Spring Break Adventures

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Monday!!  Last week we were on Spring Break and what fun we had!

This picture is from a Homeschool Convention that we attended at the end of the week.  My husband’s family business is educational consulting.  His dad started this ministry many years ago.  Right across from our booth was the Lego Education booth and Ian was so “in his element.”  He loved it!

The ladies at this booth were so nice and great with the kids, including Ian.  They had workshops which he attended each day to build stories with Lego elements. They had teams of kids work on the story in three parts and then share their ideas.  It was fun to see their creativity and minds at work.  It was also nice to see the kids working together in a project.  Most of them hadn’t met each other before.

We met some really nice people at this convention.   We saw large families with very well-behaved kids.  The largest was one with 12 kids who had written books on sibling relations.  We saw another family with four girls — all wearing matching outfits.

And, we saw some people just starting in homeschooling and some who have been at it a while. The variety of people was fascinating — some Menonite families, some others with just a few children, and we also saw a few people we’d seen last year.

Last March I wrote about another convention that we’d attended.  That was posted on March 18 and the link is at the bottom of this posting, if you’d like to read that as well.

One of the Duggar family members was there with his wife and kids.  He spoke during a session and had a booth with a time for people to meet him and have him sign a book or other item.  That had a very long line.

We had some time on the first day to walk around the very large and lovely Opryland Hotel.  We went to a shop selling moonshine jelly, some funny aprons and magnets, and Moon Pies.  We also saw the river, lovely plants, and some statues of standing horses.

While we were at dinner on Friday night, one of Ian’s front teeth came out.  This was his third tooth to lose.  He was thrilled that the tooth fairy came to visit.  “I wonder how she found me Mommy? She must have snuck into our hotel room,” he said.  “Yes, she did Ian,” I told him.

The next morning he tried drinking milk through a straw through the new space in his mouth.  It was fun to see.  Now, his second top middle tooth is loose.  Should be soon on that one too.

We came back on Sunday morning and had a nice drive and lazy afternoon.  It was great and Ian was very ready to go back to school.  I drove him this morning and he was ready to see his teacher and all of his friends.

The first half of the week, we had fun at home and relaxed.  There was time to play, color and draw, and read together.  Each day, Ian would talk about how many days were left of his break.  It was fun to spend all day with him again.

This morning we are back to our normal routine.  It was good and is a lovely day.  Hope you have a great one! I wonder what new adventures there will be this week?  It should be fun to find out!!

Last year’s blog on the convention is located at https://patticates247.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/convention-adventure/.

Convention Adventure

school-mathHi and Happy Monday!

Over the weekend, my husband, son, and I worked in a booth during a home school convention.  My hubby works with his dad in an educational consulting ministry.  If you’d like more on that, please let me know.

Ian and I were there to help and it was really a neat experience.   It was fascinating meeting the parents and their children.

For years, I have known people who home school their kids.  I always have wondered how in the world they do it.  Now, being around some of them regularly, I see that it is a true calling for these families.  The families feel that this is the best option for their kids and their education.

My family’s background is the public school system.  My parents, my grandparents, an aunt, an uncle, and my sister are teachers.  I guess you could say we are all about education — whether it be in a classroom or a room at home.  There are many ways for children to succeed in learning!!  I think that these different methods can work — it’s just up to each family to decide.

Some snippets of the weekend:

  • Seeing a Mennonite family with 9 kids.  They were all very quiet and well-behaved.  I couldn’t help but think about dinner time, bed time and traveling with that large a family.
  • Enjoying the fun of Ian making friends with the kids in the next booth.  They were there with their mother.
  • Finding and purchasing a book about Dr. Seuss for Ian.  Personally, I think Dr. Seuss is a genius and one of the finest children’s authors ever.  He is my inspiration!  And, I love that Ian really likes his books.
  • Writing a story with Ian while waiting for people to stop by our booth.  He drew the pictures, told me the story, and I transcribed it for him.  I will be posting these soon over a few days.
  • Purchasing a pencil made of wood from Walnut Grove — the location of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s fabulous series of books.  This series, which started with “Little Cabin in the Woods,” was one of my favorites ever growing up.  The booth where I found this also had a book about Walnut Grove, recipes from that era, and outfits that could be purchased.  It was great!
  • Making friends with a custodian who worked at the convention hall.  She was a sweet young woman.  I also enjoyed meeting a lady working in the cafe at the hall.  She was very friendly as well!
  • Taking materials and Ian outside after a fire alarm sounded.  Many people stood around wondering what to do.  My thought was go outside people!!  With so many kids there, shouldn’t we be sure to show them that you do leave a building with a fire alarm going off?  Yes I think so!  We found out that the culprit was a popcorn popper too close to the alarm.  That pesky popcorn.
  • Having Ian fall asleep during dinner on Friday night after a full day of fun at the convention.  I had to carry him from the lobby where I ate, rode up on the elevator to the 6th floor where our room was, and then all the way down the hall.  Then I used the electronic key as I held him.  I said, “whew” when I was finally in our room!
  • Seeing the joy of Ian staying at a hotel for the first time.  Well, at least the first time he could remember.  “Mommy, it’s really cool to live at a hotel for a few days,” he told me.  “Yes it is Ian.”

All in all it was a great weekend.  We met some neat people and learned more about another way of educating children.  There are many ways.

I wonder if all kinds of education can be respected and appreciated.  I sure hope so!

Conventions, Politics, and Voting

Conventions, Politics, and Voting … oh my.

Over the last two weeks I have watched the two parties hold their conventions where they announced their nominee for President.  Some of the items I have agreed with and some I have not, as I am sure others can relate.

First the Republicans had a convention in Tampa and nominated Mitt Romney with Paul Ryan as the Vice Presidential nominee.  Then the Democrats held their convention in Charlotte and nominated President Barack Obama for another term with Vice President Joe Biden.

Both weeks were about saying how great each party was and how bad the other one is.  They also explained the party’s platform and what you needed to know about each candidate.   Both sides tried to put their best foot forward and present themselves as the answer to our issues.  We as voters then have to decide which way to vote.

During the first week, Senator Marco Rubio gave a good speech, the keynote address was given by Governor Chris Christie, and Clint Eastwood was odd but funny.  It helped for Ann Romney to explain about her husband, and it was good to hear Mitt Romney’s vision for America.   Then during the second week, Mayor Julian Castro gave a very moving keynote address, First Lady Michele Obama was very classy and spoke very well, former President Bill Clinton gave a phenomenal speech, and I enjoyed hearing from President Obama.

For me it was important to hear from both sides of the aisle on what is planned for our country.  I don’t agree with all on either side but that works for me.   To some that may seem wishy-washy, but I am not an all-or-nothing person when it comes to politics.

The fact that two such different sides can present their case and their views on television and argue their convictions and beliefs to the entire population is a real gift.   We then can make up our own minds on where we stand and who we feel can lead us forward.

I am honored to live in a country where there is freedom of speech — which has been demonstrated over and over again in recent weeks.  There are many places around the world where this isn’t possible and that is so sad.

It truly is a freedom to believe in whatever manner you want to and speak what you feel led to say.   We just have to remember that ours isn’t the only way to think and believe.  I feel we should value other opinions and understand and respect someone else who may think and believe differently than we do.

To me our chance to vote and cast our ballot, not only for the President but the leaders of Congress (in the House and Senate) and our state leaders, is a true honor and something that I have been doing for many years.  And I don’t take it for granted.

The thing I don’t like and have seen so much of this year is the insults, lies, mistruths, and hatefulness of one side against the other.  What ever happened to agreeing to disagree and respect someone else’s point of view?  Have we gone so far that we can only respect someone with a like mind as our own?  I sure hope not.

For all of our elected officials, I like to think that they will truly try to govern and lead the country while taking into consideration other points of view.  I hope that isn’t being naive on my part.

In the past few weeks, there has been a lot of talk of a Senator who said many of our leaders in Congress were going to do what they could to ensure that Obama wouldn’t serve another term.  This was supposedly done by not being willing to work him on a variety of issues.

I hope and pray that this isn’t what actually happened.  The thought that someone who in good faith was elected to serve his country could just disagree to spite someone else really bothers me and concerns me.   Do we really want someone in office if that is truly their agenda?  I know I don’t.

In addition, the notion that an idea is wrong and shouldn’t be considered just because someone from the other side has presented it is total nonsense to me.   Why?  Can we not even consider another point of view before we dismiss it out of hand?   Whatever happened to a serious debate that at the end of the day could find a resolution or an opportunity for additional debate?

This year to many the main issue seems to be the economy and jobs.  Some have said that is the only issue.  For me there are many issues to consider when electing someone, but I don’t believe it is my place to tell someone else how to think or vote.

I think people have all kinds of reasons for voting a certain way.  And, isn’t it a great thing that we can do that?  I don’t have to agree with someone else or their reasons and they don’t have to agree with me.  But, I think that I should respect the other person and not attack them or say they are stupid or wrong for how they believe.

The notion that either candidate will bring the end of life as we know it is a little over the top to me.  I have heard that from both sides and really don’t like it.  I am much more comfortable with one candidate than the other but I don’t agree with that extremist mentality.  That’s just my opinion.  What about you?

I have some friends and family who are conservative and others who are liberal.  Some who are strong Republicans and others who are strong Democrats.  I think it is interesting to hear from them on their beliefs and convictions.  Sometimes I agree with them and other times I don’t and that’s okay.

Are you going to vote this year? I hope that you will and consider the honor that it is to vote in our country.  I know who I am voting for and why.  How about you?

Here’s to our amazing country!!!