Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Best Weekend in August - Part II

Day 2 at the Knox County Fair was Saturday and Saturday afternoon at the fair means wristband time.  The afternoon wristband time was from 1:00- 6:00 and a wristband cost was $20 each.  The kids rode the rides from about 1:30 until after 5:00.  Cara took a friend, Bailey, to go on rides with her.  The free style was the first ride of the afternoon for all five of them.  Justin was so excited that he was tall enough this year to go on all the big rides!

This is Cara and Bailey on Zero Gravity (a ride that spins in a circle and you get sucked against the wall and then the floor drops out).

They also went on the Zipper three times in a row.  No wonder Cara said that her stomach hurt.
The bumper cars and the big slide were the tamest things that Justin went on all afternoon.  He was so excited to be tall enough to ride the big rides.
Justin got off this pirate ride with Ashlin holding his head because he was so dizzy from spinning in circles.

In between a few rides, we walked over to check out the Bush Pullers Tractor Pull.  Justin was impressed with these high-powered tractors.  They are so LOUD!

After riding for hours, we ventured to Grandpa and Grandma Leader's house for supper.  The little ones stayed to play cards again.  Cara and Bailey cruised the midway for awhile looking for people they knew.  It turns out that Cara knows a girl from Wayne whose parents grew up in Bloomfield and her grandparents live in Bloomfield.  When Keith asked her a few more questions about this friend, it turned out that her grandfather used to be the high school football coach in Bloomfield.  Mr. Walling used to be one of Keith's high school teachers.  What a small world we live in!  Keith and I went to the Clay Walker concert.  Clay Walker put on a great show!

Take care,

Monday, August 18, 2014

Best Weekend in August - Part I

One of our family's favorite weekends is our weekend spent every year at the Knox County Fair in Bloomfield (Keith's hometown).  We look forward to this weekend all summer long.  It means the summer is almost over, but we get to enjoy one last adventure!
The 80's cover band, Hairball, was moved to a Friday night performance this year.  Cara decided to hang out at the concert with her parents and some of Keith's classmates and high school friends.  The other three were playing cards with Grandpa and Grandma Leader at their house in town.
 We enjoyed some Journey songs,
 some AC/DC,
 some Prince,
 some Ozzy,
 and some Kiss along with many other performers.  Unfortunately, the performance had to be cut short because of some fast approaching severe weather.  The rain started coming down fast shortly after the band was pulled from the stage.
 Erica and I checked out the 4-H exhibits and searched for some ideas for projects for the girls for next year.  These are a few that we found.

Take care,

Monday, August 11, 2014

Summer Jobs

While growing up, your parents try to teach you a few life lessons along the way.  This summer was one of Cara's life lessons.  As parents, we made her apply for a summer corn detasseling job.  We wanted her to truly understand how hard you have to work sometimes to earn a dollar.  We wanted her to know that not every job in life is easy or without a little sweat or tears.  We also told Cara how great this job at 13 years old was going to look on a resume' going forward.

Cara didn't want to do it, but she applied at the end of the school year.  Around the first part of July, the phone call came that she had been hired and that the following week it was time to start work.

For three weeks, Cara got up at 5 a.m. to get dressed and eat breakfast to be on the bus at 5:45 a.m.  She got up every morning without complaining and got ready.  She would dress in long athletic shorts, a long sleeve t-shirt, knee-high socks, a rain suit and old tennis shoes.  The company provided her with safety glasses, gloves and a hat with a net.  There were days when she would come home caked in mud and wet up to her armpits.  But, she DID it and DID NOT quit or get fired.  Working in the cornfields is hot and wet work.  The kids have to pull out the corn tassels while walking down the corn rows.  Some rows are one mile long going one way.  Some days the farmers had just turned off the irrigation before the kids arrived at the field making it very muddy.  This is not easy work at all.

As parents, we told her to listen to her supervisors, follow the rules and work hard!  We told her not to get fired or quit because she was better than that!  We are so proud of her for completing three weeks of hard work.

The smile on her face when her pay check came in the mail was priceless!  She grossed a little over $800 dollars.  Plus, for completing the job, her Dad is going to pay her a bonus of $250.  Not bad for her first job that lasted three weeks and that she is only 13 years old!

Erica also did a part-time job this summer.  Occasionally, she would babysit for the two children that live in the house behind us.  One week she watched them every day.  Erica was very responsible with getting up early to watch Aiden and Addison.  She made them lunch, cleaned up the kitchen and dishes, picked up the house and played with these children.  Erica was proud of her paycheck at the end of the week also.  We were proud of her for being responsible and doing a great job!

Sorry there are no photos to go with this post, but Cara wouldn't let me take a photo of her in her detasseling attire.  She wouldn't even pose with her paycheck.  Oh well, maybe next summer she will let me get a photo.  The supervisor told the kids that finished the job that they are all hired for next summer if they want to come back and work the cornfields again.  Cara is really thinking about this - not a bad check for only three weeks of work.  Erica is thinking about joining her next summer because she will be old enough. 

Take care,

Monday, August 4, 2014

Friends at the River

We were supposed to be on vacation last week and this week, but Cara was still working.  Cara's last day of detasseling was on Friday.  She was so glad for that three weeks of fun to be over!  Therefore, we have been patiently waiting for some fun and we all kept working.  Keith went to work, I went to work, Erica babysat for the neighbors and Cara went to work.
 Yesterday was our 4th time to go boating in the last week.  The kids got to take some friends and the boat was full.  Emma, Anna (aka Deuce) and Anna (aka Sauce) went along for a fun afternoon of boating.
 We commented when we got to the docks that we had never seen that many trailers parked in the parking lot.  The lot was completely full and boat trailers were parked on the grass and everywhere there was an open spot.  The river was really full with boats.
 Sauce fell off the tube while going with Justin.  He had stayed on the tube, but he jumped in to save her just in case.

 They wanted photos of them all jumping in!

 After jumping in, then a group "funny" photo was taken.  You can't see Justin very well and I'm not sure what happened to Ashlin because she had jumped in also.
It was a great afternoon at the river! 

Take care,

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


 Last Saturday Keith and I, along with Austin and Sandra, became godparents for our niece, Kyler.  It was a short ceremony to make Kyler one of God's children. 

Take care,

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Softball is Over

 Last week was Ashlin's last softball game of the summer.  She played with Kelly's softball 8 and under team.  She had fun and it required Ashlin to talk and meet new girls.  Ashlin is by far the most quiet and shy out of the four kids.  She will not participate in anything until she gets to observe for awhile.  This was true this year with softball.  She watched them play a full game before she would play with them.
 Ashlin's team played one game each Wednesday night in league play and had practice every Sunday evening.  On the last night team photos were taken and medals and ice cream were handed out to each girl that participated.

The summer activities are over!  We are on to the lazy days of summer and vacation in a couple weeks before heading back to school.  The summer is flying by!

Take care,

Monday, July 14, 2014

2014 Fair Recap

The fair ended yesterday; therefore, all our entries had to come home yesterday.  Today is for putting everything away and recapping what we earned. 
The girls had a great 4-H year at the fair.  Cara took 23 4-H entries to the fair.  She received 12-purples, 10-blues and 1 red earning $68.50 and three things are going to the state fair.  Erica took 17 4-H entries to the fair.  Erica received 12-purples and 5-blues earning $51.00 and has one thing going to the state fair.  Ashlin in her first year in 4-H took 19 entries.  She received 16-purples and 3-blues earning $57.00. I am so proud of all their hard work!  They also took a few entries to open class of extra baked goods.
 In open class, I took 37 entries and received 9-blue ribbons, 19-red ribbons and 8-white ribbons and earned $54.50.  I was pretty balanced with both baking entries and flower entries.  Cara asked me why I don't make as much money as they do yet I take more entries.  The answer is that 4-H pays out a higher premium than open class does.  Pictured above is my lemon chiffon cake that received a blue ribbon.  First time I had ever baked one.  I might try it again.  I will not be baking for awhile since the freezer is loaded with fair entries.
I also received two best in class prizes.  I received best jam for a jar a strawberry jam and best salsa.  These were my prizes - two buffet servers.

The kids and I went one night to the rodeo and it was a good time.  As a family we attended both nights of concerts.  On Saturday night we saw Brett Eldredge and Billy Currington and on Sunday night we saw Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers and Josh Turner.  Both nights of concerts were very good. 

We'll take a break now and enjoy some more summer!

Take care,