Something So Big

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I haven't done one of these in a while, which is a real shame because I need to develop and maintain an "attitude of gratitude" as my dad used to call it!

I am thankful for...

*my Savior Jesus Christ who has already paid the price, if I just realize that and keep on sharing the Good News of my salvation through Him!

*my husband and children, my parents and siblings, my extended family on both sides and the ability to visit with them quite often as we don't live very far from any of them.

*my health and my family's health.  Prayers for my dad and mom as they struggle with health issues on a day-to-day basis, and for all of those who deal with chronic illness. There's a saying that when you come to the end of yourself, God is all you have.  I believe that with my whole being, no matter if you come to the end of yourself or not!

*our awesome church family and the fact that this "big guy" came together so well when I was preparing the Bible lesson on Jonah!

*the opportunity to brush up on my teaching skills on a more permanent basis. 

*the great kids in Mrs. A's classroom and in our whole school! Plus the great people I get to work with!

*the fact that Mrs. A's son is coming out of his surgeries in the best way possible, healing and showing improvement.  Thank God for his healing power!

*getting to "sleep in" this morning!


Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!--Philippians 4:4

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Two New Seasons

I miss my blog!!
But I have a severe lack of time right now because we are in the middle of two new seasons.
#1 Basketball.
This year is a little more packed because the boy is old enough to play interscholastic sports as well as the girl.  So between shuttling them to practices and games on different nights of the week, plus confirmation class for Ally on Wednesday nights, that leaves us with approximately zero weeknights without driving somewhere.  ugh.

However, it is so fun to see Cy and his friends playing for Potosi together!!  Here he is in the middle of the key.  I will not even attempt to use correct basketball terms because I don't know much about the sport (except that it is too long of a season and requires you to make sure your younger kids are occupied sitting in the bleachers).
Cy's best friend Will is bringing the ball up the court.  Cy brought the ball in.  They are running down the court to try and score in our basket.  There; that's the extent of my basketball knowledge.

I'm not supposed to tell you how the game went because my son just told me "Just say that the other team was 7th and 8th graders."  Which is a true statement!

Guess who's coaching Ally's team?
Last night they made their debut on the home court.  Go Coach Siegert and the 7th & 8th Grade Lady Chieftains!!

Ally, I apologize that this is the only picture I took of the game.  I was distracted by little girls who kept begging me for concessions money.  Don't worry; there will be more games and more photos. 
 Speaking of little girls, here are three of them acting very crazily.  Showing off their homemade tattoos and cupcake fingernails.  Aren't they adorable??
Which brings me to Reason #2 for my inactivity on this blog.  The second season--my new venture into full-time teaching!!!
On Monday, I was offered a long-time substitute teaching position at our elementary school.  In my twins' third grade classroom!!!!
On Tuesday (after much prayer), I told the principal I would take it.
Then I scrambled to get a few loose ends tied up at home.....and at the dentist office (that toothache I've been putting off turns out to require more work....Guess what I get for Christmas? A root canal!!).........and in the barber chair.  My son's friend's mom Lori is a hair stylist and gave me a great (and MUCH-needed) haircut.  I figured, if I don't get stuff taken care of this my one day off, I will never get it done. 
On Wednesday, I started teaching in Mrs. Alexander's classroom.  Mrs. A's All-Stars are the BEST kids I could possibly hope and pray for....and they are so patient as I try to find my way around the classroom procedures etc.  I love lesson planning and don't worry about that, except that the room is set up for a veteran teacher who knows where she put everything) guess what I'm doing today? Going in to make heads or tails (or hopefully both) of the classroom.  }
Not sure how long of a stint this is going to be.  I was told "it could be days, weeks, months, or the whole year". 
I have a new person living inside of my head twising the veins on each side of it now.  Hello, Mr. Tension Headache!  Please don't take up permanent residence in my skull....go away by next week, please!!
(Of course, the heavy dental work done on the left side of my face hasn't exactly lessened the pain.)

This requires two things:
* Prayer
* Patience by my family (and within myself)

I want to do the very best job I can do, at both home and at school.  I wasn't looking for full-time work, but the need arose and I was given the opportunity.  I will share the circumstances leading to Mrs. A's temporary (or permanent? we don't know yet) departure in another post.  That also requires much prayer!!

Dear God,
You are in control.
I am not.
Help me to remember that.
Help me to treat others with kindness, patience, and compassion.
Help me to give my very best without sacrificing my sanity, stress levels, or faith in you.
Help me to cling to you like never before.
Most of all, heal Mrs. A's son and show us all Your love and glory!

I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. --Psalm 16:8

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Speaking of Creative

Paige wanted me to run outside last week and take a picture of this.

I'm so glad she did.  The multitude of colors, the sun peeking through the come we rush by and don't notice Him more often?
 So a few days later, I saw with the eyes of my children.  As I was driving up the driveway to park in the garage, I couldn't help but notice the beauty of it all.  You can't see the windmill like I did, peeking over the roof, but it really set up the trees nicely.  How lucky we are to live in a place with four seasons!

 Too bad my favorite season of all--autumn--doesn't seem to last very long.  I guess He wants us to appreciate it while it's here.  (Because this week--it snowed! and it stuck around!)
His beauty, His creative power--how can you miss it?
How manifold are your works, LORD!

In wisdom you made them all;

the earth is full of your creatures.--Psalm 104:24

Creative People

We've been studying atoms, elements, and compounds in fifth grade (that's where I'm doing another long-term substitution), and it all points to one Intellligent Designer, Creator God.  I find it fascinating and exhilarating that the inside of every single atom (be it elephant, person, or oxygen) has the same basic design.  When those atoms are arranged in different combinations, you get all sorts of different substances (molecules, elements, compounds, etc.)...but you can tell that one Creator made it all.  Just like you can usually tell an artists' work no matter what their creation (different paintings or different media), you can also look at the substances of this planet and tell that one God made it all.  Isn't that awesome??  Isn't GOD awesome??

Since the Bible tells us that God made man "in His own image" (Genesis 1:27), it's no wonder that we as people like to create--to make things--as well! 

Paige didn't create her whole scarecrow costume, but she did make up her own face.  Do you see the stitches on her nose and mouth? 
Wynne's class was assigned to hide the turkey for Thanksgiving.  This was a family project, so Paige and I helped her glue fabric and beads onto her turkey to turn it into -- guess what -- a princess!  Complete with a plume on her head and high-heeled pumps on her feet!
Ally's most recent project for life science class was to construct a 3-D model of the human cell.  She looked on Etsy for inspiration and added her own twist.  The back (cilia) is made from a car wash mitt found at the dollar store.  Ally was able to take my box of scrap felt and create something that will help her remember the parts of the cell for a long time...maybe even on her college dorm bed in the future! (?)
Shae entered a local coloring contest with her drawing of Christmas.  The left-hand side shows a cutaway view of a house's interior, as the family gets ready for the holidays. 
Of course, I am especially fond of the nativity set sitting on top of the brown dresser;)

And then guess who created this Chieftain stadium (complete with arrow in the center of the field) out of Legos?
Cy makes up uniforms for the players, but my favorite characters are the SPECTATORS.  Can you find Superman and Batman in the stands?  And check out the big red scoreboard.
Cy made a special seating area for our family in the center of the bleachers, below the pressbox (complete with speakers).  He even put his real MP3 player on top of the bleachers later to play Dad's pre-game music.  It was pretty cool!  And looky there--Yoda, Darth Vader, Indiana Jones, and Spongebob came to the game!!!
I didn't mean to give Cy more "press time" than the other kids, but there are so many details to appreciate, and this stadium is a constant work in progress.  I really get a kick out of it (no pun intended), even if it seems to have become a permanent fixture on our living room coffee table.

No wonder we all are invigorated by creating.  Last week I woke up extra-early because I was on a writing kick, finally getting a break-through moment to complete the Sunday School Christmas play.  I hadn't felt that "writer's high" for a long time........and boy, was it fun.  I miss it and hope to reclaim it again very soon! 

Thank you, God, for creating us to be creative! Each in our own way.

 I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts.
--Exodus 31:3

Thursday, November 3, 2011

GDO 2011

Girls Day Out 2011 was a wonderful time! We didn't have an amazing turnout, but 70 girls/women of all ages came and hopefully were blessed by something that afternoon. I, for one, am very grateful for all of the good people who shared the vision and chipped in to make it a great event! Laurie did these girls' hair and "make-up" for the recycled/upcycled clothing fashion show....
Laurie & Lexi

Devany, Paige & Malaina wait for the fashion show to start
while Diane worked her magic on her own little girls, including "Sara Bear"......
Hold still, honey!
....and Kate & Wynne always manage to find something to keep themselves busy.  This time it was pipe-cleaner jewelry!
Can you spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E? ;)
We had the beautiful sewing work of the ladies from Broken Hearts Ministries (Juarez, Mexico) on a table for purchase, and Joyce & Lonna were expert greeters.  See the two tablecloths I borrowed from you, Mom?  Thanks! ;)
Lonna, Joyce, Pat, & Mary
Angie & Megan served up a delicious soup-and-sandwich lunch, while Amy D. (far right) was our "emcee". Thanks ladies!!
Angie, Megan, Mandy, Shae, Laurie, Amy D
My camera battery died after this picture, so you don't get to see all of the girls in their thrift shop or handmade clothes, but it was a lot of fun and shows you that we don't need to spend a lot of $$ to put together a cute outfit!

The best part of the afternoon (for me, anyway) was the worship time we had after lunch/fashion show.  Five girls from an area high school have come together to form a pretty good little praise band.  Thank you, Living Proof!  Also, our keynoter was our church's very own Leah S., who 3 years ago was told she would never walk again after suffering paralysis from a car accident the summer before her senior year.  Leah shared how God has used this experience in her to make her a better person and to reach out and help others with her story.  Jesus truly is "The Great Recycler" and we are thankful to Him and to Leah!

The afternoon concluded with break-outs for ages 5-8, 9-12, teens on up, and women.  I led the tween (age 9-12) break-out session and put together a Bible study on Rahab.  I called it "Recycled Rahab" and had a craft (braided red t-shirts into wristbands) to help the girls remember how Rahab (who put a red cord out her window for God's protection) changed her life around, once she recognized and accepted that there is only one true God.   

All in all, it was a good afternoon and concluded with a special treat--Ally and I got to go (courtesy of our pastor) with the youth group to the Rebecca St. James concert at UW-Platteville that night.  Rebecca and her brothers and husband and friend make a great band, and she had a powerful testimony about the importance of purity and waiting for marriage..........something all of the girls AND boys needed to hear! 

What a special day! Girls Day Out could also be called God's Day Over because it was packed with reminders of how God has a plan for us and will work everything out if we trust Him to do so!

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.--Ecclesiastes 3:11