Something So Big

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Shiner Sister

She wasn't smiling when it happened!!

Our little Paige-a-roosie got herself a pretty good shiner last week. She learned the hard way why there are rules about not running in the halls!

As with most things, the timing couldn't have been better. She ran into another classmate at her summer school class about two minutes before they were set to perform their Reader's Theater performance.

As the other kids and I are walking up the hall, anticipating a wonderful little play by my wonderful little girl, out comes the school administrator telling me to please go into his wife's classroom. (His wife taught Paige's class.)

Not that I would wish this injury on any of my kids, but if I had my choice between the twins, I would have picked Shae to be on the receiving end. Paige is ULTRA sensitive, rather dramatic, and very, very stubborn. She is the type of kid that says "Don't look at me!" when she is upset about the slightest thing. I walked into a classroom where 5 other kids in costume were waiting for Paige to stop sobbing so they could get "on with the show"!

I saw the puffy eye starting to turn colors, and by golly that thing looked sore. I hugged her and said, "That looks like it hurts, honey! But you have everyone depending on you and you'll be alright! You can do it!" After all, I was a theater minor and I know all about how "the show must go on". Her teacher was happy to hear that I wasn't going to baby her too much, because truly--they were stuck. Next door was a room full of family and students, waiting to see this performance.

I'm such a mean mom, but hey, we're talking 10 minutes. Fifteen tops. (And Mrs. Lozeau smartly hid the icepack in her bandana!)

I'm so glad that Paigey toughed it out, because the 3 little plays they read were so darn cute. I don't remember much about the first one except that it was farm-related and they ended up with egg on their heads!

All of the readings were farm-related. The last one was Doreen Cronin's hilarious "Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type". It was adorable!!

I was so proud of Paige, and four days later she is enjoying the rainbow colors under her eye. Her dad calls her the Shiner Sister!

Her twin sister had a reader's theater performance earlier that day (I think it was my 2nd out of 6 trips to town that day. Can't remember for sure though--it's kind of a blur.) I am bragging but I'm not lying when I say that Shae read LOUD and CLEAR in her part as "the babysitter".

Shae's group performed "Going on a Bear Hunt" and did a super job with all of their "sets". Here they are trudging through the mud and into the forest!

Not sure why they were so scared of this cute little bear!

Wearing your PJs is always a kid favorite. Actually, I think it's a grown-up favorite, as well! At any rate, the plays were cute and I'm so grateful for the fantastic enrichment classes that our kids can take at our summer school. Each of our kids picked one class they really wanted to take (be it one-week or two-week, a few hours a day), and it's been a good thing.

Shine on, kids...shine on! (Just try not to get a shiner next time, okay?)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

6 Games - 4 Nights - 46 Shutters

I should really be more accurate. We actually had 6 games and two rain-outs! All in the span of four days.

So it's Cy's first year venturing into the big leagues. (Pee Wee sounds and puny. I shall not call it Pee Wee. And never you mind that the ball got past my son here. The kid has had 5 games and no practices yet!!)

I told you before I love how Cyrus expresses himself. (Well, not ALL of the time is it so lovely or appropriate!) Not sure why he's looking at the second baseman since the pitcher has the ball, but I'll give him credit for being so determined. I can hardly wait till he plays football! (But then again, there will be a facemask in the way. Which, considering his umpteen trips to the ER from birth to age 3, is a very, very good thing.)

Later he proudly told me, "That was my first run, Mom!"

Center. The arm of the outfield!! (Remember, this is through Mom's view, so we'll just glance over those two flies to center that he could have easily caught instead of letting bounce into his glove. Again I state, the kid hasn't had a practice yet!!)

Now we'll switch over to the next night and the old pro. Here she is playing third, where she easily threw someone out at first. That a child of mine can throw the ball quickly and accurately all the way from third to first is still a wonder to me. Definitely got her daddy's arm muscles!!

Speaking of those muscles, check out that shoulder span. This is no easy task, leaning out of a window and drilling a heavy cedar shutter into the house during 90+ degree weather. My hubby makes it look easy.

Thanks, Doug, for coming down to help put up 46 shutters!

Did I mention that we have shutters now? Oh yeah, I guess we do a few other things besides drive kids to summer school and ball games.

I can't tell you how much fun it is to stain wood in hot, humid weather. Somehow I managed to escape the task this time! Thanks Paige and Ally!!

I just love the beauty of cedar.

Great job, Daddy!!!!

Is this OUR house?

Okay, back to the ball field. Shame on me for digressing. Ally and her cousin Claire were playing each other in Platteville, so we had a family showdown going on again. Claire had a great single and eventually made her way to third where T-bird played before pitching a few innings!

The twins and Wynne were SOOOOO excited to have cousins to play with during the ballgame! I popped a few buckets of popcorn to keep everyone happy and I think it was the first time I didn't hear, "Mom, I'm bored!!! Can you buy me a treat??" Yes, I am one of those people who brings our own snacks to the ball games. Mark and I figured it would cost us around $400 a summer if we didn't!

I just love how Elsie's hair is so light and curly. Here she is sharing a few kernels of popcorn with Grandpa and her daddy. Thanks to Tim and Maryellen, Marla, and Mom and Dad for coming out to the ball game!

Elsie is 20 months and Addie is 7 months. Their parents are not busy. at. all.

Cy would have loved it because Payton (Marla's son) and Gabe (Julie's son) were playing catch, but surprise, surprise--he had to play at his own baseball game in another town at the same time! Because we Potosians like our baseball. So much that we have to play four away games, four nights in a row. (Sorry I think I mentioned that in a previous post. Guess it's on my mind a lot lately.??)

You're probably thinking: if you don't like the ball schedule, don't sign your kids up for it. I wish it were that simple. The kids (especially Ally) really like to play baseball/softball, but having nearly every single day and night tied up with practices or games is a bit too much for anyone but a collegiate or professional player, in my opinion. Believe me, it's been on my heart for a few years to simplify kids' sports schedules. They could cut the games in half and make most of us very happy. A few other parents and I were talking about proposing this to the rec coordinator (a schedule with fewer games for everyone, with additional games and tournaments for those families who actually like living at the ball park). We just don't know how to go about doing it. I realize, being married to a school athletic director, that scheduling and making everyone happy is impossible...but there has to be a happy medium, right?

"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." --Luke 10: 41-42

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Herd of Elephants

How many times have I thought there was a herd of elephants running around upstairs...guess I was right!!

Part of our adventure last week included the Kids Interactive Circus. Everybody but Ally (who's getting "too old" for that stuff, darn it) took part in the circus. About a dozen kids became tigers, elephants, and magicians. The ringmaster, sound effects, and costumes were wonderful!

The littlest elephant got the biggest kick out of it all!

Our 9-year-old has the best expressions. Here he is, thinking "Can we put our arms and legs down yet? My stomach hurts!!"

And this one is "What?? You want us to walk on THAT?!"

Fortunately, the ringmaster had the rope lowered to a more suitable location.

Such concentration and balance!

Shae goes one step further with a parasol!

Wow, those elephants are so...acrobatic!

Take a bow!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The First of May in the Middle of June!

A few months ago the kids and I watched the delightful family film The First of May, titled after the name given someone in his/her first year with the circus. Last Friday we had the chance to see what it's really all about under the big top as we visited Circus World Museum in Baraboo!

This was my third trip to Circus World. I went there in 1983 as a seventh grader, and then a decade later as a seventh grade teacher. What is it about being a parent that really opens up your eyes to the details, the wonder of a place you've already been?

Imagine. It's 1884 and, after years of entertaining friends and neighbors in your backyard, you start a circus with 4 of your brothers. You hire a few performers, buy a few animals, and get a loan from the local bank. That's the story of the Al Ringling and his brothers!

After a few years of struggle, bad weather, and overdue loans, you finally have a break-through. Thirty years pass by, and you are buying out the biggest circus in the country!

Little did you know that, nearly a hundred years later, your calliope is still running and lighting up children's eyes with its magical animals, motion, and music!

Along the way, you hired some very colorful characters to be part of your sideshow.

Funny thing is, the Painted Lady (2nd from left) would be "no big deal" by 21st Century standards. (Were there tattoo parlors back in your day?)

Thank goodness the twins in the front are NOT Siamese!!

Along with concession stands, rides, and parades, you knew that sideshows were just as important as the Big Top (Hippodrome). Talented illusionists cut ladies in half, and they're still boggling audiences 125 years later!

Yes, Mr. Ringling, you would be very proud of how far your show has come. The performers are hardworking, super-talented contortionists, jugglers, acrobats, rope climbers, animal trainers, and magicians. The Baraboo National Bank is still a big supporter, and people come from around the world to work in AND witness your circus.

The hippodrome (big top) still puts on fantastic shows every day, May through October, and the elephant rides the sphere just inches away from thrilled (and scared!) spectators!

Some things have changed, for certain. I doubt that you charged $5 for people to ride your elephant for one minute. (No, I don't know these people. I just thought I'd take a picture of $30!)

Here's the Siegert version of the elephant ride. Still good for some smiles :) at a much cheaper rate!

Some parts of the circus are a bit bawdy...but still draw all ages together. (Funny how you take a picture and don't notice the little details until days later, huh Cy?!)

Yes, some things have changed, Al, but one thing stays the same: "the greatest show on earth" is still a darn good time.

The sights, the sounds, the textures...

Thanks for dreaming, Mr. Ringling! And as they say under the big top, "May all your days be CIRCUS days!"

With God all things are posssible.--Matthew 19:26