Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Exciting news from one of our friends!

I just got off the phone with our favorite Hamilton County Park Naturalist, Trina Stitak. She shared some very exciting news with me.

She is leaving the park district on September 18, 2005 to go on a sabbatical in Canada....check out where she is going... she said she will be there anywhere from 2 months to a year (or longer) depending on where her relationship with God leads her.....

Trina was the first naturalist to do the "infamous" park programs for our homeschooling group. The first time we set one up, she told us that we had to have 10 kids. My friend Valerie and I were scrambling, trying to figure out if we could count our toddlers and infants towards the total. Over the past 4 years the program has grown to the point that we now need to schedule two back to back programs to accomodate our group!

She said she would LOVE for the kids to write her and the adults are welcome to write her too (as long as we don't ask her is she is becoming a nun or getting said she wants no "deep questions"). She said she will try to make sure to write back to them in a timely fashion...

She is going with a few clothes and some notebooks....that is it!

I'd love the kids to do something for her before she leaves (she kept telling me how important the scrapbook we did a few years ago for her is to of the few things she is keeping).....any ideas?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

It could have been my kid.....

Yesterday afternoon we got an email from Jacob's football coach, letting us know that the sister of one of the LYF players and daughter of one of the coaches was invovled in a very serious car accident over the weekend. Amber, 12, was life flighted to Children's Hospital and had to undergo 4 hours of surgery to create a hole in her skull to relieve the pressure from her swelling brain. Apparently there is damage to her vision. She is sedated and on a ventilator. The poor child! The poor family! She was riding in a car with friends that turned in front of an SUV at the intersection just blocks from our house. It appears all the kids in the car where relatively young (16 and under) and the accident it seems, most likely, a result of a young breaks my heart...The kids had a moment of silence last night at practice. You can check out the article on the accident here

It could have been my child, riding with a friend.....We are very picky about who our children can ride with. Brett has one friend that he is permitted to ride in a car with, Hannah has none. Fortunately most of their other friends, even though they are of drving age, haven't gotten their license yet, although their friend Sarah now has her temps. Brett has a couple of friends who are on the verge of getting their temps. I already know 2 he will never be permitted to ride in a car with! Teens seem to think they are invincible!

In 8 months Brett gets his temps and I am scared to death. And only 9 months after he can get his license, Hannah will be able to get hers. I have a sneaky feeling that all those sleepless nights I spent with them as babies will be nothing compared to the sleepless nights I spend when they are driving!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Jacob's football team

Jacob is in the 3rd row, number 77! He is the third biggest player on the team...of course the two boys that are bigger than he is both weigh significantly more than he does....AJ is about 85 pounds and Trevor just makes weight coming in right under 95 pounds. Jacob is slightly built...he is only about 60 pounds!

Jacob's team is doing well. Both games they have played ended in ties. This past weekend the team they tied with (6-6) had never been scored on in the last 2 seasons. I think we are in store for an exciting season!

Jacob's schedule:
Sat. 9-10 1:45 PM vs. Lakota @ Loveland
Sat. 9-17 12:30 PM vs. Mason @ Mason
Sat. 9-24 3:00 PM vs. Lakota @ Lakota
Sat. 10-1 12:30 PM vs. Milford @ Loveland
Sat. 10-8 12:30 PM vs. Kings @ Kings
Sat. 10-15 TBA vs. Monroe Hornets

Grant's Football team picture

Grant is near the middle of the second row. He is number 81.

His team has played 2 games so far. They have just stomped all over both teams they have played.

Here is the schedule for the regular season:
Game 1 1:45pm Sun. Sept. 11 Lakota 12 @ Loveland 2
Game 2 4:15pm Sat. Sept. 17 Mason 2 @ Loveland 2
Game 3 12:30pm Sun. Sept. 25 Loveland 2 @ Lakota 17
Game 4 12:30pm Sun. Oct. 2 Loveland 2 @ Little Miami
Game 5 6:45pm Sun. Oct. 9 Loveland 2 @ Anderson
Game 6 4:15pm Sat. Oct. 15 Mason 2 @ Loveland 2

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The pictures are back and I just had to share them.

Apparently a small child (I am thinking it was Cade or Jacob) left the jar of peanut butter out on the little picnic table in the kitchen without the lid being secured on it. Will, the adventurous creature that he is, decided that it was an invitation to play in the peanut butter! I should have known when he was quiet for so long, that he was up to something!

All I could do was laugh and tell Hannah to go and get me the camera and yell to Emily to go and get a bathtowel and washcloth to clean him up! He had peanut butter everywhere on himself, even in his ears! He also managed to redecorate the wall and carpet with it. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get peanut butter out of berber carpet?

Photos from our fieldtrip to the Licking River!

Here is a picture of Emily and Sophie in the Licking River. Check out our photo album at

to see all of our pictures from our exciting outing!

Here is a picute of Emily and her friend Alison with two of their counselors when they were at Camp Kern from July 11 to July 16. Alison ended up running a fever and having to go home on Thursday, so Emily had to go "solo" for the remainder of the week!

Sunday, August 21, 2005


Football season is officially upon us, well at least the preseason is!

Grant had his first game yesterday afternoon. The start was delayed for about 15 minutes because of the bad storms that blew through, but fortunately the storms cleared quickly and we got to watch the game in a bit "cooler" much less sticky air than we had experienced earlier in the day! Grant's team beat the team from Sycamore by a score of 24 to 6!

Jacob's team played their first game today. On the opening drive, the opposing team (Kings) drove in for a touchdown on their first possession, but thanks to Jacob being blocked in the back by a Kings player, the touchdown was called back! Then later in the game, Jacob recovered a fumble! The game ended in a 0 to 0 tie, but that is far better than a loss! Jacob actually seems to be more aware of what is going on this year, moving quickly (well, quick by his standards) in the direction of the play, rather than just standing around and watching! My mom and dad even made it out to watch the game, despite the heat!

Jacob's team even has a blog. The coach hopes to post pictures soon!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Friday, August 19; 1:30pm
Creeking Adventure
Moreland’s Bend in Butler (10 minutes south of Alexandria, KY)
Organizer: Susan F.

All the recent dry weather has created some of the best conditions in several years for exploring creeks and river areas. Vikki Rawe, with the KY Board of Fish and Wildlife, will lead a fun learning adventure on the creek. Vikki likes to invite children to explore the waters, the life in the water, and to discover the joy, cleanliness, and respect for this aspect of nature.

This cool activity will begin around 1:30. It is best suited for ages 8 and over, though younger ones will be accommodated.

Susan wrote: We will meet at the Flour Creek Church parking lot at 1:20 pm Friday, and leave there at 1:30. The creek area is about ¼ mile away. We will carpool to the drop off area, then hike the few hundred yards to the creek. Moreland’s Bend is at a riffle in the creek, with the area above it ankle to knee deep on a grownup; and the area below fairly deep. Flour Creek Church is on US 27, go south, past Alexandria to Butler, KY, and turn left at Lock Road Here is the address, and phone number: (859) 472-2130 1109 Ky Highway 177 E Butler, KY 41006

What to bring: net for catching creek creatures, magnifying glass (optional),sunscreen, Change of clothes, Towel, Water bottle,Snacks (people get hungry on creek adventures!),Life jackets if you have some

Please note:
For those with little ones, strollers can be carried to the area; there is a large flat rock area that they can set on.

It will be important to keep a close eye on young children and those who aren’t swimmers. We will need some parents of younger children to specifically watch out for them.

The program will include catching and identifying creek life, and discussing how this helps to rate the health of the creek. Also, we will learn about mussels, and endangered animal. (Here is a link to a relevant recent article in the Cincinnati Enquirer )

The program is planned until 3:30. There will be time to hang around and swim or float along and enjoy the creek for awhile.

It is NOT recommended to carry little ones in carriers or in arms into the water. It gets slippery and people do fall.

Also…NO flip flops…it would be best to wear water shoes or old gym shoes, but feet need to be covered

Please call (*******) or e-mail with any other questions. I usually do not check e-mails on Friday, so call on the phone if you haven’t e-mailed by Thurs night. Thanks! See you Friday, Susan

Well, it only took us about an hour to get there (thanks to me not trusting mapquest and believing the directions the organizer sent me which she had pasted off the obviously didn't know that the new quarry now stood in the way) but we got there in the nick of time! Vikki, from KY Fish and Wildlife did a WONDERFUL job presenting the info to the group and the kids absolutely LOVED wading in the river searching for mussels and other critters. We were fortunate enough to also be joined by another KY employee, Mark, who only added to the depth of the program. One of the girls found a baby queen snake, it was such a cutie! We found lots of critters that indicated that the river was very healthy and therefore safe to play and swim in. Vikki gaves us handouts that indicated what types of critters we should find in a healthy river, the kids and I can't wait to go down and see how healthy our local river is using the handout.

We were thrilled that the Ridimans made it to the program (they followed the same directions I did and also got "detoured"). You could really see the love of the river in David's face and you could also tell that he shares his enthusiam with his girls. Tabby found an elusive water penny and Mandy found a rare mussel (while searching with Vikki).

The kids caught crayfish and Cade found a bunch of Asiatic clam shells. He was thrilled with them. I was glad I had heeded the advise of the coordinator and didn't bring Will, it was quite slick and steep getting in and out of the river. Sophie LOVED being in the water.

I can't wait to get my pictures back. I will try to remember to post them. I know Kas took a bunch of pictures, I will go and steal...err...I mean borrow them off her blog once she posts them!

During the long drive Emily and Grant and I played the alphabet game, looking for words that started with each letter of the alpahbet....Q was a toughie, until we passed the QUARRY and then we got stuck on X until we made it back to Ohio and saw a XAVIER window sticker....Grant and I found the Z just blocks from the house thanks to a ZICKA sign near the new subdivision up the road!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

You Think A. Gallon Of Gas Is Expensive?

The other day when I was out running errands, it was unbelievable that I was excited to see gas for $2.54 a gallon, much cheaper than the $2.69 it was closer to my house. Then yesterday, when I was cleaning out my email box, I came across this email from just over 3 years ago. It made me laugh, so I though I would share it! Makes one think, and puts things in perspective.

Diet Snapple 16 oz $1.29 ......... $10.32 per gallon
Lipton Ice Tea 16 oz $1.19 ....... $9.52 per gallon
Gatorade 20 oz $1.59 ............. $10.17 per gallon
Ocean Spray 16 oz $1.25 ......... $10.00 per gallon
Brake Fluid 12 oz $3.15 ........... $33.60 per gallon
Vick's Nyquil 6 oz $8.35 ......... $178.13 per gallon
Pepto Bismol 4 oz $3.85 .......... $123.20 per gallon
Whiteout 7 oz $1.39 ............... $25.42 per gallon
Scope 1.5 oz $0.99 ................. $84.48 per gallon

and this is the REAL KICKER......
Evian water 9 oz for $1.49 ........ $21.19 per gallon.
$21.19 FOR WATER! ....and the buyers don't even know the source.

So, the next time you're at the pump, be glad your car doesn't run on bottled water, Scope, or Whiteout, or God forbid, PEPTO BISMOL or NYQUIL!!!! Just a little humor to help ease the pain of your next trip to the pump...........!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Just wait til you see the pictures!

I am on the old computer, the newer one (which is almost 3 years old) is in the shop, so I can't upload pictures, but I just had to share...

I should have known Will was into something because he wasn't in here clinging to my leg while I read my emails...well, I opened the office door and was assaulted by the smell of peanut butter. There in the hallway was Will, covered head to toe in peanut butter. I had noticed the jar on the picnic table earlier, but forgot to put it away! He had it everywhere, on himself, the carpet, the walls! I had Hannah run and grab the camera and snapped a few pictures...after all the damage was done. Em gave him a bath while I tried to steam the mess out of the carpet. It was certainly easier to get it off the walls, kitchen floor and picnic table (where his adventure began) than it was to get it out of the cheap berber carpet. The hall smells like peanut butter...I think it is all out of the carpet, but will have to wait for it to dry a bit and then try cleaning it again!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Days like this......

Occassionally there is a day when I feel that by having so many children I am cheating them out of something! This morning the boys (Grant and Jacob) needed to be up at the football fields to have pictures taken and for scrimmages. I got the chore of running to the picture location and then running between two different fields (at two different parks, at least they were only a few blocks apart). Jay was to take Emily up to dance, go and run some errands, and then go back and get her. Somehow I forgot to convey to him that he needed to return 15 mintues early to watch the routine she had been working on in her ballet intensive class. Apparently she was in tears because no one from her family was there to watch her! Jay said she cried the whole way home. Of course, I could try to put some of the blame on her, she should have reminded him when he dropped her off, but I really feel bad about the whole thing!

To add to my feelings of inadequacy, when I walked in the door from football, Hannah looks at me and says "did you ever go pick up a gift for Chrishauna? Her mom is supposed to be here soon to pick me up for the birthday party". DAMN.....I knew I forgot something.....I started to just put money in a card, when I was literally saved by the bell (or shall I say ring of the phone). Chrishauna's mom called and said she would be at least another Hannah and I hightailed it up to Kohl's and found a cute shirt, t-shirt and flipflops all marked down on clearance! Hopefully Chrishauna will like them!

I spend over an hour on the phone with my mom. I finally told her that I felt we should contact hospice (on the advice of my new friend from football) and after she cried, she actually agreed and said she would call them and at least hear what they could offer. No commitment to actually accept the help, but at least she is willing to get the information. Dad apparently had a really rough week and she is at the end of her rope. It looks like there is a possiblity for him to attend adult daycare 2 days a week, so that just leaves 3 days to be covered! I missed getting to kiss Hannah goodbye because I was on the phone dealing with mom.

Hannah called later and she got to the birthday party safe and sound and Emily up to the dance studio for a special overnight for the girls that took ballet intensive. Sophie is asleep. The boys are all playing, including William. You know I wouldn't trade any of them for anything!
Boy that was quick!

I couldn't believe it when in today's mail I found our official excusal from compulsory attendance letter. I just turned in our letter on the 9th! So now I just have to decide how long it to wait before approaching the district about accessing my own children. Now if that would just go off without a hitch!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Perseid Meteor Shower

Circle this date: Friday, August 12th. Next to the circle write "before sunrise" and "Meteors!"

From website: The Perseid meteor shower is underway. The shower's broad peak extends from August 11th through 13th--but August 12th is best. If you get away from bright city lights and watch the sky between local midnight and dawn on Friday morning, August 12th, you can expect to see dozens to hundreds of meteors. Check out the full story:

From website: The Perseid meteor shower, an event that comes around every August in the late-night sky, is upon us again. Lasting for more than a week, the celestial show is forecast to peak on August 12, when astronomers say meteors should streak through the dark every two minutes or so.

That's not as bright a display as in years past -- the quarter moon may be too brilliant for some meteors to stand out, astronomers caution -- but that doesn't mean stargazers will be wasting their time.
"That's still a wonderful meteor shower and I recommend trying to see it," said George Lebo, an astronomy professor who is a visiting faculty member this summer at the NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.
August 12 should be the zero hour for best watching, Lebo said in a news release from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. "No matter where you live, the best time to watch will between local midnight and dawn."

The Perseids, which have varied in intensity and frequency over the years, are bits of space dust that enter the Earth's atmosphere at 132,000 mph, creating eye-popping streaks of light in the night sky.
They originate from the tail of the comet Swift-Tuttle, a heavenly visitor that hurtles past our sun every 135 years, leaving a new trail of debris in its wake. The Earth, revolving around the sun, routinely approaches the celestial flotsam and jetsam every July. Astronomers note an increase in meteor activity almost immediately.

Crossing my fingers that the RAIN and THUNDER pass quickly and the skys clear so we can go out and watch the meteor shower!
Planning meeting

Last night about 20 moms from the homeschooling group we are most active in had their annual planning meeting. It is unreal to look at the calendar and realize that there isn't one week without an activity. I think I will probably just shove the calendar in the face of anyone who dares to ask me about socialization.....yes, socialization is a problem for us....we spend way too much time doing it!

Some really cool activities are on the calendar....a Napoleon Dynamite party, teen halloween party, roller skating, bowling, all the park programs! We will be celebrating Chinese New Year, St. Patrick's Day, Madri Gras and Cinco de Mayo with special group gatherings that will include FOOD! There are going to be a couple opportunities for the horselovers in the group...a trip to a local racetrack and to the Kentucky Horse Park. And let me not forget our quilting club and altered book club!

There is a chance Hannah might get to take some classes in "cosmotology", learning from one of the mom's how to cut, color and perm hair. I even volunteered my hair for the "perm" class! I really hope the class is offered on a night that Hannah can attend!

I also tossed out the idea of a geography and biography fair. There seems to be enough interest, so now I just have to go about securing a location and getting the details out to everyone. For the biography fair, each child picks anyone, living or dead, and does a presentation about their life. The child choses how to present the information. The geography fair we would pass out passports and each participant could chose a stamp or sticker for the passport that would represent their country...people get passports stamped as they visit each country/display. Participants would prepare a display, write a report or
give an oral presentation ,maybe prepare representative foods or possibly a craft, the possibilities are endless. They would use resources like postal stamps, Currency, Embassy packages, Flags, Costumes and Folktales. The great thing about these two opportunities is that any age child can particpate and present their research to the best of their abilities. No competing!

To add to the excitement, I have been working with my friend Roberta (aka Granny) on developing a program in her gardens for homeschooling families. We are still working out the details, but it is really coming together. We firmed up the meeting dates, Fall: Sept 14, Sept 28, Oct 12, Oct 26 and Spring: Mar 22, Apr 5, Apr 19, May 3, May 17, May 31 and the time 1 PM to 3 PM and I think the price is right (cost will be $10 per child for the entire program), now I just have to come up with a description and "market" it to our homeschooling friends. Each week will include garden time and a garden related craft. The kids are even going to get their own garden plots!

Speaking of "marketing" Granny has offered the kids the opportunity of running their own business selling the produce they grow. So not only are we getting a gardening program, but also a lesson in economics, marketing and practical business experience. Of course it will be next summer before they have produce to sell, but the whole idea is appealling to my teens!

I am so excited about the upcoming "school" year!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Patty Cake, Patty Cake Baker's Man!

Here are two of the pictures for Will's 13 month photo session. He really loved playing with the fake apples! I was surprised that he left the hat on his head!

One of his favorite things to do at home it to completely empty the drawers and to take things out of the cabinets onto the kitchen floor. He is the first of my kids to ever do this. Isn't it funny that baby #8 could do something "new"?

Will now prefers to walk over crawling. He is pretty steady on his feet and is even starting to run! He is still so small that it looks funny when you see him toddling about.
Notification turned in!

Yesterday (Tuesday August 9) I drove over to the Board of Education and turned in our annual notification. I got a reciept from the woman who took our notification with the date on it, so the school district has 14 days to send us our excusal or to question our notification. So the waiting game begins! It is our first time notifying in our new school district, so I am hoping things go off without a hitch. We have never had problems in the past, so hopefully our streak continues.

Below is a copy of what I attach for each child as their "brief" outline and list of teaching materials. I change it slightly for each child (obviously the boys aren't in girlscouts and don't take dance classes and the girls don't play football and baseball). I believe that minimal complicance with the laws governing home education is in the best interest of the entire homeschooling community. I turn in notification for the kids that are over the age Jacob, Grant, Emily, Hannah, and Brett.

Information for Hannah Riesenberg
As we embark on our fifth year of homeschooling, we plan to continue with the methods we found work the most efficiently for our family the past four years. We feel that we have made the necessary assurances for sections #5 and #8 that our home education will include the required areas and hours.

We will strive to have a curriculum that is interest driven; that is, based on the interests of our children. With our gentle guidance our children will choose what, when, and in what manner they will learn. We want them to be active participants in their learning, not passive receivers. It is our belief that through this process our children's self-esteem will be preserved, they will value learning, and they will be empowered to make decisions that are best for themselves throughout their lives.
We believe that the most developmentally appropriate curriculum for them is one based on their interests and needs. We feel we need to be flexible enough to change as they change. Because children do not naturally divide the world into subject areas (language, math, art, etc.), our curriculum will be inherently integrated. Our children may pursue their interests as in-depth as they desire and for as long as they remain interested (hours to months). We find that one interest will lead naturally to another or that many cohesive interests may be pursued simultaneously. We will encourage them to set goals and follow them.

Just as we have done in the past, when it is time for us to assess our children at the end of the year, we plan to collect our many journals, scrapbooks, photographs and projects to show all the interesting things we have discovered and the skills we have acquired in the process. We will reflect on what worked well and decide what things we may want to change for the future. This is our course of study. It is an after-the-fact curriculum.

Large personal library
Family video collection
Reference books (encyclopedias, thesaurus, dictionaries, atlases)Reference materials (textbooks, field guides, grammar books, timelines, globe, maps, etc.)
NewspapersMagazine subscriptions for both children and adults
Games (board games, cards, outdoor games, travel games)
Calculating and measuring tools (including rulers, calculators, calendars and watches)
Basic office supplies
Savings accounts
Art and craft supplies
A variety of musical recordings
Audiovisual equipment (VCR, DVD player, cameras, stereo, cassette players, CD players)
Manipulatives (blocks, legos, etc.)
Child and adult sized gardening tools
Home maintenance equipment
Sewing machine, fabric, patterns, thread
Community resources (such as community centers, museums, parks, festivals,stage performances, sports programs)
Parish resources
The extensive collection of the Clermont, Hamilton and Kenton County Libraries via library cards for each child
2 computers and over 20 educational computer programs
On-line services and the vast resources of the Internet
Regular dance classes
Pen pals
Scouting involvement (Girl Scouts Great River Council)
4-H involvement
Granny's Garden School
Travel throughout Ohio and surrounding states.
Family membership to Cincinnati Museum Center, Newport Aquarium, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and Cincinnati Zoo and reciprocating establishments
Park Programs sponsered by Clermont, Hamilton and Kenton County Parks
YMCA membership
The community of homeschoolers (support groups, e-mail lists, field trips and other gatherings)
Found items, nature, used book sales, and the knowledge and wisdom of generations past.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

We won!

Today we received a phone calling saying we had won 5 tickets to Kings Island from an entry we filled out at the county fair! The kids are really to just figure out who gets to go!

Sunday, August 07, 2005


This really wonderful link came through one of the homeschooling lists that I am on that offers free spanish lessons! I am so eager to get NEW SPEAKERS for this darn archaic computer to I can listen to what is being said.

I have come to the conclusion, like it or not, that Spanish is going to be as important to my children as a good grasp of the Emglish language. The Hispanic population in our area keeps growing and in other cities that we have visited, I notice the influx of Spanish speaking families. I figure it is a language that will serve them well! My brother is a police officer and says Spanish is a must in his profession. A friend who works as an OB nurse says it is also a must for her.

A group of our homeschooling friends is trying to get together a weekly Spanish class. Something laid back, that involves games and songs. I really hope that it is offered at a time that we can attend.

We found a really fun workbook at Sam's. The only problem is that we know what the words look like, but not proper pronunciation! I took Latin in highschool and Jay can't seem to remember any of the Spanish he studied (or didn't study might be a more accurate way to put it!).

Some of the local libraries also over bilingual storytime. I am hoping the library near our home will offer this opportunity this year. I need to check into it the next time I go and visit.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Dad home, but not doing well

They sent Dad home from the hospital. He isn't doing too well. Mom said he is really hallicinating and also complaining about buzzing in his ears. She is going to talk with his doctor on Monday to see if any of the meds could be to blame. He was restless during dyalisis yesterday, not a good thing, since it makes it take longer.

She really wants to go back to work on August 15th. She needs to go back to keep their benefits in place and to support their standard of living (much higher than most). I know her going back to work will mean my life spiraling more out of control. I just hope we can hold it all together. All she does is cry or yell at me when I call.

The ray of hope is that I met a mom(Glenda) on Jacob's football team that is a public health nurse who happened to go through something almost identical 2 years ago with her own father (although her dad had liver cancer not multiple myeloma). She is going to bring me some resource information. Hopefully mom will be willing to accept the help that is out there!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

State Fair!

We were so excited that Emily got to take her work to the State Fair for the Clock judging. We left early and got up there in plenty of time. Unfortunately the darn stroller, which had served us well for the last 3 1/2 years, fell apart in the parking lot! I carried Sophie and we managed to get Emily checked in. It was unbelievable how gorgeous and creative some of the entries were! Emily went through the testing (to see how knowledgable she was about the topic) and judging. Although she scored very well, she wasn't picked in the top 4! She was really disappointed, but we kept reminding her that she was the best in her county and that there was nothing to be ashamed of! Her picture is gorgeous and I couldn't wait to get it home and hang it up (it is now proudly displayed in our dining room!). Hannah and I made notes and wrote down some projects we really want to look into for this upcoming year (like designing interiors) because the things the kids brought in to be judged were just so neat! We also saw a gorgeous quilt a girl made using homespun flannel and we are definitely going to try to find some of that fabric to work with this year!

We decided to walk around the fair...after all we had paid $5 to park, $4 to get in (thanks to it being 1/2 price day) and probably used $20 in gas to get there! We had to rent a stroller for Sophie since she would not walk (another $7 down the drain). It was in the mid 90's and the sun was brutal!

We meandered around the fair and bought a $10 lemonade...yes you read that right....$10 for a LARGE lemonade...OK it was 1/2 gallon, but it was ONE FLIPPING LEMON in some SUCKED! At least we had the container to refill with water!

We went into one of the expo buildings and Hannah, Em and Sophie were THRILLED with all the free junk they got. The best of our freebies was over 200 FREE postcards which we can use to send to our penpals! We ended up buying a mop (one of those AS SEEN ON TV ones...ended up getting one free) and a couple of pop up laundry baskets. We had so much stuff that we couldn't fit it in the basket on the back of the stroller....I won't need to buy a coloring book for at least a year!

Before we left we went to see the butter sculture! It was a cow, calf, little girl and a HUGE icecream cone sculpted completely from butter....2000 pounds of it to be exact! It was really COOL!

We opted to wait and get lunch at Cracker Barrel on the way home. We figured we knew the food would be good and it was MUCH CHEAPER than eating the crappy food at the fair!

Hopefully one of the kids will make State Fair next year with 4-H! Next year I will put the good stroller and a wagon in the trunk!