Tuesday, May 5, 2009

An Eventful Few Weeks

My comprehensive doctoral exams are finally over! In fact, I finished them nearly two weeks ago. For the first time in years I have been able to relax a little at the end of the semester instead of pushing myself to the edge of my sanity for the final month of the semester.

A few weeks ago a good friend of ours gave us four tickets to go watch a NASCAR race at the Phoenix International Raceway. Due to a couple of accidents on the interstate, we arrived late, and having never been to a NASCAR race, we didn't have earplugs. For those of you who have gone to a NASCAR event, you're probably saying "amateurs"! We were fortunate to have ladies all around us scrambling through their purses racing to be the first to give us earplugs for our three kids. We all enjoyed the opportunity to watch it live, even if it was quite the hassle packing everything up at the last minute when we learned that we had tickets. As for my favorite part of the race--we didn't get to see any spectacular wreck or anything, so I would have to say my favorite part was after a minor wreck when the caution car finally pulled off the track and all the cars started racing again. With all the cars passing close together, the air filled with the multiplied sound of all the cars passing close together.

If I could do it again, I would take earplugs and I would put the movie Cars in our portable DVD player for the kids to watch on the way to the track.
Two days after our trip to the racetrack, our family enjoyed an evening at the Pima County Fair. Last year marked our first time at the fair here, and like our NASCAR experience, we were novices. We paid full price for the rides, and as a result, our kids only got to go on a few of them. This time we bought tickets in advance, so every ride was marked down considerably. As a result, we spent a very full and fun evening at the fair for a reasonable price.

Having grown up on a farm, one of my favorite parts of the fair was going through the barns to look at the animals. It reminded me of the good old days of raising lambs in 4-H and taking them to the fair. At the same time, it's nice to see and even smell farm animals again after living for years in the city. One of these days we're going to escape the city (at least to a certain degree) and actually have a yard with some room to move around!

Who can pass up the chance to ride in the teacups?
Even the goats are willing to pose with passersby.
This kind girl pulled her chicken out of its cage with an apparent full-awareness of what a treat it is for "cityfolk" to pet chickens.
For those who have not seen our barnyard, well here it is.
Debs got to watch our mischievous son during our ride on the ferris wheel. Both he and the girls loved looking down at the lights of the fair. In fact, we couldn't get Bells to take her eyes off the lights. She turned her head for the picture, but her eyes remained fixed on the lights.The girls loved the rides, and Gabs grew just enough during the last year to be able to go on some of the bigger rides. It's tough to top the experience of taking your kids to the county fair and watching their faces light up with each new adventure.

So having gone twice, what will I change for next year? We'll probably listen to some Chris LeDoux (i.e. County Fair and The Ride) as we drive to the fair, and we'll get a friend to watch the kids while I ride the ferris wheel with Debs.

This last Friday and Saturday, Gabs lost her first two teeth. Each night the Tooth Fairy left her eighty cents in shiny new coins. After losing her second tooth, she told us how she was planning on catching the Tooth Fairy that night. She was so tired, however, that the Tooth Fairy had little trouble retrieving the small tooth from under her pillow and replacing it with a few coins.

On Sunday evening, Grandma Hansen called to speak with Debs, but Gabs got to the phone first, which resulted in a ten minute play-by-play of losing her teeth and getting money from the Tooth Fairy. Don't ask me how you can talk about something like that for ten minutes, but if you're interested in hearing the story, you can call and talk with Gabs--I'm sure Grandma Hansen could tell you all about it now also. If I understand right, Grandma Hansen finally asked to speak with Debs, but when Gabs went to give her the phone, she saw a wonderful opportunity, which she conveyed to her grandma over the phone, "Well it looks like Mom is changing Erik's diaper, so shouldn't I just talk to Grandpa instead?" From what Debs tells me, Gabs then proceeded to tell the story about her teeth to Grandpa.

How lucky can two parents get to have such adorable children!?


rantipoler said...

Congrats on finishing your exams! I envy your relief. Also, your kids are getting SO big. And they definitely are adorable.

Em said...

Your babies are so BIG! I can't believe it! Wow. And congrats on exams...that's got to be the best feeling in a while. :-)