Something So Big

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Last Week's Diversion

Because we just can't relax at our house...because there always have to be something going on...because someone likes to use his Sawzall (see it going through the pink wall?)....
 Ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a project.
 More details and photos to follow.  Been bizzy.  And tired.  Very, very tired!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Friday Night Visitor

On our garage door, looking in!  I thought these only lived in tropical climates.  (Well wait, it has been pretty hot and humid around here...)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Around the Yard

Mark dug this spot out where the fallen apple trees were.  We bought the wheels from my folks, and he built a barnboard "buckboard" wagon on top of them!  He even built the axles! 
 For some reason, it makes me think of the old gold miners and "The Apple Dumpling Gang".  Just gives me that pioneer/old West feel.  I love it!
 Mom and Dad gave us the milk can for our anniversary.  What a special gift!  We love this kind of stuff.
 A few neighbors have been very generous in giving us their overflow of perennials (day lilies and such).  We did purchase a few large hostas at a yard sale and these tall grasses from a retailer.  Mark transplanted the daisies from the side of the road!
 I wish I knew the name of these lilies, but at any rate they remind me of roses. 
 Ally likes to take the camera and snap beautiful nature shots, too.  Aren't these colors glorious?

I think A & W staged this photo :)

What a beautiful time of year (despite the heat)! 

Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.  Psalm 105:3

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Post-Game Pics

After a whole week apart, the boys and the girls are together again!
One of the neat things about the WFCA All-Star Game, besides raising money for the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and meeting some of the young patients who benefit from it, is that it gives senior boys--and coaches and young impressionable manager-boys--a chance to make new friends and bond with really good people.  When Mark mentioned that Cy will be having ear surgery at the Children's Hospital this fall, the top fundraiser gave Cy his award--the "Packer Experience" (tickets to a Packers game)!  Steve S. (pictured below with Cyrus) is a fine young man and is playing football for Winona State in the fall.  What an incredibly kind gesture!!

To see young men (from other schools) come up to my husband and hug him, thanking him for his influence on him last week, was very gratifying and a bit emotional for me.  Colton was one of those players who worked closely with Mark at the linebacker position.
I don't remember the field ever being so packed post-game.  It was tough for the kids and me to find Mark & Cy in the crowd!  Here's a picture of one of our players, Cole, reuniting with family & friends after the game.  Cole's a good-sized kid, as you can tell;)
 Cole will play Division 2 ball at Culver-Stockton in Missouri this fall, while Dakota joins D3 University of Dubuque.  Congratulations, boys!
Not only was it a special day for the coaches and players, it was also the coach's mom's birthday!  Happy Birthday Jan!

67% of the Siegert boys
Doug, Mark, Greg, & Ryan

Yep, it's hot out here!!  Now pass me that drink!!
 Kierta, Mady & Tage
 The cousins were happy to run around after being cooped up on those hot bleachers!
It took more than a week to put together this All-Star Game.  Kudos to the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association for organizing the whole event, to UW-Whitewater and UW-Oshkosh for hosting the teams all week, and to the coaching staffs of each team (Divisions 1-3 North & South, Divisions 4-7 North & South).  Mark was proud to meet and work with the guys on the D 4-7 South Staff.  They put in several hours at home of game film study, contacting players, and fundraising.  This staff met several times at various points throughout the staff before game week.  I am always impressed with how high school football coaches are willing to share ideas, training plans, and offensive and defensive plays with other coaches (even opponents).  They love the game of football and they care about kids...and it shows.  Way to go, guys! 

 2011 Division 4-7 South All-Star Coaching Staff

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Boys Have Been Busy, Too

While we girls were busy with summer school and ball last week, the boys were keeping busy, too!  They were gone from Saturday to Saturday, and we missed them.  So this weekend we were anxious to drive up to Oshkosh and find out what they've been up to! 

My first glimpse of my husband in a week.  He's the good-looking one in the middle, the rebel with black shoes!
And see that little man with the red ball cap?  That's my Cypes!!
Hey Buddy!!  His sisters and I were so excited to get his attention!

What an honor it was for Mark to be selected as an assistant coach for the WFCA All-Star Game.  He coached on the Division 4-7 South Team, working as defensive coordinator.  Cy was one of team managers and got to spend the week at UW-Whitewater in the dorms with Dad!  (The south team practiced at Whitewater all week and played the game at Oshkosh on Saturday.)
For the 2nd year in a row, we've been fortunate to have not one, but two players from Potosi selected to play at the All-Star game.  Dakota was the starting running back.....
..while Cole (the big boy) started on the defensive line.  The All-Stars are the top graduating senior football players from around the state, selected by the coaches.  Congratulations boys!!
Each player and staff member raised money for the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.  This year's games brought in over $380,000 for the hospital!
It was a hot day (but thankfully, not as hot as this week is supposed to get), as you can see from the sunshiny stands.  A lot of Mark's family made the trip up to watch the game.   Dakota's grandma Pat rode with us girls.
 Look at these young moms and their little toddlers.  Maybe it's just me getting older, but man I envy their ambition.  When my kids were 1 and 3, I would have been wayyyyyyy too lazy to consider taking them to a football game (of people I don't know playing) in the middle of July in a stadium where you can't push a stroller or pull a wagon!!  But you know what? the kids did great.  It was my older girls (the 8's) who were constantly asking me when they could open the snacks designated for each quarter of the game.  Where did I go wrong with my parenting skills!!??
Tage, Marin, Kierta, Wynne, Lauren, Paula & Mady

Oh, but what a show they put on for pre-game!  
Guess how they delivered the game ball?

Cool beans.

It was a fun game to watch, back and forth scoring.  Neither team could get much of a running game going, so the scoring was all big pass plays...oh! and one recovered fumble in the endzone for our defense!  Of course I am biased, but our defense made some huge impact plays to stop scoring drives and return momentum to the South team.   The defensive coordinator must know what he's doing ;)
 We won, 21-19!  Great job to both sides and what a way to end your high school football career!

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.--Colossians 3:23

Friday, July 15, 2011


Every now and then I teach a little class at summer school called Back in Time with American Girls.  BITWAG for short. (Okay, nobody else calls it BITWAG but it makes me feel like I'm hip ;)

It was a lot of work but also a lot of fun.  I had two sections of the class, one for the younger students grade 1-3 (which turned out to be K-3 and is not a class grouping I would recommend!) and another for grades 4-6.  The younger girls class had a lot of needy non-reading types (I thought they were just being lazy; they wouldn't take any notes and it took me about half an hour to figure out that some of them were younger than the course requirement! Oh well!  We can be flexible!  That's where my lovely and able teaching assistant Ally came in!!

Day one:  Kaya 1764 Pacific Northwest - Since Kaya is from the Nez Perce tribe, we made real corn husk dolls like Kaya's.  I read Chapter 1 from Kaya's Hero" while the girls worked on "teekas" (cradleboards).  The 18th century version of a baby backpack!  One of the girls even went so far as to take her doll home and print out a face for it (shown below)!
Teekas or cradleboard used by the Nez Perce; hockey jersey and stick not part of the tribal outfit LOL

Day two:  Felicity 1774 Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia - I brought turkey feathers and made Kool-aid ink (nonsweetened packets mixed with a little water) so the girls could practice writing like Felicity did.  They copied this bit of wisdom from book 2, Felicity Learns a Lesson as I read Chapter 2.

Think ere you speak
for Words, once flown,
Once utter'd, are
no more your own.

Kool-aid ink worked well, was easy & cheap to make, and I highly recommend strawberry and berry blue!  Be sure not to water it down too much, if you want the color to be dark and to not fade.
(Smells delightful, too!)

 The girls also made tussie-mussies for their dolls, just like colonial girls & ladies carried around for good looks and good smells :)

We dug into my tiny plastic flower/lace/ribbon stash & used hair bands to attach to the dolls' wrists

Day three:  Rebecca 1914 New York City - Since Rebecca comes from a Russian Jewish immigrant family, we made miniature dreidels to celebrate her Jewish heritage.  I read Chapters 1 and 2 from Meet Rebecca while the girls made & played with their dreidels, using Skittles for markers!
a good close-up of the dreidel in one hand and tussie-mussie in the other!

We also watched an online short story of "The Wise Little Girl" (or "Clever Karina") which Rebecca and her actor-cousin Max acted out for their family in book one.
 The dreidels were a bit difficult to make (I had copied a mini-dreidel onto blue construction paper), but the Skittles were worth it!
 Day four:  Julie 1974 San Francisco, California - This is where I got a little nostalgic because I grew up in the 70s and 80s!  I wore a 70s-style sleeveless shirt dress, tied a scarf around my neck and put on a headband to add to the "ambience".  The girls dressed up & brought their dolls in (any doll, I am not a big promoter of spending $90 plus on American Girl dolls) in for a 70s fondue party.  Since Julie's family had a fondue party in one of their books, I bought a pot from Goodwill, dug out some skewers, and made some easy cheese and white chocolate fondue.  We had so much fun on the last day of class, watching an excellent 5-minute 70s slideshow from Youtube that showed the music, entertainers, TV shows, movies, toys, hairstyles, clothes, and fads of the 70s.  I did a little research and brought in our board games that were introduced in the 70s:  Rack-o, Life, Battleship, Connect Four, Yahtzee (and I could have brought in Clue & Monopoly too, but didn't think we'd have time for them).  Turns out we only had time for much, as the girls made pet rocks and spent most of the time eating and talking.  For the older girls' class we made bandana halter tops for & head scarves for our dolls.  I actually did wear something like this when I was a little girl!

Mikayla (from younger class) showing off her pet rock & one of our dolls with the homemade halter top & matching head scarf...we just started with a 10" square and went from there!

The Fondue Party was kind of hectic but fun.  I cheated and used the microwave to melt the white chocolate before I put it in the fondue pot.  I borrowed a miniature crock pot for the cheese fondue (using milk instead of wine or beer, of course!) and told the girls how moms in the 1970s relied on crock pots to make supper.  Julie's mom worked outside of the home, and a lot more of that was happening as I was growing up.  I can remember what a big deal it was when my mom actually started working outside of our home; I was in 4th grade when she started driving school bus.  I wouldn't consider myself a latch-key kid because my dad (a farmer) was home when we came home from school, and it was empowering to see my mom working and making a little extra spending money for our family.  Liberation in moderation, I call it ;)

Of course, the girls brought their dolls to the party, too!
Ally was a HUGE help all week, running the computer / smart board and assisting where needed.  Wynne ran a lot of errands for me as well, helping one little girl carry her things to her next class and bringing in her baby Gloria for "demonstrations".

The whole week was a blur of last-minute lesson adjustments, late night planning and crafting, but it was fun and a good way for me to work on my teaching skills!  I hope to teach BITWAG again next summer!

Shae & Selena with their new Pet Rock

Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.--Proverbs 20:11

Star-Stangled Snapshots

What is it, July 15 already?  I'm only about two weeks late with these 4th of July weekend pictures!!  Oi.

We had a great weekend, hosting a multi-family (his and mine) celebration on Sunday, then going over to my sister Marla & Paul's house on Monday night.  Fireworks back in Platteville with Mark's mom, and a lot of hi-jinks in-between!

Mark, Grandma Joan, Jan, Joe B., Linda

Shae shootin' hoops with Uncles Joe, Ryan & Paul

Paige & Grandpa E.

Uncle Paul & Aunt Marla sharing a laugh with Wynne
Our neighbor Mike's fireworks were pretty good!
Lefty Paige doing her best to use a right-handed golf club...
Hold your mouth right, Shae!
Uncle Brian the Tickle Monster!!
The Simons' backyard patio
Mom holding Grandchild #33, Annamae born on June 27!
Addie's a big sister now!
Cy, Mark, & Ally get instructions from course-developer Payton
Mason & Wynne try their hand at bean bags
The Simons' back yard is full of beautiful plants & lights
Giant Croquet!!
Grandma Jan's flag reminds us this weekend is about FREEDOM
Ally's patriotic nail art
Ally, Mark & Grandma Jan enjoying the Platteville fireworks display
Thank you to the Men and Women of our Past, Present & Future Armed Forces!  We couldn't enjoy such weekends without your service & sacrifice!!

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. --2 Corinthians 3:17