7QTF – 2014 Vol. 5
JULY 18, 2014
“Jesus deigned to teach me this mystery. He set before me the book of nature; I understood how all the flowers He has created are beautiful, how the splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not take away from the perfume of the little violet or the delightful simplicity of the daisy. I understood that if all flowers wanted to be roses, nature would lose her springtime beauty, and the fields would no longer be decked out with little wild flowers. And so it is in the world of souls, Jesus’ garden. He willed to create great souls comparable to lilies and roses, but He has created smaller ones and these must be content to be daisies or violets destined to give joy to God’s glances when He looks down at his feet. Perfection consists in doing His will, in being what He wills us to be.”
— St. Therese of Lisieux – The Little Flower
Happy Friday Evening.
My guys are at a ballgame. I’m finally sitting at the blog. Sigh…. if you are a Catholic homeschool mom, grab your glass of wine… or coffee…. or whatever… grab something and sit down – let me tell you why you should leave your spouse and children behind and go hang out at a Homeschool Conference without them.
By the end of the school year, YES even with one child — thank you Jilly for validating me with that one child thing — you are OVER IT. And by OVER IT, I mean, you have said at least one time, out loud, to your spouse (aka the Principal) and your child(ren) ,”I can not do this anymore… he/she/they/YOU might have to go back to public school…. I’d rather go back to work!” Ok – so maybe you didn’t, but I did! Oh sure, you know you are homeschooling next year, but you are ready for a break. Ok – maybe you aren’t but I am!
So I submit to you that there are WAY more than seven reasons to go to a homeschool conference (without your spouse and children if you can). Last weekend, I went to the IHM North Texas Conference. IHM Stands for Immaculate Heart of Mary, for those of you who don’t know… and it ROCKS!
#1 – Meeting New Friends… I got to meet a few people that I haven’t met. Michelle Quigley, the creator of the Catholic Daily Planner; Megan Kimbrell, one of the ladies in the Veiling Group and a fellow Military Wife; and, Colleen Hammond, Author of Dressing with Dignity and fellow Texan. It was just so cool, after corresponding and interacting on FaceBook to finally meet them. Such a treat.
Myself & Colleen Hammond.
#2 – Seeing Friends You Don’t Get To See Much…. It was so nice to see friends from the Catholic Homeschool Groups I belong too. Especially the ones that live far. It was great to catch up with them. A few of us went to an early dinner (my lunch) Friday night and a few of the same plus some others went to lunch on Saturday. We just hung out. You know? No kiddos, no fuss – just us.
Probably my favorite thing was giving away a black eternity veil to my friend who has been discerning veiling for Our Lord. What a blessing. She sent me a note a few days later, and said her family loved it and she felt so good in it. Praise for humbling me with this devotion and friends who let me be giving, in His Name.
#3 – Seeing Your Favorite Curriculum….. This is not usually as important for me in ALL regards. Why? Because we enroll in Seton Home Study. I don’t pick and choose which “this and that” curriculum to use. My brain does not work that way. In fact, it hurts my head to think about doing it that way. However, this year, in 5th, I wanted to look at a certain science set. Seeing the books/journal/lab helped me make up my mind. Anywhooo… I did buy a new Bible and a few books, prayer cards, and I picked up my journal from Michelle. LOVE IT!
And can I just say, I was really impressed by the Catholic Colleges/Online High Schools that were there. Great to know.
#4 – Supporting Catholic Businesses. I know – some of you cringe. Well – cringe on. I like supporting small Catholic Businesses. One of the Book Stores, Stella Maris, is local and I go there (40 mins from my home), so I was thrilled to see her. I bought a Bible and some medals and Prayer Cards from her. I promised to visit soon. Love. These little relationships are so important.
Plus – I love looking out and seeing all the BOOKS about Saints and our Faith and the veils/trinkets and other things. SO AWESOME! AND Yes, there were non-Catholic curriculums there. But, they are at the very least Christian, which is important – so very important.
#5 – Connected With Speakers… For two days, I listened to Homeschool Moms and Apologists and Priests speak on our Faith and how important a vocation being a mom, wife, and homeschool teacher are. We laughed, we cried, we prayed and we walked way REFRESHED!
We are not alone sisters. There is a whole ARMY of people who homeschool. Moms and Dads who feel the same as we do… tired, overwhelmed, wondering what mistakes we are making…. we all feel that way. The beauty of being around the multitudes of other parents and even the children who come…. is that we get this validation…. our heads go up, our shoulders square and WE CAN DO IT!
I loved all the speakers, I really did. But, from a personal place, Mrs. Amy Kalscheur’s words hit home. She homeschools eight children and went through cancer, complete with chemo and sickness (now in remission). She told her story about how the homeschool community gathered around. She said, out loud, how hard and scary it was. She gave up her pride and let people help her – and she told us about it. We were all in tears. I was sitting with two friends, who are chronically sick, and it was so humbling.
She told us we are WORK AT HOME moms. I’ll never use SAHM again. She’s right – I don’t sit and eat bon bons. Do you?
Patrick Madrid told us how to stand up for our Faith and the importance of it. They all gave us tools to use in our day to day.
Colleen was the last speaker I heard. My take away from her (and really all the speakers combined) –
Homeschool Community = LOVE & CHARITY! We are blessed and strong! We are working for Christ, and modeling our lives after the Holy Family. Unlike them, we are imperfect, but we bask in Christ’s Glow. Sigh…
#6 – Stayed the Night ALONE. One bed, one TV, one remote and people to wait on YOU.. SERIOUSLY. I ordered room service (nothing heavy) and munched while I read in my nightgown. Sure, my guys Face-Timed me. But they were having a 007 Marathon Movie Night. Ok – ok I admit I didn’t fall asleep till after 1pm. I rarely have been away from my son all night in the almost 11 years he’s been alive, so it was a little stressful. It just is not “our thing”. So it was a nice treat for Marque to be home AND for me to be able to do it. He insisted. He arranged it with his points that we are saving for vacation. And I am so eternally glad he did.
Let me clarify here. I ate without anyone saying “I’m hungry, can I have some of yours.” I read, without anyone wanting to watch TV in the room. I went to the restroom without anyone knocking and saying, “MOM” (with dad right there beside them). I got up and someone brought me breakfast and coffee in a pot…
The coffee is in a cup & saucer ya’ll. I need to do that more at home, but I digress! I highly recommend it!
#7 – I’m Rejuvinated. I’m Validated. I’m sure I’m doing the right thing and I’m Ready to Plan Next Year. Don’t we all need that from time to time? We just need to take a step back and get clarity and gain strength from others… and look at things a different way. So – I’ve got the books all organized (with the exception of the new stuff coming). My classroom is organized. Fourth Quarter packet will be sent on Monday/Tuesday and we will be ON A BREAK!
We are going to hang out for six weeks and we’ll either start August 25th or September 2nd. I haven’t made up my mind yet.
I’m linking up today with Jen @ Conversion Diary for 7QTF!
And that is a wrap!