Thursday, July 15, 2010

family fun at the annual bean auction

As we head into the last month of summer, my kids' anticipation grows for the annual family party, and spending a few days with Grandpa and Grandma on the farm.  The weekend is filled with tubing down the river, checking out the animals at the county fair, and a tent full of giggling cousins. 

The climax of the whole event comes on Saturday when the time arrives for the annual bean auction.  On this day dry beans become just as good as Jack's magic ones. 

This is how it all works:
Every family is asked to donate a few auction items.  The items can be handcrafted, certificates for services, gently used toys and household items or things just purchased for the auction. - This year Grandma is already on her hunt for school supplies, great dollar store finds, and gift basket fillers.

The event begins with everyone purusing through the various products available on display.  Some of the things pictured below include a quilted table runner and crocheted hats from my extremely talented sister in-laws (high ticket items), a great frame filled with pictures of our grandparents, homemade bread and jam, toys and games for the kids, and a box of cereal that went for an amazing number of beans after a bidding frenzy from the college crowd.

After everyone takes a seat, a list of several questions is read.  To all those to whom the questions apply, beans are distributed.  For example, each person who made their bed that morning receives one bean. 
Other questions that might be included are: 
Have you done the dishes this week? - one bean
Are you starting school in the fall?  -two beans 
Did you see the sheep at the fair? - one bean
Have you moved in the last year?  3 beans
What is Grandpa and Grandma's anniversary?  -3 beans and one more if you know how many years they have been married
We usually throw in some questions that have to do with events(good and maybe not so good) in the past year like  -2 beans if you have traveled outside the country this year or -10 beans if your house was flooded this year, etc.
We usually have about 20 questions so some need a cup to hold all their beans.

When the questions end, the bidding begins!  We use two auctioneers to keep the party hopping and children of all ages start bidding for treasures that can only be paid for in the beans that they earned. 
We only have a couple of rules. 
--No combining beans with others to bid but buying something for someone else is totally fine.
--Go easy on the little people and have a great time.

We have a really big family and this is a good way to get to know each other better. This auction is great entertainment for everyone and is good for at least a hour of fun.

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