Tuesday, August 16, 2016

State Fair Time!

It's state fair time! 

I went to the state fair twice this year, which is about double what I usually do. We had fun both days- here is a quick recap!

We got the troops up early on Thursday, the first day of the fair, for the twins contest. It is the first event at the fair and requires you to be there by 8:30 to register for the 9 a.m. contest. We left our house at 7 a.m.! 

It was a very stormy morning but luckily the rain held off until we had parked and walked to the tent where the contest was. We stayed pretty dry but it was still a mess, having to stay under the tent while it poured, waiting for the contest to start. The girls got second place this year in the one year old most alike category and we were surprised. There were 11 other twins in their group and poor Brynn had gotten a big black eye the day before. I could tell the judge was looking right at them and the ones beside us (who got first) so I know it was a close race. All the twinsies were so cute, I don't know how the judges decide! I did think the girls had the cutest hair and it makes them look more alike when it is done just the same. The rest of the day at the fair lots of people stopped us to tells us how cute the girls were and to ask us if we won the contest. :o) Mostly they were little old ladies, so cute. 

After our group in the contest we grabbed breakfast Uncle Sam and Aunt Nikki at the Cattleman's tent, then got JR Donuts and coffee for me. We wandered a bit, looking at the ag building, the playground and the fun forest. 

The girls loved the baby ducks! 

We looked around in some of the barns while the girls snoozed. These cows have the same hairdo as I do after a day at the fair. Am I right or am I right? 

We took one quick spin through the varied industries building and then Michael spotted the zombie cones booth and decided to try one. This is genius marketing! 

We skipped the pork tent this year for just a pork chop on a stick and it was yummy. Michael and I shared one. So good. Our last stop of the day was for our peppermint bar at Bauders. I only took two bites of Scott's...he was reluctant to share it but they are so big and melt fast that they are hard to eat by yourself. 

The girls were getting crabby so we called it a day! 

The next day, we took my sister in law and niece to the fair while Scott was at work and the girls were with a sitter. They are from MN so we wanted to show them what the Iowa state fair was all about! 

Since I was stroller less (yay!), we parked downtown and took the shuttle. It was fun to see the Capitol Building and a bit of downtown. The shuttle is a great deal and was a fun way to get to the fair. I enjoyed not having to remember where I parked or waiting for a long time to get into the fair parking lots (or paying $10!). 

I had planned a large loop around the fair from the shuttle stop to keep us moving. Our first stop was the foods building to look at the cakes where we saw some neat ones. 

The next stop was the DNR building which I had not been to for years. Lots of fun things for kids to do and explore. 

Next up was obligatory photos on the grand concourse (where are the photopass people when you need them?) and a quick run through the fountains. 

We visited the midway but decided not to do rides there. Instead we headed to Ye Old Mill, which I had not been on for ages. 

I also promised Michael the previous day to do the trampolines so...you guessed it. We gave them a whirl also. Even Ellie tried it!

We grabbed a couple of pork chops on a stick (again, so good) for lunch and found a patch of shade to eat out of the sun. I also cannot resist a state fair lemonade, so good. 

We did a ride on the sky glider and a quick tour through the cultural and ag buildings. 

And then we found our way back to the Bauders stand for a peppermint bar! 

We had ice cream all over our faces and when we turned around, there was a family eating theirs with spoons on the table. What? 

Of course, a stop at the spin art booth was a must (thanks, mom!) where both kids did two pictures. 

One last ride on was on our list for the day: the big slide! 

After a quick funnel cake on our way back to the shuttle, we called it a day. It was definitely just the highlights of the fair but we only had about four hours to tour since travel time was an hour each way and I didn't want to leave the girls too long with the sitter. It was a really nice day and I was glad we could share it with our out of town family! 

Michael will go back to the fair later this week but I think that does it for me. Until next year, Iowa state fair! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Summer weeks 4 & 5

I'm playing a bit of catchup here to wrap up summer as I go back to work in about 10 days (eek!). I loved how I chronicled our weeks earlier in the summer and hopefully I can jot down the rest of the weeks before it leaves my brain like most of my memories these days. 

Week 4

On week four we headed out to Brenton Arboretum in Dallas Center for our Monday morning field trip. It is a fun little trip and the girls and Michael had fun exploring the play area. Michael and I did some obstacle courses and we had fun pretending to use floo powder in the big shelter fireplace to travel to Diagon Alley. Side note- we finally got the Harry Potter disc from the library on request this week and watched it about nine times. It is one hard disc to get a hold of! 

On Tuesday we did the High Trestle Trail which went smoothly. Normally it is very busy so we enjoyed the fairly empty ride on a weekday morning. We rode a little past the bridge before the girls lost it and we had to turn around. 

Most days we spent a bit of time on the deck doing play doh while I get dinner ready or to kill time until Scott gets home. The girls love being outside and our deck is a nice place where they can play and be safe. I love that it gets shady in the late afternoons. We also have been taking a walk after naptime...I can usually talk Michael into it since he can usually run into a friend and they ride their bikes around for a bit together. If you do every street, it is a little over a mile and those steps add up! 

At the end of the week (the friday before the 4th), Scott had his knee surgery. He was getting a meniscus tear repaired that had been bugging him for a while and finally was getting it taken care of. I sent the girls to daycare for the day since we didn't know what time his surgery would be until late the night before. It ended up being early in the morning, with us reporting to the surgical center at 8 a.m. Michael and I had plenty to keep us busy while we waited for about four hours during the surgery- school work, coffee, legos, a book for me even. The actual surgery was only about 45 minutes but there was time for prepping and recovery. 

I'm not going to lie-this time waiting in the surgical center was probably the most relaxing for me all summer. Not having the girls to worry about was huge. Michael did a good job entertaining himself (or enjoyed the one on one attention from me) and it was good just to relax for a bit. The rest of the weekend was a little taxing as Scott was not able to help at all with the kids but we got through it. He is now feeling 100% better and his knee is better than ever so I am looking forward to no more complaints from him! 

Week five

The Monday of week five was the 4th of July which I already blogged about: we did fireworks at our house plus we laid low since Scott was recovering from his surgery. 

On Tuesday, we rode the trestle again but this time we started in Slater and rode towards Madrid. I had never done this leg before and it was a good ride. Michael's favorite part was playing at a new to him park at the trailhead. We also rode the most miles yet on this ride-8! 

I enjoyed my Thursday mom day this week, wandering around Target & the mall gathering things for our Mexico trip. It was so fun to pick out special little new things like sandals, jewelry and books for reading. Side note- I did read all these and enjoyed especially Dark Places and the House Girl. The Vacationers was really fluffy and I can't believe I spent time reading it but hey, what else did I have to do? 

Michael's prizes for the summer reading program! He's been working hard all summer and I think he has actually improved in his reading. Yay for parental badgering. 

I played at our annual municipal band festival on the second Saturday in July which included selections from the Lion King. I loved playing the piece and it was stocked full of fun solos and it was so fun to play. The Lion King is one of my favorite musicals and it was a highlight of the summer for me! I even got the feels during rehearsal...something that is rare indeed. I was happy that I had a break in between performances so I could enjoy pie and ice cream at the festival and also that my parents came for the concert. It was a beautiful night in the park. 

We ended week 5 with my niece's baptism, which I already blogged about. It was a busy day wrangling all the children but still very, very good. We are so blessed to have Isla in our family! 

I think that wraps it up for weeks 4 & 5! Thanks for stopping by! 

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