The Googegs - Strangers in the World

The Googegs - Strangers in the World

Monday, January 6, 2014

We are Surviving the Polar Vortex

Whoa -- It feels like my high school days in Wyoming.  The winds are whipping mighty.

Today the wind chill temperatures were so low that we did not allow children to play outside. The older boys helped clean the driveway in the morning. It still blew shut by evening, but it was better. Adela has had to brave it all to care for her chickens, but they are doing fine.

Our poor old 15 year old dog is not doing well at all. In the house he seems fine, but he has to take the occasional potty trip to the yard. His legs buckle from the cold and he can't stay more than minute or two. We are hoping he makes it the next couple of days.

Today was our first scheduled day back in school. The weather helped, since there was nothing else to do.

 Dutch Blitz matches kept going.

I wish you could have seen the whooshing snow, but the drifts were magnificent.

Jerome's trip out the store was an adventure too.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Great and Exciting Things

I have not blogged in so long that I feel a little lost on here.  This winter has been moving fast.  We took time to enjoy a visit with my Mom over Thanksgiving and we took a whole two weeks off of our little home school for Christmas.  It has all been great and exciting.
As our tradition -- we had our Santa Picture taken.  I have had these pictures taken since Riane and Braydon were little.  I take it every year just to mark the growth of our children.  None of our children believe in Santa, so it really isn't about the visit to Santa, it is really all about the picture.  It is funny with them all displayed, we notice how many shirts have passed down as well as how much the children and our family have grown and changed.
We did a lot of baking for our holiday this year.  Some of it turned out pretty enough for picture.

We have had various gift giving ideas every year for Christmas.  Some years we give the kids money and we have a huge family shopping trip and they buy for themselves.  Those years were a lot of fun family time.  It helped the kids learn about managing the money given to them and making wise selections.  It also helped with kids who had trouble handling the idea of surprise. We have had years where they drew names and then we took the same shopping trip, but they had to buy for their brothers and sisters.  They learned to think of others and really figure out their assigned person.

This year, was totally new and it really turned out wonderful.  Jerome and I had a budget for our shopping and the kids were given no money.  They were told to make presents for all the people in their family.  They all have skills and if they could think of nothing else we told them to make "coupons" or write letters extolling the virtue and character of their family members.  Of course, it caused a general sense of panic, at first.  However, as the ideas began to flow and the projects started coming along, everyone was so excited.  The awesome thing was that they were most excited about people opening the gifts that they were giving.

I wish I could display all the things that people made for each other.  Above you can see a shelf that Ricky made for Riane.  There were crocheted items, baked items, drawn items and woodwork.  They were amazed at their own abilities and the abilities of their siblings.

It was a good Christmas and I am sure we will use this idea again next year.

Now, of course, we are in the middle of a great winter storm.  Yesterday was clear and  the snow was ready.  Jerome took all the children on the annual sledding trip to the local park.  I had the opportunity to stay home and work on some projects.

They had a fabulous time together.

And now our next great and exciting event -- the refrigerator stopped working last night.  It is 18 years old, so it is not unusual.  God has given us a reason to be thankful for the mighty cold weather.  Here is our temporary refrigerator.

Labeled containers on the front porch.
PSALM 107:31
Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men.