Tag Archives: homeschool convention

Pictures from CHAP 2011

Each year we go to this convention. Each year it’s a little bit different. There are things I wish I had done, there are things I cringe over having done.

I wish I had…
… taken pictures of and with people we talked to – friends old and new…
… had the courage to ask someone to eat lunch with us…
… paid more attention to gifts for my parents…
… taken pictures of memories as they happened.

I cringed over…
… letting my bad mood nearly ruin the weekend…
… my bad judgement in taking both a heavy purse and my camera bag to carry around all day…
… saying some things that didn’t need to be said, and might have been wrong to say.

BUT for all that, the weekend was precious with family time, and that is what remains primarily in my memory. Their sweetness and love make me happy to just be around them – all of us together – for any amount of time, with anything happening, when I am in any kind of mood.

I love how this picture communicates how the world appears to just keep on spinning, but then there's the individual people in it - the ones you know (Amanda) and the ones you don't (everyone else who hasn't noticed me)

Playing a Professor Noggins game while waiting to be seated for dinner at a very busy Cracker Barrel!

Lady L was enthralled with this science toy - an electronic experiment with HEX bugs

My beautiful sisters and Mama, looking pretty and put together, as always (while browsing materials at the Answers in Genesis booth).

Oh, yes, and about the actual convention: It was wonderful to hear Ken Ham a few times over the weekend, as well as Mrs. Maxwell. We enjoyed browsing the vendor hall, finding a few lovely books in the used curriculum sale, and the occasional talk with friends.

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Cincinnati Homeschool Convention

We arrived at the Midwest Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati about 45 minutes after it had started, thus missing the first seminar session, but it couldn’t be avoided. It was huge! We normally go to a rather large convention in PA, but this one was even bigger. The biggest problem I have with this convention, is that they always had so many speakers going at once: they had between 13 and 20 seminars to choose from for each time slot! And then, there was only 30 minutes between most sessions, giving you hardly any time in the vendor hall (which consisted of over 300 exhibitors) if you liked listening to speakers. Which we do. On top of all that, Friday was a super long day – the first speaker started at 8:30 AM and the last one ended at 9:00 PM. There was one longer break which we spent in the vendor hall. You can start deciding now whether we are crazy or dedicated.

At registration!

So any way, on Thursday evening the first seminar we went to was John Stonestreet of Summit Ministries speaking on “Making Sense of Your World: Being a Thinking Christian in a Silly Culture”. It was great, as were all the others… except maybe two!

So anyway, we listened to another seminar that evening and left the Duke Energy Center at about 9:30 pm. We got to the parking garage and found that there was already a line of cars waiting to get out that were blocking us from getting out of our space. So we got in the car and decided that we might as well pull forward out of our space and at least get in line instead of waiting for someone to let us back out. Hah! Bad idea. We wound up pulling up onto another level, meaning we had to wait for a whole other level to get moving, and then wind our way slowly through it as we got BACK to where we had been parked! As if that wasn’t bad enough, before we figured any of that out, we had to wait 45 minutes in our car before anything started moving!!! All in all, we weren’t out of the parking garage until almost 10:30.

Parking garage mayhem!!!

Planning our “escape route”

This was the night when we got back to the hotel room and I actually did post. Of all nights, the latest was when I found the time to blog. Go figure.

Mandy needed a little love to wake her up Friday morning. 😉

The hotel had great (free) breakfasts!

But enough of my aimless rambling, let me get back to our trip. Friday was the longest convention day, starting at 8:30 AM and ending at 9:00 PM. We woke up at 6:30, got to the convention at almost 9:30 (yes, yes, we were late again!), listened to some seminars, ate lunch, finally got an hour or two to see some of the vendors, ate dinner after we got back to the hotel, and went to bed at around 11:30.

Window shopping with sisters, what could be better?

What lunch looked like.

Saturday! Another 8:30 start, only this time, we got there at 9:00 (enough time for the last half of the first seminar). A crazy day that I’ll spare you the details of… well, I’ll at least tell you that Amanda and I forgot our cell phone in the hotel room during our mad rush to get out in time, and had no way of finding Mommy or Daddy again after we went to a seminar without them. So it was with joy that we finally spotted them after looking up and down the vendor hall and getting kind of nervous!

Why we couldn’t find mom and dad!!!

It was only about 7:00 when we got out of the convention, so we took the opportunity to walk around downtown Cincinnati, which I absolutely loved! We took a bunch of pictures, including some portrait type pictures in front some neat church doors, but I’m going to post them separately.

Outside the convention center.

Purchases and freebies. We’re rich. 😎

On Sunday morning, we were supposed to visit a family-integrated church in KY, but unfortunately got kind of lost and didn’t find it until they were almost done. We did get to meet some of the church members though, and Amanda, Lady L, and I enjoyed talking with Natalie, the pastor’s daughter.

What can I say? The trip was stressful. 😀

From there we drove south to Columbia, KY where we met my aunt who came from MS to spend a day with us. Isn’t that so nice? We stayed at this motel with her, and as she had recently seen something on the news about bugs in old motels/hotels/etc., we did a bed bug search! That was so hilarious!

Good! Clean and no bugs.

After driving around with her, looking at a property and just the area in general, we got something to eat and came back to the motel, where we visited until midnight. The next morning, we got to spend an hour or two just chit-chatting and getting ready to go.

Lady L has some good photography skills, no?

Then we were off to visit… KAYLA!!! I met Kayla on HomeschoolAlumni.org, and she’s been an inspiration to me to cook more naturally. And now we’ve met! It was so much fun! They have three milk cows, so Kayla was good enough to show us how to milk, and patient enough to stand by and let us take 5 minutes to get this tiny little pool in the pail, when she could have been almost done by then. 🙄

With fresh milk, we (or rather Kayla, with us in the way) were able to make chocolate ice cream and mozzarella cheese! Kayla also put up with us as we “helped” her make a delicious lunch, chocolate chip cookies, and yet another version of chicken soup! I’ve yet to believe how many wonderful ways there really are to make it.

Mozzarella! Amanda and I were stretching, while Kayla and Lindsey were watching… and laughing. 😛

Kayla’s dad, Mr. Custer, suggested that we all take a ride around their property. So thanks to Dave’s expert driving, we went on a hay-less hayride… which was probably more fun than if there had been hay. 😉 I have to say something here: having brothers would be so much fun, and quite amusing! Kayla’s brothers, Dave, Titus, and Philip, convinced me of that during our short visit with their family.

Getting situated for our hayless hayride.

Kayla with her lovable “lap dog” Regal. 😆

Those cows thought we were the funniest thing!

HA! I think they’re funnier.

We also got to go find a hog that had gotten out. Dave teased me because I saw the neighbor’s dog and thought it was the hog. What can I say? I live in the city. Mommy took this pic. I like it.

So then we had to leave and go home. 😦 We didn’t leave on Tuesday until almost noon, though, so we drove through the night and got home at 4:00 in the morning on Wednesday! I sat up front with Mama through the last 4-5 hours, and it was really difficult to stay awake, not to mention the fog was so thick in some areas that we could barely see the road signs 20 feet away.

But we did make it home safe, and have lots of good and memorable… memories… to show for our absence!

Abiding in Christ,
Michelle