We’ve all been enjoying the after-glow of the AO At Home Retreat. It was a glorious time, and everyone knows that such a magnificent experience is not the work of any single pair of hands, but the cumulative efforts of many willing hearts and hands. The AO Advisory and Auxiliary want to gratefully thank and acknowledge everyone who was a part of making the retreat a blessed experience.
In no particular order, we’d like to thank...
Wendi (and her whole family), who in the midst of a family crisis, opened her home and her three gigantic, over-stuffed freezers, and said, "there you are, see you later" so she could be with her daughter at the hospital. How many people can accommodate some 15 houseguests?
We thank the Capehart family (especially Bill) for generally looking after a number of mundane yet essential details.
The list is too long, but everyone who pitched in and helped with meals and cleanup at the Capeharts, and especially Megan who once did it all by herself, and it was beautiful (sorry Megan), and Naomi, who also once did it by herself.
Everyone who prayed for Grayson, Wendi’s grandson. Your prayers are being answered and he’s doing well.
Jeanne for using her catering experience to oversee the snacks and meals.
Lani, Anne, and Melisa for making heaps of delicious cookies.
Katie for baking brownies and making the church smell good, and Diana Mueller for adding almond-flour brownies to the stash, so there was an abundance of tempting brownies.
Jen for sharing the Cameroonian coffee...that was a hit.
Bill Capehart, and Kathy Wickward and Melisa for generously driving the AA back and forth from the Chicago airports.
Some of our children, Miriam and Miranda and Will who helped every time they were asked (and we asked a lot), even when it involved minnows. And Laura Jane, who took a day off from work and worked for us instead (mostly in the kitchen).
Cindy Rollins for speaking on short notice, and giving us so much, in Lynn's absence.
Cindy and Jeannette Tulis, both, for also playing chauffeur (they picked Will up from football practice!) and running errands.
Jeanne and Phyllis and Jeannette for gathering flowers and prickly blackberry vines, and arranging them so that it looked as if we'd spent a fortune at the florist's.
The moderators who worked hard to make others feel welcome and to build relationships and bond.
Everyone who prepared a presentation and spoke at a plenary or breakout, feeding the hearts of the attendees. We can’t leave out any of them:
Kathy Livingston Jewels of Astonishing Worth (Preschool)
Lani Siciliano Developing the Literate Child: Integrated Language Arts
Christy Hissong Respecting Persons and Time (Scheduling the CM Way)
Dawn Duran Swedish Drill in a Charlotte Mason Home School
Amy Tuttle Finding Treasure in Letters, Words, and Stories (Teaching Reading)
Anne White The Habit of Living Books
Jeanne Webb with Kathy Wickward Implementing AO Science
Naomi Goegan Nature Study - To See A World in a Grain of Sand
Wendi Capehart and Nicole Ramsey High School and Beyond
Phyllis Hunsucker Charlotte Mason Foreign Languages
Megan Hoyt Forming Vital Relationships with This Year's Composers
Karen Glass Believe in Mind
Cindy Rollins The Habit of Ideas
Donna-Jean Breckenridge Homeschooling from a Hard Place
Donna-Jean, also, for condensing 30 pages of confusing notes and announcements into a combination of warm welcome and stand-up comedy as our front-of-house hostess.
Christy and Megan for being Leslie’s personal drivers from Tennessee.
The Ramsey family--Nicole presented and worked in the kitchen, and Mark spent a long time cleaning the church, as well as entertained on the piano.
Katie (again) for bossing everyone around so efficiently, we got that group photo organized in less than 10 minutes and she made us smile, too.
Everybody who brought examples of nature study books and other school work, including books. Those tables of real-life work were a delight to everyone who looked at them.
Amy Tuttle for introducing and making available her new book, Discover Reading, and Karen for offering advance reader copies of the not-yet-released Mind to Mind.
Lani (and her husband Joe) for preparing the registration folders and printing the schedule, with the cooperation of their work and church.
Melisa (and her husband Gary) for printing the lovely visiting cards, and Christy who hand-lettered (beautifully) some of the name tags.
The Maudlin family, who made the totebags and mugs, and worked graciously with us even when we were still changing the design just a couple weeks before the conference. (Check out their site: http://www.theordinarystore.com/ )
The DeJong family "String Things" for their lovely lunchtime folk music.
Kathy and Melisa for leading the a cappella singing. The hymns and dinner blessing were beautiful!
Lisa Hayes and Karen McArthur for donating some lovely door prizes.
The Townsends for being the most amazing people with all the right sound equipment and a heart to serve. Their sacrificial gift is going to be the means of blessing more people, for more years, than ever were able to be with us for the weekend. (They are also heavily involved with specialty re-enactment materials. You should definitely visit their site: http://www.jas-townsend.com/ . )
Brandy and Lynn, who couldn't attend but were with us in spirit. Brandy designed many of the "At Home" graphics, and Lynn worked on the program and contributed some of the ideas (like the sticky note wall) that added to the atmosphere.
We’d also like to thank...
All who prayed, whether "At Home" with us, or staying by the stuff. This would not have happened without that lifting up.
Everyone who attended with open hearts and spirits and added to the atmosphere and joy of the event. And all those dads who stayed home with the kids so they were free to come.
Each of you who saw a little need and stepped in and met that need without fanfare or notice. Well, we might not have noticed that at the time, but your contribution was felt and appreciated just the same.
...and above all and always, our Heavenly Father, who gave us more precious times than we can even remember. May he continue to bless the endeavors of AmblesideOnline through us and in us.