It’s Dollars to Donuts

Yesterday we filled our cooler with all sorts of tasty food, slathered on the sunscreen, and headed to the Iowa State Fair. We do the fair cheap, which means that most of the money we spent was on admission and parking. We don’t eat meals there– that’s what the cooler is for– and we don’t ride a ton of rides. We check out the free stuff and even only doing that we don’t have time to do everything. The Iowa State Fair is pretty epic.

Anyway, here is some pictoral evidence of our fun day yesterday.

Our first stop was the animal barns because I had a feeling my children would find farm smell even less appealing when the temperatures got hot. I thought this sheep was funny.


Here we are watching the sheep get a bath. Actually by this time it was getting blow-dried. On a side note, next time I mention an urge to get my hair chopped short again, could someone show me this picture? Seriously, the four-inch ponytail is such an attractive look for me.


Believe it or not, these are time-traveling cows from 18,000 years in the future. I know it’s hard to read, but if you look closely at their signs it says they were born in 20008. This is the sort of thing that delights me. Strangely enough, the cows of the future look pretty much the same as the cows of the present.


This is not a real cow. I just wanted you to know because I wouldn’t want my bloggy pals to feel dumb.


We let each of the kids choose one ride, and Bubs picked this roller coaster called the Crazy Mouse. I kept asking him again and again if he was sure because last year’s first ride on a roller coaster ended with him as white as a sheet and almost crying. He was bound and determined to get on that coaster, so one we got.


Hard to believe my little man is so tall! I keep looking at these pictures and thinking how grown up he’s looking these days.


Just starting out– Bubs is still smiling. I think actually this is the last time he smiled. Once we started up the hill he was pretty much over it. And once we started going fast, well, his womanly shrieks of terror were audible throughout the fairgrounds.


That’s us up there. I think this is a really cool picture. Too bad it doesn’t have sound.


I know it’s kind of hard to see his face here, but trust me when I say this is not a happy Bubs face. Poor kid. He kept yelling “this isn’t safe! this isn’t safe!”


Of course, last night when I was putting the boys to bed I asked what their favorite part of the fair was and would you believe this child said the roller coaster was? Apparently he likes being scared half to death. Weirdo.

After the roller coaster fail, it was time for some cool air and a change of pace, so we headed for the varied industries building, where many people have no manners and many vendors have temporary tattoos with which to advertise their wares by pasting them all over our willing children.

But first, a potty and diaper break and some photographic evidence that the Little One actually was with us.


Our group of churches puts together this display each year to show how big the Ark would have been. It has model trains running through it, which of course makes it a required stop along our journey through the varied industries building. You can see a few of Stinky’s tattoos on his arm here.


Another sign that my Bubs is growing up is that when he took his shower tonight he was trying to rub the tattoos off. He didn’t think it would be okay to wear them to church tomorrow. A year ago he cried when his tattoos started to come off. I don’t miss the tears but all this great-big-first-grader stuff is getting to me a bit.

After getting our children branded with advertisements, we went out to our van for a delicious lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and grapes. Refreshed and refueled, we made our way back and went to the Little Hands on the Farm exhibit. This is a pretty cool exhibit and the kids look forward to it every year. They basically get to see what goes on on a farm– they plant “seeds” and harvest vegetables, collect eggs and apples and corn and soybeans, milk a fake cow, pedal a tractor, etc. Then at the end they take all their produce to the farmer’s market where they get a “dollar” to spend at the little store they have set up. On a day when the heat index was hovering around a hundred, the boys each enjoyed a bomb pop.


This would be such a nice picture if it weren’t for the giant red square growing out of Bubba’s head.


Can you see the sweat running down his face? It was hot.


We stopped at a few other places, but by this time it was early afternoon and it was just so miserable out. So we had to stop by the fountains to cool down.



It was fairly breezy outside, so the mist from the fountains was going all over. I took the Little One through it, thinking she might cry or freak out, but I think she was just as hot as the rest of us, because she seemed pretty happy. Look at her hair, poor baby. She has the hairline of a balding old man. It cracks me up. The new stuff is already starting to grow in underneath though.


After all that running around, everyone was ready for a little treat, so we got a snack. Bubs had been talking all day about wanting to have cotton candy. He had never had it before. So I got him a stick and he got to watch them make it, which he thought was pretty neat. He couldn’t eat it all– that’s a lot of sugar right there– and I wasn’t even sure he liked it all that much but he told me last night it was his other favorite part of the fair. Boys.


He looks so grown up in this picture I want to cry every time I look at it.

Stinky got a shaved ice, which he thought was simply delightful.


It was getting to be time to go because my sweetie had class last night, but first it was Sam’s turn for a ride. He pretty much had to go on a kiddie ride because he was just about an inch too short for all the big rides, so he picked this helicopter ride. He had a blast even though afterward he told me that a couple times he felt like he was going to puke. Stinky has hypochondria issues and since Bubs had felt a little wobbly after his ride, Stinky felt it would be appropriate to also feel ill.


This is just a picture I took on the midway. I think it’s cool. Look at all the barefooted people; I think they must tell them they have to take flip-flops off.


And finally, Little One had to pose for one more photo opportunity. She was laughing and squealing and talking back to all the noise of the rides. I just really like this picture.


And that was our day at the fair. The boys are already plotting which ride they’re going to choose for next year. We might have to just go crrazy and let them each choose two. 🙂

Hope you’re having a lovely weekend. 🙂


11 thoughts on “It’s Dollars to Donuts

  1. what a lovely day! i love that crazy mouse ride. does that make me crazy? how funny that your little man kept yelliong about safety! and that it was his favorite 🙂 loved seeing the smiling faces of your family!

  2. Just wait till your head barely comes to his shoulder! *sinff*

    Great pics, and sometimes the fair on the cheap is the best way to do it! Judah HATES roller coaster, so Bubs is pretty brave!!

  3. How do you know those are cows from the future? 18,000 years is a long time, maybe that is what humans evolve into in 18,000?? They could be time travellers here in disguise!

  4. Great fun seemed to be had by all!! Glad you took the kids to see all the exciting animals and activities. Wow – has Ryan grown!! Sam, too!! Great pictures, too!!

  5. You’re title made me squeal! I LOVE that silly musical State Fair! 🙂 Also, I agree with Ryan, roller coasters ARE NOT SAFE which is why I do not ride hem. Fortunately my husband is around to take the girls on them as (well, the ones they’re big enough for) who adore them!

  6. Oh I forgot to mention how beautiful you’re daughters big eyes are! I love those black and whites of her! My neice is pretty! 🙂

  7. How fun! I too am surprised at how little cows have changed in 18,000 years. Surely there is a scientist somewhere that needs to know about this! Also, I can’t believe classes have started already for your husband – it’s barely August! I don’t start for another…oh crap, less than two weeks!! Yeegh…

  8. Hey at least you attempted the crazy mouse. I was pretty sure it would make me sick so instead it was suggested to me that I ride that skyscraper thing or the ejection seat.

    I took a pass on all three!! 🙂

  9. Makes me jealous–we went to our first Ohio State fair this year being new to the state…..lets just say it doesn’t even BEGIN to compare to Iowa….gosh, I miss Iowa! Your boys are getting so big….I can’t believe Sam and Kaitlyn are going to be five here shortly! It’s seems like just yesterday we celebrated their SECOND birthday together–how can they be five already? Ok….I’m sad and tend to pine away the years too much sometimes. :0)

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