This year was the seventh year we have attended our parish annual carnival! Click here to see John as a almost-three-year-old! Cute! Time sure flies. This year, our lanky boy, sprouting like a weed, ran around for six hours with his friends, checking in with us only briefly.
It was so interesting to reflect on the changing seasons. When we attended the carnival seven years ago, we were new to the parish and had just a preschooler and a baby. We hadn't made any friends yet. This year, we have five kids and they were racing all over the place with their many friends. We saw so many of our friends, and stopped to talk about this and that. Chris and I were both asked to be interviewed on video camera for the stewardship program about our various volunteering activities. Two mothers checked in with me to announce their pregnancies and ask for help from the St. Gerard's ministry I run. We talked to two priests we know and met with the new seminarians. Busy bees, here, there, and everywhere. We are so connected now, and that is a real blessing.
The kids save up their money for this event each year: we buy the arm bands for going on rides, they buy the games and activities that require tickets.
This year, there were some new rides, including a real, full-sized Ferris wheel! Mary was super excited (and rode alone) . . .
. . . while Margaret's enthusiasm waned as soon as we got on. She was on my right, begging me to get the carney to stop the ride, and Joseph was on my right, saying how he wanted it to go faster, faster!
|Relieved to be getting off|
Joseph freaked out on this bouncy thing, and tried to escape out backward, so I had to pull him out over the edge to rescue the boy.
The inflatable slide this year had a much steeper drop, almost like a free fall.
|Joseph, a grimy mess|
|Thomas, stuck in a stroller for almost four hours|
The children got to experience their Annual Lesson about the rip off that is paying cash for tickets, spending the tickets on games, earning plastic golden tokens, then redeeming the tokens for little trinkets. One child's trinket broke before she walked back to our stroller. The others won't last long. We got to have our Annual Conversation about how the fun is in playing the games, and that if they want better toys, they should skip the games and spend the same money on actual good toys.
Money well spent was Margaret's quarter to buy a junior version of "The Swiss Family Robinson" from the attic sale table. Back at home, she read it aloud to me, making this Mama very happy!
|Margaret (5) reading aloud|
Chris volunteered at the Homeschoolers' BBQ booth from 4:00 to 6:00, so I left him two oldest--who got two more hours of carnival play out of the deal--while I took the three youngest ones home.
Yet another fun annual tradition completed for the year!