"While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about." Angela Schwindt

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Successful 4H Year!

Shelby and Jacob both had a great year at the fair with 4H projects. We are still part of the 4H group we started with in Stanford so the kids participate in the Mclean County Fair. Shelby took a Geology project and an Interior Design project. This was her first year in Geology and she had to find 8-18 different kinds of rocks in the three different groups: Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic. She also had to identify what kind of rock they were. Some of the ones she collected were: Clay stone, Jade, Moss agate, quartz, tiger iron, blue and gray granite, and mexican crazy lace. She then took them and neatly displayed them in a shadowbox and labeled them. She did a really good job.

Shelby's other project was in Interior Design. This is Shelby's third year in Interior Design. The first year she decorated a lamp to match the colors of her room. Last year she made a valance for one of her windows in her room and this year she had to choose a problem area and redesign it to look better. In a moment of brilliance I suggested to Shelby that she choose her closet as her problem area to fix. Shelby and I have been going round and round about her mess of a closet for months. Shelby first had to take everything out of her closet and fold or hang up all the clothes that were on the floor of the closet. Then she went through all of her clothes and got rid of things that she did not wear or that did not fit. Then she had to arrange her organizers in a way that would work for her. Then she decided to hang up all of her shirts which opened up a lot of space for other things on the shelves. She worked very hard and did a great job. I was thrilled. Then she had to decide what to do about the broken doors on her closet. She came up with the idea of hanging curtains, so we went shopping and picked out some really cute curtains,and decorative rods. Then her Dad helped her hang them. It looked great! Shelby then had to write a report and create a poster showing what she did. She titled the poster "Operation Closet Chaos" and listed the steps she took to fix her problem closet and included the following before and after pictures.

Before: The Disaster Area

After: The Reorganization

After: With the Curtains

Shelby got Blue Ribbon A's on both of her projects! She did a great job!!

Jake choose Electricity and Small Engines for his projects this year. This is his second year in small engines. Last year he had to identify the parts of a small engine. This year he had to perform maintenance on a small engine. His Dad suggested he use the garden tiller. The tiller was due for it's yearly maintenance so it worked out well. Matt printed out the yearly maintenance steps that were to be done and they went out to go through the process. At each step they stopped to take a picture of Jake performing the task for his poster he had to make. Matt explained how to do each task and why each task needed to be done so that Jake could explain everything to the judges at the fair. Then they came in and made a poster to show what they had done. It turned out great. Jake received a Best in Class purple ribbon for this project.

Jake performing the maintenance on the tiller:

This was Jake's third year in Electricity. For this project he made a lamp. The goal was to learn the basic components of a lamp and how to correctly wire a plug and lamp socket. They went out of found the materials they needed and also found an Army Jeep to put on the lamp. Jake's new room is going to be decorated in a military theme. Once again Matt walked Jake through all the steps and Jake performed them. The lamp turned out great. Jake received a Purple Best of Class ribbon at the county fair for his lamp and was also choosen to take his lamp to the Illinois State Fair to be judged. We went down to the state fair on Saturday with his lamp. He got judged at 10:00. The judge told him his lamp was very creative and he could probably make them and sell them if he wanted to. We had to leave the lamp on display at the fair until noon so we walked around the fair for a couple of hours and came back to get it. When we came back to get it there was an Award of Excellence that every project chosen to be displayed at the fair gets and there was a huge purple ribbon that said Superior 4H Exhibitor on it! We were so excited and so proud!!!

Jacob at the State Fair holding up his ribbons.

Jacob's lamp with both the County ribbons and the State ribbons.

Close up view of the State Fair ribbons.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Big boy sits up!!

Jadon can sit up on his own now! He loves to sit on the floor and play with his toys. He still does not understand that if he kicks back he will smack his head on the floor so we always keep pillows around him to catch his fall. We were using the Boppy but it was helping him sit too much. I felt like he was not going to get better at sitting with that much assistance. Shelby took some video of him sitting. I love the gradual fall backwards at the end.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Jadon meets the Weaver's.

The Weaver Crew

Last Thursday we took off after work for Michigan. I was a little nervous about the long trip and Jadon, but that was offset by the excitement of bringing my sister a surprise. Brian, Dani's boyfriend, was not able to get the whole week off of work to go up on vacation with her and she was very sad. She kept saying she wished he could come. Well, Brian and I plotted and planned the whole rest of the week. Brian got Friday off and was able to ride up with us. We did not tell Dani. The only person I told was my Dad because I needed to make sure that I could leave Jacob up there with them so Dani could ride home with us.
The trip went very smooth. We stopped once in Dwight so we could get something to eat and feed Jadon his supper. Within a half an hour we were back on the road and Jadon fell asleep. He slept pretty much the entire rest of the trip. We arrived at my aunt's cottage around 4 a.m.. Jadon was asleep in his car seat so we just carried him in the house and left him in it, got ready for bed, and I said a prayer that he would sleep for just a little while. He ended up sleeping until 8 a.m.! I was so excited to get four hours of sleep! We got up and got ready for the brunch/baby shower that was planned for my cousin Melissa who is expecting her first baby in October. We arrived at the campground to deliver our surprise. It was very funny. My sister was busy talking to someone and Brian was able to walk right up beside her before she even noticed. My brother had to actually say "Dani, look beside you!" then she had to take a double take. She was very happy and I was thrilled that we pulled it off.

A very suprised Dani hugging Brian.

Jadon got to meet two great grandma's, one aunt, two great aunts, two great uncles, and some second cousins for the first time on this trip to Michigan. He was having a great time entertaining everyone. He was really good on the boat for us, but did not think much of the water. The water was way too cold for Jadon's liking. Uncle Nate put his feet in and he shivered and it took his breath away.

Jadon sleeping on the boat.

Jadon on the boat.

All of us with Grandma Maxine.

We came home on Sunday during the day. Dani and Brain rode home with us. Jacob and Shelby both stayed in Michigan with Grandma Jan and Grandpa Brad until Tuesday. It was a short trip for us, but we had a good time.