This year marks an anniversary for us. When we started there was only one child old enough to be in it and we were so ignorant of everything!! Now that child is a 4H leader herself and watches while several of her siblings and other children she has taught compete at fair. Now we have 5 children in 4H and next year it will be six. That means that between them our family entered over 18 projects. That might not mean alot to those who do not do 4H, but it means a whole lot to those of us who do. It means WORK!! We have also watched several other family's children grow up in 4H, graduate, and move on to other fields of labor for the kingdom of God.
As home educators, we often do not have very strict deadlines or opportunities to have our children learn public speaking, experience healthy competition, or practice leadership through service. 4H helps our family work on these things. Often in 4H the children are simply competing against themselves! "Making the best better" is the 4H motto. The children are to learn to improve every year and push themselves a little further towards excellence.
This is not a 4H advertisement!! It is simply me explaining that 4H has helped our family achieve many goals we had for the children in a non-threatening, semi-controlled environment. Our fair is a culmination of year long labor. The children can receive rewards and satisfaction of a job well done. As a family, the children learn that we are to rejoice with those who are rejoicing and weep with those who weep. Sometimes siblings are competing in the same project and the top award may go to someone else. It is part of them learning graciousness too.
So here are some pictures of our laborers. Some of my best memories are from our fair weeks: hurrying in on Wednesdays to see what ribbons the children earned; visiting all the animal barns; going to the rodeo after a long week of fitting and showing, barn duty, food booth duty, caring for animals early in the morning and late at night; and eating fair food like cotton candy, Italian sausages, frozen cheesecake, snow cones and so much more that we do not eat the rest of the year. But mostly, all of us being together and making memories and doing things that cause us to give thanks to God and to be glad in all that He does.
---posted by Queen Lucy, proud mother of all the caer children!!