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June 26, 2013

I used to care . . .

. . . I really did - I swear!  But you know that saying 'pick your battles'?  I have just decided this isn't a battle worth picking!

4-H Paperwork

I'll be honest, it is dreaded in this house by child and adult alike!  It is always put off till the last minute! We are always having to drive all over town tracking down, stalking, begging our leaders for signatures as we are on our way to turn in the paperwork!  IT NEVER FAILS - NEVER!

The first year Casey was in 4-H I insisted she write her paperwork herself-neatly-starting over if she made a mistake-that might be the year she learned to cuss me - looking back that was unusual and cruel punishment - but I felt (at the time) it was a learning experience and by seeing that she (the child) wrote it the paperwork judges would have no doubt she did her own and that someone didn't just type it for her - yeah that failed - advice on the paperwork once returned to us:

"would look a lot neater if it were typed"

So over the years and adding 2 more kids to the 4-H paperwork I have relaxed on my standards - this year I am beginning to wonder if maybe too much!

I got a new iMac a couple of weeks ago that NO ONE was supposed to touch however thru persistent pestering and annoying whining when it came time for paperwork they convinced me that they should be allowed to use this computer and since it is still a whopping two weeks till the fair and they were interested in doing paperwork I gave in!  So at this point we are way ahead of our usual schedule but don't worry there is still time for us to screw something up and be back down to the wire as in years past! 

Like the time about 5 years ago Casey was on her way to turn in crops with Chris and of course at the last second came running into the house to get the paperwork - which had been typed, printed, retyped and reprinted so many times I got confused as to which was the actual final copy and had just pitched them all - so we had to dump the trash bag out on the porch sort through it till we found the right set - it really only had a couple of coffee grounds on it!!!!

For as disorganized as I am 4-H paperwork is always saved every year for every project for every kid - it just comes in handy (if you get my drift)!

I help with answers when asked but for the most part the kids are responsible for their own with little filtering from me!

Some of my favorite answers I have found on paperwork over the years:

5. How or what did you do to help another member or friend to learn more about pictures and photography this year?
Answer: Nothing - I took the picture I turned in the day before it was due and am doing the paperwork an hour before the project is due.

Which totally reminds me of the year my Photography project wasn't quite up to par- I can't remember how old I was at the time but it was back in day when film processing took a good week - there was no digital and def. no one hour developing and it was not just down to the wire it was flat out to late- so my Mom loaded the Polaroid One Step Instant camera with a new thing of film (exactly 10 pictures) sent my sister outside with me and told me not to come back in till I had 10 pictures - and make them work because she wasn't giving me any more film!!!!  Nothing says lack of time management and planning than 10 Instamatic pictures with the tell-tale white tab at the bottom screaming "YES I WAITED WAY TOO LONG!"  And as a mother now - I realize that she probably hounded reminded me more than once earlier in the summer to please start working on it!

5. How or what did you do to help another member or friend to learn more about pictures and photography this year?
Answer: I taught my Mom that she doesn't need to constantly be standing over my shoulder telling me how to take pictures that I want to learn on my own-even if I don't win!

The older Casey gets the more 'dramatic' her paperwork becomes:

5. How or what did you do to help another member or friend to learn more about pictures and photography this year?
Answer: I helped my sister create her photo, and edit it the way she wanted  I also helped my brother on his projects that involved pictures.  Not only did I get to get more experience in the photography field but I helped their projects as well.

WHAT?  Where was I when this was going on?????

6. What efforts did you make to learn about photography this year?
Answer:  I did some activities in the photography workbook.  I also took a lot of pictures with my Mom, who is a professional photographer  She helped me come up with good ideas to shoot pictures of.

When on earth did I become a 'professional' photographer??????

Tractor Driving:
1. What have you learned in the tractor project this year?
Answer: That I need to pay very close attention when operating equipment.

ummm HELLO pretty sure you should of already known that!

4. What could you have changed about your project to make it better?
Answer: I would weigh more and have longer legs!  I was unable to keep the tractor running with the safety switch located under the seat!

List below three things you learned while completing your project this year.
2. It makes my Mom very mad when the cows don't have water everyday!

List below three things you learned while completing your project this year.
3.  It is not always fun to feed but it has to be done!

List below three things you learned while completing your project this year.
A. if you work hard it pays off.
B. have fun in the show ring
C. cows are fun.

And yes this is the boys paperwork this year - it is incredibly messy, hand written and almost illegible but not a battle I will pick - it was hard enough to get him to actually come in the house and sit down long enough to fill it out I am not about to insist he do it again neatly - if it came down to neatly done paperwork vs. him sitting in front of the TV than yes I choose to pick that battle but to make him come in the house from working with his Dad, actually working with the calves or just riding 4-wheelers than we will be turning in messy paperwork!


  1. This brought back sooo many memories. I think that is why my kids didn't do 4-h, I was way to active and just couldn't stand the thought that I was going to be in 4-h again. We did do 1 project 1 time and it was photography.....what a small world

  2. I just found your blog and I think you and I are living in a parallel universe! (I live in No. IL with my beef feeder hubby and 4 4-Hers.) I am a life-long 4-Her, and a few years ago I took over the "records" part of our club. When kids in our club see me coming, I think they hear in their heads me saying "It's never to early to start your records!" Check me out at www.livingthedalylife.blogspot.com !

  3. But, learning to keep those records is one of the most valuable aspects of 4-H! Keep up the good work!