Something So Big

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday in Heaven, Daddy!

We planted a tree in your honor at our farm, Daddy!  It's a gift from our Sunday School family friends.  We know how much you love nature and all of God's Creation.  Speaking of trees, the cutting from the Engelke Homestead willow is growing up very nicely, too!
What a cute little boy you were.  I bet you didn't appreciate wearing those stockings though!  It must have been a pretty big deal to get dressed up for a studio photo.  
Ah, now this is more like it.  In your work clothes and playing on the farm!  Sure wish I knew what happened to that box car.  Cy has been wanting to build one just like it.  We'll let you know how that progresses!
I still hear how you missed about a year of high school (farming and playing "hooky") but were pretty close to being Valedictorian.  Probably shouldn't go sharing that with our kids as a motivating factor for studying;)
Have you had a chance to catch up with all your folks, brothers and sisters yet?  I bet Aunt Joyce is a little bit jealous.  She'll just have to wait her turn.  The Good Lord knows what He's doing. :)
I tried to grab a picture from each decade of your life here.  This one was taken in 1961.  Four kids and one on the way.  Just a little bit busy...
And here we were in 1971.  Farming, raising a family, going to church...I remember you taking a nap with us  kids every day after lunch.  I didn't want to fall asleep for fear of missing whatever exciting adventure was going to await us in the afternoon.  I'd wake up and dang it, you were already gone, out working in the fields.  Now I know why you took those power naps!!
The 80's.  Most of the kids grown up and out of the house...but not all of us just quite.  Grandkids starting to  enter the picture, making life even more enriching!  This picture was taken 5 years into sobriety.  So much pride, so many good times!
The early 90s.  Grandkids singing "Happy Birthday" to you...just as they will continue to do so into the years on this day.
2000.  50 years of marriage and a wagon full of blessings.
2010.  60 years of marriage and our outdoor family photo shoot was rained out.  I wasn't sure how we were all going to fit onto a wagon anyway;)
Your best friend and partner-in-crime.  She misses you dearly.  We all do!!!! (not enough exclamation points to express....)
Your life motto:  Love and Gratitude.  

Happy Birthday, Daddy!!  Love you so very very much!!

 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. "--John 5:24

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Mothering Heart

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of going to a women's event at Sinsinawa Mound with my mom, sister Julie, and her mother-in-law Florence.  We had a wonderful time, laughed, cried, ate good food, saw pretty clothes at a style show--all that good girl stuff.  Jodi Hills was the author/speaker/artist that day, and she was a delight.
Julie, Florence, and Mom
 Jodi talked about the "mothering heart" that we all have, the one that wants to take care and nurture things and people and relationships.  Pastor Mark spoke the next day about the mothering of Naomi, whose love and care for her daughters-in-law (people not related to her) was powerful enough to leave a great impact of faith and loyalty on Ruth's heart.  Whether you give birth to a child or not, if you are a woman--God gave you have a mothering heart!
It was the perfect start to a great Mother's Day weekend!  I am so blessed!

But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.--Ruth 1:16

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Another Milestone

Guess who was the first child up and out of bed yesterday morning?   Her big sister Ally very kindly offered to fix her hair.  I was sooooo grateful.  I think we've established that I am not a hair stylist.
Our new camera is just not cutting the mustard.  I tried to snap a picture of Wynne walking down the aisle to "Pomp & Circumstance" and also when the principal gave her the diploma.  Neither picture turned out worth a darn.  And look at how white/blurry these are.  Oh well; she's still cute. :)
The class of 15 kindergarteners sang a song about "Kindergarten" to the tune of "Love and Marriage"....and also did a few recitations.  Wynne's lines were "I is for Imagination, used at every turn" and "Y is for Yes! It has been a great year!"  She did not shy away from the microphone or the stage.  Surprised, aren't you?
I swear to you, I did not prompt this picture.  I looked up and there she was, holding up her certificate for all to see!

The beauty of a small town/small school is that you can request that all of your kids be released from class to watch their baby sister graduate!

Of course, Dad wanted a trade:  Pits ticklin' in exchange for your hat back!
Mrs. Muldoon taught the twins and now 3 years later, our baby.  She is expecting a baby girl herself in 2 months!
After the "ceremony" we boarded the bus (moms, some dads, and the "graduates") and tore it up in Dubuque!  We spent the morning at Eagle Point Park.......
Sydney, Wynne, and Havanah 

When did my baby get big enough to do all of the monkey bars by herself ??
If you look closely, you can see her in the background on the blue monkey bars, which add the extra challenge of having rungs that go up and down.  She and some of her friends mastered it by lunchtime!
                                                         The Potosi Class of 2024 !
After a picnic lunch (which is exciting in itself..."Look at my Pringles, everybody!  Look--we have carrots and cheese cubes!!"), we went over to Jumpin Janes.  The inflatable palace of wonder and merriment!  Two of us Moms put on our socks and joined the kids.  The Titanic is rather steep but oh so fun! 

On the ride home, shortly before they got cranky and sleepy.  It was a long, fun day!

Wynne & Rhianna


     When the kindergarten "highlight DVD" played and I heard "Let Them Be Little", of course I lost it.  This is our 5th kindergartener, and "now it's time to go to...first grade" as they sang.  It won't slow down any, I have a feeling.  
     My absolute FAVORITE part of the day was the bus ride home, when my baby climbed into my lap and fell asleep.  I wanted to freeze that moment forever and ever and ever.

But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God."  --Luke 18:16

Friday, May 25, 2012

Mother's Day Menagerie

I had an absolutely wonderful Mother's Day a few Sundays ago!  Ally made these delightful rainbow cupcakes....
...and she also put together this photo display of the kids throughout the years.  Isn't it awesome??

Each of the kidlets made me a card with their own personal, loving touches.  They and their dad gave me all sorts of treats like granola bars, Wheaties Fuel cereal, a running shirt and capris, and my very own bag of Peanut Butter M & Ms!!  Food for the Gods, an old friend used to say!!

Sunday is my favorite day of the week. (I know I've told you that before.)  After Sunday School and a lovely church service (where many thoughts of mothers and grandmothers in heaven were shared), we went over to Mark's mom's house to visit with Great-Grandma, Grandma, aunts, uncles and cousins.  The boy on the slide is the neighbor kid, and Mady Boots is at the bottom!
It was a surprise to see Doug and Paula with their girls (like lovely little Lauren here), because Paula was due to have their next baby any day.  Congratulations to their family on the arrival of Girlie #3, Payton Patricia (8 days later)!!
Springtime means BUBBLE BLOWING :) :) :)
Clockwise from lower left:  Brooke, Paige, Shae, Mady, and Lauren
Trevin showed Wynne how to race cars on his concave track!

Then it was over to Mom and Dad's (and yes, I am still calling it Mom AND Dad's because he is very much present and worked his whole life for that house).  More cousins and more food and more family.  Plus a new puppy!  Who could ask for anything more??
Payton (in cap) and Sammie have a new little guy at their house...Elliot Charles!   Of course, everyone was enamored with him.  Fuffer!!!
Grandma & Grandpa live at the bottom of a cul-de-sac, tailor-made for scooter & bike racing.  And probably chipped teeth.
I can't remember if Cy beat Gabe here, or if Gabe beat Cy.  Payton is over by Shae and had just thrown a ball at the boys, to make the race even MORE exciting.  (and cringe-worthy!!)
Whew.  Nobody hurt.  Man that was fun!!

After supper my sisters, Mom, niece Kaycie, E.C. the puppy and I walked over to the cemetery to visit Dad's final resting place.  The dirt mound fresh, the flowers fading, but the memories of it all still flooding our hearts and minds.  As we await the head stone, the reality of it all sank in deep, and the tears flooded as they often do these days.  I miss my daddy!  But I know he isn't lying in the ground there ...his soul is in a new body in heaven with all of his believer friends and family!! And he gets to see Jesus now, which is truly mind-blowing.

We looked down over the family farm, which is nearly adjacent to the cemetery.  A new Engelke family (my brother's) occupies the house now, but the legacy of Dad lives on in all of it.  His love for the promise of spring, the new calves born, the upturned soil receiving new seed, the green grass and young growth on the trees.  To cap it all off, the puppy sniffed around on Daddy's grave and laid down, as if in respect and love for  this man who loved nature and animals.  It was like he was snuggling in Dad's lap.  The exclamation point to a perfect day!

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.--2 Corinthians 9:6

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Oregon Trail

The 5th Grade States Parade was coming up, and I was kinda hoping that Cy would get the state of Louisiana, like Ally did.  ;)
Oh well; it's off to OREGON we go!  Dad helped turn the Louisiana Riverboat into a display for all things Oregonian (is that a word?).  Cy studied everything from Crater Lake to Ducks Football.
 Of course there was a Lego representation of the state on there, too.
Did you know that Nike headquarters are in Eugene, Oregon?  You probably did...but I sure didn't!  My favorite fact about the state was that it is the only one with an image on BOTH sides of its state flag.  There's the state seal on one side, and the state animal--a beaver--on the other.  Pretty nifty!

I should have taken a picture of Cy at the states parade in school.  He put on a curly wig, big glasses, and a sign around his neck that said "The author Beverly Cleary is from Oregon".  Or something like that.  I'm not sure Beverly would be impressed with her likeness.  But yay for Cy anyway!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Showdown in the Man Cave

Last month, Cy took his usual basketball challenges downstairs to the man cave.  It was a Sunday night game versus Bear Cub!!  Shake hands....
And the game has begun!
Stretching at halftime.....
Check it!

I forgot who won.  I do remember Cy getting harrassed by the fans so much that he cried a little bit.  But we aren't supposed to remember that part, because the main idea was to have FUN, right!!