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From: Brenda C. (
Subject:         Weekend - Confessions of a Single Parent Homeschooler
Date: June 18, 2006 at 9:38 pm PST

Imagine a woman in a hotel bathroom in the middle of the night, freezing and feeling nauseous and crying and wishing she had never agreed to speak at a convention. Twelve hours later sheís talking and laughing with 11 other women in a workshop called "Confessions of a Single Parent Homeschooler."

The workshop was a success. Thank you for your prayers! I was not dull, slow, and boring as I was when I practiced on my children in the icy hotel room the night before. Amazingly, I had no migraine or queasy feelings, though most of the morning I felt twinges of nervousness. I was able to sit in a chair at a long table and feel like part of a group instead of standing behind a podium, so I was very happy. I had a mic clipped to my tunic so that I could be taped.

I told the ladies I had stepped way outside my comfort zone to lead that session, and afterwards they said they had fun and I didnít seem nervous at all. I even got a few laughs, which made my day because the night before, I couldnít think of anything funny to say! Iíll tell you, I got to feeling so relaxed that I stopped using my notes and just went with it! We had a lot of fun with "confessions," and the women even confessed a few things! And nobody asked anything that stumped me. But of course I had asked God to give me the words to say, and He certainly did! I listened to my free tape of my session on the way home, and my kids were like, "Wow! Mom sounds so smart! And Southern!" LOL I donít know where that southern accent came from -- I was born and raised in the Midwest, ya know! I canít believe that was me on the tape. I sound so young! And I was amazed at the words coming out of my mouth, and I wasnít stuttering or anything! Have I mentioned before that Iím a better writer than a speaker? But I did really well, and I told the leadership that I would be willing to speak again next year, now that I know I can survive it!

Now, the sad thing is that I only sold one book. ONE BOOK! And it wasnít to either of the two women who are from my local support group and who attended the convention! Youíd think people who know me in person would want to support me or at least see what kind of writer I am!! But ya know, the people who watched Jesus grow up werenít interested in His message, either. "Oh, thatís just the carpenterís son. What makes him think he can preach?" Anyway, the book signing was all messed up. I kept asking where it was going to be, and nobody ever had an answer. Then I heard that someone will set something up later, so I took Jasmine to lunch (I couldnít find Barron). I return, and there is one table, and another couple have their books and decorations all over it. (SIGH) So again I ask, and get the run-around. Then that couple offers to move some stuff so I can sit at the end of their table with my things. So that was nice. However, they were locals and known by about everyone, so people were stopping to talk to them and buy their books, and I was ignored for the most part. I think 2 people talked to me, and 2 other people took a free bookmark that I had made. So the booksigning stuff wasnít fun. My son, who for weeks had talked about wanting to help sell books, didnít even show up until an hour later, and when he showed up at the table, he was covered in sand! I told him to clean up, and he left! So he was no help and is grounded for lying to me. Iím not a salesman. I can make signs and book marks and stuff, but I canít attract customers.

However, something did make up for the lack of sales, and that was the donated supplies for single moms. My conference room was piled with all kinds of books, games, videos, and tapes! Since I helped sort them before my session, I got first pick on some things! I got tapes and books for Spanish lessons, a high school science text that I needed, some history books, leisure reading books for the kids, etc. I didnít get a lot, because we were hurrying to make way for the first session which wasnít mine. Then after my session, the ladies that werenít searching for gems in the boxes were talking to me, so I didnít get to look for more books. We had to clear out for the next workshop, so I decided to come back after that last one was over. After that session, families in financial need were offered a chance at the books. Single moms got first pick, isnít that nice? There was plenty left over! The room was hot and crowded with husbands and wives scrambling through boxes and piles, but I got in there and found some Shakespeare comedies for kids, a sign language book for Jasmine who has been asking to learn sign language, and so many things I canít even think of them all! There were even Tinkertoys and another kind of building kit that Barron wanted. Heís already made a vehicle out of it. I found so many exciting-looking books! OH! I even found a theater kit with 7 scripts in it for kids and a directorís book! So I got that for our 4-H Drama Club!

I really had a great time - regardless of the book sale bust - and came home happy with myself. I can always put my books on ebay. I sat in some great workshops and got to talk to some interesting people, and I think I encouraged the women in my workshop. The one that bought my book found nearly all the curriculum she needed for her daughter. She almost cried! She got the exact language arts, the exact math, and the exact history or science (I forget which) that she had wanted for the upcoming year - in great shape, and all free! Is that a God-thing or what!

I spent the weekend drinking Coke (and some water) and eating candy and fast food. Today Iíve battled a headache; I donít feel as good as I had been feeling, so Iíve got to get back on a diet and make myself healthy!

P.S. The van made it there and back without acting up! We just had to add oil halfway there and halfway back. Thank you, Jesus! I wondered whether it could make a 2-1/2 hour trip.

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