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So as my first tour home, I get to go on a 5 day working vacation (yep, the kids are with Samson, Grandma, and Grandpa). After near solitary confinement in the basement with the kids for 4 months, I get to soak up the sun and the much needed company of my sisters (Scary and Jo).

Scary and Al

Today, and for the next couple of days, Scary and I are going to be at HOBY (Hugh O'Brian Youth) Leadership camp. Since budgets are pretty tight, this might be the only conference that we are able to attend this year. The funny thing is that this isn't actually for us. We are volunteering as facilitators over teams of ambassadors (between their sophmore and junior year of high school). I have to tell you though, I am so excited, probably even more excited than if we were able to go to one of those awesome blogging conferences (I hope someday soon we can experience that too).

HOBY left such an impact on the person I am today. It helped me see the potential that I held to bless others lives. I was pretty motivated as I was growing up, but I lacked the confidence or know how to really make a difference. I remember going to HOBY as a scared, shy, and excited teen and going home braver and a more aware leader. Some of the phrases I learned while there were, be the change you want to see in the world,  when you have gratitude in your attitude-you get altitude, fake it til you make it, the choice is yours- what are you going to do with it.

Remember that we were girls came from a super small town in the middle of everywhere, but close to nowhere. There were 15 kids in my graduating class, and 17 in Scary's. This was our first real exposure to a bigger world. Before going, I remember wondering how a girl from such a small town could ever make a big impact in the world. HOBY played a big part in our choices for college. Scary saw that she could make a big difference by being a political scientist. I saw that by being a science teacher I could make little effects that might ripple out to others.

Today we aren't working in the jobs we got degrees for, but it is still our goal to make an impact. The values and vision instilled upon us from HOBY have brought us to create a blog that's foundation is to: inspire, encourage, uplift, and create.

HOBY is held in each state that takes one ambassador (chosen by the school) from every high school in that state. The seminars last any where from 3 days to a week and are run almost exclusively by volunteers. Most of them are former HOBY ambassadors (like us) who want to give back. "Currently, more than 9,000 students,... attend HOBY programs each year. These programs are run by over 4,000 volunteers. Volunteers donate their time, talents, and labor by planning, coordinating, facilitating, and serving as mentors to tomorrow’s young leaders." (Source:

After 3 days of HOBY, Scary and I are headed to Steens Mountain to meet Jo at my uncles working guest  ranch. We are looking forward to fixing fence, riding horses, making homemade biscuits, hand quilting and hours of sister time!


  1. Can't wait to read more about HOBY!

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