Monday, July 22, 2013

AHF 2013

AHF = After Harvest Festival

In high school, it was the highlight of the summer.  Now, it's just an excuse to go home once a year. 

The drinking and dancing isn't near as fun as it was 10 years ago, but the people watching and time in the wide open country is even better.  (Especially now that I live in a city.)

So I left work early on Friday, packed up the car with my brother, sister-in-law, and three kids and made the 4 hour trip home to central Kansas.


I drove and Christa sat in the front seat, which left Tony to fend for himself with the three kids in the next two rows.  Hunter screamed most of the trip, and Allie was bored out of her mind (especially since we somehow forgot her iTouch) so she did her best to antagonize Tony and Brody. 

We made a couple of stop along the way - either for bathroom breaks or because Hunter just needed out of his car-seat.  Alco was one of those stops.  We were all happy to stretch out our legs and do some shopping!

Notice the clouds.  There's nothing like watching a storm roll in across the Kansas plains.

(Yes, I let Hunter run around barefoot...against his mothers wishes.  His little feet were black!)

We got home kind of late, but everyone was wide awake...well, except for me.  I went to bed shortly, but everyone else stayed up - kids included.  

The boys LOVED playing with Tony's cars from when he was little.
 The plan was to get up early and run 9 miles on Saturday before the parade.  I had my alarm set, however, I also had a large, loud fan blowing so I didn't hear the kids upstairs.  When I rolled over and saw the sun already up through the basement window, I knew I had overslept.  And sure enough, the alarm was going off next to me, but I couldn't hear it over the fan.  I was SO mad.  Jumped up, threw my clothes on and ran out the door to try and get at least some workout in.  
7 miles later, after lots of weaving through blocks to avoid the sun since I forgot my sunglasses, and I was back at the house.   I ran harder than I was planning on - partially because I was mad and partially because I was in a hurry - so I felt okay about missing the last two miles. 

I didn't even have time to shower.  Just changed clothes and took off for the first AHF event:  the big parade down Main Street, complete with a fly-over by a crop duster.

The kids were so excited - Hunter, especially - and each ended up with a gallon size baggie over half full of candy!  Not bad for just sitting on a curb and waiving. :)

Two of my friends from high school were "advertising" for a local bridal store in the parade.   Lacy tried to talk her boyfriend in to running behind the golf cart and she was going to be the "Runaway Bride."  He declined, but they were still hilarious!

It was a hot July day - too hot for us girls - so we went back to the house for naps while the boys went shooting in the country.  I mean, what else is there to do in small-town-Kansas besides shoot anything that moves? ;)  We girls made our annual trip to Wal-Mart - the only place to visit in town - and had fun trying on lots of clothes.  We actually bought some stuff, too!  How can you pass up $6 t-shirts and $3 tank tops!?

When Hunter woke up from his nap, I thought he might be hungry.  So being the awesome Aunt that I am, I provided him with the best food: chocolate milk, mini pop tarts, Cheetos, and M&M's.  He loves me.  That's why he poses for pictures where ever I prop him up. ;)

We attempted to walk the dog with my mom,and made it approximately 1.5 blocks before we turned around from the heat.  She kept walking, and we hopped in the car and met her down at the park for a quick jaunt around the fountain.  Much better than walking (and carrying Hunter) the whole way.

My mom's dog, Deuce.  Isn't she a beauty?  (Old, but still a beauty.)

The boys finally made it home from the country, so we all cleaned up and went back for more AHF festivities: the carnival, dance, and beer garden. 

Matching outfits and we didn't even plan it!

It had been raining on and off most of the afternoon, but it had just started clearing up when we left town.  By the time we were out in the country, we saw the most beautiful rainbow.  It started out not that bright, and only one side was visible, but we stopped for pictures anyways.

Slowly, as the sun came out more, you could see both sides.

Then it got brighter and brighter as we kept driving...

And soon it was a double rainbow that you could follow all the way across. 

Isn't this such an awesome picture!?  I almost want to frame it...

This was the view the opposite direction from the rainbow...the sun coming out from behind the clouds and shining on the wet pavement. 

Now since it had rained and the sun was going down, it wasn't quite the hot summer night we had anticipated.  We were actually all freezing.  And there aren't an abundance of stores in Ellinwood to purchases clothes.  However, we totally lucked out at the one gas station in town...  In a separate back room, they had a rack full of old sweatshirts.  And by old, I mean, they actually had a thick layer of dust on them from not being moved.  Not joking.  But hey, when you're cold, you sacrifice.  We bought two of them - one for Christa and one for myself - for $3.50 each.  Marked down from $14.50!  What a steal! 

By the time we got up to the city park for the dance, the kids had decided they wanted sweatshirts, too.  So back up to the Pop 'N Shop we went...for two more sweatshirts.  We were quite the spectacle then: 4 people (two kids) in matching dusty sweatshirts huddled together in a beer garden.

With the rain delay, the band hadn't started playing yet, so we walked over to the carnival, and the kids each got to ride two rides.  They went together on those things that spin around and around...ugh, makes me sick just to think about them.  Then Brody went down the giant slide on a gunny sack and Allie rode some rocket herself.  Girl is crazy.  Meanwhile, I somehow managed to avoid the cotton candy.  It's a small miracle.

We made our way back to the dance (ie the basketball court in the city park) since the band had started playing.  By that time, it was already 10pm.  Brody was done.  He was up late the night before, Hunter woke him up in the night, he got up early, and didn't get a nap.  He lasted all of 30 minutes at the dance before we all had to pack up and call it a night.  Why we didn't bring two cars is beyond me.  We had talked about it and planned on it, but somehow we all hopped in the same car when we left town.

Poor little guy could hardly keep his eyes open.
Everyone slept in on Sunday morning, and had donuts for breakfast.  I think the boys enjoyed them, yes? 

You'd think they were starving!

Like I said, there really just isn't much to do in small towns, and you can only entertain three kids around the house for so long.  So it was off to Wal-Mart.  Again.  This time, to look at there iPad's for my mom. 

I forgot to mention I hooked up a Wireless network at the house on Friday night.  Her computer is an ancient piece of nothing and too slow to even work.  She needed a way to see her babies in KC when she is back home...and what better way is there than free FaceTime with an iPad!?  Luckily, she was down with paying for it, haha! 

While we dealt with the iPad, the kids had fun trying out the toys in the store.

Christa was SO close to winning!

Everyone went out to eat lunch with one of Tony's friends while my mom and I stayed home to clean up the house and have some quick iPad lessons.  Once they were home, Hunter was tired, and we decided it best to just throw our stuff in the car and start making our way home so he could sleep for some of the drive. 

He loves to cover up his head for some reason, so he stole Allie's blanket.  What started out as a cute game of peek-a-boo turned in to him falling asleep under the blanket.  When we finally pulled it off an hour later, his poor little head was soaking wet with sweat!

We made another stop at Alco to buy a move for the kids to watch.  Warning: RV is NOT a good movie.  The original thought was it would still be better than watching nothing, but that ended at the next pit-stop and we didn't turn it back on.  Hunter continued to scream on and off - the napping thing didn't last long - so we were all glad to make it back home around 5:30. 

 Next year, we'll be more prepared for the AHF trip home.  Allie will remember her books and iTouch, we'll be sure to get a movie that people actually want to watch, and we'll take two cars to the night festivities.  And hopefully Hunter won't scream in the car. ;)

**Thanks, Christa, for about half of the pictures in this post! :)

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