County Fairs, Frenzied trips to Sam’s…and grace

We have been homeschooling for 15 years, and never participated in 4H before this past spring.  We are thankful that a friend of ours texted us and walked us through how to join and showed us what we already were doing while homeschooling dovetails nicely with 4H.  What I wasn’t prepared for was what that would look like trying to juggle 7 children with 5 of them doing 4H projects in 3 different 4H groups.  Y’all it just DIDN’T get done.

Predators got all but 1 of our baby chicks, I didn’t plan well for the monthly meeting for all the kids, and had communication problems with their Shooting Sports leader.  I did manage to get the oldest two to the once a month Teen Leader’s meeting…most of the time.  In years past, I would have beat myself up for being a terrible mother who was failing my kids. Now I realize that adding something new to our large family routine often takes time.  Add to that our special needs kiddos, who do not handle changes well, and this Momma needs to give herself some grace.

However, when I saw the posts about the fair coming up and to get 4H projects ready to turn in, I was a little sad that we didn’t have anything ‘done’.  It wasn’t until last night, around dinner time, that I realized there were plenty of things ‘done’ that the kids could enter into the fair.  They didn’t need to be “4H” projects to be submitted, just things the kids have been doing all along.  Now why did I not think of this until 3 hours before bedtime, the day before everything was due by noon!  I just ended up shaking my head at myself and turned to my daughter to ask if she’d like to submit some of her photography into the fair.  She about choked at the mere thought of doing so.  She is so much like her Mama in so many ways. 🙂 Shy and somewhat an introvert, she hasn’t even posted her work on her Facebook for her grandparents to see.  I was truly proud of her when she met me on the couch after dinner with the laptop to pick out some pictures! She picked out 3 that she liked and I asked her to do 2 more that I loved and she agreed.  There was no time to go through her hundreds of pictures to pick out her “best” ones, but I really like the 5 she decided on.  So early the next morning, we drug everyone out of bed to drive the 45 mintues to Sam’s to print out her pictures.  The rules said the had to be matted as well, so we added a trip to Michael’s to our list.  It’s no easy feat to get 6 kids to town, Sam’s, Michael’s and the fairgrounds before noon.  I was so thankful that the kids really stepped up and were helpful with their younger buddies and on their best behavior!

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Here she is laughing at/with her Mama for documenting her 1st fair entry. 🙂 Yes, she matted them while I drove down the road to get the the fairgrounds in time.  She is awesome and just rolls with whatever needs to be done.

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And she is still laughing.

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She really doesn’t see what I’m so excited about.

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I finally told her that her grand parents and great grandparents would appreciate it. 🙂  I don’t know which of the five that I like best.  I love the tiger running in the picture on the far right of the table.  I like the cloud that is in the blue mat.  Of course I love the one in the green mat because it features my favorite 15 year old and our dog.  Ok, I love all of them, but I may be biased since I love the one who took them so much. 🙂

Please let this encourage you, that even when you think you may be failing, that it really is all right.  4H will be there this coming school year and we will figure out how to make it work better for our family.  Just love your family and do the best you are able to today and it will all work out just fine.

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