Sunday, April 26, 2009

Our Audience with Queen Bean

On Saturday MaryAlice and I attended the CHAPLET Homeschool Conference and had the privilege of meeting Danielle Bean!

Danielle flew in from New Hampshire to speak at the conference, and MaryAlice and I acted as her chauffeurs for the weekend. What a blessing to meet Danielle in person. In my earliest days of parenthood, I remember reading Danielle's first book, My Cup of Tea, and feeling very uplifted by her words and perspective. Unlike many other parenting books I had read, Danielle always seemed to focus on the positive side of things, drawing moral lessons from her personal parenting experiences, without being judgmental or preachy. I loved her approach to motherhood instantly, and I have followed her writing and her daily blog ever since.

Many of the builders see Danielle in a similar light, and, amongst ourselves, some of us jokingly call her "Queen Bean" ;-)

Danielle is truly a mother-encourager extraordinaire. Her talk, How to Handle Burnout, was full of humor, humility, and wisdom, as well as practical tips for excelling in my vocation as a mother, spouse, and friend. Since burnout is something that I have very recently struggled with (remember that awful 1st trimester!), the doubts I had about mothering a larger family AND homeschooling were still fresh in my mind. After hearing Danielle speak, and being around so many wonderful mothers, I left the conference with a renewed excitement about our plans for this fall.

And, as a funny aside...

I pulled into the parking lot of Danielle's hotel Saturday morning and I turned too sharply, scraping the side of my minivan into an unforgiving yellow pole. Danielle watched the entire scene unfold, and then helped me back out and avoid further damage to my car. I was quite embarrassed! Danielle is of course so gracious that she assured me of her own driving trials, which I'm sure were grossly exaggerated for my own benefit.


Elizabeth M said...

Oh my -- now I really wish I'd been able to go to the conference and meet you both too! My husband and I took Danielle out to lunch on Friday and had a wonderful visit. It's so nice to meet people in person after "meeting" them online.

Right Said Red said...


I would have loved to meet you at the conference. You are in South Jersey, correct? Are you homeschooling?

Feel free to e-mail me and maybe at some point we can meet up!

B-Mama said...

Red, I'm sure you were so beyond elated at greeting Queen Bean that you surely lost your focus. It would happen to the best of us. :) Glad to hear you all enjoyed a wonderful weekend and conference. I don't know if you can do this, but I would love to read a transcript of QB's talk. Could you post it on the blog? I would really enjoy any and all mother burnout wisdom.

Juris Mater said...

I'm so thankful for the "chain of motherly mentoring" we all are blessed to be a part of. Thanks, Danielle and others, for passing along your wise, clear-headed, mature, and holy insights to us relative amateurs. My spirit as a mother surely is blessed because of you!

Right Said Red said...


They recorded all the conference talks and are selling a CD with them for a pretty affordable price (maybe $10?). I cannot post it on the blog, but you can contact the woman who ran the conference and request a copy. She can be reached at

If you have difficulties with this, e-mail me and I can obtain another e-mail.