Welcome! Glad you are joining us On the Road with HTHL for the 2017 Homeschool Convention Season!
Date: March 6, 2017- March 12, 2017
Colorado Springs, Colorado to Wichita, Kansas
It seemed like every Colorado Rocky Mountain dust particle landed on the HTHL van. Freezing temperatures hovering between 32 and 36 degrees and gusts of wind with intermittent drizzling rain is not the best conditions for washing a car, but the chore had to be done.
BusyGirl and I spent the day in the hotel. BusyGirl hit the books, and I engaged in HTHL business. Marie Calendar’s Frozen Cuisine provided lunch and dinner. Later in the evening, we hooked up her computer to the hotel TV to watch Shrek-The Musical. I took some ribbing from BusyGirl, who was laughing at me because I just “happened to have” a 50 foot HDMI cable to make the connection. Just call me an I.T. mama!
We arrived early at Compassion International to film a writing contest promo with author, Brock Eastman, and to announce <drum roll please!> our new Young Writers Anthology! (We haven’t come up with a title yet. Maybe we should have a contest to name it?)
Brock and I have a passion to see kids write early, write often, and write well! We also know that when young authors see their work published, it increases writing confidence! So this year selected writing contest entries will be published in an anthology. Here’s the great news! <Sure, do another drum roll please> All profits from the sales of the anthology will go to Compassion International. Now I call that a win-win!
Brock is a marketing director for Compassion’s mobile Compassion Experience. HTHL fans will remember that we filmed the writing project, “Little Help” at a mobile site where we experienced Brinda’s Story.
Brock is high-octane and a blast to film with. We both talk super fast and use our arms to animate our points.
BusyGirl had to stuff her laughter while running the camera. At the end of filming sessions, Brock and I always take a moment to pray for our film editors. It’s hard to edit peeps like us!
Brock has a busy speaking schedule and welcomes the opportunity to encourage young writers in between serving the needs of Compassion. I highly recommend extending an invitation to him.
This spring Brock will be visiting El Salvador, where Jose, our family’s sponsor child lives. Brock informed me that he could deliver a personal gift to Jose for me. So BusyGirl and I scooted to Walmart and picked out a few gifts that Brock could easily carry in his suitcase. We purchased a soccer ball that can easily be deflated and stuffed in a suitcase with a journal with colorful gel pens. Brock said he would try and get a picture of Jose and his family for me.
After we said goodbye to Brock, BusyGirl and I took the tour of Compassion International’s facilities. What an operation!
Our tour guide is a volunteer with Compassion International and is a wealth of knowledge about Compassion’s history. She told story after story about God’s faithfulness and shaky moments of faith where they took uncharted steps to serve. Bronwyn, the prayer director for Compassion’s Australia-based campus, accompanied us. At the end of the tour she prayer for each of us. What a blessing!
I marveled at the complexity of their operation. Their mailroom even has it’s own zip code!
I was equally impressed with how they handle their finances with 86% of donations going directly to children in need. As a result, more than 1.8 million babies, children, and young adults around the world can be released from poverty in Jesus’ name.
The founder of Compassion, Everett Swanson said in the 1950s when he saw the war-torn country of Korea and the orphaned children who lived in the streets, “I have seen, and now I am responsible.” BusyGirl and I were humbled to the dust.
We left the Colorado-campus of Compassion International and made our way down the road. Next stop? Wichita, Kansas.
On our way to lunch, we stopped by the Wichita Visitor Center and Carol, the friendliest gal that ever manned a front desk, welcomed us to Wichita. She hooked up us with free and discounted museum tickets.
BusyGirl and I didn’t waste any time! First stop? The Wichita-Sedgwick County Museum. Four floors of historical treasures!
We explored every inch and discovered the rich history of this town that was first in the aviation industry.
Across the street from the museum is the Wichita Public Library. BusyGirl and I, once again, engaged in our work. We were grateful for a peaceful library setting.
Let the TPA convention begin! We unpacked the HTHL van again and set up the booth. It was so nice to see vendor friends from last year. Vendor friends become family when we share the road.
The sun was about to set. BusyGirl and I enjoyed our favorite walkway that loops the Arkansas River. She rolled. I walked.
My heart was missing my man. Thankfully, he was available to FaceTime with me the entire time. I showed him the sunset in Kansas. He showed me the pre-sunset in Washington. It was a good way to end the day.
It was so good to be back at the TPA! The doors opened and energized homeschool families buzzed in the vendor hall.
This is our second year attending so I got to meet HTHL families who use our writing program. One mom told me writing is now her family’s favorite subject. They look forward to their writing time! Statements like that are music to my heart!
One of the benefits of attending conventions is getting to meet in person people who you follow on the internet. Leah Nieman is one. She is the co-founder of CurrClick and your go-to resource for information on internet safety for kids. It was wonderful getting to know her! It was also super fun to do a Facebook Live with Leah in the HTHL booth about HTHL products and resources.
Before the vendor hall opened, I got to chat with Sara and Ruth, both of these lovely ladies are Rainbow Resource consultants. These two are a hoot, and I always enjoy the laughs we share. Did you know that you can call Rainbow and set up a FREE consultation about your homeschool plans? Sara and Ruth are always ready to chat with moms who have questions.
I get charged-up meeting HTHL students, moms, and homeschool families. I feel so blessed to be able to get real in my workshops and share the good and messy moments of homeschooling. I have to say, my new workshop on Managing Anger and Conflict has really hit home with families. There was standing room only!
TPA came to a close. We packed up the booth with the help of a Trailblazer Troop. We were grateful for the extra muscles.
We worshiped with the kind folks at Pathway Community Church. BusyGirl and her friend she met last year had planned to do lunch together after church. I took the pastor up on his invitation to a church-wide potluck.
This was the largest potluck I have ever attended! So. Many. Crockpots.
Back at Home:
Forrest continued to work on our home! My man has skills! Look at all he did this week!
Also Forrest’s new business cards came in! What do you think?
I finished my Sunday making one trip around the Arkansas walkway. A missionary group stopped me and ask if they could pray for me. They were from the local Evangelical Free Church. Right on the bridge, this kind group prayed for me and I for them. It was a sweet moment.
I’m learning that faith grows in simple moments where we say yes to the gentle whispers of God’s personal directions for me. Faith grows when God opens the door, and I walk through thanking Him for holding the door open.
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: Great Homeschool Convention Greenville, South Carolina
Workshops hosted by Beth:
- Managing Anger & Conflict In Your Home
- Treating Allergies to Writing
- Finding Pieces to the Puzzle:Developing an Educational Plan for Students with Special Needs
- Moving On to The Next Writing Level