Posts Tagged ‘conference’

2:1 Conference 2016

Monday, October 24th, 2016


This is the first time I’ve attended a 2:1 Conference, and I loved it! This conference is for Christian homeschool bloggers, so all the other women at the conference are similar to me in that they love to blog while homeschooling their children. This year the conference was in Sandusky, Ohio on October 7-9, 2016.

If you go to this conference next year (which will be in Washington DC), I recommend arriving a day early so you don’t have to focus on workshops the same day that you traveled and have jet-lag. I arrived a day early and was able to get to know other bloggers before the weekend began.

When I found out the theme of this conference was “Revival,” I was overjoyed! I have been praying for revival for my church and local area for the past couple of years, and I feel a burden in my soul that the American church has become worldly.


Here are my two rommates: Lara from Everyday Graces and Misty from Joy in the Journey. I told my husband I would be bunking with Grace and Joy. They were wonderful! They truly have hearts for the Lord, and they love to blog. It was so fun to get to know them in person, after seeing them online for years.

On Friday night, 7 Sisters invited us to their hotel room for soup and other snacks. I was able to meet many other bloggers, and we had some fun conversations. Afterwards BJU Press hosted a dessert night. We actually roasted raspberry or coffee-flavored marshmallows over a low fire and made s’mores out of them by adding chocolate and graham crackers.


Zan Tyler from Apologia gave the first keynote, “Revival and Servanthood.” Here are some takeaways from this session:

  • Rejoice in the way God made your children.
  • Our kindness to others heals them. Teach our kids to be kind.
  • Jesus came to love and to serve, so these two lessons are the most important lessons we will teach our children.
  • Recognize others when they are in need. Show your kids a picture of disaster victims, and point out who in the picture is suffering. (Maybe during the break between church services, I can ask my children to look over the crowd of people and see if they can pick out someone who is suffering. Then go minister to that person!)
  • Teach children how to interact with the elderly.
  • Our children are not here on this earth to have fun; they are here to use their giftings to serve God.
  • Do something good to someone who has wronged you.
  • Selfishness and hedonism pervade our culture.
  • Develop servant leadership in our children.

After the keynote on Friday night, we had the option to go to a prayer group. I spent some sweet time of encouragement with Hal and Melanie Young. This was my favorite time the entire weekend.


The next morning, we had our second keynote session by Carlisha Williams, “Choosing Faith Over Fear.” Here are some of the takeaways:

  • Share my authentic self to bring God glory.
  • For us to experience revival, we need to put down the cup we are holding out that is wearying our lives. The cup may be full of resentment, anger, and/or grief from crisis and tragedy that we have endured.
  • Cast our cares on Him. To receive everything God wants to give us, we have to open both our hands to God without holding baggage.
  • Tackle your fear. “If we aren’t willing to risk our reputation, we will never establish God’s reputation.” – Mark Batterson
  • Define the dream. We’re afraid to ask God for those bold promises in His Word. If God asked you, “What do you want Me to do for you?” what would you say?
  • Manage your time. Identify and eliminate time-wasters. Is it efficient, or is it just time-consuming? Where is your time going?
  • Yes-criteria: what top 3 things must be true for you to say yes to a new activity that someone is asking you to participate in? What will bring you closer to your mission and your vision? Does this promote your spiritual development? Does it build or does it steal away from your family? Is it one of my unique strengths?


The breakout sessions were wonderful, and I chose workshops on the craft of writing, on newsletters, and on marketing. The session on writing by Brian Wasko made me want to write more personal pieces that include stories and illustrations to make a powerful spiritual point. This is my favorite kind of writing, but it takes longer to come up with those spiritual posts than the hands-on learning ones.

Heather Bowen makes a full-time income as a homeschool blogger, so she shared how she uses newsletters effectively to make her tribe happy and engaged. This was a helpful workshop with lots of ideas that I could implement right away.

Heather Aliano taught a workshop on marketing: how to plan a social media campaign. This was another highly helpful session because when you have created great products for homeschoolers and you have a limited budget, you need to be more creative in letting people know about those products.


The last keynote was Brooke Taylor, who delivered the message “Serving God with Joy.” Here are some takeaways from this session:

  • Choose joy in the midst of suffering. Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Understand who you are in Christ.
  • Expectations–wake up like it’s the best day ever. Rejoice in what God has in store for us.
  • Live deeply, as if your life is limited. It goes fast, and you might not ever have the opportunity to do what you will do today.
  • Look at all the things we miss by not slowing down. What kind of a legacy are we leaving?
  • Things are not what they seem. If your life looks messy, it doesn’t mean you are not successful. After all, Jesus looked helpless and hopeless on the cross, but it was His moment of greatest triumph. By being faithful, we are accomplishing way more than we think!


I enjoyed meeting the authors of many homeschool products. Everyone was so friendly and uplifting. We were able to look over the products from the different companies to see if we wanted to use their products for homeschooling our children. I saw a high school government curriculum from Notgrass that I loved, so I ordered it as soon as I got home.


On the shuttle bus back to the airport, I was able to talk to the author of Grapevine Bible Studies, and I realized that we have similar hearts about teaching children God’s Word. We were fed up with the shallow Sunday School materials and wanted kids to understand the deeper things of God, which is why we both created our own materials to do so. Grapevine curriculum enables kids to retain the Bible lessons through drawing stick figures on time lines. I love it! And I love this precious woman who is truly committed to the Lord.

I enjoyed this 2:1 Conference so much! It’s just what I needed. I met bloggers in person that I had only known online for years. I highly recommend this conference to Christian homeschool bloggers because for once you will feel normal! You will be surrounded with people just like you who love to serve God through blogging while homeschooling. I walked away refreshed and encouraged.

The Conference Comedy

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

conference-comedyFor those of you who were praying for my homeschool conference workshops last weekend, thank you. They went incredibly well. Once again, it seemed like the night before, there were several catastrophes. At least I wasn’t sick this time. Even my cough went away. But my husband was stuck at work until 1 a.m. the night before the conference, because the entire computer system went down. His boss and the one person above him were both out of town, so the entire (small) company depended on my husband to get the computer system up and running again. On the phone, he said to me with hopelessness, “I have no idea how to fix this. I don’t know if I’ll be coming home at all tonight.”

I said, “No matter what, God knows the answer. And God lives inside of you, so the answer is inside of you. So many times you’ve solved impossible situations. Just lean on God. The situation is not hopeless.” He felt slightly better, and we hung up the phone.

The other problem I was having the night before the conference is that I was trying to burn the DVD’s of my best-seller, “Organizing for a Fun Homeschool.” I’ve been selling it on my website for a year now, but I’ve never made any hard copies. Now that I’m on the conference circuit, I have to turn my products from digital to physical products. My husband had barely finished the master copy from the original (since it was a DVD, we wanted it to be a higher resolution). I was supposed to be burning copies of it while my husband was at work, but every other one showed an error. I had trashed 7 DVD’s before calling my husband. Of course, my husband was like a chicken with the head cut off at work, and I didn’t want to bother him, but our livelihood depended on it. My husband walked me through some simple steps on the computer, and nothing worked. I trashed two more DVD’s. “Just wait ’til I get home,” he said, but I knew he wasn’t coming home. I got on my face before God and said, “Why is it always this way?!” I called my best friend, and we prayed for my husband.

The next day was conference day. My husband had come home in the wee hours of the morning and was terribly fatigued. We figured out how to cut the DVD’s. We were cutting the DVD’s and printing the labels straight up to the last minute, when we needed to leave to set up our vendor table. My husband looked at me brashly and said, “Talk about running a business on a wing and a prayer!”

My husband still needed to print more price labels. Meanwhile I was gathering my costumes and props for my workshops. My husband loaded up the car, I said good-bye to my mother, and off we went. As I started to set up the vendor table, I soon realized what a horrible mistake we had made to not get a professional sign made. There was nothing to draw attention to our table.

My first workshop was “Integrating Art into History.” It was a full multimedia presentation, with powerpoint, speakers connected to the laptop, props, and a five-minute video clip, which was going to be my grand finale. Before the workshop, when my husband was hooking up my cordless mic, he said he had nowhere to clip the box. My medieval costume had no belt. I told him to clip it to my underwear, but to be quick about it. Needless to say, he was NOT quick about it, and enjoyed fishing the wire up my dress. I panicked as I looked at the door, but thankfully, no one came early.

Later when my husband left to get something else, I needed to go to the bathroom. It was very difficult to keep the cordless mic box from splashing into the toilet.

I have to say that it was the most fun workshop I’ve ever taught in my life. I had my audience laughing on and off the entire time, while covering an incredible amount of information. The video clip was so hilarious that people were doubled over in their chairs. They almost fell on the floor; they were laughing so hard. It was hands-on learning at its best, unedited, even with me screaming at my kids. I left it in because it was so funny. For some bizzare reason, I looked at the clock and still had 15 minutes left. So I took questions. I loved their questions, and I answered them all authoritatively. Even with the question and answer section, I had people laughing at my blunt answers.

People came by my vendor table and said they deeply regretted not coming to my workshop; that they had heard about it from other people. I told them it would be for sale in video form on my website hopefully within a month for only $10.

My second workshop was the next day. I was so, so sleepy. My energy dips in the afternoon, and I felt like it was the middle of the night. I said to my husband, “Quick! I need a jolt!” He gave me a 5-hour power drink. This was around 12 noon, and by 3 (the time for my class), he gave me another one. Okay, just so you know, I never drink power drinks. I felt so weird, like I had drunk way too much coffee. I felt like that cartoon squirrel in that movie, where he moved so fast while everything else was going in slow motion.

My workshop title was “Using Journals to Teach Writing.” I had chosen a dress with autumn leaves on it, with a pretty hat that looked artistic. My husband handed me my outfit, and I ran to the bathroom to put it on. It wasn’t until I looked down that I realized that I had forgotten to shave my legs. Oh, no! The slit on the side definitely showed my leg. There’s no way I could get away with this. I ran out of the bathroom and across the vendor hall, hoping my legs were too blurry for people to notice. I climbed up on a chair and yanked down my medieval costume. (I had decorated the empty space with costumes just to draw attention.) I sprinted to the bathroom, trying not to knock over the homeschool shoppers.

After switching costumes and putting on my own mic, I cried out to God. I threw myself upon God. I took a deep breath.

I began the class. Using the powerpoint, I showed many different ways to use journals. Not only was I articulate, but I added spiritual truth to what I was saying. I had not been planning to talk about spiritual things, but since I had come to the end of myself, I felt fully yielded to the Spirit of God. This was not a funny workshop. It was an information-packed, sometimes poignant workshop. At the end, everyone burst into applause. People who knew me before (but never heard me speak) looked at me with awe, like I was in a different league than they had thought.

I was so exhausted, but there was only half an hour left for the vendor hall to be open. I literally ran to my table. My table was crowded. One woman monopolized my attention for so long that everybody else left before I had a chance to speak to them. My kindness hurt my sales, and the woman didn’t even buy anything. I just wanted to cry. Those other women would have probably bought something if I hadn’t ignored them for so long.

Finally we packed up and went home. As soon as I walked through the door, I went straight to my bed and collapsed. I did not get up for a long time.