Saturday, July 31, 2010

Project 365 ~ Weeks 30 & 31

Wow, I can't believe 2 whole weeks has gone by since I posted anything. So much for my plan to post daily pictures at the fair. lol  Ok, that's my new goal for the state fair. I promise I'll try...I really will!

My main reason for not getting pictures posted daily was that it turned out to be a rough fair for me. The weather just did not cooperate. It was hot and humid, and we had storms several nights in a row (all super hard on FMS). I spent much of the time in bed in the camper. :-/

Anyhow, here's what we've been up to the past couple of weeks (be prepared for a LOT of pictures):

Sunday -  7/18

I made a gluten free lasagna that was YUMALICIOUS! I'm not a big fan of cooked spinach, but it added such a great flavor and I loved it. I put the leftovers in baggies and froze them to eat at the fair.

Monday - 7/19 --- OFF TO THE FAIR!

Today Austin had his tractor judged at the fair (he's pictured with it and the judges). I can't tell you how proud I am of this kid and the awesome job he did on his tractor. He put so many hours over the past year into rebuilding the engine and fully restoring the body. His hard work paid off. He received a purple ribbon, which is the highest you can get. They awarded a plaque to the top point getter, and the judges said there was less than 10 points between the top 5 guys, and Austin was told by his FFA adviser that he was one of the five. He was the only sophomore in that group.

Tuesday - 7/20

Tonight was the county fair parade, which signals the official start of the fair. Ashley & Chelsea rode their horses as members of the local saddle club.

Here's Ashley on her horse "Max".

And Chelsea is on her horse "Doc".

The county fair queen contestants ride in the parades in convertibles. Austin drove the convertible for his cousin Cassie who is competing.

 Wednesday - 7/21

Tonight was the county fair queen contest. Unfortunately Cassie didn't win, but she looked beautiful, and did a great job. We're really proud of her!

Thursday - 7/22

No picture today. :( I had a bad night, so I went home the night before and was in bed all day. I returned Friday afternoon. I hated missing any of the fair.

Friday - 7/23

I don't remember who it was, but someone asked how we wash the pigs. Well, here ya go...This first picture is Jay who is rinsing Austin's pigs while Austin cleans out their pen. It was super hot all week, so the kids/parents all took turns walking their pigs to the wash racks to cool them down several times a day.

This 2nd picture is a picture of Austin's girlfriend. The kids use shampoo on their pigs and strong bristled brushes. For the most part, the pigs stand there and give happy little grunts. It must feel good I guess. Once they are done getting them all scrubbed clean, they rinse them good and put them back in their pens.

 Saturday - 7/24

HOG SHOW! Today is the big day for us and the kids. I'll do a separate post to explain how the show goes (for you city slickers lol), but here's a picture of each of the kids. This first one is of Austin. The show stick he is holding is used as a way to guide your pig your pig in the direction you want it to go.

Ashley won the graduate class for showmanship, and overall senior showmanship!

 Chelsea had a great day also. One of her pigs won champion middle weight gilt (girl pig), grand champion gilt (over all gilts and all weights), and then reserve grand champion pig overall.

 Sunday - 7/25

Today the "Parade of Champions" was held. Anyone that won a trophy during the week got to bring their trophy(ies) into the show arena along with their winning animal, so fairgoers could see all the winners. Their names are announced and they announce what they won. People usually have someone else carry their trophy(ies). This first picture is of Chelsea.

And here is Ashley in the "Parade of Champions".

After that was the Supreme Showmanship Competition. Anyone that won Senior showmanship with their animal competes. They set up the arena with 8 stations, one for each species of animal exhibited at our fair (and it's usually the winning animal that is used). Competitors go from station to station and basically do an abbreviated form of showmanship, and they answer questions about that species. The top points getter is named "Supreme Showman" and they get a traveling trophy. Since Ashley won with her pig, she got to compete.

Here is Ashley at the swine station answering question on the different cuts of a pig.

Next was the poultry station. Getting the chickens out of the cages can be tricky!

Next was the dog obedience station.

Then she moved on to the rabbit station  (she used to show rabbits and won showmanship with her rabbit once, so that was helpful for her)

After that she moved on to the horse station. Here she is trying to get the horse to set up with all four hooves lined up.

That was followed by the goat station. The goat didn't seem too happy to have to be there. lol

Then she moved on to the beef station. Unfortunately the cow must have not liked blondes because she wouldn't even let Ashley near her. Here Ashley is trying to tell the cow who is supposed to be boss, which got a chuckle from the crowd.

Since that didn't work, the handler instead just judged her on her knowledge of beef. That cow really didn't like her. lol

The last station was the sheep station.

Unfortunately she didn't win (although we did hear that she came in 2nd by only 6pts, but that can't be confirmed). Chelsea won last year, and the winner from the previous year passes on the trophy to the new winner, which just happened to be our newly crowned fair queen.

Monday - 7/26

Today is the last day of the fair. It's the day of the livestock auction. Any animal that can be used for meat can be put on the auction. The pigs will go to market and get market price. At the auction, area businesses or indiviuals bid and buy them. They still go to market, but the auction price is higher than market price. Basically it's just a nice thing businesses do for the kids to recognize all their hard work.

The order of pictures is Chelsea, Ashley and then Austin

Tuesday - 7/27

We're  home from the fair. After a long and eventful week, I enjoyed a nice long relaxing soak in the hot tub today. 

Wednesday - 7/28

Our other farm cat had her 4 kittens and the two mothers started a coop. They actually moved all their kittens together into an old tub in the corner of the garage and they take turns nursing them all.  We were going to move them into a box with an old towel under them, but both mothers (who are very tame) hiss at us when we even try to get near the babies.

Thursday - 7/29

This evening we moved Chelsea into her new apartment. She was tired of all the roommate drama, so she is now in a really nice little one bedroom. This was the group asking Chelsea where to put everything.

Friday - 7/30

We had a storm come through this morning. This picture was actually taken around 9:00 in the morning. It was dark enough that our yard security light came on.

Saturday - 7/31

This is one of my favorite pictures of the week. We did a little shopping in the city where Ashley goes to school, so she met up with us. She wanted to look at a shirt, but couldn't find one of those hooks, so she used my cane instead. She got a lot of looks as she did it, and we were both cracking up. But it worked! lol

Whew! There you have it. A very busy 2 weeks. We now have about 10 more days before we go to the state fair next. Can't wait!

See more pictures as Sara's. Use the link in the sidebar!


Debi said...

Yay - you finally posted! :) Ok, first - can ya' pass your sis the lasagna recipe? Looks and sounds healthy and yummy! :) Also - what store is that that Ashley is in? I like those tops! :)

sara said...

this was so great!!! I loved reading about the fair....I have always grown up in the city. We went to the state fair in our town but never saw this side of it. thanks for documenting and sharing!

Dena said...

I'll be sure to post the recipe. :)

Ashley is in the Buckle (her favorite store). The tops are really cute, but very thin (almost partly sheer) and meant for layering over other tops. When it's this hot, I want less layers, not more. lol

Elizabeth said...

I love your details about the fair... I am a country girl at heart but really dont know much and I have never attended a fair like that... Hope to make a trip to the GA State Fair someday!

RaD said...

Congrats to your kids on all they achieved at the fair. It looks like so much fun and hard work. I remember fair days, although I was never a part of it all I just watched a lot of it because I had friends who were.

McCrakensx4 said...

I am such a city girl but I loved hearing and seeing all that went on at the fair. So much fun and congrats to them all for doing such a great job! Busy weeks...hope you get a chance to catch your breath after all of that fun.

Joyce said...

I learn so much about farm life and the fair. You are really country. We had cows and chickens growing up..but nothing like you all do. We named our cow Lashes... then mom lied to us when it was butchering time and said we were not eating Lashes. How do your kids do it with the pigs? Don't they get attached?

Dena said...

Joyce, the first year our girls showed was hard for them. They knew upfront that they had to go to market right from the fair (required), but knowing it was over was still hard for 10yr olds. Then when we had ham one night we told them it was one of their pigs, and we went on and on about how good it was, and that it meant they did such a great job raising it, and they beamed and couldn't wait for the next year. Our son has been helping since he was little, so it's never been an issue with him. The money they get from showing and selling their pigs has always gone to their college funds, so they appreciate that too. :)

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Oh my stars!

I shared with some friends the other day that I am becoming obsessed with living the farm life these days. All I seem to want to do is raise chicken in my back yard, the HOA covenant folks would have a field day with that on I am sure.

Loved all the county fair pictures. It looked like too much fun!


Tori said...

I love your recap of the fair! As a "city" girl who thinks of rides and food at the fair, this was great. And thank you for showing the washing of the pigs. I was so curious!! It must feel good to them. Do they shake the water off at all, like a dog?
Congrats to all of the kids on their accomplishments, you have every reason to be proud!! And, maybe for state fair you should pack a brunette wig in case another stubborn cow comes along!!
Have a super week!!

Dena said...

Before having children, I thought of just the food and rides at a State Fair. There is literally many new things going on every single day...and the free concerts are AMAZING!

Yes the pigs do shake off the water, however they get you much more wet than a dog does. LOL

Thankfully, Ashley won't have to worry about trying to show a cow at the state fair, so the wig shouldn't be necessary. (too funny!)

Lori @ The Davidson Den said...

Whoa! After all. that. fair. you mean there's still more fair to come?! I am blown away by all the activity, all the competition, all the awards! Only thing missing was your prize-winning peach preserves or something like that!! LOL! Sorry you had to miss part of the fun. But congrats to your kiddos. I'm especially impressed with Austin's tractor. It really says a lot about his work ethic.

Loved all the pictures!!!! Thanks for sharing a glimpse into a very different world than the one I come from. It was inspiring!