The Googegs - Strangers in the World

The Googegs - Strangers in the World

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

In the Course of Time..

"In the course of time..." one of my favorite phrases from the Bible. Things don't immediately happen or get resolved, but "in the course of time.."

Unfortunately, I have been so busy I haven't gotten around to updating the blog. Braydon had his "real" 12th birthday. A normal day at home, with the cheesecake he requested and a couple of cards from family and friends.

I have been struggling to get my footing again, and think I may have hit a new balance. School is going better and we are starting to have fun again. It seems that every so often we hit a hard spot and it is some struggle to get back into the balance again. Now Wokelle is begging for "meeting time" with Mom. I have to gear up for pre-school.

I have been selected for Grand Jury duty. First, I received a notice for jury duty and I really have no reason to ask not to serve. Then I was given a date to report. I have never served on Jury Duty and what I expected was a questioning and perhaps a day of service. Not so! I was chosen for Grand Jury duty. An entirely different animal it turns out. Our job is to hear cases from the prosecutor only and decide if there is enough evidence for the case to be held over for trial. It only takes a few minutes for each case to be presented. I served my first day last month, and we heard 9 cases in a couple of hours. However, another aspect of our "job" is to tour the county jail to ensure that all is well there. We haven't done our tour yet, but will probably do so this month. My next jury duty day is this Friday.

What an unusual feeling. I get dressed and done up -- kiss my kids and go off to work. Something I haven't done since Riane was a baby. Jerome fills in with the home school and gets the kids through lunch. Last time I was home just in time for lunch. I am not sure if we will have some longer days or not. My service will last until April. Only one day a month -- doesn't sound like much -- but it is another wrinkle in our lives. Kind of interesting and enjoyable though. I spent an entire morning not saying more than 5 words. I didn't need to say anything -- my primary job was to listen. Oh, At home 5 words come out of my mouth before my feet hit the floor. Maybe there is a lesson for me here!

Life is being lived at Mach 5 over here, but "in the course of time" I will get more blog updates going.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

An historic day! I didn't want to be so busy getting the next math lesson in that my kids would miss something like this. We do not have TV service anymore, but CNN.Com had live feed. How exciting we watched the whole ceremony live on the laptop. Yeah Internet.

Riane and Braydon watched it all. Wokelle fell asleep and the other kids slowly drifted away, but it was still something they will remember.

Obama's speech was awesome, Aretha Franklin -- WOW! Best of all Rick Warren was strong enough to pray in the name of Jesus. Who would have ever thought that would have been a concern.

A good day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

And the Snow comes down.

We have got snow. Enough snow that they have cancelled Jerome's work for the day. Which, of course, sent him off to the store to get supplies for a home project!

We do not have snow days at our little home school, but when school was finished they all dealt with the snow in different ways.

Some get in extra music time.Some are really "under the weather" on the couch.

Some opt for extra science project time.
And some PLAY!

Monday, January 5, 2009

The House is For Sale

Well, our house, but not OUR house. We bought the Oldham house several years ago as a rental investment. We have had the same tenants for 7 years. The tenants have moved on and we have too. We live farther away from the house than we used to and our lives have taken a different direction.

I really love this little house, but I have always had too large of a tribe to live in it. For the mortgage it costs, if we could live there I would!

Check out our For Sale Website just put in the listing ID code of OHBGU: Oldham House
So, anybody want to live in "let's have lunch" distance from me?

Preparing for Adolescence

The preparing for adolescence trip is one our kids all look forward to. On the 12th birthday the child takes an overnight trip with one parent. During the trip we listen and talk about the "Preparing for Adolescence" series by James Dobson. The series covers all the "big talk" conversations that teenagers will need. Dr. Dobson recommends taking this trip prior to the kid actually being a teenager as they are more willing to talk as you go through the information. I took this trip with Riane and it was a blast. My kids mostly know it all by 12, but it is good to take that time alone to answer any questions and just enjoy each other one on one. With Riane, she picked a mall trip in Cincinnati.

This year it is Braydon and he will be 12 on January 17. He wanted to go snowboarding. Mad River Mountain is not far from our house, but we are not a skiing, snowboarding family -- so there was lots to learn. I found a great package for kids -- $58 for all equipment, a two hour lesson (with Hot Chocolate break!), and an all day pass. Jerome wanted to eat at a place called the Red Pig Inn (sound like Boy time or What?).

They had an awesome father/son trip. Here's the highlights in pictures:

If you have teenagers coming up in your house -- I highly recommend taking some time to prepare your kids. The kids feel like they can ask us anything and that extra time sown into their lives is a treasure.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Creation Musuem

As part of our Christmas break we took off for the Creation Museum outside Cincinnati. We love it there and Mary and Wokelle have never seen it. We took the Children's pastor and Grandma. What a fun day.

Here we are in the garden of Eden.

Ricky was spellbound by the serpent. His reflection made for a pretty cool picture.

Dad and the crew!

I just love this picture of Mary.

Grandma and Riane.

Boys! Can we ever just take a picture?

After walking around the museum and a visit to the planetarium .. will I ever visit a planetarium and not fall asleep? Must be something about six children, blah, blah ... Oh I digress, we headed out to the petting zoo. The camel was my favorite.

The kids went several times over the suspension bridge. If you look carefully you can see Wokelle clinging desperately to Riane. What I wish you could hear is the mythical LIBERIAN WAIL. Some of you know exactly what I am talking about. It is loud, it is definitely NOT crying.. It is sometimes funny. It is certainly like nothing you have heard before. Every time he went across, and he went 3 willing times across the bridge, he let out THE WAIL (it has to be capitalized). When he got the end of the bridge, he would let go of Ri, straighten his shirt, put his hands in his pockets, smile and say, "that was fun."
It was an experience for Mary. She has never seen anything like this museum before. Many displays have sounds recorded and there is a funny satire called "Men in White" that shakes your seat and squirts water towards your face. She was a little scared and looking at the ceiling to see where it all came from. Which was really funny, since the water is squirted out of a hole from the back of the seat in front of you. She thought her seat was floating in the planetarium. She wanted to know "who's talking" at the exhibits. At the end of the day - she loved it, but she was tired. American culture -- seeing it through her eyes, opens mine.

Christmas Morning

It was kind of a rough night. The rule is, you can get up and get your stocking, but don't wake Mom and Dad up until 6:00am. Since the kids buy their own Christmas presents you wouldn't think they would be so anxious -- but they were very excited. I get a little excited too, because stockings are all mine I mean Santa's. I can hardly wait to see what they think.

I could hear Mary and Adela up and I tried to go back to sleep. Finally, I decided to check on them, I didn't want everyone's stocking strewn everywhere. I went by Adela's room and she called out. She said they went downstairs, but Santa's cookies were still all on the plate he hadn't been here yet! Funny -- the Santa I sleep with was down by 10:30pm. Oh well, I laid down with her to help calm her down. I got back up about an hour later and tried to sleep some more in my own bed. Finally, I just got up, got dressed and waited with the camera to get the first shots.

Here comes Mr. Wokelle.

The kids are loving their surprises.
Braydon is making his grand entrance.

WHAT! Too early for you Riane?

The gift opening goes on -- they know what they got, but they can't wait to get at it. It is so funny when the kids have their own money to spend. They often buy gifts for others. Ricky, very excitedly, bought me a bottle of 47cent glue. I absolutely love it and it is sitting in the middle of my kitchen desk. That is HEART.

Here's the big gift we planned for Grandma. The kids "all put their hands to work" as Braydon said right before she opened it.

The rest of the day was spent enjoying our things and each other. All those leftovers were appreciated.

Mary, how was your first American Christmas?

Christmas Eve

It is a little late for a Christmas Eve post, but for the couple of you that actually read my blog, I will attempt to catch us up over the next few posts.

Christmas Eve is one of the most fun times for our family. We have our big dinner that night. I make sure there is lots of food, because I do not intend to work on Christmas Day. We had Jerome's brother Ayin and his wife Joy and little Joanne over. We exchange gifts with them and I also give out this year's ornaments. Every child gets a new keepsake ornament every year. When they grow up they will beautiful ornaments (with lots of memories).

We had an impromptu Mary and Joseph play. I missed it, but Wokelle is a mighty Joseph.

Mary dressed all in white to be the narrator.

Grandma finally made it from the land of sparkle and shine to enjoy Christmas with us.

Uncle Ayin.

Joanne gets a present!

The only ornament I got a picture of. Riane is holding her gold Baldwin piano. This was big piano year for Riane as she played a lot and even joined the praise team. I went with a gold theme - Braydon's was a cross, Mary a butterfly, Adela and angel, Wokelle a little red fire truck and Ricky a train.

A three generation picture of some girls!

It was a wonderful evening and we closed with our advent Jesse Tree project, cookies for Santa and off to bed.