The Googegs - Strangers in the World

The Googegs - Strangers in the World

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bible Bee Practice

I have mentioned before that our family is participating in the National Bible Bee this year. We attended a Bible Bee practice this Saturday. We have to travel about an hour and half for this event, but it is a privilege indeed.

The kids have been working hard on memorizing many scriptures. During the actual Bible Bee they will be competing in an oral round.

Here Wokelle is doing his part with Dad as his judge. Wokelle isn't an actual participant, but a "supporting sibling". Since, the Bible Bee's focus is family discipleship one verse at a time -- there is an important part for everyone. Supporting siblings do just that -- encourage and support. They will not be participating in the final competition, but they are learning right along side the rest of us.

The other part of the actual Bee will be a written test. We didn't practice that part this time, but we did have a fun way to practice some Bible knowledge:

JEOPARDY! The kids did really well at this game. It took quite awhile to break that tie at the end.

Of course, an important part for us was the gathering with other like-minded families who are endeavoring to raise their children with Biblical principles.

Ricky's making friends.

Here they are all hanging out in a room together playing games. All the different colored t-shirts indicate their age level. Yellow is a primary, blue is junior and red are the seniors. All the parents were in the next room visiting and the kids came in here and got along and organized games for themselves.

All of us enjoyed the fellowship and encouragement.

Clean up time.

Thank you to our wonderful host family and all their planning and time. We also appreciate that a church would allow us to use their facilities on a Saturday afternoon. A great day.

Friday, July 22, 2011

4H Fair Judging

This summer our kids decided that they wanted to try a 4H group. Riane was involved in 4H once last year by herself for sewing. However, this year we wanted to stick together as a group and believe it or not, most of my children have some interest in shooting or hunting. So, we joined a shooting sports 4H club. It has been a great summer. The advisors of the group have had a great sense of humor and especially safety. They care about these kids and want them to learn, but want them to have fun too.

Today was the fair judging day. The actual fair is a week or two away, but this day they were to dress professional, show their knowledge in their discipline and present a completed project to a judge. They were very nervous, but it all turned out fine.

They walked into a very crowded junior fair building and had to register.

After registration, we joined our group and found out that due to unforeseen problems in the morning, the judge was behind quite a bit. So, we had to do a lot of waiting.

Some of the younger kids found fun things to do.

The nerves were mounting as we waited.

There were some really cool projects out there:

Finally, the judging began.

Riane's discipline was shotgun. She did a lot of trap shooting this summer, and yes, she is a pretty good shooter.

Mary was in archery. She learned a lot. At our last shoot she actually hit a jug of water thrown in the air.

Braydon was a rifle shooter. He did a great job shooting and isn't he a handsome presenter?

Adela was also a rifle shooter and she is explaining rifle targets to her judge. She knows rifle targets, because she can nail them pretty well.

Whew! A long and exciting day over. 4 presenters -- four A projects. We will see what the fair brings.

God has sure sent us on quite an unexpected adventure this summer.

A Match . . .

In my last post I indicated that our family was being considered for two children. I had a long talk with the children's social worker. Actually, I had two. One was more of an interview, and the second was my confirmation that we had reviewed a package of information and definitely wanted to proceed. She seemed pleased with our family and told me that this case was going to a "matching conference" on Thursday.

A matching conference is when a committee gets together and discusses the possible matches of children and families. I didn't ask if they were considering other families I was just glad that she was going to present our family. She promised to call me Thursday after the matching conference.

I waited, hoping, expectantly (pun intended) for that phone call. At 4:00pm my adoption agency called and said the worker had to leave her office, but the agency was allowed to notify me that our family was chosen as a match for these two children. Excitement just abounded at our house.

Unfortunately, this being a public forum and no papers being signed yet -- it would not be appropriate for me to share any information that would breach confidentiality. I will say that we have one picture and that we will be meeting them next week.

How the process proceeds from here is still not clear; right now we are rejoicing and next week we will start figuring out the next steps.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Every so often I announce:  "I am expecting. Can't I put my feet up and have a milkshake?" Believe me it NEVER works.

WE are expecting, because we are in the adoption ring again. Consequently, WE are all laboring. It's a labor of love, but it is a labor. It involves a lot of e-mails. I make sure to say that WE are all laboring, because every family member is involved in this process. Jerome and I review, talk and pray about all of the possible children. We talk to our kids about them and ask them to pray. We don't share all the information we have, but enough that they can pray appropriately and consider what it might be like. Then we trust God and watch Him work as he opens and closes doors.

Here's an example. We received information on a little boy. He had a lot of challenges and we went back and forth about whether to consider adding him to our family. We all prayed we all discussed, and finally we decided to take the next step. We just made a 3 hour drive to have a meeting and meet this little boy we were pretty sure we would like to adopt. All 8 of us took this trip and all 8 of us went through an hour and a half at the agency. The adults sat a big table and discussed all the ins and outs and challenges that might be involved. All the children were in a room (pretty small!) with a social worker -- trying to play and hang out. At the end of all of this time and effort it was clear to all of us that this was not a match. It was clear to us as parents, and the children could see too that this probably would not have worked out well. We were at total peace saying no to proceeding. We certainly hope this little boy finds a family of his very own.

In the midst of this consideration, our family is also being considered for the placement of two young children in our state. Today the package of information arrived with a picture. Again, Mom and Dad have reviewed it all -- shared what we could and asked the whole family to pray. Again, the whole family will be taking another trip for another one of those meetings.

Adoption -- The family in Labor. It is an amazing thing and an exciting adventure.

Adela's 12th

Adela turned 12 on July 9th. It may seem as if I have totally forgotten her birthday, but not so. Our family has been on a whirlwind ride lately, but that is another blog post.

Adela had a lovely 12th birthday with Key Lime pie and cards and a wonderful gift from Grandma. Lots of pictures were taken. In the transfer between my digital camera and the computer all the pictures were lost.

Adela's gift from Grandma was a digital camera. She has been having the most fun with this camera. She takes great pictures like these:

This being Adela's 12th birthday it came to be that special time when we take the "preparing for Adolescence" trip. The idea originated from a book and CD set created by James Dobson. Every kid's experience has been a bit different, but we take them on an overnight trip one on one and discuss the body changes that the teenage years bring on and also kind of see where they are spiritually. We talk and pray and do something fun that they like. For Adela we shopped and shopped and shopped. We went to every store she could think of and she made sure she bought a gift for everyone in the house before she bought one special thing for herself. She is a simple girl -- no fancy meals or restaurants required. Just Taco Bell and some card games in the hotel room. It was a great time and I really enjoyed my daughter.

Since I don't have any pictures of Adela's special day I decided to post one of Adela at her very best -- Serving at our local Nursing Home:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Family Picture 2011

It was getting late, but we persevered and took the family picture. This is the one I think looked the best. Riane had the preparation job of finding coordinating outfits for us all. Apparently, other than black, we have no colors the same for everyone. So we clung to the idea of coordinating -- or at least not clashing. I think she did a very good job.

We decided to take as many pictures as possible and went on to take a few more:

The Maidens of Virture

The Three Mighty Men

Taking Mom and Dad's picture was a little bit harder.

We just could not be serious! When we did settle down a bit we could not both look good at the same time.  So, here's my best:

Here's his best:

Then we had our individual photos:

Ricky gets two pictures, because he was so funny! He could not stay still (true Ricky -- he is never still).

Ah! Standing still.

Knowing that we are a family that has adopted people always ask me -- well, to be truthful -- they often whisper. Which ones are biological? Whispering is just not necessary. We are very open and these things are openly discussed. So these are the biological connections:

That's biology.

Now let me tell you the truth. By the sovereignty of God and his all encompassing grace they are brothers and sisters:

Isaiah 8:18 Here am I and the children whom the Lord has given me!