The Googegs - Strangers in the World

The Googegs - Strangers in the World

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Week 2009

This week was so much fun!

We had the first real snow.

We also took a trip to the live Nativity at the Creation Museum -- it was cold, but AWESOME.

Before I knew it, it was time to start preparations for the annual cheesecake delivery.

Christmas Eve arrived and the cakes were ready to go.

The tribe was ready to deliver.

That being done, we had a lovely evening church service, and were ready for bed and Christmas the next day. This is one of the first times in a long time the kids were quite this excited. I could hear their little footsteps from 3:00am on. At 5:30am we finally (!!) roused to open gifts. Since I had all the packages numerically coded, no one knew which gift was his until the big day when I had put real name tags on. It was so fun!

At the very end there was one package marked "Open Last, and Open Card First."  The card had a clue that had to be solved before the package could be opened.  The clue:  Name the pronoun that is first person plural nominative case. What else could it be -- WE. Which means -- we got a Wii!!!!

They never expected it. In this picture Braydon was totally shocked and kept saying "Seriously? You got us a Wii? Seriously."

We had told them that this would be a much smaller Christmas ... and it was, but I had gotten a good deal a few months before and really worked that budget.  It has been a lot of fun for us all so far.

Well, we still had several hours to go, but in the afternoon our family and one other guest headed over for Christmas dinner.  Jerome and I got busy cooking. In between Riane and Jerome had a running contest with this litttle toy:

I lost track of who won this little contest.

Opening presents after dinner was delightful.

Josiah was just as cute as can be:

And, of course, Ayin is holding our reminder of the real reason for celebrating:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Family Christmas Program

Every year the church puts on the Family Christmas Program. Anyone can volunteer to use their gifts and talents to entertain for the Christmas Season. Wokelle said he really wanted to share his Bible verse that he had memorized:

"Seek the Lord while he may be found." Isaiah 55:6 He did a fine job.  Judy was inspired by his night caroling and asked him to sing Rudolph with her. He was a good sport and it was quite a performance.

Riane played a piano piece and the teens put on a "Christmas Jeopardy". I was chosen as a participant -- I wonder how my name got chosen for that (KIDS!).

Riane was a great MC and Mary handed prizes to the winners.

Of course Braydon was an angel in the heavenly choir!  It was just a great night of fun.

We also had some time to hang with our family and get our hands on that new baby:

Cousins are wonderful!

Jerome's Birthday

The Leader of The Tribe has turned 43!  Not that he can ever remember how old he is ... he justs asks me. He is so busy and full of life he doesn't have time to keep track.

He is not particularly fond of sweets and so asked for sausage, cheese and crackers again this year. This year Santa really did "smell like beef and cheese" (for those of you who have seen the movie Elf!

True to our crazy selves, we opted to eat it for breakfast and it was fabulous!

Can't forget the candles -- even with Sausage and Cheese!

He received a new Bible Dictionary and some much needed Gold Toe socks.

Jerome had to go to work, but the rest of the fam always takes the day off of school in honor of his day. (How thoughtful of us!) We headed out to the mall and got our yearly Santa picture taken.

I so love our Santa pictures. It is one of my favorite traditions. I have had one taken every year since Riane was 3 .. now they line my buffet.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Code Crackers

Our house is filled with amateur sleuths trying to crack the Christmas present code. This year we caught a touch of the economic-turn-down-virus and have cut back on Christmas. Then, we found a great deal on a Washington DC vacation in January and decided that would be more fun than too many presents anyway. So, the deal the kids understand is that they will get their traditional new ornament on Christmas Eve, one gift each and a small stocking.

I just kept thinking that if I wrapped their one gift each -- they would pick theirs out, feel it up like crazy and leave no excitement for Christmas morning. Ah Ha. I put numeric codes on every package I wrapped. No names. That way I can have presents under the tree and still have some excitement.

It is working so much better than I planned. They have tried to add the digits and see if that makes sense, check if any are the same (a few are) -- how can this be? Hmmm. Did I use their ages? birth orders?  They even went to Dad who said he had nothing to do with the codes and then he did that little look and said -- "You know it is your mother's logic!" Which made everyone feel up the presents to see if they could figure out what was inside and match them up that way.

You see Jerome has a degree in statistics. I have no college degree and I studied things like Spanish and child development when I was in college. I am a touchy, feely, writer, peoply sort of person. So when they heard "Mom's Logic" they figure it makes no sense to anyone but me. I am not entirely sure that I want to be offended, but I can tell you this -- The code has yet to be cracked!

Monday, December 7, 2009

A New Addition

A new nephew for Jerome and I -- the tribe has another cousin!  Welcome to the world Josiah Paul.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Messiah and Caroling

I realize that I neglected the few Thanksgiving pictures we took this year....

Grandma's Ready

The Buffet Line

Uh Oh... I probably shouldn't be having that pie

In the last couple of years we have been driving to Berne, Indiana to see Handel's Messiah performed. The church is so beautiful and the music is divine. I have to admit, the first year seemed long for me and I really didn't get all that was going on. However, every year I appreciate it more and can hardly believe two hours have gone by. We take the kids knowing that they don't always think two hours of classical music is wonderful. It is like feeding a baby vegetables -- it is good for them and they will develop a taste for it.

Wokelle fell asleep on Riane's lap and when I asked him what he thought of all the music he said, "Huh?? What music?"   Ah well, it will come in time.

Tonight was the annual Christmas Caroling night at our church. We meet up, divide in groups and sing carols to the elderly and shut-ins. It is one of our favorite nights.

Wokelle took the drive over as his opportunity to rest up.

The older girls were keyed up for a fun night.

Getting ready to go.

The happy carolers!

It is so easy to hang with friends, sing some songs and eat soup afterwards. What is most amazing is how much this little act blesses folks who just can't get out very often. Some sang with us, some teared up -- and one lady that touched me so -- was waiting for her night. She had a basket of small goodies she had collected to hand out to her carolers. Before we sang, she mentioned that she had been having some pain and difficulty getting around. When we started she just leaned her head back and closed her eyes. Our feeble attempts to warble a tune may have blessed her, but her grateful heart sent me home humble.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Holidays Have Hit Us

Boy have they ever.  We have flown through Thanksgiving and I am busy working on Christmas -- almost entirely online this year. The boxes keep arriving and I put them in my closet. I have yet to open any to make sure that I have received what I ordered -- CRAZY!. I did get my Christmas decorations up Thanksgiving weekend. That is a new record for me. Also, we started our Jesse Tree devotions only one day late.  Pretty awesome for me. Here' s a roundup of some of our activities.

My Mom made it in to see us!

Crazy things happened to me. Like getting a amazing wad of gum in my hair (don't ask how). Riane took it out with a lot of hair grease. What do people do without teenagers at home to help out in a crisis?

We went to Braydon's Bible quiz where he took 16th place out of a couple hundred quizzers. Way to go Braydon! As exciting as that was, there is a lot of down time at quizzes where we sit around playing with our cameras:

The very next day we were off to the piano recital. When the teacher found out Riane wanted to learn how to play I Dreamed a Dream she decided to be Susan Boyle for a night and sang a solo. It was a great recital.

We had a nice, but quiet Thanksgiving and can hardly believe that Grandma has already gone back to the land of twinkle and shine.

We will be having some great times leading up to Christmas including a production of the Messiah and a visit to a live Nativity as well as a church Christmas program that includes most of the kids. I hope to keep things updated here, but sometimes we are so busy livin' it, that it is hard to make time to blog it!