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Savoring Our “4H Summer”

My how time flies!  Summer is almost over, school is almost back in session and it’s time to savor every last-minute of summer!  My kids have even starting making their “shopping lists” for back-to-school!  I love having my kids home for summer break, I’m sad it’s almost over….but at the same time it’s time to get back on a “schedule” again!  Having a break from all the schedules is what I look forward to the most about summer when school is almost out, and what I look forward to the most when it’s time to go back!  LOL!

My kids have been busy with their 4H Animal Projects all summer long, and tonight it finally  comes to an end.  I remember doing this when I was a kid and I still love it….(well, let’s be honest….I love/hate it! ha ha)  I love what it teaches my kids, but it’s definitely a LOT of work!  My kids 4H Market Lambs every summer.  They buy them at the beginning of summer and take care of them all summer long.  Then just before school starts again, they are able to sell their animals (IF they “qualify” for the sale) and with any amount of luck….have a “profit” from all their hard work and be able to buy their own school clothes and put money away for missions and college.  It is a great program and I am always amazed at the generous people in our community that come to buy the lambs, pigs, bunnies and steers.

There is a lot of hard work that goes into raising animals for 4H!  Just a run-down of what they do with their lambs….The kids have to “break them to lead” with and without a halter, they wash them, trim them, clip them for the showmanship and market part of the show.  They also have to get them to gain a certain amount of weight to “qualify” for the sale at the end and keep a record of everything they have done.  They also have to keep them healthy. This isn’t always the easiest thing to do and I’m grateful they have been diligent in going out to work with them almost every day.  Another thing that I love about 4H is that my kids get to see first hand, that you “reap what you sow.”  If they spend a LOT of time with their lambs, the “show” goes much more smoothly and they benefit from all their hard work.  If they don’t spend a lot of time with their lambs… well, let’s just say it could be a real “rodeo” come show-time!

One of the things I love most about 4H is that it keeps me home all summer.  It’s hard when you have a large family to find something everyone can do and run everyone around.  For my family, that’s just not possible or affordable.  So 4H comes into play, and I can just tell my kids….”go out and work with your lamb”.  There’s no running all my kids different directions.  I love it! (Although, it does make me a bit CRAZY too! ha ha)

Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved watching my son play baseball when he was younger, but it definitely takes a toll on a family with all that running around and never being home.  That was just too hard on my big family.  So we went the 4H route for summer and it’s worked really well for us.  My older kids that can drive are able to do school sports and drive, for the most part, during the school year.  It has really lightened my load by being able to “stay-home” most of the time!

As you “savor” the last of summer, remember to make a memory today!  There’s never a better day for it!  Have a safe and happy rest of summer!  Savor those special moments with your children and family.  It all goes too fast!

Amy

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