Thursday, August 27, 2015

Going Beyond the Gravel Road

Last weekend the Hadrick’s traveled to the biggest town in SD. The 4 hour drive is well worth the experience but one we rarely do. Just going to the big town can be very overwhelming for our small town kids. We had lots planned, some family fun, birthday celebration meal, shopping for both boys and girls and a bit of swimming planned.  

Every time Cowboy and I take the kids our of our small environment I’m reminded why it’s a good thing we get them out! Don’t get me wrong, I love our small town, I never have to worry about my kids, someone is always watching out for them, they all feel safe and secure. We never lock our doors- to our house or cars, even if they are parked on main street. T starts Jr. High this year and his locker won’t have a pad lock, it can if we want, but there’s no need.  We’re very sheltered and I love it. 

It’s reality that my kids lack exposure to diversity, of any kind. We don’t have different cultures, race(not really), or hear a language they don’t understand. It’s very exciting to see people who dress different then we do, there is amazement that we can choose from 100’s of different places to eat, that there are many stop lights on one street and that we have to wait for traffic. Keep in mind our county doesn’t have a stop light. 

It took me a while to figure out why Miss R was underfoot the entire shopping day. It drove me crazy tripping over her. It finally occurred to me that she was scared of all the people. The big town has too much going on and although I feel secure in Sioux Falls, she doesn’t. It’s not like when we’re in Washington DC and I’m wanting the kids close.  It was a great lesson for me to remember that we have to continue to help the kids appreciate experience of all the different people.  

As a mom I am thankful to feel the security of our small town. It may lack in conveniences but it makes up in safety and in this day and age, I can take that.  So, we’ll continue to go and visit. But nothing will ever beat turning off the paved road onto our gravel one. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Miss R & Cloverbud Creations

Fair this year for Miss R was a bit different.  She has been sick on and off over the past month and we needed to take it easy. But that didn't mean we missed out on taking her exhibits to the fair. 
Miss R is still a Cloverbud which means:
1. She gets to make whatever she wants, there are no project areas for her creations to fit in.
2. She doesn't have to write out the dreaded cards that must accompany all the exhibits, that's a fun killer.
3. She gets to interview all of her projects, not just a few as the 'Big 4-H' kids are limited to. 
     As you can imagine she had a lot of exciting stories to share with each of the precious projects she brought.  I think all in all she brought eleven.
4. She gets to pick the ribbon color she wants.  Her goal this year was to pick ribbons to match the project. I think towards the end, she just picked the color she liked the most. When it was all done, she had a mitt full of ribbons and a big smile to match! 

Here is a peak at a few projects she took this year.  Hopefully it will inspire you with your young children. 

I ordered her a wooden name cut out from Zulily and she decided to make it school colors. Painted it black and we added gold glitter.  Note that the project is still in the plastic bag, that glitter can get everywhere and we thought it was best to contain it at the fair, of course at home is a different story.  

The bowls are probably her favorite project.  I picked up the bowls at the church give away last fall. Last time I was in the big town, we picked up a 16 pack of sharpies. Nothing gets creative & organized kids more excited then a rainbow of sharpies. Miss R was instantly looking for ways to use them. It's easy to pull out the stencils and encourage her to make something special. I think she may give these as gifts to all of her friends for Christmas. 

She did her fair share of foam craft.  I find this is something easy for her to do that I don't have to supervise. This year she made a different snowman for each family member, including our new puppy, Cali. Well now it's official, if you have a foam piece, you're stuck with us.

 As I've said many times, the secret to getting 4-H projects done is working on them throughout the year. Miss R created this beautiful piece at her birthday party this year. It's her modern interpretation of golf. I think my golf game is the inspiration. Notice how the ball is not far off the tee, that's usually how far I hit it. 

A Cloverbud can't show livestock. So in her switch to being an official 4-H'er next year she will get to show. As we were watching her siblings show pigs the morning of the fair,  I said this will be you next year.  She said 'No, I"m not a pig showing girl'.  I said really?  She was quick to follow with 'No, I'm a beef girl.  I want to show heifers'. So, the prayers have began for her to be gifted with a mellow heifer to start her beef showing career out with. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Memories of a Lifetime... Fair Recap

County Fair has come and gone in a flash.  Left in the wake are wonderful memories, many laughs and another successful year of accomplishments. We squeezed a lot into our small town fair.  It's not like many of you think a county fair is.  We don't have a carnival, we don't have venders that offer fair food or trinkets to buy, we don't have bands that play music.

What we do have is volunteers that make pies to sell as a fundraiser, we have kids that run wild with their friends laughing and enjoying the last drops of summer, we have good clean fun like kids doing gunny sack races.

The kids had an amazing fair. We were all very disappointed when the beef cattle project didn't work out this year. T's heifer was hurt early on and the focus was getting the heifer healthy, not a 4-H project. Miss O's heifer had an attitude and a will that made it impossible for a young girl to safely show the animal. So, for the first time the beef people didn't bring beef cattle to the fair. Let me tell you it was weird! We did have the pigs and it went well this year. No, major fights in the show ring and Miss R won Reserve Champ Market Hog. Best of all, we will have pork in the freezer soon!

I've had great feedback from my I'm NOT a Crazy 4-H Mom piece. Here is an update on our  projects.  I'm so proud of T and all he accomplished!  Our wood pile scavenging came together with a new end table, clothes hanger, and display base for his deer heads.  Thanks to our local carpentry shop the boards were plained and turned out amazing.  He's a creative boy and I really love how he can take his vision and with a bit of help make it happen. He's taking orders for the end tables if you would like one too.

Miss O had an outstanding fair. She spent every waking moment that was allowed at the event. She helped friends show goats,  had fun with a friend at the pet show, learned the value of a good interview and went home with 4 best of show's, 2 trophies and although she is totally exhausted, this may be the highlight of her summer.

 Miss R had to pace herself this year since of her sickness setback. She wasn't able to do extended activities. She filled her fair time with many memories. All of which is going to be in my next post. Believe me it deserves it own post...

My absolute favorite memory of this years fair, is this picture.  Dad sharing some solid advice with his son before going into the show ring.  That my friends is what it is all about.  Those tiny moments of sharing wisdom that stick with you for a life time.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Wheat Harvest Widow

Well it’s that time of year again- harvest has began.  In agriculture every year we experience the same things- it’s a cycle… Wheat harvest is the first of the harvests and seems to always catch me by surprise. 

I grew up in agriculture and I understand there are busy times of the year and not as busy times of the year.  Harvest time is one of the very busy times on the farm. When it’s time to harvest, there is an extreme urgency to get the crop in.  Everything else stops, doesn’t matter what’s going on, it stops.  Long hours and shorter tempers usually surround the event. 

As a Farmer, I revel in the beauty of the crop and the joy and sense of accomplishment of harvest. It’s the reward for hard work and perseverance and although we don’t do it enough, we do try to at least have a small celebration at the completion of each crop harvested. Which sometimes is just a home cooked meal and a bottle of wine. 

As a Wife and a Mom, I hate harvest!  The world doesn’t stop turning for the kids and I during harvest.  It keeps going, but access to My Cowboy stops.  We go to bed without seeing him, eat our meals without him, work 4-H livestock without his important help, and try to be on our best behavior when he’s home because we know he’s tired. There- I’ve complained enough! 

So as a farm family, we try to make the most of it, riding in the truck with him, waiting as long as we can before we eat supper at night, praying for rain so he’s around to help. 

This year I tried really hard to prepare myself for harvest. About the second week of July, I figured that we were 3 weeks out. I kept telling myself that. Yet, I signed Cowboy & I up for a golf tournament for end of July.  The morning of he said to me, ‘Now, we’re starting wheat harvest today and I’m probably not going to be able to golf.’ I only golf with him, since I really suck at golf I don’t subject any one else to my horrible playing.  Let’s say that Cheryl was a wonderful partner and the two hits I made to help us out was very appreciated. ugh.

We’re all counting down the days until Wheat Harvest is done. Knowing that our days until soybean harvest starts are numbered. But we're thankful to have crops harvest.