Thursday, September 05, 2019

Food for Thought

I have had the following conversation with all of my children at one time or another as they headed off to their government schools for their daily indoctrination.
"Some of your friends did not get dinner last night. Some of them did not get breakfast this morning. Some of them listened to their parents argue and fight. They don't have new school clothes. There are students at your school that are being abused. Physically, sexually, emotionally. They know that terror. School is their safe place. And for others school has never been safe. They are lonely and feel lost and invisible. They know despair. They need you. They need your smile or a thumbs up. They need you to look into their eyes and SEE them. Really see them.
Make today about others and not about you. Please look around and find someone sitting alone at lunch and join them. Find them at recess. Ask them to play. Please say kind words. Please THANK your fellow students, custodians, lunch workers, bus driver. THANK them for taking care of you. Let's pray for everyone today."
And they know. They know that as a child their mom endured some of those things. They know that I speak from experience. And I send them off to make a difference.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

29 years!!

Our 29th year at the MN State Fair!  One of Patrick's and Carla's first dates!!  This year the weather was horrible.  HailRainWind. Ohmy. We bought food and scrambled for shelter  At 5pm we were all funned out.  The next day Patrick and I both said, "I feel totally ripped off."

Saturday, August 17, 2019


Yes. I asked my daughter for permission. calmdown

Dear friends with strong willed children, 
I have some. I do. And I want to encourage you to stay the course. Keep at it. One moment at a time. Be consistent. 
From the ages of 3-7 my daughter Sarah was fit to be tied. I changed her middle name from Ann to Relentless. One day she refused to leave the yard to walk to school as her older brother skipped along without her. She banged on the door and the windows and yelled and begged for a ride. I locked the door and watched her and prayed and waited and cried out to God. After what seemed like an eternity she TRUDGED. I called the school. "This is Sarah Stream's mom. She will be late today. So I am calling her in strong willed. Give me a call when she shows up please."
She refused to open her mouth at the dentist. Ohboy. I was embarrassed and enraged and grateful for the long drive home to cool down. She was sent to her room. She destroyed it and took a nap.
She planked all the time into or out of her car seat. With bonus screaming and head butting.
Her currency was and is being with people. When she was sent to her room she would cry, "I CAN'T SEE WHAT YOU ARE DOING!"
I vowed that she would obey me. No two ways about that. But it wore mommy out. She would be in time out or I would be in timeout. Everyday.
There were rays of hope and sunshine. When the girlybug said, "Yes mommy." and did as she was told. The joy and laughter and imagination and praying together and loving Jesus who made her. He would finish the work He started. I trusted His promise. (While at the same time wondered if she was possessed. Not gonna lie.)
And God is using that strong will in her life like I asked Him to so many years ago. And then there was a 3 year old son named Tim....
You can do this. You will do this. One moment at a time.
I am praying for you.
Love you,

Monday, August 12, 2019


I love raising boys.(and girl, Sarah)I always said since they were younger that they could talk to momma about anything. And so they have.
I was pumping gas and when I got in the van both of my youngest boys were upset.
Mom "What's up?"
Boys "That man right there was staring at you. Like looking you up and down. All over." 
Mom "Ok." 
Boys "Aren't you upset? Aren't you going to do something?"
Mom "No. I wouldn't have known if you hadn't told me. It says more about him than about me. Why are you upset?" 
Boys "Because it's wrong." 
Mom "Why is it wrong?" 
Boys "It makes girls feel uncomfortable and like a piece of meat and it is disrespectful. We should look them in the eye." 
Mom "I guess I did do something about it. I taught you that. So when your friends do it you can say something. Now let's talk about why I pumped gas and you sat in the van."

Saturday, August 10, 2019


Yesterday it was just my youngest, Tim and I. Tim Time. I asked him what he wanted to do. He didn't know. 
Mom "We could go to Hobby Lobby and smell all of the candles. The one who gets a headache first wins." 
Tim "Ok."
Tim won.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

25 YEARS!!

HAPPY 25TH ANNIVERSARY TO US!!  Thank you Lord for our years and years doing life together!  Spent our time in Two Harbors, MN at Larsmont Cottages. Paid $20 extra for the Crystal Kayak a see through bottomed kayak to paddle around on Lake Superior.  Weather was AMAZING!  TO 25 MORE ANNIVERSARIES!!

Monday, July 29, 2019

Still Mine

My husband and I were discussing my momvan. The undercarriage is completely rusted. The side door is now broken due to one Streamerson who doesn't seem to know his own strength. And I am on my 2nd summer with no A/C. 
Patrick "It's horrible." 
Carla "Hey, don't be dissin my ride."

Sunday, July 21, 2019


So fun to celebrate you before you left for Texas with MN National Guard. armystrongyes?

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Hugs and Kisses

Dearest Summer,
I love you. I am waiting for the leisure part of you to kick in. Whenever you are ready. 
Thank you!

Friday, June 14, 2019


I run a pretty tight ship around here. ALL Stream children started doing their own laundry when they hit the double digits. Yes. 10 years old. Joy to the world for mom. I have been hearing about wool dryer balls FOREVER and finally bought some. I expect all 6 to be back in the little basket I have for them. All tucked in. Safe and sound. I bought 6. I have 4. 
Me "Where are the other 2 dryer balls? Who has them? They are in someone's laundry basket!! Everyone check!!" 
Tim "Is this how summer is going to go? You yelling about dryer balls everyday?"

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Raider Pride

Proud parental moment coming up. 
Tim was nominated by his Art teacher for Creativity. My youngest(just finished 7th grade!!)was identified with Learning Disabilities in 1st grade. He does his best with academics. He is not a quiz grade. He is not his report card. He is more than points accumulated on a test. He is God's son. With God given gifts. Namely artistic expression. I do ask him to draw his mommy trees and snow capped mountains once in a awhile.

Monday, June 10, 2019

How it's Done

This is how I do facebook. 
I post a zillion things all at once. The faster the better.
Prolife!! funny stuff, cute things, God's truth, personal reflections, human interest, pics of doing life with Streamers, extend birthday wishes and I calmly and respectfully bring TRUTH to those that are proabortion. Then I run away. (I took fb off my phone years ago) I come back to 67 notifications. Get overwhelmed.Post stuff. Run away. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Facehole and I have a like/intense dislike relationship.

Monday, May 20, 2019


Maybe you are like me. Maybe you battle your doubts, your thoughts and your fears. Every.Single.Day. Old lies from the past sweep in and I have to battle. Battle the lies with the truth. It is exhausting and yet brings such joy!!
I used to try cope with alcohol and entertaining suicidal thoughts. It could not bring peace or hope or joy. It never will. BUT GOD....
God meets me where I am. He was there back then. He is here now. He will be there in the future. He sees me. He knows me. One day it will all be different. Just like that I will leave this place and I will go home. To Him.
That is where I find the joy in struggling well. That is where the hope lies. And although it is not Christmas this line has always meant so much to me.
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
-O Little Town of Bethlehem

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Friday, April 05, 2019


Dear Nathan's future wife,
Nate had early release today and he was made to scrub
the tub. 

You're welcome.
The future MIL

Wednesday, April 03, 2019


I can finally say that I get to come home next week! I passed my pt test!!!! I had to retake it three times. I guess the statement “third times a charm” is really true. I am so happy!!! I have been here for 5 weeks and been away from home for about 6 months now. It is time to go home. See you April 10th Hudson, Wisconsin!!!!

Saturday, March 30, 2019


Dinner conversation with my wife:

Patrick: "Man, I think I'm getting tired of Facebook."
Carla: "Go ahead and block me, unfriend me, snooze me, do what you gotta do."

Tuesday, March 19, 2019


I, Patrick learned how to play cribbage from YouTube. I got excited to teach my family to play with me. But nobody would play with me. Finally Carla decided she would give it a try.
Me: "See?! Isn't this fun?"
Carla: "Yeah."
Me: "You don't seem all that into it."
Carla: "I'm just waiting for the fun."
Me: "This is great. It's how we pass the time."
Carla: "What? Are we 70?"

Monday, March 18, 2019


Got home from work and began the usual check in questions with Carla.
Me: "Hi! How was your day?"
Her: "It was a tough day."
Me: "Aw. What's going on?" (shifting into deep consoling mode)

Her: "Mary is blind. Ma and Pa had to send her to a blind school in Iowa. Mary is mad. They can't see her for three months. But she met Adam. So that's good."


My dearest Sarah,
I did my PT test today!!
Pushups 1 1/2 in 2 minutes
Situps 31 in 2 minutes
I drove the van 2 miles in 7 minutes.
I hope you are inspired sweetheart!! NOW CRUSH IT ON WEDNESDAY!!
I love you,
21 Days!!! armystrong armymom

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Sunny Day

Me: "Oh! The sun being out is wonderful isn't it babe?"
Carla : "Yeah, when its cloudy I don't want to do anything at all, ugh..."
Carla: "Well, when it's sunny out I still don't want to do anything, but at least I have a better attitude about it."