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Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Follow up to Naphtali's adventures with his family (with pic)

Waking up in that little broken house in Oklahoma, we WERE cold. Soon, Leon installed a gas wood stove and we all gathered around it and were thankful. There wasn't a kithen but, I plugged in a burner and three times a day I stood, adding food to the pan and serving plates, adding food to the pan and serving plates, etc. etc.  until everyone was full. 

Many exciting changes followed day by day and week by week. The older children installed a toilet behind a blanket, walls, a second bedroom, lighting, a washing machine, a beautiful full kitchen, a new front door.. Once when I was working to pry the front door open it just fell off. I headed out after calling back, "Ephraim, the front door is off again".

I remember when the shower was finally done and the sealant was applied. It was time to go to bed and it still had 4 hours left to cure. A couple of the older children opted to sit up until after midnight, waiting, so that they could take a shower. I remember after we installed the first sink, the children would be playing when they would suddenly remember, pick up their head with shining eyes and say, "I'm going to go wash my hands!" We were learning to be thankful.

Naphtali walked with our family through many more adventures of choosing to live hard. Today he stood in a large opening in the side of our metal building that we affectionately call a barndo. It was 107 degrees outside and he had cut the hole and was installing a window. I took a picture so that I can remember, but it won't be the same as being here with him, today. Next month he is leaving home. He is leaving Oklahoma. He won't be waking up in my house anymore. We knew that we wouldn't get to keep him. We were to raise his body and soul until he was ready to be turned over to the shepherd. He is ready.

At Naphtali's graduation I exhorted him to wake up each morning by praying, "Thank you God!" or at least,"God, help me to thank you, Help me to serve you with gladness today!" 

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Naphtali's adventures with his family

 While making a speech for Naphtali's graduation from high school, I was inspired by the lyrics of a Lost Dogs song. Here are some of the lyrics: 

Daybreak. Now this sunlight just might turn strangers into friends. A surprise for sore eyes, another place I've never been. I can hardly wait!... to get up in the morning. A new world is forming behind these tired eyes. I'm here and I'm breathing , feel my heart beating, lucky to be alive. I don't care if I see rain or a blue sky. I only know I survived. I'm alive. 

Every morning is a new start. When Naphtali woke up in North Idaho, he might have seen a moose walking across the edge of our backwoods. Later he might ride his yellow, Mongoose BMX bike back there on all those trails and jumps that Leon and the boys made. Naphtali got 2 new brothers from Africa while we lived there. He also got  a new baby brother and sister, (Elsie and Nehemiah). We lived on top of a wedding cake every long winter. We made snow igloos, went skiing, built huge bon fires and ran around yelling like wild indians. 

The first morning in Chile, South America was an incredible sunrise seen from the airplane window flying over Santiago. Lazuli joined our family a few months later. Then we moved into a tiny apartment on the 22nd floor. Every morning before dawn we could hear the clip-clop of that mule pulling a cart of vegetables to the Feria market, where we got most of our food. Rising we looked out the window at a city full of lights, lights for miles. A short distance away they were building the tallest building in South America; The Grand Torre de Santiago. 

When we moved to the beach town in Chile, we woke up cold the first morning. The children wandered out one by one to stand by the campfire wrapped in their bedding. Leon passed around his hot Dragonwell tea untill we were warm enough to make breakfast. We cooked over fire, used outdoor toilets and poored cold water over our heads outside to wash our hair. 

In the morning Naphtali would wake in the hanging bed that Ephraim had designed and all of us had built together. The chains would rattle. He would watch me working by candlelight, trying to translate the gospel into Spanish for the regular flow of visitors who would ask. 

We would all eat sitting on the floor in a circle holding our plates on our laps. Then the work and play would begin. Two people and their Feria carts would head off to get food in Valparaiso- an hour and a half ride on a crowded bus, (often standing room only for the men). After dark they would get off of the last bus on our hilltop and find our little cabin by the 3 candles that were placed in the window for them.

In 2016, After returning to America and living back in the Northwest for 3 years, we bought a house in Oklahoma. Havilah and Ephraim went ahead of us to prepare the house. Our first morning there, we woke Havilah by laying her newborn sister Nelinha, in her arms. 

What will happen next? Will we be cold in the winter without heat? will we ever have an indoor toilet?, will we tire of squatting in a plastic bin and pooring water over our heads to bathe? what about the cochroaches that have multiplied unhindered for years? will we fall through the open floor where the kitchen should be, into the inky black water below? Or even worse,.. will we forget to give thanks in all things!?  (wait for the next entry in a few days)

Sunday, May 01, 2022

April Happenings

  Our first two living goat kids are born on our new farm, our cat had 6 kittens, We got 100 more chickens and one rooster, (there's a joke in there somewhere). We have 8 adult rabbits and a new batch of 10 was just born this morning. Elsie is the one who does all the slaughtering and butchering of the animals. She is amazing! She is definitally out of the housecleaning and washing dishes rotation. We have enjoyed eating, rabbit, goat, and Muscovy duck lately.

 Naphtali is getting a drivers license and applying to the gap year at Denton Bible, We finished instaling our electric. To celebrate we are making our favorite homemade pizza. It's been over a year since we had an oven. There are so many foods that we miss. Pizza, cinnamon rolls and sour dough being the top three. Today, Leon is working with Naphtali, Nehemiah and Elsie to clean up the Oaks so that we can sell it. As I sit writing, I am waiting for Leon to call to say he is on his way home so that I can put the pizzas in the oven. The salad is sitting on the counter drowning in fresh chopped strawberries and waiting until just before we eat to have balsamic, olive oil and crumbled blue cheese added.  

Another happening is that our whole family (including Ryan and Zurielle) are leading the youth group at Calvary Chapel. It's funny because we never really believed in churches even having youth groups. But... we do believe in making desciples and preaching the gospel to each other and praying together and fellowship in so many forms. So, that's what we are doing. We had our first youth event outside of the weekly bible study. We had 10 people in attendance. That's one of the things I love about large families. No one actually showed up except my family and we hardly noticed. We still had a great party (with extra ice cream for everybody).

Sometimes when I tell people what we've been doing, it seems like I'm saying, "I'm so amazing." I hate that! I don't mention all the trash blown down by the stream that I STILL haven't picked up. I don't mention all the migraines and toothaches or just the days that I'm moping and don't want to go outside or change out of my pajama pants. I want to sit around and watch movies all day and eat Barbara's Jalepeno cheese puffs. I don't do it because it wouldn't really solve any problems and it would make us all feel depressed, but the lazy longing is in me. I also don't mention how bad we are at even keeping everything alive.

Wait, is that my phone flashing? Hooray, it's Leon. Time to go put those pizza's in the oven and fill the house with heavenly smells. Enjoy the beauty of sweet orange peppers and toasted pecans today!

Monday, March 14, 2022

....And so began another crazy Goodenough adventure. We sold our big, easy house for a large profit. It was enough to buy 20 acres of woods and creek. A dream life of hard work every day, fresh air, sweat, rain running down the face, basically everything that makes one feel alive with power.

"God, strengthen us so that we don't whine and fight each other. This is your plan. You designed our limbs to climb and work and hold each other. Added to that now we have pain and angry passions, and there are so many suffering people outside. Here we are Lord, please enable us to serve, to fill our home with worship and to trust you with the sweet comradery of painful love and the frustrations of failing every day."

We lived in a gutted 28ft travel trailer for 6 months. 3 months on a driveway in town and 3 months out in the woods of our new property. By the time we moved out to the woods we had a new ceiling and floor and walls, triple bunks, a few other beds, a sawdust toilet, a double burner cook top, a sink, air conditioner and even a tiny shower. We moved into the metal building the day after Thanksgiving, before the freezing temperatures began, thinking that we would have a wood stove to keep us warm. The temperatures plummeted and still the wood stove aluded us. Try to imagine how silly happy we were two days ago when we lit the stove for the first time. We were truly as happy as kings amid the luxuries of wealth, as we laid in our bunks that night basking in heat and smelling the campfire smells.
....more to come

Love, Jennifer


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Thursday, July 23, 2020

Grandpa Guinn

Less than a year after the death of my mother, my step dad, Wayne found out he had cancer and only lived another 3 weeks. He died peacefully in his sleep knowing and trusting in Christ alone for his eternal destiny.

Other news: We are preparing for a two week road trip and visit to Oregon. We are going for the purpose of supporting and celebrating our son Asaph and our new daughter Emily as they are united in marriage.
We are planning to purchase a full size van tonight since our old 15 passenger van finally died. Nehemiah is making a short documentary on our trip as well as a photo album for me. We will put the documentary on this blog for fun.

Please leave a comment below and also view the blog "Outrageous Proposals". Thank you.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

What I see when I step out of my doors

Sorry for the long delay. Please check back soon for exciting updates.

Saturday, July 04, 2020

Recent Photo's

We go to the zoo a lot. This grizzly bear was waiting for the right moment to suddenly turn and swipe at Lazuli and Elsie. He would use one paw and then the other and then his whole mouth would open on the glass. He did this several times. We screamed every time. I've never seen a bear in captivity act like this. It was scary.

This is our new puppy, Zola

Zuriell's granola