The Googegs - Strangers in the World

The Googegs - Strangers in the World

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Beginnings

Well, actually, it's not beginnings -- we are deep into the season.  I haven't blogged for over a month. I have been busy with one thing and another and the writing has gone by the wayside. I am pondering the future of my blog ...

but for now ...

The cheesecake delivery team made it out on Saturday.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Little Black Storm Cloud

I could feel the storm coming in all morning. Her eyes were dark and her body was tense. The first request of the day and her whole body tensed as her fists began to clinch. Her furrowed brow and dark eyes clapped the first thunder. It was as if she was saying, "You can't make me!"

The rest of the day was spent in long drenching, dripping storms. Screaming, raging and me holding on, praising God that through experience I can rest knowing that all storms pass. It raged on for a couple of days. Sunday was a sort of reprieve as Dad was present and we were out all day. It hit Monday -- not even waiting for Dad to go to work. I prayed Monday asking for one day of rest. The Lord was gracious to me and Tuesday we awoke to peace -- a tentative peace. She wrote "I Love you Mom" on all her school worksheets. It was a rest for both of us, I would still say a bit overcast.

The "little black storm cloud" is still floating around, bursting into a squall every so often. You can read about it in all the books ... reactive attachment disorder, opposition defiant disorder .... I don't name it anymore. It's really a crushed and broken spirit, protected by a steely hard will, founded on the stone of no trust. The tricky balancing act is to feed the spirit, soften the will and build the trust. Only Jesus can really do this type of deep healing. Praise God that is what he came for, I need to rest in Jesus and let Him work the healing.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Luke 4:18

Saturday, September 14, 2013

So I Have Been Busy . . .

I have started getting comments from my own children about the lack of blog posts. Since this blog is pretty much their life, they are not usually too excited one way or another. If they are noticing the lack of posts, then it's time to get back at it.

To say 'I have been busy' is sort of like saying 'I'm tired'. Everybody I know is busy and tired -- some far more than I am. The truth is more that I haven't made time to get a blog post done and posted. I have not put the time into blogging, but time has been spent in these other ways:

Running times.
These three brothers ran a 5K this summer. Wokelle's first, but he came in at 30 minutes -- not bad!  It was so good to see them running together.

Braydon has joined the Cross Country team at the local high school.  It has been a great experience for him to be part of a team.
Travel Times

I am always thankful for how my children get along together when we are packed in the car. We took off for a wedding in Michigan.

Between the wedding excitement we took time to visit the Locks at the "Soo" -- Saulte Saint Marie.

Game times
Many games have been played -- chess being a favorite.

Chicken Times
The flock has been growing under Adela's great care.  She recently lost one chicken who was egg bound and didn't survive.  It is all part of the learning experience.

Egg production is still going fine.
Bonding times

Ricky turned 13 this year and took his "growing into manhood" trip with Jerome. There was meaningful conversation but also camping and fishing fun!
Growing times

 Isaiah lost his very first tooth. It was very exciting!

Fun times
Honda offers a family day at Kings Island. We took our family and some friends. We didn't quite realize how large our group was until we took this picture.

It was certainly a fun day and we enjoyed each other a lot.

Working times

Adela says this is a picture of my whole life. My Bible, computer, school notes, a red pen and coffee. She might be close to right. I have been planning, administrating and just generally getting our home school off the ground this year. I love school and I love homeschooling, but it does take some planning and work -- which all involve loads of time -- which is a major reason why blogging has been suffering.
So, like everyone else I have been busy; but the times we have spent have been good, growing times.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Summer's end

For some reason, hitting the end of summer sent me into a tailspin of busy that I am only now recovering from.

Here's some highlights and random notes:

5K's and running in general have been a big part of our summer. Wokelle even ran his first and came in with a decent time of 30 mintues. These three boys love running and Ricky has decided to coach the Googeg family college team (one member -- Riane).

The new layer chickens are a regular feature of our yard now. We had too many roosters and so we had to slaughter the 3 extras. It was hard on Adela, but she braved it quite well. Now the flock is peaceful and quite fun to watch.

They are even starting to lay!

We had great birthdays, this was Ricky's.

Braydon is a Ranger now -- a New Knoxvile Ranger. A new law was passed and homeschool students are allowed to participate in extra-curricular sports with out taking any classes. He is enjoying practice -- his first meet is Tuesday.
School has started for us on Wednesday. It  has been a crazy week getting everyone, including myself  back on the routine schedule,

Friday, July 26, 2013

Homeschooling Veteran

I have been preparing for school. This week we decided on our start date -- August 15.  I love school and I can hardly wait to get all my planning completed and dive into routine. I realized something this week, I am a veteran.

I often read other homeschooling blogs for ideas and encouragement, and I ran across one that said she was a "10 year homeschooling veteran". It caught me short. Oh my -- I am a home school veteran of 15 years.

In some ways I don't often feel like a veteran. I am never sure of how the schedule is going work, and I am often questioning my curriculum choices. In other ways, I have gained confidence that only years of experience can give me. I know how to organize my materials for daily use, I am so familiar with my younger kids elementary curriculum that I don't even have to review the teacher's manuals anymore.

Fifteen years has also afforded me the opportunity to decide that some things just aren't worth our time pursuing. One of the things both Jerome and I have been burdened about is focusing our days on the main thing.  We have built our days around the Word of God and His principles. It doesn't do us any good to have our children proficient in math or English literature if they don't have any knowledge of the Lord and his Word. The verse I think about as I plan our days is Matthew 6:33 --

"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."

So, this is how a 15 year veteran is shaping up her school area:

This my daily work credenza with our new organization baskets.  One of my daily elementary school materials, the older kids folders for grading and review and a basket for each of the 3 youngers. I have included their workbooks and a little pencil box with crayons, colored pencils and scissors.

We call this cabinet "Mama's Locked cabinet." It's only locked to keep it orderly. During the school day it is almost always open. These are all the important school supplies for lap booking, or just working. Graph paper, notebooks, glue, pencils, markers, etc. 

The bookshelves are loaded with lots of reading material.

The maps and artwork for discussion are up and ready.
Fifteen years and I still can't wait to get started.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Works for Me Wednesday: Shoe Organization

<works for me wednesday at we are that family

Shoes have been a large problem at our house for years. We do not wear shoes in the house. A rule from so long ago, I am not sure when it started. It is great on carpets and general cleanliness in the house. However, with ten people going in and out ... our garage looks like this:

I have tried various ways to keep this area neat, all to no avail.   The latest is to have a "round up" person assigned to shoes. At the end of the evening I call Round Up and everyone is assigned to an area to straighten up for the night. It worked, for 5 minutes ... or if we went to bed really fast, it would last until the morning.

We have discussed these shoes for literally years. Recently I told my husband that I have looked at large families organization ideas and I see that they use baskets for a lot of things. "I am going to get 10 baskets for shoes. One for each family member."

He told me he had a better idea. He went to the barn with Braydon and Ricky and together they built beautiful wooden boxes. I just wrote each person's name on a box.  And now ...

Shoe "boxes" -- they definitely work for me.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Week of Big

Many big things happened this week -- and they are all wonderful.

First, some things were lost ...

She lost her two front teeth!
Some things were celebrated . . .
The fourth of July of was celebrated in our town on the 6th of July.  Braydon, Ricky and Jerome ran a 5K in the morning. Adela tried her hand at a pie contest and the evening was filled with friends, family and fireworks.
We had a reunion . . .
Riane came home after a year in Taiwan teaching English.
And these kids; they just keep growing . . .

She turned 14 today!
It was a good week -- I have not laughed this hard in a very long time.  It just feels good to have all the chicks home ... at least for awhile!

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Birthday Season

Spring and summer turns into what I call "the Birthday season" at our house. Other than Braydon and Heaven who have January and February birthdays, the six other children all have spring/summer birthdays.

We started with Mary in May:


She is growing in to such a lovely young lady with a real talent for music and crafts.  Every year for her birthday she has been picking new cheesecakes to try. This year it was butterscotch.
Wokelle turned 8 in June.
The cousins came over to spend the day and loved "Wonder Beach".

Two days later Riane turned nineteen.

Pretty much this is how we see her right now -- through Skype. She will be home in two weeks and we are very excited.

We have two more birthdays in July and one in August to round out the Birthday Season.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Wonder Beach

We have been cruising along with a summer schedule to keep up a little school for our summer break. Jerome took a few days off and projects around the house -- like siding the barn have been moving forward. Today I hit a dilemma. I am really behind on some paperwork projects and needed time to focus.

The two older boys had a yard maintenance job that lasted all day. The two older girls can keep themselves busy, but my three youngers definitely needed something to make their summer day fun, so that I could get some work done.

So, Wonder Beach was born.

It has a great badmitton area:

This little pool saw most of the days action.

The older girls spent most of the afternoon at the library, but they made some time for crafts, and

logging books into the summer reading program.

The 3 littles stayed out in Wonder Beach the whole day -- food became necessary.

Delivered poolside of course!

Wonder Beach was a great day of fun. I didn't get everything done, because no one ever can do it all. I made headway and am feeling ready to head back to the normal summer schedule tomorrow.
Wonder beach will definitely be one of our best summer memories.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

"We Are Warriors"

I have posted before about Braydon's interest in the military. His ultimate goal is to enter Annapolis Naval Academy and become a Navy Seal. In these days of preparation he has been busy preparing himself physically and academically. He works hard in school, but he also works out hard.

He has run some 5K's, but this past weekend he decided to try something a bit more challenging -- The Warrior Dash.  It is a 5K run through obstacles and lots of mud. We had some misgivings about the atmosphere, but were hoping to stay focused on the race.

He paid for this opportunity himself and he loved every minute of the muddy, crazy competition.

 Excited to get started.
Just one obstacle.

Savoring the accomplishment.
He came in 2nd in his wave and 32nd in his age group -- a fine finish.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Staycation

This year we had our hopes set on attending an ATI conference.  However, it was not to be. We decided to take a "staycation" this year. Jerome kept his original days off and we announced our plans to the children -- this would be  a working vacation. We would stay home and work on those projects we could not complete in our regular schedule and try to fit in our fun after the work was done.

The fun activities included having friends over for dinner twice, taking the whole day off and going to the zoo with the cousins, letting the kids sleep under the stars (no tent) and even a shopping trip.

Here are some pictures from our week:

The zoo day.

The work for the girls was primarily spring cleaning. The breakfast room was the hardest ... but the girls had a good attitude.

The boys worked a lot outside. Isaiah begged and begged for a job. Jerome gave him the mower, but didn't start it, his job was to push down the tall weeds at the edge of the property. Everybody has to start somewhere and he did a great job!

Wokelle learned to run the weed eater.

Everybody was learning new things. The boys started the siding of the barn.

And tanning the deer hide from Braydon's first deer.


The surprise blessing of the week, was that IBLP announced a live cast of the ATI Nashville conference. We left it up on the lap top all day. The girls, of course, working inside caught many more messages, but everyone would stop and listen as often as they could. My spirit was so encouraged to see that it wasn't just the parents who couldn't wait to hear, my kids were huddled around the laptop too.