3 Days and Counting!!!

That’s right people 🙂 !

The 2017 HEAV convention starts Thursday!  

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The handy, dandy rolling cart is out of the attic!

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My “convention binder” is almost ready to go…

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…with possible sessions highlighted…

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…and my volunteer assignment is all set!

I LOVE the convention theme this year:

Building a Strong Foundation

It’s one of the main reasons that we chose to teach our kids at home.  This world that we live in can be a dark and scary place (have you watched the news lately???).  We know that our kids will have to “live in the real world” (yes, we still hear that comment even though both of our boys take classes outside of the home, work in a fast food restaurant with the public, hang out with their friends, and are even allowed outside of our house…gasp – LOL 🙂 ).  We wanted Brendan and Ryan to have time to grow stronger in their faith and know who they were (and Whose they are) before we sent them out into the world.  We wanted them to have a “strong foundation.”

Do we feel like they are totally prepared for life? No way!

Are we completely ready to set them free as they enter adulthood? Nope!

Are we thankful for the extra time we’ve had with them and the chance to build them up in the Lord while they were at home and safe with us? You bet!!!

HEAV 2017

Get ready to be encouraged, strengthened, affirmed, and equipped for your next year of homeschooling!

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Do you love to win prizes as much as I do?  Are you good at taking selfies? Well, look for this logo while you’re at convention:

HEAV Logo

 If you take 10 selfies and post them to social media, you win a prize AND will be entered to win an even bigger prize package!  

Get those smartphones ready and I’ll see you there 🙂 !

Change

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I am not a big fan of change…just ask my husband 🙂 .  I like routine and predictability. I like to be in my comfort zone…to know what to expect.

But right now I am facing a lot of change.  

Both of my boys are taller than me and don’t need me as much as they used to. They have jobs and our “family time” is much less than it used to be. My youngest is now entering high school and we will no longer sit and learn together as he’ll be doing his work more independently.  I no longer have a school room with fun decorations and shelves full of books and craft projects. My oldest has entered the world of dating (GASP…) and we are learning how to navigate this new season of life. He is also now taking his first online college course and the load is heavy on top of his other responsibilities.

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It looks so sad and empty!

I have to admit that I feel a bit lost.

My role as a mom and teacher are different than what I’m used to.

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Life is full of changes. What do we do when we feel like it’s transitioning faster than we’re ready for?

I honestly don’t have the answer to that question, but I can tell you what I’m clinging to. I’m holding on to the fact that God is in control. That He has gone before me and that He has plans for me…”plans to prosper me and not to harm me – plans to give me hope and a future.” I remember the precious memories and growth that I’ve seen over the past few years and trust that there is more to come.

I thank God that He never changes. That He is faithful yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

I choose to look forward to the future with anticipation of what He has planned for our family and thank Him for guiding us each step of the way.

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There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…  Ecclesiastes 3:1

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Don’t forget that the 2017 HEAV Homeschool Convention is less than three weeks away!

 There are lots of moms and dads there that have lived through many of the changes that I’m facing and I look forward to gleaning some of their wisdom!HEAV 2017

Superhero Dads!

What would we do without our amazing dads and husbands???

Our homeschooling group wanted to honor the men who support our families and our homeschooling journeys, so we decided to host a special dinner night to demonstrate how much we love and appreciate them.  The theme was “super heroes” since they truly are heroes to us 🙂 !  The kids helped decorate, serve drinks and desserts, and clean up after the party.  The most special thing that they did though was they each wrote a personal letter to their dads. I loved watching the reactions and smiles as the fathers read their letters! So sweet!

It was such a wonderful night and I’m so glad that we got the chance to tell them all thank you for all that they do…we couldn’t homeschool without their love and support!

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Ok, here’s your third and final chance to enter my giveaway for a FREE full family registration ($79 value) to the 2017 HEAV homeschool convention!

To enter, leave a comment on today’s blog post and tell me what your sweet spouse does to support you as you educate your kids at home….THEN GO AND THANK THEM PERSONALLY FOR ALL THAT THEY DO!!!

HEAV 2017

Winner will be announced on Wednesday, April 12th!

Survival Tips!

Tips for “surviving” and thriving the HEAV Convention 🙂 :

  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 (tennis shoes and not sandals if your feet tend to get cold).  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.  Many times there are too many wonderful sessions and not enough time – you can purchase the sessions on MP3 at the convention for a discounted price (or go in with a friend and share the cost).  Remember, the vendor sessions (for example – Tapestry of Grace) and Keynote speakers are not recorded. Then you won’t feel rushed or stressed out because you are missing an amazing speaker!
  4. Bring a notebook and pen to take notes.  It’s helpful to carry a binder with notebook paper, folders, pens, highlighter, paperclips, Post-It notes, and rubber bands.  It’s also a good idea to print off your registration confirmation (just in case).
  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! (Tip – You can search the UCS on the HEAV website before convention to see if what you’re looking for is available)
  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.  You can even take pictures of your bookshelves with your phone! If possible, research items online beforehand and write down prices so you have a basic idea of how much things cost.
  9. Drink lots of water and eat healthy meals and snacks high in protein to help keep your energy up.
  10. Carry an envelope and keep all of your receipts together in one place.
  11. If you see an item that you may be interested in, write down the item and the booth number so you don’t forget where you saw it (or take a pic with your cell phone)!
  12. Volunteer! HEAV is such a wonderful organization that helps so many families.  You will be blessed by helping out and giving back (plus you get a golden ticket to get into the Used Curriculum Sale early)!
  13. 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 🙂 !!! 

    Here are some of my favorite memories from past conventions:

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    Soooo excited to meet Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis!!!

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    The whole family came out to hear the Duggars!

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    A photo op with Andrew Pudewa of Institute for Excellence in Writing!

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    Are you ready for your second chance to win a FREE full family registration to the 2017 HEAV homeschool convention?

To enter, leave a comment on this blog post answering the following question:

What is your favorite part of convention?

(You guys ROCKED the last question!  Feel free to go back and look at all of the wonderful comments from my last post to read all of the amazing advice readers have received about homeschooling!)

Click on the picture below to learn more about the HEAV Convention:

HEAV 2017