The Googegs - Strangers in the World

The Googegs - Strangers in the World

Monday, February 28, 2011

And the rain descended, and the floods came...

Mondays. We really like Mondays. The kids get to sleep in until 8:00am. Jerome and I rise alone and have a prayer time together. This Monday we heard the thunder at night, but all was quiet when Jerome headed into the bathroom at 6:30. One look out the window and the shout came:

"Get up! We are in TROUBLE!"

This was the view out back. The trees in the back are on the banks of a small creek. A creek my kids play in regularly. It had definitely run amuk.

Jerome and I ran into our walkout basement and saw a flood coming. I have no pictures for about an hour. The water was just starting to pour in the walkout door and he was frantically pulling the computer up and yelling "Wake the kids, we need 'em!"

I usually sing as I call the kids to rise up. Not today, I was flipping light switches and yelling: "GET UP, WE NEED YOU THERE'S A FLOOD IN THE BASEMENT!"

We pulled everything out of that basement as fast as we could. Books we loaded on tables and other items we ran up the stairs and dumped wherever. After an hour we had all important items safe.

Jerome was keeping a very watchful eye on that equipment room you see in the back. We did not want anyone to get electrocuted. The water was ice cold. When we realized how cold our feet were getting we worried about the kids and had them scurry to warm up and find boots.

The flow through the back door.

To stop the flow, Jerome and Braydon built this dam. They left for the store to get another sump pump and 20 sandbags. Our sump pump had never stopped running, but couldn't handle the flow. The second one got so hot it stopped working for awhile.

Our neighbors in the "cornfield" behind our house.

One of the things we thanked God for today was having a large family. All hands on deck, meant even the youngest. He was so proud of all the work he could do. We couldn't have done it without all of them. We saved everything in the basement. More than one child came to me today and said "This was fun." They knew the flood was bad and an emergency, but they loved the camaraderie of working together and being a one-accord family.

After using shop vacs and a rented carpet cleaner, this was the end of our day.

A lot of progress!

Our basement is around 1000 square feet and was used for all of our homeschooling. We had to relocate a lot of stuff. We had basically dumped everything during the emergency hour and could barely walk through our main level. The girls were incredible as they sorted and stacked and arranged so that we can now operate upstairs while the carpet is being dried out.

A corner of my bedroom.

Part of the living room.

We have many such stacks and corners around the house, but it is livable and workable now. While helping with all this, Riane kept the ever present laundry and dishes up too.

The hardest working man I have ever met!

Insurance will not cover us at all because we do not live in a flood zone and did not choose to buy flood insurance. This was the 100 year flood! However, we praise God. We just have to dry out the carpet and we are back on track -- no real damage. We will have a clean carpet and an opportunity to purge all the stuff that has been accumulating in the basement -- all jobs we had intended to get to.

We ended the day feeling thankful -- for our family and for the protection of the Lord.

Now let me finish that verse I started:

"And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house; it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock." (Matthew 7:25)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Walking On

I haven't posted in so long. In the last month I have attended a funeral, a wedding, and held a brand new baby on the day of his birth. I have cried and prayed with friends who are walking a rough and rocky road.  As a family we have struggled and prayed over some decisions, and we have a child who is walking through a bit of a trial right now. I caught myself saying, "I'm tired." just one too many times. I am living with the light of Christ how can I be tired? The truth is, when we wrestle we get tired, but in the wrestling we return again and again to life-giving words of scripture and encouragement from others, and I expect to come out stronger.

I decided to leave you with some quotes that have rumbled in my brain this week:

From a book called Freedom from Fear: Overcoming Fear and Anxiety by Neil T. Anderson
The coward always asks, "What do I stand to lose?" The courageous person always asks, "What do I stand to gain?" One sees the risks, the other sees the opportunities.
King Saul and his men saw themselves in relation to the giant and trembled. David saw Goliath in relation to God and triumphed.
From the book Great Voices of the Reformation: An Anthology by Henry Emerson Fosdick

As quoted by John Wycliffe in writing on temptation:
He that truly loveth his Maker refuses in will and liking all things that are in the world. ... Sometimes there are reared against him despisings, reproofs, scorns, and slanders. Therefore it is needful that he take the shield of patience, and be ready to forget and to forgive all wrongs, and to pray for the turning to good of them that hate him and hurt him.

Proverbs 29:18
Where there is no vision, the people perish: But he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

I am really not big on Valentine's Day. It is not something Jerome and I necessarily celebrate. When we were younger I think we tried to do the whole romantic "thing". It just never fit us.

The last couple of years, I have tried to do something special for my children -- something small and unexpected. A little "I love you" from Mom and Dad. One year it was a household hunt with clues and they ended up with a Yahtzee game that we all played. One year they all got a gift I had found at the $1 store. This year I had almost forgotten all about it, but then I ran into these great scissors packages at Aldi that I knew the girls and I could really use. So I bought 4 of them. Unfortunately, I never ran into anything I thought would work for the boys.

Monday is our rest day. We do a lot on the weekends and always get home late on Sunday night. This morning Jerome and I were up for our weekly prayer date and he decided that he would take me to Menards for some boy things. I announced to the children that Daddy was taking me on a Valentine's Day drive. Of course, they knew something was up.

I came through the door holding a Diet Coke, "Look what Dad got me for Valentine's Day!"

All the kids peeked behind my back saying, "Yeah, but, what's in the bag?"

We found little things for each child. Braydon loves root beer and we had some particularly good root beer at a friend's house -- so we bought him a 4 -pack of his own.

Ricky is a fix-it man, so we got him a level. This is something he has been asking us about for awhile. I got him started on straightening out all the pictures on our walls.

Wokelle received a little pocket knife tool, thingy that he calls a spy -knife.

Of course, I gave the girls their scissor packages.
The younger girls went right to their projects!

It was a great morning -- honoring our love for our kids and how much we love their unique personalities.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Storm Hit

The storm (Snow, ice and all that) hit here, but a lot of other storms have blown in lately too. We are changing some directions in our home -- which involve some re-orgainizing, re-thinking, and lots of prayer. Some kids are happy and some kids are not. All that being said, I am not in a time of discouragement or unrest, I am just riding the waves, but they have been sweeping me along at such a rate that some areas (like blogging) have been taking a backseat.

Just keeping up with everyone's shoe sizes has challenged me lately. Jerome  reached down and touched some boys shoes and realized that we were long overdue. Ricky's last pair of Goodwill $1 fill in the gap tennis shoes, were small and in sad shape. Wokelle was pushing the edges and Braydon had run the bottoms off of his. I think Moms are supposed to be more on top of this. Wokelle found some snazzy shoes in the infamous shoe box in the garage (Yeah!). Ricky and Braydon were treated to brand new pairs of shoes (not Goodwill stop-gaps!) I found out that Braydon now wears the same size as Jerome.

Some good news. Mary had her back checked for Scoliosis and is fine indeed. I finally purged the file cabinet (before tax time) and pulled out a large lawn and leaf bag of things dating back to '06! Seems like shoes aren't the only thing running away from me. I was told this week that for sure all of our paperwork for the impending adoption is complete. We are just waiting on the Child Abuse Registry report that the state has to send. When that piece of paper is in, our homestudy will be considered complete. Almost there.

On to our latest pictures. I thought the storm would feel confining. But indeed it energized the tribe. For the first time they have been going outside everyday to sled on the fast ice and snow. It has been good for them.

The first day of the big snow, Jerome cleared the driveway and started up the generator to make sure all was in working order and then he left for work. It really didn't look that bad out. I was sure we wouldn't lose power. What do you know.. out it went.  I thought we might be able to wait on Jerome to come at night. Jerome made a quick call and reminded me, that if the power stayed out for a significant period of time, it would be harder to heat such a cold house and ... the biggie.... no power, no flushing (we are on well and septic in the country). Six kids... no flushing... we are going to have to hook that generator up ourselves. I am glad my boys are coming into their own.  First they had to get into the crawl space of the house to feed the extension cord to the equipment room.

It's a small space.

Braydon made it!

Ricky had a much easier time.

All hooked up and generator going.

Just a safety note -- always well-vent a generator. We propped open the garage door and put the generator right next to the open door. We had the furnace on and the water pump. We ran in and checked the systems - we were a go!  Just then the electricity came back on. It never went out again the whole storm. I am glad the electricity came on, but we had just got it all running on our own. I figured it was a good test of our abilities.

although I am not found of being outside in all that snow -- these guys are loving it!