Friday, November 9, 2012

We're Back!

I'm glad I was on a boat for that whole little good v. evil contest. Yaktown. Sienna had this video done about 5 minutes after we got back. She's something of a marvel. We should hire her out as a nanny/videographer for trips. But I want to keep her all to myself.

I have no idea why people would rather go to work and school when they could be on a boat. Why anyone would choose to be an orphan is beyond me. #spoiledbrats

Here is her SHARK WEEK video:
TRAIN actually posted this video on their facebook, blog and official website. (See it here) They are much cooler than Keith Urban whose music label EMI blocked Sienna's video for my family's reunion because we used Long Hot Summer. Boo to them.

 Here's the Stroud Family Reunion:

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Given this land if we live righteously!

I love politics.
I hate politics.
Because of the political storm I spend a lot of time listening to talk radio and watching the news.
Because of the political storm, I rarely get on Facebook or read many of the blogs I used to.
I can get so depressed. I get so fired up! I want to yell and shake people! I want to prove that I AM RIGHT. Which is funny because that's wrong. It's pride. So I'm in a pickle (Did the Cardinals secure the wild card spot last night? I fell asleep before the end of the Dodgers game . . . never mind) As I was saying, I'm in a pickle. Caught between wanting to share what I believe to be right (which is right) and wanting to share that I am right about the right being righter than the left (which is wrong). Right?

So we have the BIG DEBATE tonight and I have been a mess. I have a heart condition left over from the radiation and I swear my heart wants to implode every time I think about Romney up against Obama tonight. Obama is a scary competitor because he doesn't have an obligation to the truth. He's the kid saying he'll put a free soda machine in the cafeteria and no homework ever again! How does one go up against that? I can't stop thinking about it. Luckily, I'm also cleaning out my storage room which is also scary but it gives me time to listen to the Book of Mormon. I did something similar to this earlier this year and found that it just is the most peaceful way to get through something as awful as me being a candidate for HOARDERS.

Isn't it funny that a book written 1500 years ago can have so much to tell us about our day? It never ceases to amaze me. How could these people know what to include to give us hope and faith in our vastly different day? Part of the answer is that our day isn't vastly different. The cycles that happened throughout that book are happening now. And situations that happened then are recurring. And it is my belief that one of those instances will replay tonight.

I believe we have the chance to see a miracle. The Lord is not asleep or playing racquetball. This is His chosen land where freedom will prevail as long as there are enough righteous people willing to work to preserve it. As long as we haven't been lulled to sleep by the philosophies of men. All is not well in Zion. So will this be the time that we wake up, repent and save ourselves? Or will the majority choose evil and make us ripe for destruction. These are SO Book of Mormon days!!!

Yes, I said EVIL. In our politically correct times, there are people whose fingers are twitching to write a scathing response even now as they read this. How dare I?! I'll tell you how. Because truth doesn't manipulate itself to fit into an awkward politically correct shape. Truth is truth and sometimes it cuts.

We came to this earth to work. By the sweat of our brow we make our bread. We are to learn to choose good. To choose charity and to help the people around us. To choose for ourselves what we do, how we spend our money, what we eat and who we help. If we are Christian, we are to stand up and say so. Commandments put forth in the Bible are still in effect today. We are not ashamed.

Our current administration would have us believe otherwise. I do believe they are scratching away at our freedoms one by one and looking to put us into bondage by allowing the government control as much of our lives as possible. They would love to tell us what we can and can't do with our religions. What we can and can't do for our children. What our businesses can or can't do. There ARE bad people in the world that make bad choices, but that is no reason to take away our chances to choose for ourselves. This land is a place consecrated as a land of freedom and the Constitution is a divinely-inspired document not to be torn or trampled underfoot. Kingmen.

It's just all so familiar. But also is the instance where the cunning man, wise as to the wisdom of the world, the lawyer who is expert and uses much flattery to lead away the people comes up against a man of God. That man of God may be old or weak in speaking. Or maybe he's got perfect hair and is well-spoken but a bad debater. What matters is that he has the Spirit. If he has the Spirit, he will confound the wicked. (Ooooh! I hope Obama asks for a sign! Do it, I dare you! . . . I guess that's not very Christ-like.)

I believe Mitt Romney is a man of God. He is a good, prayerful Christian man who has lived by the Spirit his whole life. He has heard the Spirit ask him to help people around him and he is never too tired or too busy to answer. He doesn't want the stories told, but if you look for them, you will find them. They told a few at the Republican convention. Here is an article with a few. More were told on the Blaze. They are videos of people telling about their various encounters with Romney.  Watch them and see if you think he is good.

So if he is good and God is not asleep, then tonight will be an amazing night. Tonight Romney will come off as good to those who have enough light left to see it. Does it mean he will win? No. He might, and I pray he does. I think he has to do well either way because when we write the scriptures of our day, we need to be able to say that it came to pass that the people were given a clear choice of whom to follow - to once again choose between liberty or captivity.

Fast and pray oft over the next few weeks. i have joined a group called SWARM and they are hosting a 40 Days of Fasting. I have signed up for the 25th of October. Join me?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Five Years

Five years ago today I was getting a biopsy. I was in the hospital in St. Louis wondering what I had and what it was going to take to get rid of it. I couldn't see my future because there were so many unknowns. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself that I would be fine and that I'd even get to have another baby AND a treehouse. Maybe I did. Maybe that's why I felt fine through the whole thing.

It really seems like a dream. It went by so quickly and was over. After October, I start seeing my oncologist once a year! Phew. I have a few long-term effects from the chemo and radiation, but nothing that holds me back too much. My heart is a little scarred and we're working out a plan for that. Nothing life-threatening or scary.

This year has been kind of crazy because I did all the things I did that summer. We had the same reunions, went on the same big vacation and even played on the same jump house. All things I haven't done in between. So of course I have been worried but the odds of it coming back now are less than 3%. So maybe I didn't catch it in Tahiti or like a germ that smells like feet on the jump house. It was just lightning.

I went back and read some of the blog from the beginning and it was good. Not the blog, the time. All of it. Definitely worth it. There was a woman on the radio a few months back talking about how she had a near-death experience. She had been an atheist and woke up a Christian. But that's not what stuck out to me. They asked her, if she could communicate one thing she learned on "the other side", what would it be? She said,"It's hard to explain because it doesn't make sense. The most important thing I learned is that the good in life is good but the bad is also good." I couldn't agree more.

Thanks again to everyone who helped and supported us so much during that time. You changed my life.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Baby Beck and the Frog

This cracks me up. He's so offended by the sliminess.


Sienna got more than 2,000 views on her videos. She said it was the best day of her life. My mom printed up a little note about her channel and went to the high school on her day off and passed them out at both lunches. Is your mom that cool?

Here's her latest. It's my favorite thus far. I can almost stomach this song now.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Sienna's birthday is Friday. She has a youtube channel and she gets so excited when she sees that people watched any of them. At any given moment she can tell you how many viewers any video has. Somebody she didn't know commented on one and she was dancing around the house.

SO... if you guys would watch a few OR just set them to go without watching so it shows up as a view, that'd be awesome. ALSO, maybe put a link on your facebook asking people who are strangers to her to leave a comment? Or subscribe? I can't put it on mine because I'm friends with some of her friends and she'd find out.

Anyway, it'd be her happiest birthday week ever.

Thanks in advance!

Here's a link to her channel:

And here's a few of my favorites:

This one she made with a bunch of videos Preslie made of herself (with some Sisi added)

This one is not for wusses. It scares me.

Superheros with some weirdo powers.

And finally . . . i don't know what to say about this one. I promise they weren't on drugs. It makes zero sense and yet it's my favorite.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

The First Week of School

Do you ever have that dream where you are under water and you can almost get your mouth to the surface but then you get sucked down? Luckily, I can breath underwater and run effortlessly in my dreams. But I can imagine that the drowning dream is akin to the last few months of my life. It's been crazy ever since Beck was born. I should have blogged about it but . . . you know.

Anyway, as once again I have completed the obligatory "I haven't blogged because. . ." , we can get on with things like THE FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL. Sadly, this won't be a post about their perfect hair or cleanliness or how organized I am. Far from it. Imagine if someone picked up your house and turned it on its side and you still had to function. That's about how that week felt. I had taken on too many projects (stupid pinterest.) AND Lexi was coming to visit. The kids are lucky they went to school at all.

We made it until ten-thirty on Thursday unscathed. But then the nurse called.

Please read in your most "old-lady perfume" voice:

"Mrs. Stroud, hiiii. I have Camryn here in my office. She said you wouldn't let her have breakfast and she's shaky and weak."

Flashback a few hours and you'll see Camryn laying on the floor and me pulling her almost lifeless body to the shower. A few minutes later that same Camryn will be lying on the floor wearing only a towel and will require being dragged to her closet. This went on for TWO HOURS. During that time I asked her exactly 576 times to please eat breakfast. As 4/5ths of us were walking out to the car, Camryn grabs a bowl for some cereal.

Please read in your most "I want to take you out to the desert and leave you with a canteen, a book and a note for whomever finds you" voice:

"Sorry Cams, too late. YOu cAn't haVe CerEaL. You can have a granola bar, gogurt, or a banana in the car."

Read in a Banshee voice:


Now read my response in the same voice as before but cover it in syrup because the neighbor kid is there:

"OK, I'm sure glad you ate a lot when we went out last night because you're going to have to wait until lunch."

Flash forward. I tell the nurse that Camryn CHOSE not to eat. She said,"We-elll, that may be true but she says she al-so didn't get enough dinner last night . . ."  Ugh. Whatever. I tell the nurse that that is true and that she should feed her as many saltines as she has because I won't be feeding her again for quite some time.

Oh well. I went back to doing things that in no way help me to prepare for the arrival of my sister or help me finish any of my 32 projects.

1:30 pm. Same day:

"Mrs. Stroud, hiiiiiiiiii. Don't worry, nobody is hurt. It isn't even about Camryn. I have Mason in my office and apparently while he was out at recess he found a dead cicada that was covered in maggots. He chose to put it in his pocket, so I made him change his shorts. I just wanted to inform you so that you wouldn't be concerned when he came home in different shorts."

"Oh, neat. Ok. Hey- do you want me to stop by and pick up my You're Awesome award or do we have to wait until the end of the year? It seems like just a formality at this point . . ."

The end.

FYI - I googled "dead cicada +maggots". I don't recommend that. Here's just a dead cicada.