With the crazy summer we had, chances were slim we'd walk away holding any titles.
This year, we may not have held onto our championships but we did take all of the other top positions bringing in a large sum of money for these kids to split. Certainly the conciliation prize for some chicken trauma dealt with before we even made it through the barn doors.
One of our sweet birds suffered an indescribably calamity necessitating Christian putting her down. Another developed an abscess that needed lancing and draining.
Don't let Annie's face fool you. She was so excited to preform a medical procedure on a chicken. The beginnings of what she hopes to be a career in nursing ... but on people, not chickens.
We live for the thrill of check in. Every entry is running about. Weighing and tagging birds. Trying last minute to either increase or decrease weight. Matching up genders. Matching up weigh-in numbers. Hoping to put together that perfect pin. Praying not to be disqualified.
This year it was pretty cool to see Eliza's picture everywhere. She was the face of all media hype. From posters to program books. She was everywhere.
We met the photographer who had snapped the shot.
Her photo was on every press pass and I.D and we kind of felt like celebrities.
Grandaddy swung in to see all the hoopla and cheer us on.
In years past, the kids have put their weight behind supporting the one among them who may win. This year, each took an auction slot with the ownership of their own pin and their individual experience in the arena.
$3000.00 to split among the four of them wasn't shabby.
But money aside, the fun in working along side your friends and running amuck just being a kid outweighs anything.
Janie accomplished the Reserve Grand title in the showmanship competition. That girl fights for the top.
Auction night is full of excitement.
I loved standing outside of the arena watching my kids market themselves to the ranchers getting ready to place bids.
Making a name for themselves helps drive the auction bidding up.
And Annie was feeling cute ...
Even more cute when this boy stopped to ask her questions about the auction show.
It's a typical scene, complete with all things fried.
And excitingly, uncertain, teeth-chattering rides built in mere minutes by carnival workers.
We await our turn for the arena.
And leave thrilled with the outcome.
A true American experience to cap off our summer.