When I first attended this homeschooling conference, my oldest son was four and we were just starting out down the homeschooling path. Oh, what an eager-beaver, hooves-stomping-anxiously-at-the-gate mom I was!
I was just that mixed a metaphor.
Well, that kid is now a 10th grader and I have since learned to relax a bit. Granted, our two oldest sons have since gone off to school, because the good Lord led us down that particular path, but the other four are still MINE! ALL MINE! 24 HOURS A DAY, SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, THEY ARE MINE MINE MINE!!!
See? Totally relaxed.
Here then is my (totally relaxed) recap from the conference this past weekend.
I. Homeschooling Bloggers Chat
The ever-gracious Ana Braga-Henebry was unable to host the bloggers’ chat this year and so they asked me instead. It seems that Ana had something more important to do, like…oh, I don’t know….watch her daughter compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee or something.
When I arrived at the 3rd floor room, breathless and ready to meet All Those Bloggers, this is what I saw:
“It’s a boycott!” I wept. “They want Ana or nothing!”
And then Erin showed up and it was okay.
|Erin of Bearing!|
“I’ll be the amanuensis!” Erin offered, and I thought, “Words like that are why I love my Erin. I am never not learning when I’m around my Erin.”
You didn’t know that she was my Erin, did you? That’s okay; I am willing to share her.
Several more bloggers arrived a few minutes after Erin, and I moved the chat into the lobby.
Too many bad memories in that conference room.
This is Laura:
She does not blog but patiently put up with all our yakking. With a smile, even!
This is Meghan:
And this is the whole glorious gang of us:
We had fun—a ton of fun—but would have more fun if you joined us next year.
Trust me. You were missed.
II. Key Note & Speakers
The conference was held at the University of St. Thomas.
It is a very purple place.
Like last year, John and I were asked to emcee the event. Apparently we did not do a good enough job last time, and they wanted us to get it right.
I.e. standing to the side of the podium so that people can actually see you.
I think I’ll just grow a couple more feet instead.
The key note speaker for this year’s conference was Marcel LeJeune. He is a funny, faith-filled and engaging speaker—sort of a cross between Dr. Ray and Jeff Cavins.
(Don’t worry—this guy’s from Texas and can handle my teasing. Plus he dished it right back out and had fun imitating my Minnesota accent.)
(Surprise, Marcel! I’m from North Dakota.)
At one point, he asked for a volunteer from the audience and ‘lo, our own sweet Sarah stepped onto the stage.
Sarah is shy and to have gone up on stage like that?
With a brassy Texan?
Who was dishing it out?
Well, let’s just say that it was a hoot and I applaud her bravery.
Except that all that teasing led to a poignant conclusion—a surprise ending, as it were, that moved many to tears.
Order the CD to hear this talk—heck, order all of them.
It’ll be worth it.
You will see.
III. People & Places, Speakers, Friends
I’ll wind this post down now and give you more photos than words.
You can thank me later.
At next year’s conference, maybe?
After all, you probably prefer all the photos to my yakking.
Or maybe, like Cathie in the shot above, you’re getting really tired of all those photographs, too.
Too bad! I’m not quite finished yet.
‘Cause I gotta include a couple homeschooling dad shots.
Correction: Homeschooling Dad and Cutie Pie Student-to-Be.
LOVE those shots of homeschooling dads! Perhaps you do too.
(Tell me, please, that you love the photos! Or don’t, and I’ll maintain the delusion.)
I’d like to close by introducing you to Shannon.
Shannon and I met at this conference two years ago, when we were introduced by my friend Lori. When we discovered that we had both lost four children to miscarriage, we hugged and immediately became sisters-of-the-heart.
I told her my story of little George—of how I’d asked a priest to bless my womb and how George was conceived…and born!…within the year. Shannon followed my lead and did the very same thing, asking a dear monsignor to bless her womb. Can you guess the ending? Her little guy just turned one!
So yes, I have come to really love this conference. I love the talks and the book fair, certainly, but more than that, I love the connections.
I love stepping out with these friends…in faith.