Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The County Fair 2011


Our local county fair took place last week starting with Tuesday and running through Saturday.
While we didn't have as many fair entries for the Exhibit Hall, there were shows that we had been preparing for all summer.
The first being the 4H Junior Horse Show.



Both girls were in the same age class and also competed against each other in all their events.

She's in her "happy place." This child is a true horse lover!
I was very proud of both of them!
At different times the ponies acted up or stubbornly refused to do what the girls were asking of them, but both girls disciplined them with a firm hand and without losing their composure.
The girls placed in nearly all their events with my oldest daughter getting top scorer in her age class.
Tim did a fantastic job coaching them and so much credit goes to him also.
I was just the cheerleader. Actually, some very good friends showed up to help support the girls and I got to visit with them while we all watched the horse show. Believe-you-me, living way out in the country and rarely getting to visit with friends for an extended period of time leaves this homeschoolin' mama seriously unsocialized!

Back to the fair, Thursday the children and I spent most of our day out at the fair enjoying the Exhibit Hall and seeing how our entries did. Both girls placed with some of their photos as I did with mine.

Robber Fly
This picture of a Robber Fly placed first in the Animals and Insects Category.

My little guy had fun with some friends and learned the art of shooting a clothes-pin with a rubberband.
We ate fair food (Yum!) with some other friends and had great conversation.

On Friday, all three children were to show their calves in the Bucket Calf Competition.

The barn was full of calves and youngsters getting ready for the show! We had a total of 32 kids participating.

This was our youngest's first year and our oldest's last year. All three kiddos were in seperate age divisions.
The participants of this program must buy a calf in May, journal it's progress once a week, turn in their journals and worksheets regarding all financial information concerning the calf in early August, and then go through an interview process with a judge prior to their showing the calf on the day of the competition.

My Little Guy...after his interview with the judge. He looks glad to have that behind him!

Showtime! Little Guy leading his calf to the arena.

There are several awards given out to participants that excel in the interview, showmanship, and herdsman. Our oldest won the interview award and our middle child tied for second. The middle-child also came in second in her age division for showmanship. All three kiddos did great and our youngest had no problem as he had seen it all done for the past several years.

All three kiddos with their calves after the show.

Later, when the bucket calf competition was all said and done, the girls went to the Exhibit Hall to compete in a couple of 4H activities. They both particpated in Consumer and Horticulture Judging.



This was rather interesting to watch as the girls scrutinized different objects ranging from table runners to jars of preserved jelly and then judged which to be the best and why.
We were pleased with the results and wonderfully a bit surprised.
Exhausted, tired, and hot we were ready to go home.
But we had to wait around as the local paper was taking pictures of all the entrants that had entered and received a grand champion placing.
I had received Grand Champion on one of my photos. It was in the Digitally Enhanced category.

My Grand Champion photo.

After getting my picture taken, the girls and I loaded up and headed home. We had a great time but were so happy it was all behind us for another year!
Here are some of my blog posts from past years regarding our county fair:

Cowboy Kids - Sept. 9, 2010
A Whole Lotta Bull - Sept. 1, 2009
What's On My Plate - Aug. 24, 2009

Now to get ready for a beach vacation!
Have a great rest-of-week, Julie

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sharing a Few Photos

It's about the light

My favorite time to take pictures is either early morning or in the evening.

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The three pictures that I've posted here were all taken just a little after sunrise when the sunlight is still soft and the backlighting seems to cause a bit of a glow around the subject.

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Our county fair is this week. Last night the girls rode their ponies in the 4H Junior Horse Show. They both did very well.

All three children will be showing their calves on Friday. It will be the first time that they've all shown in the same event. And it will be the first time our youngest will show.

I entered several photos.
But the competition is stiff.
We shall see.

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This last photo was taken after a thunderstorm we had recently. Did you notice the lightning in the background? That was neat to capture.

I didn't enter any of these and will find out how I did tomorrow regarding the entered photos.

As a family we all look forward to this week but are so glad when it's behind us!

Blessings, Julie

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Quote


Why do bad things happen to good people? That only happened once and He volunteered for it.
~RC Sproul~


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Skinny

A Little Catch-up on the Chickens, the Children, and Church.

1. The Chickens

This past spring, I put twenty fertilized eggs into an incubator that our local extension office had let us borrow. Twelve chicks hatched out and stayed in the schoolroom for almost five weeks. I then kicked them out to the coop. They did great for four days and then on the fifth day, that morning, I went out to feed them and every last one of them were GONE. There was evidence from the coop door that an animal had pushed the chicken wire up and had gotten in. We think the dogs took part in this little soiree as there were little piles of feathers amongst their large cow bones out by the cellar.
I'm still not speaking to them.

After the baby chick massacre we had two hens go broody, a Wyandotte and a Buff Orpington. The Wyandotte hatched out two chicks and the BO hatched out one chick. Just two days after the Wyandotte had hatched out her two, I discovered that one of them had been killed and eaten by a very large and still digesting his chicken nugget, rat snake. The husband and I pounded on him with two hoes and he is no more.

This morning I went out to feed and discovered the other chick belonging to Ms. Wyandotte had gone the way of the first and yes, the culprit being a very large rat snake was still present digesting a much larger chicken nugget meal (and just gotta mention here that the whole scene was worthy of a nature documentary on snakes). Needless to say the husband and I were most helpful in seeing that another Mr. Snake would be enjoying no more meals via the coop.

So now we have the Buff Orpington raising her lone chick that I'm just sure is a pullet (yay me). This afternoon I went out to check on the whole lot and found yet another snake (very large garter snake) skulking about the coop and snuffed him out with my trusty hoe.

We are now at ten hens and one pullet. Which isn't really that bad as we've dealt with record breaking heat this summer and I was sure we would lose more. Mr. Incredible (the very large and very mean rooster) died, but he doesn't count, sorry, if that sounds callous but I didn't like him, you wouldn't have me on this one.

2. The Children

The children have dived headfirst into school. Actually we're doing some serious review work right now while I wait for our stuff from Rainbow to make it here.
They're also gearing up and preparing for the county fair that is at the end of this month.


Both girls will be participating in the 4H Horse Show and all three cherubs will be showing their calves at the Bucket Calf Show.


 Honestly it's been a long summer and I think we were ready to have a full-time school schedule again.
We did keep up with math throughout the summer and some language arts though.

3. Church

Recently a friend of mine emailed me and very sensitively and tactfully inquired about how we're going about searching for a church. Her email touched my heart as it was evident that she in no way wanted to offend but was curious as to how we were going about making this very important decision.
We do have somewhat of a checklist if you will, but first and most importantly we're bathing this with prayer and I'm talking a serious soaking of prayer.
But getting back to the checklist, there must be truth in the pulpit with sound biblical teaching. Tim and I both are in agreement that we won't settle for mediocrity or the dumbing down of the gospel that is becoming widespread in too many pulpits today. I'll stop there regarding the deception of flock leaders.
We also desire to be a part of a fellowship where those in leadership are loving, transparent, and not arrogant. For us the leaders must be above reproach, not perfect mind you, but quick to repent and ask forgiveness if confronted with sin.
The churches we've visited have primarily been Southern Baptist Churches as that is where we believe we're to be. We're not the Seeker Sensitive types, so when we see these practices being implemented we steer clear. 

Of course, there are other factors such as distance. We want to be active in whatever church the Lord leads us to. We were at our former church. We enjoy serving. And we live so far out in the country that we are limited as to how many churches are that close. Tim commutes an hour round trip Monday through Friday, so distance is definitely a factor.

Anyway, that's the skinny of what's up here and I do desire your prayers regarding our Lord's direction. A part of me believes we're still going through a great deal of forgiving and healing spiritually and won't be free to enter another fellowship until we've dealt with the baggage that we keep finding ourselves dragging around.

We haven't been popular regarding some, but we know we're on the right road and really that's all that matters.

Blessings, Julie

Oh and by the way, we've been getting rain and the temperatures have come down to the upper 90's in the daytime. Thanks for your prayers regarding the drought in Oklahoma. We're still experiencing drought but the recent rains have been so encouraging!