Monday, April 14, 2014

Confessions of a Country Girl/Livestock Show

   Last week was the project show/livestock show. It's a really fun, busy week. I only made one project, but my little brothers showed their animals and I led barn tours, so we were there ALL. WEEK. LONG. :D

  I don't mind, though. I love the atmosphere: wearing boots, slugging through mounds of dust while George Strait wails through crackly old speakers, petting the rabbits waiting to be shown, cheering for friends as they show, balancing precariously on pipe fences surrounding the arena just for the fun of it, even waiting in an hour-long line in the hot sun to buy a snowcone.

Okay, my monologue has lasted long enough. Moving on,

The buckle is silver and turquoise! It's so heavy that it pulls my belt down.
I got this reserve grand champion belt buckle with my kitchen set project!!
I apologize for the galoshes/lack of Western attire; the barns are very, very muddy(I now live an hour from Old Navy, btw). But aren't they cute galoshes?

 Dad taught me how to use the tools and I learned a lot. I had a great time painting the kitchen set, decorating it, and building it. It started with an old desk I found for $40 at a thrift store, and we built shelving underneath. The faucet a nice employee at Lowe's gave to us for $5, as it was a display faucet they no longer needed.
The 'burners' are furniture grip pads glued to a board spray painted silver. The sink basin is a mixing bowl.

I had a ton of fun leading the barn tours this year as well. We had 585 kids come through. We walked them in groups of two classes from station to station, then through the barns to look at the cattle, goats, sheep, chickens, rabbits, peacocks, turkeys, horses, etc. It was such a great experience, but also a very eye -opening experience. When we asked where they thought beef came from, they said the store., or  they thought people 'grew' it.  "A man grows it an' puts it in a truck an' takes it to the store," one boy explained confidently.

   I guess, in the five years I've lived in the country, I've become used to learning exactly where my food comes from. I know where the animals live, what they eat, and  where the plants grow. Not to say I'm an expert at country life; I can barely ride a horse. :)
Still, I've come to think of myself as a country girl, and I'm proud of that!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sir Isaac Newton - the early years

It's pretty safe to say everyone knows who Isaac Newton was. You've probably heard about his laws of motion, his research in optics, or his discoveries through calculus. Either way, Sir Newton is hailed as a successful genius.
  But did you know he had a very hard life? His father died before he was born, and after his mother got him financially situated, she left him with his grandparents. She remarried a rich man and spent tons of money on her other children's educations.

   Isaac returned to live with her and his new stepfather at age 10.  Around this time his mother pulled him out of school as it cost to much. She spared no amount of money on her other children, but she was unusually stern when it came to Isaac. His school teachers noticed the potential in him and offered to teach him free of charge if she'd let him return to school.
He was friends with the younger children and the girls, making fully-functioning miniature watermills (he was fascinated with those) and doll furniture. He did hot, however, fit in with the other boys, and they teased him for spending time with girls and smaller children.
When he left for college he had to pay his own way by working as a sizar, a highly undesirable position. Sizars were servants for richer students. It was embarrassing for Isaac, who was from a wealthy family, to serve in this position. His friends' fathers and mothers paid for their sons' education, parties, and clothing- Isaac could barely buy food.
Petty and jealous all his life, he had few friends at college. One friend, a boy named John, assisted him in the lab and during his discoveries. Isaac could be secretive- he practiced alchemy,  something he could've been thrown in prison for at the time. Anyone who has read the  Harry Potter books is familiar with the Philosopher's Stone; Newton truly believed this stone existed and much of his alchemy work was devoted to trying to find this. He also kept his discoveries hidden from John. He was often seen wandering the college campuses all alone.
After graduating from Trinity College, he would write the Principa  and go on to complete his famous discoveries, but it was his lonely childhood and troubled college experience that set the basis for his adult life.

In a later memoir, Newton wrote:
"I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."

Thursday, March 6, 2014

John 15:4

John 15:4 is one of my favorite verses. It shows us that, without Jesus, we can do lots of good things but they'll never matter. They won't bear fruit.
 Are you doing things for the right reasons? If you're doing something and feel like it's not a success, is it because it wasn't based in Jesus? If we don't remain in Him, we aren't going to reach our full potential. Our lives will be pointless, even if we do achieve worldly success.
Without Christ in us, we will never bear fruit, despite all the good things we do.


...I've been doing a lot of math.
...going to Rudy's BBQ. It's a chain BBQ joint; I think they have the best potato salad in the world!
...and shopping for Easter dresses. Since I'm tall for my age, a normally short dress is WAY too short on me. No luck yet, but I persevere.

...I've also been working on 4-H stuff. I gave a speech/power point and participated in a fashion show as of late.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


A super nice lady at my church loaned me Christy and some other books based off the tv show. And they are amazing!
Basically, in the early 20th century, Christy Huddleston, age 19, moves to Cutter Gap, a remote Appalachian town, feeling called by God to become a teacher. She leaves behind a life of wealth, luxury and her family. But that's not the problem! The problem is, the people are superstitious, afraid of outsiders, and skeptical that Christy can handle a class  of 67 students. They live in tiny, filthy houses and ekk a living out of rocky hills. Constant fights over moonshine are common.
Then there's David, a well meaning preacher who can be a bit stubborn but is ultimately focused on spreading the Gospel. And he's sweet on Christy.
There's also Dr. Neil Macneil, a doctor who does everything from emergency brain surgery to delivering babies to inspecting an injured raccoon. He also likes Christy. Christy just wants to survive and help kids, not fall in love.
Miss Alice, a kind woman who mentors Christy, and the stern Miss Ida, round out the bunch. There's constant excitement, and the mountains sound beautiful and mysterious.
From the start, I instantly fell in love with Chriaty and the children she teaches. All the characters are likeable and very interesting. The children are so sweet, and Christy has real love for them. She tries to look past their ignorance and poverty by teaching and helping them.
Plus, the Christian messages were great. I think Christy is a good role model for girls like me! You should definitely read the book and watch the tv show!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

BLS Class

Tuesday I took a BLS, or Better Life Support class. I learned what to do in the event of a choking or cardiac arrest. I also learned how to use a manual defibrillator, and AED, a pocket mask, and a bag mask!!

This is a dummy with the AED pads attached. The AED tells you when to give a shock, stop compressions, and start compressions.
This is a bag mask. You would only use it in the event of a two-person rescue.
If it was just you, by yourself with an adult heart attack victim, you would:
  1. Shake the victim. Call loudly, "Sir/Ma'am, can you hear me?"
  2. Get a passerby to call for help. Alert another to find an AED.
  3. If you get no response, feel by the trachea for a pulse. This should take no more than 10 seconds. Time is important.
  4. If  you find no pulse, immediately start chest compressions. These take a lot of energy. Count out loud.
  5. Once you've done thirty compressions, allowing chest recoil time, give two breaths. If you don't have a pocket mask, seal your lips around the victim's and breathe twice. Watch for the chest to rise and fall. 
  6. Attach the AED pads under the left nipple and above the right.
  7. The AED will instruct you to stand back, and it will shock the victim.
  8. Wait for the AED to reanalyze.
  9. Resume compressions, if the AED tells you to.
  10. Repeat this cycle  until you see the victim breathing normally or until EMTS arrive.
So, as you can see, I had a lot of steps to remember! I also had to practice chocking rescue, and we practiced on adult, toddler, and infant dummies. Then we took a 25 question test. I was pretty nervous, as I was the only kid there, but I passed.
I am now a certified healthcare professional!!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Duct Tape!

4-H has  a new contest this year, Duct Tape Design, and I'm brushing up my duct tape skills! Here are some I made recently :

The hairbow is teal duct tape, and the bag is cheetah
 print and teal duct tape with zebra stripes woven in. I learned how to craft them via YouTube videos. They were so fun to make!