Sunday, September 25, 2011

Puyallup State Fair 2011

We are proud to announce that we have once again survived the canine 4-H competition at Western Washington's State Fair in Puyallup.

After months of work, both girls were excited to be a part of the competition:  THREE days worth of competition, in fact.

You know what that means?  Yep:  Dogs, dogs, dogs and then more dogs.

Of course, it also means days upon days of scones, krusty pups, slushies, strawberry lemonade, roasted corn on the cob, strawberry shortcake, late nights, early mornings, hotels with pools and continental breakfasts.

Day 1:  Agility
Mikayla and Josie spent the day on the bench in the dog barn awaiting their turn to run the agility courses.  She did the Jumpers course and also the standard course, earning blue ribbons in both.

Here are a couple pics and a video.  Please excuse the poor video quality.

Grandpa Dave & Grandma Margie came out to wish Alexia a Happy Birthday and to hopefully see Mikayla and Josie in action.  Unfortunatley, she didn't get her turn in the ring until late that night.

Day 2: Knowledge Bowl
Mikayla completed on the Skagit team in the Knowledge Bowl contest.
Knowledge Bowl is like a traditional game show where two teams compete against each other by answering Canine-related questions to earn points.  The team with the most points advances to the next level.

Are YOU Smarter than a 4-H'er?

Alexia and I spent most of these two days just trying to stay out of trouble since the Dog Barn Lady has a tendency to track my every move... and then report it over the loud speaker in a negative fashion: "No Chairs along the chain fence." "You cannot sit by the fire extinguisher." "No stepping over the chain fence." "Parents cannot handle the animals." You get the picture.

Day 3: Obedience & Showmanship
Both kids & their dogs were on the bench this day since both were competing.

This year the judge was very strict and very few blue ribbons were awarded. Unfortunatley, none of them were awarded to M or A. Regardless, we're very proud of the kids and their dogs. They all put on a great show and performed very well (in our opinion).

Did you notice Alexia's dress? Well, upon our arrival at the hotel (right about 10:15 pm the night before) we discovered that Alexia's outfit for the showmanship competition was going to be enjoying some quiet time back at home, right where we left it. We ended up at the nearest Wal-mart at 11pm to buy the only piece of clothing that was suitable for the competition standards.

There aren't many pictures from the kids during their competitions because 1) the lighting is really bad so most of the pics I took are really blurry, 2) they look a lot like the pics from the last few years anyway and 3) you know by now that I'm usually banished from the barn when the girls are competing so I don't distract the dogs.

Ya know... 'cuz they're my besties.

Grandpa Dave, Aunt Rachel, Aunt Dawn and Cousins Gavin and Aleigh took advantage of the fantastic weather and were able to watch most of the competition - a good thing since I wasn't able to get any videos.

All in all, we all had a great time at the fair and we hope to return next year.

Both girls are moving up to the next level of complexity for next year so there's a lot of hard work in store for them over the next 10 months until County Fair.

Good luck girls!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

September Birthday Extravaganza!

September is a big birthday month in our family.

Not just this year... every year.

Labor Day weekend we found ourselves driving over to the Tri-Cities to meet up with Sue & Steve as well as other extended family & cohorts for a Birthday celebration.

We didn't necessarily stop to smell the roses, but we did head to the park for a little rock climbing along the Columbia River.

We came back home and kicked off the new school year before launching Alexia's birthday party at the Woodland Park Zoo... with a few of her friends.

Can you say "bunch of monkey's"?

We had a good time at the zoo - but it sure brought back memories of "The Mother Who Saved Mother's Day".
Finally back to the house for dinner, cake, presents & a slumber party!

Happy Birthday Alexia!

Next on the family calendar: Swim Meets & State Fair!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Back To School: 9th & 5th

We made it through the first week and a half of school.

Mikayla is now in 9th and in High School.  She's also been enjoying swim team, in addition to all her other activities.

Alexia is now in 5th grade and in Mr. Capper's class.  She's really hoping her grade can get to enjoy Mountain School like Mikayla did when she was in that grade.  Plus, Alexia is excited to take advantage of the 5th Graders Ski Free program up at Mt. Baker this winter.

September is a month full of birthdays and State Fair activities, so stay tuned for more adventures!