A Tower of Strength

“Prayer is a great tower of strength, a pillar of unending righteousness, a mighty force that moves mountains and saves souls. Through it the sick are healed, the dead are raised, and the Holy Spirit is poured out without measure upon the faithful.”

~ Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “Patterns of Prayer,” Ensign, May 1982, 32.

Drama Queens & Handicrafts, Part 2: Readers Theater

 

Our second term began with the basic introduction of a readers theater that would perform once a week for Mom and Dad. To this end, I purchased several books that I thought would help them to stay on track and have short successful {where we enjoy them and not get mad at each other} shows. There were three topics: Greek Myths, Shakespeare, and Silly Fairy Tales.

greek myth scripts

Readers Theater Books

I gave JitterBug (she’s my organizer and go-getter) the books when they arrived and explained what I had in mind. Then I talked to all the girls about it and told them that Dad and I would be available once a week and we would love to see what they wanted to perform. It has been so much fun!

Here are some pics from Spiderella:

Spiderella & Fairy Godmother

JuneBug is Spiderella (in her work clothes here) and she is showing me the Fairy Godmother (BittyBug’s stuffed elephant they dressed up, LOL).

The Prince

The Prince (but why he is in a dress is a mystery!)

At the ball

Dancing at the ball while the stepsisters primp in the background.

Fighting over the Prince

Fighting over the Prince.

Spiderella Proposal

The proposal.

Curtain Call

The Curtain Call – they look happy and satisfied, don’t they? ;)

Because it is reader’s theater no one has to memorize lines, there doesn’t have to be long practices, and it is short and moves along…I think the longest we’ve sat and watched one was about 15-20 minutes. 

He Will Listen

“I tell you this: God cares about you. He will listen, and he will answer your personal questions. The answers to your prayers will come in His own way and in His own time, and therefore, you need to learn to listen to His voice.”

~ President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Receiving A Testimony of Light and Truth,” Ensign, Nov. 2014, 21.

Caught Up in a Story… – A Book Review

“What kind of hero are you going to be?”

This is the question that author Sally Clarkson grew up with in a home where books of heroes where read aloud and cherished. In her family, books were read to stir the imagination, engage the heart, and show the way to live their own life story.

caught up in a story

 In Caught Up in a Story – Fostering a Storyformed Life of Great Books and Imagination, Ms. Clarkson shares both her own experiences with books growing up – a storyformed life – and her long study of children’s literature to demonstrate the need for good literature in our families and cultures. She examines what imagination is, why it is vital to a childhood education, and how stories help shape our perception of ourself, of life, and even of God.

Each of us have a story to live and by reading of others life stories, we learn to find beauty, goodness, truth, and how to live a great story ourselves.

Let me share a personal experience that demonstrates this ideal and how reading this book brought this concept back into a crystallized focus for me. A few years ago, before my kids were old enough for formal schooling a fellow mom and I were talking. She homeschooled her kids and at the time I thought it was weird. (Oh, how little did I know…hahaha!!) She was commenting that she didn’t read fiction, she didn’t have time for it. I was horrified. Then she started lamenting that her children weren’t reading and progressing like she wanted them to. Upon further discussion, she admitted that she was not having her children read much fiction either. I casually mentioned I loved fiction – there was so much to be learned from it and that she might consider letting her children read it. Specifically her oldest daughter – the boys were more into the sciencey type of books about snakes and reptiles (so was she). I didn’t say much more and we changed to another topic. Imagine my delight when she came to me about six weeks later and said “You were right.” Mystified, I asked her what on earth she was talking about. She reminded me of that “fiction vs. nonfiction” conversation we had had and then added “_______ is reading and loving it. I gave her the Anne of Green Gables set and she has been reading non-stop. One day as I was working in the kitchen, she came to talk for a minute and starting telling me about Anne and a funeral. After she finished me, she said that she hoped she could be like Anne when she had to deal with that situation because she liked how Anne handled it. So thank you. I guess fiction isn’t so bad.” My no-frills friend had learned something and so had I.

That story perfectly illustrates Ms. Clarkson’s points. It is as we read and ponder, learn and think, that we form ourselves into who and what we want to be. Exposing our children to situations in the safe environment of excellent books allow them to decide how they will react when they come face to face with various similar situations. I love how empowering it is to realize that we are creating our own life story and that we can choose how we live it: with courage, dignity, joy, and love, having seen those virtues lived out in the lives of our book friends.

This book was an encouraging, uplifting read that is not hard or long. I recommend it – though I must warn you that you will come away from it yearning to give your children a storyformed life. ;)

For more information (and book lists!), you can visit Sarah Clarkson’s website here or purchase from Amazon here.

Disclaimer: All opinions expressed are my own and I do not receive anything in return for my opinions or links.

A Wise Showing and Letting Alone

Charlotte Mason taught that teachers were to introduce a feast to children by exposing them to a myriad of subjects and ideas, one of which she called Handicrafts. In this area, she advocated teaching children skills that were used to create beautiful and real things…and that also could be used to help a person earn a living if needed. Like most things, though, she wanted the teacher to show a child how to do something and then get out of the way and let the child take it on for himself, since we learn so much by the doing of something.

In my blog post about my Drama Queens, I mentioned that JitterBug was helping me to hand craft felt puppets for our theater, but that she decided to to her own thing about an hour into it. It has been fun to watch her finish making – not puppets – but little dolls out of the pattern.

Felt Princess DollsAfter a few weeks, she kept mentioning that she wished that they had included other princesses that she could make and one day she decided that she was just going to make her own designs. She made Meg from Hercules, Rapunzel from Tangled, and Anna and Elsa from Frozen.

Additional PrincessesAren’t they so cute?

Now she has designed and begun making characters from the Percy Jackson series. Here is Percy:

Felt Percy doll

All I did was show her the basic stitches and give her access to my felt stash. She spends hours listening to books while sewing. I love it!

Felt Friday: Hamburger and Fries

Felt Hamburger & Fries

I made these hamburgers and french fries for my kids for Christmas.

hamburger bun

The bun was machine stitched except the seeds which are French knots sewn on it by hand.

hamburger

The hamburger was machine stitched and I added stripes of black to make it look grilled…at least this way it looks cooked. 

hamburger cheese

 I made two kinds of cheese by hand.

Felt hamburger veggies

The lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles are layered and hand sewn. The ketchup and mustard are just cut out of felt and left as is.

2 felt fry styles

 

The fries are all hand-stitched, and are of two styles. I used a blanket stitch and slightly overstuffed them to get the crinkle look.

Fries in container

I made them little serving bags too since they come in bags like that at some restaurants. 

I made my own patterns (except the lettuce which was a left over from this post), but thought I would share a great tutorial here:    

http://en.paperblog.com/felt-food-recipes-404946/

Happy felting!