Making My Convention 2015 Plan


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It’s time for my annual convention plan post!

As you might have already read, we have completely changed our homeschool style and curriculum. At the rate we’re going, we’ll be still studying world geography for AT LEAST another year. We’re loving it. Parts of my want to hurry up because we’re “not covering enough material” and the rest of me absolutely loves that we able to dive in so deep and take our time getting through everything we want to study.

I already have on my agenda to order the recordings. And to renew our HSLDA membership which is about to expire. (For those of you who wonder if it’s worth it? Um, in our first two WEEKS of living in in Pennsylvania I had my first run-in with the local superintendent’s office. I will NEVER, EVER, EVER be without HSLDA for as long as we homeschool.)

This year, I plan to sell items at the USED Curriculum Sale, so I have to remember and drop off those items. And I’ve signed up to volunteer, so I can get into the Used Curriculum sale early! So, those times will have to go on my “schedule” as well.

What do I plan to look for at the Used Curriculum Sale? I’m going to begin by focusing on the literature and hope to fill my bag with “girl themed” books – ones I might not find easily here at home. I’ve been keeping my wish list on Amazon for easy reference for months! I want to look at science unit study resources. One of my girls is currently interested in “blowing things up.” (Feel free to send up prayers for me now.) I’m always on the hunt for math fact miracle-workers. And I might end up buying several different grammar programs there cheaply, in case I change my mind once again on next year’s grammar program. AGAIN.

Whatever I can’t find at the UCS, I’ll be scouring the Exhibit Hall for.

And beyond all that – I just want to soak up the lovely atmosphere that is HEAV – hang out with the cool friends I’ve met over the years and meet some new ones, having a bit of fun, and absorbing all the pro-homeschool vibes. Goodness, it’s got to last me all year long!

Still, I do need to think about the shopping  – I need to be prepared for this fall.

We’re staying with our World Geography – World Literature (Girl Power!) plan for next year. We’re going slowly and loving every minute of it. If I can find new books to add to different countries or literature unit studies that match what I have planned, I am going to be all over it!

We are going to re-do the first four books in Life of Fred next year – my girls are loving it. I don’t want to move too quickly through them because I fear my little one will get behind. We are also going to continue with Teaching Textbooks for as long as I can possibly get away with it. We are going to continue to supplement math fact memorization with the songs we’ve been working on, but also whatever other miracles I can find.

This year I made up my own grammar curriculum. The girls have truly learned a lot and have been thriving, but I hope to not have to do all that work any more. I am going to break down and do Growing with Grammar and Winning with Writing next year, unless something amazing pops out at me, and is completely teacher easy.

The girls have asked to continue with So I might do that. Or I might use Soaring with Spelling. I have no wish to do spelling, I’m more than happy to let the computer do that one for me!

At some point in the next year I want to teach the girls music theory. Once they have a strong understanding of how to read music and how that works, I would like to get them into music lessons (instrument).

Our foreign language will continue to be Spanish. Right now we have a Spanish speaking babysitter coming once a week to work with the girls. I haven’t had time in my schedule to do any more.

Our extracurricular activities include the Spanish once a week, which we hope to continue, dance once a week, and American Heritage Girls. I would love to do Upward Sports again, and I really want to add in music lessons. The question with those are more about my sanity – how much can I handle dealing with at a time. To answer that, well . . .

HEAV- Home Educators Association of Virginia – website



“I am excited to be a blogger for HEAV this year. In exchange for sharing my honest opinion about this convention, I was provided with a family registration at no charge.”

My Biggest Question about the HEAV Convention!


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This is a repost with minor changes from last year!

If you’re a newbie to the HEAV Convention, there was one question I had my first time that I just couldn’t find the answer!

My biggest question:

Dress Code!

I will admit, for my very first homeschool convention, this was a big concern for me! I hadn’t been around a lot of homeschoolers before. Were they are all going to be in long skirts and the ever-so-stereotypical prairie style?

I even chose our clothes with this in mind, and was SOOOO relieved to realize we fit right in!

Yes, there is the “skirt” crowd. Yes, there is the “skirt to the ground” and even the “prairie print dress” crowd. My girls were fascinated by some of the Mennonite attendees which sparked some interesting conversations about “head coverings.”

Yet, to balance all that out, there was the contingent from what I lovingly refer to as the “granola” homeschooling crowd. You know, with the teenager with purple hair and black leather boots and the funky clothes!

And no one batted an eye.

That very first day, I was sitting in the hall in line (can’t remember what for now) and just breathed a huge sigh of relief. I look absolutely normal! I fit right in! I don’t stick out – in fact, with my jean skirt and blouse, I was smack-dab in the middle of the dress code continuum.

And I can’t begin to tell you how good that felt. After homeschooling for only year with very little “community,” it just felt sooo good to fit right in.

That all being said, I’ll give ya’ll some advice for you newbie attendees:

a) WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES! Really. The miles you will walk that weekend will astound you. No one cares if your shoes match or are cute. And after a few hours, neither will you. So, for goodness sakes, be comfortable!

b) APPRECIATE CONVICTIONS OF OTHERS Obviously what I learned last year was there was not an official dress code for HEAV. But, it would probably be polite to at least take others’ concerns about modesty into consideration when packing! I didn’t go out and purchase a new wardrobe, but I did pick clothes that were on the more modest (not that my clothes are all that revealing, in any case). My skirt came to my knee for instance. My shirt didn’t show a lot of cleavage. My girls didn’t wear spaghetti strap sundresses.  Again, this is not to impose any rules on you, but to just consider others’ beliefs. That’s all.

And for some reason, I feel the need to say we don’t go around wearing super-revealing clothes the other 362 days a year. After re-reading this, I’m not so sure that comes across that well!

c) SWEATER. You might appreciate a sweater in some of those seminars and halls. One you can easily take on and off as the situation warrants, and balls up and be stuffed in your purse easily. But I’m a bit of a cold-nature person anyway!

 Convention-Logo-2015-660x660“I am excited to be a blogger for HEAV this year. In exchange for sharing my honest opinion about this convention, I was provided with a family registration at no charge.”

Getting Ready for 2015 Homeschool Convention Season #3


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This post is a repeat with minor changes from last year.

Last post was all practical and humorous, but today I’d like to go back to the spiritual gut-check side of convention.

Now that we’ve evaluated our “current” curriculum status, and “organized” the past stuff that needs to go, we really should take a moment and look to the future.

Yes, even before we start deciding which grammar and spelling curriculum to use next fall.

Think of this time as a great opportunity – it’s like the New Year Resolutions of homeschoolers. We’re out with the old and in with the new. And with that always comes a time of reflection, of celebrating being done, and also making resolutions/goals for the upcoming year.

And this is a really perfect time to sit down with your spouse and “Define Your Homeschooling Mission.

Defining your purpose and vision (see, there goes my “Coaching” voice again) can be life changing. I know that going through this process each year, (pre-homeschooling), truly helped me clarify the driving priorities and purposes in my life. Step-by-step, I began to evolve into who I am, and closer to whom I’m meant to be.

And oh, isn’t that what we want for our families? For our homeschool? For our children?

So as a personal challenge this week, sit down with the hubby, a cup of coffee (or ice cream, whichever makes discussion go down better), and really just talk about these questions. Perhaps you might want to email him the link to this article ahead of time, giving him time to come up with his list of answers, and then you both can compare notes.

And just since we’re already going there, I want to point out this article that I just read today. WOW. Powerful stuff. But really, has the “homeschooling” become the driving force in all that you do in your home? Sadly, I’ve seen several “discussions” online that give me pause. Maybe because I’m led a Bible study in past years, entitled “No Other Gods” that I’m hypersensitive about this particular topic?

Regardless, we still want to make sure that God is the ruler of our home, our lives, AND our homeschools.

And once we, as individuals, as parents and as a family, able to truly envision that “better us” that God is ever developing, we can start to use that as our guideline.

How does that information define your choices?

  1. Does it affect particular curriculum choices?
  2. How do you keep homeschooling within it’s proper order of priority in your family?
  3. What things might need to be reviewed and adjusted from last year?
  4. What can you simplify in your family to make it all work out “to the glory of God” in hopefully a less chaotic, calmer manner?
  5. How are you teaching “living in priority” to your children? Are they learning from your life or only your words?

Yes, these are the things I’m contemplating right now – as I sit here and read reviews of spelling and grammar programs. Yes, here is Choice A, which everyone says is SO amazing, but they also say it’s very time consuming. Choice B is also good, but is more shorter time period each day. Which one fits with my “simplifying, calming, and loving/nuturing” atmosphere I long to create? Perhaps it’s worth it to use the longer time-intensive program and make cuts somewhere else. Or, do I really need all those extra curriculum enhancement programs I’ve found online? When is too much? Or when is the extra just so much fun you don’t want to stop?

I guess what I’m saying is, this is a really good time to figure out where your lines seem to be drawn in the sand. Obviously I might not be able to figure out the answer to that grammar/spelling curriculum internal debate before convention, but knowing having our family mission statement and priorities organized, will make those decisions much easier and quicker. So, you know, you can enjoy everything else at convention!

(PS. Another reason I want to be clear on this before attending: Hubby is attending HEAV with me this year. Which means he will actually SEE how much I spend in the Expo hall. More incentive to behave, unlike before. Ha!)

HEAV- Home Educators Association of Virginia – website


“I am excited to be a blogger for HEAV this year. In exchange for sharing my honest opinion about this convention, I was provided with a family registration at no charge.”


Getting Ready for 2015 Homeschool Convention Season #2


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This post is a repeat with minor changes from last year.

Soooooooooo, in my last post, we talked about becoming spiritually ready for convention.

After that, I’d say step to get ready for convention is to organize, evaluate, and consolidate!


First of all, do you want to participate in the Used Curriculum Sale? Right now is the time to sign up and get ready! Start pulling all of your “old stuff” together for the sale, and get it priced. Be sure to read my earlier article about getting ready for the Used Curriculum Sale as well!

And then have a little weep over all the curriculum that you have to say goodbye to.

Goodbye MFW Kindergarten Curriculum (and random preschool stuff. Snif, snif.

Goodbye MFW Kindergarten Curriculum (and random preschool stuff). Sniff, sniff.

I just want to point out this is the only picture you’re getting in this post, and yes, I did crop out all the mess surrounding this picture!

And this is where I usually just get stuck. I know this all needs to go, we’re completely maxed out already and we’re not going to be using it again. But oh, it’s just so hard to let go! I have such emotional attachment and memory attachment to these books and items!

Last year I honestly just couldn’t handle the thought of the consignment process. If my kids were older, I might assign this to them as a project! :) But, since they aren’t, I decided to forgo the consignment sale route and did a swap with another homeschool mom who needed this and had the year that I needed. Last year, that was just a much easier option.

This year, though? I’m about about getting this nonsense OUT OF MY HOUSE. I’m so tired of all this nonsense taking up space.

???????????????????????????????2. EVALUATE

Now that the old is gone, evaluate what is left. Have you pre-bought/pre-collected items for next year? Get them together and see where the holes are. Any missing gaps? Make sure you make a note of it for convention.

Have you made your decisions for your curriculum for next year? Where are your continued question marks? Any wish lists?

To add to that list: any questions that you really wish you can ask for help on? Last year there were “Curriculum Doctors” and they were the absolute sweetest ladies on the planet. So calm and so reassuring to this new homeschooling mama, AND they had such great ideas for me – at the time we were stuck at the dreaded “Addition Math Facts” hurdle. To the point where I’d been calling my mom begging her for advice!

(Side note just so you can get that joke: My mother – super-analytical-brained CPA. Me – artsy-creative-thinker, and DEFINITELY NOT a CPA, who still to this day does her checkbook on the computer so she doesn’t have to add or subtract. My mother and I and doing math homework growing up??? Quite a funny picture. I was more interested in the story behind the math problem, asking why Jenny and John wanted to put their apples together in one basket, and my mother would just say, “Just answer the problem already!” Such irony, I not only homeschool but I’m now the one trying to teach someone math! Oh well, guess you had to be there.)

And the rest of the folks at the HEAV convention? From the volunteers manning the “new to homeschooling” booth to the vendors in the exhibition hall? Just awesome. Learned so much that I’m surprised my head didn’t explode.


This is just a simple note to say that this is a good time to get all of this wonderful pondering and prepping organized in one place. In some sort of fashion that would make it easy to carry around the convention hall.

Because you know you’re going to forget something and just want to give yourself a good head-slap. Or you get home and realize you bought things you don’t end up needing. Like a particular book on my bookshelf that I have bought THREE TIMES. Because every time I see it I buy it, forgetting that I’ve done that twice already! Or, ya know, you already have six-zillion different science experiment idea books on your shelf, you really don’t need the five more you impulse-bought at the exhibition hall. Ya know. Or, the REALLY IMPORTANT QUESTION about math curriculum that you only remembered to ask the last two hours of the convention, so you have to race around looking for that particular person who is the perfect person to ask, that you already had the half-hour conversation with the day before? Ya know, that sort of thing!

Not that I’m talking from experience, of course. Not at all!

And also, that might just help a little with the house being too complete of a disaster to even take pictures issue. Not that I’m speaking from experience there, either.

Oh, and please, if you haven’t already, STOP RIGHT NOW AND REGISTER. RIGHT NOW!


HEAV- Home Educators Association of Virginia – website



“I am excited to be a blogger for HEAV this year. In exchange for sharing my honest opinion about this convention, I was provided with a family registration at no charge.”

A Shout Out to the HEAV Kids Program!


If you have a chance to take your kids to the HEAV Children’s Program, you totally should!!!

The HEAV Children’s Program operates Friday and Saturday ALL DAY (you do have to pick them up for lunch)! They get their own awesome, amazing HEAV Convention experience for just $20 a day, per child. It is for ages 5-12.



First, they have a great time. Even my youngest, who is hyper-shy, and extremely sensitive, and very, very easily overwhelmed with crowds, HAD A GREAT TIME. They group them into smaller groups, and have plenty of “helpers”, so even in a sea of kids, your child is going to get quality, personal attention. And the “helpers” are so sweet and kind, your kid will fall in love with them. Mine did!

My oldest, who is Ms. Extrovert-Extraordinaire with the natural energy level of 6 cans of Red Bull, finally had enough sensory input and activity to keep her happy. For her, the HEAV Convention Children’s program is a sea of “instant best friends.” In fact, she cried at the end because she didn’t want to leave them! I had to give her my business card to hand to her new bestie (so the family could later email us) just to get us out the door.

Second, the program is awesome. Your kids will get to do crafts, watch performances, participate in singing, and more. I think there was even a bouncy castle last year! I think of it like a Mega-VBS-type experience. Only more awesome-er.

Third, it’s childcare!!! Two days of unencumbered, un-interrupted, whine-free time to do what you need to do while at Convention. Need to spend hours in the Used Curriculum Sale? Go for it, AND you don’t have to stop what you’re doing to take others to the bathroom while doing it! Is there a great speaker you’d like to hear? You can go an listen to it with both your full focus, instead of only getting to partially listen because you’re having to keep the kids occupied at the same time.

Fourth, it wears them out! My kids sleep SO WELL at night during the convention! And isn’t wearing them out so they sleep through the night one of the main priorities of being a parent? :)

So, there you go. My top 4 reasons why the HEAV Children’s program is the totally awesomest ever!


“I am excited to be a blogger for HEAV this year. In exchange for sharing my honest opinion about this convention, I was provided with a family registration at no charge.”

Show me . . . . Your Spring Break Fun!


For more information about our new “Show Me” Series, go here.
Welcome to our “Show Me” series! Your link-up can be just a picture, or pictures with explanation. Or just explanation if you’re like me when taking the picture and actually getting it uploaded might mean you’d miss out!
The goal of this linkup is fun, though some might have a homeschool bent. If you don’t homeschool, please feel free to participate anyway and show us how that “show me” theme pertains to you and your home! And if we can share some tips and cool brainstorming ideas along the way — EVEN BETTER!

This week’s theme is “Show Me Your Spring Break Fun!”




Be sure to check out some of my friend’s posts!

Amy at Http://
Michelle at
Kyndra at

Join us and post your link in the comments! Be sure to check out everyone else’s posts!

World Geography Through Literature Resources, Part 1


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Happy Mendez Academy Spring Break to all of you! That is the wonderful thing about homeschooling, you can take a Spring Break week WHEN YOU WANT TO. I have been waiting oh so impatiently for it to actually BE SPRING so we can have a real Spring Break! It’s finally sunny and warm-ish enough here, and I plan to spend as much of this week as I can just sitting outdoors! (After doping up on the necessary amount of allergy meds of course.)

I am enjoying this beautiful Sunday afternoon, and decided to catch up on some of my blogging work. And I realized I have over 50 “draft” postings that I started but never completed! Oops. So today, I thought I would get a little bit caught up!

We’ve been “notebooking” our way through World Geography for a semester now, and having THE BEST TIME.  We have just left Europe finally, and will now spend a few weeks studying Russia! I’m not sure how much further we will get before
“school” ends for us for the summer – I really didn’t expect to spend months on Europe. But oh, we have had a blast! Be sure to check out my posts for more details!

If this is something you’re considering as well, I wanted to share with you some “world geography” resources I’ve found that might be helpful! Oh, and FREE (mostly).

First, when we start a new country, I Google it! I can’t imagine homeschooling without the Internet now. For example, I might search by “homeschool unit study”, or “__(country)__ notebooking homeschool”, or  “__(country)__ lapbooking homeschool”. I might throw in the word FREE in there as well. Instant resources right at your fingertips!

And I’ve always loved homeschool bloggers, but now I LOVE homeschool bloggers, because they are so awesome and share everything they do, including their resources! Really, how great is it when others have done all the work and you can just copy it???

Case in point: The Homeschool Helper: New Dimension Media Educational Films on Amazon. We use this resource now ALL THE TIME! Plus, it opened my eyes to the possibilities of resources through Amazon Prime. Which we already pay for, so heck, more FREE homeschool resources! Isn’t that awesome???? And all because of a homeschool blogger sharing!!

Then I check my running book list, put holds on the library books that I need, and then make a trip as soon as they are available to pick them up! While there, I tend to grab a librarian and start asking random questions, or try and track down certain tangents that popped in my head.

For example, we’re beginning to study about Russia. I had made a note to listen to Tchaikovsky months earlier when we got to this unit. He composed many of the most famous classical ballets. My girls are currently taking ballet, and love watching the Barbie movie versions of these. The Russian Ballet is one of the best and most famous in the world. Hmm, wouldn’t it be great if the girls could watch a video of the Russian ballet performing one of these particular ballets? So, I start trying to check resources at the library! Depending on how cool your particular librarians are, they can also be great at suggesting some out-of-the-box resources as well. (Unfortunately in this case, they are not that cool, and also don’t have any videos of the Russian ballet available. Hmmph. I’ll prevail, I just have to look harder elsewhere.)

Can you see why it’s taking us so long to get through World Geography now? I will have to do a bit better at this next year, or we’ll spend the next three/four years trying to complete it!

But in addition to all of that, here are some fabulous world geography-specific resources that I’ve come across as I began to research online resources. I hope it’s helpful!

Read Around the World
National Geographic – Countries A-Z
National Geographic Education
“Memphis in May” – Poland Curriculum
A Moment in Our World (Great Country Homeschool Units!)
Worldwide Culture Swap
1+1+1=1 Continent Boxes
Free Geography Resources for Homeschool
Time for Kids: Around the World
Education World: Women’s History Month Lesson Plans and Activities
National Women’s History Museum

Lessons Learned From Past Homeschool Conventions


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32nd_convention_signature_wavesThis is re-posted from previous years, with minor changes.

Here are a few of my lessons learned from attending HEAV’s Homeschool Convention:

1. Pack half of what you need, and then cut that by half. Really.

2. Don’t expect to actually to get anything done afterwards in the evenings in the hotel. You’re going to be brain-dead. Or exhausted from hauling your loads of junk around. So why pack it in the first place? Just leave it all at home.

3. WEAR COMFY SHOES WITH LOTS OF SUPPORT. Trust me, no one here is going to look at your feet and no one will care if your sneakers match your outfit in the least. In fact, they will probably be looking very longingly at your feet, wishing they were wearing comfy sneakers too. And remember, you’re talking of two days of walking around carrying tons of junk.

4. There is a reason that they recommend you bring a cart on wheels. ‘Cause you will be carrying lots of junk. I had one of my Thirty-One Gifts Large Utility Totes, and about killed myself. First of all, because the bag will just hold too much stuff and I am apparently a wimp. But also, because I had it up over my shoulder all day long. Even my “briefcase purse” that I’m using today is tiring. (Gots lots of complements on them though! And being a girl, I did enjoy getting complements on my bags and my purse!)

5. Labels with your contact info. That was recommended on a blog post I read, and I’m so glad I did this. This is great for filling out all those “Enter to Win” forms. Peel, stick, and you’re done. Saves a lot of writers’ cramp.

6. Business cards with contact info on it to share with other people. I learned this eons ago from when I used to go to conferences with another direct-selling company and it was wonderful. However, I was completely SHOCKED at how many people were so surprised when I was able to hand them my contact info after we met. AND, by how many didn’t even offer to reciprocate. Like every single person I met (that wasn’t trying to sell me something in the exhibition hall). No one even offered to write down their email and exchange that.

7. MEET NEW PEOPLE! Don’t only talk to the people you know! Please, please, please, step outside your pretty little comfort zone box and talk to someone new. Because that someone new might have come by herself with two small children, might be new to the area and not know a soul, and might just be STARVING for friendship. Take a chance, and go a step beyond the polite conversation in the Starbucks line! That “nice gal I briefly met” might be a wonderful encouragement to you, or perhaps be your chance to be God’s arms and give her a huge hug after an emotional session!

8. Come ready for God to speak to your heart and stir your soul. Really. PACK KLEENEX PACKETS. Bring extras to share to bless the gal next to you. Bring extra pens to share, and paper (cause I forgot my pad in one session and had to scribble on a scratch paper). Pray for those around you. Look for God working in the room, and offer up prayers and praise in support. And set aside a few minutes of quiet time partway through each  day to just deal with what He is bringing up in your own heart. Trust me, you’re going to need it. And plan some alone time after you get home to just process all that you took in while there. It’s just an overload of stuff.

9. Take copious notes. And then buy the convention recordings.

10. SLEEP. Don’t worry about anything else in the evenings except showering and sleeping. You are going to need the extra sleep to deal with all the emotional energy you are going to be expending. And carting around of stuff like heavy curriculum books and impulse purchases. I wish I was kidding! (Surely, I’ll behave better next year, right? As all this won’t be so new???? Oh well, I can dream.)

11. Check the room before you leave. Have someone else check it, then wait five minutes and check it again. I did all this and still left my nice Tempur-Pedic pillow there. Doh! I was losing things all weekend. I blame it on the sleep deprivation.

12. Take extra bags to bring stuff home in! My Thirty-One Gifts Large Utility Totes came is so handy when it was time to come home! Everything I got – books, brochures, whatever, was easily shoved into one tote, the girls toys and pillows in another, etc. They collapse completely when not using them and take up almost no room. So that’s why I like them. Well, that and they’re cute.

13. Okay, I know I’m supposed to say something about staying on budget, blah blah blah. Coming with your list and your money and sticking to it. Well, I didn’t follow my own advice, so I’m definitely not going to be the one to tell you to! HA! At the very least before you go, make a list of “must haves” and review what you already have so you don’t buy duplicates.

14. Take advantage of the experts there! While there, I was able to sit down and talk to several different ladies about my children and their educational/ developmental needs. I got some fabulous advice and information that really helped me feel like we are now in a position to conquer the dreaded math facts instead of them conquering us! Plus, I talked to several people about missionary work around the world, legislative work at both the state and federal level, and what science kits would be appropriate for our current age levels. Soak up the knowledge of the pros while you can!

15. Use childcare. At the HEAV convention, the “kids room” started at age five, and I didn’t want to split up my girls. Plus, there was absolutely NO WAY I was taking a three year old into lecture hall sessions with me for eight straight hours! That would have been pure torture for both of us. So, I bit the bullet, worked my contact list and found a college student babysitter. My girls were thrilled, and I got to really focus on the task at hand. It was a pretty price to pay, but worth it. I am hoping by next year I have figured out a cheaper option, but for this weekend, it worked out well for us. The moms/parents who were hauling around multiple toddlers and older kids and still trying to listen to the speakers while keeping the rug-rats happy and quiet — I honestly don’t know how they heard or concentrated on a thing. (I am not talking about breastfeeding infants.) I hope that next year HEAV creates a (potty-trained) preschooler room, where at least they can go and play safely, even if the parent has to go with them.

 So there ya’ go. My 15 lessons learned. And now, I am going to go crash in my very own bed and sleep like a rock until the chickadees wake me up at the crack of dawn tomorrow!
Convention-Logo-2015-660x660“I am excited to be a blogger for HEAV this year. In exchange for sharing my honest opinion about this convention, I was provided with a family registration at no charge.”

Show me . . . . How/Where You Do Your Devotional Time.!


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For more information about our new “Show Me” Series, go here.
Welcome to our “Show Me” series! Your link-up can be just a picture, or pictures with explanation. Or just explanation if you’re like me when taking the picture and actually getting it uploaded might mean you’d miss out!
The goal of this linkup is fun, though some might have a homeschool bent. If you don’t homeschool, please feel free to participate anyway and show us how that “show me” theme pertains to you and your home! And if we can share some tips and cool brainstorming ideas along the way — EVEN BETTER!

This week’s theme is “Show Me How/Where You Do Your Devotional Time.



As you can see, I have no picture. Because I am confessing I’ve fallen completely off the devotional time bandwagon.

Part of that is because of adjusting to the move, which I think is finally happening now. (Um, ten months later.) Every move means adjustments to house layouts and to family schedules, which means my how/where much change. What worked at the last place won’t necessarily work here. I’m still trying things, and attempting to find my full groove. Some things are finally starting to click and work well. My devotional time just . . . isn’t.

I know I’m entirely too busy. I have about twenty too many things on my plate. I know I’m not participating in a group Bible study (see above). I haven’t quite found my “tribe” there yet, so to speak, though I’ve not put much effort into it (see beginning of this paragraph). I’ve not even quite found a study that I want to do.

A bigger part is that I’ve been struggling with some stuff spiritually. I’m dealing with things. Don’t worry – there’s nothing that you need to worry about. It’s just . . .  life. It would be so much easier if I really only saw 2 sides -black or white, this way or that. But life is made up of so much more gray murkiness, and right now today in this season of life I’m just trying to feel my way through. I feel like I’m being pulled by the current a bit, rather than swimming it under my own power. Normally, I wouldn’t “settle” for this, but for right now, it’s what I’ve got.

So confessing this to you guys is just as much as about being as truthful and honest with you guys as giving myself a bit of grace. I’ve learned, as my type-A-recovering self, that I have to accept those times where I don’t have it all together. It is what it is.

As long as IT doesn’t stay that way.


Be sure to check out some of my friend’s posts!

Amy at Http://
Michelle at
Kyndra at

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Getting Ready for 2015 Homeschool Convention Season #1


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This post is a repeat with minor changes from last year. It’s time for the HEAV (Home Educators Association of Virginia) Convention again, and I thought it would be a good idea to re-share my posts to get you ready!!!

The 2015 HEAV (Home Educators Association of Virginia) Convention is coming up soon! Are you guys excited??

And are you registered????? Because registration is open! Clicky Here (And if I were you, I’d go ahead and get that hotel room reserved!)

Reading a post from the 2:1 Conference, I thought it might be a good idea to talk about getting ready for the upcoming homeschool conference.

In previous First Things First posts, I’ve talked about the idea of making sure we put Christ first in everything we do. And I really like the idea of practicing what I preach to my girls as well – if I say I want to put God first in our homeschool life, then just maybe I should start putting him first in my preparation of it as well!

So that’s my challenge for YOU this week. Are you putting God FIRST in your homeschool preparation? Before the research of curriculum choices, before the sorting and organizing for the Used Curriculum Sale, before asking a zillion other homeschool moms their opinions on various programs — Have you put FIRST THINGS FIRST?

Please take some time this week and prepare your heart with God. Spend time getting His input on your children’s education!

After all, who could really know your children better than the Maker and Creator? (1 Peter 4:19)

Who could know what is truly going to up in the next year better than the One who sees all? (Psalm 139:1-5)

Who is the One who holds your kids in the palm of His hand? (John 10:29)

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And pray not only for your children, but what about you? (Oh, and your spouse, of course!)

After all, this is the stereotypical time of the year that you plan for next. And how can you lead unless you yourself are being led by the Commander of the Heavenly Hosts?  (Isaiah 55:4)

Pray that you will continue to “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” even before advanced “education.” Beg the One Who Sees All to open your eyes, so that you can see the vision as well, and the road before you.

Ask that He prepare your heart before you arrive, so not only can this (not-so-little) homeschool convention be MORE than just about “school.” May this be a time of rejuvenation, of strengthening, of clarity, of encouragement. Oh, and of fun! Nothing wrong with asking that God help you truly enjoy your time there!

Each week until the HEAV Convention, I’ll be posting more thoughts on getting prepared! Stay tuned!!!


“I am excited to be a blogger for HEAV this year. In exchange for sharing my honest opinion about this convention, I was provided with a family registration at no charge.”

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