16 August 2011

A Day at the Iowa State Fair

This is what our most recent family trip looked like.  My goodness, it's been a while since we've gone and done a day for just the four of us.  What a wonderful time we had.

We disembarked for the Iowa State Fair at 8:30ish yesterday morning, returned in the late afternoon and watched a little TV together before bath, books, prayers and bed.  Many, many pictures follow.

No more strollers: Mom & Dad sold them all! We're a wagon family now!

The Petting Zoo is a huge hit, particularly when your bus drops you off less than 100 yards away.

Daddy and his little farm girls.  Grandpa and Grandma Johnson will be so proud!

Off to work!

First we plant our seeds...

...then we harvest the crop...

...then it's off to market!

Gotta drive the tractor out to get the corn and soybeans.

Hopefully she can avoid hitting the lightpole and breaking an oil line. You know, like Daddy didn't.

Time for milking!

What you can't see is the automated machine that will replace these girls in a few years...

We're almost ready to sell our produce and get some money! Unlike real farming, at the State Fair young farmers don't have to pay the bank before going to buy groceries. 

Then we found the big tractors so Daddy could play. This won best FFA restoration prize - a 1975 International.

Note the tank up top - this tractor runs on LP gas.

A Moline baling machine restored by an FFA club.

John Deere 4020 - first tractor I ever learned to drive by myself.

Ainsley thought this one was cool until we got to the big NEW tractors.

I'm somewhat disappointed newer tractors come with passenger seats- back in my day we had to sit on the toolbox!

When I was a kid, my brothers and I used to pretend tractors and combines were spaceships.  If I were a kid today, I'd be doing the exact same thing.  Heck, if I were a FARMER today I'd be doing it!
We made it all the way to 4:00 before calling it a day and going home.  Some of us didn't make it home awake.
There was more - lots and lots more.  We had a funnel cake, and I spent an hour at the Iowa Craft Beer Tent.  We took in a kid's show and walked through all the livestock barns.  We saw the "Big Boar" and the "Big Bull" and I saw the biggest draft horse I've ever seen, from a distance: he had to be at least 20 hands high, unless my eyes were playing tricks on me.  The girls ate sno-cones and sandwiches and ice cream and we debated the deep-fried butter before deciding to wait until next year.  On our way out, we saw a brother and sister who had been stuck in the slingshot for two hours get rescued by the fire department.  It was a great day, and we can't wait to do it all over again soon.  Here's to family days and the restorative joy of being with the three most important, wonderful, loving people in my life.


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