The Googegs - Strangers in the World

The Googegs - Strangers in the World

Monday, September 28, 2009

Jerome G. Canning Master

Every year we have found something new to learn. Last year was the year of the chickens.

We learned how to raise them, how to slaughter them and we had no trouble eating them.

This year our garden exploded.

Jerome was the gardener, we were the weeders and pickers. So, all that garden food we had to learn something new.  How to can. Together Jerome and I learned a few things and we got this done:

We did it all in the house and on my flat topped stove it wasn't the best set up. Jerome talked to some guys at work. Not to digress too much here, but for a bunch of macho guys working on maintenance at a car engine plant, they swap a lot of recipes!

Anyway, he bought a fish fryer and got an awesome set up going in the garage.

Jerome G. Canning Master on the job!

The sauce looked good too.

Life is just never boring.

Friday, September 25, 2009


When I was young, I thought that I wanted to wear lots of high heels and live in a big city with some sort of job that involved a brief case. Well, I came to my senses, married the man of my dreams and ended up in small town Ohio, a place I affectionately call Podunk. There are interesting things to ponder about podunk livin':

I couldn't remember someone's last name, but knew what street they were on. It took 5 minutes to scan the entire phone book and pick them out.

While reading the phone book, I discovered that we have a funeral parlor and they also own the ambulance service -- could be handy.

Everyone knows our name -- if not our name, than the name of the people who owned our house last.We have been here 6 years and are still known as those people that live in the "F____'s" house.

My kids can walk to the library, store or park with relative safety.

There is no fast food restaurant.

The town parades are full of tractors and fire trucks.

The library is not open every day.

The school houses K-12

So, I had to give up my "Tina Turner heels". I would take this life over city livin' anyday. We have camped in the backyard, had bonfires, raised chickens, grown a garden big enough to can from and my kids have the freedom to be kids.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Things I would Never Do If I Weren't Homeschooling

A couple of years ago, our family went on a trip to Jerome's home Island, Yap. While we were there, I was having such unique experiences that I began to write a list in my notebook of "Things I would never do in Ohio." Since we have started back to school, I have begun a new list:

Things I Would Never Do If I Weren't Homeschooling
  1. Buy notebooks by the case.
  2. SIT around a ping pong table every day.
  3. Covet red pens.
  4. Teach a 4 year old letter sounds, a 9 year old cursive, a 10 year old fractions, a 12 year old the formula for a circumference of a circle, and a 15 year old Geometry proofs in one morning.
  5. Teaching #4 while I throw in a load of laundry and ponder dinner.
  6. Decide the first snow day should be a day off school.
  7. Decide to have school on Martin Luther King's birthday, but take school off for any birthday of a Googeg.
  8. Understand that the arrival of bread fruit at the international grocery in Cincinnati necessitates an immediate closure of school and a two hour road trip.
  9. Expect that no child should be working on school after 3:00pm unless there are extenuating circumstances.
  10. Spend enormous amounts of irreplacable and fleeting time with my lovelies.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


The weather has been wonderfully mild lately and with that my kids have been spending hours at the creek. If you follow a little "path" next to our property you will end up at a very small creek. The kids have built houses and catch fish in buckets, crawdads and watch tadpoles growing everyday. They come home wet with big smiles. My only plea lately has been that they come home not having to change clothes. There is only so much laundry we can handle.

The creek is a huge source of entertainment at our house. Lately, Braydon and Ricky have decided that there must also be great, undiscovered treasures at the creek. They have started bringing home a few:

How about this lovely bike?

The one eyed sunglasses? these are still on my desk because they are SURE they can do something with them.

OH! the working fire extinguisher!

Of course, in good conscience we could never throw them back into the creek. For now they are piling up in our barn until Jerome has time to haul and probably pay to dispose of some of these treasures.

Just think of the memories they are building.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Hunters

It is just after 6:0oam and I kissed my two oldest goodbye as they headed out the door to their Hunter Safety Class. Braydon has a little BB gun and enjoys shooting cans and targets occasionally, but I am a bit surprised by Riane's interest.

Several months ago ,Braydon had the opportunity to shoot at a gun club with Jerome, a friend and his Dad. We were all amazed at how well he could shoot. He's a natural. On Ricky's birthday our friend took Riane and Braydon off to target shoot with some of his guns. Turns out Riane has the same ability. Not only that, but they both absolutely loved it. Our friend teaches the hunter safety class and has offered to let them use some of his guns, since Braydon's little BB gun is all we have. They are off to spend the day learning how to handle guns properly and take a test. If they pass with 80% or better, they could obtain hunting licenses.

I don't know how other people prepare for this course, but Jerome and I have spent the last couple of weeks, telling them to calm down a little. They have pored over the workbook given to them. They answered every question in the chapter review section and even made index cards for important terms. They walked around quoting safety rules and throwing around terms like "bolt action". Braydon set his alarm and got up at 4:00am to finish studying. I am pretty confident that they will pass the test if they don't fall asleep.

I didn't see this turn of events for our kids, but it is pretty wonderful how all the details have fallen together to allow them to have an opportunity we would not normally have been able to provide for them. What I am learning is that it is important to let other people sow into the lives of our kids. Because of friends or family members, Riane has learned to sew, they are learning to shoot and hunt, and they have been scuba diving off Yap Island. Riane has even earned summer money at the Farmer's market because I have friends that sell there every weekend and they helped set her up. As a parent, I want to pass things to my children, but I can't know everything and it is amazing to watch how God meets their needs and develops their interests by bringing people into their lives. What makes it sweeter is most of these folks know Jesus and can talk to my kids about their interest and reflect the love of the Lord in their life at the same time.

I pray that they will grow to understand that part of learning is studying, but a whole lot more can be learned by seeking out others and allowing them to teach out of their life experiences. Even Riane was surprised that she found shooting and hunting interesting. What she learned is that sometimes you have to step outside your box of expectation and see what happens.