It has been MONTHS since I’ve had time to do much blogging.
Paul’s new job position, the holidays, baby preparations, and LOTS of illness in our home in recent months have made it almost impossible to sit down to catch up on our family blog.
I’m going to try and catch things up a little at a time.
One of the things I’ve been working toward with our “middlers” has been to compete in our state Quizbowl/Skill-a-Thon for animal sciences.
It was a huge undertaking. The focus is primarily on cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. I thought the experience would be beneficial to them.
They have studied for months.
They have attended practices each week since October.
We have quizzed at home. We have quizzed in the car. We have attended seminars on pig processing procedures and industry. We have attended a class at a local grocery in the meat department to learn to identify various cuts and quality of meat.
It has been a long and difficult process for my children, but they have pushed forward.
(Do let me mention we have been blessed with a very energetic and excited county leader. He had made this process fun for all the children in our county.)
This past weekend was the event.
It is out county’s first experience with this contest so we were really expecting to just attend and not walk away with anything, but the entire team did a FANTASTIC
We walked away with each child having received several awards and our county placing third overall! It was exciting and fun. (In all, our family received 25 award ribbons for the weekend!)
Aside from the awards, I’m learning 4H can provide so many additional opportunities:
- It was a chance for my children to learn to test in a formal setting (something they aren’t terribly familiar with since we homeschool), and they learned to use scantron sheets.
- They made a ton of new friends. I made a few, too!
- We enjoyed a simple and humble devotion that left my children and I with discussion all the way home from the camp.
- The older children were able to stretch their leadership skills.
Ben and Tim also found some unexpected talent as their team won first place for cake decorating in their division (it was based on how much fun the teams seemed to be having as they decorated their cakes!):
Emma’s team also won first in her division!
They were each awarded a new spatula.
Matthew and Jessica’s team cake:
We all spent the weekend being asked about the size of our family. Jessica had one girl who wanted to know why I hadn’t gotten “fixed” like her mom. She and several other girls wanted to know if it was hard to live in a home with so many children and if they all fought like they do with their siblings.
Jessica had fun with those questions.
My older children were also asked quite a bit about why they don’t date. Apparently, one discussion grew quite a crowd. Matthew‘s comment was my favorite when he asked how those dating would explain their past to the person they finally find that is “the one”….
”What are you going to say to her? Congratulations, sweetheart, you are number 67. That is bound to make any girl feel special.” He made his point. I’m told there was silence and then they all went back to their rooms.
This was the first time my children have been so directly questioned about our beliefs. I’m glad I was there to watch them handle each situation. It was amazing to hear how patient they were, and the words they had to share with the others participating in the event.
It was a sweet time of sharing our life, and our Lord, through the way we live as a family.
We are all looking forward to going again next year!