Monday, May 26, 2008

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things....

....I can almost hear Julie Andrews singing, can't you? :)

Favorite Julie Andrews song- Just a Spoon Full of Sugar

Favorite Convention Ever- the FPEA in Orlando

Favorite Booth at the Convention- Generations of Virtue (where I spent $172 last time I was at their booth two years ago, but this year I was content to just look at their amazing products...and talk other people into buying them.)

A close tie would've been the Teaching Textbooks booth where they had computers set up for each grade level so parents could "play". I just might not have had to take Algebra 1 three years in a row if this curriculum had been invented in the 70's. And no, I didn't buy it - because I have all the levels of Math-U-See, which is working great for us. And it was also expensive (over $100 a level). But I loved it and may ask for it for my birthday :)

Favorite Book I Bought at the Convention- Bound for Glory, by R.C. Sproul, Jr., who was at the convention and gave me a very laconic answer to a gut-wrenching question I asked - but who I forgave and bought his book anyway. I may have mentioned in a previous post that I'm all about forgiving. Even authors/workshop speakers who give curt responses to sweet, needy, well-meaning convention attendees.

Favorite Meal Eaten at Convention- The Mediterranean Wrap, with banana peppers and feta cheese (I ate one each day I was there.)It's imperative to keep your strength up when attending a Mega-Convention. Next year I want to take a pedometer. I bet we walked 3-4 miles a day. Our room in the hotel was about a mile and a half from the elevators. No joke.

Favorite Workshop- There were 117 workshops held in a two day period, so it's not surprising that I would have a tie for this category. I really liked the young man who gave the "Discipling the Strong Willed Child" lecture. He was a strong-willed child as a young teen (until around age 15), so he had an interesting take on the subject. I bought the CD of this workshop so my Potential Rebels can hear it and be forewarned. Actually, he spoke mostly to the Parents of Potential Rebels - and gave us much food for thought.

I also loved the Keynote Speaker, Gregg Harris (don't tell my HOH!).
Gregg was responsible for many of us old-timers even starting homeschooling. His older son, Joshua, is the author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye, among other books - and his twins, Brett and Alex are the authors of a new book called Do Hard Things. His keynote address was very motivating and came at the perfect time for me. If you were only going to order one tape from the convention I recommend his.
BTW- In about a week, all of the workshops will be available from here.

Favorite Roommate Moment at the Convention- Eating at the Very Expensive Buffet in the hotel because the maid had accidentally cleaned our room early and thrown out all of our lunch ingredients. We lost all of Jessica's healthy muffins, spinach sandwiches, hummus, and granola. Fortunately, my Cokes and malted milk balls were safe and sound.

Favorite Curriculum I Bought at the Convention- Another tie:
I could have spent mega-bucks at Dianne Craft's booth. But I limited myself to two things: The Right Brain Phonics Program and the Brain Integration Therapy Manual. Dianne was by and large the most helpful speaker for many of us at the convention. Her sessions were always packed (in a room that held 800-1,000 people) and she expounds on difficult material in an amazingly simple and understandable way.

I also purchased First Language Lessons Level 3 (the newest book in the series by Susan Wise Bauer's mother Jessie Wise). It makes diagramming look like something even I could do - and I plan on using it this summer with 5 of my students.

Favorite Thing I Wished I Would've Had the Patience to Stand in Line for at the Convention - a 5-scoop chocolate-chocolate chip Haagen Dazs milkshake (which a rider in my van DID have the patience to stand in line for, and was most likely the reason she was lying down with stomach pains for several hours on the way home.)

Favorite Pre-Convention Moment- Having a heart to heart talk over breakfast with my Sweet Elaine (my stepmom) at Sassy Cassie's, then going to the cemetery to spruce up my Dad's grave site, followed by some therapeutic shopping. My Dad would've wanted it that way (for real~!)

Least Favorite Thing About the Convention- the 5 hour drive home (or longer if you stop multiple times for "people" to use the restroom and buy Starbucks products) after a long day of learning, walking, buying, walking, trying-not-to-buy, and walking.

Second Least Favorite Thing About the Convention- coming home to a house where the mother has been MIA for 4 days. 'Nuff Said?

Third Least Favorite Thing About the Convention- Worrying about my stupid blog since I was too cheap to pay the (daily)) internet fee. The Holiday Inn Express has free internet...but not the luxurious Rosen Shingle Creek Resort! (and it was extravagant...and gorgeous...and very well organized for a 10,000 person convention...and they had super nice employees...But Still!)

I have more to post about the convention as I try to fill up the rest of the days in May. There were a couple of workshops that were extremely helpful - and a couple that were sort of duds (not sure if I'll be a blabbermouth and defame anyone by pointing those out, but I may tell you about a few of the ridiculous workshop titles, like The Goat Program, which for some reason I was not able to fit into my schedule.) As a result of what I learned,I'm making a few changes in my parenting and schooling which I hope to share about in the next few days.

All in all, I'm really glad I went.

But to those of you who stayed home...There truly is "nothing new under the sun", and you can rest assured that you have not missed the crucial missing piece of the puzzle that would help you be a joyful and fulfilled homeschooling mother (or reader of a homeschooling mother's blog, like Eva...the Blog Stalker.)

Plus, my Amazing Photographer Son, Hunter has promised to post some photos for me one day this week (since he will not be outdone by his siblings) before May ends (which CAN NOT happen to soon for me.)

According to my computer clock it is not quite 11 pm. I told you I'd post earlier tonight :) **

** It was actually 10:40 when I finished writing, but I got so enamored with how well I was doing linking to all my favorite things above, that I started clicking on them ...and they really are interesting links. So intersting that I have just spent the last one hour and three minutes reading them. But who's counting (other than Kanani and Emily.)


Anonymous said...

Unlike that mean Kaluha Keeping Koala woman...I'll not point out your errors tonight (like finishing sentences that you start...). Mainly because I'm just sweet that way...AND because I love reading your blogs and I don't want to discourage you from writing.

I'm just glad to know I didn't miss anything 'new under the sun' but spending a lot of money that I shouldn't.

Anonymous said...

Did I mention that I LOVE being anonymous?!

Debbie said...

Did I mention I have figured out how to track Anonymouses?

Although apparently I have not figured out how to post without errors. Maybe it would help if I could move my blog time back a few hours - to a time when I can keep my head from falling forward and my eyelids open.

Kaluha Keeping Koala said...

So much editing so little time...:)

lea said...

i want to know what r.c.s, jr said to you and whether he mentioned my name as his main inspiration (i mean, other that God).....

Eva said...

Blog stalker! I'm so hurt!*


Davene said...

Since I won't be getting to go to a homeschool convention this summer, it was fun to read about yours. I almost feel like I've been to one! (And all without spending a nickel...)

Thanks for the reassurance that I didn't miss out on the key that would suddenly turn my family into the perfect one and our homeschool into an always smooth-running machine. :)

I clicked on those links, too, and you're right: they are interesting. Thanks for sharing!

Laura said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I'll be ordering my CDs soon.

Persuaded said...

ok, i am completely and totally jealous of you. i have yet to be able to attend even a single homeschool conference! *poor*poor*persuaded*

i was talking to some younger hs'ing moms about our state's conference this year and they said, "oh, well, you've been hs'ing so long you really don't need to go to a conference anyway, right?"

i said "oh, yeah..right," but i was lying;)

Anonymous said...

Dear daughter Debbie, I love reading your blog. Your Dad would be so proud (as am I) of your witty and insightful narrative of life at the Pittman Palace. It's too bad Heaven dosn't have wifi or your Dad would be checking your blog regularly. Thanks for staying the night pre-conference. Glad you had a great time and safe return. Love, Elaine