Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Great Minnesota Get Together 2008

If you don't remember from previous years' posts, the Minnesota State Fair is kind of a big deal. We live within walking distance of the fair grounds, so since we have to put up with the noise (loud, LOUD concerts until late at night, but we only the bass and the crowd, none of the vocals or melody), the crowds, and the traffic, we figure we may as well go and have a good time. First stop is always the Miracle of Life barn where its OK to ogle people giving birth because they're not people, they're animals. Here is Keyton looking at a freshly minted baby lamb.

This is Keyton ogling a horse that was born a few years ago. The horse he is riding is not real. Its a crate with a saddle on it.

From top to bottom: Keyton wearing pig ears, Keyton petting a baby pig that looked like all it wanted to do was sleep, and Keyton and me checking out this year's winner of the Minnesota's Biggest Boar contest, Squeaky. Squeaky is not dead. He's doing what any of us would do if we weighed 1240 pounds-he's laying there, sweating, and charging people money to look at him.
Keyton spent 15 minutes playing in the display that shows how much food a cow eats each day. This is the 10 pounds of corn that a cow would eat if Keyton hadn't stuck his grubby mits in it.
We couldn't miss the yogurt eating contest. The rules are simple: everyone starts with a quart of vanilla yogurt. They say go. First person to empty their bucket wins. The dude in the hat made a valiant showing but a soccer mom out of the frame on the right beat him by 15 or 20 seconds. The kid with a buzzed head next to the young boy in the baseball hat took sixth place, but he also kept heaving as if he were about the vomit. Almost-vomiting boy got a big smile on his face when they gave him his ribbon, so I guess it was all worth it.
Next up was the cottage cheese eating contest. There was no way I was going to sign up but Lachelle kept prodding me until I was sitting on the fence. Then when I saw my competition I thought for sure I could finish in the top 6 and take home a ribbon. The kid in blue got his picture taken and was interviewed by National Geographic--no joke--so look for my white and gray shirt to show up in a NG magazine on newstands soon.
I was really worried about cutting my finger on the lid - you know when you try to slide your finger around the open part so the whole lid just pops off but the lid is sharp so it cuts you open. I didn't want that to happen so I took my time, figuring I could spare a second or two because my stomach was literally at least twice as big as the 9 year olds' around me.
I learned something about myself that day. I can enjoyably eat cottage cheese for about two or three heaping spoonfuls before the salty, curdy, whey-i-ness of it all starts get to me. I trudged on though, because I knew Keyton was counting on me to bring home the prize and bring honor to our family name.
End result - fourth place. Based on the powder pinkness of the ribbon, I should have eaten a little slower and gotten a more respectable yellow ribbon. This is going to hang on my office wall next to my diplomas. (By the way, the old man and woman--a husband and wife team-- in the left of the picture above went 1 and 2. The red headed woman next to me took third. The larger gentleman with the goatee disappointed everyone's expectations and didn't even place.)
Proud family. Lachelle never stopped laughing the entire time- the ordeal took about 10 minutes.
Giant slide. Keyton was a big fan.
Deep fat fried cheese curds and a corn dog so long it didn't fit in the picture.
Lachelle ate almost the entire footlong corndog by herself. The fetus ate the rest.
Cookies from Sweet Martha's.
Since we live close enough, we came home at noon and put Keyton down for a nap before heading back into the mayhem. Keyton was very excited about the stamp they put on his arm so he could get back in, even though he was free to begin with.

Hydrate or die. Keyton discovered the wonders of a camelback.

Saturday August 30, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A day in Billings

We spent Thursday night and Friday day in Billings Montana with my Grandparents Smith before driving (through the night--boo) to St. Paul. Banana and Larry were on the way home from a hiking trip and met us there for a day of the Keety show (that's where we all sit around and do nothing but watch K and comment on how great/smart/athletic/etc. he is). My mom especially likes to watch the Keety show.

Drink up Keet.

Banana and K spend the morning spotting the letter "K" in Banana's book. "That's K for me!" exclaims Keyton!

Grandma and Grandpa Smith treated us all for a fun-filled lunch at Golden Corral. Larry won the "most plates of food consumed" award. Banana won the "most indulgent grandma" award by helping K serve up anything he wanted!

Banana got K a Mr. Potato Head for the car. K must have played with it for nearly 2 hours. Way to be Banana. . . and K!

Banana and Lachelle work on their smiles.

Four generations of Smiths.

12 hours to St. Paul, 13 to Portland. The race is on.

Friday August 22, 2008

Great-Grandparents (who are great)

Keyton loved going to Grandma and Grandpa Great's house this summer to look at the robin's nest, ride bikes on the patio, and play catch with Grandpa. We're sure going to miss being so nearby!

Thursday we started the first leg of our trip back to St. Paul. On the way we stopped in Idaho Falls to visit K's only living great-great-grandparent, Grandma Browning (that's "Grandma Brownie" to K). Grandma's an amazing lady, in her 90s, is blind, yet still lives alone and is sharp as ever. We're proud to claim you as family Grandma, and hope we could be just half as cool as you.

We also stopped in St. Anthony, Idaho to visit the gravestone (aka "grandpa's rock" to K) of Grandpa Mickey (my great, K's great-great grandpa). Grandpa was always giving us super ripe bananas (like you better make banana bread with those suckers fast or they're going to start dissolving in your kitchen ripe) when we went to visit him. That's why it seemed fitting to leave him a banana to commemorate his passing, 6 years ago this Thursday. I miss him.

Thursday August 21, 2008

Boise World Center for Birds of Prey

Turns out K isn't as big as a California Condor.

August 16, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Weekend With the Cousins

Mike, Natalie, Avery, and Aidan came up for the weekend. Good times had by all.

August 8-11, 2008

Y Not Tri

YMCA Y-Not Tri(athlon) August 7, 2007
26 weeks (6 months) pregger

K wanted to be in the "car race" too. Assistance from Nick and our friend Sue who came to visit for the weekend.
August 7, 2007

Sunday, August 03, 2008

What a Bad Idea

I do not approve of this new father-son activity on Grampa Terry's new scooter. $4.09 per gallon gas is persuasive for some people, but it's going to take more than that for one of those to live at our house!

August 3, 2008

Camping at Last Chance

All growing up, we (Nick is writing this) went camping at Last Chance campground by McCall, Idaho with Bill and Del Lou's family. We decided that it was about time Keyton got a taste of nostalgic camping so we went up after work last Friday with Terry and Becky. Keyton had a blast. It only took him 5 minutes to have his hands and face completely covered in dirt. He is a boy through and through.

K and Gramma Becky kickin' it by the fire.

K roasts hotdogs with mom.


When it was finally time to lay down and go to bed Keyton started vibrating. Something about being in the tent gave him an unmanageable amount of energy. He finally settled down enough to lay next to Lachelle and scratch at her neck for 30 minutes. Then it was my turn for another 5 or so before he finally fell asleep, only to wake up in the middle of the night and say "Daddy, I need a banket." The clown blanket did the trick and he slept until 9 o'clock.

Gramma fixes a killer breakfast.

Hiking to the big rock ("House Rock").

Dad watches intently while K practices his jumping skills.

"At the same time!!"

The rest of the group headed back to take down camp. I walked with K who stopped every three steps to dig in the rocks. We did make it back. . . eventually.

It was probably OK that we were a little tardy because Dad and Grampa didn't appreciate K's help taking down the tent.

August 1-2, 2008