Back To College For Me (part 1)

We have had some very busy days this summer. We drove over 3,000 miles, visited my Mother in the hospital, packed up all her personal belongings, sold her house and car, spent a day at the Gulf of Mexico, went to the Creation Museum, found some great hotels in the process, attended an academy for 4 days and (taking a big relaxing breath since we are almost done with all our running) spent 2 days at the medical school working on Problem Based Learning. In a later post, I will have some pictures to share.

The Homeschooled Young Man learned a lot at his Molecular & Cellular Biology Academy that was held at a major university and had an AWESOME time. I might add that I had an awesome time too! I got to chaperone a fun group of girls and had a great time with some of the other chaperones on my dorm room floor (and from other floors too). The Young Man met a girl that wants to be a Physicians Assistant, always cool to chat with another teen that has a passion for real life things and not just for playing video games or watching the latest movie.

One of the chaperones on my floor Cheri, homeschools and we were up late chatting about health, kids and of course, a topic that is always close to my heart HOMESCHOOLING! Pretty cool to hear about how others educate their children, each has a different approach, but our hearts are in the same place: creating a learning environment for our children to thrive in, teaching a love of learning for a lifetime and guiding our children to attaining their goals and dreams.

Toss Kruti into the mix (another chaperon on my dorm room floor) and we had it made in the shade! (though we did sweat a lot!!!) The three of us meshed, laughed, chatted until the wee hours of the morning. Then woke a few short hours later to tackle the day and lead our charges. I think the only thing missing was a nice pot of hot tea! Next year girls.

What chaperones look like when they sleep 15 hours over the course of 4 days lol. After the month I had just lived through these two ladies were like a drink of cool water in a dry and weary land. I thank them both for that. My soul has been refreshed and I am ready to tackle life again.
On a side note Kruti lives about 15 minutes from where I grew up and she knows the Mom of a girl (Lana Banana) I went to grade school and middle school with. Pretty neat.

Met some other chaperones along the way that we spent evenings visiting with while the teens enjoyed their playtime (bowling, billiards, giggling, dancing, did I mention giggling? LOL)

I so enjoyed meeting the chaperones that had graduated from the university, I liked hearing about what it was like back in the day and how things had changed, such as less grassy areas, new buildings, a sorority house no longer on campus etc.) I also enjoyed hearing about what their teens were interested in and their goals in life and what they were doing to achieve them.

Kruti and I had a chance meeting (you know me, nothing is by chance it was providential) with a young man that we found out lives near me. He has friends that attend the medical school program with the Homeschooled Young Man. Please pray for the teen we will call him C, he has some dreams and desires for the future, but needs some good guidance to get there. Several chaperones had to walk I would say about a mile with C (Kruti & I hung back with C) and just about the time we got to our destination, I asked him something like "So what did you think of being stuck with these two moms on the walk over?" C says "Well at first I was thinking, gee I'm stuck walking with these 2 Moms, but now after spending time with you both I am glad I did, I learned a lot." What a blessing to hear a teenager that is going into his senior year of high school say this. Remember the saying "People don't care what you know, until they know you care!" I said goodbye to this young man on the last day, shook his hand and told him "I expect to hear great things about you in the future."
 
Another blessing of the academy was seeing some kids that were loners, who liked to listen to Ipod, watch sports on TV or read by themselves brought out into the fun by some other teens who took the time to approach them, spend time with them and help them to enjoy themselves. Remember the saying "People don't care what you know, until they know you care!" I'm thinking that this blog post might have an underlying theme to it. To see these teens laughing, smiling, and having a new spring in their step was awesome to watch.

Here is my top 10 list for the academy...

1) Late night gatherings in the lounge (why do we always get a second wind when we put the children to bed?) LOL

2) Texting to Kruti but accidentally sending it to the case manager of the hospital that my Mom is in...lol. And the case manager sending back a text answering what I texted for Kruti...lol. Texting my husband saying "2am bathroom break, missing you and I love you, can't wait to be home with you!" and sending it to my Pastor by accident, who replied that even though it was 2am he was happy to see that my husband and I were still in love! Note to self  DO NOT TEXT late at night when you are tired, because bad things can happen. My SIM card is all goofed up.

3) Meeting "The Other Guy" one of the chaperones that I nicknamed when we were playing board games with the teens, he had stepped out for a minute while I was writing names down on the score sheet and I did not know his name. He was homeschooled all the way through high school and talked to me about his life growing up and his college experience (if I remember right electrical and/or mechanical engineering). I am refreshed and ready to jump into the coming school year full force because of "The Other Guy." I got a free homeschool convention to boot (I think Kruti did too).

4) The topic of raising poultry came up at the academy and here is a picture showing the difference in a meat bird and a laying hen.

One of our meat birds (fryer) we call them Frankenstein Chickens

Our laying hens resting up in the pine trees.
  5) Getting rides in the mini busses that they called "Turtles", my tired brain found that funny. One of the teens had on a backpack that was a green turtle shell (she wore it for several days) and I would picture that backpack every time someone would mention the "Turtles". LOL
 

6) The sheer irony of the gluten free green beans, mashed potatoes and turkey breast meal that was on the lunch buffet, the one day that was not included in my meal plan card...LOL. I have witnesses that can testify to my saying the night before this meal appeared on the buffet "I want something hot like green beans, mashed potatoes and turkey." Poof there it was! I'm thinking the Lord was trying to teach me grace and humility through all this. Headquarters staff went above and beyond to get me fed. I got Chipotle's rice and braised carnitas that day. More in a later blog post about how to survive gluten free when you are away from home and there is a slight glitch in the food planning.

7) Seeing the teens work together (delegates, planning committee and others) to make things happen.

8) The Awards Night was really neat for the Homeschooled Young Man because he had just this week finished reading the book Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by Alex and Brett Harris. I think that this book should be required reading for all 13-17 year olds.
What it's all about! Thank you 4-H!!!
9) For the chaperones that are interested here is the blog post on favorite gluten free recipes. There are other recipes on my site, but these are my top ones that I rotate through on a monthly basis.
Adoptive Mom Homeschooling An Only Child: My Favorite Gluten Free Recipes from 2012:

10) My favorite gluten free brands Better Batter (expensive but makes WONDERFUL breads & dinner rolls that freeze well), Hodgson Mill, Schar, Bob's Red Mill and Bisquick Gluten Free.

Moe
(hope this all made sense, going to bed now  ;-)