Friday, February 17, 2017

Homeschooling and 4H

 January marks the start of a more intense couple of month of 4H involvement for us.  We started off the year with our Awards Banquet, and Hannah, Abby and Molly all won awards.  This year, for the awards, we put what they won on the back of a hoodie, and all the kids seemed to like that.  The Girls worked hard last year, and they can be proud of themselves!

This is the first year that Ellie Mae is in 4H, and she has waited many, many years for this, so to say she is excited may be a tad bit understated.  During our busier season of 4H, one of the things the Girls have to do is sell raffle tickets to raise money for our achievement day in May.  I took the girls to the auction market the other day, and they sold a whole lotta tickets in a short amount of time, which was great!

The beginning of February starts off with public speaking in 4H for us, so the Girls spent a whole lotta time preparing their speeches.  The all did really well, with Abby winning in her age category, after a speak off.  Molly competed against Ellie Mae in their age category, and Molly came in 2nd and Ellie Mae came in 3rd, and Hannah would've won in her age category except that she ended up with time faults, so she came in 3rd.  They all worked really hard, and we are super proud of them.  It's been so great to watch their progress and confidence increase over the years in public speaking, so much so that Hannah volunteered to emcee our district public speaking event which her sister will compete in.  I would've never thought I'd see the day that would happen!  Hooray for 4H!

We haven't started calving just yet, but some friends of ours have.  We've been over there a few times to walk through the calves, and it makes me extra excited for our calving season to start, in just over a month from now.  You must check out this sweet, silver calf!

The other day, we were at their place and they had to pull a calf.  This was a first for us to be up close and personal in helping/watching a calf be pulled.  We haven't had to pull any of our own calves....yet, so it was a great learning opportunity for all of us!  In my mind, it was the perfect homeschooling day!

First, we had to bring the cow into the barn, which she wasn't thrilled about!  But we got her in and got her checked out, and sure enough, she needed some extra help getting this calf out.

After some pushing on her part and pulling on ours, she had a big (huge, really) healthy bull calf.  We figured he was about 120 lbs.!  After he was born, our friends showed the girls how to make sure he was breathing, and recovering as quickly as possible.

Then, the Girls got a lesson in how the placenta works inside of a calf.  This was laying outside, from another cow that had just calved, and the Girls were fairly fascinated to see how everything works.  Things like this always make me amazed at how God has created us!

Our last task of the day was to bring in a twin who's mother decided she wasn't interested in mothering it (she took the other twin instead), and give it a bag of colostrum.  Did you know that calves aren't born with any immunity, so it's imperative that they receive colostrum from their mamas within 6 hrs. of being born.  After that, their intestines start closing up and they aren't able to receive those good antibodies after that time.  Fascinating. 

Anyhow, after this twin got loved on by our girls, and got some warm milk in him, the next day she got a new mama - a jersey cow that our friends had bought at the market.  Hooray for happy endings!