Posts Tagged ‘speaking’

Thankful!

March 14, 2017

Today while I was minding my own business in the Butterfly Pavilion at the Desert Botanical Gardens, a woman approached me and gushed, “I don’t want to embarrass you, but I know who you are and I want to thank you for the article you wrote about your son not reading until he was nine.” I thanked her for saying something, asked about her kids and met her friends that she was butterflying with. She wasn’t done, however. “I cut out that article and put it up in my bathroom. I read it every day! And I say to myself, ‘If Linda Crosby can make it through this, I can make it through this.'”

Her willingness to approach me and spill her beans blessed my socks off. I am so fortunate to be able to speak to homeschoolers through seminars, articles and day-to-day meetings around town. My passion is to encourage others to keep on keeping on. I am so blessed this year to be speaking in five other states, so I can love on some hurting mothers who just want to quit. This home educating gig ain’t for the faint of heart!

By no means am I the Wonder Woman of homeschooling. Far from it. I have made more mistakes than most… ask my kids! No, don’t. It might hurt my homeschool mom feelings. But there is something to be said about hearing how another mom failed over and over again, and seeing that their kids actually turned out okay… mostly, as contributing members of society who aren’t too socially awkward.

Be encouraged, homeschooling mama! The days when everything goes haywire are the days the kids will probably remember the most. (Unfortunately!) Usually they recall how you handled rough situations and they watched you get up out of bed the next day and try again at the homeschoolin’ deal.

My advice for the “End of March Blues” is to relax. Hardcore-Textbook Mom, play some board games. Stick-to-the-Planner Mom, read a good YWAM biography to the kids. Neatnik Mom, break down and let the kids papier mache outside… with the back door locked. OCD-Math Mom, cross out half the problems on today’s worksheet. Live on the edge. It’s okay to relax once in a while and have some fun. Funschooling is real.

Know that you are not alone. Find another homeschooling family… or five, and go to the Botanical Gardens! We did! It was a great break and math will still be there tomorrow!

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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!

Oh Canada!

November 2, 2012

There will be several more episodes to Kings Canyon Camping, but at the moment, there will be a halt in the story telling.  I fly out in the morning to my second homeland, Canada.  Yes, I’m a dual citizen, not because I married a Canadian, but because my mother is Canadian.  Voila!  Dual rights, baby.

As much as I would love to sit here and type out the camping shower fiasco, or the back-of-the-bus barfing game, or the roadkill bingo, I am in the midst of packing and planning.  If I have had the pleasure of speaking when you are in the audience, you know, as well as I do, that a good time was had by all.  To say that I love speaking is an understatement… it is what gives me purpose and life and liberty and justice for all. Amen.

However, (enter somewhat sinister music playing in the background) I have been challenged lately by our good Lord about many excesses and life’s circumstances in the cushy ol’ US of A.  It has broken down some barriers in my heart.  I used to half-proudly say that mercy and grace don’t show up on my “gifts” list.  But I have had glimpses of both in the last two years.  Orphans break my heart.  Hence, our quest to open our home to one darling Colombian.  Widows and widowers are starting to find a soft place in my heart.  Homeless people… displaced people… people simply having a rough go of it… and refugees.. and children who live on the streets.  There are so many needs surrounding us that it could be quite overwhelming.  But God gives us all the same amount of time…. 24 hours a day… to reach out to those in our circle of influence… and those who live just outside our comfortable circle.

So, all that to say, my speaking this coming Monday night in the Great White North will not be the fat-n-happy laughing times of old.  It has me a bit nervous.  I’m used to being liked.  This may go down … um… not pretty.  Pray for the women’s hearts to be opened to God’s will for their lives.  And pray, please, that I will say exactly what I’m supposed to say to bring awareness to some cushy lives, to make the cozy nests prickly, to awaken some dreams of good will, to stir some hearts toward the hurting, and quite possibly to open a mother’s eyes to her child who is on the other side of the world waiting for a mama.

It’s been at least five years since I’ve been in Zellers, The Real Canadian Superstore, Tim Horton’s or a Canadian Tire.  :o)  Should be a rockin’ good time, eh!

Nora-isms: Skills of Language Acquisition

May 11, 2012

Until our Colombian princess learns how words are spelled, she will continue to pronounce them the way she hears them, which is not always clearly nor correctly.  It may be contributed also to our lazy speech or the rapid-fire delivery we occasionally use.  It makes me laugh.  Have a glimpse into our kitchen this afternoon:

Nora: Mom, will you paint with me tomorrow?

Me: Sure, I will paint with you.

Nora: What is taint?

Me: I don’t know what taint is.

Nora: You just said taint.

Me: No, I said paint.

Nora: Oh, ok.  What does taint mean?

Me: (thinking that I don’t want to explain a tainted woman) Nothing really.

Nora: Isn’t that where you put the gas in the van?

Me: No, that is TANK.

Nora: Oh, I thought it was taint.

And so our lives go on as she learns to carefully pronounce words in English.  I distinctly remember the Colombians laughing at my Spanish.  I’m sure I had some doozies as well.  Later today she asked if I wanted to watch a movie with her. Sure. 

Nora:  How about Robin Hoove?

Me: What?

Nora: Robin Hoove…. you know with the wolf and the chicken.

Me: Oh!  You mean Robin Hood, and he’s a fox.

Nora: Hey, just like my book I read Sox the Fox!

Me: Yep! 

Nora: Can we start Robin Hoove now?

Her words make me laugh over and over again.  And the word Congratulations has lots of syllables.  Too many to remember sometimes. 

Later I asked her to pause the movie so we could eat dinner.  She replied, “Yes, man.” 

Me: What?

Nora: Yes, man.  I learned that on a Focus on a Famly story.  The boy kept saying “Yes, man” to his mom.  She said it was good matters. (manners……)

Me: It is actually, “Yes, Ma’am.”

Nora: What is?

Me: Yes, Man is supposed to be Yes Ma’am.

Nora: Oh.  I wondered why he was calling him mom a man.

And later again, we were in my bedroom looking for matches to sterilize a needle….

Nora: Did you look under the covers?

Me: No, why would I keep matches under the covers?

Nora: I seen them there before.

Me: YOU DID?  (Reflecting back 15 years ago when Larisa tried burning the house down by lighting matches in our bed!) Who’s bed were they in?

Nora: What do you mean bed?

Me: You know what a bed is.

Nora: Why would you keep matches in a bed?

Me: That’s what I want to know.   (She stares at me like I’m stupid.)

Nora: (Exasperated) Look under the covers in your bathroom…. I seen the matches there.

AHA!  Cupboards = covers.  Good grief!

The English language is a beast.

Frantic Frenzy

December 1, 2009

As I was eating bon bons on the couch watching my soaps this afternoon I got THE phone call. (OK, if you only knew how that is SO NOT me! It simply sounds inviting to me on days like today.) More like: I was STILL homechooling my boys at 4:15 p.m. today at the kitchen table, when I got THE phone call. The news was kind of expected, but the timing was POOR, to say the least.  Our homestudy needs to be updated and the only date our case worker had comfortably available was in two weeks.  Well, in two weeks, Rick and I will be on a cruise ship eating at the midnight chocolate buffet.  The dear is from out-of-town so she looked at her already full calendar and suggested Thursday at 1:00.  THIS Thursday.  I had no choice… I said “ok”.. and then I looked around and wanted to cry.  I have about 39 hours.

Before I show you the highly top-secret photos of the messy state of the Crosby union, I have to let you know what was ALREADY on my schedule between now and Thursday at 1:00.  1. drop off son for car pool 2. visit my mother 3. Bible Study Wed. 1:30 – 4:30 4. speaking preparations 5. pack my book sale stuff  6. fill up the gas in the van 7. speak at MOPS Thursday morning an hour away 8. homeschool   9. pedicure 10. date night with Rick.  As you can see, I had to cross a few things off.  And added to the list: 11. throw all Christmas boxes in the garage  12. scrape piles of stuff under the couch, in the oven and into the laundry room.  We also need to do something about the broken trampoline poles… they don’t look adoption safe at the moment.  Too much WWF from my boys.  They use the poles to swing up on the roof over our patio…. the perfect jumping off place.  (We call it the “fire escape” for the upstairs bedrooms…. out Keeve’s window on the patio roof and safely onto the trampoline.)

OK, just to vindicate myself, these cluttered pictures do not mean our house is DIRTY… just messy… from Christmas decorating that didn’t actually happen yet.  I sadly share tonight’s photo essay:

The kitchen table:

The computer desk:

The living room:

The dining room: (the lamp does not belong there!)

The family room:

The pantry:

Yes, the kitchen is not included in this messy montage… it is unordinarily clean at the moment with freshly baked peanut butter cookies cooling on the racks.  Seriously!

OK, I do realize that instead of taking pictures and writing a blog I could’ve been working on the mess… but that’s no fun ALONE!  Tomorrow I have three willing and able elves to help with Christmas decorating for baby Jesus’ birthday and homestudy cleaning.  :o)  Say a little prayer for the Crosbys, please.

Greetings from Bloomfield, NM

October 10, 2009

And THAT is why I haven’t posted this week… I’ve been gone… and busy.  I came to Bloomfield to speak at a Fashion Share put on by my friend Darla’s Mom’s church.  The day was a great success with ladies luncheoning on fabulous salads, rolls and cobblers, shopping for new-to-you clothes and listening to special music and speakers.  I was blessed to be included and loved meeting the ladies. FUN with a capital F.

This area is simply beautiful right now with the leaves changing to bright yellow and the air being crisp and clean.  I know it is nice at home in Phoenix too FINALLY, but not like THIS.  There was frost all over this morning.  Ah.  That’s it.  Just Ah.

The flight up here was highly entertaining as I sat next to Kenadee, the four year old who never stopped talking unless she was shoving peanuts in her mouth.  Thankfully she is darling and I enjoyed the interaction on the one hour flight.  (I may have had a different opinion on a much longer flight.) One morning here at her grandma’s house I was fixing some toast for her and her sister and she told me, “You’re just like a real mom!”  Wow!  I’ve made it!  A REAL mom. 

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned that my mother just had knee replacement surgery 10 days ago. So we’ve also been busy helping up at her house cooking, replacing ice packs, pulling on support hose, etc. etc. etc.  Thankfully, my sister Christy flew in from Washington to help while I was here… and thankfully she’ll still be there for four days after I get home.  Sisters (who like each other) should not live three states apart. 

I look forward to getting home.  Two trips in three weeks was a bit much for me and our haphazard homeschooling this past month.  THAT is why we started two weeks earlier this year, so I wouldn’t feel guilty about leaving.  But it didn’t work.  We started two weeks earlier, but I still feel guilty about lame schooling.  It’s kind of like home schooling, only lamer.

?# 18 from My Sister’s Jar – The Next Decade

August 21, 2008

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Egads.  I’ll be 52.  That’s just after old age sets in.  Wow.  Don’t worry, that won’t be me… I can’t play the accordion.  :o)  Whenever I look to the future I figure out how old my kids will be…. 25, 22, 20 and Zaza in her upper teens.  Wow again.  Larisa could be married and Aus and Keeve in college or on NHL teams, as they’ll tell you.  Well, thanks to Zaza I’ll still be homeschooling.  (For those new to MSJ, Zaza is the nickname for our daughter we are adopting from Colombia… any day now.) 

I hope to have AT LEAST two more books published by then, one on marriage and one on the joy of weighing yourself daily.  I’ve got them inside of me…. I simply need the time to get them out.  I also see myself speaking to more women as my time will be somewhat more flexible with most of the kids out of the house.  That’s so sad.  Gone.  I think I need to go find them and hug their necks right now.

I hope that Rick’s schedule will be far more loose by the year 2018 and we can do homeschool high school with Zaza traveling the world.  (Oh, the joys of the baby of the house, eh, Christy?!)  I also secretly hope to either have a summer home where it isn’t 120 degrees or to be completely moved to somewhere else with four seasons and a winter home here in Phoenix.  So I guess I’m trying to say that I DON’T see myself as full time resident in Phoenix in 10 years.

This was short and sweet. 

www.LindaCrosby.com  BAGS -> www.bagsforzaza.blogspot.com