Sweet Sixteen

Sweet Sixteen

Monday, October 18, 2010

The State Fair, Baby!

(WARNING: Picture Overload May Occur While Viewing This Blog Entry)

One of our family's favorite Fall activities is to go to the North Carolina State Fair--especially since it's right here in our home city of Raleigh.   We all have different things that we like about spending the day at the fair and so we try to make sure we cover them all.  Here goes...

The boys really like to pet and feed the animals, large and small.  Josi...not so much.

"So, you want me to hold out my hand and let this furry thing eat some food out of it???"
"OK, I'm trusting you on this one Daddy...let's do it."

"Hmmm...maybe if he can't reach it, I'll get to eat the carrot."

Michael, my tender-hearted child, be-friended the smallest goat and made sure the bigger goats didn't get the food away from him.

Josi is happy to feed and hold her favorite 'pet'...her sister! :)

Now on to some rides!  Josi is game for just about any of the rides and so she and Daddy went down the giant slide to get things started.  Her glasses broke at the bottom (they were already damaged and being held together with super-glue) but otherwise it was a fun ride.  The ride attendants ended up giving us some tape to temporarily fix her glasses so Josi could see for the rest of the day. 

Allen is not so much a ride guy but will jump at the chance to try new foods.  His favorite part of the fair is definitely  the eating part and there is always a lot to choose from.

Josi makes sure Nadia doesn't stray too far away when we give her a 'break' from her stroller.

One of Josi's favorites is the Merry-go-Round. I always have a flashback while standing next to this ride because it was here, 13yrs. ago, that I pondered with a tear-stained face, the 1-day old diagnosis of Down syndrome for the baby girl I was carrying. We went to the fair with Jim's parents (Allen was only 13months old at the time) and met my sister with her 2 young children as well.
The thought that stood out in my mind as I stood watching Jim take Allen on the merry-go-round was that there was not one single child with Down syndrome at the entire fair.  Where were they?  Were we the only ones experiencing this?
  I also had a very strong resolution that I shared with Jim immediately...that we would NEVER keep our child hidden away...that she would go with us everywhere and be a part of everything we do as a family and that others would see that there is beauty and even "normalcy" in having a child with Ds.

So, seeing this beauty riding the merry-go-round is always a thrill for me--even 13yrs. later.

And of course being able to accompany our newest beauty on her first ever ride at the State Fair just filled my cup to overflowing!

Now on to my favorite part of the fair--the rides that make you scream and feel as if your stomach has just left the building...I LOVE IT!!!

However, I had to be patient because Jim got to ride the first thrill ride.  Plus, I'm never so sure that these mega-drop rides are really going to "catch" you before you slam to the ground and become a squatty-body for the rest of your life.   Fortunately, both of my guys are still the same height after their ride.

We had to stop in the Expo Building on the way to the bigger rides so Nadia got a chance to see some farm animals (you know...the ones that you go in and look at and try not to tell your children that they'll be steak and hamburgers next week.) 

I just had to throw this one in because my husband is so darn handsome and our newest daughter is so darn cute!!!

OK, call me weird, but next to the thrill rides, I get a kick out of seeing the prize-winning pumpkin every year.  And every year I have to take a picture of it.  So, here it is...all 864 pounds of it!!!

I'm getting warmed up on this mini-roller coaster with Josi.  I showed her how to hold her arms in the air and scream so she'll be ready to go on the Ring-of-Fire (ROF) with me once she's tall enough! Woo Hoo!

Since I couldn't talk anyone into going on the ROF with me this year, I had to settle for the Cobra with my boys.  OK, this is one of those rides that spins your car one way while the larger arm spins you the other way.  I'm ashamed to admit that I had to close my eyes to keep from hurling.  I'd take the fastest, most curvy, loop-de-loop roller coaster any day over these spinning torture chambers!

 We could only sit 2 to a car so Allen had to share the ride with a stranger.  He handles these situations so well...it makes me very proud!

Had to do the Flying Bobs before calling it a day on the rides.  Josi mentioned partway through the ride that she was going to be sick so I did what any good Mom would do and just told her to hold up her arms and scream. Woo Hoo!

Nadia was quite the trooper in her stroller but we made sure we gave her lots of attention which she rewarded with lots of kisses.

I have a feeling now that Josi has experienced the Bungee Jumping that the merry-go-round might be a thing of the past.  She wants us to put one of these up in our backyard. :)

To top things off...everyone gets to pick their poison...I mean their final fair treat.
Allen chose the fried Oreos while Michael went with an old stand-by.

Josi, a girl after my own heart, went straight for the funnel cake. Yummy!

Last but not least, I cornered a nice lady and asked her to take a family photo to commemorate our first State Fair as a family of 6.  Um...perhaps I should have emphasized the family of 6 thing a little more clearly!

(We did end up getting one with all of us, which is at the top of my blog, but this picture just made me laugh too hard not to include it.)


  1. What a FUN day!!!! Loved all the pictures, but that last one is hilarious :)

    I liked what you said about Josi the merry-go-round and then the picture of her on it now...but the really touching part for me was seeing Nadia on it, because you went from tearful feelings,so long ago, to traveling half way around the world to get (to CHOOSE) another child just like her. I love the symbolism in that. It's beautiful.

    by the way, I would have went for the funnel cake too ;)

  2. Hahahahahahahaha.....I'm dying laughing at that last picture!!! Sorry, but that is toooooo darn funny :) I think that lady did one too many rides and totally could not focus straight. Either that, or you found her in the beer tent.


  3. That last pic is hilarious! We had a photo taken like that one time--at our re-adoption in court. Half of us had headless bodies. :)

    The fair looks SOOOO fun! They don't seem to have county fair's here in New England. What's up with that?! I miss them. It was fun to enjoy yours instead--saved me the stomach ache. :)

  4. You captured the day perfectly. I love seeing your precious family celebrate and love together. Hugs and kisses to you all. I love the last line of your post and your subtle humorous ways of writing:)

  5. I love all the pictures, especially the family one at the top. What wonderful memories!!!

  6. Okay...that family photo of 5 has me laughing hysterically!

    How is it that you look good even when you are about to hurl? You are just always ready for a photo aren't you?

    It looks like the weather is cooling of there? I think of you whenever I see our fall colors....oh, they are gone now :-(

  7. what an awesome day you had! I've been wanting to go, but it'll have to wait until next year when I'm not ready to have these babies! I LOVE all your pictures, but that last one really is priceless. too funny!

  8. That last one is funny, I think Nadia must have taken it, LOL

  9. Hey, we saw that pumpkin too...amazing (probably all the hormones in the dirt). Looks like a good time had by all. I agree with Crystal, Nadia is taking that last photo, right??

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Oops...cutting and pasting doesn't always work in comments!

    I was trying to say that I think I had as much fun looking through the pictures and reading this post as you all did at the fair :).

    The part about Josi and the Merry Go Round got to me. And the picture of Nadia and Josi walking holding hands.

    Your family is precious!



  12. Wonderful photos! I agree with Gretchen ~ you are quite photogenic. Your posts are always worth waiting for. I especially loved the sentiment about the merry-go-round and your girls. Soooo sweet. God bless.

  13. Love the NC State Fair! Looks like y'all had a great time and added a few calories!

    Love the picture of Josi as she's about to hurl!

  14. What a fun day! We are taking Elijah to his first fair this Thurs. Your insight about the lack of Down's kids was right on. Your two are so blessed to be yours! (and you'll just have to educate the rest of the parents)

  15. You always make me laugh with your pics and cry with your words. So sweet to see your life come full circle as you remembered those first memories after Josi's diagnosis of DS and now your first fair with Nadia. I love the pic of your girls walking hand in hand, the one of you and Nadia on the merry-go-round looking at each other, and the one of Nadia kissing Michael's cheek. So precious. But the best is the one posted in your header (followed by the last pic with unappreciated editing).

    Thanks for sharing your sweet memories from the fair.

    Much Love,

  16. That "family" pictures cracks me up! Did she not realize she was cutting someone out?!

    I really like the real family photo-of 6- at top.

    What a fun day you guys had! I bet everyone was worn out after all that excitement.

  17. Looks like the family had a blast, love all the pictures, and your blog looks awesome!!

  18. "Oh, They are soooo lucky!"----Marin

  19. okay, just one more comment-not that you needed one! LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the pics! Brought back so many happy memories of going there-love a fair! Looks like fun was had by all. Favorite pics: Nadia with her hand on Jim,s face, Nadia kissing Michael adn Jossi jumping!! SO cute! Hope to go back there myself one day soon!

  20. "Michael, did you barf after that 'thrill ride'?"-----Matthew

  21. Loved all the pics (like always)! Okay everyone, Aunt k is not kidding about the ring of fire thing. She really does LOVE those kind! She's my companion on those kind :) did u guys see the krispy cream donut?- okay let me describe it to u anyway. glazed DONUT, HAMBURGER (!), all the toppings that go on a regular burger, And on top of all that, ANOTHER donut! Nasty right? I'll say!!! :P

  22. Kristin, I think I remember talking to you that day at the fair, and finding out about Josi. God has certainly taken something scary and turned it into beauty :)