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Archive for the ‘4-H’ Category

Shooting Fun: Shotguns

Due to computer issues and a need for relaxation around the holidays, I have sadly neglected this blog.  I do have a lot of pictures and things to share that I’ve been saving up, though, so I hope to have more regular posts in the future.

First up: some friends and I have organized a homeschool 4-H club.  I was in 4-H as a kid and dearly loved it (some of my childhood projects included: karate, gardening, cooking, cross-stitch, dogs, hamsters, and cats).  I wanted my kids to have fun 4-H experiences, too.

One of the first things we did in the 2010-2011 4-H year was shooting at the Lee Kay shooting range.  We began in October and the first day we did shotguns.

I was surprised they started with this…the guns were quite heavy and some of the smallest kids (Nia included) needed help even holding them up.  The kids also had some trouble holding the guns tightly enough to avoid bruising on the kick-back after the shot was fired.

But the wonderful people at Lee Kay were GREAT with the kids, and so patient and helpful.  The kids had a great time shooting clay targets.

bran and ciara shotgun1

Bran and Ciara receive some help with shotguns

nia shotgun2

Nia getting shotgun instruction

 

nia shotgun5

Doing her best to hold the heavy gun, with help

 

ciara shotgun2

Taking aim

bran shotgun1

Waiting his turn with the gun pointed safely down and away

Even though shotgun shooting wasn’t their favorite kind of shooting, it was a good experience…I can’t say enough positive things about the great staff at Lee Kay and how wonderful they were with the kids. 

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The second week of August, the kids and I entered a bunch of things in the Salt Lake County Fair.

As children in our local northwoods Wisconsin 4-H club, my siblings and I entered stuff in the Vilas County Fair every year.  But Utah fairs were a new experience for all of us (besides being spectators at the State Fair the last few years). 

We’d just returned from our family reunion on August 8, but on Monday, August 9th we threw ourselves into baking. 

nia bake1

By 10pm we were exhausted so we got up early the next day and continued.  I decided at the last minute to bake 2 items, as well, and we barely made it to the Fair by the noon deadline.

We’d previously turned in the kids’ art projects on Sunday afternoon, so we counted the hours until we could go on Wednesday morning and see if our items got any prizes.

Wednesday dawned, sunny and hot.  When we got to the Fair, we raced to the art section and scanned the many framed entries hanging on the wall.  When the kids saw their prizes they started screaming and jumping up and down.  Nia, especially, was quite ecstatic and couldn’t stop screaming for a few minutes.  (They award prizes based on merit, so everyone who deserves one gets an appropriate prize.)

Ciara:

1st prize: Forest and waterfall scene

ciara prize2

 

2nd prize: Unicorn on a hill

ciara prize1

1st prize: Chocolate chip cookies

2nd prize: Pumpkin bread

ciara prize5

 

Bran:

2nd prize: Clone Trooper drawing

bran prize1

3rd prize: GF sugar cookies

bran prize3

4th prize: GF muffins (I guess the judges don’t like the taste of gluten-free cooking!)

 

Nia:

1st prize, “high blue” (for entries better than 1st place) and “Sweepstakes Award” for best in category: Pink Flower drawing

nia prize1

1st prize: Oatmeal cookies

2nd prize: Chocolate no-bake cookies

 

Me:

1st prize: lemon poppyseed muffins

me prize1

2nd prize: Sour Cream coffeecake

After we’d finished screaming and jumping, we met up with our friends Linda, Rebecca and Joseph.  We had fun visiting the animal barns (though my allergies didn’t let me stay there long…apparently there were owls in the bird and rabbit barn!! I don’t know how we missed them!), looking at all the exhibits, and watching the Pig Races.  Yep, that’s right…Pig Races done by Cook’s Racing Pigs.  It was extremely funny, and if I get a YouTube video up at some point I’ll come back and link it here.

We came back to the fair that evening to watch a free concert by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.  Wow, are they ever incredible musicians!! I didn’t know any of their songs except the famous “Fishin’ in the Dark.”  The banjo and harmonica players were especially talented.  It was a terrific concert.  I took some videos, but the pictures didn’t turn out very well.

ngdb

We were pretty far back and to the side…I had to leave partway through to pick up Nia from a birthday party and then come back, so we sat close to the side so I wouldn’t disturb very many people. 

Around 10:30 p.m. when the concert was ending, a nice lady in the row behind us tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if there was any news in Susan’s case.  I am continually touched and amazed at all the people who continue to care about and remember Susan, even though it’s been so long.  I appreciate them so much and I know Susan’s family does, too.

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My goodness, it’s been quite a while!  My world has been quite busy these days…ballet class problems, 4-H club meetings (5 weeks of cooking, 1 week of tying a quilt, 3 weeks of sewing), Cub Scout meetings and trainings, school with the kids, etc….

I don’t have anything earth-shattering or profound to blog about but I do have a few things to share.

First up: my boy is now a Bear in Cub Scouts (*sniff*…he’s leaving my den!  Not grand).  Here’s a rather washed-out picture of him getting his Bear book last week at pack meeting:

 Bran is a bear

The kids did a wonderful job during the 4-H sewing meetings.  The first two weeks we made long fabric hair ties and toy bags for the LDS Humanitarian Center, but last week the kids could make whatever they wanted.  Ciara drew a shark picture on paper, cut it out, and used that for her pattern.  She made a stuffed shark toy for her cousin Ethan’s birthday, coming up soon:

Ciara's shark

I’m so proud of her!! She did a terrific job!

Bran and Nia decided to make themselves toy bags, modeled on the Humanitarian ones:

bran's toy bag

nia's bag

I never would’ve thought it was possible to teach a 6-year-old to run a sewing machine.  Nia and Bran did so well!  I have to watch them carefully, of course, so they don’t hurt themselves, but all three kids wowed and amazed me.

Friday night I checked the weather for Saturday and it was supposed to be quite cold and snowy.  Since I don’t have a hat yet, I gave my fingers a workout getting this done in time:

Cees headwarmer

The fast, fun and warm Calorimetry from Knitty.com

I got up at 6am Saturday and worked like crazy until 7:45, finishing it just in time for Ciara and I to leave for the Twilight Lexicon New Moon party.  (We thought we’d be standing outside in the cold for an hour, but that’s another story for another day.)

Speaking of knitting, I finally finished Bran’s stocking hat (after three tries…size was either too big or too small…third time was definitely the charm with this one!), made some matching fingerless gloves, and a scarf.  I am not thrilled that the scarf isn’t longer.  I measured it carefully but somehow it shrank while I was making it.  The gloves are okay; not the best, but definitely better than the first pair I made last year (and since I didn’t have a pattern, I’m glad I managed to figure them out).  The hat is grand and I know he’ll love it but I wish it was longer.  He wants a really, really long one.  I still need to make the pom pom for the end.

Bran fingerless gloves

Bran’s been wanting fingerless gloves for a year

Bran bday pres

Ciara, modeling Bran’s matching set

Bran's hat

The now-infamous “3rd time” hat

The kids and I got up early to shovel the snowy driveway this morning.  I’m looking very much forward to a relaxing week…no ballet, no Cub Scouts, no 4-H.  My brother and his wife are down from Idaho and I’m excited for all the upcoming family time.  I hope you’re all safe and warm and enjoying family!  Happy Thanksgiving!

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