Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Canfield Fair

The Canfield Fair is a big event here in Youngstown, and something we wanted to check off our "Youngstown bucket list" before we move away next year.
We got to the fair shortly after it opened last Saturday morning, which worked out perfectly. The crowds were sparse and the temperature was still cool.

Our first stop of the day was the bee and honey exhibit, where we learned about modern beekeeping. It's pretty neat how it works!

Next, we headed to the animal barns. First up was the 4-H ponies.
Cambree was interested in this pony until it got a little too close and personal ;)

Bethany loves animals and enjoyed petting several of the ponies.

After the ponies was the bunny barn. There were so many different kind of bunnies--small, giant, spotted, fluffy, etc. Most of them were so cute and soft looking!

Bethany so sweetly talked to many of the animals. "Hello bunny! Hello bunny!" She sure has a sweet little heart.

After the bunnies was the sheep and goat barn. Even Cambree got in on the petting action and pet one of the sheep. She loves animals too, and always gets excited when we see dogs on our walks. It was neat to hear animals being shown in the background for different competitions as we wandered through the various barns.

Then we headed to "Old McDonald's Barn", the official petting zoo part of the fair (not just 4-H show animals), and also cruised by some cows on the way. Bethany and Grace got to hold a rabbit there, which they were pretty excited about, and pet some other animals as well.

Petting a cute little donkey.

As we were making our way back to the other side of the fair to visit some friends, we stopped in a booth that happened to have some beanie babies for $1, so each of the girls got to pick one out as their "treat."

My parents neighbors participate in Civil War reenactments, and were there as part of the fair this year. This is Theresa and her grandma. Grace rides on the same school bus as Theresa, and her and Bethany love to play with Theresa when they go to my parents house for rest time. 

Checking out Theresa's tent.

Cambree and Kaylee spent most of the 4 hours we were there in their strollers. They were such troopers!

The part of the fair I was most excited about was the historic village. Historic buildings from the area (from the 1800 and early 1900's) have been moved here over time (like a log cabin, schoolhouse, library, blacksmith shop, country store, doctors office, lawyers office, etc.) and it was really neat to see and step back in history for awhile. 


The log cabin:

There was some old time music playing in the background as I was exploring the buildings, and I headed back over to where everyone was having a snack to see Grace and Bethany dancing in the gazebo. It was a sweet candid moment.

Grace and my dad checking out the old schoolhouse.

Often as soon as we go outside, Cambree will immediately search the ground for a stick, which is what she and Kaylee are doing here (having just been released from the strollers). I love that about my little adventurer.

Another candid moment. Turned from hanging out by Kaylee (while my parents, Grace, and Bethany explored the old train) to see Travis and Cambree stomping in a puddle. Such a sweet daddy moment!

My parents treated the girls to a couple rides each. Bethany's first choice was the pony rides. She had the BIGGEST SMILE on her face almost the entire ride. She loved it!

Grace's first ride was a pirate adventure obstacle course. She was a little overwhelmed by it all at first, but eventually made her way through it and had a good time.

Bethany's second ride was the kid's ferris wheel. She was pretty scared at the beginning, but warmed up to it as the ride went on. I was proud of her for facing her fear and sticking it out!

Grace's last ride was the batman ship ride. She had a blast going round and round, trying to shoot us with her laser beam.

After the rides, we grabbed some fair food--a Molner's cinnamon roll--and happened upon the cutest puppet show in our quest to find a place to eat it. The kids loved the Muppet and Sesame Street themed show, and we ended up watching it twice and enjoying the shade. Kaylee watching the show:

In between shows, Grace and Bethany made some edible fires (with pretzles, French fry chips, marshmallows, red hots, and candy corn) at the Camp Fire Girls booth. It was such a cute craft and fun treat.

Me and my love.

The best part of the puppet show as getting to snuggle my sweet Cambree. She's such a go-go girl that I treasure every second of cuddle time with her.

While I cuddled Cambree, Kaylee snuggled Grammy and Poppy:

 By this time, the temperature was HOT and the kids were ready for a rest, so we grabbed one last treat--an elephant ear-- and headed home.
We had a great morning, and were so glad we finally made it to the fair! 

Monday, August 31, 2015

First Day of First Grade

Somehow this summer completely FLEW by, and the first day of school was here before I hardly knew it.
Monkey bread is a breakfast that Grace requests from time to time, so we made it for her as a special first day treat. Grace and Bethany were so excited to eat one of their favorite breakfasts!

I almost teared up helping Grace get ready this morning. She suddenly seemed SO tall, as if she'd transformed into a big first grader overnight! I just couldn't believe the 6 year old vision in front of me, all ready to go to school for her first day.

She anxiously waited for the bus, asking again and again why it wasn't here yet. ;)

And when the bus finally came, and she had serenely watched it pull up and heard Travis and I say our final "I love you's", she was off--confidently running to her old bus driver and a whole new year.
Grace and her bus driver April.

I was just so impressed with her this morning--at her confidence and maturity. She was ready for it. She reported that she had a great first day, and I hope the rest of her first grade year will be just as wonderful!
And since I haven't posted a picture of all our sweet girls in a long time, here is a picture of all them in matching dresses from this past Sunday:
(Bethany, Kaylee, Cambree, Grace)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Family Campout 2015

A family campout has been on our summer bucket list, and last night we made it happen! We decided to go family friendly, and stayed at the Salem KOA, about 30 minutes from our house in Youngstown. It was a great campground!
Cambree, our little adventurer, was so happy to be in the great outdoors, and loved exploring the little bridge near our campsite and running around.

After exploring a little, we quickly set up our tent (with some help from some kind camping neighbors), then headed to the pool, where we had fun swimming and going down the slide.

When the pool closed for the night, we headed back to camp to get dinner started and finish getting our campsite set up.

I looked over while setting up camp/getting dinner ready to see this sweet little moment between Kaylee and Bethany. Kaylee apparently thought Bethany's shirt was pretty cute and interesting, and Bethany was sweet enough to play along. ;)

We took a break from our typical healthy diet (for fun and ease of convenience) and had a classic campfire dinner--hot dogs, watermelon, chips, and potato salad. After dinner we roasted smores (my first time trying them with peanut butter--yum!) and dad made a yummy peach cobbler in his new dutch oven.

The men working the fire with the skill of true scouts, and roasting dogs for the women folk.

This was Kaylee and Cambree's first campout, and they had fun eating dinner at the picnic table.

Grace was VERY proud to have roasted her own hot dogs and marsh-eh-mellows (as she calls them). It was pretty cute. :)

Bethany enjoying her sticky marshmallow (she prefers her smores deconstructed).

More camping fun:
Grammy loving on Kaylee. Mom was a big help watching these little wanderers around the campsite, while we made dinner and set up/took down camp.

 Kaylee found my glasses and had fun wearing them around camp like this:
Kaylee (L) and Cambree (R) having fun using flashlights for the first time and sitting in their new camp chairs.

It was a beautiful night!


We went easy for breakfast and got our favorite doughnuts for a special treat, to go with some bananas, cold cereal, and juice. My dad went big as always though and made him and mom toast, bacon, and eggs.

After breakfast, my mom, dad, and I took the girls to the camp playground to play while Travis packed up camp.
Grace was so proud to be pumping her legs and swinging all by herself!

We all had fun playing there.

My pretty Kaylee babe:

There was this cute little playhouse that the kids had fun playing in too:

Grace has always loved having her picture taken in these wood cut-outs, and wanted to try each one they had. :)

She told me this was her being a marshmallow--LOL! I love her creative mind!

Hunter Grace:


The kids did great on the campout, except for poor Cambree who came down with the flu around dinner and woke up moaning about every hour during the night. :( Needless to say, she needed some extra snuggles from her mom, dad, and Grammy today. The rest of the girls fell asleep fast and slept great through the night though.


Other than poor Cambree getting sick, we had a good time, and we all went for a nice paddle boat ride together before packing up and heading home.