Monday, September 30, 2013

And the blue ribbon goes to.....

     One of the things I most looked forward to when we bought our little homestead in the country was the possibility of going to the county fair. I know it may sound silly or old fashioned but I don't care. I couldn't wait to see the livestock, maybe buy an animal or two, enter crafts and goodies into the fair, and appreciate a REAL country type of fair. I have been to county fairs before, in the city, but it is just not the same feel. They are usually so crowded, as everyone is there just to go on the rides. Lines are long, and no one is really all that interested in "the stuff in the buildings". (Or at least I know I wasn't as a kid! lol)
     So when the summer activities were beginning to die down I was on the lookout for signs to tell me when and where the fair would be. Boy was I excited when my wonderful Hubby came home one day with a surprise... he brought me the fair book! (Yes, I do find that as an adult I get excited by some of the most domestic of things. Does that make me more mature? I doubt it. But its a nice thought anyway) I immediately began leafing through it with the boys. (who admittedly were not as excited as I, but faked it pretty well because they love their Mama) and shouting out all the things we could enter, all the exciting contests, events, and featured vendors. Seriously, I thought I was gonna pee my pants!
     We went through the entry booklet 1 item at a time and decided if we wanted to work on something like that, highlighting as we went. It was a HUGE boost of self esteem when we got to the baking section and my kiddos immediately piped up asking if they could make and enter some of their favorite recipes of mine as their own. They got so excited at the idea of the lego contest as well and dreamt up all sorts of creations to enter. Ginny wanted to enter in a coloring contest. There was even an entry category for something made of recycled materials. (We are pretty good at that around here!)
     So, needless to say, for the past month or so the kiddos and I have been putting together crafts, favorite recipes, and lego creations to enter in the Chowan county fair. We dropped them all off last Sunday and prayed that ours would be chosen for blue ribbons. It was so great to see the pride on their faces as they presented all of their hard work to the lady at registration, and she handed them off to be tagged and sorted on the different tables. I explained to the kiddos that while it is a competition, it is okay not to win. We should appreciate ALL the entries, not just our own. We had never done a fair before and it is was possible we wouldn't win anything! We would chalk it up as a learning experience, and try again next year, if they wanted to. We all went home full of excitement and anticipation. It was a long couple of days before we went to the fair to view the winners.
     The next day however, we received a phone call. Ginny had won the coloring contest and earned 2 free tickets to the fair! How exciting! I was so pumped, that I couldn't wait to tell her. She was sitting on the toilet and I ran in and told her. The conversation went like this:

Me: Guess what Ginny? You won the coloring contest at the fair!
Ginny: I DID?!?!? Really?!?!
Me: Yep! Isnt that awesome?
Ginny (screaming) YEAH!!!! (now talking quietly) But, I have to go to the bathroom now....

     So that was pretty cool and a great encouragement to the kiddos that we really could win SOMETHING!

     Fast forward to Wednesday.... Hubby took the day off work so we could go to the fair from 10 - noon. It was kids day. (all the kiddos in the county from kindergarten through second grade go on a field trip to the fair! Lots of parents attended too. Super cool idea....super crowded though) We stayed for that 2 hour window and then came back in the evening when the gates opened to the public. Trevor went on incredibly dizzying rides (to the point that I felt I must be a bad parent to let him continue),

Tempe (who hates ANY ride that moves on its own) fell in love with the ferris wheel and super slide (oh, and the food! Its safe to say that child gets her love of fair food from her mother!),

Sebastian loved a particular dizzying ride (the Sizzler) and went on it approximately 9 times. He also befriended a llama, participated in a coloring contest and got a cool pirate hat in a ring toss game that the whole family played together.

Ginny was in love with the fair and the fact that she was tall enough to go on just about any ride she wanted, she fed animals, played games, and posed with wooden sculptures.

Lotte, cuddled in the Moby with me happily and without complaint,

and Chaz enjoyed getting to be a kid with the kids. He played the games, ate the food, fed the animals at the petting zoo, went through the fun houses, and most of all... rode the rides (one in particular, (zero gravity) that he went on with all 3 older kiddos and then wished afterwards he had not ridden)

     It was a really good time and sufficiently wore us all out. And here is the part I am sure you were waiting for.... What did we win?
Ginny won 1st place for her Ginger Cinnamon Cookies, and 2nd place for her painted gourd! Don't forget about her blue ribbon in the coloring contest entry earlier!

Trevor won 2nd place for his robot made of recycled items. You cant see it very well but he used jeans for his facial features. There are buttons for the eyes, a zipper pull for the nose, and a zipper for the mouth!
 He won 2nd prize for his rainbow painted gourd

 And 1st prize for his peanut butter cookies

 He got a participation ribbon for his lego truck. It was pretty neat but there was some really stiff competition!
Sebastian won 1st prize for his Chocolate Chip cookies
 1st prize for his Reese's Pieces cookies
A participation ribbon for his lego restaurant. He had tables, dishes, different types of people. It was super cool!

He won 1st place for his area rug that he wove on a hula hoop using recycled t-shirts. We learned about this project here.
And then a participation ribbon for his mixed media art. He used cotton balls for the clouds. Pretty cute!

I won 2nd place for my Snickers cookies

2nd place for my Zucchini Apple Bread
 1st prize for my Potato Bread

 1st prize for the knitted chicken stuffed animal I made for Sebastian

1st prize for the circular sweater I made for Tempe
 1st prize for my corn cob baby Halloween costume. Its not the best picture of it. But it is super cute I promise!

 3rd prize for my Cinnamon Apples
1st prize for my Pickled Watermelon Rind

 1st prize for my Dehydrated Apples
 1st prize for my Dehydrated Borage
and 1st prize for my Pulled Pork
     Along with our beautiful new ribbons, we received cash as well! Ginny won $7, Trevor won $11 (which he immediately spent on Yu-gi-oh cards), Sebastian won $15, and I won $48! 
      Can you tell we had a great time? We had so much fun at the fair and the weeks leading up to it that we are already planning what we will do next year! The kiddos really want to enter some of our animals.
     Do you have a county fair that you just love? Have you ever entered anything? Tell me about it...

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