This post is a bit delayed, but things have been crazy since my return from the convention. I thought I'd share some highlights and purchases I made while in Cincinnati.
First of all, just going is a highlight. I don't get away very often and it is sort of a mom's weekend for me. My friend, Katy, and I usually gab all the way there and the 4-hour drive doesn't seem too long. The year we arrived a couple of hours before the registration opened and avoided all lines. We were able to have a nice lunch before the start, which was awesome because we really didn't have time for dinner.
One of the highlights was meeting some of the ladies (and gent) on the TOS Crew. Even though this was the first time I had met most of them, I really do feel like I know them personally already through interacting with them online all year.
As far as purchases, I didn't do all that bad. I only had one unintended purchase and it was actually something that I almost purchased last year. I figured if I still wanted it after a whole year, it was a justified purchase!
I was lucky enough to have my daughter's chemistry text for next year, which I had already picked up inexpensively used . However, I still needed the lab kit. She also requested the audio CD of the text. I'm not sure why, since she didn't use it for her biology last year (and it wasn't available for her marine biology course this year). Either way, I wasn't going to decline a request for an audio of a text!
My most expensive purchase this year was the One Year Adventure Novel. I have been wanting this item for my daughter, who loves to write, since the Crew reviewed it last year (and I was sadly not on the list for it!). There was a convention special that saved me about $20 when all was said and done after taxes, so I went ahead and splurged. My daughter is looking forward to going through the program. I hope to get her registered for the forum soon and have her work on it some over the summer.
My son will be finishing up his Math U See book soon, and I purchased the next level up and saved some on shipping. I already have the DVD and just needed the student workbook. Math U See is really working out for him and we'll continue using it at least until algebra.
My only unintended purchase was the Summit Ministries Lecture Series. I just could not pass this deal up. It included 150 hour-long lectures by a variety of speakers on some pretty deep topics. I really enjoyed listening to John Stonestreet's sessions both this year and last. Eventually, I'd like my kids to attend the Summit Student Worldview Conference, but my oldest still has a few years before she meets the age requirement. After talking to one of the young ladies and finding out that a lot of the material on the CD is the same from the conference, I was sold. Besides, they were running a convention at half off the website price. I'm a sucker for sales.
I decided to visit the booth of Virginia Soaps & Scents, a vendor that sent their products to the TOS Crew review team this year. They are such nice people, very down to earth. I knew I'd be walking away with some goodies. They have a new hair conditioning bar that I intend to send with my daughter to camp this year. I also purchased another all-in-one bar, in the Waltzing Matilda scent, and a laundry soap bar.
Lastly, I always bring something home for my kids. My son loved his "Caution: Unsocialized Homeschooler" shirt. Instead of a shirt, I opted to buy my daughter a bag this year (that is not her in the pic). Last year she attended with me and selected her own shirt, but this year she had another event to attend. I figured the bag would be a safer choice.
Of course, I haven't mentioned any of the speakers yet. I couldn't attend nearly all of the ones I wanted to this year. There were so many scheduled in the same time slot. I think John Stonestreet was my one of my favorites this year, along with Andrew Pudewa. I had heard both of these men speak before, but the topics were new. However, my absolute favorite was Tim Hawkins. I laughed all the way through his performance. I knew he was going to be funny, but I really had no clue how much my cheeks were going to hurt from smiling by the time his show was over. If you get a chance to see him, definitely do. He sure has talent!
I understand that the organizers of this event are expanding to other areas next year and already are working on the 2011 conventions. I already have the Cincinnati dates on my calendar!