Something So Big

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Guess What Week It Is

Team meal...

...decorated hallways...

...and the coup de gras :)

Happy Homecoming!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dora Was Out of Her Head!

We traveled over to Waukesha this weekend to help celebrate my goddaughter Mady's 2nd birthday.

Our 4-year-old looks so big next to her little cousin Mady Boots!

Speaking of godchildren, here's Mark with his godson nephew Tage. This little guy is not so little anymore!!

Tage's big sister Kierta is an old pro at being two. I enjoyed having Kierta serve me up some sandwiches and water at the playhouse "cafe"!

Shae and Paige really liked their party favor bags...nifty Rescue Packs!

It's weird having the oldest kids at a party. I always feel so old at my husband's family gatherings! Here's our "big kid" taking the last whack at the poor Dora pinata.

Mady's silly daddy put on the Dora head after the kids grabbed up all the loot. Silly Daddy/Uncle Doug!!

Of course Wynne had to try on the Dora head, too. It actually looks pretty good on her!

The testosterone flows freely at Siegert family gatherings, as Mark and his brothers show off their athletic prowess. Last time it was chopping down a tree; this time it was rocket ball!

Proud mommy, daddy, and Madyson Ruth!

Present time with plenty of other "helpers"!

The February babies (Tage and Lauren) are growing so big!

Happy Birthday, Mady Boots!

Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth you created.--Psalm 119:90 New Living Translation

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Timeless Treasures

This is such a beautiful month. The colors of fall are entering into the greens of summer. And God's bounty is in full force, including the apples!

I think this is the earliest our dwarf apple trees have ever produced red apples--they've been around since mid-August. I've been collecting them in the basement, waiting till the harvest was complete.

One of the greatest inventions known to man: the peeler/corer/slicer. A thing of true beauty and all six simple machines.

Wynne needed help getting the machine to do its thing, but she sure liked pulling the peel off, squealing in delight at the "candy"! I sure wish all my kids were content with such candy.

The rain forced us indoors, and soon it was time for the "big kids" to come home from school. (I can't believe I'm calling the twins "big kids" here. It depends on the situation --if we're going somewhere, they're still "little kids", but if we're talking full-time school, they're "big kids".) Paige and Shae were eager to crank up the Lifesaver, and look at the fun spiral snack Shae got to gobble up!

Most of the apples went into applesauce or pie filling, but since Dessert is one of the basic food groups at our house, we had to make something for supper, too. I dug out a recipe I've been waiting to make for a long time, my grandma's Apple Oatmeal Crinkle. I copied this recipe from my cousin Janet when we visited Kentucky last year. It's the first recipe of Grandma May's that I have.

Every time I make one of my mom's recipes, I feel closer to her, and the memories of her making it come back to me. I don't remember Grandma making this, but I did think about her and thank God for her as the girls and I put it together. I couldn't help but think of her raising TWELVE children on the farm, making all of their food and clothes, without all of the amenities we have nearly 80-some years later.

I wondered if she had little helpers who could mix up the crinkle and cinnamon sugar as eagerly as my chickies. (And a crockpot making supper in the background? ha!)

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oats
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
3 cups sliced apples
Mix brown sugar, rolled oats, and flour. Cut in butter to make crumbly mixture. Place half of mixture in greased 7 x 11 pan (I used a 9 x 13). Spread on sliced apples. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons cinnamon.

Top with remaining half of crumbs. Bake moderate oven 40-45 minutes. (We went with 350 degrees.)

Serve warm or cold with whipped cream, ice cream, or plain. (We went with ice cream and it was very good.)

Thanks, Grandma!

For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.--2 Timothy 1:5

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A FAIRly Good Time

Septembers growing up meant the Belmont Fair. It's a weekend where my hometown school and community gather together to have skits, decorate floats, bake pies, and get fair entries ready. Growing up, moving out of the district, I became somewhat disconnected from the fair. But this year, to get more entries, the fair board decided to open all entries to people in the tri-county area. This meant that my kids could experience what it feels like to get ready for the Fair!

The kids and I put together 11 entries altogether. I won't say who got what, for fear that one of my little girls will be very sad (even though a white ribbon is better than none at all)--but I will say we got 6 blues, 3 reds, and 2 whites. Not bad at all!

The hardest part about the whole fair process was that entries had to be in on Friday between 1 and 4 p.m., when my kids are in school. (Belmont, of course, doesn't have school that day. The high school kids have to put in a certain number of work hours before/during/after the Fair--one of my favorite memories as a student.) So here is Ally re-arranging her dolphin collection which I didn't set up quite the way she would have.

And here's Cy trying to fix his Lego treehouse and mansion that kept falling apart a thousand times in transit to Belmont. Slacker Mom spent 25 minutes trying to put it back together, but Legos and I don't get along that great.

I must have done something right with his Superman collection, because Cy won a trophy for outstanding exhibit in the History & Collections Department! Thanks Mrs. Nodolf & family for sponsoring this (and for all of the memories in your classroom)!

Nephew Noah was also a trophy winner in the arts & crafts department with his carved eraser/imagery!

Another blue ribbon for Ally in the art department. She sat outside and drew our backyard one day this summer.

That summer school woodworking class really paid off!

More cousin stuff -- a blurry picture that doesn't do Christopher's Spongebob collection justice. Good job Christopher! (I should have taken a picture of Addie's gigantic award-winning pumpkin!)

Cousin Rheann (and her cousin on her mom's side) showed Dani and Rheann's pigs Bronco and I-don't-remember-his-name.

My brother Brad helps check in the hogs every year. They had over a hundred swine entries, I think I heard!

There were also a gazillion rabbits. I lost count of how many rabbits there were, and many of them were for sale. The Tashner cousins took home a few!

Notice I didn't take any pictures of the carnival rides. You know what they look like. You know how much they cost.
We had our own "carnival games" at Grandma & Grandpa's farm afterward!

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest,
and cold and heat, and summer and winter,
and day and night shall not cease.--Genesis 8:22

Monday, September 20, 2010

Our Baby

She goes to preschool now, four mornings a week. It's never long enough for her. But plenty long for Mommy. I need her for things like baking cookies!!

The other day she saw a pregnant woman and said, "Mom, you should get married again and have a baby!" I don't know what that means for Daddy, but hey at least she didn't put the cart before the horse, right?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Channeling Martha

Ask anyone who knows me well, and you will know that I hate knick-knacks for the sake of knick-knacks. Probably 15 years ago I saw a Barbara Walters interview with Eddie Murphy and he was showing her his home with very minimalist decorating. It was basically furniture, white, black, and wood. No knick-knacks. I remember thinking, "I like that. Less to dust."

So while I enjoy browsing at arts and crafts fairs, I also enjoy walking away from them and not buying anything. Because A)I don't have enough $ and B)why do I need that taking up space/dust in my house? Unless something has personal meaning, brings back memories, or was made by my kids, I really don't jive with crafts.

But I believe that my upbringing on hand-me-downs and yard sale road trips with my mom and sisters is stronger than my Eddie Murphy-esque tendencies, because if I can make something for CHEAP OR FREE to fulfill some PURPOSE, then I'm all over it! The latest purpose? The Belmont Fair! Follow the yellow brick road to kids' fair entry time!!

This is the first year that the Belmont Fair (my hometown's blockbuster of the year) has opened all entries to anyone in the tri-county area. So even though we don't live there anymore, the kids can enter the history & collections department with their doll collections and such. So here is Shae sewing up a pillow for her 18 inch dolls.

And here she is with her 2 dolls, a borrowed one from Paige (because the rules state "you must have 3 to make a collection"), and her homemade easy chair. A visit to the recycling bin and Mom's fabric stash, along with a few rounds with the blessed hot glue gun, and wa-la!

The only thing that cost money so far were the photographs for Paige's "collection of family photos". Here she is chronicling our family's summer vacation. (Hold your mouth right, Paigey!)

We're not finished channeling Martha just yet. Shae still has to finish the book she's making for her doll to "read", Cy and Ally have to put together their collections (when we're not to busy going to volleyball games or doing math and social studies assignments), and everyone has to write their descriptive note cards for the fair entries. Not including my own projects. Bizzy bizzy bizzy!

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men--Colossians 3:23