Monday, December 29, 2008

Indian Summer?

It has really warmed up here in the midwest. The melting snow and ice from the past two weeks has caused rivers to rise and yards to become giant mud pits waiting for bike ruts. It's hard to stay inside when the temperatures outside are pushing 50, especially since we've had some single digit days with windchills as low as -20 that kept us held up in the home.
Gage is such an outdoors boy, he'd be happy playing out in the bad days, but a warm day like this with mud to boot... I didn't have to tell him to smile for this one.

Bear just loves playing with his brothers and sisters.

Chloe would have to make everything so logical, you may be able to tell here that she's trying explain why she tagged Gage first.

Even Chester enjoyed the warm muddy day... and thanks to him our mud room is really a mud room.
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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008 from the Stroupe Family

From our home to yours, Merry Christmas! Today is the day we commonly celebrate the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ. How great the love that gave such a precious gift to wicked sinners such as I.
Luk 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Luk 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

I see signs everywhere reminding people that "Jesus is the reason for the season". I understand that they are simply trying to counter secular attacks on Christianity, but I think those who reject Christ would be better served being told that "You are the reason for the season" For unto "you" is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. We celebrate what God has done for us, the gift he presented us in a manger in Bethlehem. How humbling to know that the God of the universe gave up his only begotten son to die in your place for your sin...

We started this morning off with prayer and devotions praising our saviour and God.

We all took turns thanking God for what he has done for us.

Reading the Nativity story. Rissy is making sure everyone is paying attention.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Family Fun

Nothing in particular to post on tonight, just enjoying my family and wanting to post some pictures.

Deacon enjoying a nap by the fire.

Hunter enjoying a nap after a hard day play.

Deacon must be having a dream about sour milk.

Mommy enjoying a nap with lil' baby Deacon James.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ice storm

We had a pretty good ice storm here on Thursday night. Lots of tree limbs down, mostly in my in-laws yards. Everything is slick, you slip just thinking about walking. Yesterday we went to get some clothes for Deacon, number two on my to-do list. Today we were going to do some work outside, cut up the branches and what-not. Well I got the chicken pin cleaned up and a load of wood brought to the porch. It's not that bad cold out but it's hard to get anything done. The woods covered with ice and that dulls the saw blades, can't burn the limbs with an inch of ice around em'. So we came in for some home made hot cocoa, not that cheap packet stuff but the Hershey cocoa powder. Mmmmm. Well sipping on that next to the fire with lil' Deacon sleeping in his chair beside the fire kinda made me sleepy. So I'm getting off here and taking a nap with my new baby boy.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


We've been trying to balance taking it easy with keeping up with house chores and my to-do list. Mamma is resting and bonding with Deacon James, we're all trying to get in one on one time with him. Well we had some good friends stop by for a visit today and they did something that we're very thankful for. They brought lunch, and supper, and probably a midnight snack for me! Papa Murphy's Pizza. Two delicious pizzas and two gooey Cinnamon Wheel deserts.

The deserts looked so tasty it was hard not to go straight to them, especially for Hunter Douglas. He decided to put his fingers in for a taste test.

I think he learned a lesson in patience tonight. I had to cover his hand in mustard to relieve the burn. A trick I picked up at my first job as a cook for Dairy Queen. The vinegar draws out the heat, the cool paste relieves the burning and it's thick so it won't just drip off (built in band aid).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Water heater fixed. :check:

Woohoo! I got the water heater done. Smooth sailing, only cost me twenty bucks in parts. It was kinda weird how I had to get the new one. The manufacturer told me to just go to Menards and get a new one. So I called Menards and said I was replacing it and they told me to bring in the old one and pick up the new one. No one checked anything, no reciepts, I had a number from the warranty claim department but they didn't want it, they didn't even ask my name or look at my old water heater. I unloaded it next to the loading bay and they brought me a brand new one.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

First day of vacation

Today is officially my first day of vacation. I am taking Family Medical Leave for the birth of Deacon James, I'll be off till at least after Christmas, maybe till the new year. I'm going to take it slow and relax. Enjoy my new son. But I can't just do nothing, I like work too much and since I won't have to do it for someone else this next two weeks I'm going to do some for myself. Here is whats on the agenda....

  1. Replace water heater... This went out the day before Deacon was born and I didn't get to work on it till yesterday. Funny thing about is that it's in good shape except for a little glass temp link that holds the damper open in the burner area. It kinda looks like those red things on sprinkler heads. Anyway once the get too hot they break, this can happen from not enough air, and they cannot be replaced... lil piece of glass ruins a 200 dollar water heater because a box was set next to the water heater. Oh well, good news is that its under waranty and I can put it in myself.
  2. Find clothes for Deacon James. We store all of our clothes in the crawl space in tubs. Well it's usually a real good idea, we hardly ever flood, hardly ever. It must have flooded pretty good because out of 12 or so tubs full of kids clothes, 3 are still good. Three tubs were just baby boy clothes, all mildewy now. I'll have to work some overtime when I get back, oh well most of the boys clothes are pushing 4 years some are 8 years old.
  3. Fix master bath toilet. I'd rather not say how long this has been broke, but it's a real easy fix. Hopefully I'll be motivated enough to do it.
  4. Fix master bath shower.... I bet your starting to see a trend here. Ok this has been broke even longer than the toilet. I need a new mixing valve for it, pretty much a whole new everything on the plumbing side, it's also a pretty easy job...
  5. Change oil and winterize the vehicles.... It's freezing out, I could definitely see me talking myself into paying someone else for this one.
  6. I'm gonna put this one in to give my wife some hope.... Finish the hard wood flooring.... I'm almost done, and rightly so I've been working on it for a year and a half. But it looks great. I'll at least put the trim back up.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Deacon James Stroupe!!!

Deacon James

8 lbs 12 oz

19.5 inches

Born: 9:31 P.M. 12/13/2008

One Happy Papa

Mommy and baby are doing fine, thank you for all the prayers. We'll post more later.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Just a few more days...

Till this watchman has another lil' one to keep watch over. The LORD has blessed us with a healthy pregnancy and we're excited about welcoming in our newest baby. Jamie is due on about the tenth but you know how that is, we've been a week and a half late to two weeks early. Momma's feeling it though, she's ready, now we're waiting on baby to be ready. We're hoping the hospital we're going to has Wi Fi, we'll be posting on it as soon as we can, I'll have pics from a proud pappa.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sign of the times... Washington State Capital

"There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."

This is a excerpt from a plaque hanging up in the Washington State Capital. The very fact that this made it the gate of the state capital is a sign of where our nation is at. In context this plaque is in protest of Christianity and the celebration of Christmas. It was put up on display for the holiday season along side a Christmas Tree and a Nativity scene. In a country where over 80% of it's citizens claim to be Christian. It reminds me of a passage from Jeremiah.

Jer 12:1 Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?
Jer 12:2 Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins.

It's hard for us to understand what would stay the Lords hand from a nation that has turned and continues to turn further and further from its creator. Our people are quick to call on his name and claim his name but he is not in their hearts (reins).
Rev 22:20 .....Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Monday, December 1, 2008

My chickens are looking tastey!

For those who've gone through my archives you'll know that my first post was about our family's endeavor to raise chickens. We got them in July of last year, well at least this round of chickens the first batch were cat food. They were lil' bitty things. Well we've fed them pretty much just on clovers and bugs, we let them run free during the day and pin them up at night. Since winter is hitting I'm not sure what I'm gonna feed them. I don't want to go to feed unless I have to. There is one thing I've got though. A secret weapon. Unlimited supply of Panera Bread. Oh yeah, organic all natural and free. The place I work gets the day olds from Panera, I get the three day olds from my work. My chickens love it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving pictures.

We had a really big get together. Friends and family show up from all over. I think most of the kids in this pic are from one family. Great fellowship.

Chloe entertained the guests, sang hymns and talk about how she loves to cook.
Grandpa, worked hard to give us a wonderful Thanksgiving family get together.

Gage has been asking me for the past week to get him a tire swing. Wonder what he was thankful for today

Hunter is along for the ride.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh taste and see that the Lord is good. I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving. We did, and as always we had a feast worthy of a king.

What am I thankful for this Thanksgiving.
  1. First, My salvation. How great his love towards me that he would sacrafice his only begotten son for my soul's sake.
  2. My wife. I praise God for his abundant grace and mercy that he would give me a longsuffering help meet to put up with me. With out her my life wouldn't be complete.
  3. My children. The fruit of the womb is his reward. How awesome a responsibility to care for the God of the universes' treasures.
  4. My testimony. His strength pulled me out of the muck and the mire of this world. In my weakness his strength is made perfect.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Stroupe Family Pictures

We just got a new camera. Trying it out.

A good family pic. Mommy's holding the camera.

There's my Bride

This girl couldn't take a bad picture if she tried.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What if that twinkling were to happen tonight?

As a born again believer I look forward to going home to be with my saviour, sometimes though it's hard to imagine. Here lately though the LORD has really kept this thought close to my heart.

Mat 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Well sure I don't know the day or the hour but if I were a betting man I'd put my money on tonight. I don't know anything special, haven't read anything that tells me that it's tonight, it's just that it seems so immanent that it won't wait for day break. LORD GOD that I would have lived today as though that was the case.

I work along side of the epitome of the liberal progressive movement. I work at a drug and alcohol rehab center. Their philosophy is centered around humanism and relativism, we are even told not to judge their "addiction" as being bad because that is relative.... The only reason I still work there is because of the wonderful opportunities to witness. I've noticed something in even the most conservative of my coworkers, they are turning farther and farther from the things of God. Sure most of them are lost and already separated from our LORD but their hearts are hardening. They have "hope" in this world, and at this particular time when the world seems to be spiraling more and more out of control. So what if? What if that twinkling of the eye were to happen right now? What have I done today to point others to Christ, what has my life been a picture of today, and what questions will my life and what I leave behind answer.

Rev 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Chloe Elizabeth

This little girl is Lo-Lo. She is goofy, energetic, funny and fun, testing (not in a rebellious way but in a curious way), and joyful. She enjoys the thought of one day being a mommy, just like her mommy. She is a sponge, absorbs everything that overflows from her mommy and daddy's cup. When we get excited about something so does she, when we get worried about something so does she. All children absorb what their parents give them, even though we don't notice it sometimes, but this little girl has no governor for her absorber. That's not always bad and it's not always good. May the LORD use her open heart and enthusiastic spirit to the working of his glory!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hunter Douglas:

Code Name: HD, Bear, and to those closest to him.... Snuggles.
Vital Stats:
Eyes: Sky Blue
Hair: Blonde, Curly
Height: 3' 6"
Weight: 35lbs
D.O.B.: 11.13.2005
Favorite Color:....Camo
Favorite Food:.... Yes
Blood Type: Mostly Sugar

Operation Spud Launcher!

Our mission: Assemble a class 3, Idaho model, Spud Launcher (model # 0001), to be used in the defense of our HQ from forces invading in from the east.

Phase 1: Acquire materials.
  • 1 foot 3" pvc pipe
  • 4 feet 1.5" pvc pipe
  • 1 reducer. 3" to 1.5"
  • 1 slip to female thread transition piece 3"
  • 1 male thread plug to fit 3"
  • pvc pipe cement
  • 1 lantern flint
  • 1 10# bag of Spuds
  • rubbing alcohol or hairspray

Phase 2: Assembly
  1. Cut 1' off of the 1.5" pipe, this will be your spud cutter.
  2. Join 3" pvc with the 3' of the 1.5" pvc using the reducer.
  3. Attach the transition piece to the end of the 3" pipe
  4. drill a hole large enough to feed the lantern flint through without it going all the way through. Firmly fasten the flint into position.

Phase 3: Defend the home front
After securely fastening the pvc with pvc cement, and cutting some Spud grenades, remove the three inch plug from the butt of the Spud Launcher, add rubbing alcohol or hairspray, fasten plug back on tightly, aim away from all friendlies (this includes neighbors houses and pets) and activate flint. (Warning: Should only be done under the supervision of a Comanding Officer, Mom & Dad)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dreary days of fall.

I personally don't like the fall, I always hear the optimists talk about the beautiful changing colors of the trees and migrating birds and talk about how it's just sooo beautiful.... I live in the middle of Illinois, miles and miles of wasteland cornfields, stubble from the crop that once painted the road sides brilliant green and gold. Now I got semi's driving by my house all day and all night, I got the grain elevators with their driers humming all night long, I got a three story grain pile sitting on the roadside, I've got damp piles of leaves, that I don't ever remember them changing colors, piled up in my front yard. By the time I get home from work it's dark out already, it just seems that I miss the day every day. I've always had this kind of disdain for the fall but there is one thing I do like about the fall... and that's the winter that follows. See I like the cold, I love the snow, I love being able to go out side at midnight and it still be bright out from the moon shimmering off the snow. I love shoveling snow, I love helping get peoples cars out of ditches, sometimes if the circumstances are right I even like getting stuck in ditches. I like the slick roads and having to drive carefully, I like scraping ice off my windows in the morning, I even like waking up in the middle of the night freezing because the fire died down. I have no idea why I can enjoy winter so much and loath the fall. Everything just seems to be dieing in the fall, corrupted and decaying. The winter brings snow, clean white snow, it covers the smelly decaying scarlet leaves, the mud ruts from the tractors, and the brown grass and wilted flowers.

Isa 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Even so, LORD come quickly....

We may have a new president, but God is still on the throne and whether we understand what is going on or not his will shall be done. Plus, Obama can't be any worse than the rulers of Christ's day, remember what happened with the Church in those days. There are several major issues that Obama is wanting to allow swift approval for that we should be in prayer for. One is a lift on all bans concerning abortion, another is the hate crimes bill that will make witnessing very hard and preaching about sin even harder, and there is also a bill coming up called the fairness doctrine that will mandate opposing views on talk shows and radio shows. So your favorite conservative radio show host will have to share his time with a left winger, or your favorite christian broadcasting station will have to share time with athiests, muslims, or scientologists. We as christians are to be anxious for nothing, and I'd have to say I'm not scared so much as I am excited. In our weakness his strength is made perfect!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Lil' Momma

Chloe made this dish for a cook out last Saturday. This picture doesn't say the half of how excited she was. I'm going to have to start eating twice as much just to keep her and my wife encouraged about their cooking!

I've been encouraged!

I almost called it quits on my air conditioning business. I've had a few jobs go bad, everyone told me I would, and I've lost a bunch of money... well it's a bunch to me anyway. I was going to let a few of my warranty jobs run out then cancel my insurance and call it a day. I get discouraged easy when I make a mistake doing a job, or when it takes longer than I thought, or when I don't make the profit that I thought. Well last week a brother called me up and asked me to do a job that I bid for him... a year ago. I told him I'd really rather not and tried to get out of it the best I could but he insisted that I do it. He really wanted me to do it. We worked out the details and I took it. This time though I decided I wasn't going to let myself get stressed out, I decided I was going to take my time and most important... Take my son along. Gage, age 8, came with me all three days of this job. He helped me and encouraged me through all of it, I also decided to have a friend from church help out. I learned two important things this weekend.
1st remember why I started HVAC in the first place. One day me and my sons may have a business that supports two generations. I want to be able to work along side of my boys! Fully self employed with 2 or 3 or 4 or more employees, how ever many boys we have! With a support staff of a loving wife and daughters back at the office! That's something to stick through the stress for.
2nd don't be afraid to ask for help. My son was a huge help to me, just having him around kept my stress level down, plus I wouldn't work myself too late into the night with him there (know when to call it a day). Also, my helper from church saved me at least two days of labor at the job site. He was a hard worker and very resourceful.