Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

This was a very cool Fantasy/Fiction book. I like the way there was constantly something new and a lot of action.
The book takes place in a world that is ruled by an evil ruler, most people consider him God. There are classes of people and the lowest is the Skaa. The world has ash constantly falling from the sky and the sun is red. It wasn't always like this but most don't remember it any other way. A few of the Skaa rebel and try to overthrow the government. This is a story about their attempt.
There is a girl that joins the rebellion or their group. Her name is Vin. She finds out stuff about herself and her abilities. Some people can swallow different metals and then have different powers. Usually it is only the nobility but sometimes someone slips through. These people join together for an adventure.
I couldn't put it down. And luckily there are two more books in the series. I can't wait to get my hands on those!

Healing Book

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Blue Shoes and Happiness (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Book 7) by Alexander McCall Smith

Another from the series, it was cute. I loved the blue shoes part, very clever.

Whole Book

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Angel of Repose by Wallace Stegnar

I think this was a very disappointing book. I don't recommend it. Sorry for those that liked it, I didn't. I guess I just couldn't relate and I didn't feel sorry for the grouchy old man in a wheelchair that was writing it. He just couldn't get over his rant on society and hippies specifically. Even if he was right it was still overkill. And his Victorian Grandmother coming out West was just snobby.
The last paragraph was nice but that is the only thing positive I have to say.

Broken, healing book

Sunday, August 15, 2010

FAIR part 6 - Auction Day - Farewell

To keep this in perspective, BBQ is the word. The goal of the livestock part of the fair is to have a great product to take to market. We raise the lambs to sell for food or breeding which ends up back to food. People eat lamb. So our code word for the real reason we do this project was BBQ. The lambs were not pets they were livestock to sell for someone to eat at their BBQ. If you don't have money to buy the animals then you can't raise the animals or feed the animals so the auction is important to make back what you spent and to continue the next year buying another lamb. The 4-H kids take a pledge to do their best and be kind to the animals but most important to take what comes, death is a part of that, loosing in the ring is a part and saying good-bye.

We got to the fair early Saturday morning. We found out we were sale number 216 and 229 for the auction. If you miss your call number then you can't sell your animal. Sometimes the auctions move right along and sometimes they drag. The steers and hogs are mixed in during the day. They go slow because they sell for so much more and are in high demand. The Steers and Heifers were going for $1700-$2000!! They auction at $50.00 increments. The Hogs were going at an average of $450-$600. Lambs were all over the place but usually sold for $250 - $500. Every animal has a market value according to their weight. If a company from the area comes to the auction, like a supermarket or the local feed store or the ice cream parlor and they just want to donate to the youth in the 4-H community, they only pay the above market price. So for instance, our lambs were priced for market at $130 they sold for lets say $300. The buyer if he doesn't take the whole thing home to eat only pays $170. Which doesn't even break even for the expenses of raising the lamb. But the store that supported us gets a plaque to hang on their wall saying they helped the 4-H kids and this gets them more business and advertising! Then there are also boosts to the auction, usually for those that can't make it on the auction day and don't want the whole lamb. This is when people add $10-$100 on top of what the lamb auctioned for. This is how we break even and can continue the project the next year. Thank you everyone that boosted us this year!!!! It is quite simple and fun for everyone.

The auctioneers are professionals but they donate their time at the fair. They talk really fast and you don't want to accidentally scratch your nose or you will end up bidding. All of the grand champions and reserve champions are sold first and the buyers get to have their picture taken with the child and animal. They will get their picture in the paper. These animals sell for WAY over their market value because they are higher quality. This was the first time I watched this part of the auction, it was fun and interesting. Sometimes I would hold my breath in anticipation for the sale, then I would feel really happy for the price it went for or disappointed it didn't go higher. I can see where people get caught up in the whole thing and could spend more then they planned.

The kids had a very long wait but finally they sold the lambs. This is them coming down the runway.

This is on the "Auction Block". Everyone is looking at you and you just hope someone will bid and buy your little lamb. You try to look good and smile!

Our Buyers were A & D Construction, a kind white haired older gentleman. He was contributing to a lot of different projects. He randomly chose ours! AND the locally owned Cold Stone Creamery Ice Cream guy, Josh. His father was buying for him because he couldn't be there. He was at the ice cream booth at the fair working. We always give a loaf of bread or a little treat with a thank you card to our buyer right after the sale. His father said to take the present up to the booth on the North end of the fairgrounds and give him the thank you personally. The kids were being shy but they headed up there. Well, it just happens that this was the first lamb he had ever bought and he was so excited that he wanted pictures and talked to the kids about the lambs for a while. He will hang the plaque in his store saying he purchased a lamb in 2010 and each year he will add a little medallion with the year to that. BUT the best part was they both got free ice cream! Hooray!

The End...We said good-bye that night to the lambs. Only one single tear was shed and that was that. Next year we start over! Bigger Better lambs and more character building opportunities!

Fair part 5 - More Ribbons

Back to the 4-H Building:

The chalk picture of the rainbow and the Family history picture above this little girl are her contributions in the Cloverbud age group in 4-H.

And believe it or not, Pecker the chicken received a 1st place!!!! She was the only chicken of this breed entered in the fair this year. I guess Delawares are rare in these parts. Her sisters chicken had competition but still came in 3rd because of her beautiful golden color. We learned a lot about chickens after talking to some expert chicken people. I thought all chickens looked the same but now I can almost tell which is a chicken from a breeder or from a hatchery. Makes all the difference to the judge.

This guy is going to the STATE FAIR. They liked his still life photo of his bionicle.

There was many many entries for cookies this year but he took the purple ribbon and is going to the STATE FAIR! Now he just has to duplicate the same cookie again...that is the challenge in our house! GREAT JOB YOU GUYS!

And of all the funny things, the cabbage we grew in the garden won 1st place in the JR cabbage division! It was a nice looking cabbage, big, bigger then her head, round and what are we going to do with it? We have another one in the fridge at home...anyone have any favorite cabbage recipes?

Fair part 4 - Showmanship -Lambs

We start out the day with the Pee Wee Show. This is when all the siblings of the lambs showers get to take their brother or sister's lamb in the ring and walk it around to the judge, tell him your name and the lambs name then get a ribbon and a prize. Simple enough but you have to remember some of the lambs are 6 times as big as a 4 or 5 year old kid. Sometimes a parent will walk next to the Pee Wee just in case it gets away or tramples the kid. They also are allowed to keep the halter on.
I got the times mixed up so this little girl made it just in time. She was almost the last out of 120 peewees to enter the ring. Whew. She had fun and didn't get ran over.

Here we are again but this time it is showmanship! The judge will be looking at how well the kids handle their animals in the ring. They need to always look like they are having fun, keep their eye on the judge, never get between the animal and the judge because you are trying to show off the animal and they need to remember to be patient and never let down their guard. When the judge comes you move into a position that pushes the lamb just right so it flexes all the muscles in its back and legs. You need to brace the lamb so it doesn't jump when the judge feels the back muscles or I would call it tickle the lamb because that is why they jump. You also need to constantly be setting up the lamb which means moving its feet so they are "square", not one for ward or back but always in a rectangle like box position so that the muscles are flexed and it shows off all the best features of the lamb.

Then each child will have to move the lamb around and do a pivot always remembering to never turn their back to the judge or get in between them and the animal. It is a lot to remember.

In each class 2 or 3 out of the 12 will be put in the star class. The star class is where they pick the best showman from all the classes. They are invited to come back a second time in the ring all together to be lined up by how well they do and the grand champion and grand champion reserve is picked from this bunch.

The second girl, you know who because I have so many pictures of her smiling big, did great! She made it to the star class in 3rd place in her class. In the star class she ranked right in the middle - 11 out of 22. That is great! Anything lower then that would have been very disappointing. She was the only one in our club that made it to the Star Class for showmanship.

The oldest boy Iv did very well ranking right from the beginning as #5 in his class. He was in the JR. class because I got his grade mixed up when I signed the kids up but that didn't matter because he held his own. We almost missed his class because we were eating lunch and thought we had plenty of time because he was in class 12. The judge was moving right along with the JR classes and we got there just in time to go in the ring. I don't have pictures because I left the camera next to my watermelon.


His lamb never settled down the whole time and got away right at the beginning but that was to his advantage because he never gave up and that was what the judge was looking at. He stuck to it when others would have just cried. Shawn his lamb was jittery the whole time at the fair but Iv stayed with it despite her stubbornness and jumpiness of his lamb.

Both children are very glad it is over and they both think it was worth all that walking and practice. I was glad they remembered so much this year and they really did have fun...last year it was stressful but this year they just went with it and relaxed a bit. The judge was awesome! He was from St. George and teaches down there in a school. He really took time to tell the kids tips and explain why he wants them to do different things. He was very consistent and that is the best quality in a judge.

Friday, August 13, 2010

FAIR Blue Ribbons Part 3

Some children make out like bandits when it comes to blue ribbons! And this year this kid won quite a few Purple Ribbons which means it is better then a blue and is allowed to go to STATE FAIR to compete with everyone from every county in the state!

M&M Cookie Bars won a 1st place.

The doll she made with grandma Carol is going to STATE!

The first kid made a family tree for the genealogy section and it won a blue. The little sister just wanted to stand in front of it for the picture. It is falling over and is BiG!

Three out of the four digital pictures are going to STATE!

Stay tuned, next time we see how this girl did at the fair!

It was a long day but we all did pretty good!

This little girl got to stay till it was dark and all the carnival lights are shining. We actually had 4-H building watch from 8pm to 9pm. We just sat there for an hour and told people not to touch things or run around. Actually she wanted to say, "Thank you for coming to the 4-H building. Please look with your eyes not with your hands. If you have any questions don't ask me I am just minding my own business." And then when they left, "Bye Bye Now!" All in the Toy Story Barbie voice. We were pretty bored and tired so we were getting silly.

To Be cont....

FAIR Market part 2

What a fun day! The kids didn't stress too much and did a great job with the market class. The lambs were pretty average so next year there is room for improvement. That is all part of the game. Friday, today we do the Showmanship portion of the lamb showing.

After getting to fair early in the morning to feed and wash the lambs the kids all took a break for snacks before the competition. We keep the neighbors truck at the fair to hold all our stuff. It is like a tailgate party.

This lamb is clean and ready for showing. They wear the sheep coats to stay clean. Thanks Pam for helping us make them! They fit perfectly!

Here they are in line waiting for their class to go into the ring. You need to keep your lamb calm, watch the judge at all times and hold on!
They will take off the halter when they go in the ring and only use the lambs head with both hands to guide the lamb around. Actually it is more like pulling and pushing the lamb then guiding for some.

Here are the spectators! Mike came on his lunch break and it was perfect timing. He also got the baby to fall asleep for his much needed nap, whew!

Here are the highlights of Market:

Always keep your eye on the judge. Hold your lamb because when the judge touches the lamb it might jump. Some lambs are ticklish.

Shawn the lamb was very ticklish. She got away here.

She got away again.

Oh, not again!

Line them up again. Both kids were next to each other. Luckily this helped calm the lambs.

Walk them around...go you stubborn lamb! They all did a good job.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Going to the Fair Part 1

Just in case you are wondering what we have been doing....Well, it is County Fair Time!!!

BEFORE you get there you have to do a bunch of things.

So we washed the lambs.



Then we had the lambs slick sheered. BUZZED!

EB was so bored she almost fell asleep. She is such a calm creature.

Like Shawn is really going to get away, hold on tight. She just sat there.

Then we set up their pens at the fairground and put up boards to separate us from the hogs. The hogs like to bike the lambs on the nose if there isn't a barrier between them. The lambs like to sneak the pigs food, which would make them sick.

We made cool posters to hang with our 4-H club on it. But I can't find the picture of that. Then we had to make a funny little coat for them to wear so they wouldn't get too dirty.

We fed and watered them...then went to an informative meeting. Then one kid took a very interesting class on how to judge. Now time to go home until 6pm when we go back to feed the lambs again. Tomorrow morning we will be there by 7am and it will be show time by 11am!

AND we put two CHICKENS in the fair this year.

This one is really special and is sure to win a prize! Her name is FLIP. She is a pure bred chicken that will lay multiple colored eggs.

This other one is called a Delaware and it looks like it has a black pearl necklace. It is very nice and loves to peck. It's name is Pecker

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Getting ready for the FAIR!

We have been so busy with the final touches on projects for the fair. I think our favorite thing is just seeing what was made by each kid on display. Hopefully quality will out weigh quantity next year but this year it is just fun!
The lambs are getting used to people, standing still and obeying. They still have their quirks and are stubborn but getting closer to show ready. I think the kids are just about DONE! The lambs take up so much time. They don't realize that there isn't any thing better they could be doing at this time in their lives. They would be eating junk food, sleeping in and playing on the computer if they didn't have a lamb to care for every morning and evening.

Last Thursday the two oldest were invited to take their lambs to a day camp/preschool. It theme was FARM Animals all week. First we had to get the lambs into the truck without our official lamb lifter (the next door neighbors super strong son). I worked all week making a ramp for the lambs to simply walk up and into the truck. Yeah right! They didn't want to walk up my silly ramp. It was kind of narrow but that was the only width I could find in the scrap wood pile. Then it was also not strong enough so after I stepped on it and broke it, I had to reinforce it with two two by fours, 8 ft. long. This was a heavy ramp! The kids helped me screw the boards on and the cross boards. It looks like a ramp for a chicken coop.

Luckily after 20 minutes we successfully loaded the sheep. Whew. Next we dropped off the younger kids and picked up an extra sheep and the neighbor girl. Her lamb had a really hard name like Galadriel, which means in elven "maiden crowned with a radiant garland". She is homeschooled too and loves Lord of the Rings. Her sheep is so calm and really funny. She follows her friend everywhere. They bonded with each other instead of the sheep bonding with another sheep. Galadriel came in really handy when we needed to demonstrate different things and have the kids pet the lamb.

The place we went had us out side under a tree in the shade. The kids had 30 mins. with each rotating group of children. The groups were 12-20 in size. We were there from 9-11:45am. The kids presented interesting facts about their lambs to 5 different groups of children. About 85 children I think.

At first they talked really quiet and read from their notes but by the end they were talking louder and giving eye contact. They were naturals in front of a crowd. They had fun and the kids really liked to pet the sheep.

Well, almost all the paperwork is filled out for each cooking, sewing, artistic project... and all the projects finished...we still need to work on some cooking this Sunday after church. I think Monday we shouldn't have to panic to get it all to the fair and turned in. We also set up the pens at the livestock area Monday evening. Wed. we bring the lambs down and relocate. I am thinking about having one of the girls enter her chicken. We will see.

Here is one of Maggie's digital photographs she entered in 4-h photography. It is a weird one in its own category. We will see how it goes. I think the hardest part was the mounting of each picture and the super mind of its own double stick tape dispenser we were trying to use. AAAAHHHH but we survived so far and the pictures look great!