Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pictures for the fair-decision time

It's that time again. The fair is fast approaching and decisions must be made. It's very late and I need to go to bed, but first I need your help deciding on which photos will be entered this year in the fair. I can only enter five. The photos I have posted are at a lower resolution for ease of posting, the real ones will look better. Please let me know which ones you like best! Here are the choices:

For portrait-one person, posed or unposed (or something like that) we have the following contenders:
Kate eating an ice cream cone (Ben and Macy's favorite)

Eleanor with a pine cone bird feeder (Trent's favorite)

And a late contender, Eleanor eating a Slurpee.

No decisions here. I'm entering this one in portrait-two or more people. I'm pretty sure I will enter this one unless I take a better picture between now and the fair. I like it. The judges may not, but I do, so I'm entering it.

Next we have some strawberries. Like it. Entering it.

Next we have another choice. If I decide to enter a picture in the animal category do I go with:
Cuttlefish. One of my favorite animals.
Jellyfish (Ben and Trent's favorite choice).

Panda. (Macy's favorite)

Or do I not enter anything in the animal category and go with this Praying Mantis:
View one
Or View Two

Or here we have a photo from last year's fair:
This would be entered in "Photo from 2008 fair."

So I'm definitely entering a one person portrait-but which one? Definitely entering two or more person portrait. Definitely entering strawberries.

Then comes the hard/confusing/whatever part. Do I enter one animal photo (which one) and the praying mantis one (again which one)? Or one animal and tractors at the fair? Or praying mantis and tractors?

Decisions, decisions, decisions. I need to go to bed, but feel free to comment and let me know what you think!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

EAT MOR CHIKIN or There really is such a thing as a free lunch!

Did I really get my children to dress up like cows for Cow Appreciation Day to get some free food at Chik-fil-A?

Yes I did!

Eleanor had a great time.

Claire enjoyed the adventure.

Macy not so much. Just kidding. She had fun. So did Ben. Were they embarrassed? Yes, they were, but they will look back on this day with fond memories. Or not. :)

Kate enjoyed her first taste of a Chik-fil-A nugget.

Kate just wants you to know that I dressed up too. The owner of the Chik-fil-A can vouch for me!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Dutch Wonderland, Camping and a Skunk

Three summers ago, Trent went on a business trip to Germany. Being the crazy mom that I am, I took my then four children to Lancaster, Pennsylvania:
to see Thomas the Tank Engine:
and to visit Dutch Wonderland:
We had so much fun, that it has become an annual summer tradition. Although we haven't visited Thomas the last couple of summers, we have continued to visit Dutch Wonderland:
I love Dutch Wonderland. It's a small amusement park right in the town of Lancaster. Parking is free, all the rides are geared for children 12 and under and it's one of the few places where the size of our family is not unusual.

This year was a little different in that we decided to camp during our visit instead of staying in a hotel. We had to take two cars to fit all our camping gear, but it was so worth it. We saved a ton of money and the weather was perfect. We stayed at the Old Mill Stream Campground which is on the grounds of Dutch Wonderland. It was great! Our campsite couldn't have been more perfect. We were right by the playground where the kids enjoyed playing:
Across the river was a real farm with a real Amish Farmer:
And right next door is Dutch Wonderland! This was perfect for many reasons. First we could wake up and eat a healthy breakfast of scrambled Eggs, bacon and French toast:
with Nutella, of course:
Then we could just walk right over to the park, but not before capturing this moment with our new friend Luke:
What, you don't see Luke? Look a little closer:
See him now? He is five, hasn't started Kindergarten yet and is wearing a shirt that says "Pull my finger." He would come over whenever we came back for a meal or a rest begging us to take him with us. He wasn't sure what Dutch Wonderland was and didn't seem to understand we were right next to it (apparently the large roller coaster right next door was not something he noticed), but he definitely wanted to go. He happily made himself part of our family by popping into our pictures that were taken while using the automatic shutter feature.

After a fun morning of crossing floating bridges:
getting our picture taken with a large dragon:and a large pretzel:Driving choo choo trains:and embarrassing my children:
We came back to our campsite for a little lunch:
It was back to the park for more fun! Milking plastic cows:driving cars:riding sky rides:and visiting some Amish relatives. The resemblance is uncanny!
After dinner (back at the campsite) and a few more hours back at the park, we were ready to relax with a nice campfire and some yummy smores. Don't worry, Luke is there ready and willing to help us eat those smores. First he would like to know what a smore is.One of the things Trent and I liked the best about this campsite is that it's right in the middle of town, but feels like you are out in the country. I commented that I liked the fact that we didn't have to worry about bears. Maybe because of this comment, or maybe because we were tired after a long day, Trent and I failed to remember to put our garbage sack in the car. Around 2:00 am, I woke up and Trent says, "There's a skunk getting into our trash!" After a few tense moments, it finally wandered off without making too much of a mess. Luckily Trent did not barge out there like he first wanted to do when he thought it was a dog. Now that would have made the trip memorable!

The next day we packed up our campsite, but we weren't finished yet. We were in railroad country after all! A quick trip to the railroad museum:

where I made Claire work hard shoveling coal:
was followed by lunch surrounded by more Amish farmland:Before driving home, we made a stop at the ever popular Choo Choo barn.

Despite making everyone wearing matching shirts, the kids once again had a wonderful time. If you don't believe me, just ask them: