We had a whirl-wind trip through DFW/Arlington area. The plan was to visit several good friends, go to the Madeline Tosh store, IKEA, and the IHS North Texas Catholic Homeschool Convention in two days. Never enough time for good friends, yarn or books, but it was the most we could manage before coming home to get the kids to Totus Tuus.
We rented a 7 passenger vehicle because for various reasons neither if our vehicles are completely trust worthy for that long a distance. The air conditioning in the van comes and goes and the whole thing shakes like it’s going to shatter if you go 70mpm. The small SUV seems to have electrical issues. Fun stuff like turning on the radio and the windshield wipers randomly start. My Man was mighty happy to rent a Lincoln Navigator via Priceline. I think now he finally understands my Nissan NV envy. The whole ride there he was explaining the joys of that Navigator.
“Look! The steps slides out and lights the ground when you open the doors!”
“OH! The wipers auto adjust their speed to the rain pressure!”
“OMG! If the seat is hot, I can blow cold air up my butt with the seat coolers! Look, babe! Press that button to try to adjust your seat temp!”
“Did you see these buttons?! You can adjust your air on your side too.”
It was indeed one sweet ride compared to our 11 year old cargo van. The kids enjoyed it too. The picture is very blurry because life was in motion, but the happy came through clear enough.
We stayed at a Residence Inn in Las Colinas. It was not near anything we had on our itinerary, but it was somewhat equal distance from all of it and the apartment set up worked well for the 7 of us. The pictures are dark because I’m lazy and was in a hurry at the time.
I don’t know why, but the coffee they provided was really good. I felt slightly bad bc when you have to order anything from the front desk, it means some poor gal has to schlep all over a small apartment complex to bring you extra coffee, pillows, towels and so forth. And stairs. No elevator. Everyone on staff was skinny though, so I guess there’s that built in health plan to mitigate things. The hotel hot breakfast was good, plenty of variety and bountiful. Major plus. The 4 year old was fascinated by the “little broken fans” and no amount of my saying they were not fans convinced him they were water sprinklers. In his words, “Water sprinklers INSIDE?! That’s crazy.”We ate a lot of no where near whole30 meals. Chick Fil A and McD happy meals. We knew the second they opened those Minion happy meal toys it was going to be a “turn the radio up” drive for a while. IHOP for dinner one night and I had a flashback to my youth. Frozen blueberries in lemonade, with free refills.
Chicken Express chicken is okay, but I just wanted their great fried okra. The only thing we ate at IKEA were some cinnamon rolls and some dark chocolate for me. (I’m munching it with some coffee as I write this.) The chocolate is meh. I’ve given most of it to the kids. The rolls were good. They taste like my homemade ones without all the work and for less than a $1 each, that was a great treat for everyone. We brought some home for the others. Osuba Hibachi was wonderful. They had the best tiramisu I’ve ever had, but that might be the apple saki talking. I thought the, “Do you want a large or small?” question referred to my own itty cup. The gal came out with a small pitcher of saki and 6 cups. Woohoo! Apple saki to share! One for you, one for me, one for you, one for me… The bad news was all the non compliant foods caused massive swelling, especially in my feet, and a major headache and quite a bit of joint pain. (Even before the 3 saki.) The good news was I had too good a time to care very much about it. I suspect I would have reached critical not happy physically if I had continued for another day or two off the W30 grid though. Ugh. Sucks to love food that hates me. Thanks to this trip, we also learnedone of our children has a bladder worse than I ever had even when 9 months pregnant and it is made significantly worse if he has anything sweet and or carbonated to drink. A significant portion of the trip involved finding a place for peeing every hour or so.
My friend moved to Texas and the stupid moving people lost an entire storage bin of her yarn. So my awesome husband loaded us up and took us to the Madeline Tosh store, MadTosh Crafts. That place was crazy awesome. First time my husband had to reign in my spending. The staff was nice too and really welcomed my friend to the area and to their store. They had a large selection of luxury machine washable yarn, a major plus. While I love luxury yarn/knit garments as much as the next gal, the truth is, it usually isn’t family friendly. It’s probably for the best I don’t live in Texas. I can’t wait to finish what I have come to affectionately refer to as My Damned Cardigan so I can start something with the yarn I bought at MadTosh Crafts.
15 years of Catholic homeschooling and I had never been to a Catholic homeschool convention. It was perfect timing because I needed to come see my friend and the IHS convention was free. They had speakers, but I didn’t go to any of them. Been there and done that and didn’t need to hear it again. They also had a coffee and social session, but since I don’t live there, I skipped that as well. I’m sure both of those things would be very helpful or inspiring to newer home educator. I was all for the materials and vendors. I was able to see some new materials for Seton I liked well enough to get for my 8th grader and 2 of my elementary kids wanted their Handwriting 4 because of the medieval topics through out.
The Our Lady of Victory table netted the Cursive 1 I needed and the Drawing God’s Magnificent Garden set too.
The Sacred Heart Books booth was the biggest wallet grabber. I found some books I had been wondering about for some time now and splurged on them. The kids were happy with them, so that paid off.
I was hoping Kolbe would have a bigger selection because I wanted to show it to my oldest daughter to get her input on it. Thankfully they did have the new Miller Levine Biology for her to look through and since she liked it and liked what Mr Everett had to say about the lesson plans and virtual labs, we decided to go with that for high school science this year.
The lesson plans won’t be available for purchase until mid-August though so he gave us a free shipping card on that future purchase. I was very close to buying the Catholic Schoolhouse Year 2 but decided against it because I have done 4 years of Classically Catholic Memory and just do not want to do that type of thing this year. If I were to buy it, I’d only go for the art and science and timeline cards. I think the CD was superior to CCM, but the lack of quality maps in CSH was difficult to accept. The year guide was not useful as a teaching tool as far as I could tell. There are no lessons in the guide. It’s mostly a graphic outline schedule. I was glad to see Belmont Abbey College (North Carolina) and Northeast Catholic College (New Hampshire). I don’t know how likely it would be for my kids to attend either of them, but I did appreciate a college from so far coming out because otherwise we would not have much of a clue about them. I gathered up their information materials and signed my teens up for information. After we got back home, we discovered L left the 2 Kumon books we purchased and he begged to carry around at the convention. I added those to my Rsinbow Resource order.
I’m also updating my 2015 curriculum planning page on the blog. I haven’t finished it yet, but the bulk of it is settled and ordered.