4-H – Showing Us the Future

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Ravyn showing in the ring.

It’s county fair season and the 4-H kiddos are showing us the future leaders and providers for our communities. My husband grew up showing hogs and cattle in the 4-H livestock shows and selling them at the auction to raise money for his future farming endeavors. It has clearly worked out, as we now have over 200 head of cattle and raise thousands of turkeys every year.

We are proud  and excited to support the 4-H tradition. Our county fair is held the weekend after 4th of July each year. It is always HOT and it always rains at least once. The 4-H Livestock show and other competitions are held on the first day of the fair. Starting at 7:00 a.m. members put a year’s worth of hard work on display.

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Kila showing her hog.

4-H members show steers, hogs, sheep, and poultry. Some show their workmanship in competitions for sewing, arts and crafts, photography, painting, pottery, woodworking, metal working, gardening, and other trades. Ribbons are awarded based on the successfulness of their projects and showmanship. Blue ribbons continue to be the coveted prize of choice. In the livestock show, presenters hope to be crowned Grand Champion. The Grand Champion is the choicest animal in the competition and usually brings the highest price.

Those that earn blue ribbons in the non-livestock competitions have the opportunity to move on to competition at the State fair. It is quite an honor.

Showing a fair animal starts a year in advance. The animals are selected when they are young so that the presenter has plenty of time to feed, care, and train the animal for showing. These fair animals become a part of the 4-H member’s family (almost), as they are a daily part of the presenter’s life. This is a powerful practice for developing future farmers and a strong understanding of dedication and hard work. After feeding, grooming, and practicing showing, the presenters often send out or deliver invitations to people in the community inviting them to bid on their animal. It is a terrific lesson in marketing and confidence for these young people. As the animals are judged, the livestock judges explain to the exhibitors and audience the qualities of a champion animal. (It’s a livestock learning experience for everyone.) Continue reading “4-H – Showing Us the Future”

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Miniature Golf Moments – Not so Mini

Miniature golf is an activity that is love by millions. The whimsical landscapes and creative challenges posed by the colorful pastime provide families with fun and memories that are anything but mini.

To beat the heat, I took my boys and one of their buddies early last Monday morning to play some put put. They were enthralled. From choosing their ball color to which putter they were going to use, just getting started was a thrill.

Lost Focus Golf

My son’s discarded ball and putter found a few holes away from where we were playing. He was too busy with the water hazards.

Each hole of the course offered fun distractions and attractions. While the two six year-olds were eager to compete at getting their balls in the hole first, the four year-old was way more interested in the features surrounding each putting area. I didn’t feel any need to rush. There wasn’t anyone behind us to let play on or anyone in front of us to distract. It was an ideal adventure.

As we made our way around the course, the boys wanted to understand the rules of the game and were fascinated by the aspects of how each hole was designed. They loved trying different techniques for success at each green and were really excited when one or the other made their shot. It was a wonderful experiment in sportsmanship. Continue reading “Miniature Golf Moments – Not so Mini”

What do you see? – Thoughtful Thursday

What do you see

When you look at this log peeking out of the water, what do you see?

On a recent trip to the creek, my daughter was walking across a partially submerged log and discovered this cool formation sticking up from the water.

“Mom, what do you see?” she asked pointing to this unusual tree.

After giving it a moment’s thought, I said, “A turtle head sticking out of the water.”

She replied, “Me too!”

My youngest son said it was as lizard. My oldest son said it kind of looked like a horse with a really short snout. My husband said we all had way more imagination than him. 🙂

While this log provided a fun family discussion on our creek exploration, it also created opportunities for a number of Intentergy lessons.

png 1 What do you see? Share this photo with family or friends and strike up a conversation that is based purely on nature and imagination. These can be terrific conversations.

png 1 Appreciate the opportunities nature provides us. If you can stand the heat or when it cools down, get outside. Walk. Journal. Photograph. Play. Nature is free and a wonderful gift to share with your loved ones.

png 1 Take a break from the obvious. Allow yourself to see something new in your surroundings. Whether it is finding fun shapes in the clouds or discovering beautiful new shades of color in the leaves, you are guaranteed to find inspiration and escape in allowing your outlook to change.

png 1 Learn from the different view points of others. When we talk about how we see things differently, we learn about one another and how to communicate effectively. Understanding different view points also develops healthier relationships and fosters kinder and more loving interactions.

Put some imagination and communication into your intents today. Positive energy is sure to flow and you may see things as you have never seen them before.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. I really do want to know what you see in that picture.

 

 

Stop Watering Those Weeds – July Positivity Challenge

“Stop watering the weeds in your life and start watering the flowers.”

Weeding 2

 

Here is the metaphor for this Intentergy Positivity Challenge:

Flowers = good stuff in your life

Weeds = bad, ugly, life-sucking stuff in your life

This month we need to stop watering the weeds and provide for the flowers in our lives.

Pull out, remove, mow down, stomp out, and destroy the elements of your life that are stopping you from smelling the metaphorical roses and skipping through those figurative daisies.

Debt, negativity, self-doubt, waste, bad habits, tardiness, or lack of attention are all weedy subjects and have the ability to be lessened in our lives.

 png 1 To make your weeding worthwhile, you need to establish a measuring system.

png 1 Set goals.

If you plan to weed out excess spending, make a list of the items or services you don’t need. Establish a budget and determine what you will do to water your success. For example, if you save X amount of dollars, treat yourself to a milk shake or a ticket to the summer box office bargain movie.

When working up the roots of negativity and self-doubt, get ready to dig deep. Eliminating the source of depressing or downbeat influences can be harder than removing the tangible “weeds” in your life.

png 1 Need some tools for weeding out the negative? Try some of these positive practices.

  • Weeding 3Surround yourself with positive people. When you knowingly spend time with individuals who are negative, you allow their negativity to pop up in your thinking too. Go for the happy-go-lucky friends and positive energy will abound.
  • Rest up. Exhaustion is fertilizer for negativity. Take a cat nap here and there. Do what you can to get those 8 hours of healthy sleep a night. Having a happy sleeping space leads to happier mornings and healthier days.
  • Water your body and your positivity. Our bodies work better when they are hydrated. A hydrated body leads to healthier complexion, better digestion, and more efficient absorption of nutrients. Hydration aids in metabolism and provides necessary fluids for muscle function. If your muscles ain’t happy, ain’t no”body” happy.
  • Let the sun shine! Getting plenty of sunshine is integral to a sunny disposition. Vitamin D from the sun does so much for our body, including reducing depression and negative energy. (Don’t forget the sunscreen though. Nothing dims your shine like a sunburn.) 
  • Play DJ Positive. Roll the windows down and blast your favorite tunes. Dance in your kitchen to your favorite songs. Swing your kiddos around the livingroom jamming out to a fast and fun beat. Science has proven that music improves mood and heart rate. Create a positivity playlist and weed out those sad songs. Flowers aren’t the only ones who grow better when music plays.
  • Positive AttirePut on your positive pants. Wear gear that makes you feel good. When you are confident or comfortable in your appearance, there is less room for self-doubt to sprout. Look good and know it. In the words of the late, great Audrey Hepburn, “Happy girls are the prettiest.” (This goes for guys too but it makes you more handsome.)
  • Say “NO” to drama. Turn off the reality TV. Walk away from the ho-hum timeline posts and tweets. Weeding 1Nip the gossip root in the bud. Quit breaking your back to make someone happy who is never going to be happy. Drama is another negative nutrient that we don’t need.

Continue reading “Stop Watering Those Weeds – July Positivity Challenge”

Focused Energy…Where Does It Go?

Where Focus Goes

I would love to blame my inability to successfully focus on the phases of the moon, or my kids’ schedules, or the incurability of freckles but the reality is that I have failed to give myself focus and therefore my energy has gone spastic this summer, but I’m working on it.

png 1 Spastic energy results in ineffective effort.

png 1 Ineffective effort results in failure on epic levels.

What is wrong with me????

png 1 Nothing. Continue reading “Focused Energy…Where Does It Go?”

Vacation Food is…better

 

Sunny Salmon and Aspargus Salad

Sunny Salmon and Asparagus Salad from Bahama Bistro in Osage Beach, Missouri

I LOVE food. My BFF loves food. We always love food, but on vacation…food is just better.

The beauty of vacation eating is that it is usually:

a. fresh

b. made by someone else

c. free of dish washing duty

d. something you don’t usually get to eat

As we embarked on our annual girls retreat, my BFF and I savored the menu planning portion. (Did I mention we love food?)

Our dining plans included two new recipes (guacamole and brushetta), picking up fresh eats from the local deli, and taking in the tastes of local restaurants.

Most of our snack and meal choices were healthy, but we made sure to pick up the necessary sweets to add to the vacation’s taste value. Continue reading “Vacation Food is…better”

Don’t Keep All Summer in a Day

All Summer in a Day.jpg

Ray Bradbury’s short story “All Summer in a Day” takes place on Venus and at a school where the children eagerly await the one day that summer will occur. On Venus summer comes once every seven years for just a matter of hours. The rest of the time the weather is stormy, windy, and overcast. This day is especially important to young Margot. Margot’s family moved from Earth and are considering the costly and arduous process of returning to the third planet from the sun for fear of losing their daughter to heartbreak. Margot is small, pale, and all too lonely. ‘She was an old photograph dusted from an album, whitenedaway, and if she spoke at all her voice would be a ghost.” The school children tease and ostracize her for her homesickness and taunt her about the only artwork she creates, pictures of life back on Earth. (The other children have no memories of what life is like on Earth.)

As the time nears to go outside and enjoy the rare sunshine, plants, and warmth, the children think it funny to lock Margot in the closet. They do not intend to leave her there but forget the grief-stricken girl as soon as the first rays of sun appear. Continue reading “Don’t Keep All Summer in a Day”

Slimy Sensation

Slimey Sensation 1

All the cool kids are making slime (this according to my kids). Why do the “cool” things have to be disgusting?

So as to avoid social disgrace for my children, I decided we would make slime this summer. When searching my go-to source Pinterest, I found like 10,000 results (this may be an exaggeration) for “make slime.” That’s A LOT of slime.

After a failed attempt at purchasing the right contact solution, I purchased the correct

Slimey Sensation 2

These are the ingredients for the solution that worked.

solution and we were off to the slimy races.

Because I refused to put much more money into slime creation, Dollar Tree was my source for white glue. They have two bottles for $1.00. (I bought 4 bottles.)

For fear of failing again, I memorized the four-ingredient recipe and laid out our slime supplies. It took my kids longer to fight over what color slime each would make than it did to create the concoction. Slimey Sensation 4

Step 1: I let each child pour 1/2 bottle of glue into a bowl. (recipe called for a full bottle)

Step 2: Mix 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda into the glue. (My kids love leveling off the baking soda under the lid of the box.)

Step 3: Add and mix in desired food coloring (If you are me, this is where you add food coloring to your grocery list.) Continue reading “Slimy Sensation”

Abandoning Time

Abandonded time

Time is tough to abandon but it sure is nice to let it go sometimes.

Playing in the creek is one of our favorite summer pastimes. Throwing rocks, building bridges, hunting crawdads and tadpoles, fishing, and picking wild flowers are the best ways to forget that there is a life too full of demands waiting beyond those creek banks.

I think my favorite thing about the creek is that it provides us with “rush free” fun. We are able to abandon our watches and phones. We are able to abandon the worries of dishes, laundry, and bill paying. We are able to abandon the stresses of schedules and calendars. We are trying to abandon time.

Rarely does a day pass when my kiddos fail to ask if we can go to the creek. They understand and appreciate the fact that when we are at the creek, they are free to play, work, and dream right along with those currents. The fact that the water, animals, and plants are all there naturally makes it the perfect place for us to play and grow. The fact that the creek never reminds us that we have to be somewhere else is magic.

On our last trip to the creek, my son caught some amazing crawdads. (They were huge!) He put them in a bucket and dutifully added rocks and fresh water to the bucket to make the crawdads happy. When it was time to leave, he cried. Oh, how he cried! He did not want to release the crawdads.  Continue reading “Abandoning Time”

Surviving a Stampede for Daisies

Daisy stampede (3)1

Are daisies worth dying for? My children thought I was willing to risk my life for these precious wild flowers.

Saturday a storm was rolling in, winds were billowing, the cattle needed care. Hubby and I were going to drop off a mineral tub and do a quick check of the cows we had just moved to new pasture. The kiddos were in the back seat of the truck taking in every moment.

As we parked at the top of the pasture, I noticed a thick patch of daisies. We had friends coming over for a BBQ later that night and I thought some daisies in a vase would be nice. While hubby unloaded the mineral tub, I hopped out to pick a fist full of flowers. As I was picking, the cows start to make their way to us.

Coming closer the herd picked up speed. They could smell the grain on the back of the truck and were excited about the mineral bucket.

Where I crouched picking daisies, I could tell the cows weren’t coming near me. From where my children sat, I looked like a sitting duck for the stampede. Continue reading “Surviving a Stampede for Daisies”