Friday, October 31, 2008


So they lost their first competitive competition

Little Brett and Daddy waiting for the 2 and under contest judging.

Yes, Kaci has her pacifer in her mouth.

Happy Brett.
We're losers, but we sure are cute!


Grrr ... I'm a Giraffe
My children are losers.
As we all are at some point of our lives.

It might sound harsh, but it’s true. Some of us have lost participating in sporting events. Others have lost in 4-H showmanship contests, playing video or board games and even the lottery.

My little girls’ first loss, however, came at the Gypsum Fall Festival’s Halloween contest.

Not a big deal? Oh contraire.

For years, I prided in the fact that I’d win this contest. I won as Oscar the Grouch, wheeling around the auditorium in a real trash can. I was a Smurf, with my face painted blue. I was Snoopy on a bike turned Red Baron airplane, a hula dancer with a real grass skirt, Michael Jackson with a microphone and the headless horseman on a stick horse.

All first places, mind you.

But this year, the girls’ first year, I didn’t prepare. I bought two cute giraffe outfits and figured that might work.

Boy, was I wrong. We lost to a book worm, which consisted of a mother pushing her baby in a umbrella stroller with a big cardboard book gracing the front.

Second place was Little Bow Peep with her “sheep” dog covered in white cotton balls. Coming in third was a sleeping bumble bee thing.

As for the girls, well, they handed us a bag of complimentary M&M’s, and we were on our merry way.

Oh, the pain. I’ve been bothered ever since at my poor attempt to dress the girls for their first official contest. I’ve failed my competitive nature. More than anything, I’ve failed as a mother.

No worries. I’m already making plans for next year. We won’t lose.

And, no, I’m not telling my grand plan.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Gypsum October Festival

The girls and I attended the 2008 Gypsum October Festival this year. I haven’t been back for the decades-old tradition since I graduated from high school, when our high school band director forced me to march with my trombone in the band (Yeah, he hated me :) ).

I grew up in the little Saline County town of Gypsum, population 400-something, if even that. I always loved the October Festival, included dressing up for the parade (I’ve been everything from Wonder Woman and Snoopy in a float, to the Red Baron and a pioneer on a covered wagon. I always won, too!).

Now, maybe the girls can enjoy it a little bit. At least, they liked the suckers all the politicians and others threw out.

Here are a few of the pictures from this year.

My dad, Gary Bickel, and his 1948 John Deere B.

We used to decorate it at Christmas. It was awesome. Now he doesn't do that as much. Probably because I'm not around to help and beg him to decorate it.

Dad, and the B.

OK, I'm not the best picture taker. But here is the backside of Rep. Josh Svaty, who was throwing candy. I doubt he'd read this, but if he did, I'd like to tell him I'm impressed with how long he stayed at the festival and mingled and hung around. Most politicans aren't that considerate. Anyway, he was there a good six or seven hours, and I don't think he was even hanging out with anyone.

My mom and Brett. Brett loves cows (one of her first words was cow and moo), and for some reason, kept calling the horses cows. At least she is a beef eater, like her mother.

Like I said, Brett loves the horses, or as she puts it, Cows. Aunt Lori needs to take her to her farm to see their stockers. She'd be ecstatic.

The girls sitting at the Gypsum gazebo. This is a rare moment of them sitting still.

Brett, my sister, Lori, Kaci, my nephew Jason and my brother-in-law Randy Hahn. They're watching the parade going down Main Street Gypsum.

Lori and Kaci watch the parade.

Grandma Karen and Brett.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Daddy's football team

The weather is colder. I love sweatshirt weather and watching football. Sadly, however, the football season is coming to an end.

I guess.

My husband coaches high school football. I usually go to the home games, at least for a little while.

With two girls, however, this proves to be a little difficult.

They won't sit in the stands. They won't stand on the sideline.

They want to run, run and run some more.

So, we walk. Around the track. For several miles.

We eat Fig Newtons and Cheerios and Teddy Grahams. And drink milk.

But when the food runs out, so do the girls.

They are home and in bed by half time.

Friday, October 10, 2008

So Maybe It Sounds Bad ...

But she was OK. And you can see just how active little Kaci was at the K-State game.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I'm sure they like K-State ...

But they wouldn't sit still

Sometimes I wonder what I’m thinking.

I had visions of darling girls dressed in purple, cheering on the Kansas State University football team alongside dear old Mom.

What John and I got on that September venture was two toddlers, pissed off they couldn’t run, climb and everything else that 18-month-old girls would rather be doing.

Obviously, they wouldn’t like to sit at a football game.

We should have known it would be bad when they wouldn’t even sit still during tailgating. John and I chased them around an enclosed tennis court.

The game, however, was worse.

Brett would watch the jumbotron a little bit, but Kaci didn’t care about the music, the players on the field or the cheers from the stands. She wrestled to try to get out of my arms, wanting to climb the stairs and run, run, run.

I fed her those Goldfish crackers for a while, which seemed to appease her. When they ran out, we moved on to Teddy Grahams.

I gave her to John, who had to leave the stadium by the end of the first quarter.

My venture ended at half time. Brett was mad. Poo was running from her pants. She probably ate too many hot dogs.

My husband says he’ll never go to another K-State game again with the girls in tow.

Not that he cares. He’s a KU fan.

Future K-State graduates

Kaci and Brett

Bickel and Kaci at the Kansas State football game.

A rare moment of her being good.

Uncle Scott, John and Brett

Uncle Scott teaches Brett to clap for K-State.