Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fall Is Here

It's official.  Fall is here.  Okay, I guess it isn't officially here, but all signs definitely point to fall. 

The beginning of school is an obvious sign of fall.  No more carefree days of summer, or swimming, or day trips to the zoo.  Our days are quickly filling up with activities and meetings and sports and rush, rush, rush. 

Labor Day puts one more nail in summer's coffin.  Not only has the weather taken a drastic dip to the 60's but one of our favorite end of summer activities is also done.  The County Fair.

Each year the kids look forward to the fair as one of their very favorite memories.   Of course we knew we would be making the trek to the fair this weekend, but we didn't know when we would be able to squeeze it into our already jam packed weekend.  We were up to our elbows in fall cleaning, meaning we cleaned out the entire garage and basement and then the rest of the house too.  We filled up an entire dumpster full of garbage that we amassed during our addition project plus a ton of stuff that we hung onto from the move that we have never or will never use.  We also donated a whole truck full of baby items and household goods too.  Then I cleaned up my gardens, dug up 80 bulbs that I planted in spring and moved them to the backyard.  Add to that a neighborhood ice cream social, Todd's dad's birthday, a visit to Todd's sister's new house, a million trips to the store, a couple of runs, and playing with the kids, and it was a busy weekend.  Still, we managed to find some time to hit the fair on Sunday evening. 

The skies were ominous.  As we drove the 25 minutes to get to the fairgrounds it began to downpour.  Still we pressed on and the skies cleared by the time we got there.  We did get rained on a little bit later in the evening but we hung out in one of the barns and waited as the rain quickly passed. 

Even with the rain it was a trip we were definitely glad we had made. 

Each year we make it to the fair we can't help but comment over and over again how much our little ones have grown as we watch them go on bigger and bigger rides, walk farther and farther, and get more and more adventurous. 

When I saw the pony rides I knew that was something all of our kiddos could do.  Todd was nervous and kept saying, "I think Grace is too small!  Are you gonna walk next to her?  Should I hold her?  She's gonna be scared!"  But the girl did beautifully.
And she most definitely was not scared.
After that the boys went on the teacups and spun around as fast as they could. 
Gracie had some fun flying in her very own helicopter.
After that the boys were ready to try more daring rides.  I asked Joey if he thought he was big enough to go on The Zipper with me and he happily obliged. It was so surreal sitting in The Zipper with my oldest boy.  I flashed back to 12 years ago when Todd and I sat on the very same ride on one of our first dates, and now here I was with our son on the ride with me. 

It was a moment I will never forget.  We laughed so hard together that we couldn't even make a sound.  The ride seemed to go on forever, first backward, and then forward.  My stomach was lurching and twisting, more from all the laughing than the hundreds of flips in the air.  Finally, Joey stopped laughing long enough to look at me and say, "When is this nightmare gonna end?"  And then we were laughing again.  It was great. 
Poor Tommy and Ben were so bummed that they weren't tall enough to go on The Zipper this year but I promised them that when they were tall enough we would definitely go on together.  To appease them we all went on The Tornado together.  More spinning and flying through the air.  My kids are such daredevils.  I love it. 

After that it was time for some food and then on to the animal barns. 
A highlight of the night was when the boys got to feed the baby goats.  They were thrilled!
I kinda wanted to take one of those sweet little goats home with me. They were adorable. 
After that it was onto the Ferris Wheel.  I hated it.  If it was just Todd and me I wouldn't have been so freaked out, but being in there with my four kiddos with nothing holding them in, (except for my death grip on them) in an open top, in a rocky bucket, was a nightmare.  I tell ya.  I almost had a heart attack.  Every time the boys moved or spoke too loudly I would say, "No!  Don't move!  Stop talking!"  That would just make them laugh more and then I would freak out more.  It was so scary. 
I snapped pictures while we were close to the ground but the minute we started back up I resumed my death grip.  Poor Tommy swore he was gonna have marks on his arm from me holding him so tight.  Stupid ferris wheel.  Hated it.  Give me a roller coaster or The Zipper any day over the stinking ferris wheel. 
Ferris wheel aside, it was a great night.  And even though it was 55 degrees by the time we left we got ice cream on the way out.  And it was delicious. 

The ride home was filled with excited chatter and the heater on full blast.  I urged Grace to sleep a little but she refused, insisting that she wasn't tired.  A few minutes later I turned around and saw Grace asleep so I whispered to the boys, "Quiet now boys, Grace is sleeping."  And from her sleep, with her eyes still closed, Gracie said, "I NOT seepin'!" 

We love our fair.  It was the perfect way to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall. 

This next week is proving to be especially busy with Grace's 2 year doctor check up, Ben's first day of school, Joey starting football, Tommy and Ben starting soccer, swimming lessons, work meetings at night for Todd, a meeting with a couple from church for their premarital counseling, and the start of homework projects.  Yep.  Sounds like fall is here. 


Robyn said...

I know it feels a lot like fall. Great shots at the fair. I tlooks like the kids had a blast!

Mom24 said...

Wow! I'm tired reading about it, I can imagine how you feel living it!

I'm so glad you made it to the fair, what a wonderful memory. We have never been to our county fair, it tends to be insanely hot and humid when it's going on, you've made me want to try harder next time.

Your kiddos are so brave! My kids don't really ride rides like that, though the last time we were at King's Island Jacob and I did a mini roller coaster that he loved, you brought back that memory for me. Thank you.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

This looks like so much fun! We went to a local fair over the weekend. We couldn't get JDaniel to ride a pony or pet a goat. He loved the rides though.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Oy, I can't handle ANY rides these days. It's mortifying--even the Zippin Pippin at Bay Beach made me ill.
I love purging. I bet it felt great to rid yourself of all that stuff--and all the SPACE now!

Mona said...

wow! you realize how time flies, when you see the kids growing up so beautifully!

I hate the Ferris wheel too!

Tonya said...

I love it. I hate the ferris wheel too. But I love me some roller coasters and spinning rides :)

lime said...

i love fairs. met my husband at one. looks like a great time for all of you. i'll pass on the teacups though. horf....those things make me so nauseous!

Scrappy said...

I LOVE the fair! It is even a tradition that I take my kids out of school for it every year.
I also hate the ferris wheel. Freaks me out! I love most other rides though.
Hooray for fall!

Krystyn said...

The fair always reminds me of how big they've gotten..and I wrote about the terrifying event that was the ferris wheel last year...sheer horror!

Riahli said...

Haha Kat, we went to a fair recently and I totally wanted to take this super cute baby goat home with me... I even talked to my hubby about getting a pair of little goats. He just gave me the look... :) I laughed so hard reading about your ferris wheel experience, you are braver then me, I'm pretty sure I would never be able to take my kids on one... so freaking scary. It's the worst ride ever. If it was my kids I probably would have made then cry with my death grip, and I myself would probably have a giggle fit panic attack. :p

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson