2. Our lives are busy during the school year … and even during summer, we are seldom just together as a family … This curriculum fair is requiring us to spend 3 days almost solely working together, traveling together, and being together. ❤
3. How’s Miriam doing??? Well, she is LOVING it!! She is getting a lot of attention because HOMESCHOOLERS LOVE CHILDREN! 🙂
4. The vendors all around us. We are located catty-corner (is that a word?) to Vision Forum. We even glimpsed Doug Phillips (who is one of the key note speakers) as he stopped by their booth!! Across the way from us is Grace and Truth Booksellers … my husband and son are in HEAVEN as they LOVE books so they sneak over to browse when things are slow. They carry a full line of books by G.A. Henty, the Lamplighter series, and Andrew’s new favorite the Kingdom series by Chuck Black. History, biographies, family, education and theology books galore!
5. Long talks with moms in the next booth beside us (representing the math curriculum they use). We’ve spent literally hours talking, getting to know each other, chit-chatting, laughing, and overall finding that though we have chosen 2 different methods of Christian education for our children, we value our children as gifts and responsibilites from God!
6. Seeing Abraham Lincoln browsing the vendor’s booths. This conference has a Civil War theme, and there are re-enactors all around!! Abe walks among them – he is even speaking in a session or two.
7. FREE samples … which include a handy tote bag, a copy of the US Constitution (everyone should read it though I will admit I never have…), donuts, and coffee from the conference caterer.
8. Seeing old “friends”: Dr. John Stormer, who was so active in Missouri’s legislature advocating for Christian education & the author of None Dare Call it Education (among other books), has a table set up with his books; he is a friend of our pastor’s and of our church. Also, the Abeka rep who is responsible for our school’s territory and visits once a year, leaving us lots of sticky-note pads as a thank-you gift. He walked by just as Dan was talking to the homeschool rep from Bob Jones Press and telling her how we are switching some upper level classes from ABeka to BJU!! :-O
9. Making new friends. Anna has been reading the Rachel Yoder series by Wanda Brunstetter … and is fascinated with the Amish lifestyle right now. Rod and Staff Publishers, a Mennonite company, has their representatives a few tables down from us. Anna spied a girl in her Mennonite garb who appeared to be about her age. The girl kept walking by our table, smiling … and Anna finally got up the gumption to speak to her. Turns out the little girl was hoping to talk to Anna too – and the girls have been wandering around the fair together, playing at the Discovery Toys booth (with the seller’s ok), and talking. I love it that Anna is exposed to people of different and wonderful life styles and befriending other families who are also seeking to serve God through Christian education.
10. Learning something new, enjoying the fellowship of like-minded people, stepping away from the mundane to re-gain perspective, keeping it simple, and forgetting that there is a world going on back home and all around us that is full of issues to reconcile, decisions to make, and routines to step back into.
So, it hasn’t been as relaxing or exciting as a real vacation trip … but the rewards – I suppose – might just reach further, into our hearts and even touch just the edge of eternal worth.