Twas the Night Before the County Fair

4H County Fair

I am a 4H mom and the county fair is tomorrow.

Some of you can appreciate the stress that is implied in that sentence.

I have spent the last 14 hours of my life answering questions, finding lost pieces to projects, giving advise, tasting cookie dough, reading project reports, finding lost recipes, printing project reports, filling out exhibit tags, reminding, encouraging, prodding, and multi- tasking.

Notice I didn’t say yelling. Or crying.

Not yet anyway.

Things have gone amazingly smooth this year and most of the projects are done. We have a few little details to finish up in the morning and 4 children have baked goods to make so they are fresh for the judging tomorrow afternoon.

It’s a big day.

We have five kids with 14 4H projects and 11 open class exhibits.

I still have my sanity – for now.

Stay tuned…

I am a 4H Mom…

Upholstering the top of the foot stoolIt’s mid-July folks, the time all 4H moms anticipate with fear and trembling. It’s time for the County fair.

For those of you who are uninitiated into the workings of 4H, let me describe it like this: imagine that all of your children have all of their school projects due on the same day and at the same time.

I have four children in 4H this year, and our family rule is at least 3 projects. My brain has been functioning a little like this…

“Need to fix the printer to print off the last… has Dagmar started her bread?…where is Angel Girls entry tags…I still need the printer…Pedro has to start… is the varnish dry?…write-ups…I forgot the laundry…are we out of flour?… Matt needs to mount his picture…where is the label maker?…mint flavoring…Class 521 A or is it B…the printer…oh no! I forgot about supper!”

Finished foot stoolOne project in particular has given me grief. Pedro refinished an old oak footstool and looked to me for help to upholster the top. I’ve done things like this in the past, years ago before children, when I had complete thoughts and working brain cells.

Somehow we muddled through and everything worked out. But I learned an important lesson, “Just because it looks easy on HGTV, doesn’t mean you can do at late at night, just before the project is due.”

It’s time to heat up some lunch, pack up the projects and head to the 4H building. That’s where I’ll spend the rest of this warm summer afternoon with other 4H moms just like me, dazed, brain dead, and much too tired to have an intelligent conversation.

Now if I can just remember who I am and which children are mine…

4H Achievement Show

4H Emblem Today was 4H Achievement Show for the 4 oldest children. It was a crazy busy day, but just a small taste of what life will be like in my home a month from now when the county fair begins.

At the local Achievement Show each club member brings in their projects from the year and a former 4H leader looks them over, asks questions and gives helpful comments.

Then each member gets a picture taken with one of their projects. This picture will be featured in the local paper the week before the fair. Pretty cool!

When we woke up this morning there was just one finished project on the dining room table. There were many other projects scattered all around the house in varying degrees of completion.

It was crazy for a while, but all four children had at least one finished project to bring this afternoon.

Whew! Time for this 4H mom to take a break…I think I need some chocolate!?