On the Road with HTHL: Happy Mama in the Rocky Mountains

Welcome! Glad you are joining us On the Road with HTHL for the 2017 Homeschool Convention Season!

Date: February 27, 2017- March 5, 2017

Rapid City, South Dakota to Leadville, Colorado

Leadville, Colorado to Colorado Springs, Colorado


Mama’s heart is happy. We were headed to Colorado to visit two of my sons! We had one week off before the next homeschool convention, and in my mind, North Dakota is pretty close to Colorado. Right? We left Rapid City, South Dakota and rolled down a long stretch of highway trimmed with wide blankets of sun blinding snow.

On the Road with HTHL
South Dakota Highway 85

When we arrived in Denver, BusyGirl and I made a right turn and kept the wheels moving forward towards Copper Mountain. The Rocky Mountains are spectacular. Large draping frozen waterfalls along the side of the road gave our eyes a feast. Thankfully the roads were clear.

On the Road with HTHL
Rocky Mountains, Colorado

Nothing blesses a mama’s heart like hugs from her kids! I hadn’t seen my sons since our daughter’s wedding! It was also wonderful getting to know my son’s girlfriend. She is a delight!

There was a package from Forrest to me! Besides my bathing suit that I had forgotten to pack, Forrest sent my Valentine bouquet that he gave me three weeks ago, now all beautifully dried. I closed my eyes and took in the scent. I really miss him.

On the Road with HTHL
My sweet husband sent me the beautiful Valentine’s Day bouquet that he gave me! It was perfectly dried!


BusyGirl is one blessed little sis. Her brothers had two free ski lift passes waiting for her, just one of the perks of working at a ski resort. For the next two days, the three of them enjoyed shushing down the fresh powder mountain trails.

On the Road with HTHL
Three of my kids hitting the slopes!

I, wanting to keep my bones intact, decided to stay warm and cozy in the lodge and work on HTHL business. I took my coffee breaks outside and breathed fresh oxygen molecules!

On the Road with HTHL
Nothing like mountain air to clear your mind!


Day two of skiing ushered in more confidence for BusyGirl and solidified more wonderful memories with her big bros. However, BusyGirl lasted longer on the hills than her brothers did by an hour. A fact that she will hold over them until the next time they all ski together.

On the Road with HTHL
BusyGirl LOVES to ski!

After each ski day, we enjoyed a home cooked meal. After dinner, it was nice to chat and watch movies together.


Morning sun glistened on the snow. It was a perfect time to taste the local dark roast brew. We all enjoyed City on a Hill coffee before our “museum day” began.

On the Road with HTHL
Great local brew!

The rule in our homeschool family was we had to go to at least one museum per family vacation. So when I was invited by my sons to see a really cool museum, my heart burst with pride. The love of learning DOES last a lifetime! They were right! The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum is awesome!

On the Road with HTHL
Museums bring our family together!

The museum is packed with great dioramas and displays. They even have a rocker cradle. My boys and I reminisced about the seven-foot rocker cradle we built as a homeschool project. We laughed and shook our heads as we relived the story of how we almost got kicked out of the state park for using it on historic land. Ooops!

On the Road with HTHL
BusyGirl met a miner!

“Pencils Up!” is Here to Help Learning‘s battle cry before writing warm-ups. So of course, this display caught my eye! Here’s your pencil lesson for the day. You’re welcome.

On the Road with HTHL
Here’s your pencil lesson for the day! You’re welcome.

Later in the afternoon, free/discounted passes to go tubing provided us with more entertainment and memories!

On the Road with HTHL
“Whoo Hooo!” said the almost retired homeschool mom on the tubing hill.


On Friday, our boys had to go back to work. BusyGirl caught up on her school work, and I worked on a new HTHL contract with a potential vendor. In the afternoon, we took a few hours to enjoy Frisco, a nearby town.

On the Road with HTHL
BusyGirl enjoying the darling town of Frisco.

Please don’t judge. It was the way I was raised. <deep cleansing breath>  I’m a John Denver Fan from way back. There, I admitted it. So when I walked into a store and heard a local band playing Rocky Mountain High, I was taken aback. Whatchya know? They actually sing John Denver songs in Colorado! BusyGirl asked me to stop singing in the store. Go figure.

On the Road with HTHL
“Hey, they’re playing Rocky Mountain High by John Denver!”

Saturday-2 Museums

We started the day with a lumberjack-style breakfast before my son and his girlfriend had to go to work.

On the Road with HTHL
Good morning Colorado!

BusyGirl couldn’t contain herself. Saturday was to be a two-museum day! First, we visited the Frisco Historic Park Museum.

On the Road with HTHL
Museum Time!

This small museum was packed with amazing artifacts that told the story of the mining town of Frisco, Colorado.

On the Road with HTHL
I met this bear. I listened to what he had to say. I think we understand each other a little better.

BusyGirl hopes one day to create displays and hands-on exhibits.  She studied carefully the exhibits that caught her attention.

On the Road with HTHL
BusyGirl wants each and everyone of these outfits.

I love culture and learning about the way others do life. It gets my imagination percolating for writing projects!

On the Road with HTHL
Practicing my penmanship.

Each exhibit brought a part of Frisco’s story to life.

On the Road with HTHL
Oops, BusyGirl landed in jail. At least it’s a historical one!

The second museum we visited was the Barney Ford House Museum in Breckenridge, Colorado.

On the Road with HTHL
Museum #2

The Barney Ford Victorian House honors Barney L. Ford, an escaped slave who prospered and became a prominent entrepreneur and black civil rights leader in Colorado. His story is inspiring, and his home is beautiful.

On the Road with HTHL
BusyGirl and I fell in love with this phonograph. So beautiful!

Born into slavery in 1822, Mr. Barney Ford’s mother instilled in her son the importance of learning to read. She inspired in him his lifelong quest for education. Barney’s mama is my kind of mama!

On the Road with HTHL
BusyGirl is coveting the Victorian lamp. She wants it for her bedroom.

Then we met my other son for lunch. On our way to taste the local flavor, we popped into a glass blowing shop, and I was chosen to try my hand at shaping molten glass. The artisan gave me instructions on how to make a dolphin. By the time I finished, the group watching me had agreed the blob of hardened glass resembled a VERY, VERY abstract flower. Yup, it was an epic fail, but I enjoyed trying.

On the Road with HTHL
Trying my hand at shaping molten glass.

My BusyGirl got giddy when she walked into a local store and saw a REAL 1921 Ford Model T. Before we left for our trip, she had done some research and wrote an essay about this game-changer in American history.

On the Road with HTHL
After researching and writing about the Ford Model T, BusyGirl was giddy to see one up close.

When we visit a new area, we always try to make it a point to sample the region’s cuisine. Colorado is big on hunting large game. So we taste-tested wild elk, boar, and buffalo sausage served with homemade sauerkraut. Wow! The flavors surprised me. I loved them all.

On the Road with HTHL
Wild meats with wild flavor!


All good things come to an end. It was time to say our goodbyes. I was glad that my two boys are planning on visiting us in Washington in May and September. It made the last hug a little easier to handle. Our parting gift? My chef son gave me a sample of a dessert his restaurant serves. Back when my daughter got married, he asked the family to help him brainstorm some ideas for new desserts. This flakey pastry, layered with buttery apples and spices and topped with pistachio nuts (pictured below) is the result of everyone’s input. I ate the whole thing!

On the Road with HTHL

I tucked my dried bouquet of roses in the side pocket of the HTHL van, and we made tracks to Colorado Springs. We have a film shoot next week with Brock Eastman at Compassion International for a Write Early, Write Often, Write Well Writing Contest promo. We needed to get rolling. A snow storm was due to hit on Monday. Since we couldn’t get to church, we listened to praise and worship music and talked about God’s faithfulness to us and about us being faithful to Him.

On the Road with HTHL
I couldn’t leave my roses from my hubby behind!

Back at home, Forrest pounded out quite a few projects.  It was exciting to receive his texts throughout the week. My son completed lots more electrical repairs and Forrest hung and repaired more drywall. My father-in-love ripped out old drywall and my mother-in-love planted gladiola bulbs. Our house is taking shape! Check out this week’s progress in the pic below!

On the Road with HTHL
More Mora home improvements!

Forrest texted me when the wood stove was installed,

“Looking forward to many days sitting here with you drinking tea and talking about……..anything. Love you…..”

Two weeks behind us and six to go before I can get cozy with Forrest in front of the fire. Homesickness is creeping in like a long shadow.

On the Road with HTHL
Headed back over the Rocky Mountains to Colorado Springs

Forrest and I comfort each other by reminding each other that God’s got this. It’s about saying yes to our heavenly Father, and going where He sends us and doing what He asks us. It’s our pleasure because our Abba loves us.

Sometimes, that’s all we need to do for each other. We need to give each other a simple reminder that whatever circumstance we are in, God’s in charge.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed (intimidated), for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Sometimes, it is that simple.

We arrived in Colorado Springs and settled into our hotel. We did laundry and watched a documentary on WW2 before we fell asleep.

Thanks for riding along with us!

From Our Home (On the Road) to Yours,



Hope to see you on the convention trail! Click HERE to see where HTHL is going!

Up next: TPA Homeschool Convention Wichita, Kansas


  • Friday 2:00 pm-Managing Anger & Conflict In Your Home
  • Saturday 2:00pm-Educational Life Hacks For Students With Dyslexia, Dysgraphia Or Dyspraxia
  • Saturday 3:00pm-Keeping Your “SmartCookie” Challenged

Convention Memes-Kansas.001

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