Strange Family Adventures: May 2021

May is such a fun fix of special and crazy all wrapped up into 31 action packed days. We are all working to wrap up an awesome school year while longing to grab hold of those summer days….and somehow we always find a way to do both!

Here are some highlights to remember…

May 2 STRANGE PROJECTS | One of the things we have loved about buying an old house is that there are TONS of opportunities to bring new life to spaces that seemed to have little or no purpose.

This area off our driveway and side entrance used to just be functional…in the door, out the door. During the lockdown last spring, my “office” was in our sunroom and this space was what I looked at all day through the window. Slowly a plan came together.

Even during the shutdown, this is the place we’d gather with friends to cookout, to do hibachi on the griddle, to enjoy takeout, and to just spend time together. We had tacos for Christmas out here, hosted our Lifegroup, and grilled hot dogs for the Upper School staff families @NCCSEagles this past fall.

This past year we have added grass and built a patio from historic bricks that we have dug up in all kinds of strange places on our property. My Mom gave us one of her patio tables and some plants when she moved. Each piece of this space has a little story. Emma and I painted the flag a few years ago as a fun 4th of July project. Eli likes to play wiffleball over here. Clint likes to read the paper here while eating lunch. I like to drink coffee here and read. The stairs lead up to a mysterious attic that used to house itinerant preachers and their families when they would come to preach revivals in Acworth in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

After Lifegroup tonight, we decided it was time to add the lights. Perhaps because we talked about bringing our confession “into the light” @cedarcrestchurch today! So pleased with how this ultimately turned out…just in time for more cookouts and spending time with people who are so special to our family! #StrangeOldHouse#LetThereBeLight

May 6 7 YEARS AGO | We woke up early Tuesday morning and were all super excited about going to pick up Eli. Tuesday, May 6, 2014 was Eli’s official GOTCHA DAY! When we arrived at the Hilawe Children’s home, you could definitely tell that it was a big day. There was a film crew and a photographer taking pictures of us exiting the van and they continued videoing and shooting photos the entire time we were there. The farewell ceremony at the children’s home was truly a treasure. The people at Hilawe were so happy for Eli and they pulled out all the stops for the celebration. One of the social workers was so thoughtful to video the whole thing with our camera so we will be able to show Eli what a special ceremony this was.

They started by having a time of prayer over all of us. The director of the children’s home prayed in Amaric and then Clint prayed in English. They put some fingerpaint on Eli’s right hand to make a handprint so that people at the children’s home could remember him and pray for him. After that, they presented us a huge loaf of bread for us to cut together. It was similar to cutting a wedding cake and everyone was served a piece. The next item was a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony complete with popcorn. They also served us cokes and brought little chocolates…which totally thrilled Emma! Emma was wonderful throughout the ceremony as she realized this was a very special time for her brother. She kept herself busy giving Eli kisses and making sure he was having a good time.

After the Embassy that afternoon we headed back to the hotel and got ready for naps. Emma insisted on climbing in the crib to sleep by Eli so he wouldn’t be scared. We got some precious pictures of the two of them snuggling together. We pray that they will always be very close and that Emma will always look out for her baby brother. Once naps were over, we played on the playground at the hotel and then ate dinner at the gazebo restaurant by the pool. Eli ate a ton of rice and some chicken. He is a great eater and did a great job at dinner! Emma could hardly eat anything she was so excited to finally have her brother!

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May 7 ACWORTH BASEBALL | We’ve reached the end of another awesome season with @acworthbaseball. So grateful to have such a great park to play out of right by our house. The leadership of the organization, the coaches, the teammates, and the fans are a blast and just another reason why #WeLoveAcworth. So proud of my #32. He had a blast, learned a lot about baseball, and improved his skills. Go Brewers! #7000days

+ A dear friend and I have made a commitment to do a 5K each month in 2021. Today we had the privilege of participating in the first annual Bub’s 5K run in honor of Kelson Loveland. The Lovelands are one of our awesome @NCCSEagles families. What a great day to remember and celebrate their son!
+ The Strange fam walked to Logan Farm park to enjoy the Smoke on the Lake BBQ Festival. We had great food and the kids had a blast on the jumpies. So good to see several friends!
+ On our way home we stopped in the Acworth Art House to see some artwork from NCCS artists…great stuff!
+ Eli and I spent the afternoon reading outside in this beautiful weather.
+ We closed out the day at the @NCCSEagles Totally 80’s Benefit Dinner and Auction. Very cool to see our Academic Council all dressed up…your kids are in great hands. Nothing to fear!

May 9 A special day with the ones I love the most. Grateful that God gave me Emma and Eli to help me understand the truth of the gospel. I’ve never learned more about or needed more grace than I have in these past 12 years. So grateful for @clintstrange32 in a million different ways. So thankful today for Eli’s first Mom as well. Asking the Lord to help her know that her son is well loved and most of all, that he loves Jesus with all his heart.

Church together at @cedarcrestchurch, lunch at @ontheborder, and shopping. So happy to find the perfect HOME pillow to finish our porch swing that Clint made last year for Mother’s Day. Reading, napping, and mint chocolate chip ice cream followed by baseball in the yard with Eli, leftover pizza, and a walk.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the precious ladies out there investing in your kids or someone else’s kids for the sake of eternity!

May 10 POWDER PUFF FOOTBALL | A lovely time was had by all. There was some serious competition on the field tonight. So proud of our @NCCSEagles Student Government for putting together an awesome evening of fun for everyone. Also a HUGE thanks to @coachjim1024 @parkersmith314 and Isaiah Williams for coaching your CHAMPIONSHIP Faculty Team. Hats off to our Sophomores for winning the Student Championship. Thanks to all of our coaches, referees, athletes, fans, and THE PEP BAND! What a night to be an Eagle! #GoEagles #WeAreNCCS #NCCSFamily

May 16 Great word on being intentional about discipleship @cedarcrestchurch this morning from our Pastor @vanvandegriff. Following Jesus means making a daily choice about how to follow Him and who to bring along with you. #PublicKitchenSeries

May 16 PIANO RECITALS | I know the end of the year is upon us when we get to the Spring Piano recitals. Eli played “Jazzy Cat” and Emma played “You Say” by @lauren_daigle. We’ve had so much fun watching friends grow in their piano playing over the years thanks to the faithful and dedicated investment of Mr. Roger Brink, truly a @NCCSEagles treasure! #GoEagles#WeAreNCCS#NCCSFamily#7000days

May 16 FISHING | Tonight was the last gathering of our @cedarcrestchurch Lifegroup before summer. We had a great time just chatting, eating, and fishing! Both Strange kids caught fish at Camp Derek and I can’t believe I took one of them off the hook myself! What a precious evening with lifelong friends. Grateful! #FishingForFish#FishingForMen

May 20 BEACH PARTY 2021 | They said I’d be their favorite principal ever if I did the slip and slide…so I did. Honestly, I’d do anything for these kids. I’m so proud of our awesome @NCCSEagles Class of 2021. Thanks to them I’ll be extra tan for graduation! ? #BestHotDogsEverFromTheGrillDads #GoEagles #WeAreNCCS #NCCSFamily #ClassOf2021

May 22 GRADUATION | Special day ahead! I can’t wait to celebrate the young men and women of the @NCCSEagles Class of 2021. This is a remarkable group and I am so proud of each of them. God has amazing plans for them!

If you aren’t joining us in person, we hope you’ll join us via livestream at 10am here:

The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. -Psalm 126:3

May 23 NCCS Class of 2021 God has HUGE plans for you. He created you on purpose and with a purpose to be used for His glory. I am so proud of each of you and can’t wait to watch God’s plans unfold for you. I wish I had a pic with everyone, but here are a few from yesterday. So grateful for the awesome contributions to my Hawaii beachwear collection! This crew took the Beach Party Theme and saw it through.

Congratulations @NCCSEagles alums! You have my heart and my respect. Fly High Eagles! #GoEagles#WeAreNCCS#NCCSFamily

May 28 ACWORTH TOWN HALL MEETING | One of my favorite storytellers in action! Mayor Tommy Allegood invited our community to come out tonight to learn more about why “You’re Welcome In Acworth.” Tommy is a fantastic visionary leader and it’s been a joy to watch our city grow over these last 20 years. Our city team is second to none and we are so grateful for those servant leaders. Just another reason #WeLoveAcworth!

May 28 SUMMER NIGHTS | Eating ice cream out of the carton sitting on the front porch smelling the rain. Hallelujah…summer is here. So excited for a change of pace and fun adventures with my Strange people. #BringItOn ?

May 29 MEMORIAL DAY | It was a beautiful morning to be at Patriots Point in Acworth to honor Memorial Day in our community. I’m so grateful to Lindsay, Ryleigh, and Landon from our @NCCSEagles Academy Singers coming out to sing the National Anthem for this special time. Thank you @amykwallace for leading them to use their gifts to serve others! Inspiring words from Mayor Tommy Allegood, State Representative Ed Setzler, and Brigadier General Mark Gelhardt of the Georgia Defense Force as we remember and honor those who have laid down their lives for our freedom. #Grateful #MemorialDay #WeLoveAcworth

May 30 FRESH SUMMER CUTS | Eli wanted nice and easy as he heads off to @woodlandscamp tomorrow. Emma wanted to try the curtain bangs. My precious babies!

For some fun swipe ?? to see what my little guy looks like as Grandpa Eli. #7000days

May 31 WOODLANDS | Bye Mom! Praying for an amazing week for my precious boy at @woodlandscamp, one of our family’s favorite places in the world. Asking the Lord to move in Eli’s heart in a fresh and new way. May our boy grow to be a man after God’s own heart. Praying for @bigjonestes and the entire Woodlands Staff this week. Eli is a super cool dude and had no problem at all hopping out and heading up to his cabin, but he did sneak one of the best hugs he’s ever given me…so I’ll pretend that he’s going to miss us ?? Love his heart for adventure! #7000days

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