The Googegs - Strangers in the World

The Googegs - Strangers in the World

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Working Woman

I have just heard that I have another shot at my writing thing. I have always liked to write and have had some pipe dreams about pursuing it. I had two articles published once a long time ago. Having two more kids added to the family did slow down my writing.

However, a home school magazine has expressed an interest in my story about Liberian adoption. I have been writing for two weeks. I sent it off yesterday. I hope they buy it. Being interested in my idea and interested in what I actually write are two different things. I am hopeful and it is a paying job.

Today I did my other paying gig. The grand jury duty. It is always sad to hear all the testimony. Nothing fun about drug abuse, domestic violence and theft. We only hear felony cases. The topper of the day was a tour of the jail - another duty of the grand jury. It was an extensive tour, we even saw a locker room, and very informative, just very long.

I did the grocery shopping after, which left me out from 8:00am to 4:00pm. It was like being a working mom. All I can say about that is, I am glad I am a stay-at-home mom. As much as I need a break from the children, I missed them. I like making my own schedule and being here to ride herd on the tribe. When I needed to buckle down and make serious headway on my article, I went to an empty bedroom and locked the door. Well, I had to let the dog in - he was begging at the door. I could still hear all the voices and feel their presence in the house. I like being home.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Cultured Weekend

We have been looking for fun and inexpensive activities to do as a family. I have visited the Dayton Art Institute on several occasions and I found out that they have a free concert series on Sunday afternoons. We took a cultured weekend and drove to Dayton (almost an hour) after church to catch the organist guild performing. An hour of organ playing may not sound like much fun -- but this was a real pipe organ. We could see the organists feet flying as fast as his hands and the shutters on the huge pipes opening and closing. He even took some time to explain a few things. The organ could basically sound like a small orchestra. He tried a couple of stops and we could hear a flute, French horn, English horn and in one piece, a small bird. Modern keyboards have nothing on it. This was the final event the kids needed to earn their free art kit. They each came home with little set that included watercolors, blending pencil and oil pastels among other goodies.

We listened to fine music, saw some artwork and came home with art materials. Grand indeed!

In the evening we headed off the the church rollerskating party. Needless to say, school was moving a bit slow today.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Bedroom Dance

This is our week off from school. We are on 4 weeks and off one. Jerome has been frantically painting the largest bedroom upstairs so that this week we could tear our house up and do the bedroom dance. We had Mary & Adela sharing that room with Riane across the hall. The arguing between my bickering babes led us to move Adela & Mary into separate rooms. However, this left Mary in the largest room in the house (with a bathroom) and three boys across the hall from us in the one of the smaller rooms. The boys were adamant about not being separated. So, we moved all three boys upstairs to the big room and Mary and Adela to the room across the hall from Jerome and I.

We changed some other things in the structure of Mary and Adela's lives to help with the bickering. I can't tell you how successful they are yet, as it has only been a few days -- so far so good.

While we were moving everyone we began to sort a purge a job that is still not done. Hence, the big mess all over my house. We hope to rectify this situation this weekend.

Since, it is our week off we tried to do some fun and different things. Today we went to the Bicycle museum in New Bremen, Ohio. What a delightful place. Wokelle is sitting on one of the big front wheel bikes from the 1800's. I forgot my camera, but the worker there took our picture and e-mailed it to us:
We had so much fun. We were the only people there and the worker spent the whole time with us, answering all our questions, and even took out a bike for the kids to try that is usually not done. It was a wonderful afternoon - the kids just raved!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Big Winds and Valentine's

The last couple of days have battered us with amazing winds. The new roof we had put on a few months ago -- thanks to another big wind -- had to be repaired today. Insurance company paid for the first one; this repair was under warranty. Consequently, all the snow is gone. We have had a day or so of spring like weather and were back to flakes today. Outside has been an experience!

Valentine's day is a day we don't celebrate much in our family. Once or twice when Jerome and I were just getting to know each other, we attempted a traditional Valentine's celebration and it always ended badly. We have just decided to let it go. However, I do try to do something small for the kids. This year I made them a heart shaped cake.

I have this week off from teaching school which is a nice change of pace of me. I try to catch up on work I feel I need to do, get a little more sleep and do something fun with the kids. Today our trip was to the local library for a make a birdfeeder project.

My work has been to attempt to do some writing. I signed up with a book company that will send me a free book if I will just read it and review it. I finally finished the review today. Check it out here. A homeschool magazine has expressed an interest in an idea I pitched to them. So, now I need to write it! I started on that today. Basically, my eyes are burned out from staring at the computer!

Being in uncertain times has given us more time with Jerome. Since he works for the auto industry we are thankful he is STILL working for the auto industry. At this point, he has lost all of his overtime, which means that he is home every weekend. A blow to the bank, but a blessing to the family. Last night all of us curled up on the king size bed to watch a movie. I was wondering of they make beds bigger than king size -- eight people is getting snug! It was a fun night albeit a little late. Times like these are ones I am sure the kids will remember the most.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Challenge

Since I have been homeschooling my kids I feel like I am also getting an education. I can remember studying all these topics in school and now they are so much more exciting. Sometimes, I have to remember what it was like to be a kid and how some of these things may not be so fascinating for them now as they are for me as an adult with some perspective.

It is also keeping my mind a lot sharper. Just think, I am in my fourth round of third grade. Believe me I know my multiplication tables REALLY well. I am learning about history several times over and I am finally getting some of the science in a more than surface way.

The other day I heard about a short quiz that the Intercollegiate Studies Institute has put together. According to their website the average grade for all Americans was 49% and for college educators 55%. I took the test and scored in the 87% range. I was dancing -- not out of pride, but out of acknowledgment. When I was pregnant with my first child, my then boss told me that having children makes you lose brain cells. She had no children and therefore had retained all of her smartness.

I have gone on to have 6 kids and some days I have wondered if indeed the last cell has dropped out of my head. I have a lot of "bodily fluid" discussions. I do say the same inane sentences 5,000 times a day ending with something pithy like, "I'm you mother and you must do what I tell you now -- why is not up for discussion."

The test sent me a tiny message that having children expands your brain cells. I believe my problem solving skills have soared off the chart. I am sure interpersonal communication skills (a.k.a breaking up the arguments) are doing pretty well. Ah, but homeschooling them all has benefited me in a whole different way. Am I "bored" at home -- atrophying from some bizarre "stay-at-home" mom fade away disease? Apparently not. Even without a college degree I can hold my own on a silly online civics quiz. How about you:

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Facebook and Nostaglia

I opened a facbook account a few months ago, but I just let it sit there. I couldn't figure out who to add as "friends" and what to even post on there. Just this past week or so, I was contacted via facebook regarding my 25th high school reunion. Then I began adding the names to my "friends" list. It feels sort of strange. These people aren't really my "friends". In high school we knew each other's names, but I wasn't exactly Miss Cool. I was in band, swimming and the Spanish club. I didn't date. That was not necessarily by choice! I didn't go to school dances -- what by myself! Don't worry I had fun in high school. I had my own group of friends and activities and even a pretty cool looking car. If you were my passenger you had to hold the door in tight when I turned a corner -- it could fly open. I didn't say it was a good car -- it just looked nice!

Facebook feels sort of strange -- like "faux" friends. I am homeschooling 6 kids maybe "faux" is as much time as I have right now. I did find my brother. Not that he was lost - I just found him in my new "faux" neighborhood over at Facebook. If you want to come over and be my friend - look me up.

All the talk of 25th high school reunion made me nostalgic. I decided to post a little timeline:

25 years ago:

22 years ago:

14 years ago:

12 years ago:
7 years ago:

1 year ago: