Friday, June 16, 2017

County Fair 2017 ~ Part 2


This is lamb day. The lamb show starts at 8 am, but FFA was first this year so we have time to get ready.

This was my morning tea in the barn.

The girls washed their lambs and got them all ready.

Market was first.

Everyone did very well, and Bookworm made it into the final drive of the Hamps.

In between shows there were some competitive card games going on.

Nutsy had a headache so she made herself a bed and took a nap.


Nutsy was first in juniors and got 6th place.

Dasher and Bookworm were both in seniors.

Our fair is pretty competitive in lamb and they got 4th and 5th. Very nice job!

This year, Dasher was our family's top showman, with 3rd in goat showmanship and 4th in lamb showmanship.

This evening our dinner was a nice homemade taco salad. We took it out and ate by the horse arena.

Saturday we were at fair, but didn't really have too many obligations. The girls hung out and then in the afternoon took the Purple Circle Test. This is a written knowledge test on all large animals.

Saturday afternoon we had some paper airplane competitions.

Sunday we are at the fair, bright and early, to get ready for the auction. This morning we did another project breakfast. We had a real treat this morning, with bagels and all the fixings.

Not only do we get the animals ready, but the girls get ready too.

This is the day when buyers are walking around, and so we get all ready before 9 am so that all the members in my project have time to go talk to buyers.

A great bunch of girls!

This buyer was looking at our sheep and also was quite knowledgeable about showmanship, so kindly gave some advice to them.

Many people actually use the Junior Livestock Auction as their meat source. The kids that participate in these programs are trained to treat their animals humanely, to feed them correctly, and basically baby these animals during their life.

I love the relationships that my kids form with business owners and buyers....Dasher's lamb was bought by a large company in Sacramento that has bought our animals before, and when she went to thank him, he talked with her for a bit and gave her a huge hug.

My 2016-17 Market Goat Project.

And the 2016-17 Market Lamb Project.

Tonight we say our goodbyes to the auction animals - they leave late tonight.

Nutsy and Canyon.

Monday is clean out day. In the morning my whole project comes to clean out the auction animal's stalls. We are there all day again, but the highlight of the afternoon is master showmanship. For the first time in four years no one from our family was in this competition, so we got to enjoy just watching it. Our friend won 4-H master, and Nutsy's FFA friend did very well and got 3rd in FFA.

We finally get released, and it's a mad rush to clean out stalls, pack everything up, and load animals. This year was not too bad and we were home by 7:30 pm.

Another fair is done. Again, I see SO MANY life lessons that we learn. How to deal with disappointment. How to help others. How much we all need to work together, and how to deal and talk with others: graciously, humbly, and with kindness.

And once again I am very thankful, for those opportunities we have in 4-H and for those who help to make all of this happen.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

County Fair 2017 ~ Part 1

Another fair is done. As always, we saw friends we only see a couple of times a year, had early mornings, learned lots of lessons, and had successes and disappointments.

Really, we spend an entire week with 4-H related stuff. Monday sees us out  fitting our goats in the morning.

We then headed to another spot where the girls coached three other members in fitting their own goats. All six goats were done by about 5pm.

Lamb was the next day. Lambs take about twice as long as goats do, so we only got two of them done before we had to start loading stuff into Cal Expo.

The first thing we do is lay down these tarps thingys. The stalls can be different sizes so each year, we 'sew' the tarps together using zip ties. I bought the material at Lowe's a few years ago and inserted grommets all around the edge. We put this down so that the animals don't eat the straw we lay down, and get that typical hay fat belly.

We stuff a full bale of straw into each pen under the covers and they are good to go for the whole week. But be warned and stand clear when we clean out on the last day - they do reek by then.

We also decorated our project signs and the kids all made their stall cards.

It's handy having the same color scheme each year - I save everything from year to year and only have to buy a couple replacements.

The next day the animals come in.

This year, our goats were on one side of the big aisle.....

and the lambs on the other side.

We had weigh in all afternoon; everyone made weight and then the girls fit the doe. Fitting does is tricky. It does not take long, but you do certain things, like only shave a strip on the back, and leave the hair all up the legs.

The next day - this would be Thursday - is our first day of competition.

We are there early, by 6:30 am, to clean out and get everything ready.

We did a project breakfast this morning.

This morning it was hard boiled eggs, yogurt, trail mix, and muffins.

One thing I make all my project kids do each morning is to walk their animals for 10-15 minutes.

Then this happens.....

And then we prep the animals and they get into their whites.

All ready to show!

Market was first. Bookworm and Nutsy got third place in both classes. Our fair is pretty competitive so we were really happy with that placing. And the breeder who we bought our goats from was here to watch so that was special too.

We also competed in the club/chapter class and got second place.

Dasher was next in the breed show. She was showing a doe so was not in the market class.

She did very well in her class also.

We had a bit of a break before showmanship so the card playing started up.

Back in the ring in the afternoon for showmanship classes. Since Nutsy had won Junior Master last year she now had to show as a senior in goat and so all three girls were in the same class.

Horrible photo I know, but here you can see all three of them. Final results were Nutsy got 6th, Bookworm got 4th and Dasher got 3rd.

We were really proud of them and their accomplishments in goat this year!

Tonight was pizza night.

After dinner the girls found some friends and all got our animals out to help one another and work them.

This young lady is in FFA and is a freshman in college and this is her last year to show. She and Nutsy always find each other at fair and hang out. Most of the FFA and 4-H kids here are so friendly, polite, and we have made great friendships over the years.

Tomorrow was another early morning, getting ready for all of the lamb competitions.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

{Homeschool Product Review} ~ Prima Latina

Years ago, when I was just starting to homeschool, I taught my three older children Latin. I used this very same curriculum, so I was thrilled when recently I was asked to review Prima Latina Complete Set from Memoria Press. I loved teaching it years ago, and how having a knowledge of Latin vocabulary helped them with word definitions and grammar knowledge.  Since my youngest missed out because she was to young way back then, this program was for her.

What It Is:

A typical question that I am asked when someone hears that I teach my children a year or two of elementary Latin, is, why? It is not spoken at all today, and is considered a dead language. But I do have some very good reasons. First, over half of the words in English are from Latin words. Learning the word in Latin can help with English word meaning. Also, Latin is the basis of many scientific and medical words. Having a knowledge of these words is invaluable. So like it or not, if you are in my family, you will learn some Latin.

Prima Latina Complete Set is a year long Latin curriculum meant for elementary students. You don't know Latin, you say? Well this course is meant especially for those educators with no Latin knowledge whatsoever. But you will be surprised at how much you will learn, and how much you actually already know, because of the many Latin roots in English.

I received a consumable Student Book, a soft cover Teacher Manual, a CD, a flashcard set, and also new to this program, an Instructional DVD.

Prima Latina Complete Set

The memory work required in each lesson is a practical Latin word or phrase, five vocabulary words, and a line of a prayer to memorize. Very manageable for younger elementary students. There is a lesson focus, which through the lessons, begins with looking at the Latin alphabet and moves to verbs, nouns, pronouns, and other parts of speech. By the end of this book your students will have memorized 125 Latin words, 4 prayers (including The Lord's Prayer and Doxology), numbers, constellations, and the first of the five declensions in Latin. There are also 5 review lessons, 5 tests, and an answer key.

The Teacher Manual is an exact copy of the Student Book, with the answers written in, of course. There is also a teaching guideline section that gives an overview of the curriculum, a sample lessons, a reproducible vocabulary drill sheet, and all tests and answer keys.

The CD is straightforward and a great compliment to the program. In each lesson, Leigh Lowe herself says all of the memorized portions from each lesson. She goes through the words methodically, and leaves time for the student to repeat.

The Instructional DVD is a new addition to this curriculum since I had used it years ago. I wasn't quite sure what to expect when we started the first lesson and popped it into the DVD player. Each lesson is of Leigh Lowe, actually teaching the lesson herself, in its entirety! Each lesson is about 15 minutes long, and goes through all four pages of the Student Book. She also reviews quite a bit - something I really appreciate.

The flashcard set is actually the set of vocabulary words that goes with the next level in the series, Latina Christiana I. Many of the words are repeated in that next level, so it is a combined set.

How We Used This and What We Thought:

This elementary course is meant for grades 1-4. The words are all age appropriate and the DVD lessons easy to understand and follow. So it made perfect sense for the last little one in our family to do this curriculum.

We spend 4 days a week, working through a lesson per week. The first day, Nutsy would sit and watch the DVD. Leah Lowe is a joy to watch and I loved it that I was not the one teaching. She not only explained the lesson, but also described how to complete the two worksheet pages that go along with every lesson. The second day, we listened to the CD and she completed the first worksheet page.

The third day we finished up the workbook section, and fourth day I got out the flashcards and we listened to the CD again. I also found that having her write out her weekly vocabulary words on the last day again was helpful too. As we progressed, I added the review words into the flashcard pile and we would review them the last day. And to help with review, after every 5 lessons there is a lesson that is purely a review lesson.

I really loved being able to just pop in the DVD and watch the lesson. I also loved that we could see and hear the correct pronunciation - yes, I know that since no one speaks this anymore it doesn't matter, but I do like to do things right.

I liked the flashcards, which was also a new addition from when I had taught this years ago. I did have to sit and sort through them all and pull out the ones being used in Prima Latina, but once they were separated it wasn't a big deal. Nutsy really enjoyed learning her Latin this way. I love it, because I know that having a foundation of word roots and definitions is a big advantage for any student.

There were other products that my fellow Crew members reviewed, some of which are: First Form Latin Complete Set, The Book of Trees, and Nature's Beautiful Order. You can see all of their Latin curriculum on their website. Check out what they all thought by clicking below.

Latin, Nature and Trees {Memoria Press Reviews}

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