Friday, June 3, 2011

thoughts on our Life is Good Unschooling Conference Experience

So as I mentioned, on Memorial Day Weekend, we drove down to Vancouver, WA  (just across the river from Portland), and attended our second Life is Good Unschooling Conference.

I posted about our experience as it was happening and before we left here, in Kiernen's adventures blog.

The day after I wrote that, we drove to tigard, Or and visited  THE LEGO STORE. And Portland has no sales tax.

We actually bought the biggest set we've ever put together - SEVEN bags of LEGO in this ONE set. And not a licensed set, just LEGO guys being creative and making this totally cool UFO space set. We (he sometimes lets me help, even though he doesn't need me to - he really loves the bonding when we do it together, though) put together a mini truck, a flying saucer, a little airplane, and this big amazing dual compartment truck with SO MANY little details. This thing is amazing. I think really, I so appreciate these engineers that get to create this stuff. The truck had axles! I mean, axles we built! Under a frame! and a chassis! And a little setup in the back with satellites and DRAWERS with TOOLS inside! This thing is AMAZING. I am trying to post a photo with no success, so the link to it is here.

In searching for that, I found this site, which also has games, etc of that set.

I digress. the Conference!

The sadly sparse amount of photos I took are here:
Life is Good Conference 2011
Our Learning Consultant, Jen, asked, "What do you now know that you didn't know before you attended the conference?"

I know we can do a 6 hour plus road trip no problem, and we have a pretty good time of it. I know I am a darn good planner when I choose to be - we had everything we needed. Everything.

I know that we will go again next year...and I will do even more preparation and also? I will make sure I get to do at least ONE thing I want to do. lol

I know that we are fairly sensitive, Kiernen and I, and we might need more downtime than some folks - and that's okay, too. I know that fresh air is vitally important to our well-being. I knew that before, but I sort of forget...and then we GET fresh air, and I remember. That Saturday Market in Esther Short Park being so sunny and beautiful and perfect and spending that time outside was crucial for us. We had a brilliant time doing it, too. And Kiernen made some more movies - this has been a budding passion for both of us, making these little movies.

I know that when 700 people get in a hotel together, chaos WILL happen. Sometimes that looks like thing going missing or fire alarms being pulled. And that it's how we respond to those things that matters most and keeps the joy alive for people.

I know that I loved having a room that only we were in. Some folks had parties or open doors with folks going in and out of them, and that was awesome, too. We had a quiet room away from the chaos, and only we ever entered it. It was our sanctuary and it made us happy. I love that we had that. It was just what we needed and wanted.

I was deeply sad when we left a day early (we're in Canada where there wasn't a long weekend, and Josh has to return to work) and we missed Kimya Dawson AND Amy Steinberg playing their brilliant music, both of whom I HEART. Did I mention I was sad? Because I was SAD. Kiernen was ready to come home, though, and get to building his new LEGO. We stopped at Red Lobster on the way back, which I didn't even know existed in this part of the country. And that was good. Also? I think that Red Lobster must have been in the friendliest town we've ever been in ever, because the servers there were just SO. DARN. FRIENDLY!

Coming home took us about a week to recover from - or at least a few days. but being in Portland and getting to drive around felt good, and we felt like yes, we can live there.

Other conference-goers reflected on their experiences, as well:

Blog of the Zombie Princess

With the Family

The Wonderful Happens

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