Thursday, April 23, 2009

German Wonder Ball

A pile of trinkets and a ball of thick wool yarn, becomes a beautiful German tradition. When a child is taught to knit they are given a ball of yarn with special presents throughout so that every once in awhile as they work through their ball a new price is discovered. Here are the first five balls completed. I then decided to make three more for my nieces and nephew. After we made chains we turned them into flowers, which we then handed out on Easter. Here is Uncle Steve with a flower in his pocket.
Here the children are working away on their balls. The older two boys spent about three days finger knitting. They worked their way through about four skeins of yarn. This was a lot of fun.

The Frog Prince

by Aubrey and Brennen Calapp

Once a princess was playing with her wooden ball.

She threw it so high it fell into a pond.

A frog appeared and told the princess he would retrieve the ball for her if she would agree to take him into her home and kiss him. She agreed.

After the princess was given her ball she ran home without the frog, but when the frog followed her and he father the king heard all, he told her she must keep her promise, so unwillingly she kissed the frog...

only to find he was a prince, who had been changed by a magic spell.

Our Praying Mantises Hatched

We ordered an egg sack from Insectlore. It just sat for several weeks and then all of a sudden hundreds of baby praying mantises began emerging. My children loved watching them come out and also watching them as they eat the fruit flies. About one hundred hatched, but only fifty are still alive for a reason of which I don't know.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Of Bread and Sacrament

I was pondering today, and I don't know if this will make any sense to anyone else, but this is what I pondered-

Through work we sow seeds, care for them and then, gather the wheat from the field we have dominion over. Our neighbor gathers wheat from the field he has dominion over. Together we combine and refine the wheat, and with that wheat create bread. We then sit together, rejoice, feast and break bread. I, as a missionary in my dominion, am in charge of planting seeds, working and nurturing those plants and then eventually helping in the harvest of those who are found ready. My neighbor in Christ, is doing the same thing in the field he has dominion over. When our harvests are made we join them together into a church, which is also called the body of Christ. In our Sacrament meetings the body of Christ is represented by bread. We meet weekly to rejoice in our God, worship him and break that very bread that symbolizes his body. So the church is the bread and bread is the staff of life. The bread group is the base. The church, the body of Christ, the gathering of the wheat that is ripe and has been harvested is also the base. We are not to worship alone at home as a lone grain, but we are to come together as the body of Christ and be the bread. And here we are to partake of that symbol which represents Christ’s body and also represents the unity of the church, which is the family of God.

God is so full of symbolism in all He does and I am barely scratching the surface of it in my studies I think. He is such an awesome God.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Nursery Rhymes

I am student teaching first grade. Friday I was to teach a lesson on "Little Miss Muffet," and then give the students a four page test on this nursery rhyme. I said to the mentor teacher, "Don't the students already know "Little Miss Muffet?'" She said, "a couple of them might."

I sat the children down and told them that today we were going to read a nursery rhyme. I asked them if they knew what a nursery rhyme was...blank stares. They are old make-believe poems in which we don't exactly know who wrote them and so we often say they are written by Mother Goose. Often they have meanings that tie into something that happened in history and they are often mentioned in other books that you will read later on. Has anyone heard of "Little Bo Peep," or "Jack and Jill?" Aah, three eyes flickered, the other sixteen remained bewildered. I asked if anyone could tell me either nursery rhyme. One boy tried, "Jack and Jill went up the hill ... um, then ... there's a picture of him upside down ... and a spider, I think." Well at least he has seen a book of nursery rhymes.

I am concerned that children who don't know their nursery rhymes are missing a very valuable connection to the past, a source for rich language, strong meters, and an understanding of allusions in later quality texts. I had always taken it for granted that people still read these to their children.

I have several very thick collections of nursery rhymes, my favorite is the first book in the "My Bookhouse Series." . It is several hundred pages long has all of the traditional English nursery rhymes and has many nursery rhymes from dozens of other countries. It is also absolutely beautifully illustrated. I begin this book when my children are one, reading a couple pages a day and often going back to the most familiar in the beginning. I then read them "The Real Mother Goose," and the second one in this series, of which I have forgotten the name. I also have a couple smaller collections which I read in one sitting to the children. It must work because I just asked my five-year-old to tell me "Jack and Jill" and then "Little Miss Muffet," and with a hint on two words he said both and then my daughter began rattling off several more.

Our history studies start back at creation again this year. As we go through history this time I'd like to incorporate the history of many of these rhymes as we come to their spot in history. I did this study myself a couple years ago, and was fascinated by it.

To close my rant on nursery rhymes, may I say read them to your children, because the three they will have read to them in public school, simply does not cut it.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Last One Standing

So I have seven siblings. We were all raised in California. Guess how many still live here. Yep, just one-me. How lame is that? My sister, Helen, who is just older than me moved to Utah, where four of my other siblings live last week. My Aunt Cathy, Cousin Sarah, Helen, Me(the one with the dorky expression), Cousin Jessica and my daughter Aubrey pose during the farewell party.
The party was also a birthday party for Seth, Logan and their cousin Caitlyn.
My husband snapping shots of me and Brennen, just to prove I don't always wear a dorky expression.
And yet another not totally dorky expression with me and my daughter.
Brennen, hitching a foot-ride from his Uncle Brandon, while Kevin supervises and tests the cake.

We'll miss you Porters! We wish you well on your further advetures.

Trip for Two

Kevin and I took a trip in March to Monterey. We stayed in a cabin/Inn on the beach. It was beautiful and quiet, as no cars were allowed. Everyone was given a golf cart instead. We walked the warf and watched the sea lions as we ate the first day. We then went kayaking on the ocean. Several sea lions followed us and Kevin saw jellyfish. We both got a little freaked out at the sea weed and so we turned back and went to the Inn.

The next day we rented bikes and biked the 17-mile trail. We saw many deer next to the ocean this day. It was beautiful.

The last day we went whale watching, and saw about three groups of whales. One group was circling and playing tag and so were very unpredictable in where they would show up next. I absolutely loved the wind on the ocean and riding over the waves, even though it was windy and the boat rocked crazily the whole time.

The pictures are in no particular order.