Monday March 11th, Yeeeehawwww... It's Rodeo Time!!

Another fun thing about being in Texas for Spring Break is the Rodeo!! For those not familiar with this Texas tradition, it's very hard to explain the magnitude of the Rodeo to non-Texans; it's kinda like the statement that everything in Texas is big like hair, sequins, burgers, highways, you name it.  Well that goes the same for the Rodeo and it's all month long and filled with a huge Carnival section, two petting zoos, livestock exhibits and contests, shopping, concerts, the actual "Rodeo" part with horses, cowboys, clowns, etc., and more.  Someone could go for a whole day and not even cover the whole grounds!

Since everything is so big down here, we took my big old Suburban and packed it to capacity with Aunt Leigh, G-Mommy, Mrs. Debbie riding with us on our hour long journey to the Rodeo.  Once we were there, we had to take the "Light Rail" to the Rodeo and Ingram was so excited about it; he went to the front of the "bus" while his girls goofed off hanging on the handles by the doors.  We made it inside the gates then to the actual stadium to start off with the animals and exhibits indoors.  Madison scouted out which direction we should go and managed to come upon a "Rodeo Tour" office and the people inside actually gave tours of the indoor livestock area; we had never had one of these or known about it, but had our own tour through all of the animals which was pretty cool!  Our tour guide, Jacquie Levesque, was great and told us all sorts of insider information on all the animals.  We even got to see piglets that had been born the day before, a calf that had been born that morning, and another heifer that was about to give birth any minute!  We (G-Mommy, Mrs. Debbie, and myself) were hoping to get to see it, but the kids and Aunt Leigh were hoping that they wouldn't see it and by the time we left the exhibit, she still hadn't given birth yet.  We got to pet bunnies, baby sheep, and some little chicks two days old followed Ingram around their glass case as he walked around it. 

Next up, we went outside and the kids rode ponies before we started to play games and ride all the rides we could manage.  Madison's pony was named Dash, Lindsey's was named Twinkie, and Ingram's was named Trigger.  There was a huge Ferris wheel and Aunt Leigh rode it with the girls while I took Ingram over to ride the race cars since he wasn't tall enough.  I'm pretty sure that Aunt Leigh didn't exactly like it when they were stuck on the top for so long, but the girls sure had a great time with her up there!  The only problem was that their jackets were down below with us and it was a tad bit windy and cold up there.  Lindsey's favorite thing is to play games so they all played a few games and only came out with a few little stuffed animals; I think they were hoping someone would throw them the sympathy card and let them had a bigger toy for some reason.  The House of Mirrors wasn't all it was cracked up to be and they were in and out within a couple minutes with sad faces that they figured it out so fast.  The Dragon Roller Coaster was there too and I rode that one with the kids while the others headed into the exhibit hall and to find some dinner.  The four of us went from one end of the carnival to the other before we finally found pizza for the girls to eat; they'd been craving it and so we took the journey to the end of the row and got it.  Along the way, we rode another ride or two and did the same on the way back...except we had a little mishap on our return trip.

We all got out of our monster trucks that we had been driving in a circle, but when we were down from the ride on the road, Lindsey was missing!  Madison helped me look for her for about 2 minutes in each direction before we realized we needed more help.  My heart was already pounding and I was starting to sweat (and it wasn't hot outside) and I went back to our ride guys and they immediately sprung into action.  They stopped the ride and ran to the inside to make sure that she hadn't fallen inside the pit where the bars connect the trucks to the ride and I was starting to panic at that thought.  They came back up and then started to get their radios out just as I hear Madison yelling for me and I see her dragging Lindsey right behind her.  Everyone was so relieved to see her, but I had to do what every Mother has to do in that situation and explained to her what all could have happened to her if someone had taken her away from us while she had wondered down 4 rides to watch a group of kids play one of the games.  Once I could see the panic in her face and the tears start to well up in her eyes, I grabbed her, pulled her in tight, kissed her, and hugged her, and told her how much I loved her and how glad I was that she was right there with me. 

All three of the kids stayed closer to me as we walked down the long road back to the food tents to meet up with the others so that we could make a plan for our last hour or so at the Rodeo.  Aunt Leigh, G-Mommy, and Mrs. Debbie headed inside to look at more exhibits and the shopping while the four of us darted back out to the Carnival to ride more rides and play more games.  We were having so much fun and the girls rode a smaller Ferris Wheel by themselves while Ingram rode the Motorcycles and ran through a fun house.  Then the girls joined up and we all competed in the water gun shooting game; oddly enough none of us won the big prize and instead got small stuffed things and beads.  The last thing we did was go through the outdoor petting zoo before we met up with the others and headed to the car.  Every time we're at a petting zoo, some animal always chases Madison and this time was no different!  There were tons of pigs, goats, donkeys, bunnies, chickens, sheep, and one lone llama.  All the kids were having such a great time petting the animals even though we didn't have the food to feed them until...the llama started chasing Madison around the petting zoo.  And this petting zoo wasn't small either and it was crowded too, but that llama seriously followed Madison and started trying to get a hold of her!  We, along with other people,were laughing but she wasn't because the llama just wouldn't leaver her along.  Finally she left the petting zoo and made it out in one piece although she didn't get to pet the only goat she was trying to pet because of the silly llama.  Since it was already almost 8pm and we had an hours adventure home, we all headed for the light rail to take us to the parking lot and off to the house we went!

Posing On The Light Rail!
Madison, Lindsey, Ingram, Aunt Leigh, G-Mommy, And Mrs. Debbie!

Madison Is In A State Of Disbelief At What She Just Heard About The Texas Longhorn!

Awww...It's A Baby Sheep!

The Kids With Our Rodeo Tour Guide Jacquie Levesque! 

Apparently Ingram Is Preparing For An Overseas Trip To France By Driving In The Left Seat!

Oh Yeah!!
 Madison, Lindsey, And Aunt Leigh Are At The Very Top In The Blue Car Next To The Red Car!
And The Wind Was BLOWING!!! 

No Hands For The Girls Tring To Be Brave...

While Ingram Eats A Corndog Thinking I Wish This Was The Runaway Train From Disney!

Riding A Monster Truck One Minute
And Lost Another Minute!

I'm Pretty Sure The Girls Wanted Aunt Leigh With Them For This Ferris Wheel Too!

Honk! Honk! Honk! Honk! Honk!
That Was The Sound Of All 15 Kids The Whole Time They Were Riding!!

"I Like Him Mommy!  Can I Have One??"

"I Sure Wish Mommy Had Bought Some Food!"

"Now Where's That Goat?
Not The Llama Again!!"

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