The Googegs - Strangers in the World

The Googegs - Strangers in the World

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mary Ponders

Christmas is filled with joy and a lot of activities. My Mom has come out from the Land of Twinkle and Shine (aka Las Vegas). We are really enjoying her visit. She does a lot of dishes and plays a lot of Uno Attack.

We did get the yearly picture with Santa at the mall and this year Wokelle was the only one still riding the little train at the mall. Sort of sad that all the kids have grown too big for our annual train ride.

Riane was working hard on a dramatic presentation of Mary Ponders. A dear lady at our church used to teach Riane's Sunday School class when Riane was little. When we returned to the church and Riane is all but grown up, she came up to me and said, "I have finally found my Mary!" I didn't know what she meant, but apparently she had Riane in mind for this Christmas Cantata. The choir was behind her singing the whole cantata and there was a narrator and Riane was upfront representing the young Mary. Our friend rehearsed with her several Saturdays to work out all the blocking and emotional responses. It turned out fabulous.

The church secretary and choir director surprised us by putting her picture on the front of the bulletin.

It is something to see your children come into their own and use their gifts to glorify the Lord.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Family Night

Once a year before Christmas our church presents a family night program. Anyone that desires signs up with a "talent" they want to share. Some sing, some read stories, some play music, some groups get together and put on skits -- however creative anyone can be. It always ends up to be a great night of informal fun. We really get know people in our church family as we see them display gifts and talents we may not have known they had.

Jerome and I lead a Young Adult group and we decided that we would put on a skit. One lady came with an awesome idea and I went home and wrote it into the short skit. Jerome agreed to play the rebellious teenage son. He was really "feeling" the part. Before we left for the big night, he came out of the bathroom totally clean shaven. Mind you, he hasn't been without facial hair for 20 some years.

Our girls loved it:

We arrived early to get ready and our girls got a little silly decided to trade one shoe each. They went this way for the whole night.

The teen's Sunday School Class had an awesome performance of the song "Mary Did You Know". It involved sign language and dowel rods -- a human video.

The end was quite dramatic with a star.

They also put on a puppet show.

The young-en's put on a quite little skit of the blessed night. Ricky and Wokelle were fine angels. They almost remembered their lines.

Okay. So here is Jerome as that rebellious teenager texting away. THAT is true acting as we don't even have texting on our phones.

Riane and Braydon asked me to drag out my dusty flute and play "O Holy Night" with them.

The night always closes with our Pastor reading the children the true Christmas story from Luke 2.

A great night.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Six kids, One picture

so it is time to write the Christmas letter. I LOVE the Christmas letter. I love to get them, I love to write them. I really like to send a picture of the kids along. This year we had visions of putting a family picture in, but alas, I am not a great planner and time got the best of us.

One night we were all dressed up to go to the "Messiah". Of course, we were in a rush and I started barking orders, which never works well. Those pictures just didn't come off right.

First this was not the best background, and what happened to Braydon?

Okay, Mom is really not doing this thing well, emotions are starting to fray and we are heading out to see "The Messiah" 

Next day, calmer heads prevailed (Jerome's mostly) and we got started again.

Braydon is taller than Riane. She is pushing up on his shoulder and standing on tip-toe; which I didn't really notice until later.

Pretty nice picture, but when I was previewing the lot Braydon kept saying "Look at the faker Mom! She is SO Faking!" It is a little obvious here isn't it?

Braydon's getting annoyed.

In the middle Wokelle had a little gas. Apparently Mary was the first to know.

At last, the final picture. The best I could do.


Preparing for Thanksgiving was a hair-raising experience. Mary and I decided to yarn-braid her har, and hopefully it will stay until after Christmas. I am not the fastest braider and this took me a few days to accomplish. Adela and Riane baked all the Thanksgiving pies (5!) so that I could braid on.

Mary in progress.

I did finally finish!

She liked it!

 On the actual day, we had lots of help in the kitchen.

Even our niece Joanne was in the kitchen helping with our Angel Eggs. We refuse to call them by that other name.

This is how we do a big dinner at our house. We are in the basement for space reasons and that is where we do school -- so there is usually a world map and other things on the wall. We also re-purpose all of our fun tables. This time the air hockey table became our buffet and we always eat at the ping pong table. That's just life -- use what you have.

We had watched "Fiddler on the Roof" that week and so kids spontaneously broke into the famous bottle on the head dance.

Joanne had spent the night with us, so here we got some lovin' from our nephew.

Who do you think JP needed to call?

Joanne worked so hard on building her castle that she broke into a sweat.

The camera was just set on the table and I saw it the hands of many children. Kind of nice to have digital -- they take as many as they want. It was kind of interesting to see what they decided was picture worthy.

The turtle.


Half-eaten food?

 The dog.

Their aunt and uncle.

Even the flowers.

Piano Recital

Every year right before Thanksgiving, our piano teacher schedules a recital at a local nursing home's chapel. It is always a fun night. We love our piano teacher, she is a local older lady who has lived in this town all her life. She is somewhere close to her 80's and can show you pictures of her with the high school cheer leading squad. She has a strong personality and keeps those kids in line.

Braydon has had a respectful "argument" with her for the last couple of months. He kept telling her that he got a guitar and that he was far more interested in guitar and did not want to pursue piano any longer. She told him he would regret it, he should persevere. However, he held his ground and finished the books he was working in and told her he was leaving. She pushed him to practice and play for the recital at least. He agreed. She called me to make sure he was practicing. I love her!

So this was his farewell recital... he thought. She told him to learn something on his guitar so well that he could play during her recital next year. Isn't she great?

Ricky went to an all day hunter safety class with Jerome. He studied and worried over that test for a couple of weeks. He wanted it so bad, but sitting still, listening to teachers and taking a 100 question test is not exactly easy for this boy. He did it! He ran into the recital while the person before him was playing. Whispered "Mom, I passed!" Plopped down and played his songs perfectly.

 "Okay, Mrs. F, I will practice for the recital."

Riane is becoming quite accomplished. Mrs. F had asked her to work on a song to accompany a group at her church. They found a semi-professional to hire and so Riane did not get the job. However, since she worked so hard Mrs. F said she wanted to sing it at the recital. Riane has been taking lessons with her for 7 years and she is already feeling pangs of sadness that her time with Mrs. F is running short.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Gas cost $.31; bread $.21. Australia joined the Vietnam war and Malcolm X was shot in New York. Lyndon B. Johnson announced the new medicare program and on November 13, I was born.

Forty-five years later 6 kids baked and crafted like mad, while their Dad took me to Red Lobster. One of the best birthdays I have ever had.

Good thing they creatively put 45 on my cake. All those candles would have created a smoke screen.

They had a Bible open to one of my favorite verses: Hebrew 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. The kids had all made me gifts.

And baking! WOW.

More presents - even a map for a treasure hunt.

Some goofy presentations.

Sometimes - he can be a little ornery.

Everyone got active and these two caught some air.

I gotta tell ya, ALL boys end up in a wrestling match -- it's just how it is.

Poor Dexter, he really hates the sound of popping balloons.

Jerome really put effort into playing the guitar.

Braydon showed us how it is really done.

Everyone had a lot of fun.

Thank you family -- it was a beautiful day!