Hey all! This post is about me going to the TTD conference, along with my bff, Hannah, and her family!! (check out her blog at: https://hdudleson.wixsite.com/passionatelyunique ).
Also, thanks to all of you who took my survey. If you haven’t done so yet, then please make sure to at the link provided: https://keziahhof.survey.fm/untitled-survey
We recently went to the Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Conference in Rogers, Arkansas on March 21-23rd. We had an AMAZING time and I can’t wait to go next year!
To start off, my family and I woke up at around 6:00 a.m. and threw all of our luggage into our Nissan van. We headed out at around 7:15 a.m. and picked Hannah and her brother Jacob, up at their house at around 7:45. That was when the REAL fun began!!
We drove for around 2 and a half hours together, then stopped at one of my dad’s jobs. There, all of us kids hung out while my dad did his job, then we all piled back into the van and kept on driving! From there, it was around 3 more hours and we had SO much fun together!!
Even though we spent around 6-7 hours in the car, we had soooo much fun! We played games, laughed soooo hard, beat each other up (There were two sets of siblings back there, so….Go figure. XD), teased each other really, REALLY bad (about things that teenagers tease about. Guess!), sort of watched Big Hero 6 while trying to tease each other and ate tons of junk food (INCLUDING a cricket protein bar, which was very…how shall we say it…old?!)
My brother and I even taught Hannah and Jacob a very fun game that we love, even if it does end up giving me bruises. XD Let me explain.
The first game is where you have to draw “x’s” on anybody that knows the game and they have 10 seconds to wipe the “x” off of themselves. If they do not wipe the invisible yet destructible “x” off of themselves in the given amount of time, then the person who drew the “x” gets to punch the other person. It’s a very fun game, even if it is brutal, and it makes you very aware to who touches you, even if it’s the slightest touch.
The second game is where you have to make an “OK” sign below your waist. If someone looks at it, then you have the right to punch them once. But, IT MUST BE BELOW YOUR WAIST. The other option for this horrible game is for you to make a large hole with both of your hands, holding it below your waist. If someone looks at it, this equals as 10 punches.
Aren’t those games horrible?!?! They totally are, but my siblings, cousins, friends and I all love it and we constantly torture one another with it.
So, we taught Jacob and Hannah this game, and for the rest of the ride, we were all drawing “x’s” on each other and punching one another.
It was amazing.
Here’s a ton of selfies.
Hannah and I also found random people on the street, saying that it was the opposite person’s future self in ten years. It was so fun. XD
We got to the hotel at around 4, and decided to go swimming! It was so awesome and we had a ton of fun. Hannah and Jacob’s family arrived at around 5:30, and we then separated (sadly ☹) and went to our own rooms.
The next day, we ate breakfast and then went our ways. Hannah and Jacob went to the teen program (Hannah loved it, though Jacob did not love it so much. 😊), Ezekiel and the rest of my family went to the sessions and I went to a new photography program that was released just this year at the conference.
I absolutely adored the Photography Team by Lenspiration. It was exactly what I needed and was so much more. There were 6 member on the team, counting the leader, James Staddon. Mr. Staddon taught us how to shoot in manual and how to shoot conferences, all while teaching us how to use our camera and the different settings and what they do. He also showed us how to import, export and edit files in Lightroom and it was so helpful! I would highly recommend being a part of this amazing team if you get the chance to. It’s only $55 a person and is so helpful in many ways! One thing that I loved was that not only did Mr. Staddon tell us how to shoot at the conference, but also gave us assignments that we were to go out and shoot at the conference. It was so awesome and our whole team had an amazing time!
Here’s my favorite photo that I took at the conference, with the photography team. It was at a booth that a guy had, where you held these special bubbles, then he would light them on fire and it wouldn’t burn you. It was so cool!!
During the last session before lunch break, I couldn’t fine my parents and didn’t have a phone on me, so I just found Hannah and Jacob and went with them to their room. We didn’t take the elevator up like normal people. No, we ran up the flight of stairs all the way up to the fifth floor. Let me tell you – it was tiring, yet awesome!!
Friday night, Hannah and Jacob, Ezekiel, my cousins: Mercy, Levi and Silas, and I all went downstairs onto the first floor of the hotel. We played card games for half an hour, having a ton of fun. It was great!
On Saturday, we had the same schedule as before, and I was able to sneak into the teenagers’ session to take photos of them. I think that it annoyed Jacob a little bit, but Hannah seemed to enjoy it, so that was great! I was also able to check out the teenager thing, so that was fun!
Saturday night, my cousins, Hannah and Jacob’s family and my family all got together on the first floor of the hotel. We ordered pizza and ate while playing slapjack, Old Maid and Ninja. We had SO much fun!
While playing slapjack, Jacob got me to look at the hole he had made with both of his hands, saying that he would punch me 10 times, but not yet. I was ready to get him back.
We had the chance to scare Hannah, though she ended up scaring us more than we actually scared her. Here’s how it happened:
We had just finished playing a game of Spoons (though with cardboard snack containers instead, since we didn’t have spoons. XD) and were all waiting for the pizza to be done. I said that I was going to go to the bathroom, and Hannah said that she was going to go, as well.
Well, I got done before her and immediately had the mischievous idea to scare her, since she hadn’t come out yet. I waited behind the trash can, then decided that I’d rather hide behind one of the large pillar-like structures that stood in the hallway. Jacob and Ezekiel saw me and I explained to them and to my cousins, Mercy and Levi, just what I was trying to do. So then we ALL decided that we would scare her.
Jacob said something that made us all laugh soooooo hard and we were all just dying of laughter, but trying to be quiet at the same time, so that we could hear when Hannah came out. Mercy said that she was going to use the restroom as well, so we waited for her while she went.
We all heard a door open and we all thought that it was Mercy coming out. That was when Hannah came into our view and she was looking straight at us. We all sort of froze, realizing what was happening, and then finally yelled at her, ‘Boo!’, but it didn’t scare her at all. We were all very disappointed in ourselves, and agreed that it was the worst scare we had ever tried to give someone.
Later that night, Hannah, Jacob and some of their siblings and my family all went swimming. Jacob and I devised a super quick plan (which basically only consisted of about 12 words altogether. XD) to push Hannah into the pool, which worked beautifully, if I may say so myself. We then played this stupid (yet surprisingly SUPER fun) game in which Jacob and I would try to collect as many blown-up balls as we could, holding them tightly, while everyone else would try to wrestle us and take our balls. It was very fun and we all had a blast, splashing, kicking and stealing. XD
Sunday came all too quickly and brought with it sadness. ☹ Even though we live fairly close to Hannah and Jacob, we don’t see them very much, and had grown pretty close to them during the past few days. My cousins live about 2 hours away from us and we see them every now and then, but not super often.
We all met downstairs and ate breakfast with each other one last time, laughing with each other and discussing sports, our homeschool co-ops and other random subjects. XD
I also used this time to get Jacob back, and I made a large hole with both of my hands. He looked at it, and I let him know that I could now punch him 11 times, as I had gotten him the past night with a small, “OK” sign. XD
Hannah and Jacob came upstairs with us (we ran up the stairs again, though this time it was only to the second floor. 😊) and we said our goodbyes. I had just gone back into my room, when I remembered that I hadn’t punched Jacob yet, and so I ran back out. I punched him 11 times and he punched me 10 times, and then we said our goodbyes once more, leaving each other with aching bodies. XD
We actually ended up meeting up with them one last time before we both departed ways, standing on the balcony area of the grand hotel. It was a fun moment, and we were able to snap a quick photo of most of the kids.
The conference was absolutely amazing and I was able to hear some amazing speakers, including Chuck Black and Heidi St. John. It was very encouraging and was very insightful. I would encourage any homeschooler (or parent of a homeschooler) who wanted to learn something new to attend this conference.
We had a blast with all of our friends and I can’t wait for next year’s conference!