint leaves.  12. Grace’s eyes. 13. Staw with soap bubbles in and on it. 14. More pretty weed things.

15 & 16  My friend Faith’s husband took the pictures at the Turkey Trot – before Jen, Faith and I ran.  the last one is me crossing the finish line, 30:35 was my time. 🙂

17 – 19   I have no idea what my boys are doing in these photos, but I was just taking pictures of them while they were at the kitchen sink.  🙂

Photo Meet & Shoot


I mentioned on my photography blog about meeting a couple wonderful ladies that I met through a Mommytography blog.  Earlier this  year I had taken an online photography course from Tracy and

I met Kristal through the Mommytography blog and she often comments and sometimes leaves some tips/hints on my photography blog.

Most of these photos I had used on my photo blog, but decided to put them here in case someone doesn’t see that site.  I also added a few others.  This happened in mid-September.  Life got crazy and I haven’t been able to just sit here and write some blog posts.  I absorbed as much as I could from Tracy’s vast knowledge of photography and am ever so thankful that she was glad to share!  It was great meeting Kristal, too!  Both are homeschooling moms, so we have a lot in common.  We follow each other’s blogs and facebook and know each other that way.  It wasn’t a strange or awkward meeting.  Sometimes meeting someone for the first time is like that, at least it is for me, but there was no awkwardness.  It was so fun!  Some time during the long, cold winter I want to take the 2nd Mommytography class from Tracy.  It’s on my list of things to do! 🙂

    I know I mentioned this on your posts and in my other blog, but it was great meeting both of you!

First Day of School – Student Photo Week!


This morning during a break I took the time to get some first day of school photos!

Nathan   7th Grade.  I still can’t believe this!

Ryan   6th Grade.   Can’t believe this either, really!

Grace    3rd Grade.  My baby . . .

All 3 of them together.

A more normal photo of them. 🙂

They wanted to do this pose. Silly kids! 🙂

Our first day of school was a little crazy as we have started new curriculum, but

so far we like it!  Can’t wait to get more into it as the days and weeks progress!

Recent Happenings

Have you ever had about 5,000 things you want to write about, and because you don’t know where to begin you just don’t do it?  That’s what has been going on with me lately.  I’m not quite sure where to start.

Life has been full lately.  Very full!

Our official last day of school was May 23rd.  We (especially myself) are SOOO glad to be finished!  Technically the kids still have some work in some books they have and will finish them over the summer.  We’ll save those for really rainy days or really really hot days.  Next is getting their portfolios put together and having their evaluations next Tuesday.  I need to get on that soon!

Last Saturday was the start to a very busy, but wonderful weekend!  We’ve had blueberry bushes for YEARS, but nothing has ever grown on them.  They are only just getting big enough really.  Maybe next year.  They are not pictured today.  However, last Saturday we went to a local farm and bought 4 blueberry bushes and 2 of them already have blueberries on them!  I am SO excited! 🙂 

They are now covered with mosquito net and it keeps the chickens and other birds from eating them.

The only bad thing is the chickens like eating the organic acid balancer stuff we put around the plants.  Silly chickens!  They don’t seem bothered by it and it’s hard to keep them out of it.
Before we planted the blueberry bushes we went out and did some running around to some local home stores looking for things we might need for some projects at home.  We didn’t get much, but we did enjoy some ice cream on the way home! 
Sunday we decided to go north to Lake Erie.  It was very hot when we left our house that day.  It stayed hot and sunny for quite a while, but the more north we went the clouds got thicker and darker.

 We continued on our journey anyway and thought we might drive out of the storms, but we did not.  It was a little sad at first, but Eric got the idea of going to Splash Lagoon.  Let me tell you, I enjoyed Splash Lagoon way more than I would have enjoyed the lake.  I just always cringe at swimming in the dirty water with all those fishy creatures.  My favorite part of Splash Lagoon is the Wave Pool.  I laughed hysterically like a kid getting pushed around by the waves.  So much fun!  Being that we swam and enjoyed the water slides I didn’t get any pictures.  I was worried about taking my camera in there.  It was hot and humid and the locker wouldn’t have had room for my camera anyway. 🙂

 While riding north we always pass this place and it always reminds me of the Dead Marshes from the Lord of the Rings movies.  I actually got a pretty good picture of them on Sunday!

On Monday, Memorial Day, we went to our town’s parade.  We always enjoy going!  Love watching the Veterans that sacrificed for our country, fire trucks, old cars, tractors, and the kids scrambling for candy that is thrown all over the place!

Grace’s candy pile and t-shirt.
Other highlights from this week . . .
Tuesday my brother and kiddos stopped by to get some eggs.  It was so nice to see him and talk to him for a while!  We’re both quite busy and don’t get to talk much.  In the afternoon I helped Rose spring clean the last 2 rooms of her house.  We have been working on 2 rooms each week.  I’m sure she appreciates it and she always gets right in on the cleaning!  🙂  I also went for a 1 mile run that day. 
Wednesday was busy, but I can’t remember why. .  . 🙂  Oh wait . . . I got a haircut!  My hair is like a straw factory.  I’m still letting my hair grow out to its natural gray color.  It’s always amazing how SLOW it seems to grow now that I’m not coloring it.  While keeping it blond it always seemed to grow SO fast and was hard to keep up with it. 
Thursday I ran 2 miles in the morning, finished my menu/grocery list, and then went shopping in the afternoon.  It was a very busy day! Took a long time to get everything cleaned up and put away.
Friday, that’s today! It wasn’t that today was really busy.  I went to a friend’s house.  She asked if I could feed her ducks while her family is away on vacation, so she was showing me where to feed them and all that.  Ducks are so cute how they waddle around. If we had a pond or something here I would get a couple.
Before she showed me around we had the most amazing conversation!   She is a woman that loves the Lord and has such a heart for others.  We talked and prayed and I cried my eyes out.   I just love her and am so thankful God brought our paths together. 
Sometimes when someone talks, you just can feel the Lord speaking to you through them.  It happens from time to time – at least it has for me.  That’s how it was today.   We talked of some personal matters that are near to our hearts and how God already knows the outcome to these situations.  She shared an incredible story of how God has moved in her heart and life and how He’s brought healing to her hurt heart.  I have much to think about and pray about and open my heart to God and His Word. 
You can read the Word and pray thoughtlessly.  I’ve done it SO many times.  It’s shameful and sad.  God just wants to talk to me and to listen to me and I’m pretty sure He wants me to just be still and know that He is God.  He has so much work to do in my heart. 
On another Bible topic, my friend Cindy and I FINISHED memorizing and reciting the book of Colossians today!  We’re looking forward to starting James in a month or two here!  I LOVE the book of James, and she and I are both drawn to this book, so it’ll be great to memorize with someone!  Over the summer I’ll be learning verses with my kids (at least that’s the plan) .  I downloaded them from Seeds Family Worship.  That site is full of wonderful things! 
God bless you all that have stuck with this crazy, long post! 🙂
PS.  I have to end this by mentioning that I FINALLY bought a new lens for my camera!  I’m super excited and can hardly wait until my 55-300mm lens gets here!  Yay!

What’s Goin’ On?

This time of year finds me both busy and in a funk.  We’ve been doing our schooling and Advent devotions each day and then I’m doing some extra running around.  We’ve been enjoying our Advent devotions and doing projects a couple times a week.  The last couple days have been rather difficult since I’ve been dealing with a migraine that won’t stop.  I take Excedrin migraine in the afternoon  once it starts working I am ok for the day, but by the middle of the night the headache is back and I can’t sleep very well.  Laying down seems to hurt even more.  Pretty much sitting still is the only thing that works best.  It’s been fun. . . . or  something.

Last Friday saw Ryan and I in the emergency room.  He was crying with chest pains and that’s so unusual for him – the chest pains.  We’re not typically emergency room users, but thought this was a good time to go.  Thankfully he wasn’t having heart issues.  They said it was related to growing pains in his rib area and it gets enflamed and just plain hurts.  I never heard of having growing pains in the ribs, but it’s possible.  He was rather grossed out by the girl throwing up in the waiting room.  I am not thrilled with hospitals and all the germs floating around there, but I’m thankful for them anyway. 

This past week was a rather busy week.    Tuesday I took this lady I visit each week to the doctor to have this lump on her leg looked at.  They biopsied it and we are waiting on test results.  Please pray for her and her family while we wait.  It’s the waiting that is the worst part.  Thursday I changed cleaned up her leg and rebandaged it.  It looks like it’s healing.  Once the results are in we’ll learn what they want to do with the rest of the lump.  I’m sure it’ll have to be removed one way or the other.

Yesterday we got a new chicken.  Her name is Pearl.  She was my nephew’s chicken and he didn’t want to get her processed with his other ones.  She’s a sweet little hen and Grace and Ryan are both enjoying looking after her.  I’d hate to be a new hen in the coop.  I’m not kidding, but our coop is divided by color.  Our rooster, Patch, is white and all the white hens stay with him (except for Spot).  Shoe is leader of the black or darker colored hens.  It’s unclear at this point which group Pearl will be accepted into – her being black and white like she is (she’s a Barred Rock, I believe).  I don’t have a picture of her yet, but when I do I will post it. 

In other chicken news, Shoe will be getting his spurs dremel tooled down, fancy way for filing them.  He actually spurred Eric yesterday!  Thankfully Eric was wearing his work pants – they are rip stop material – and the spurs only put dot marks in them and didn’t rip his pants or his skin.  I only heard it happening and saw the end of it.  Eric is not happy with his former favorite rooster.  We are still a little shocked.  Well, I am not really shocked, the rooster has been getting meaner and meaner lately.  He’s been on my naughty list after he’s ran toward me like he was going to hurt me a few times.  He met my shoe, so he didn’t actually spur me. 

Here are some pictures from the past week or so:

 2 of the 3 kids singing “Come on Ring Those Bells.”
You can see the pure joy on their faces, lol.
 My sweet little girl all dolled up in her soldier outfit.
 We FINALLY put up our tree this week.
By we, I mean Ryan and Grace put up the tree.
I figured out the light situation.
Pre-lit trees are sometimes tricky when a section of lights burn out.
I had to sub in a string of colored lights.
 I added some beads for some bling.
I love beads, until I have to put them away. 🙂
 My snowglobe that I totally enjoy.
I love how the snow swirls around the snowman.
 My accidental, yet cool (at least to me), swirly
tree picture.  I took it by accident.
Grace was adding some finishing touches to the tree.
The angel STILL needs put on top, but it turned out rather nicely.
Last year our house was totally decked out, but this year
I haven’t been decking our halls so much.
Personally, I’m focusing more on the birth of Christ.
It’s such a wonderful, amazing thing to think about.
He came to earth as a tiny, human baby.
To grow up and live as we all do.
To know our struggles and, yet, remain so perfect.
The Perfect sacrifice for our sins, for my sins.
For this, I am very thankful.