Tuesday, May 03, 2011

CHEC Homeschool Convention Kelowna 2011

Yes, I get to mark something off my bucket list!  I attended my first ever homeschool conference and will now be clamoring to go to them every year!  My hubby may want to go surfing, but attending a conference was on my bucket list.

The guest speakers were Scott and Marcia Sommerville ( I hope I got that right).  He was a Harvard Grad attorney and they homeschooled six children.  We have a great privilege in Canada that we can legally home educate our children.  What a blessing.

The whole weekend was a tremendous blessing that has been difficult to break down into bloggable chunks.

We stuck our neck out and asked if we could be billeted.  With finances the way they are, we could not afford the motel.  Me being the planner I am, it was so nice to have a billet host to email back and forth with and guide me through the basics.

The girls had a wonderful time at the kids activities and even though Mei had an earache in the night, she cried when she thought she couldn't go the next day.  That means so much to my "sheltered" girls...they loved it!

Our 13 year old quiet  but relational teen also stuck her neck out and went all by her lonesome to the youth activities.  She zoned in on another girl with a horse sweater on...typical.  She even got one girls address and was writing her a letter today.  She went bowling.  She listened to a speaker and talked in groups.  She sat on the grass visiting with another girl when she could have snuck into our session with us.  Oh what joy for her parents to see!  We even got to take her shopping and found her some nice outfits.

Our hosts were wonderful.  They were relaxed, they were hospitable, they had Advil Kids.  It was so nice having a home base and we thought how often it wouldn't have been as relaxing in a motel.  She happened to be a fertility expert/counsellor/natural family planning and I wished I had met her a few years ago.  The kids got along and the youngest sweet little man was very entertaining and gave us a good nephew type fix.  We even got to meet one of their friends who had also come to the conference and I was so blessed by meeting so many kindred spirits.  What a joy it is to add some of their requests to my prayer journal.  So many wonderful people in this world, and sometimes I need to be reminded of that.  If you need a little reminder, I'm going to jot down some of our experiences in Kelowna.
~ Host family blessed us beyond measure
~ Value Village employees happy and helpful, and esp. when I asked if some shirt sayings were "bad"
~ Little Grandma in V.V. trying to find capri's that weren't pants...laughed at K and I being silly, then gave us a 30% off coupon
~ Random Mom's at conference helping other Mom's with choices on curriculum, directions, anything
~ Man with parrot at park.  Let K hold it and girls pet it.
~ M. at Superstore parking lot~ fancy old mustang car and cute 11 mth. old puppy with goggles.  Great conversation.
~ East Indian woman in Superstore who told us how to find a good mango and threw us one that would be good to eat in 24 hours
~ 2 ladies in park who accepted our offer to have some of our watermelon
~ 2 wonderful sales women in a shop helped us find many wonderful items

We felt like we were walking on clouds and found it so easy to go the extra mile and be "nice" to strangers.  These were just a few examples.  I saw many cute little Mama's sporting adorable baby bumps and tried hard to beat them to doors in order to open it for them.  How easy is it to pass along a mint or chocolate.  To smile and point the way ...

The thing with going to this conference, I had heard and have now experienced, is that it was dedicated to our Lord Jesus Christ.  The opening worship was wonderful, everyone who was there WANTED to be there and WOW, God was there.  I get teary just thinking about it.

The speakers were all common sense folk with great encouragement and good challenges and admonishments.  WOW.  I am still digesting it all.  My hubby has said over and over again "thank you for arranging this.  We need to make this a priority every year.  I needed this too, thank you for doing this."

Not once, even with all the hassles and all the time crunches, was I greeted rudely! I was always greeted with a smile and helpful people.  I have never been bumped into more with more laughs and "oh, sorry!" and I, yes I, struck up conversations with perfect strangers.  We have a common ground!  Not only did most of us believe in God as Saviour, we were willing to sacrifice or advocate for our children and families...no one looked at me strange for our choices.  No one questioned me, they got me!   They understood our life out on the ranch.  THEY GOT ME!


Mrs. Maker said...

What a great experience! It sounds awesome. The number one challenge that I find with homeschooling my eldest child is with the lack of understanding from such a mainstream community. Finding like minded souls is an absolute treasure.

I also liked to hear of how you made this trip fit with your budget. I love your budgeting/frugality posts. You are an inspiration!

Anita said...

Sounds like a fantastic time! So glad you guys got away and were so blessed and had the opportunity to bless others too.

I'm very curious, how do you choose the perfect mango?

Jo said...

Budget friendly~ went with a host family! Also we have a PC Mastercard and had $50 of free groceries on it. I sold some bonnets and other kids toys in the week before we left, so I had about $100 from that.
The perfect red-type mango...don't pick the green ones, they hardly ever ripen. Pick the ones with the most red/orange. Then bring them home, wrap them individually in newspaper and set on counter, not in fridge!
Our have been keeping well and have great flavour! YEAH

Anita said...

Thanks for the mango tip! I hadn't heard of them being wrapped in newspaper before, will definitely try that.