Something So Big

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

By the Light of the Magnavox

Forget your fancy-schmancy home theatre systems....we've got Campfire Movie Night!!

This is how unobservant/distracted/dumb I am...the gazebo has been up for five years, and I completely forgot Mark put an electric outlet in it! So the other night we gathered around the campfire and watched Chicken Run. Takes on a little extra meaning when our own chicken coop was just a few feet down the hill. (and, by the way we lost 6 chickens over the past few weeks due to ?? they seemed to have flown the coop!)

You can't see Mickey, but he's up in front by Wynne. He was saying to himself, "Hey! I haven't seen this picture box since we lived in Platteville!" (That's when he was an "inside dog".)
Good times at 5110 County B Fun Park !

When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.' --John 8:12

Monday, July 26, 2010

Until Next Year

The Pee Wee League ended last week with a 4-game home stand. Cy alternated this season between right and and center field.

As a coach's wife I shouldn't admit this, but our son was sick of baseball about 2 weeks ago. I kept telling him to give it an all-out effort, but boredom and repetition set in, I guess!

Never too bored at the plate, though. Cy's batting improved steadily as the year went on, especially after Mark took a few nights to really practice with him on it.

Cy knocked one over the left fielder's head and had his first stand-up double!!! It was a legitimate hit, not an error by the fielder or anything. It was awesome, if I do say so my Mom Self.

Little sisters have to watch a lot of games. This one is a pretty good sport about it!

Nineteen games, one rain-out, eighteen kids (one missing here) record because they don't keep score in PeeWees.

Kinda makes me wish I had a few more sons. (but not this many!!)

Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart!--Proverbs 29:17 ESV

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Last week when it was unbearably hot and humid, we hid in a few caves!
Well, the first one was actually a mine, but it was cool and cavernous all the same.

Exploring the Badger Hut Mine underneath the streets of Shullsburg, Wisconsin...

This is the part where my claustrophic husband hesitated for just a bit...

It's impressive to think that men worked in these conditions MINUS THE LIGHTS. A few stick-and-tommy candles, and that's all she wrote.

On Thursday when I was off visiting with my mom and sisters, Mark took the kids just south of Dubuque to Crystal Lake Cave.

I don't have much commentary for the rest of the pictures, since I wasn't there. But I will say, "Wynne, why are wearing your Sunday School Mary Jane shoes??"
(Oh well; they were scuffed up anyway.)

I have been waiting for 2 days for my eldest to "guest post" on this cave, but she's been gone to volleyball camp and now off on errands with her dad, so I'll let you admire and imagine. She took some great pictures!

Look at that cute little stalagmite!!

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.--Psalm 57:5

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

When I Grow Up

The topic of careers came up on the way home from swimming lessons yesterday. Ally is very goal-oriented and has been interested in architecture and archaeology the past few years. Yesterday she added that she'd like to volunteer at Two by Two Animal Campus when it gets built, as she loves dogs and was especially impacted by the in-school training she had in second grade.

Paige said that she wants to be a babysitter because she had an especially fun time with her little cousin this past weekend.

Shae remarked, "When I'm a little older, I want to be a lifeguard (because Ally told her she was a good swimmer, has a tan and looks the part!). Then I want to be a music teacher." I replied, "I want to be a music teacher, too!" (Which is true. If I had to do my undergrad years over, I wish I had taken the time to explore that.)

Cy said, "After football (he wants to play in the pro's), I'm going to be a Lego designer." Fun job! Not sure what areas of study are required, but I don't doubt they involve some sort of engineering.

I asked our littlest, "What do YOU want to be when you grow up, Wynnie?"

Wynne smiled and replied, "I'm going to be a princess." Ah, the 3s and 4s. A time when princesses rule, with their beautiful dresses, big smiles, and gracious manners. I almost cried because it wasn't that long ago when Ally wanted to be a princess, then Shae and Paige, and now Wynne. The older girls have moved beyond princesses and onto other ideals...and life has started to get complicated as they start to struggle with peer relationships, appearances, and "big kid" stuff. Sigh.
Why does it have to move so fast?

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. --Colossians 1:9-10

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Party on, Wayne! Party on, Garth!

Summer is all about parties, it seems. Weeks are filled with ball games, swimming lessons, and other errands, while the weekends are for food, family, friends, and fun! This past weekend was no exception.

Despite the oppressive heat and humidity, hundreds of people still gathered at my brother and sister-in-law's farm to watch the Rockin' Rewey Fireworks. Complete with wonderful music by the Larry Busch Band! Having played the trumpet into my college years, I could really feel for these guys when they hit the high notes. The heat didn't seem to phase them!

Here's my patriotic dance partner. We spun and swayed to "The Way You Look Tonight" and "Que-sera-sera", and "Jump-Jive and Boogie". I just love the dance band/swing era. Wynne does too, I think!

Truly the best fireworks in the area.

I snapped some shots and came up with this one. Don't know how I did it, but I think it's pretty darn cool!

Sunday afternoon was the every-3rd-year Engelke Family Reunion. It's so nice to live close to the hub of your family. My dad (in the beret) and Aunt Joyce (in the blue top at the far end of the table) are the only two living children of William and Margaret Engelke's brood of 10. It was nice to see so many cousins, second cousins, thirds, fourths, (or once removed's, however you call it)!

The park in Belmont has a creek running through it, so of course the kids are sucked immediately to that area. It was girls vs. boys in a homemade boat race! See that big stick half sunken in the water? That's the boys' vessel.

The girls' thatched/grass structure made it to the bridge first!

Then it was back home to another party! Mark's family was waiting for us to help his mom celebrate her birthday. Happy Birthday, Grandma Jan!

Kierta discovered our lovely orange sand pile. Time to wash it off!!

Resurrecting the old Siegert-Buchheit basketball rivalry...

Our nephew Tage is now 5 months old, so strong and easy-going.

Our kids know that when company comes, there's a good chance they're bringing pop. Such a treat!

There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God.--Ecclesiastes 2:24 ESV

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Let the Praises Ring!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Weekend Away

Last weekend was my side of the family's annual Engelke campout. As you can tell from the pictures, we didn't really "camp out" this year. My brother Ken and his family lined up a discount at the nicest place I've ever been--the Grand Geneva Resort at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin!

Interesting backstory: Hugh Hefner bought a couple of farms near Lake Geneva in the 1960s, built a lodge, a ski hill, and sold the place in the 1990s. This "place" just happens to be the Grand Geneva Resort! Only there weren't any Playboy Bunnies hopping around anymore!! Now there are two lodges, and we stayed at this one--the Timber Ridge.

As soon as I entered the lobby to check in, I knew we were going to have a very special time. There were staff members and guests bustling about everywhere, and right by the fireplace were 3 naturalists hosting a "petting zoo" with an arctic fox, lemur, and other exotic animals. The whole lodge had a "moose" theme going, definitely a year-round attraction.

One of the amenities was this trolley that would take you all over the 1300-acre complex.

Of course we had to check out the whole place...

...and we weren't very excited at all!

Between our lodge and the original lodge was this stunning 18-hole golf course. There were also lots of beautiful woods, trails, and paved running/biking paths.

After a brief tour of the older lodge (which my nephew and his wife stayed in, and I hear they had a flat-screen TV in the bathroom mirror!), we took a few pictures by this fountain. Remember the opening song on "Friends"? This is our version, with 100% Siegert kids and 60% Tashner kids! Cousins all the same could it get any better than this?!

The moms and dads (and Garrison) try not to squint into the glaring sun. Not the best picture! After this, Mark and I snuck into the spa/fitness center. They had a 35-foot climbing wall (just trained the Department of Defense on it last week), a huge weightroom, basketball and tennis courts, outdoor tennis, an Olympic-sized lap pool, a yoga/dance studio, saunas/showers/spa areas--all for a mere 21-million $ renovation. (All services for a small fee, of which we did not partake.) Swanky, to say the least!

About 1.5 miles south was Dan Patch Stables. There were horses, ponies, llamas, goats, ducks, and a dog. We watched some folks saddle up for a trail ride.

Paige made 2 fast friends!

Four pretty maidens, all in a row!

On our walk back to the lodge, we saw these heron (I think they're heron).

In the arcade, we spotted this Young Male Video Game Player. He is very common in these parts, but the inside-out t-shirt is a rare feature, only to be found on those species who have been water-soaked and screen-dazed. You can also find him in hotel gift shops, staring at the overpriced Lego selections.

Did I mention this place had a waterpark? Just a little watering hole.

It wasn't very fun at all.

There was nothing to do there...

And no one to do it with!

Everyone wanted to get out of there and go back and sit in our hotel rooms.

Even the outdoor pools were boring.

"Let's go home and do some chores, Mom!"

We managed to force the little one down this extremely boring slide six times. Yawnsville.

Engelke cousins and cousins' kids after cookies-and-milk bedtime story-time in the main lobby!

For 30 bucks extra, we booked the 2-bedroom suite with loft. In addition to a full kitchen, there were 2 full baths, 3 flat-screen TVs, and a jacuzzi. It was a SWEET suite!!

Leave it up to our two little whinies to find something wrong with a luxury suite. "I don't want to sleep with her....she kicks!!" Sigh.

But those two little girlies were all smiles in the jacuzzi!!

And the 3-hour ride home was peaceful. Home again, home again, jiggety-jig!

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.--Deuteronomy 33:27