Posts Tagged ‘convention’

Seriously?

March 28, 2017

Once again, I thought I was being punked, or was on Candid Camera. Seriously, why do these things happen to me?

At the end of the Indiana Homeschool Convention, I traipsed to the ladies room before packing up by booth. There was one stall door in there that didn’t match the others. It was brown, obviously a replacement, and the rest were beige. Not only did the lone door make me want to sing “One of these things is not like the other” but it was the only gateway that didn’t rest in the closed position. All the beige doors looked like they were locked, even when they were guarding a vacant stall.

For some strange reason, I chose the loner door at 6:05 on Saturday night. As I entered my chosen throne room, I surmised, “This must be the most used stall because you have to bend over and look for shoes surrounded by pant legs to see if the others are available.” That should have been a clue to me. But no. I was a tad on the tired side… tuckered out… to say the least. I had just finished speaking six times. I LOVE speaking, but it can be draining.

Well, I was right. It WAS the most used stall and guess what it was plumb out of?????  Yep. TP.

It was too late for me to re-choose a new stall by the time I figured out my dilemma. Good gravy. Surrounded by silence, I wondered if I was alone in the bathroom. Oh, dear baby Jesus, please no.

Feebly I made public my private situation, “Help!”

No response.

With a little more gusto, “HELP! Is anyone out there?”

A lone woman was with me, and probably trying to ignore the first call for assistance. Her entire response was, “Yes.” Seriously? Couldn’t she have asked what I needed? Or how she could help? But I guess she did answer my question.

Pleading, I requested that she hand me some toilet paper. “Sure.” My prayers were being answered. I heard toilet paper being removed from a receptacle in another stall. Then my guardian angel asked which stall I was in… because the only one that stays open was shut and locked in front of my nose and knees.

Sticking my hand out under the door, she placed the golden paper in my fist…. all three squares of it. Seriously? At first I thought it was funny. Personally, I have handed my daughter two squares when she asked for help in my same precarious position. BUT THEN I HANDED HER A WAD and we laughed!

My guardian angel left. Exited the lavatory. The exterior door shutting behind her was the last noise heard in the bathroom… until I started laughing. Seriously?

I folded those three precious squares very carefully.  VERY carefully.

But it was not Candid Camera. I did not get punked. It was real life in a day of Laughing with Linda. I’m thankful I can provide entertainment for others.

You’re welcome.

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2016 Arizona Homeschool Convention

July 17, 2016

2001 was my first experience with a homeschool convention as we were embarking on this crazy and rewarding choice to educate our kids at home. My inaugural entry into the exhibit hall brought on anxiety and trepidation… it was HUGE! How was I supposed to narrow down what curriculum I needed from the 27,000 choices? And yes, I cried … just a little. I never did find a grammar program… so I didn’t do grammar that first year. It’s all good. Really.

Also, that year, I was unaware of the seminars that were going on on the other side of the wall. How did I miss this?  I don’t know. But year two when I found them it was like opening a Christmas gift in a new room every hour!

2016 is my fourth or fifth year speaking at the Arizona conference. What a joy and a blessing to share my homeschooling passion with newbies and oldbies. All of my mistakes give people hope. If I can do this, anyone can do this!

2016 afhe

The 2016 REPORT

Never have I given a report, but I feel it is necessary this year. Soon you will know why.

Thursday there was a free mini conference for interested folks who are trying to decide if homeschooling is for them. My session was called Homeschool 101 and gave the info needed for teaching your kids in Arizona. The law. The requirements. The freedom. This was my fourth or fifth time giving this talk and I was feeling rather confident about my 45 minutes of responsiblity. However, after I brought up my PowerPoint and discovered my notes for that talk were not in my binder, my confidence waned a tad. I immediately pictured the stack of notes on my dresser waiting for the three-hole punch. Dang it!

Going with the flow is a necessary skill for homeschool moms… and it came in handy at that moment. I moved the laptop so I could read it a bit more clearly and embarked on my first seminar where I was shooting straight from the hip. Lord, help me! Usually this talk is full of information without much room for entertaining Crosby stories of things my children have done to me. This time, however, I told plenty of stories and still wonder what I left out! (I apologize, Thursday peeps!)

Friday my first seminar was Getting Started, which is the longer version of Homeschool 101. I did have notes I needed, and you may be asking yourself, “Why didn’t you use those notes yesterday?” Good question. They don’t follow the powerpoint and I would have looked confused. I’m all about what I look like. Bwahahahaha! No, really.

Usually at Getting Started on Friday I make an announcement before I begin telling folks who came to the Thursday talk to go hear another seminar…. I didn’t this time. I thought there might be pertinent information that I skipped. Better safe than sorry.

At the end of Getting Started, I figured out that my zipper on my pants was down the entire time. Thankfully I was wearing a shirt that covered this breezy are of my outfit.

Then came my initial delivery of a new seminar titled Using Art Across the Curriculum. Twenty minutes before this seminar I was handed a brief from the Phoenix Police that I was to familiarize myself with so I could make an announcement at the beginning of the seminar. I obeyed. (There was a hoax protest planned for downtown Phoenix.) But then I was almost late for my seminar. I scrambled in there and got set up with two minutes to spare. Perfect…. except that I needed to go to the bathroom. There wasn’t time. I honestly prayed, “Dear Jesus, please don’t let me pee my pants in front of all these nice folks. Amen.”

All went well until half way through the seminar I resorted to crossing my legs and squeezing tightly all the while praying that I could hold it. I tried to make it look casual by propping my crossed foot up on my toes. OHMYSTARS! I seriously had all these thoughts while giving my art seminar:

I am getting old and half to wear Depends now when I talk.

I swear I will never EVER skip the bathroom again before I speak.

Those dang protesters are getting all up in my business!

I could cut this short and no one would know. Just turn off the computer now.

What do I do if I really do pee my pants?

I could knock over my water bottle at the same time…… or the pitcher of water! Yes!

Thankfully, I survived with my bladder and dignity intact.

My lone Saturday talk and final seminar was Ideas for Planning and Scheduling. Again, I’ve delivered this info several times. It’s a fun seminar… because I made it fun by adding pictures of 1970s and 80s TV shows. It was a boring presentation until I included the Beaver, Richie, the Fresh Prince, Mork and Gilligan. Unfortunately, when I turned on my computer it was updating. WHAT!? You know, the update that says “1 of 3 updates complete. Do not turn off your computer.” The one that takes 30 minutes. I mildly freaked out. Thankfully I had gone to the little ladies room or there would have been an issue right then and there on the floor. The whole seminar consisted of showing planning and scheduling ideas…. in pictures… on the screen. Fourth seminar prayer, “Oh dear baby Jesus, I need help again!”

Greg, the faithful AV man showed up and tried to resuscitate my laptop to no avail. He then asked if I had the seminar saved in cyberspace. Thank GOD! I had emailed all the seminars to myself when I completed the PowerPoints. He brought in his computer and SAVED MY BACON! Whew. And we even started really close to on time. Thank you, Greg!

So that is how the 2016 Arizona Families for Home Education Convention went for me. See? Anyone can homeschool!

How did it go for you? Hopefully less eventful than my rendition!

My Political Post for 2010

July 23, 2010

Today was the first day of the homeschool convention here in Phoenix.  The exciting thing this year is that I get to go to seminars instead of working in a booth.  I’ve been in the Konos booth for 6 or 7 years now, but they aren’t doing conventions any more.  Sad but true.

(Photo from  www.focusonlinecommunities.com)

Anyway, the first session was power packed:  State Senator John Huppenthal, Governor Jan Brewer (of immigration fame), Senator John McCain (the 5th Arizonian to not win the presidency), and my personal favorite, Michael Farris.  Those who aren’t submerged in the homeschool world might not recognize that last one.  He is an attorney with the Home School Legal Defence Alliance (or Association… or another A….).  He’s also a dad of ten kids.  Yes, you read that right.  TEN.  My hat’s off to him for that point alone.  He’s a lawyer with a great sense of humor who entertained and enlightened us this morning.  But it gets better. 

(Disclaimer:  I might not have all the details totally accurate, but please get the gist of this.)  The UN has a new-ish treaty that they are trying to get all the UN countries to sign called the Rights of the Child.  It is pretty well a sure thing that our president would sign this document before his term is up.  (Notice I didn’t say termS.)  Up front it sounds all nice and fair for children, but it is not.  It would not only undermine the autonomy of the USA but also the authority of the family.  I learned all this today at the homeschool convention… amidst several thousand like-minded individuals who don’t take kindly to governments telling us what to do with our children. 

Mr. Farris has written Senate Resolution 519 (Here is the text, in case you’re interested: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-sr519/text )  Mainly it states that the primary safeguard for the well-being and protection of children is the family, and that the primary safeguards for the legal rights of children in the United States are the Constitutions of the United States and the several States (plus WAY more).

I did not realize that if this resolution has 34 co-sponsors in the Senate, this treaty could never be voted on by President Obama.  I just assumed that he would vote according to his socialist beliefs and we would suffer the consequences… again.  But 34 senators can say, “We will not support this” and it freezes the vote.    This is also why the Founding Fathers, who would be shocked and dismayed at the state of the union, put a clause in the Constitution to separate the USA from other countries.  Brilliant.  For such a time as this.

The AZ senators are already co-sponsors, among (I think) 27 others.  So I can’t do any calling to senatorial offices.  But if you live outside of Arizona and don’t want President Obama giving away your right to parent your child according to your beliefs, please find out if your senators are co-sponsors of Sen. Res. 519…. and encourage them to be sponsors!  Be American and contact your representatives!

Ok, My Sister’s Jar will be back to fluff and nonsense, and vacation pictures, and drivel tomorrow.

A Rough Re-entry

July 2, 2010

It’s taken me several days to get back into the swing of things after three weeks away from home.  Re-entry was rough.  We arrived home at 1:00 am Tuesday morning after taking a “short cut”… yes, the infamous short cut… that takes longer and is curvy and bumpy and narrow and all the truckers know about it too.  I can’t remember the last time I had to get out one of the gallon size zip-lock barf bags for myself.  Thankfully I didn’t use it.  I just held it in my free hand… the one that wasn’t clinging to the door handle…. and I breathed deeply for a LONG time.

I felt sorry for Rickey, by husband, because I knew he was only going to get about 4 hours of sleep before having to go to work.  But I was in no shape to drive.  I consoled myself by noting that HE chose the “short cut” that made me sick.  Not the nice wife, I know.  But still, I could have driven the other route and he could have slept, but no.  That old hind sight saying is so true.

Five a.m. Rick’s alarm went off and I was a sweaty mess lying in bed with no covers!  Welcome back to Phoenix, the Valley of the Scorching Sun!  110 degrees…. not hot enough to boil water… only people.  Our bedroom is the hottest room in the house, and that morning it was worse than usual… because of re-entry.  I had to escape… and headed for the loft, just outside our room and turned on the ceiling fan.  Ah, the cool breezes. 

As I sat there cooling off, I glanced over to the homeschool bookshelf and a feeling of dread passed over me!  I have planning to do… for the whole year ahead.  I didn’t want to.  I didn’t want to be awake.  I didn’t want to be hot.  I didn’t want to live in Phoenix in the summer.  Then I realized that I had only been home from vacation for four hours, was over tired and irrational and I had six weeks before I had to plan anything… and I didn’t need to think about it now.  Or this month.  And I always get pumped back up to homeschool with glee at the annual convention in July.  Whew.

Back to sleep I went and did feel much better when I awoke in another four hours.  I thought my attitude had improved since 5:00 a.m., but then I went into the kitchen and looked out the back window.  Dead, tall grass with weeds that had yellow and purple flowers blooming greeted me.  Not the nice wildflowers of Washington.  Annoying weeds.  And four pots with dried out dirt and dead flower plants.  I didn’t want to look at brown.  I wanted to still be seeing green trees and green fields and green ferns and wild blackberry bushes bursting with fruit.  I didn’t want to be in Phoenix.  I didn’t want to be hot.

We are now on day four of re-entry.  I have adjusted slightly better each day.  Part of day three was spent sitting in the coolness of the ice rink while my boys skated, planning trips to leave Phoenix this summer.  It made me feel better to have escapes on the calendar.  Nothing extravagant, but trips to cooler climates with pine trees.  Trips starting next weekend!  I like the ice rink in summer!

An Ode to Homeschooling

July 19, 2008

This weekend is the AFHE (AZ Families for Home Education) convention downtown…. where thousands of women in denim jumpers and hair buns gather to share stories of how smart and ahead and brilliant their children are….  all due to homeschooling.  It’s awe inspiring.  Especially if you like denim.

I’m working at the Konos booth for the fourth or fifth year, helping the Hulcy family peddle their “Granddaddy of all Unit Studies.”  www.konos.com   It’s an easy sell for me because I’ve exclusively used it for seven years and KNOW it works.  Mi youngins aint flunked no subjekts yett.  An’ we’s jes gettin the ball bouncin’.

The Konos booth is a confessional of sorts for dismayed mothers who feel they have failed themselves, their children, their husbands, their relatives, and all mankind due to uncompleted unit studies.  They are amazed when I tell them that I have indeed failed with them.  And I’m proud to tell the story.  I’ve learned several ways NOT to end a unit.  Like hiding the book and pretending you never started the study.  Or rapidly closing the volume after at least one of your three children collapsed on the floor in grief when the ongoing unit was announced.  But I’ve also gathered several positive ending possibilities in my magic bag of tricks that the women drink in like living water.  OK, maybe that was a bit dramatic, but they are hungry for help, absolutely.

Here is my list of what I consider dumb questions that were asked of me today.  As my daddy always said, if you want a dumb answer, ask a dumb person.  Hey, if the shoe fits….

Q.  What happens if you skip third grade science?  A.  Do you remember what you studied in third grade science?

Q.  How do you keep track of where the kids are?  A.  Well, mine usually show back up at dinnertime.

Q.  Is there someone I can call for help at any time?  A.  Yes, dial 1-800-GOD-I-NEED-HELP.

And so the sarcasm continues in my brain as I stand there and smile at my fellow homeys.  I’m back at it tomorrow.  God, grant me the ability not to say what goes through my head… at least for one more day.  Amen.

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