Wednesday, October 01, 2014

ribbons for everyone

Another bit of fair fun... the whole family entered items to be judged at the fair. I'm not going to lie the night before the entry drop off was Ka Ray Zee! Abby was heavy into the baking this year, we turned the oven on as soon as we got home and I think I finally turned it off at about midnight because Michael was also into the baking this year.
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On a whim he decided to try and bake a coffee cake and wouldn't you know it he won first place and $10 for his troubles. Mike also tried his hand at penmanship, folk art painting and antiques and walked away with a cool $18 over all. Maya entered some bits of artsy type things, like a Canada Day door decoration (first place!), a piece of her pottery, some paintings and she has a $24 pay day coming to her. Abby got to enter in both the School Fair and the Junior department this year! She baked up cookies, brownies, two kinds of biscuits, and rice krispie squares. As well she entered lots of photographs, some drawings, a very kick ass Canadian Adventure story (starring my girl TC that took 1st place!!) and some other artsy stuff and she came away with $40 Me, I was very happy and proud to take first place in a photo category that was in memory of a friend's father. I baked a tiny bit in amongst Mike and Abby hogging the oven and I kicked Mike's butt in penmanship! Well okay I only scored a 5th, but he didn't place at all, so I can totally do that.
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The four of us had a lot of fun checking out how we all did with our projects. It was a little chaotic getting it all ready, but I'm really glad we took the time. Can't wait for next year. Have you ever entered something in a fair?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

seeing stars

In the midst of Abby's horse show during the fair the local news showed up to film some live, on location stuff for the news at noon. They interviewed some key fair related people as well as Jenna Rae and Stuart Walker, the brother and sister duo that make up The Reklaws a up and coming country music act that were performing at the fair.

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Abby had some down time when they filmed The Reklaws' segment and before I knew it she was front and center at the rail watching them sing. Mom, they are so great can we go see them play? I promised her we could.

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Saturday night found Abby and I down at the main stage for her first live music experience where we ran into one of my best cousin friends. Abby was absolutely beside her self with excitement. She kept telling everyone it was her first concert! True to Abby's word, The Reklaws were great! They played a lot of covers and really knocked them out of the park. Their original stuff was fantastic as well. Mike ended up joining us part way through the show and he was an instant fan as well. So the show as a live music experience was really great and that would have been enough. Abby got to clap and cheer and sing-a-long to a bunch of songs she knew, but then they took a short break and Abby asked me if she could buy a CD.

Now here's where it gets cool......

The day before I wasn't really paying attention to the lady who fell in love with Star at the horse show. She told Grandma Sandi how much her kids would love to ride him and so on.... her kids........ none other than The Reklaws. When Abby went to ask about CD's the very nice lady said, hey you're the girl from yesterday with the horse! So they had a little chat and Abby found out the CD's were $8. Mike took her back to buy one and this happened.....

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With many thanks to our friend Michelle, The Abster got to meet these wonderfully talented folks who were happy to pose for a picture, sign a shirt and her CD. They took the time to tell her she was beautiful and that they needed more people like her in their lives. It goes without saying that she was over the moon for days.... still is over the moon. She sings Reklaw songs all the time and those few moments cemented the Revills as being Reklaw (and Michelle) fans for life.

Check them out on the itunes.

*hat tip to my pal TQ for the photo

Thursday, September 25, 2014

saddle up

When you commit to join a 4H club the outline is fairly simple, you take part in the meetings which usually work out to six, two hour meetings and you wrap up with your achievement day. In our photography club, for example, achievement day was judging day at the fair. The kids had to submit pictures on the chosen topics which we then had judged. For Glee Club the kids put on a performance for their invited guests. You get the general idea.

Abby recently completed her first 4H horse club and achievement day required her to participate in a horse show. Now if you know Abby you know that this caused much anxiety and almost kept her from signing up for the club at all. The week before the show, which was taking place the Friday morning of the fair, she was a bundle of nerves wondering just how she was going to pull it off and fairly certain that the whole experience was going to be the opposite of fun.

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We had to scramble a bit to put together a suitable show outfit, many thanks to Grandma Sandi for the clothes and the alterations and Sarah for the loan of the jacket, but in the end we got her looking right spiffy. Of course none of it would be possible if not for one of the club leaders trailering the world's most fantastic pony Star over to the fairgrounds!

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Abby remained uncertain through the show on the subject of whether or not she was having fun. Horse shows, I am quickly learning, are a lot of hurry up and wait. So there was much down time, which Abby spent practicing when she could and Star spent grazing on all that delicious grass right at his feet when he could.

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By the end of the day Abby had racked up two fourths, a fifth and a sixth (and I scored a wicked sun/wind burn) and, despite her thinking to the contrary, had a fabulous time and is fairly certain she's going to join the club again next year. It goes without saying how proud we are that she was able to have fun despite the nerves. Abby's experience that day really cemented what I find so fantastic about 4H as an organization. She was in a group of her peers where she's making lasting friendships, where she was supported and encouraged to do her best by her leaders and her fellow club members, and she left with a true feeling of accomplishment and increased confidence in herself. Win, win, win.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

thankful

If we're friends on facebook or you're following me on instagram and/or twitter... and really, why wouldn't you be?..... then you know that I spent last Thursday posting an hourly photo to document one of my biggest volunteer days of the year.... judging day at the fair. Well, truly, it was almost hourly. There were a couple hours in there where I kind of lost track of the time as we put the finishing touches on everything.

The pictures probably don't do the amount of work it is justice, but trust me when I say it is so so so much work. This I where I excel as a leader (I think, kinda, sorta), I surround myself with the very best people and I delegate, delegate, delegate. I am so lucky to have such an amazing committee at my disposal. Ladies that create beautiful displays out of the incredible art work the kids submit. Ladies that organize my paper work for me. Guys to lug the heavy stuff and work the power tools. Members who record hundreds of lines of data by hand and attach hundreds of ribbons. Fine folks who help me handle, literally, thousands of pieces of art work including that blasted lego which is so fun and lovely to look at, but gives me an anxiety attack when I have to move it. I may or may not have spent part of Thursday re-building lego projects. I pray to God I got it back together correctly, my apologies if I was off by a block or two. We tackled some big projects this year, new skirting and updating some cabinets with fresh paint and again I had lovely folks to help me get these done as well. I do this because I never get enough of seeing how excited the kids are to see their work up on the walls and out on the tables and I appreciate the team that enjoys it all with me. It's a lot of work, yes, but when you have such a fun group and share as many laughs as we do, well it hardly seems like work at all.

Outside of that work is the rest of my life that I need to keep going while I work on this and I cannot do that without family and friends. Grandmas who fold my towels and get my kids to and from school and riding lessons. Grandmas who let me drop my kiddos off on nights where there is another work bee. Kids who pitch it at work bees and put up with toast and eggs for dinner and laundry that never gets folded. My family (Mom, Linda, Dad, Linda, Mike, Abby & Maya) who are active committee members for months helping put this together. Many thanks go to Mike who's cooking more dinners, signing more agendas, making more lunches and trying to help out with more homework while I buried myself in pre-fair preparations and now post-fair paperwork. If you need me I'll be tied to my laptop for the foreseeable future.

There are my fair friends who help me out when they can and pop by and say hi or the building looks great. Ones who loan the use of their horse trailer so Abby gets her club achievement. Ones that borrow space and who are kind in ways I never expect just because they can be. Friends that work just as hard as I do on their committees getting their area of the fair ready, but are still ready with a smile and a joke. I spent this past weekend talking an interacting with these people in a way I never have before. I was happier, more relaxed and.... dare I say it.... even outgoing. It's something that strikes me after the moment has passed, just a second of wow, how did I get to be this person while knowing that all of them and all of this has played it's part. This whole gig just sort of worked it's way naturally into my lap and I am so grateful it did.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

second place here we come

On Thursday Maya had her first riding lesson after the summer break. As she and Grandma Sandi were tacking up Maya gave Star a little pep talk...... "A second. We need to get a second on Sunday. That's a blue ribbon. A second. Okay, buddy?"

Yes, today was Maya's fourth and final horse show for the year. In the three shows previous she'd won a first, third and fourth, so obviously on Sunday she needed a second to complete her set.

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Grandma Sandi got to get in on the fun this morning and lead MyPie and Star to victory!

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They certainly did manage to bring home that much coveted blue second place ribbon and MyPie could not have been happier. First through fourth are currently gracing the lamp shade in our living room.

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So proud of our girl and can't wait to see what next year's shows bring us! Many thanks to Grandma Sandi for everything.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

funny thing happened on the way home

This afternoon, just around the time Maya should be getting home from school it started to rain like crazy. So I grabbed the big umbrella and headed out to meet her bus so she wouldn't get soaked walking home. As I waited three different people... who clearly weren't hugged enough as children..... came too quickly down the street and just like you've seen a hundred times on TV splashed me from head to toe under my giant umbrella with freezing cold, disgusting, puddle water. And so there I stood, soaking wet under my umbrella that I brought to.... you know... keep me dry. The things we do for love, am I right?

Maya, of course, was thrilled to see me and my umbrella, so we walked the long way home and as we walked we talked......

Maya: Look at those chickens! They're getting wet, but not those chickens under the tree. They are the smart chickens. The ones getting wet over there are the dumb chickens.
Me: Well you aren't getting wet either, so you must be a smart chicken too.
Maya: With a smart chicken mother!

and then...

Me: Hey, guess what happened to me while I was waiting for your bus!
Maya: What?
Me: Three cars went past me really fast and splashed me with puddle water. I'm soaked. Isn't that horrible?
Maya: It might also be funny.

oh that kid....

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Sunday, September 07, 2014

sunday randoms

This weekend was filled with almost too much awesome. There was surprise parties to attend where we all laughed until our sides ached.

There was cabinets to paint where we all marveled in awe at Poppa's mad primering skills.

There was to do lists to organize and have mini anxiety attacks about.

There was hardware-ish type things to order off the internet and then worry about whether or not you ordered the right thing. For the record he says yes, don't worry and I'm decidedly ignoring that advice until they get here.

There was birthday breakfasts to squeeze in amongst the chaos. Happy birthday Granny! You are the best ever! With surprise special guests The World's Cutest Nephew, Uncle Dave and Auntie Mel. Oh and Linda's world famous cheesy eggs. I could eat those every day!

There was cloverbuds to lead. Which was a bit like herding cats and/or caging sand, but it all worked out fine in the end.

There was volunteer barbecues to attend and super fun people to talk TV shows with. Apparently I need to be watching Suits and Lilyhammer. Which sure! As soon as I wrap up Breaking Bad ad get caught up with Sons of Anarchy.

The pay off for all of that awesome is my house is a disaster area my laundry is half done and the sink is full of dishes...... seems a small price to pay.