Saturday, March 15, 2014

deFoors Do the Rodeo

We had been hearing about this since our announcement of  moving to Houston.  It's a big deal around here.  Think: state fair meets PBR + nightly top 40 concerts for a whole month.  That's what they call the Houston Livestock show and Rodeo.  If you had 2 days, you might see it all.  We had the better part of an afternoon and barely scratched the surface.  It was the first time I had left Lillian and I only did so because there is no one else I would let keep her in the significant future so I had to take the chance while I had it.   My Mom and Lillian stayed home and rocked and we rocked the rodeo!  We went close to lunch time so our first stop was to feed the masses.  We had 4 giant corn dogs.  They were actually delicious!  Our mission was to eat weird and fried foods and we were off to a good start!
Next up was Jason's choice and he picked chicken fried bacon.  Yes, that's right.  The verdict was that it wasn't that good but we ate it anyway.  It WAS bacon afterall.
The rides that used to thrill me now just freak me out.  Something about becoming a mother made me more hesitant about thrill rides and with every child, I have become more of a chicken.  I think it has something to do with feeling responsibility.  Some people call it getting old.  I prefer to say gaining wisdom.  Lincoln was in rare form and hardly cracked a smile even while riding his choice of ride.
Then we happened upon the Mutton Bustin'!  We had been dying to sign Lincoln up for this event.  If you haven't heard of it, it's the event where 5&6 year olds sign up to ride sheep bareback until they are bucked off.  It's like toddler bull riding, without the bull!  It's the cutest thing to watch.  Half of the contestants come up crying and the other half barely make it out of the gate before they bail.  The whole idea is to just lay down and hang on!  Here's the video we got of Lincoln's ride.  My favorite is the photo collage.  If you look very closely, you can see a tiny shoe atop the sheep as he runs across the arena.  That tiny shoe would be Lincoln!  He did a great job, hit the dirt and stood up with a smile.

He even came out with a little dirt under his collar and a special blue ribbon for participation.  He was actually in 3rd place in scoring out of about 20.  The girl that won ran all the way to the other end and was thrown into the fence.  She hit her head so she deserved the win.

His dad made a big deal about his ribbon and then it suddenly got more special!  We were all glad he did it and can't wait to get him signed up next year!  Look at that pride!
Oh!  All the sheep had hilarious names such as Baaaarack Obama, Sheepless in Seattle, Mutton down my shirt and Miranda Laaaaaambert.  They were really creative!  
There was a mock farm and Jason was really into milking the cows.  He looks like a pro.
The livestock show was really interesting.  If we had time, I would have spent more here.  I really enjoyed the "birthing center" where they house pregnant cows and pigs.  It was all too familiar, to think about giving birth in such a public place (aka the birthing bench) but hearing about their birthing processes and the newborn calves was really cool.  We also saw pigs and her piglets.  We learned that piglets nurse in their birthing order and they go back to the same spot each time.  There is also less milk as they go down, hence "the runt" gets less milk.

We also saw a chick hatchery.  One had just cracked it's beak out of the egg.

It had been at least an hour since out last fried food so we went in for round 2.  We were a little shy of trying something crazy so we got a funnel cake and a plate of crazy ribbon fries.  They were both delicious and filled out cholesterol quota for the rest of the year.  

Jackson ran out to meet the Rodeo Cowboy mascot.  I'm telling yall, this rodeo is a BIG deal.  It's officially the largest livestock show in the World!

Jason and Jackson took a spin on the Gravitron and Lincoln and Jason went through the "scary fun house".

On the way out, we found where we SHOULD have stopped for snacks.  By that time we couldn't even think of consuming another fried delicacy.  But look closely, deep fried Nutella, Brownies, Pop tarts and Cookie dough...Oh My!  Jason's only regret was that he was too full to try the deep fried chocolate covered pickle.  Oh, yes, it's a real thing.

I did ride the ferris wheel with them.  I won't say it didn't scare me a little but if he's honest, it might have had Jason a little spooked at first too.  It was HIGH!
The deFoors had a great afternoon exploring the Houston Rodeo.  Next year, we will have a longer day and a bigger plan to cover more ground.  Maybe even a little PBR action and a concert if we are lucky!

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