Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fair Daze... Part IV - The Bike Rodeo

When you hear "rodeo" in this part of the world, you think bulls and cowboys and bucking horses and lots of ropin'. So when I heard so much about the bike rodeo these past few years, I was envisioning some crazy kids ropin something or other while trying to stay upright on their fancy BMX bikes. Which of course is exactly what Nate-Dawg does on a regular basis around the farm, except he has a Wally World version of the BMX bike... and an ice-cream bell attached. So.... when 4-H enrollment time came around last spring and the kids just had to do the bike rodeo we had all heard about, I figured why not. How bad could it be?

Turns out it had nothing to do with ropin and wranglin stuff.  They just had to ride patterns around cones and do straight lines as fast as they could and as slow as they could without breaking pattern or falling off.  Come to think of it, it was a lot like the horse show!

Ally on her hand-me-down recycled bike.   Complete with ice cream bell to warn the dogs to get out of her way!!!

Why do those helmets make them look like little aliens?!

If you look close you can see the little wood boards they have to ride between and go as slow as possible without falling over!

Turns out country kids seem to be better than city kids at riding bikes in funny patterns.  Must be all the dodging pot holes and rocks and dogs in the driveway.  Paved sidewalks and streets are BORING.  Give 'em a hay bale and a board and they turn it into a jumping ramp.  Creativity and athletic ability all wrapped into one!  Anyway, both kids participated and had a great time with their friends.  They also walked away with more ribbons.  What do you do with all those ribbons anyway??? 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fair Daze... Part III - Nate-Dawg Style

Nate isn't old enough to be in regular 4-H but at least he gets to particpate via Clover Kids.  This year he did the bike rodeo (another post coming), cookies, flowers, and a poster on caring for his dogs.  He has been extremely patient this year following us around at Ally's activities but I know his 8th birthday can't come soon enough so he can show horses and cattle too!  I'm sure it will be here before we know.  However, I might just be too tired to do it all by then!

Ribbon from the bike rodeo.  He kicked butt!

At the fair with his cookies!  They were delicious!

Here he is with his poster on caring for his dogs, Lexi & Trapper!

Another ribbon for his flowers and homemade container.  He also took some flowers to the open class and got a purple ribbon!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fair Daze... Part II - Girls and Guns

I know... it sounds dangerous, doesn't it??  When I asked Ally what projects she wanted to take last spring, one of the first things out of her mouth was "Shooting Sports"!  This is odd because a) we don't own a gun, b) neither Gail or I shoot anything, and c) I expected her to say "baking cookies". 

Being the supportive, open minded parents we are, we said no sure of course you can! First step was safety training, next step was BB gun purchase, and third step was practice practice practice... all of which we did about 2 wks before the contest!  She did great and it was fun for Nathan to do too.  We spent several nights together out shooting targets in the back yard.  They had to shoot 4 positions... prone, standing, kneeling, and sitting.  They get 10 targets per position.  Boy did we learn a lot!  I think we might just do it again next year!! 

I have to give the county and the volunteers credit for the program.  There must have been 30 kids shooting that morning at the fair and I think 20 of them were beginners.  It was fun to watch them and they all had a great time!!!

Loading the gun... one BB at a time!

Practicing in the sitting position.

Checking out the results!!

Shooting at the fair - kneeling position.

Some of the kids waiting on results!

Ally and two of her friends showing off their targets and ribbons!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Fair Daze... Part I - The Cattle Show

Things are still a zoo around here with trying to recover from the fair and also cramming two months worth of activities into the remaining 9 days before school starts!  I have LOTS to brag about from the county fair so it might take a few posts.  Allison did an awesome job with her first year of 4-H and Nathan had a blast participating in Clover Kids (pre-4-H) for the first time too.  These are just a few shots from show day.  All the 4-H kids worked so hard all summer getting ready for the big day.  I'm proud of all of them!  Hopefully I will get more posted soon, but this will have to do for now!  We're off to a bridal show in central Kansas today!!!

Here she is with Nila.  And for those of you that know cattle, Nila is only 1/4 Hereford. The rest is Angus and Simmental!

Ally and Rocky.  They don't get any cuter than this!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ally's Angles... the finalists

I know I've been promising to post some of Ally's photography work for a while now so here are some of the pictures that made the final list for fair exhibit selection. She ended up with one in the 4-H photography project and two in the open class exhibit. We had a hard time making a decision, but the first three are the ones that we enlarged and framed for the fair. I think she has a knack for it.... she can hardly wait to start taking more for next year!!

Open Class Exhibit in a black and white version - purple ribbon!

Open Class exhibit - purple ribbon & selected for special display!

4-H Exhibit - blue ribbon! The judge "loved the unique angle & perspective!"