Are any of you wondering why I am starting off my Blog with this quote? Especially since my Blog title is about heading to the County fair.. Please allow me to explain….
This week I have put in ZERO hours towards my Independent Learning Project. YIKES! All my good intentions of learning something new about the boat this week have been replaced with scrambling to prepare for our County Fair. Literally scrambling! So, Instead of telling you about my boating adventures I decided share a few highlights of Personal learning experiences that I have had regarding preparing for fair.
Fair Officially kicked off for my family last Saturday. All four of my kids are enrolled in shooting sports. I have to admit that I am the worst 4-H shooting sports mom. I literally know nothing about guns or bows. I always dread the shooting sports competition because I know at some point I am going to have to be the parent that supervises my kids while they take their turn shooting.
As parents it is our responsibility to load our child’s guns. Learning experience number one for the week was, my eight year old daughter explaining how to load and caulk her bb gun. It was a little embarrassing to be in front of a crowd and not having a clue what to do. I didn’t even think about getting a run through before we left the house. Learning experience number two for shooting sports was, bb’s hurt when they ricochet off the wood and hit you in the knee. (It even drew blood…OUCH!!!!) Did I also mention that I am accident prone. Who would have thought that sitting in the “Safe Zone” I would get hit.
My learning experience with fire arms will continue this fall, my daughter and I are enrolled in a hunter safety classes. Hunting was not something that I grew up around, but it is definitely a BIG part of my kids lives. I will be needing gun and bow 101. I do enjoy going out on hunts with my family but my job is to shoot pictures not game. Hopefully next summer I will know a little more about guns and bows to not embarrass my self or my kids.. If you are curious to know more about 4-H shooting sports you can click on this link to watch videos and learn more about firearm safety. http://www.4-hshootingsports.org/
Another passion that my family has is showing feeder calves. We have been working every night the past month on our feeder calves. Our feeder calves were born this spring late Feb-Mid April. They are currently still nursing, eating pasture grass, and we did start them on show feed to get fair ready. Working with feeder calves can be challenging at first but it is so rewarding and fun! As a mom my favorite part is watching my kids connect with their calf. The calves learn to trust my kids and they learn to work together as a team. This year we are taking 11 feeder calves to fair. This is a BIG commitment.
This past Sunday we spent the day with family and friends at the barn getting our calves clipped and ready for the show ring. On Sunday I clipped my first calf. It was something I always wanted to do. I was always nervous that I would screw up and end up shaving the calf. The first calf I clipped on Sunday took over an hour. After gaining confidence in the first calf I was able to clip the other calves a little quicker.I really enjoyed clipping. Here is an article that describes what it takes to get your animal ready for fair. http://extension.unl.edu/statewide/phelps-gosper/Club%20Calf%20Management%20Guide.pdf
After we clipped and washed the claves we had a BBQ. We then set up a “show ring” for all the kids to practice in. It was a great way to spend the evening. I never thought that I would love working with livestock. A few years ago some amazing people helped us get started in an activity that has transformed our family. We have had so many amazing experiences and opportunities because of 4-H. I am excited for tomorrow. Show day is when all the hard work turns into fun!
As I reflect back on the week, I feel disappointed that I didn’t focus on my independent learning project. I am sure I could have watched some YouTube videos or googled something about boats and I failed to make time for that this week but I also feel a sense of accomplishment in choosing to focus on my family and preparing for fair. In addition to livestock and shooting sports, my kids entered, baked items (9 hours in the kitchen on Tuesday helping my kids bake!), rockets, and model buildings. We also worked the 4-H café and helped our club set up for fair. What I am noticing the most about my personal learning experiences whether it is on the boat or at the fair is that I LOVE spending time with my family. They challenge me to want to learn new things.
If you are curious to know more about calf clipping here is the youtube video I watched to get started last weekend.