How to Survive a Homeschool Convention!

You’ve registered for the convention…now what???  Does the thought of wandering up and down endless booths of books, materials, and curriculum make you feel “tied up in knots”?

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Well, it’s time to make a plan:) !

Many conventions are large (including the HEAV convention) and can be overwhelming if you don’t take the time to prepare in advance.  I’m going to share some tips and “tricks of the trade” that I ‘ve learned over the years.

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1.  First, take the time to pray.  Pray about how God is directing your plans.  Pray for wisdom and guidance as you and your spouse make decisions about the upcoming year.  Pray for your children.  Just pray!

2.  Wear comfortable shoes.  You will be doing a lot of walking!  Bring a sweater or jacket as many of the conference rooms are chilly.

3.  Take a few minutes to look over the map and schedule after you check in.  Circle or highlight the sessions that you don’t want to miss and plan other activities such as shopping, meals, etc. around those sessions.  Interested in learning about healthy living or dealing with teenagers? This year HEAV has a link where you can search for sessions/topics that interest you!  Check it out here.

 Many times there are way too many wonderful sessions that I want to go to and not enough time, so I usually purchase HEAV’s Convention MP3 while I’m at the convention for a discounted price.  Then I don’t feel rushed or stressed out because I’m missing an amazing speaker!

*Click HERE for the HEAV Convention schedule and start planning!!!*

4.  Bring a notebook and pen to take notes.  I actually carry a binder with notebook paper, folders, pens, highlighter, paperclips, Post-It notes, and rubber bands.  I also print off my registration confirmation, map of vendor hall, etc.

5.  Bring a  (durable) rolling cart to carry all of the wonderful goodies that you’ll be buying!

6.  Decide on a budget and stick to it!  Try not to make any purchases on the first day (unless you are 100% sure it’s something you need).  Take time to shop around at different vendors to find the best price, or even better – see if you can find the item you’re looking for at the Used Curriculum Sale!

7.  Print off labels with your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address.  Many vendors offer prizes or the chance to sign up for more information…instead of filling out all of those forms by hand, you can just stick a label on it and move on saving yourself lots of time!

8.  Take inventory of what items you already have at home, what products/curriculum that you need, and a wish list a few weeks before the convention.  I usually research items online beforehand and write down prices so I have a basic idea of how much things cost.

9.  Drink lots of water and eat healthy meals and snacks to help keep your energy up.

10. Enjoy your time at the convention!  Soak up lots of encouragement, make new friends, be inspired, gain wisdom, feel uplifted, get prepared for next year, and HAVE FUN:) !!!

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Less than FIVE weeks to go – WOO, HOO:) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hunting for Treasure

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Ryan and I had the amazing opportunity to go to Morefield Mine last week.  It has been on my field trip “bucket list” for years, but we had never made it out there.  I hesitated for a minute when we were invited, worried that Ryan might think it was too childish…and he did, but only for a minute or two.  Before I knew it, we were both digging and searching for treasures:) !

And since then, I’ve been thinking.

It was so much fun hunting for the minerals and gems, anticipating that moment when we might find “the big one.”  I could’ve stayed out there digging all day (if my 42 year old back and legs weren’t aching so bad-LOL).

I love discovering new things and learning.  I can spend hours searching Google for a topic that interests me.

So I wonder why it’s so hard to find that same passion when it comes to God’s word.

I go through ups and downs in my walk with Christ.  Sometimes I love studying my Bible…sometimes, not so much.

I think it’s because of several reasons:

1-Many times when we read God’s word we are convicted of sin in our lives, and that doesn’t feel great.  It makes us uncomfortable.  We may be called to make a change in our behavior or step outside of our comfort zone.

2-Studying God’s word isn’t easy. It takes real effort.  We can’t just Google the answer and come up with page upon page of easily accessible information, pictures, or instructional videos.

3-There are so many distractions around us.  There’s the never-ending to-do list, the “dinging” on our phone telling us that somebody just posted on Facebook, the TV or radio blaring in our ear, the needs of our family and friends, the service or volunteer opportunities…the list is endless!

But check out what God promises us:

 He promises that we WILL find Him! 

That is a guaranteed WIN -what an AMAZING God we have!

I am excited to be  starting a new Bible study tonight: 1 Peter: A Living Hope in Christ, by Jen Wilkin.  We will learn how to dig deep into God’s word, studying the scriptures verse by verse.

I’m hoping that this new study will put that spark back into my quiet times…that I will truly seek Him with all of my heart.

Here’s to finding true treasure!!!

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And the Days Just Keep On Flying…

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Wow! 

Has it REALLY been almost a month since my last post???? 

Unbelievable! 

We have been busy, busy, busy with school, mission fundraisers (for our sweet friends who are moving to Lesotho), field trips, work, getting wisdom teeth out (both boys), spring conference with the youth at church, and everything else that life brings:) …you know.  Laundry, cooking, music lessons, church activities, projects, family events, appointments…and on and on and on.  Whew – I’m wearing myself out just typing it all!

  But you know what?

I am so grateful for this time in my life.  As busy as it is most days, I know that these times are fleeting.

I will never get these days back.

And I remember the words from Luke 2:19:

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed, I try to stop and remind myself to “treasure” these days and “ponder”  (remember) the fact that these days are the best and most precious days of my life.

I’m living my dream! 

I get to be a mom, wife, homemaker, and learn with my kids each and every day…and I couldn’t ask for anything more!

 

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Time For the Big Announcement:


Natalia Gibson

Congratulations Natalia!!!

I will be sending you a special code so that you can get your FREE full family registration.  I know that you will be blessed and encouraged at the convention!

HEAV Virginia Homeschool Convention, June 9-11, 2016 includes keynotes Shaun Alexander, Alex Kendrick, and Michael Farris, plus a Chocolate with Encouragement Pajama Party with Heidi St. John (The Busy Mom), Dads & Donuts, Camp Infinity Robotics, 140+ workshops, a huge Exhibit Hall, and more!

Thank you to all of you who left comments, shared ideas, and entered my drawing.  I hope to see all of you at the convention in June!  And stayed tuned…several other of my HEAV blogger friends will be hosting giveaways :) .

Pinterest Party (with a Purpose)

Tonight is your LAST CHANCE to enter my giveaway for a FREE full family registration to the 2016 HEAV Homeschool Convention!!!

(But first I want to tell you about my Pinterest Party:) – see the end of this post for your chance to enter)

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Deuteronomy 6:5-9 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

I have different scriptures and Bible verses around our home and love how seeing them daily helps me to keep my focus on God.

Last week I hosted a Pinterest Party for the ladies in my Sunday School class and I wanted to make a craft “with a purpose.” – one that would be a blessing to the women and their families.  I adapted several ideas that I found on Pinterest and we painted wooden frames that we can use to display Bible verses.

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We also painted recycled tin cans to make some fun decorations.  Both crafts were super easy and we had so much fun hanging out together!

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As usual, God’s timing is perfect…not only is having scripture around good for adults, but it is also perfect for kids when they need to be uplifted and reminded of God’s love and protection:

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 OK, so to enter the drawing leave me a comment on tonight’s post and share one of your favorite Bible verses.  I will randomly draw a name tomorrow and announce the winner…GOOD LUCK!!!

HEAV Virginia Homeschool Convention, June 9-11, 2016 includes keynotes Shaun Alexander, Alex Kendrick, and Michael Farris, plus a Chocolate with Encouragement Pajama Party with Heidi St. John (The Busy Mom), Dads & Donuts, Camp Infinity Robotics, 140+ workshops, a huge Exhibit Hall, and more!