Something So Big

Saturday, December 28, 2013

South Dakota Trip Day 4 Part 1: Little Elk Canyon

What's better than a couple mile hike?
Nothing of course, especially when you get to go through the South Dakota canyons!
Here we are setting off on our little journey. The trail was less than a mile away from our homestead, and very serene; peaceful. We didn't see any one else on the trail either, so pretty private too!
Walking through the entrance way. So far pretty much the typical trail...similar to the ones back home in Wisconsin. 

Wynne tagging along in the back, and right next to the first rock wall. As you can see they were very tall/big. Cool thing is that this one's nothing compared to what we did see!

What's this??!! Do our eyes deceive us?!! Does that say "Potosi"?! We know where that is! All the younger ones had their mouth's open...."No way!" Of course they may not have remembered that Cy and Dad (Mark) and gone out earlier to check out if the trail was worth it or not. ;)

They can't get up there...Right?!
Very beautiful by the way.

Don't underestimate the little climbers we have in our family...We all managed a way!
Mom isn't in this picture but down below, taking it. She would come up after though to help Wynne get back down! Pretty cool, even have our names all put up there now. Have to come back soon so we can see if they are still there...
**Hint, Hint...Mom & Dad!**

Again very big...but not close to some of the things coming up!

Getting our names on the rock with some ashes laying around!

What the trail looked like from the crevice above!

Shae maneuvering her way back down! (Mom & Dad call both the twins "Monkey's")

Me (Ally) enjoying the trip, and not really appreciating all the pictures Mom is taking. It's all good though we need something to remember the trip besides are minds!
(Shae in the background)

Wynne by her decked out name!

Next what this "cooler-by-the-minute" trail had to offer us was a beautiful spring. It was very nice to kick off our shoes and feel the cool water after some hiking.

Very exceptional place for some good pictures! Here I am next to one of it's waterfalls.

Kids and Dad climbing around on the huge boulders. Got to get to the next part of the spring or maybe it was a river, I can't really remember...something that I would have to ask Mom!
The crystal clear water running down/through the rocks.
Kids exploring some more, the water right next to Dad was probably the deepest part there...maybe 2 feet deep.
Just amazing how clear the water was, and how perfect the setting was all around us!
Wynne and Paige trying to find the very end of the stream. Maybe we should just walk through the water instead of the the pioneers would have done!
Cy, Ally, and Shae enjoying what the water has to offer.
Paige getting a quick shot done. Very green as you can see!
And here is the Siegert Kids all lounging on the warm boulders...was everyone looking?
Getting off, and heading on...the trail could only get better right?!
The colors in the rock were magnificent, especially with all the greenery surrounding it!
Wait what's that!! That tan thing out there!

A deer!! Hey, we know what those are! Kinda cool to see it out on a trail though, and not dashing in front of our vehicle!
What's ahead for the Siegert family, isn't it gorgeous!
The whole family marching on with our sturdy sticks that we got back at the house.
Cy fixing his walking stick...or maybe soon to be spear...oh no!
Paige looking out at the water (that pretty much followed us the whole time on the trail) and seeing a rope to swing on. A couple of them tried it out!
Still marching on in the canyon...with the rocks just surrounding us.
Now that's a big rock! Wynnie posing with her taller-than-her stick!
Huge, and colorful...very similar to Needles Highway only now we are out and can touch em'! Remember that Mom?!
Looking up at one of the many formation in the canyon.  Pictures don't do it justice!

A coneflower growing in between the rocks.
Here come's the "tougher" part of the trail. Really rocky, and kind of steep.
Next stopping point: The Watering Hole. This is probably where the deepest of the water was. All of us kids wanted to come back and swim later...didn't exactly work out though. You can see Paige and Shae looking for something. Everyone was looking for Wynne's new bracelet (that she got at Crazyhorse, all the girls did), unfortunately the bracelet was not found. Another reason to go back Mom and Dad, so we can find it!
The water still running strong and clear through the many rocks! So is Dad!
Some kind of plant, that I personally thought looked like bamboo. Why would that being growing out west though?! In this area this is also were Cy and Dad found a little campsite, in the forest. We wanted to come back to use it...but didn't have the time. Another reason to come back!
The height and the many colors of the rock walls around us!
Very cool!
And of course Mother Nature had to come out and surprise us with some rain. And with some I mean A LOT. Here I am trying to hurry on to the next stopping point. Hopefully we can find a cave somewhere or something!
Very dangerous, yet still very fun. Unfortunately all the girls turned around and headed back to the house...we had walked around 3 miles already, but still weren't anywhere close to the lake that was supposed to be at the end. Mom forgot the potatoes were in the oven, so that was another reason to get back (besides the humongous amount of rain.) Dad and Cy went on, and came back eventually (which means a couple hours later.) They did get to the lake and said it was very cool, but that the rain kind of stopped them really searching about it more. Overall we loved the little canyon (or should I say big canyon) that Little Elk had to offer us! Very, very cool!

THIS POST WAS DONE BY: Ally Siegert (Amy's eldest daughter) 
Hope you enjoyed reading and seeing the neat pictures!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Sights and Sounds of the Season

Christmastime is here when you start rehearsing for the Sunday School Christmas Program!
This year we had a shepherd family learning about the ways that shepherds have been important throughout Bible history.  By the time Jesus was born, shepherds were looked down upon, but God looks inside of our hearts and doesn't care what we look like or what we do for a living.  His Promise is for EVERYONE!
 Shae was one of the shepherd daughters... was Paige.  Both girls also served as narrators to tell the story of shepherds throughout history (like Joseph's family, Moses, and David).
 Mom brag:  our 4 oldest kids played their instruments together on "The Little Drummer Boy", arranged by our school band teacher.  It was cool to hear them come together like that!
 Wynne danced by herself to "The Sugar Plum Fairy" ...and all of the kids danced to "Every Good Thing"!  It was a great way to worship the Lord and get ready for Jesus' birth!
This week was concert week at school.  The handsome percussion player in the back of the middle school band is...
 ...none other than Cy!  He was really nervous for his debut as a drummer.  We think he did GREAT!
 Cy switched from trombone to percussion this year and has made great strides in only 4 months.
 The high school band isn't quite as big, they make a nice strong sound!
 Ally leads the trumpet section and is already working on a Class A solo for solo and ensemble competition.  Being a trumpet player myself, I can appreciate the pure tone and good air flow she has.
 The middle/high school bands combined for one last Christmas tune.  Great job, everyone!
 Two nights later, it was time for the elementary concert.  Shae told me that she was a little sad because it was her last elementary Christmas concert!  Oh my goodness...look at our big fifth graders!!  This class has a lot of strong singers...
 ...and there are also 14 of them in the band!  They played a Christmas medley and showed great improvement from even Halloweentime when they played "Shark Attack".  They finished on a great note, which is always nice to hear:)
 Paige (in white sweater) is the only clarinet and boy, you could hear her!
 Shae is one of 2 very good French horn players.  I  know I sound biased, but I am impressed with how these girls sound on their horns.  It's one of the most difficult instruments to play!
 The 2nd and 3rd graders, along with the new children's choir, combined for a few really nice songs.  See if you can pick out Wynne.
 There she is!  It was difficult to get a good picture of her because she kept twirling around when she was singing.
 The second graders are so. darn. cute.  Except when I have them in the library on Thursday afternoons for class. !!! A few livewires like to run and play when they're supposed to be finding books or reading ;)
 Oh my goodness!  Look who's here!!!  Some little boys and girls were jumping up and down with excitement.... better be good, for goodness' sake!!!
Grandpa Donny and Uncle Jamey surprised us by driving all the way down (with freezing rain coming) to see the girls.  Jamey presented the girls with red roses, even!  What lucky little girls.  Christmastime is such a magical time of the year!

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,  "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." -- Luke 2: 9-14