Something So Big

Monday, July 22, 2013

Saying Good-bye

I know it sounds trite, but we had the BEST. DOG. EVER.  
I'll never forget picking up that little puppy on Bryant Street, the one who jumped up on the fence as we drove up, the one who I immediately knew was going to be part of our family.
Mickey, you were our practice kid.  Mark and I picked you to be a part of our family before any of the kids came along.  You never showed jealousy or one ounce of aggression toward any of the kids, or anybody else for that matter.  (Okay, squirrels, rabbits, and cats don't count!)

 My heart hurts and my eyes are burning.  It was a long night and a long day.  Thank you for giving us a chance to hold you and say good-bye!  
 It's hard to see the kids crying hard.  Hurting.  But we are so thankful for the times we had with you, for what you taught us, and for all the memories we will treasure in our hearts.  Ally made you a little poster/quote, the girls made you a garden stone, Cy gave you his football jersey, and some of the kids gave you personal notes.  Oh, and a bottle of bubbles.  We can't forget the bubbles!  Nobody could jump a vertical like you and eat up those bubbles!!
 This will be a special place to visit and talk with you, but there are so many other places that will remind us of you.  "Hotel Garage'"....the hill....the rug....the campfire...the pasture...the neighbor's...our hearts.  Like Mark said, you were a great example of how to treat others.  We thank you for that!!
I don't care what any theologian says.  Dogs are in heaven and they have souls.  Mickey, you were the smartest, most loving and toughest dog I've ever known.  I will never forget you.  You will always be a part of our family.  ALWAYS.  I love you and miss you already!

We Love You, Mickey!!

March 22, 1998 - July 22, 2013

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
    your justice like the great deep.
    You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.

--Psalm 36: 5-6

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cute Things They Say, Philosophical Version

I had the unique pleasure of spending last evening and this morning alone with our youngest.  The others were either a) at a friend's sleepover party, or b) with their dad at the all-star football game and visiting his brother's family.

On our way home from church, Wynne mentioned that a classmate in her class (a boy) was not happy about being younger than her.  He told Wynne, "Well, you're going to die before me because you're older than me!"

To make her feel better, I coyly suggested to Wynne that she respond with, "Not necessarily.  Girls have longer life spans than boys!"

Naturally this prompted a conversation about gender differences, mortality rates, etc.  Wynne asked me, "Does that mean that Daddy's going to die pretty soon?" to which I promptly responded, "No, honey!  None of us know when we're going to die.  Just because most women live longer than their husbands doesn't mean that happens EVERY time.  I might die in a car accident or something."

Wynne immediately replied, "Oh, I hope not, Mom.  I hope you just break your leg."

I smiled to myself at her matter-of-factness, but she wasn't finished.  "Breaking your leg isn't so bad.   It would be a lot worse to break your arm!"


"Because if you broke your arm, Mom, you couldn't wash the dishes or do any cooking!"

My little Archie Bunker.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

32 Years Ago

32 Years Ago, my grandma May Myers passed away.  Having 100 living descendants at the time, some of her 12 children and grandchildren decided it was important that we keep in touch and remember the Myers stories.  The Myers family reunion was born.  
Grandpa & Grandma had 12 children.  My mom is the youngest.  
Marilyn, Dorothy, Clarice, May, Bernadine, Lucille, and Jeanne; Clarice Jr. (Jupe), Dwane, Loyal, Donnie, Neal (Bub), Maynard, and Dale
Mom and Jupe are the only kids left with us.  Jupe is in Kentucky and unable to travel at this time, but his daughter Janet and son Marshall made the trip up to Wisconsin to join us.  What a treat!
Aunt Marilyn's oldest daughter Marsha sent a wonderful update on Marilyn's branch of the Myers family.  They all live in the Phoenix area.  
Mom and my cousin Don (Maynard's youngest son) holding up Marilyn's family tree

 No Myers Reunion would be complete without old stories (some true, some not so true) and JOKES!  My cousin Doug (Bub & Nancy's oldest) can make you laugh just by raising his eyebrows :)  I love it when he tells us kids about riding in the back seat on his Aunt Jeanne & Gov's first dates!
Mom surprised us all with an old newspaper article from the Platteville Journal about a 13-year-old girl from rural Livingston who saved her 4 little brothers & sisters from a house fire.  Dad's niece found the article in the lining of her dresser drawer, noticed the Myers name, and asked Mom if "C.J. Myers" was her dad.  Lo and behold, it was about Aunt Bernadine and Mom's family!  Their farm house burned down in 1931 before my mom was born...Can you imagine raising 11 kids (at the time) and having to rebuild in the middle of winter during the Depression?
It just amazes me.
And so does the awesome coincidence that my cousin on Dad's side found this article about my Mom's side....82 years later!!
 Aunt Nancy and her awesome family.....

 ...and Mom and her awesome family.  Not all of us, by any means.  But a good representation.  Dad is always with us, too :)
Later that afternoon, some or my cousins joined us back at Mom and Dad's house.  Marshall is an English professor and expert in Civil War history.  He is quite interesting to listen to!

 Cousin Suzy & Sondra drove all the way from Idaho/Colorado...amazing ladies with broad smiles and positive energy!  (Gabe, Cy, and Payton enjoy a game of pool to cool off from the summer heat...)
 It was so good to see my brother Ken that day, too.
 My cousin Ron and his wife Pam drove from California and stayed with Mom for about a week.  Ron did a great job of hosting this year's reunion.  Here he is with Tim's little (well, not-so-little!) boy Joseph!
Tim, Joseph (5 months), and Ron
 Elsie was not feeling well, so Maryellen stayed home with her.  But Mae and Addy were able to join us for a bit!
Anna Mae (2) and Adeline (3.5)
Another wonderful reunion and time shared with family across the country!

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.--1 Corinthians 13:8

4th of July Festivities

Half the fun of having a 4th of July party is making red-white-and-blue FOOD :) :)
Grandma E's very cool flag kabobs
Claire joined Ally for the morning preparation:  pretzel sparklers!
  Shae made these delicious "lofthouse" sugar cookies (with decorating help from Paige and Wynne, and the sparklers turned out fantastic!  I just love 4th of July food.  (and my waistline shows it)

Many of Mark's family were able to join us, including his mom, grandma, aunt and uncle, 4 out of 5 brothers and their families.  Of course there were athletic competitions involved;)

 The two personal trainers have to take their shirts off.  Guess which one is the Digital Native (checking phone messages)?
 Time to pull out the big tarp and make our very own Slip-n-Slide.  Great-grandma got wet, but the kids sure had fun!!
Just like old time:  Siegert-Buchheit Basketball Game.  Only this time, Ally and Cy were able to join them!

 Look - Holly and her family came over, too!  Representing the Engelke clan were my nephew's wife and kids, sister Julie and kids, and Mom.
Wynne (7), Holly (almost 4), Lauren (3), and Shae (10)
 I actually joined this competition:  grass volleyball.  As long as it's not sand volleyball, I will participate. (I don't need sand to make me any shorter than I already am!)

Grandma Jan and Lauren (1)
 Holly and her little brother Logan had extra reason to celebrate:  their daddy was in Texas, finishing his deployment in Afghanistan!  They haven't seen their dad (my nephew Mitch) since July 24, 2012.

Doug, Mark, Paige and Cy enjoying cookies.  Mickey is waiting patiently for his party food.
 The kids cleared away some brush out in the pasture (by the neighbor's cornfield) and made a fort, we are told.  It is too darn hot for me to go out and venture through the bugs/brush etc.!!
 Morning after the party:  a little sluggish with fevers.  Mady and Lauren were very sick; Shae and Wynne fell ill that week, too.
Extended 4th of July:  Greg and Marin came for a visit a few days after!
 Tage is ready for the real deal, almost;)

Marin and Brock (1)
 Kierta turned FIVE on July 10, so we gave her an outfit that matched Wynne's. Too funny -- two years difference, but not much height difference!!
Next post:  My mom's extended family reunion (the Saturday after the 4th, every other year). Lots of fun times with family!  We are blessed to live in a country where such freedoms exist!

And you shall rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the sojourner who is among you.--Deuteronomy 26:11

Dear Google Blogger,

Dear Google Blogger,

You do so many neat things on this here "internets", but Google+ is CONFUSING as all get-out!!  Ever since you changed to "plus", I have to jump through 5-10 minutes of online hoops to get to the part where I can actually create a post on my blog.  Finding my blog is hard enough, then getting to the interface where I have options to view/add post/etc is next to impossible these days.  Why did you make it more complicated?  Where did all my buttons go?  How do I get back to my  old basic brown format?  Why did I get lured into the new high-tech/picture interface format?? I want to go back to the olden days of my blog when I could find my site, find the buttons, and type away.

What am I doing wrong? Or what am I missing?  I am not a digital native (if you couldn't tell already).

Thanks for (probably not) listening,


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Kickin' it Old School

 Last week was our 9th Annual Potosi Vacation Bible School!  The theme was "Kickin' it Old School".  We had 38 staff members...
 ...and 91 kids participate!
 I kept hearing comments about how the Bible lesson were so good this year.  Doesn't surprise me, as Diane is an excellent teacher and has a gift for bringing God's Word to the kid's level.
 Carolyn does an awesome job with Arts & Crafts and is just a joy to be around.  The kids did some retro crafts such as God's eyes and cootie catchers!  (You may not know that they are called cootie catchers, but trust me -- you probably played with one back in grade school!)
 Of course, everyone loves games with Mark...especially if we all get WET!!
Our kids like to help their dad get everything set up...when there's a promise of water involved. :)
Every night a new pastor comes to town...and we were lucky to have Pastor Mark come over twice last week!  
 Family and friends night started with the traditional music program, sharing what we learned & joining together in worship.

The twins are in the oldest group (already!?) and shared a special God Rods performance to "The Old Rugged Cross".

Then it was time for FUN AND GAMES.  This year's party planner was Maryellen Warren, and wow she did a great job.  This game is "Through the Years with Your Bible".  You had to walk with a Bible on your head down a timeline of years painted on the boards.  Wynne stuck with this for several minutes until she got all the way down the board with the Good Book on her head.!

Paige and Shae had fun at the sock hop with their friends.  They wore "retro" soda pop t-shirts (7 UP and Crush) :)

Ally and Cy helped their dad with games, while I was on the organizing core team and led music.  Some of the songs were old gospel favorites, jazzed up by the Go Fish Guys:  On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand, I'll Fly Away, Shelter in a Time of Storm, I Love to Tell the Story, etc.  It was another great year!

 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.--Hebrews 13:8

Monday, July 1, 2013

My Guy

Happy Anniversary to the father of our children (really the BIGGEST KID at heart)!
 I am proud of how your humility, gratitude, and work ethic.

 I am proud of how you can take the time to make each and every one of our kids feel special.

I am proud of how you reach out to share God's love in our community.

I am proud to be your wife!  18 years and counting!
I love you, Mark!

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.--I Corinthians 13: 4-7