All this to say, when I had a chance to practice my social skills at another get-together, a conference/dance, with our fellow homeschoolers, my feelings ranged from ecstatic to nervous, with lots of other emotions mixed between. Regardless, it is hard to stay anything but a jovial extrovert for long in such an awesome group of people! Young men I had never met before came up sporadically and introduced themselves during the course of the day, and I had great conversations with many of them. All around me like-minded people were chatting and laughing; I must say that an abundantly cheerful atmosphere abounded!
The day started with several sessions on the church and family, all of which were very informative and thought-provoking. After the sessions, there was quite a break between the next event, a potluck dinner, so we hit Costco for lunch and several groceries (you have to take advantage of being out in town when you live in the middle of nowhere, right?). The Vangelder family, the same homeschool friends that hosted the summer dance, graciously invited us over to their house after our shopping was done, and we had a great time over there for several hours. It was so weird for our family to be actually dwarfed in size, for the Vangelder family has 13 kids. :0)
Later that afternoon we headed back to the get-together for the potluck, with a dance afterwards. As I said before, everyone was so friendly! It was almost like culture shock to be around so many homeschoolers! The food was awesome, and the eating of it was even more so.
At around 6:45 we young men cleared away all the table and chairs, and the dancing was started. It was the same style of dances as in our first dance (I think it's called English Folk Dancing), so it was a tremendous amount of fun. We knew a small handful of the dances, but the ones we didn't know were easy enough to pick up as most of the dances follow a pretty close pattern. I think I can safely say that all four of us quads grew much more comfortable in our dancing abilities this time 'round. Whereas I sat out many dances at my first dance, this time I only sat out one. I don't think Caroline and Victoria ever sat out a dance, and the only reason Valerie sat one out is because she was feeding Brielle.
My sisters were being asked to dance so fast (and I understand why) that sometimes I didn't even have the option to dance with any of the three. Consequently, I worked on becoming less of an introvert with my female peers and asked several to a dance. Thankfully, they all graciously accepted (muffled sigh of relief)!
Below are some pictures of the dance:
Victoria (second girl from left) and Caroline (fourth girl from right) dancing with two fine young gentlemen
This dance was called the Irish Washerwoman. There was a lot of hopping involved . . .
Valerie (second girl from left), Timmy (second boy from left), and Caroline (fourth girl from left) dancing
And there's me (second boy from left). In case you were wondering, my partner is the girl in the black dress
Benjamin had plenty of little playmates (it's a homeschool event--the place was swarming with kids :0) )
Here I am in the middle of asking a girl to dance. It is simple yet terrifying all at once! And I actually had to ask the girl below three different times before I got to dance with her, because other boys kept reserving a dance with her before I asked (she was pretty popular, I guess). It got rather comical and a bit embarrassing . . . but it was worth it, if nothing less than to become less of an introvert. :0)
It is terrible leaving these events and entering the "normal world" again, a world where homosexuality and other sin is increasingly condoned, for it is then that I realize just how small of a percentage God-fearing homeschoolers and conservative Christians are in our nation. But there is still hope! The Christian homeschooling movement is growing. Try doing this math: I estimated that there were about fifteen families at the conference/dance, all homeschooling I think, and there was an average of about 8-9 kids per family (yes, seriously). That's somewhere around 130 kids. That means that when my generation matures and marries, supposing we marry fellow homeschoolers, there will be 65 families. Keeping this pattern, if our generation remains faithful in having as many baby blessings as God gives us (say ten per family), and if we instill in our children the vision of Christ and family, then we could have about 3,300 individual homeschoolers by the generation of our grandchildren . . . and that's just this small group of families in one state of a fifty-state nation. See what I'm getting at? There is hope indeed, especially since the God of the Universe is with us, no matter what!