Monday, August 31, 2009

Today's Adventure: The New York State Fair

Since we live half an hour from the state fair, it seemed sort of silly to miss it entirely. Tonight was the only possible night for a visit, so I packed the kids up and met Evan down there at 5:00.

All bundled up! I know we'll probably have another heat wave, but for now, it's feeling like fall!

The sand sculpture-- the U.S.S. New York, I think? It was pretty well done, but it was too early in the fair to see the whole thing completed.

Living statues.

They would pose with people, but neither Cheyenne or Elliott wanted to pose with weird white people. Hmm, maybe that's why we haven't had a family picture in a while.

On to the petting zoo...

Okay, the giraffe is pretty freaky looking, I can see why Cheyenne wasn't too keen on feeding the giraffe.

Evan did the bulk of the actual feeding.

This is an action shot of the way Cheyenne "feeds" the giraffe-- hold the carrot, then fling it into the air and back up when the giraffe's tongue comes within three feet. On a side note, is that Hannah Montana in the background? I'm not quite up on all my teeny-bopper celebrities, but she sure was looking like someone I see emblazoned on all Wal-Mart items.

Elliott (i.e. Evan) feeds the giraffe. That is one weird tongue, Giraffee!

Marilla thought it was great!

Cheyenne attempts to feed the zebra. Another drop-the-carrot-before-animal-contact moment.

The kids did awesome with the pony rides, though!

I had no idea Elliott had it in him to sit composedly on a pony! Maybe there's hope for his dog phobia...

He's even petting the horse...

and smiling!

Marilla got to pet the pony before the ride.

Farm Girl Extraordinaire, enjoying herself.

This guy told us he's been walking ponies around in circles for 2 1/2 years. That has got to make you a little loopy. (He wasn't exactly an advertisement for normalcy, that's for sure.)

I'm just so proud of him doing this!

Two little lambs... think we'll keep them!

Marilla's turn!

This kid has the best smile!

Michael Hilby, the Skinny German Juggle Boy. He is the funniest performer I have ever seen. We first saw him in 2000, and he's the main reason I usually want to go to the fair. It was some job keeping the kids occupied for his one hour show, but I laughed so hard my face still hurts. Petition the fair in your part of the world to host him-- you'll thank me!

Now we're home again, and the blankets and clothes covered with chocolate milk, sugar and grease are all in the washer. And I'm contented.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Gilbert's Homecoming

In my usual fashion, I took (or coerced Olivia into taking) over 200 pictures this last visit to Vaughans'. I realized tonight I didn't have time to put ALL the good pictures up, but I knew I would have people baying for blood (specifically, the Alaska Aunt in Dillingham), if I didn't post pictures of this.

So here he is, Gilbert Harley Cotten the Beautiful.

There was a little bit of excitement when he pulled in the driveway, with his mother and father in tow. And once he came inside, there was even more excitement.

Lily looks so happy to see him.

Elliott realizes the gravity of the situation more.

Lily's first snuggle with Gilbert.

Gentle pats!

Orianna gets a turn to hold him! It's wonderful being the Really Big Sister.

Lily smiling again.

I love this picture. Can you find Gilbert in this picture of sisterly and cousinly devotion?

Orianna holding him again, flanked by the other girls.

Okay, they were pretty much all the same picture, but they were all too cute to be cut.

Lily grinning again, while she holds Gilbert!

The newly expanded Cotten family, in their first (albiet unposed) family portrait.

"Let's touch Gilbert!"

Orianna was rather glad that Mommy was back. The girls were both excellent for all the aunties and grandparents watching them, but there's nothing like having parents!

Bet, snuggling her girls. Before this week, she'd never been away from them overnight, except for her brief hospital stay with Lily.

Isn't he intelligent looking? Dad swears he said "Grandpa" already.

More group holding.

Then Orianna holds him again!

Olivia gets a turn.

Orianna moving in for a kiss.

He's so perfect!

After all the excitement, Orianna fell asleep while Justin was reading to her!

There's lots more pictures coming, but now I need to go to bed. That three-hour Sunday nap just wasn't enough!