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Ray, Mother, and I got home yesterday after thirteen nights away. After Ray, John, and I taught classes and displayed our curriculum at the Cincinnati homeschool conference the first weekend in April, we did so again in St. Louis last weekend. While Mother had one of her assisted living vacations in my hometown, she got to spend fun times with my niece. Because Ray and I did both of these conferences with our son John, we enjoyed lots of Henry (age 3, even though he insists he is 4) and Toby (9 months) time and fun times with their daddy and mama, too. We hung out (and worked on updating Exploring Government — there’s always one more project) between the two conferences.

On one of those between conferences afternoons, John and his family treated Ray and me to a trip to the Myseum in the St. Louis suburb of Town and Country. The Myseum is a private science museum owned by a family. From little Toby to his grandparents, all six of us enjoyed the many hands-on activities.

At the Myseum, kids take care of pretend animals in the animal hospital, wearing one of the many kid-sized lab coats. John and Henry gave a pretend elephant a pretend shower.

Kids of all ages can dig for dinosaur bones and walk through a “swamp” made of swim noodles hanging from the ceiling and stack blocks in the shape of the St. Louis arch . . .

John and Ray built the arch.
John and Ray pose by their arch.

. . . and play with all kinds of super-sized stuff, such as these bigga-bigga blocks.

John and the Myseum
John and the Bigga-Bigga Blocks

Henry and I loved the giant slide.

Little at the Top of the Slide
This is my view from the top.

It was a blast again and again!

Little at the Myseum
Whee! This is one speedy slide.

Another of the many highlights of our two weeks away was the opportunity to reconnect with several of you and to meet others of you for the first time. Thank you so much for coming by and saying hello. I am trying to find words to express to you what it means to me. I’m not a social media person. I don’t even have a personal Facebook account. Because of this, I still feel a little weird — often a whole lot weird — about this whole blogging business. Even though I’ve been doing this every weekday since April 29, 2013, it still feels strange when I see a local friend who also reads Daily Encouragement and she already knows something about me that I haven’t told her in person.

I said all that because I am about to say something that I want you to know comes deeply from my heart. I’m a real person who is more than electronic pixels on a screen and I just want to express that I know you are, too, and that this real person really does care about you personally. When I get the chance to meet you in person, I am honestly excited.

Every homeschooling mama I know is a busy mama. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my heart with you every morning and for every kindness you have shown me through reading these posts, emailing and leaving comments, and encouraging me in person. I am honored.

Beloved, let us love one another,
for love is from God;
and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7

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  1. I’ve loved meeting you and hope to reconnect again (we met in Pigeon Forge but I had heard you speak many times before, I just never went up and spoke to you cause I’m just kinda backward). I love your daily encouragement even though some days I don’t get to read it, I always save them as “unread” and sometimes do a binge reading on Saturdays. Can’t wait for another chance to hear you and your husband again….I don’t think there’s a local conference this year 🙁

    Also your top in the picture……so cute, girl!

    • I’m so glad I got to meet you at Pigeon Forge. Thank you for the sweet encouragement. My top was one of my $7 clearance tops at the store that sells petites! I’m glad you like it. It’s been fun.

  2. Charlene–I honestly don’t know what I would have done sometimes without your encouragement! I began reading your Daily Encouragement for Homeschooling Mothers back when it was a simple, spiral bound book with drawings rather than photos. Every month, I would re-read it, again and again. I bought multiple copies and passed them out to friends who also needed encouragement. Then came your hardbound book, John’s book for young men, your curriculum, your emails, and so on. So often your posts are exactly what I needed that day. Thank you for letting the Lord equip you to do that which you did not feel qualified to do! I hope to meet you in person someday, because it will be like meeting a long-time friend.:-). On another note–I actually met another Charlene at our local bank, who pronounces her name just like you do. I told her all about you!:-)

    • Betsy, this is profoundly encouraging to me. Thank you. I hope to meet you, too. I wonder if Charlene’s daddy was Charles like mine was. In my class in school was also a Carlene. Her daddy was Carl.