ExhibitHallMy Favorite Things is a fun song from the movie Sound of Music (which explains the image at the top of this post.) Maybe because of all the hoopla over the 50th anniversary of the movie, the song has been on my mind lately.

Last week, I spent 2½ days at the Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. Just like the past 3 years, it was a wonderful experience. I saw many favorite things. I’m not going to try to put my things to music, but you could try.

  • Husbands and wives holding hands while walking to and from workshops and while in the exhibit hall. I loved how many truly seemed connected. Parents invested in each other and their marriage may be the most important thing their children need.
  • Obedient children who waited with parents as they shopped. There were some who clearly were bored and maybe frustrated, but they didn’t act up. I never heard a child complain and I never – in 2½ days – heard a parent correct a child. This doesn’t mean it didn’t happen outside of my space, but I was very impressed with the respect children showed their parents.
  • Caramel and chocolate covered pretzel rods and roasted nuts located in three different places, therefore allowing the scent to permeate much of the convention center.
  • Children holding hands with moms and dads. It wasn’t about controlling them or making them stay close. It was about wanting them to be close. There’s a difference and you can tell when you observe.
  • Moms and dads consulting with each other about which seminars to attend and which products to buy. They asked great questions, shared their opinions, and worked together for the good of their children.
  • Hundreds of parents in my seminars eager to learn. Hungry for truth. Wanting to be the best and do the best for their children. They were so easy to teach.
  • Joyful friends serving in our exhibit space for hours and hours, sometimes too busy to eat. Never complaining. Only smiling. Thanking me for the privilege of helping!
  • Teens in the teen track paying attention from the front of the room to the back. Teachable and grateful. Mature enough to stop by in the exhibit hall later just to say “thanks.”
  • Did I mention the roasted nuts? Yes, I think I did.
  • Siblings holding hands with each other and enjoying each other’s company. Swinging their arms back and forth as they almost danced in the space between booths was delightful and refreshing.
  • Observing Tina Hollenbeck, our staff writer, growing as a speaker and consultant in the homeschool community. Her following is huge and I’m grateful for her service. (We’ve been friends for almost many, many years. Longtime friends are among God’s greatest blessings.)
  • Joyful, pleasant, and easy-to-encourage children and teens attending my seminars with their parents. Laughing at the right times. Serious thinking at the right times. Standing in line to thank me for what I taught. Humbling.
  • Friends of mine meeting friends of mine and now they’re friends. Yes!
  • Parents holding children in their arms. Children being loved, cared for, and allowed to be children.
  • The leadership of the Great Homeschool Convention serving unselfishly for hours and hours. Consistently present to make sure things went well. Answering questions. Sharing feedback. Connecting people.
  • Exhibiting next to Hearts at Home and Jill Savage, my co-author on No More Perfect Kids, and Moody Publishers, my publisher. It was such fun to interact and network and laugh and learn together. I am so privileged!
  • SallyJillMe Normal
    l-r: Jill Savage, Dr. Kathy, Sally Baucke

    Being silly with Jill Savage and our mutual friend, comedian Sally Baucke. It is good for me to get silly with people I trust.

Being in such a positive environment was refreshing. Oh, believe me, I’m exhausted after speaking five times, selling for 2½ days, listening to many stories/questions from concerned parents, and answering as many as I could. But, it’s a very good fatigue.

In our everyday lives, we can see and hear lots of negative and stressful things if we choose to. But, there’s much that’s right in the world and seeing it, hearing it, and prioritizing it is wise.

What can you choose to see and hear today that will put a smile on your face? How can you behave so others will smile?