~ getting up early to head to the big barn at the Alaska State Fair by 7:30am and staying there until 8pm most every day
~ cleaning out animals' pens, feeding animals, and then racing to Kaladi Bros. for a hot chocolate to warm myself up
~ working loooooong hours at the Petting Zoo
~ Shearing, washing, drying, and grooming my market lambs
~ showing my market lambs
~ auctioning off my market lambs
~ sneaking away to ride on the rides and indulge in fair food in-between it all
I'm sure I grumbled a little about how cold it was in that barn and how much work it was to raise animals (though I did choose one of the more time and labor-intensive animals to raise), but I LOVED the State Fair.
So of course we took advantage of some of my mom's free tickets this year and spent a good amount of time at the fair. My mom runs the Petting Zoo these days, and I thought it would be no-big-deal to help out and work a shift (for old times' sake) with the kids in tow.
Lila decided to become a part of the zoo and hung out in one of the little goat barns most of the time.
Cutest little goat I've ever seen!
And then there's this little lady:
She was a great example to the other little kids of what NOT to do in the Petting Zoo. Oy! She threw straw, picked up every animal she could muscle off the ground, threw straw in all the watering dishes, and rolled around in the straw. Then Lila decided to follow suit and went for a swim in one of the watering dishes. Are you wondering, "where was their mother!?" Well, she was scooping up animal poop and answering questions in-between trying to contain her OWN set of little animals. :) In the end, I don't think I was all that big of help in the Petting Zoo.
I did make time to see Sadie show her small beef, and I felt a little like a soccer mom! Cringing a little at any small error she made in the ring, "giving her advice" even though I was really just whispering it to myself, cheering her on, and feeling a little like giving the judge a piece of my mind when she didn't get grand champion (although she still did awesome and placed second).
On Saturday, I went to cheer my sisters on at the 4-H Market Livestock Auction. I know I'm going to sound like a complete country bumpkin for saying this, but livestock auctions are so exciting and in my opinion, the best part of the fair. Just do yourself a favor and go to the 4-H auction at your next state fair. Seeing bidders generously support all those kids in a fun and competitive way may-or-may-not have made me choke up a little.
Sadie with her young beef "Richard".
Annie with her market lamb "Bo".
Annie in the auction ring:
And it was hard to stop the tears from flowing on this one:
This young handicapped boy wanted so badly to raise and auction an animal and since he could help raise turkeys to a small degree, he was able to auction off a turkey.
And then there was my mom up on the auctioneer's podium helping to man the auction with our good friend and auctioneer Rayne Reynolds. They made the auction so much fun (although my dad was seriously disturbed by her glasses).
Way to go, 4-H-ers! Congrats on a great auction and thanks to all the local businesses who came to support the kids. I told Garrett that one day I'll be sitting at the bidders' tables buying animals on behalf of his business while our kiddos walk around the ring with their own market animals. :)