The Googegs - Strangers in the World

The Googegs - Strangers in the World

Friday, December 30, 2011

Holidays = Busy

The holiday season at our house left me breathless and quite tired. The day after Christmas found my 15 minute nap turning into an hour and a movie watching evening with my children into another nap. Fully recovered now, we are back in school and trying to get a little routine going again.

Thanksgiving was a grand time with the Grandma from the land of twinkle and Shine (Las Vegas). I have diligently searched my hard drive and can not find the pictures that we took from that day. My best guess is that I will find them after I finish this post. Oh well. Everyone was as busy as bees preparing for the dinner. Grandma was a great recipe reader!

On the heels of saying Goodbye to Grandma we headed into Christmas preparations. For anyone who receives the family Christmas letter -- my cards were late. Way late. I mailed them on Christmas Eve. It is because of the Letter. I always write a Letter. This time I wrote the Letter. I didn't like it. I wrote it again -- not quite satisfied I read to as many people in the house as I could corral to sit still. Everyone said Hmmm. Jerome said "something's missing". Finally, I wrote the Letter. Done. Three drafts put me seriously behind.

Of course we started the cakes:



Every year our family delivers cheesecakes to as many friends as we possibly can. What a neat thing this year -- my girls baked the greatest share. Between the 4 of us we baked 17 cheesecakes. Two for our dinner and 15 for delivery.

The youngers were geared up for the trip. We had the blessing of cousin Joanne who spent the night and got to go on the delivery trip!


The tribe is ready to roll out with the cheesecakes.


Now here's the real trick. Jerome had to load up 9 kids, 15 cheesecakes and a box of cookies. All he needed were eight tiny reindeer.


He did it! and they were off.


Christmas day was a lot of fun. Jerome cooked some great ribs.

Since we take the children on the Great Googeg shopping trip to pick out their favorite gifts -- Mom and Dad kept their gift giving far more practical. What touched my heart the most was how the kids were very creative and a lot of homemade gifts were given. Jerome had the boys in the barn for some very long days and few late nights to make a special gift for Mama:

The holidays were busy and fun and tiring and occasionally difficult -- but it was special. We spent days remembering that Christ indeed came and came for each one of us. He took off his glory and came to be a tiny, humble baby. We also spent time just being thankful for our family.

My little songbird asked me to spend a couple of extra minutes sitting on her bed to talk tonight. I sat down and she said: "In this family we talk. We talk and laugh and smile and share."


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Traditions

It is amazing how family traditions build up. Here we have hit the holidays and I haven't updated the blog since early November. We have been running in this house. A lot of it to fulfill great things that we consider traditions for this season. Traditions often keep us busier than we are used too.

I am thinking more about our traditions as a family since we are adding our little songbird and preacher man to the mix. It is an interesting thing to see what you have "always done" through the eyes of new ones.

We have cheesecakes we bake for friends, the Jesse Tree, New ornaments and Santa pictures to name a few. Here's the thing about new eyes -- they want to know the why. Why are you baking? Why so many -- when can we eat it? I keep telling them this is our season for giving -- I hope I can get enough done for us to have one, but these we are working on for others. Santa they got -- but we took the picture today and now they want to know if Christmas is tomorrow!

We kicked off our season with a full production of The Messiah at a beautiful Mennonite church in Indiana. Songbird thought the lady had a pretty big violin -- I whispered "No sweetie, that's a Cello." She was exasperated and said, "That ain't no Jello!"

We also have all survived the big Googeg family shopping trip. We give our kids money each year to buy what they really want for Christmas. Living in such a small town limits our shopping opportunities. On that day we take them to Cincinnati -- to any store they ask for and we WAIT patiently for everyone to do their thing. It may sound crass to be looking forward to shopping, but we are all together hanging out and listening to everyone's interests and likes. At the end of it all we eat a good dinner -- at a real restaurant. A funny tradition I wasn't sure our new little ones would get -- picking out their own special toy or two and wrapping it themselves for Christmas -- but they went right along with the flow and had a great day.

We participated in our family night program at church:


The anticipation was building in the car. Unfortunately, I had a new camera and couldn't figure out all the settings, so I don't have many pictures from this night.

Even that night has traditions -- even a new one:


Wokelle's first year at this church Mrs. C sang Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer with him. She would like to sing it with him every year... she told him when she called him up to the stage.


Sometimes it is just hard to sit still that long.

I am still working on Christmas cards (I know!) and my wrapping is not done, but in the midst of traditions life has stepped in too.


The men in our family have built a new bunk bed for two of our ladies.


It was a real team effort.


And it turned out sweet.

Much more woodworking is happening in that old barn. I think we will know the full story on December the 25th.

I have been having some pain in my knee -- just in time for all that shopping. Today I found out that I have a dislocated kneecap. The Dr. keeps asking me if I can remember injuring it -- Nope -- lots of activity in this house... must have went right by me. So somewhere in the middle of it all I will get to do physical therapy.

As our children keep asking "Why" I hope I am getting Christ through to them. Traditions tie us together and serve as markers for us, but should never replace the worship of Christ.

"Why Mommy?" Because Jesus was born for you.