Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Quiet Day T-shirt

Today was a quiet day. Some shopping, a trip to the post office, and AWANA for the kids. It rained on and off for most of the day (up until 3pm).  Wish I had more to say about our activities.  Titus was getting bored with our video collection for him so I bought him three Veggie Tale vides that came in today. He was ecstatic about that. His favorite.

On our way home from shopping we passed the college track so we stopped by since we knew CC would be practicing and we visited with her coach; he's a cool guy. He and I share a sense of humor.  CC has had graduation related stuff almost everyday. Senior dinner the other night, Sports banquet tonight, Baccalaureate coming up.  

James has come up with his own business idea; kind of a side biz to our show. He has developed a design for a t-shirt. He will take pre-orders and once he gets enough he will send out the shirts. If not enough orders come in then he will return the money anyone pays for the shirts. I will post how to get the shirts in the next couple of days. And you can request them autographed or not.
They will be $18.00/shirt.   If you want to email me your interest in a pre-order and state your size. 100% of the proceeds got to "keeping Jim from starving and allowing him to have a life of his own" foundation.
Here is the design:

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


This is a short one.
We awoke to a great maonring in Indy. Drove 3+ hours to Berea to a beautiful day. The eve has t-stormed just a bit and now it is bed time. More later. Love you all.

Quick  news:  The local paper interviewed me on email so I hope to publish their article in the week. And a national journalist has taken an interest in the family is trying to sell a photojournalist story of our family over the next couple of months...we will let you know.We are described by news folks and "journalists" as something unique. The problem with unique is it is hard to describe to potential clients because it is unique. Kind of a catch 22. So bookers, fairs, festival, and such have nothing in their minds to understand the wonderful qualities of our show. Their minds jump to magic or circus or side show but can't combine the vaudeville and unusual family elements to it. No fair that is still in business has ever just booked us once just because of the indescribable element of our show. So imagine the bigger gigs...they can't understand it unless they see it and video doesn't do it justice. Show them a crowd of a 1000 and they still don't get it. That is my frustration. If anyone has ideas please send them to me. If you have prayers, then we appreciated them even more.

Monday, April 28, 2014


If ever a town can be compared to Mayberry it is Wakarusa.  It seemed the whole town showed up to the festival over the three days and everyone was absolutely polite, nice, and helpful.  I didn't hear a single curse word all weekend either.  The Amish are very involved with the town and we befriended a large group of them. In fact of that group one young couple, with permission of his elders, invited us to their wedding next year.  I am told by them and locals to bring an appetite and be ready to spend the whole day.

May of the Amish in town build motor homes and RV trailers. There are two or three factories on the outskirts of town.

Our Saturday was filled with the parade and then three shows. It started off very cold and windy and ended very warm and beautiful.  However Sunday started off cold and windy and ended even more windy.  Eating fire was a challenge since the fire blazed sideways.  Amelia had to deal with the wind on the areal silk but in spite of the crazy 30+ mph gusts she blew the audience away.  Her routine is fantastic.   Jim has juggled and balanced things in windy conditions before and Sunday rated right up there as one of the windiest.

After the to shows on Sunday clean up was made tough by the winds; we have a lot of large banners.  And both Victor Jr, and Kyle sliced the tips of their thumb off trying to close the stage legs a little too aggressively. There is a knack to it and I think they have learned it.

I am glad we bought some souvignier maple syrup on Sunday because the Amish who were selling it on Friday and Saturday weren't there on Sunday.  I heard a local store had it, but at much higher prices.  Eli Kuhns is the man who made the syrup we bought and he came to watch our show a few times.  He paid us many compliments.  In fact, we got lots of compliments and we have been invited back to perform next year.

CC and Miles ran at their second to last meet on Saturday. CC missed her nationals qualifying time by .2 seconds even though she won the race by 16 seconds before the second placer crossed the line. So pray for her to be swift of foot next week.   Miles did the pole vaulting for the first time and came in second.

We decided to hole up in Indianapolis for an extra day since there is a huge storm front crossing KY and I would much rather not have to drive through that if I don't have too.  It is part of the storms that brought the tornados in OK and AR.

check out that wind. 

Facebook friends drove 1.5 hours to come and visit. These two also donated to our needs during our tough March. Nice people. He, like Jim is a very punny guy.   Thanks for coming out , Brian. 


Crazy Coach Bryant

KIAC Conference champs

Before/after....our show lot

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Quick Note

No blog service, 2 shows, tear down, 3 hour drive to Indianapolis. Where is is now midnight.  When we get back to KY late tomorrow (Mon) I will update you and have pix and maybe a video. We shall see. God Bless. Good Night.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Parade- 4 Shows- Amish Buds

After an exhausting day yesterday we had an early call for the parade.  Even thought the parade started at 10am we had to get up early to first, prepare ourselves (including daily needs like b-fast and toiletries), second, prepare ourselves to be in costume or character.

We we in the 32nd spot in the parade and our entourage included me on a penny farthing, Jim in stilts, Kyle in the Blue robot, Olivia with Buttercup, Amy as a clown with the poodles, and Victor as the Pink Gorilla in a Maple Syrup Festival t-shirt riding a unicycle.   Parades are always fun and always hard with the stopping and going Especially for us on the unicycle and Penny farthing.  And there is the wait in queue for the parade to begin.  It went well.

We were surprised we were able to squeeze Kyle into a robot costume.

WE had four shows today.  All of them totally packed. So many people stuck around after all the shows and chatted with us, learned tricks with the wands we sell and give a way and go into the "Strange thing 'Zibit'".

At three of the show a large group of Amish either related or close friends and watched the shows. We befriended them and spent much time joking and, me, learning a lot about the Amish.  Its not all what the movies portray.  We bonded so well that they took my address to invite us to one of the gentlemen that I met's wedding.  I hope we are in the area when the tie the knot because they tell us AMish weddings are fun and have lots of food.

CC called from her track meet. She .2 seconds from qualifying for nationals and a week away from her last meet. Keep her in prayer.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Maple Syrup Day 1

Wakarusa, Indiana, USA.  Maple Syrup Festival.  The town’s streets are lined with sugar maples and for years the city folks would tap the trees and make syrup.  Sadly, some years back teenagers thought it would be fun to contaminate the buckets so the town had to stop the practice. However, the local Amish continued the practice and apparently their teens were as mischievous and the town still is known for its maple syrup.   In fact, it is sold here at the festival.  

Wakarusa is an absolutely darling little town. The buildings are great to look at. The local hardware store has been in the same place for over 100 years. When you go in you see rows and rows of wood drawers lining the wall behind the counter where the hardware is kept; a sample of the piece inside the drawers decorates the front of each drawer.  The people here are awfully friendly too. There is a strong connection between the Amish, Mennonites, and regular towns folk.  

Fall is fighting to bloom here. Some flowers are beginning to bloom but the trees are still bare. This morning was cold. It rained all night but stopped by 8 and then a really cold breeze came through until almost 1pm.  But by three the clouds broke, the wind died down and the days was very nice.  It is supposed to carry on through tomorrow.

The crazy wind this morning destroyed one of our canopies which we use to change in and store equipment so I had to drive into Elkhart to pick up a new one. That's $100 down the drain. But Jim needed new work boots, especially since the lots was wet and mucky. So I had to do the trip anyway. The town provided saw dust to help fight the muck. It worked well. But the dogs had to be brushed 100 ties today because the sawdust stuck to them like velcro. That's the ins and outs I guess. 

All three of our shows went VERY well. The crowds grew and grew and grew. By the last show you would be hard pressed to find a place to watch us from.

Amelia presented her Aerial act she was supposed to do for Easter for the first time in front of a crowd. They went nuts. Even with the wind she nailed it. And doing aerial silk w/out wind is tough enough.  But wind and weather is what our lifestyle is all about. 

rush hour

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

AWANA Wednesday-Prep for travel to Indiana

Quiet Wednesday.

The kids went to AWANA at the church today.

The AWANA folks have booked us to perform our Christian show on May 7.

After homeschool and practice the kids started getting things ready for the move up to Indiana for the Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival. Weather is looking good.  

We will have a 7-8 hour drive tomorrow and set up on Friday with our first show at 3:30.

Cynthia had her senior dinner tonight and got her invitations in the mail today.   So if you can fly our her for her May 4th commencement come on down.

For dinner we treated ourselves to the local popular pizza place, Papaleno.   It was pretty good. Still the joint we go to in CT still takes first place.

Wednesday Report

I just realized that I didn't do a blog in two days. For all three of you who read this, sorry.  

Monday had beautiful weather.  It was full blown spring. There is a flowering tree or shrub out here called the red bud , they have been in bloom for nearly 3 weeks now.  Though they are called red bud they are more of a fuchsia or dark pink.   In some areas the fill an entire hillside or line long roads.  The Bradford purs (look like short squatty cottonwood minus the fluff) are ending their bloom period. These trees are everywhere and for a while it was snow white trees all over the place. When the wind blew large numbers of the pedals would be caught up in the breeze and we would get a pedal snowfall.

The kids of course busied themselves with education and practice. I did paperwork and marketing and then we went fishing.   We decided to skip going after the sunfish family fish (bluegill, warmouth, sunfish, etc) and try for bass.  Sadly no bass bit our bait and so we gave into the girls and took them to the awesome playground out at lake Reba.    So you might say Monday was pretty laid back.

Tuesday James Amelie and I headed 30 miles north to Lexington to perform at a Daycare center. During our surprise bad March James set out to just throw a net out and book whatever kind of booking we could grab. After doing big show for a long time doing the tiny shows can be a pride swallowing thing.  But no need for that because it was fun and  was proud to do it.   The show was for a very old church; the main sanctuary is 198 years old! The support buildings were pretty old as well.   The church seems to be a very community active church; they have the day care (for which we performed), apartments for the elderly, all kinds of counseling groups, a food closet, a cafeteria, and more.  The day care center is actually in a church on the corner of the same street that was originally the African First Baptist church build in the 1800s, back during segregation.   But since it was no longer needed since that type of racism went away the church, which in it's hey day was very beautiful, though today all the pillars and cornices have been painted beige.

James was happy to see that I performed all my old routines from back when my hair was brown and my body was limber.   ALthough I didn't move as flexibly as I once did it was still fun to do. Amelia is the only one of the three young ones to have ever seen me do those routines.  For the three eldest those routines are fond memories.

Thursday Morning we leave for northern Indiana, Wakarusa.  we will do 9 Shows over three days, plus be in their parade and do some strolling.  And Oh, yeah, Maple syrup!

African First Baptist, no CC Child care Center

First some pictures from CC and Miles:

"Still the best children's entertainer or all around entertainer alive. Its funny how no matter how many times I have seen these routines, I still laugh. (and still quote them "illuuuuuiusion"). Now watching Amelia sitting where I used to sit seeing the classics and it never gets old. Timeless comedy. Hats off to him! Mr. Victor Kent of the Kent Family Circus, entertainer to the deepest parts of a person. And I will also add an amazing father too!"  -James from his facebook post

Jim's post of the church.