I'm sorry about my lack of posting since Tuesday. I know it may seem as if I burned out on blogging because of the carnival, but that is certainly not true. There have been some pressing things going on in my life - with my mom leaving town after a wonderful week visit and the co-op that I'm helping to organize which is beginning it's events this next week for the new school year.
Yesterday, while on my blog-free vacation day... I sat down and made a few notes in my drafts area because I had so much on my mind after being immersed in the "Wild West" for the past week. I thought you might enjoy reading a few of the ideas that were bouncing around in my head like dusty, rollin' tumbleweeds:
I wonder if I'm stuck on a western theme permanently after all that research. Being a "Unit Study" mama, I tend to get stuck on a theme and really do it up until I get SICK of it. I thought we all were going to start needing therapy after the four weeks we spent on ROCKS this past year. Wow did we study the tarnation out of that subject! My daughter started telling people when they asked her what she was learning about in school, "ROCKS, ROCKS, and MORE ROCKS." Although, my son said he would enjoy it if we kept that unit "open" all year so he could continue to get rocks in the mail from all over America and read about them in mineral magazines and rock encyclopedias. You never can please everyone, but it is nice when you do pick a favorite topic for at least someone in the family. My boy loves his minerals and rocks. Get him a book on volcanoes and he'll be happy for hours on end.
As for the Wild West, I know you probably think I'm some kind of Wild West Texas Cowgirl after reading the carnival (and after seeing that photo of my kids up there that I took for their joint Cowtown Birthday Party back in 2003)... but I have a confession to make! You might be surprised to find out that I always was a bit western-o-phobic growing up. About the only Country Music I really liked as a kid was a short-lived crush on Kenny Rogers when I was about seven or eight. [How embarrassing! Ha!] My parents listened more to easy listening and fifties-sixties-seventies oldies and pop than country. I absolutely hated Willie Nelson as a kid... and don't really prefer his music now days, either. It is funny to see myself getting older and actually liking country. I think my first experience with really giving it a chance was late nights at college watching country music videos when there was nothing else to do (of course studying was what I SHOULD have been doing - but at 17 and 18, you don't really have a clue, do you?). It is weird to find myself wandering back to my family's western roots - regardless of my city upbringing.
Something about growing up in Texas tends to really grow a western skin on you whether you want one or not. I have long ties in my family lines of Texas homesteaders (and even a full-blooded Cherokee), but my grandfather had moved his family to the big city of Houston when my mother and her sisters grew up. Of the three girls, my mother stayed in the city and I grew up a big-city girl. With a population of over 2 million and being the 4th largest city in the United States, you won't see cattle roaming around in Houston (except when you visit the Livestock Show and Rodeo once a year).
My testimony is shared elsewhere on the blog, so I won't go into detail for that again... but I'll just say that I was more into mohawks (not the indians) than cowboy hats back in those dreadful teen years. Thank the good Lord that He saw a glimmer of hope for my future (even one that included a pair of cowgirl boots) when not many else could! As I've gotten older, I have come to appreciate the goodness and wholeness of the cowboy way. I'm not ashamed to wear boots any more. I don't see westerners as hillbillies anymore (as most city-slickers who are raised in huge cities usually do). There's a great lot to learn from the seemingly slow, yet meaningful life of the cowboys and cowgirls of yesterday and today!
I have watched a few movies recently that really brought the purity and simple-life of the west home to me lately. You could call it a coincidence that these three movies found their way to my mailbox (my Netflix Queue always has over 70 movies waiting for me!) during the same week as the Western Carnival of Homeschooling... but I know better. God moves in mysterious ways - sometimes almost in a boot-scoot boogey! In case you wanted to rent these three gems yourself (I got them on Netflix - see link on sidebar) here are the titles:
"Love Comes Softly"
"Love's Enduring Promise"
"Love's Long Journey"
I've also been inspired to go buy a western Christian CD that I had been turned on to at a Beth Moore seminar back quite a few years ago. Randy Travis came to the church where she was teaching and sang a few Christian country songs and I was so impressed (even though I had not previously been a big country music fan) that I promised myself I would buy one someday. Well, a friend of mine at the office I worked at last summer shared his third Christian release with me - "Rise and Shine" and I absolutely fell in love with it. She offered to make me a copy, but I really wanted to BUY it and do the right thing. It just took me over a year to finally get it done! That was my gift to myself for finishing the carnival up. I went and got myself a copy of "Rise and Shine" and have enjoyed listening to it since.
So, maybe I'm a little more country than usual lately. Don't worry. I haven't decided to go start a chicken farm just yet. Right now, I'll stick to homeschooling and put the chickens on the back-burner. However,... you should'a seen the boots I wore around Tuesday in honor of the Wild West Carnival of Homeschooling. My husband was so embarrassed. He calls them my clown boots. They are made of pure rubber (bring on the rain and mud!), but they look like freakishly fun cowgirl boots! Yeehaw for Sketchers Outlet in Houston - I gott'em for a measly ten greenbacks!
So I really was the Homeschool Rodeo Clown after all was said and done! Go figure.
Have a Super Thursday. Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow with something more interesting to talk about!
Buzz Words: blogging, Carnivals, Cowgirl, Introspection, Learning, Self, Carnival of Homeschool, Education, Homeschooling, Homeschoolers, Homeschool, Parenting, Life, Western, Boots, Houston, Texas, Personal, Family History