I can state with certainly that the Country Living Skills Workshop II was a success. Steve (Mountain Fire Keeper) has a real gift for organization as well as teaching, and our friend Paulette definitely has the gift of hospitality. It's not just anyone that can make 40 people feel totally comfortable in their home and not worry about children roaming and causing little messes all over.
The workshops are done in such a way that the information gives something to everyone who attends -- seasoned gardeners to the very beginners (like me). Even though I have heard Paulette talk before about the various herbs and the healing potential within them, it is always such a blessing to hear it again and again. I always learn something new. There was a lady in attendance at the first workshop who had just removed her sons from the public school system and Jim invited her to attend (he is Exec. Director of the ND Home School Assoc.); she must have enjoyed it, as this time she brought along her boyfriend and they seemed to learn a lot. I was so blessed, as they seem eager to learn not only about the practical issues taught, but about the fellowship of the believers. They do not presently know the Lord, but I think it's just a matter of time.
Three families decided to stay overnight at Paulette's, and so later morning our family trooped back over there to visit on Monday (the boys loved the ride, as when we turned onto her gravel road Jim did an almost 360 with the van -- it was a bit on the slippery side!) before everyone headed out. The ladies were interested in making salve, so Paulette decided to go ahead and teach whoever was interested. I'm curious to see how the video turned out, as there certainly was plenty of background noise.
A couple of the guys there were the ones who got our sons interested in playing bluegrass music. Our boys were excited to have the first opportunity in ages to jam with them, and jam they did. Well, Northern Farmer, maybe Mountain Fire Keeper will make a copy of that so you can hear what ND Bluegrass sounds like! Timothy and Jon have finished their homeschooling years, and Tim brought along the beautiful mandolin that he made. I think I heard that he has built a couple others that he has sold, and I know our son Andrew greatly enjoyed having a chance to play some tunes with it. Timothy's brother Isaac and our son Jonathan play banjo, and they enjoy swapping instructional books and videos with each other. Peter had the chance to play along with Jon and his guitar, so there was something for everyone. I am constantly amazed when I watch the interactions of the older boys with the younger, as they patiently answer questions, instruct and encourage the younger ones. I'm so proud of them all!