The Florida Homeschool Convention was indeed everything that I hoped for, and so much more.
While I intended to blog my way through it, I became very much aware that my focus was skewed, and I needed to concentrate on why I was there.
This happens to me in every day life as well. I start to think more about the fodder, than living in the moment. And this, my friends, is a hard lesson for me. And why I haven’t been as “present” in the blogosphere.
I’m learning how to balance. Because the juggling act I’ve been doing has left me exhausted.
We arrived at the hotel on Thursday, and Trish left me with all of our considerable luggage on the sidewalk while she parked somewhere out of state.
As I sat on the bench waiting, I began my customary yearly practice of People Watching at the Homeschool Convention. There were a couple of moms who had been dropped off by a husband and a van full of kids. I noticed that these moms were having a hard time tearing themselves away from the van.
“Suckers. Must be newbies,” I smugly thought to myself. When they finally pried themselves loose from the children and shut the van door, they stood back and waved to the back of the van as it disappeared around a corner.
Then they started whooping and hollering. “YEAH! FREEDOM! I JUST NEEDED TO GET AWAY!” And they skipped merrily into the swank hotel lobby.
One thing you notice upon checking in to a homeschool convention, is that it most certainly doesn’t look like your average convention.
Moms, clad in various blue jean jumpers and comfy stretchy clothes, fill the lobby. And with them are all manner of children, strollers, luggage, and of course, food coolers.
Food coolers. In the lobby of a hoopty ploopty hotel. Awesome.
And btw, I had my own food cooler. I was just savvy enough to have it hidden in a rolling cart, and covered with bags.
It will be our secret.
I stayed with my partner in crime, and sister-in-law, Trish. In the adjoining room was my other SIL, Cathy. No one can make me laugh like those two women. And it didn’t hurt that both of them smuggled in drinks that were wine in nature.
In fact, Trish not only brought wine coolers, but the decorative umbrellas that also make the drink look so much more expensive.
I posted a picture of my beverage over the weekend (and sadly, this was the only picture I took the entire weekend), and then took it down for fear that you all would think I’m a lush.
Which I’m not. Really. At most I drank the equivalent of one entire wine cooler over the entire weekend.
Because I’m a cheap date.
But I do have to share a story. On Friday night the 3 of us went to eat outside at the little deli-style cafe at the hotel. Yes, we purchased food. However, one of my SILs brought a bottle of wine discreetly hidden in a paper bag. And some styrofoam cups.
I married into a very classy family.
Well. We were giggling and telling raucous stories. With the styrofoam cups filled. I was in the middle of a story that a friend told me recently involving her lively boys and a set of testicles.
I don’t normally talk about testicles at dinner, but the mood was jovial, and well, the conversation warranted it.
Mid-story, a group of 3 women sat down across from us at our large table. They were obviously of the same gene pool. There was a young girl, a middle aged mom, and her elderly mother. The young girl wore a “Got Jesus?” t-shirt. They were 3 very dour women who spent the entire meal bickering and sniping at one another. Never did they crack a smile.
I considered telling them the testicle story. It’s one of those stories that every mother can appreciate. But I thought better of it. Then I considered offering the older of the two a little something from the brown paper bag. They looked like they could use it. Thankfully, clearer heads prevailed. Instead, we 3 flashed our winningest smiles at them.
They ate quickly and left.
This cafe was quite the place to people watch. The day prior we spotted a family with ELEVEN children in tow. All dressed alike. The girls all had matching white bows. They were very well mannered. I know this because we sat and studied them carefully. Not one child pushed, kicked, hit,or bit another.
Trish and I looked at each other, “That’s just not right.”
I vowed to throw myself in front of their little entourage at some point during the convention so that I could interview them.
But alas, security was tight. And I didn’t want to end up in the pokey because of stalking issues.
So I did what any good Christian would do. I stared.
I attended many seminars that were delightful. Among my favorites were speakers Linda Werner (Circle Christian School), Mark Hamby (Cornerstone Family Ministries), and Steve & Annette Economides (America’s Cheapest Family).
I came away rested and refreshed. Mostly due to the sad fact that we climbed into our pj’s by 8:00 both nights and were fast asleep before 10. Be sure to invite us to your next party.
Now I’m marking off the days until the next convention. I did leave our FPEA a little feedback on their review form. THROW THE BLOGGERS A BONE! There are many many homeschooling bloggers here in Florida, and I think a homeschool convention warrants a seminar geared to us!
Can I hear an AMEN?
This is our last week of school and no one is more excited about that than the teacher. I’ll be doing a curriculum roundup in the next month or so, and adding Mr. Linky (if he’s all fixed).