Monday, August 13, 2007

A good time was had by all...

Michele, Cindy & Ruth

Saturday was a full day - spent with 147 other lovely ladies at the First Real Learning Conference. It was a wonderful day filled with lots of great speakers, meeting new friends and getting excited about what Brian, Sean and I are going to be accomplishing this year.

The morning started out meeting up with Theresa and Meredith and having them follow me down to the conference site - I hope I didn't drive too fast for them! On the way there, Elizabeth called me - she had left something critical at home. So Chris loaded the big boys in the car and brought said items down to Manassas. I think I owe him a chocolate milkshake or something for pitching in at the last minute there.

The day started with the celebration of Mass. During the welcome, I was touched that Elizabeth mentioned me in her thank yous. I had offered to help with any last minute items, and was taken up on my offer to stamp folder labels, name tags, and make auction cards. None of the committee realized how big the auction/raffle would get, so I was pretty busy putting those auction cards together late Friday night.We then started off with a talk on Real Learning Philosophy given by none other than my dear friend Elizabeth. I have to pause and tell you that listening to her give a talk was just like going to her for advice. She really is that sincere, warm, caring, lovely person that she appeared at the conference.

Our next talk was on Living the Liturgical Year and was given by Jennifer and Dawn. I now have a special place in my heart for Dawn, seeing as how she and her husband sat next to me during the conference, and her dh was loving on Colin! I really enjoyed this talk as well since I've been trying to figure out how to do more at home with the boys in regards to our faith.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to hear Theresa's talk on Nature Study/Notebooking - Colin decided he needed to eat. I heard from many people that it was excellent though.

We took a break for lunch and shopping! I got permission from Chris to spend money when he came in the morning, so of course I didn't want to disappoint him. I got a wonderful planner from Michelle, a set of miniature altar linens, a chapel veil (I'm still praying on this one), An Alphabet of Saints by Nippert Artworks and the accompanying poster, and I ordered the cookbook A Continual Feast.

At the end of our break, Mike Foss ran the raffle drawing. I won a beautiful Busy Mom's Break Basket put together by Liz. It included a hand-knit dish rag, some mocha coffee, and a stunning bias-cut apron. I was so excited to win this, I just loved the apron!

We resumed the conference by going to our break-out sessions. I stayed in the main room and listened to Meredith talk on Montessori at Home, which is of special interest to me since we are planning on incorporating Montessori into our year. The other talks were on High School, given by Michele Quigley, Special Needs, given by Mary Ellen Barrett and Math given by Janette Smith.

After a quick Tea-Time, we reconvened for the final talk of the day, It's All About Relationships, given by Elizabeth. She prefaced her talk by saying that she wouldn't be able to make it through without crying since her oldest son, Michael, will be leaving for college this week. Her talk was so beautiful, and helped me to realize how I need to remember to always put my relationship with Chris first, and that this will be a great benefit to my boys as they grow up. There was not a dry eye in the house by the time she got the end of her talk, when she was speaking about how she misses that little boy who thought the sun rose and set on his mommy, but how proud she is of the man he is now.

The day was wonderful and I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to spend it with these women.


Diane said...

What a beautiful recap, Cindy! It made me feel as though I was there. Thank you so much.

Paula in MN said...

I am heartsick that I wasn't able to go. I'm praying that I will be able to make it next year. It sounds truly inspirational.

Amy said...

It was so great to meet you Cindy! I wish we could do this every month. :)


Dawn Johnson said...


You did a nice job at recapping the conference. I had a great time. It was well organized and very informative. I love your blog site. We hope to see more of you (and the boys) this year.

Dawn Johnson

Maryan said...

What a perfect recap Cindy. Thanks for the help, the stamping, and my lovely card. It was great to meet you in person.

Cheryl said...

Cindy, thanks for sharing about the conference.

Jordan said...

Thank you for your summary of the conference, Cindy. You did a nice job and I like that you included photos.

SuzanneG said...

Thanks for the recap, Cindy! I'm so glad everyone had a wonderful time! Maybe next year?????

Ruth said...

I'm so glad I finally got to meet you. I hope we can see each other again soon.

I love your post. You did a great job putting it together. What a fun day!

Jane Ramsey said...

Sounds very cool, Cindy! Wish I could have been there.