Monday, April 27, 2009

Great American Frontier Show

The kids and I have read through Ambleside Online's Years 1 through 6--almost, for Pamela, that is. When we started doing Relationship Development Intervention, I slowed down her academics so we could spend more time on filling in developmental gaps holding her back in many areas. In spite of a very busy eighteen-hour period, Pamela managed to enjoy a trip down memory lane, recalling our favorite AO books, at the Striped Bass Festival's Great American Frontier Show (whose owners recently moved from New York to Lynchburg, South Carolina).

On Friday night, Pamela and I joined some friends for a middle school production of High School Musical and hit McDonald's for a post-show snack. I am not sure how well Pamela followed the plot of a show we have never seen because it revolved around cliques, prima donnas, underdogs, and back-stabbers, something foreign to her experience. She enjoyed the show and singing her favorite i-Tunes in the car. I loved chatting with my friend Carmen, a fellow mom facing autism, and her adorable daughter. I guess we will find out Pamela's take on the popular Disney show this week when Pamela and I narrate what we did this weekend!

Saturday morning, Pamela offered to join me at the finish line of the 10K run to cheer Steve to the end. Somehow, Steve took a wrong turn and ending up finishing the 5K instead. From what I gather, he was not the only one! His pacing was all wrong for the 5K, so he leisurely stopped to reward Pamela with a peck on the cheek before heading off to get his time. Then, we headed over to our seats (lawn chairs we had strategically placed in a neighbor's yard) to watch the ninety-minute-long parade.

To Pamela, the best of the best of Striped Bass Festival 2009 was the frontier show. We paid a dollar admission each to see the timber wolves (The Call of the Wild), black bears (Gentle Ben and The Bears of Blue River), and cougars (Pa's story about Grandpa in Little House in the Big Woods Book). We did not have a very good view of the show involving these animals, but what I could see by snapping pictures from above the crowd was fascinating.

Pamela loved the petting zoo, getting a little frustrated at the ram who would not eat ("Aw . . . Come on!") and loving the critter who did eat from her hand. Behind the lambs, sheep, rams, and goats were four big creatures on display. Pamela tied memories of books to every single one of them: Texas longhorn (Little House on the Prairie), camel (How the Camel Got Its Hump and Noah's Ark), bison (Tree in the Trail), and donkey (Brighty: Of the Grand Canyon).

Our view of the horses and trick riding was fantastic and memories of our favorite horse books by Marguerite Henry (King of the Wind and Justin Morgan Had a Horse), Little Britches and his trick riding in The Home Ranch, and Pa's and Farmer Boy's teams came to mind! She even remembered the name of Justin Morgan's horse (Bub) from the book we read four years ago. Pamela giggled her way through the warm-up as you can see in the video and photo montage I put together, which we plan to narrate this week.

While the dairy display intrigued her, Pamela was too exhausted to stick around for the milking demonstration at two o'clock. We have learned to respect Pamela's very real need for down time. "Less is more," a crossroad where RDI meets Charlotte Mason, is how we avoid sensory shutdown. We happily headed home and then I sneaked off to the library used book sale where I had the find of a lifetime: seven Tolkien books in practically new condition for only $3.50!

Oh, by the way, have I ever told you I was a geek?

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