February 21-28, 2016
Miles to Date: 0
Sundays are the Best Days
Surprisingly, the day we left on on our journey was in fact a day of rest for us. Days of planning and packing were over and all that was left to do was crank the engine and roll the wheels. The first leg of the trip, we took Hwy 80 and went up and over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Snow and fresh chilled air welcomed us at every gas stop as we continued through the state of Nevada.
BusyGirl leisurely caught up on some of her school work (She missed a few days while she attended the MyCity Youth Conference) and I worked putting the final touches on our workshop presentations. This convention season we are excited to deliver the notes to attendees via email within minutes. I’m able to include links and resources that are quite helpful. Gotta love technology for easily sharing information. Forrest drummed on the steering wheel listening to one of his favorite bands, Third Day.
We rolled into Idaho Falls late and plopped into bed at the Driftwood Inn Best Western. I think it was the first full nights rest this month.
Idaho Falls is beautiful! Just outside the hotel there’s a three mile loop around the falls. I promised our Medi-Share representative, who cares a lot about our family’s health, that we would exercise often on the road. So we took advantage of the beautiful setting. When it’s 28 degrees outside, our walking pace is pretty snappy.
We headed north and made a right hand turn when we hit Montana. Love the big skies and red stained buttes. Herds of antelope, white tail deer, and lots of cows kept us company. Forrest and I went through our workshop notes for “Best Curriculum Choice: Your Marriage”. Busygirl had to listen to us work through each point. She sure is getting a heavy dose of marriage education for a 15 year old.
We landed in Miles City, Montana which is about one hundred miles from the border of North Dakota. This sleepy little town would be our home for the next two days. We still have some HTHL work to do!
North Dakota here we come!
Bismarck, North Dakota welcomed us with snow flurries that blew sideways against the HTHL van and trailer. We met our host family, the Larsons, a delightful homeschool family who opened their home and hearts to us. How grateful we are to be in a loving home!
The next morning, we arrived early at the North Dakota Homeschool Association Convention. This hard working, joyful leadership team and their children were busily stuffing convention bags with lots of valuable homeschool info. We joined right in! After all, many hands make light work and lots of laughs! We felt at home among this wonderful group. We spent the rest of our time setting up HTHL’s booth and visiting with homeschool vendors, who we haven’t seen in a while.
North Dakota Homeschool Association Convention (Friday and Saturday)
The doors opened, and we fell quickly in love with the North Dakota homeschool families. Their genuine cinnamon warmth and remnants of a Norwegian accent let you know they were the kind of neighborly people who would have your back if the weather got rough.
The first workshop of the morning? Keeping Your “Smart Cookie” Challenged, followed by Finding the Pieces to the Puzzle: Developing a Plan for Your Special Needs Child. It was an honor to spend time with dedicated homeschool moms and dads.
The cutest seven year old little girl came up to our booth and said she enjoyed the “Smart Cookie” workshop. I thanked her for coming and she replied, “I took notes.” I couldn’t help myself… I had to peek! What did this little cutie learn? Here’s the pic.
In the afternoon, Forrest and I joined as a team to spend some time talking about marriage to 100+ attendees. It was great to see so many invest in their marriage.
The following day, Forrest revved some engines with his talk, An Equipment Operator’s Guide to Keeping Your Family Out of the Repair Shop. And I ended the day with one of my favorite workshops to give, Treating Allergies to Writing.
The convention ended, hearts were full! God did a mighty work!
Homeschool state conventions have a special place in our hearts. They create local connections and remain in service to the homeschool community long after the convention is over. Our next convention is the Southeast Great Homeschool Convention in South Carolina. Large conventions serve the homeschool communities in a different way. I’ll talk about their service to the homeschool community in my next post.
Now, you may or may not know this bit of trivia.
It’s a well known fact among homeschool vendors that after the convention comes to a close, we race to make sure our company is NOT the last one to leave the building. It’s a way to keep our sprits up after after two very long days standing on your feet with no breaks. It’s all in good fun. This time, the last two vendors were Heppner’s Legacy and HTHL. We barely beat them by just a few seconds. Since we hadn’t met them before, we introduced ourselves. Nancy, one of the owners, blessed us with an amazing story of God’s faithfulness in their business. We gave hugs and made a dinner date for the next time we meet on the homeschool convention trail.
When we are on the road, one of the highlights for our family is attending different churches all across the USA. This week, we attended Sunday school and worshipped with our host family at their church, Grace Brethren Lutheran Church. Their talented son played the piano beautifully. It was a joy to put a pause on life and thank the Lord and drink up God’s Word with fellow believers.
We enjoyed lunch together at HuHot, the coolest Mongolian BBQ I have ever seen! (We don’t have this chain in California. I’m pretty sure it would do very well among California natives!)
We didn’t want to say goodbye to our host family. In fact we must have said goodbye five times, and then we would continue to talk. Our families just seemed to connect easily. The last three days, we shared laughs, personal trials, and stories of God’s faithfulness in ministry. They invited us back next year, and we do hope the Lord allows.
The HTHL van and trailer made some tracks down Highway 85, and closed the day by watching a South Dakota sunset. The shocker of the whole trip was North Dakota experienced record high temps for February, 72 degrees!
Thanks for traveling with us! It’s a pleasure to be sharing the journey with you!
Follow our journey on HTHL’s Google Map (Click: HERE)
Catch our vlog on YouTube: On the Road with HTHL Episode Two (Click: HERE)
From Our Home (On the Road) to Yours,