Our family returned on Sunday evening, after attending the North Dakota homeschool convention. It was very strange to be gone for 4 days, and during that time, we lost a lot of snow. Mud season is now upon us, but we still have snow in the fields. Maybe our septic system will finally thaw out!
We were packed like sardines as we traveled the 4 hours to Grand Forks. After unpacking we headed out to do some errands. I must admit I felt like I was in Heaven to have had the opportunity to visit 3 thrift stores on our way to the city! I just don't understand how people can pay full price for the clothes we were able to purchase for such inexpensive prices. We even managed to hit the Salvation Army thrift store on a day that gave us half off on any clothes we purchased. That was wonderful, since our second son has grown over the winter to just 1/4 inch shy of 6 feet tall, and was in dire need of jeans and shirts.
It didn't take us long to become very tired of shopping, with all the noisy, irritating music, too many selections, and too many people.
It's amazing how the homestead spirit can also be used while in the city; on Thursday another lady and I managed to serve 50 people out of our hotel room for both lunch and supper. The group consisted of convention volunteers and their families, and it went very well. I remember when our family made a trip out to Montreal back in 2002 and I carried along everything but the kitchen sink; I have since moving up here learned that "making do" is actually less stressful than trying to pack too much and then dealing with where to put it all.
We were blessed to have "Farmer John" Mesko and his wife Lisa and girls of Lighthouse Farm and Authentic Agriculture participate at the convention. John gave a workshop and had a booth, where they visited with many farm families and agrarian hopefuls. Meskos just completed a new instructional DVD concerning fencing, and we were happy to receive a copy. The boys and I also tasted some of their cheese sausage, and it was great!
Conventions are a lot of work, but so worth it. The keynotes were Reb and Bev Bradley of Family Ministries. Steve Demme of Math-U-See was also in attendance, and gave a couple of workshops. Jim did workshops regarding college at home and ND legislative action. Our oldest son Jonathan did a workshop on evaluating a political candidate. I spent most of my time manning the homeschool association's booth, and really enjoyed visiting with people. Compared to other states, North Dakota has a small convention, but we encourage parents to bring their children and make it a family time together. It was so enjoyable to meet a lot of new people, and I even met a new friend who reads my blog! Thanks, Janice, for introducing yourself to me!
This week we are trying to pick up the pieces of everything we let slide until after convention, and looking forward to warmer weather and more time outside. Spring can't be too far away, since we've already spotted Canadian geese overhead.