The Googegs - Strangers in the World

The Googegs - Strangers in the World

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Nursing Homes and Roofs

We have had quite a busy couple of days. On Saturday we started a new outreach ministry. Jerome has started working a little bit with the teen group at our church. He wanted to start a service project and contacted a local nursing home. They suggested we come every couple of weeks and run an hour long bingo game for a few of the residents. On our first day, most of the teens were unable to attend, but our family went to get it started. It was a really fun time. We all talked with some of the people and learned something about each person -- even if it was only their name. Adela and Riane had quite a table full.

Braydon was trying to get along with this gentlemen, but he was hard of hearing and Braydon is not a loud talker!

Mary and Wokelle were learning bingo and they had a lovely lady at their table, but she left early with a family member.

On Sunday evening we had the teen group at our house for a cookout. I think it went well -- little harder to tell with this age group. They ate and played volleyball -- we did not take pictures that night.

Jerome has a two week shut down at work and this is the time he designated for fixing a portion of our roof. The steepest part was fixed some time ago because a mighty wind damaged it and the insurance company paid for it (see post here) This section of the roof needs to be replaced, but we have to do it ourselves. Jerome decided to make it a family project.
Here's our roofing team hard at work.

The head boss. He knows what to do and how to do it.

I am not the most graceful person on my feet -- so I stayed off the roof, but spent a lot of time hauling shingles to the dumpster.
Not my most attractive day I will say. At the end of working hard all day I looked at Jerome and said: "I stink and I'm ugly!"
To which he said: "You look good to me."
Everybody had work to do. Even little Wokelle. Jerome got him a little magnet tool. He rolled it around and picked up all the nails that fell. This was very important, we still ended up with a few in our shoes.

In the heat of the day we instructed everyone to stay out of the sun or inside until 3:00pm. Some of us chose to hang out under the tree.

It was a long day -- even longer for Jerome -- he was out well past dark. We worked very hard and the kids were very happy. Children with purpose are happy children.
While I fixed dinner Mary wandered in the house and fell-out on the living room floor. She roused for dinner and a good game of hide and seek before bed.

Today is more overcast and cool. The job Jerome is working on today is best done alone. We all feel a bit lost with out important work to do, but we are amazed at his ability and stamina.
He soldiers on...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Big Weekend

This past weekend was Wokelle's birthday (June 20) and Riane's birthday (June 22) -- the oldest and the youngest. Instead of presents this year we have been taking the kids on short family trips that involve everyone. The kids make cards for each other, or sometimes find a little gift. Grandma always sends a present, so the kids get something to unwrap. We traditionally give each kid a card that plays some kind of music.

Since this time involved two birthdays we decided to take a trip to the Creation Museum in Cincinnati, camp one night in our tent and go to the Cincinnati zoo the next day. We stopped off at Plato's Closet for Riane. It is a teen re-sale clothing shop and she just LOVES to go there.

Now, we are not seasoned campers. Years ago, when I had only 2 little ones we rented a tipi at a local lake. Other than that, we stick to our backyard. So this was an adventure for sure. Eight people, enough food that we would never have to eat out and one SUV.

We were packed to the gills. It worked out well. We were able to bless another camping family with a loaf of banana bread and we did not eat out the whole weekend. Other than a box of fried chicken from the grocery store to eat when we arrived back at our house. What a money saver.

I didn't take any pictures at the Creation Museum. Probably because I was suffering from yet another migraine. It was fabulous like always. We were so excited to find out Ken Ham was speaking that day - it was a great presentation. Mostly covering ideas from the new book "Already Gone".

After the museum we traveled on into Kentucky to a small Christian camp ground. They put our spot right next to Tipi village. How great was that.

We set up camp and got the fire going.

Afterwards, we enjoyed Wokelle's cake time:

When we bedded down for the night we were awakened by a rainstorm complete with thunder and lightning. It didn't bother us much we snuggled into the sleeping bags and went back to sleep. Except for Riane who really isn't a camp girl at heart and wasn't really feelin' it all....

She perked up after awhile and had some fun.

The next day we packed up camp and after a great shopping experience for Riane we headed off to the zoo.

We were all goofing around and enjoying each other so much!

OOPS! We woke up those sleeping lions and he let us know what he thought about that!

It was a great day at the zoo.

When we got home, Wokelle got to open his gift from Grandma. Oh yeah, he LOVES the Walkman. But now he is always yelling at us.

Riane's official day was Monday and she made her own cake. Angel food with chocolate whipped cream icing. What a thing of beauty.

She had a few more candles than Wokelle -- 15! Wokelle turned 4/5 (4 in real life and 5 on his birth certificate - confused? read this post here).

Her present from Grandma was more piano books. She absolutely loves them and we enjoy listening to them too.

I am tacking this picture on the end because it is so funny -- I call it BUSTED!

Wokelle's chore each day is to go around the house and empty the small trash cans. While in the bathroom that Riane uses he decided to look in her makeup bag. Luckily he didn't open the foundation container, but there was some on the outside and the evidence of his curiosity was showing.

"Wokelle, have you been messing in something you shouldn't?"


"Really? Why don't I take a picture of you."

Monday, June 15, 2009

A New Camera Battery

Today Jerome picked up a new battery for our digital camera -- so the picture fun begins again.

Mary has been home from Liberia, Africa a little over a year now. When we first accepted a referral for two children and I found out I was having a girl, hair was big on my mind. Yes, I was concerned about adding new children to my family, addressing adoption issues, working through paperwork, but still HAIR! In Liberia a girl's hair is always braided -- well braided, small and tightly braided.

I grew up with a mom who had three brothers. I have two brothers. I had my hair permed and in later years grew it long and stuck a headband in it. I was seriously freaked about hair. When Mary arrived I tried everything I had learned and sometimes I felt sorry for her to have to go around in the hair mess I had created.

It has taken a year, a couple of you-tube videos, lots of hair grease, some books and many hours of poor Mary sitting in a chair and I finally achieved this:
Maybe nothing all that great to someone with experience, but this is a picture of over 12 months of trying to teach an old dog new tricks. It lasted 2 weeks, even through swimming. I told her I would take a picture, because I wasn't sure I would do it again. I started by thinking a row of beads at the back would be pretty. I added a couple rows a day for about 3 or 4 days to finish this hair.

It was the last picture I got off on the camera before the battery died.

Today I was playing with the new battery and got a nice picture of Jerome:

And our beloved Dexter:

Creativity in the children is something wonderful, but something I sometimes shake my head at. In our backyard we have this:

The children took a rope and some scraps of wood to do this instead:
I guess we could call this "good group dynamic and imaginative play skills."

Braydon is always trying to get me to catch a picture of him flying through the air off of some toy or another. I finally got him flying off the swings.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Week's Round Up

My digital camera is on the blitz so I don't have any pictures to share. Many times this week I have said "Now, that's a blog post." So, I am going to try to round them up for you here.

1. "Fer to go"

Jerome is having another bout with vertigo this week. Trust me, we are a compassionate family, however, the running joke is that we call it Fer to Go. He gets dizzy and almost falls, therefore we feel he doesn't have ____ ___ _____!

2. "Girly Pants"

We watched a movie called Faith Like Potatoes. I can't say enough about it -- what an awesome movie. Without giving too much away, the main character is Scottish, but was born and has always lived in Africa. At one point he makes a trip to the "land of his forefathers" and comes home with a kilt that he puts on to show off. Wokelle saw this and says: "Why is that guy wearing GIRLY PANTS?" I know he doesn't know what a kilt is, but I thought he had picked up the word skirt.

3. "You can lick the plastic"

Riane started her summer job. Like last year she will bake and work at the Farmer's Market in nearby St. Marys. She spends some of Thursday evening and usually all day Friday baking and sells on Saturday mornings. While she was baking she told Jerome and I that she NEVER licks a spoon or dish because she figures every scrape she can get out of the pan is a potential sell and she is all about making the sale. Then later in the day she asks me if I have ever tasted the dough of a chocolate cookie she is working on. "I don't know -- if I've baked it; I am sure I have tasted it."

"No Mom, I don't think you have ever made these."

"Oh, well, probably not then."

"You have to taste it-- it's amazing!"

"You told us today you never lick! I am not going to taste your dough."

"Don't worry Mom -- you can lick the plastic!"

At this point, I fell on the floor. I mean my heart was so full with the love I was feeling. "Mom, you can lick the plastic?" Just pause here and wipe the tear out of your eye.

In other news, we have had many activities this week. We have our investment house up for sale, but have finally rented it this week.

I mentioned Riane's working, but Adela bakes for the market this year too. She bakes on Thursday morning and Riane sells it at the stand. She only had time for a pan of brownies, but cleared $7.50 -- her first job -- not bad. We told Braydon he could have any junk we didn't want and try a garage sale to make a buck. He cleared $23 this week. The other children are inspired and want to come up with money making ideas. We'll see how creative they get.

We have been tent camping in our backyard this weekend. It was fabulous, lots of time around the bonfire roasting "Dog - o's" (Wokelle's term) and playing hide and seek in the dark. We also made a trip to a local lake for a little swimming.

I hope to get my camera up and running soon so that I can share pictures next time.