Tuesday, October 14, 2014

2014 Ocean Shores Conference

I had an absolute blast at the annual Christian Heritage Homeschool Conference this past weekend! It is always an amazing time of growth and learning, as well as a great time catching up with friends! My mom took a few more (and much better) pictures of the event and posted them on her blog, so make sure to click the Only One Day Like Today link on my side bar to see that post!

We arrived in Ocean Shores on Thursday and got to do something that we have never done before: We went clamming with some good friends! It was a very interesting experience, as was the homemade clam chowder last night. (smirks at a certain sibling) ;0) My dad and I spent a good amount of time cleaning these little shell incased muscle thingies Thursday night . . . which yes, was also interesting--and gag worthy. Some of the things still seemed to be alive as we cut them in pieces!
Yeah. Seriously. I won't go into the details, but it was really gross! I'm not so sure if clamming is my thing . . .

Friday was the first day of the conference! The sessions were amazing, and it was great to see a good number of my homeschool friends, if only in passing as we headed off to different sessions. ;0) Friday evening we had the opportunity to join some friends for dinner as well. Oh, and I forgot to mention, we quads went in on our own hotel room this year, so each night we got in some special sibling time! :0)

An Ultimate Frisbee game was hosted Saturday morning on the beach--bright and early--at 7AM. We quads and the paparazzi (otherwise known as Mommy) made it to the event, along with about a hundred other (mostly) young homeschoolers. That was a blast! Then came another wonderful day at the conference, and awesome fellowship. In fact, some friends invited us to play some games with them Saturday night, which led to an awesome night of game playing and socializing at two different hotels. Wild, partying homeschoolers! Who knew, right? ;0) We didn't get in bed until 2AM Sunday morning.


And yes, I did get a few pictures to document the party. Very poor ones, I should add. (not sure if my thirty dollar garage sale camera has anything to do with this, or if it was the terrible lighting of the room we were hanging out in, which just happened to be the pool area of the hotel) ;0)

Here I think we are trying to decide which game to play. We played Scum, Four on a Couch, and another card game whose name escapes me. :0) All the games were new to us, but we really enjoyed them!

Hey, it is around midnight. Things get crazy at that hour of night, in this early bird's humble opinion. ;0) (notice also Joshua B. adding a little musical flare with the harmonica in the background)

LOL, Hannah V! I wonder, where you trying to photobomb this picture, or did it just catch you at a hilarious moment? 

After sleeping in Sunday morning, we had the chance to visit a local church for Sunday service. It was great to praise God with the Body of Christ! And another cool thing, an old gentlemen accepted Jesus during the service (the church had an alter call), which brought tears to my eyes both of joy and of sadness for those I know and love who have not accepted Jesus yet. This older gentlemen was impacted by a simple note and tract from his granddaughter whom he had never met. Oh that all of us will be looking for opportunities to share the Good News, like this granddaughter!

The rest of Sunday was spent fellowshipping with friends down on the beach (it actually turned out to be pretty nice weather-wise, Smythe family!) It was especially neat to meet some new families on Sunday, one of which came all the way from Central California for the conference! I had just enough business cards to pass out to new friends so we could keep in touch. :0)

Now I am back to work; which has been going great! I had my first experience working in the rain at my new job today . . . Hauling wet branches to the chipper under a gloomy, dripping sky--fun stuff!Overall, though, I have enjoyed this new job. ;0)

This week I'll be hard at work trying to catch up with all my lawns and other business stuff, not to mention this other job, but also on tap this weekend is Mommy's birthday! Also, soon we'll have an official court date for Brielle! Finally, at long last, she will be officially a Bowes! To  top that off, we are looking forward to attending another conference next Saturday, believe it or not, and there will be an English Country Dance afterwards, which is always a blast! What does the Lord have in store for you all in the weeks ahead?

(sorry for the longish post. I am in a journalistic mood tonight, I guess) ;0)


  1. What a great weekend it was!!! I felt sadness when I read that you spent the rest of Sunday playing games on the beach:( we thought for sure you'd leave after we did. Oh well, I'm glad you had a good time........ Even if it was without us!

    Oh BTW the card game is Anomia! I'm SO glad you all got to play games with us!!!! That was tons of fun:) as was the entire weekend:)

  2. Hey Elanee! Yeah, I have to confess that I sat around watching the Seahawks game for a chunk of Sunday afternoon, but I finally dragged myself down to the beach and had an amazing time playing Ultimate Frisbee and Dynamite with the Vangelders and some new friends! Wish you guys could have been there! :0/

    Thanks for showing us how to play Anomia! I thought it was really fun! And we just played Scum and attempted to play four on a couch again tonight. :0) ("Attempted" to play, because we learned 4 on a couch is quite hard to play with only eight people)

  3. Haha, Hannah! That night was awesome--and crazy! ;0)