Sunday, September 13, 2015

Washington State Fair

Until this week I had an illusion that the beginning of the school year would mean the pace of life would slow down to accommodate school work.  The reality is that we are fitting just as many activities in, but now we ave added school work into the daily mix, making life really crazy.

If I want to slow things down, I should stop listening to Jared.  He reads every piece of mail we receive, as well as signs posted at the library and in store windows, and then he apprises me of which community events we cannot miss.  Last Friday was children's day at the Juanita farmer's market.  I would have lived blissfully unaware of this important event, whatever it was supposed to be, but Jared insisted that we find out.  It turned out to be a lot of fun.  There were a lot of activities for kids, but not so many that we felt like we had to stay for a long time.  The turnout was small due to the overcast weather, so we didn't have to compete for a place in the activity booths.
The day after the farmer's market, Eloise and I had a date.  We went to the store to get Todd some new jeans, and we had a picnic together in the park.
When we got home, B announced that it was time for the boy date, so Jared, Sammy, and B went with me to walk the dog.

On Labor Day our ward had a picnic in the park, complete with a game of all-ages baseball.  Eloise didn't think it would be fun at all, so she stayed on the playground until the game was almost over, and then she decided to give it a try.  I think she regretted putting off playing for so long.
B still hasn't stopped asking to go to the zoo every time we get in the car, and our zoo membership expires at the end of the month, so we made a zoo trip on Wednesday.
When I try to remember the definitive events of this zoo trip, I recall that every single person had to go to the bathroom when we were halfway between home and the zoo, so we had to stop in the middle of a 25 minute drive.  The other thing that stands out is that Eloise has been really struggling with things this week.  Every little thing that happens seems to be catastrophically devastating to her.  The existence of Benjamin in her life means that a lot of little things happen, so she spends a lot of time catastrophically devastated.  This zoo trip was on the short side.

Eloise loves taking pictures, and, you will notice, she is starting to get people's heads in her pictures.
While Eloise struggles mightily with things like seeing the orangutans before the penguins, she doesn't ever seem troubled by physical injury.  She was walking around with a scraped knee bleeding through her pants for ten minutes before I noticed the bloody spot on her pants and investigated the knee.
B wore Eloise's pink sparkly zebra shirt because it is one of his favorites.  This picture is pretty typical of these kids.  Eloise has called B's attention to the flamingos, and Jared is checking to see if there is any way to tip the sign over.
B's favorite thing all day was driving the tractor.  Can you tell?

On Friday morning, we drove an hour and a half to the state fair in Puyallup.  I would love to hear all of you trying to pronounce that name.  Admission was free from 9-12 on Friday, so we went to see what we could see.  It was more crowded than I expected for a weekday morning.  Right after we got there, I sat the kids down for their fair portrait.  All I could get out of them were these "Can we have lunch now?" faces.  This is seriously the best shot I got.
There was plenty to see and do at the fair.  There were lots of cows in the barns for competitions, and a barn full of animals from around the world, including a zedonk (half zebra, half donkey), a miniature yak, several kinds of miniature cattle, fainting goats, parrots, and other odd animals from around the world that are raised in Washington.  We wandered around looking at all of the vendors until we got too hot, and then we went into this building hoping that there would be fans inside.  There weren't, but there was a free fishing experience for kids.
I wish I had captured B's look when he realized that he had caught a fish.  His eyebrows shot up into his hairline, and his smile was about a mile wide.  "It's my fish! It's a real fish?  My fish!"  After giving the kids a chance to touch the fish, the volunteer threw it back.
The day before we went to the fair, Jared wrote a letter to his great uncle in Idaho that went like this: "Dear Boyd,
Pleas take me fishing.
Love, Jared Knight"
Jared was happy that he caught a fish, but he did NOT want to touch it.  We will have to get him over this squeamishness before we go to Idaho.
Sammy had a nap in the stroller, and woke up right after fishing.
The same building had a table set up for animal print stencils.  Eloise made two an B made one.
Jared doesn't care for drawing, but he was excited to try archery one booth over.  He hit a target on his third try.
How much do they love the fair?  This much:
Happy enough for a successful fair portrait.
Eloise captured this picture of Sammy pushing the stroller when he was ready for another nap and we were on our way to the car.
Jared was disappointed that we weren't all tall enough to ride the ferris wheel, but he loved the hobby displays.  He was delighted to learn that there are competitions for lego building, and he loved getting a free crystal from the Washington gem and mineral club.  
We got back to our car hot, tired, dirty (I'm not sure what Jared was doing to get manure all over his pants) and happy from all of the excitement.  

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