ALMOST HEAVEN WEST VIRGINIA
This makes me proud to be a West Virginian. On a pleasant, short-sleeved afternoon in Morgantown, W.Va., under a brilliant, almost cloudless sky, shaggy-haired, bespectacled John Denver ambled toward the 50-yard line to, in effect, christen the new 50,000-seat Mountaineer Field, home of West Virginia football team. It was September 6, 1980, and the university wanted to do something special to introduce both its new stadium and a young first-year WVU coach named Don Nehlen. So Denver was invited to sing one of his signature songs - "Country Roads" -during pregame festivities. Denver, who died in 1997, accepted the invitation apparently under the impression that he would perform a quick novelty gig: hop off his helicopter, take an escorted ride into the stadium, sing "Country Roads" and then bail out. But that's not exactly what happened.
Denver entered the stadium and found his microphone at the center of the field, amidst the 325-member Mountaineer Band, which around him had formed an outline of the state of West Virginia. Then as he crooned the opening lyrics - "Almost heaven, West Virginia" - Denver was joined by about 50,000 backup singers. Those who were there say the crowd's collective voice swelled to a climax at the conclusion: "Country roads,take me home, to a place where I belong. West Virginia, Mountain Momma.Take me home, country roads." Those attending also say that when Denver finished his song, he gazed in all directions - perhaps dumbfounded at the reaction. Some among the crowd wept. Most just cheered for a long time. "I'm pretty sure he had no idea what that song means to this state," said Dan Miller, an executive with the West Virginia Coal Association and an unofficial Mountaineer football historian. "I was stationed in Germany in 1971 the first time I heard 'Country Roads,' and I'm not ashamed to say that while I was listening I started crying," Miller said. "It means a lot when you come from a place that most people don't appreciate or understand. And here's someone singing about its beauty." West Virginians, you see, feel they're underdogs - almost always fighting an uphill battle. Economists tell West Virginians it's tough for their state to prosper, because the mountains are so steep and rugged that land development is a challenge. Educators used to say it was tough for many West Virginia children to get ahead, because transportation to schools was difficult and winters are harsh. In the sports realm, there annually aren't many young top-tier athletes in the state, in part because most schools are small and competition is not as daunting as in denser population areas. There are, of course, exceptions - many of them. Native West Virginia athletes include Jerry West (basketball), John Kruk (baseball) amd Mary Lou Retton (gymnastics). Author Pearl Buck was a West Virginian; so was Tuskegee Institute founder Booker T. Washington. Nobel Prize winning mathematician John Nash was from West Virginia. So is country singer Brad Paisley. Actor Don Knotts is from the Mountain State, as is actress Jennifer Garner, who still speaks fondly of the "hillers" and "creekers" from her alma mater, George Washington High School in Charleston. Most have spoken of both loving life, and overcoming tough times, in West Virginia.
Monday, July 30, 2007
ALMOST HEAVEN WEST VIRGINIA
After one week back in school, I wanted to recap what we learned:
What a simile is
3 areas of the ear
Uses of the nose
Parts of the eye
The Creation story
All about storms
Importance of grandfathers
How to Compare/Contrast
The 5 senses
And of course. Reading, Writing and Arithmetic!!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Abby and DoodleBeetle
Nathan and Sharkeel
Esther and her RainbowMaid
Our History curriculum is called the Mystery of History. It is a chronological look at history beginning with Creation. This was our first week, so we studied creation and Adam and Eve. One of our activities was to try to create a new creature and how great is was that God created so many creatures. Here is what they came up with:
Abby: A doodlebeatle ~ He likes to make doodles in leaves and eat them and likes to play flytag.
Nathan: A Sharkeel ~ He lives underwater and lives in a cave with dark fish. He eats people and if he bites you, you will have cancer for 15 years. His enemy is whales.
Esther: A RainbowMaid ~ Part mermaid, part rainbow, she lives under the sea and eats seaweed. She is afraid of sharks and the Kracken.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
We begin School on Monday, I saw this based on 1 Cor. It is very fitting for our first week of school.
Though I teach my children how to multiply, divide, and diagram a sentence, but fail to show them love, I have taught them nothing.And though I take them on numerous field trips, to swim practice and flute lessons; and though I involve them in every church activity, but fail to give them love, I profit nothing.
And though I scrub my house relentlessly, run countless errands, and serve three nutritious meals every day but fail to be an example of love, I have done nothing.
Love is patient with misspelled words and is kind to young interrupters.Love does not envy high SAT scores of other homeschool families.Love does not claim to have better teaching methods than anyone else, It is not rude to the fourth telephone caller during a science lesson, does not seek perfectly behaved geniuses, does not turn into a drill sergeant, thinks no evil about friends' educational choices.
Love bears all my children's challenges, believes all my children are God's precious gifts, hopes all my children establish permanent relationships with Christ, and endures all things to demonstrate God's love.Love never fails.
Where there are college degrees, they will fail; where there is knowledge, it will vanish away.For we know in part and we teach in part. But when the trials of life come to our children, the history,math, and science will be done away and faith, hope and love will remain;but the greatest of these is love.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
After shopping, we met Tammy and Jennifer, two of our friends from college that we have not seen in years at the Village Tavern. We spent the next 3 hours eating and laughing and remembering. You know your friendship is for real when after years and years you get together and it seems like no time has passed at all. We all agreed that next time our time together needs to be longer. I am voting for a cruise!!
Thanks guys for a great time!
Monday, July 16, 2007
We went to Virginia this past week. We had so much fun playing in Gramp's and Nana's pool. The weather was a really nice relief from the Florida heat. We also got to go fishing in Floyd, the kids went to a buffalo farm and we went to eat a Kabuki's Japanese (Essie's favorite place!) Thanks Gramps, Nana & Jodi for a great week!
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
On July 4th, we woke our kiddos up at 5:00AM and told them to get dressed and then we loaded them up in the van and drove to Disney for breakfast. we went to the Ohana breakfast at the Polynesian. We had breakfast with Mickey Mouse and Pluto, Lilo and Stitch. It was so much fun! Happy 4th of July everyone. God bless America!