August 12, 2015

More than ribbons.

I still feel like I haven't even had time to process July yet.  But, before August turns into September...let us talk about the fair.

If you know me, you know I love 4H.  I love fair week.  It is exhausting and dirty and hot (usually) but I love it.  I love seeing the hard work come to fruition.  I love to see the kids doing their thing (and not just mine).  I love the community and the values.

This year, the dog show was bittersweet.  It is Sally's last year.  In all likelihood, she won't live to see next year (but you never know!).  Here, Patrick and Sally are waiting to be called into the ring.
Sally was actually doing really well until about halfway through Obedience.  Then, she started coughing.  The judge asked Patrick to take Sally out of the ring.  That was hard.  Patrick felt that maybe he had been wrong to attempt showing this year.  He was pretty upset because he really loves Sally a lot and was looking forward to showing her just one more time.
Mae does really good on her down stays (for five minutes!), not so much on the sit stays.  Funny that she'll do one and not the other.
Mae loves the agility course.  It really threw her off this year.  We were all hoping for a high placing since she won it last year.
Nathan and Mae really shined in Showmanship this year.   They ended up getting Grand Champion, which was a highlight of the day.  (And that Nathan also won Grand Champion for Lawn & Garden--Exciting!).
The boys and their dogs at the end of the day.  Caroline had to get in there, too.

A group pic of all of us with Grandma and Grandpa at the end of the day.

 As a fun memento, Patrick and Nathan were interviewed by a local paper and made front page! It was pretty exciting to see our boys "above the fold" and showcased because of their love for their dogs.

On to the Poultry Show.  This year was interesting because of the Avian Flu outbreak.  There were no chickens at the fair this year.  In the photo above, Patrick was being questioned for the Showmanship Award.  This year, Patrick competed in the Senior Division (against high schoolers) as a 6th grader.  And, he won!   He was pretty thrilled about that because he has won Showmanship every year now.

Some of our friends from Dog Club, who we enjoy hanging out with during the Poultry Show as well.
This year, they added in an egg competition.  That was something new to learn about.  Our eggs were at the bottom of the heap, partially because we refrigerated them (oops) and they were sweating.  Live and learn!
The boys with their eggs.  We will know better for next year on how to get the perfect half dozen eggs.  :)

The last show of the week for us this year was the Rabbit Show.  Which also, did not end well and of which I have no good pictures.  Nathan's rabbit was sent home sick from the show.  That was a disappointment for him.  The blessing was that had she been sick another week when we had been really busy, she probably would have died.  So, being at the fair saved her and gave us yet another learning experience! "Trial by fire" is not necessarily how we would like to learn things but sometimes it is the only way.

The thing about fair week, after all the hard work comes a lot of fun.  More on that in the next post!  Hopefully, that next post will happen before September.

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