The Googegs - Strangers in the World

The Googegs - Strangers in the World

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Groove

We have all been gettin' a new groove lately.

Riane has been particularly interested in learning to play the organ. We have prayed about it. We even saw one on the side of road (right after a rain), but when we went back, it was gone. A friend had a Relay for Life garage sale and it was there. An organ donated by a local music store that had gone out of business. Ours for a small donation to a good cause.

Our youngest nephew JP was visiting that day... he had a pretty good groove.

Every kid in the family has enjoyed our new organ.

On the 20th of June our youngest had his 5/6. Five years old biologically (in real life) and 6 years old on his legal paperwork.

His birthday is always emotional as I think about that scared little boy that arrived two years ago. His first morning he could hardly stand on his own power and kept falling asleep in the middle of the floor. His picture was on a brochure asking people to help for children like him.... Almost surreal ... look at him now!

These brothers are tight! Sometimes they get so mad, but they love other fiercely.

That pool Grandma sent is being put to good use.

June 20th was also Father's day and we did take a pause from the birthday to honor the leader of our tribe. All the kids had prepared something for him, but it turned so emotional I only really took 2 pictures. Jerome is always saying "I know I am tough, but I hope you know I love you." Adela had just given him a card that he couldn't read out loud -- that said "Daddy I know you love me."

Before long, Riane stood to give her gift. She had memorized the first chapter of John and began to recite.

That was the last picture taken that day.

Just two days later, our oldest turned 16. The boys gave her this fetching hat .. which I DO think is lovely, but I also believe really fit their budget.

I made a terrible mistake the day she was born..... I blinked!

Mary stepped out in a bold new groove..

And she is gorgeous!

We are on yet another vacation of sorts. Jerome's plant is on "shutdown" for the week, so he doesn't have to go to work. We have the kids off school and we are enjoying camp on our very own grounds:

Conveniently located -- the best part is that the chief cook and bottle washer (mama) sleeps in the lodge.

The tribe was hanging at the pool deck this morning (aka as the driveway) -- but it was a little chilly.

I have taken to calling it "Camp Find Something to Do". Mom and Dad are trying to work on things we don't ever seem to have enough time for like:

Our house.

And the never-ending planning and grading for school.

Part of our new groove is letting go of some old music styles and turning on more classical. Sometimes you just gotta dance!

Monday, June 7, 2010

The REAL Family

After awhile, posting on the blog or writing the Christmas letter, things get to be a little too clean. So I decided to show a few pictures that represent our REAL family on vacation. Anyone who has ever sat with us for more than 5 minutes knows that we are just goofy.

This is really our dog, Dexter. He looks sort of lopsided and silly. I dropped him at our favorite kennel and when I picked him up the guy noted that Dexer is getting older, but is still playful. Then he said, "We tried 3 different kinds of food. He wouldn't eat anything, Deb, just his cookies. He didn't give up on his cookies." So I have a dog that spent a week surviving on depression and cookies.

Before we left on vacation Riane went on her 10 day retreat. She follows a special diet that cuts out all artificial colors and preservatives. She told us that on retreat they didn't have many options for her so she was stuck eating "box" food and "cafeteria" food. This expression pretty much sums up how she felt when she arrived at our house.

I did not tie my kid up. This is how he slept in the car. He had a couple of other interesting positions, but I didn't have my camera handy. How could this be comfortable?

I cut off the bottom of myself before I thought about writing the REAL family. Too bad. After hiking up an "easy" trail I was sweatin' baby. I spent a lot of my park time with my hair tucked up, sweat pouring down my face -- leanin' on a rock.

Hmmm.... I have no idea!

We had one day left in the Park and we asked the kids what they wanted to do, or if they would rather just go back to the condo. Some were tired, but Braydon wanted to make the drive to Newfound Gap -- the highest point and the line between TN and NC. The view was tremendous. Before we got to the Gap we pulled off for this shot. Everyone tumbled out of the car and some had been dead asleep. We call this the personality picture -- everyone's personality is on display.

We were hiking a trail and Jerome just ran up the side of rock -- cuz he can. The goofy part was -- I didn't get the picture. I made him do it again.

She was hot.

We never miss an opportunity to go to church. This old church from the 1800's had a piano in it. Riane asked to play, and since there was no sign saying you couldn't tinkle she went at it. It was very "plunky" and out of tune. I like the way everyone found their place. Some at the piano, some at the pulpit and some....
in the pew.

Friday, June 4, 2010


We are on our long awaited vacation-that-we-didn't-really-plan. We thought we were heading to a conference in Nashville. Since our condo was flooded out, we ended up with a week in the Smoky Mountains. Definitely a good thing. Our mantra has been "This vacation is for us to rest." Consequently, it is 9:00am in the morning and other than Jerome and I, only one kid is up. Highly unusual for this family of up at 6:30am and doin' life by 7:00am. There have been days we didn't get out of the condo until noon. We have been having lots of fun.

We have seen a lot of critters:

We also saw a bear cub on our first day out. We were a little bit of a distance and so totally in the moment that we didn't get picture.

Jerome has been doing a lot of this:

Driving us from place to place!

We got in a little fishing -- but didn't catch anything.

Had lunch on the river.

We have beein in two places at once.

We have seen some beautiful scenery:

Hiking has been really fun.

We took an auto tour of a place called Cades Cove and got the feel for how people lived here in the 1800's before it was a National Park.  This is one of my favorite pictures:

Just hanging out at the condo has been fun too. They have a miniature water park and pools ...

Today we plan on a little shopping -- tomorrow more rest and swimming. It has been quite a different trip from our Washington DC, Amtrak- Metro ridin' adventure just six months ago. This trip we have slept more -- read more and had far less of an agenda. We turned off the TV's and just let the kids watch a movie at night that we rented from a local store. Most days we start so late and end so late that the kids can be up until midnight watching that movie -- and we don't even care.  I have barely been able to bring myself to check e-mail ... we have unplugged and got away from our life for a bit. Nice.