Monday, August 19, 2019

4-H, State Fair, and the awards that matter

A first trebuchet attempt.
It has been a pretty crazy summer.  The kids are involved in 4-H, and with my crazy life it isn't like I was doing a great job of making sure they were working on their projects.

Photos from some of the projects are scattered throughout this post, by the way.   Just to keep my blathering a bit more interesting.

(This one is Richard's first attempt for Junk Drawer Robotics.  It wouldn't thrown a projectile far enough, so he had to create a second model.)

Testing out some different teas for dyeing
So when we hit the end of June, with county fair rapidly approaching, my solution was to have some of us work at a fireworks stand for a couple of weeks.  That left even less time for firming up those county fair projects.

That was tough.

We had a lot of things to finalize and not nearly enough time to do it.

(Katrina had a lot of trial and error with her Upcycle My Style project.  Everything she did to fix things caused more issues.  So the final step ended up being to use coffee to dye the handkerchief tablecloth on her shirt.  She tested some teas first.)

Out of sixteen projects that they entered, though, half earned champion ribbons (the dark purple ones) meaning that they'd go on to the State Fair.

These are not the awards that truly matter

Last week, Thomas and Richard served as teen clerks down at the fair.  Richard was working in cake decorating, and Thomas was working with the sewing projects.  Both of those are areas with a lot of different categories, just to keep things interesting.

A drying project all the kids did
So as of this past Friday, the state judging is all done, and everyone is just waiting for the official results to be posted.

I went down (and brought William and Trina) on Saturday to volunteer, as the next step in getting ready for the state fair is to get all those exhibits displayed.  That makes for a long day of checking and double checking, of moving and arranging, and trying to be careful with these items made by kids throughout the state. 

(This photo is of Richard twisting the dried corn off the cob.  All their other food preservation projects involved the dehydrator, but we tried corn in the oven.  Richard was the only one to have his Food Preservation go on to state.)

3D printing a computer project
My kids have had a good year with 4-H.  We have brought home a lot of ribbons, and I am eating a wonderful cranberry bar while I type up this post.  We have a bunch of produce that has been dehydrated.  They have certainly learned a lot.

(This is the printing of an ornament that Thomas designed.  This would be the fourth version of the ornament, and the one that did go to state.)

The absolute greatest awards happened on Saturday though.

Awards that I can't take a picture of.

Because they are not physical.  They are the "treasured these things in her heart" types of awards.

I was so incredibly proud of these guys, as I had so many people come up to me on Saturday and tell me how much they appreciated the boys and the work they had done in the past few days.  I was told that they were cheerful, hard workers, and diligent.  I heard how they stepped in to help when they absolutely didn't have to.  I heard lots of stories.  I was asked (or told) to bring them back again next year.  More than one of the adults asked if they were available to adopt.

One lady told me, "Mama, you must have done something right."  I'm not so sure that is true. 

I'm just blessed to be their mom.

The awards that I prize -- finding that at least sometimes, these kids have grown up to be good humans.

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