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Archive for September, 2013

2013 State Fair

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This past weekend, we took the Prairie Family kids to the State Fair.  Even though it was HOT (Upper 90’s!), we had a wonderful time.  Our visit also coincided with the Marching Band Day and the Dollar Day when all rides are one dollar, so needless to say, the place was packed and busy.

You never know what you will see at a fair, and this one was no exception.  While we were visiting the poultry barn, the fire alarms started going off, and everyone was escorted out of the building.  I joked around that if they didn’t get the fire out soon enough, there’d be fried chicken for supper!  My kids didn’t think that was very funny….  Anyway, we went by there later in the day, and everything seemed fine, so I guess it must not have been too big of a deal.

One of the highlights of our day was when we walked by a table where a group was making free personalized horseshoes.  They told us that they’d make shoes for all of the kids if we’d sit and listen to them explain John 3:16.  Of course, we didn’t have a problem with that!  I’ll tell you what, it was kind of cool having this group sit down and share the Gospel with us.  It was kind of humbling too–how often do I take the time to share the great news of salvation with others?  Not often enough.  So, we listened to their presentation, and then we told them that we are fellow believers who greatly appreciate what they are doing.  There is always a bond with others in the family, even those we have never met before.  The kids all love their horseshoes, and they are hanging in prominent places by their school desks.

Like I said earlier, it was Band Day at the fair.  We sat and listened to several jr. high and high school bands perform, and that was a wonderful break from walking around in the heat!

After we spent the morning looking at the exhibits, the kids wanted to ride the carnival rides.  Dollar Day is a great time to do this!  Wow–all of the rides were one ticket, so they were able to ride as much as they wanted to and we still did not use up all of the tickets that came in our family ticket packet!  We were delighted to have several tickets left that we handed to other families as we left the fair.

John is our wild-ride guy.  That might come as a surprise to most people who know that John is our serious, reserved oldest son.  When it comes to rides, though, he goes all out!  He looks up information about all of the rides on the internet and knows exactly which ones he wants to try in advance, and he never scares himself out of doing it!  Nope, once he has decided, there is no turning back!  LOL!  This year, he really wanted to try a Gravitron-type ride.  That is really not my cup of tea–just watching that thing spin around scares me to death!  Not John!  He actually convinced Cosette, Luke, and Kara to ride with him!  And, believe it or not, they all liked it!  Who would have thought?!  My craziest ride was the Ferris Wheel.  I normally like those, but this particular day was very windy, and by the time we got to the top with the wind blowing the gondola around, I was ready to get off!  🙂

So, we had a very good time.  We don’t do things like this very often, but when we do, we cherish every moment.

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Adopt a Tree Luke

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This year we again participated in one of our favorite end-of-summer activities:  the annual Youth Outdoor Skills Day put on by the wildlife and parks department.  This is such a great event, and I am always astounded what the kids get to do for free each year.

There were five stations this year:  Orienteering, Muzzle Loading, Shotguns/Air Rifles, Trapping, and Archery.  This was the second year in a row for the orienteering, and this year I actually GOT IT!  For me it was kind of a gradual thing, but I can say that I really do understand using that crazy map and compass.  I don’t know if I could explain it to anyone else or not, but I was able to get it figured out that day at least!  LOL!

We were glad that they brought air rifles for some of the younger kids to shoot while the older ones shot clay pigeons with shot guns.  Those big guns are just too big and heavy for the younger kids–they literally get thrown around by them.  So this year a very kind gentleman took the younger kids aside to shoot targets with air rifles.  He even had a handgun that they got to try.  John and Brock enjoyed the shotguns–and they hit quite a few clay pigeons too.  Each year gets a little better.  Kara, Luke, and Cosette enjoyed the air rifles and had fun trying to knock around some pop cans.

We are always taken with the trapping sessions.  Trapping is just not something that you hear about every day–around here at least.  I guess there are some people who do it, and they can make money when they know what they are doing.  It really is interesting–I don’t know how you’d ever go about getting started doing something like that though!

The kids have always enjoyed messing around with archery.  The instructors this year were very hands-on and gave the kids a lot of attention and advice.

We only had one problem:  ALLERGIES!  Boy, something out in that field got our allergies stirred up.  The sad thing is, though, that it hasn’t stopped since!  Everyone is sneezing, coughing, wiping eyes, etc.  John says he can’t wait for the cold temperatures to come and wipe out whatever has gotten us all stirred up!

It was a very fun day, all-in-all.  It’s great to be able to go out and do these things from time-to-time in a safe and controlled situation.

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