Sunday, October 31, 2010

Today and info on costumes

Today was fun.  It was the primary program in Sacrament meeting.  Primary here means 8 kids.  But you know, those 8 kids gave out as much volume as I’ve heard in some wards with 25-40 kids.  Pretty awesome.  Each of the kids told their favorite scripture story, except Ethne who is the youngest and she said, “I am a child of God,” and everyone in the whole ward went “awwwwwwww!” which made Brett laugh really hard.  Jethro talked about Moroni in German.  Hazel told about Jesus and Peter walking on water.  Brett and I were having so much fun watching the program that about half-way through the meeting we realized we had no idea where Talmage was.  Now, the room we meet in is nothing like a regular church building’s chapel, and usually you can just give a quick scan and spot him, but he wasn’t anywhere.  We figured he was in the nursery room, and he was, so we just let him stay there.    

Just a tidbit about the the German hymn-book—it includes ‘Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,’ which is my all-time favorite hymn, and which is NOT included in the English hymnbook; but it does not include ‘If You Could Hie to Kolob’ which is probably my second-favorite hymn.  By the way, go here for a really fantastic arrangement of Kolob.  I’ve listened to it a million or so times today.

Friday night we went to a Halloween party, which I’ll have to post pictures from later on.

Saturday night was our ward’s Raclette-abend.  An evening for eating a dinner of Raclette together.  Yum.  So Jethro borrowed the last 3 Harry Potter books from our friends, and at the raclette-abend he tried to read, and Brett told him to put it away and come out and play with his friends.  Well, he kept sneaking off to read again, so obviously he got in trouble.  So all today he kept trying to say, “If I do such-and-such, can I read Harry Potter tomorrow?”  and Brett would say, “We’ll see.”  I hadn’t heard Brett ever say to him that he couldn’t read it tomorrow, so finally I asked what was going on, and Brett said, “I don’t know, but since Jethro’s saying he can’t read HP tomorrow, I’m going along with it.”  Then Brett and I laughed sooooo hard because Jethro basically was punishing himself and then trying to bargain his way out of it.  Maybe you had to be there, but Brett and I found it hilarious.

After dinner and naps (not for everyone, just Talmage and Brett and I), we went on a little walk.  Unfortunately, it was overcast and also it was getting darkish, so all the pictures I took of the pretty trees turned out dark and look a little weird, but I’ll still post a few.  It was fun.  I’m reading “Mossflower”  (one of the Redwall books by Brian Jacques) to the kids (well, mainly just Hazel, as Jethro finished it by himself the day after I started reading it to them, and Ethne doesn’t usually stay too interested), so Brett kept saying stuff about that’s where all the forest animals live, also he threw in some trolls and stuff (which aren’t in Mossflower).  It was good times.IMGP1721



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We found this pretty sweet little ummm, place that looked like the stone had maybe been quarried at one time.IMGP1751Brett climbed up a little ways on these little cut-out places.  But it was very high, and he chose not to go all the way. There was also a scary-looking face carved to the side of the hand/footholds if you look closely.

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IMGP1762 And this picture is because Hazel’s hair was in a little Heidi-esque updo for church and I thought it was so cute.  That is all.IMGP1766

And now, About the Costumes, or How My Sister is AMAZING BEYOND BELIEF:

So, the project came about when I was thinking about Halloween costumes for the kids.  Since Halloween is not really celebrated here, I was torn whether to just use scraps of whatever we had on hand, or to find some new, exciting costumes.  As I love costumes, it was a hard decision.  I mean, they only have so many years when they’re young and can be forced into doing what MOM wants them to.  Anyway, it was on my mind, and I was really going with the idea of Robin Hood and Maid Marian, so one time I was talking to Kami on the phone and I quite off-handedly asked her if she would sew me a Maid Marian dress for Hazel.  She at once told me how excited she would be to do so, and that was all it took to convince her.  So, we both browsed some pictures online and talked about what we wanted it to be like.  As for Jethro, I told her I would just buy his costume off ebay and since shipping here is outrageous, and she’d already be sending me a package, I’d just send her the link and she would buy it for me and send it all together and I’d pay her back for it all together.  Well, when she saw the Robin Hood costume she was disgusted and outraged and said she would not pay that much money for such a lousy, cheap costume.  She insisted that she could make a FAR better costume for the same amount or less.  So I said, “Sweet.  Have at it woman.”  (Or something like that.)  Then another time, thinking out loud,  I mentioned to her wouldn’t it be so cute if Talmage were Friar Tuck? and Ethne could be a minstrel.  And Kami said, “A friar costume would be super easy.”  And she couldn’t very well leave out the minstrel if she were doing all the rest.  So, all four costumes were born.  I felt a little guilty, as she was spending just a little, ahem,  time on them.  (I believe her husband’s words were,  “I want my wife back.”)  It was funny because she’d ask me about all these different things, and really I should have just said for her to make all executive decisions because she’s incredibly genius.  Like Hazel’s headpiece—I was a little concerned after we decided on one with the ear-flap thingees, but that’s honestly one of my absolute favorite things about any of the costumes.  Also, when she told me Ethne’s minstrel costume was purple, orange, and yellow, I was a little suspicious, but Ethne’s costume is Brett’s favorite, and maybe mine too (it’s too hard to actually pick one favorite).  And it’s so perfect for Ethne, don’t you think?  I loved EVERY EVERY EVERY thing about all the costumes.  Getting the package and opening it up to see them all (Kami wouldn’t take pictures to let me preview anything, so they were all big surprises) was maybe the most exciting moment of my life.  Well, maybe not of my life, but dang exciting.  I love Kami. (p.s. she also sent other really awesome and exciting things in her package, such as Neosporin (which we’ve already used) and awesome books, and ingredients for making scotcheroos, and peppermint and maple flavoring and a football.)

As for the lute, I nagged—I mean asked very nicely—Brett to make one, and he kept putting it off until he finally gave in—I mean got excited to make it.  So we went to a second-hand store and picked up a wooden bowl (which happened to be perfect) for the umm, bowl part of the lute and he used a seat of a chair we had for the rest.  He didn’t finish the first day (which is why the first time I took pictures, Ethne didn’t have a lute in any of them), and he was really busy and we thought maybe he wouldn’t finish it at all in time for the Halloween party, but then he stayed really late at work one night and finished it, although he still said he didn’t have time to finish it as well as he would have liked.  But it still turned out really awesome, and I just printed off the little celtic knot embellishment thingees and traced them on and went over them with a permanent marker, and colored the handle part black with a marker too.  Ethne and all the kids loved it.

The end.

Happy Halloween





Friday, October 29, 2010

Robin Hood

In merry England in the time of old, when good King Henry the Second ruled the land, there lived within the green glades of Sherwood Forest, near Nottingham Town, a famous outlaw whose name was Robin Hood.  No archer ever lived that could speed a gray goose shaft with such skill and cunning as his, nor were there ever such yeomen as the sevenscore merry men that roamed with him through the greenwood shades.  Right merrily they dwelt within the depths of Sherwood Forest.
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"Nay," quoth Robin, laughing loudly, "many do like me and wish me well, but few call me honest."
Not only Robin himself but all the band were outlaws and dwelt apart from other men, yet they were beloved by the country people round about, for no one ever came to jolly Robin for help in time of need and went away again with an empty fist.
Allan a Dale
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“What may be thy name?” asked Robin.
“Allan a Dale is my name, good master.”
“Allan a Dale,” repeated Robin, musing.  “Allan a Dale.  It doth seem to me that the name is not altogether strange to mine ears.  Yea, surely thou art the minstrel of whom we have been hearing lately, whose voice so charmeth all men.”
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“Now Allan,” quoth Robin, “so much has been said of thy singing that we would fain have a taste of thy skill ourselves.  Canst thou not give us something?”
“Surely,” answered Allan, readily; for he was no third-rate songster that must be asked again and again, but said “yes” or “no” at the first bidding; so, taking up his lute, he ran his fingers lightly over the sweetly-sounding strings, and all was hushed about the cloth.  Then, backing his voice with sweet music on his lute, he sang.
Not a sound broke the stillness when Allan a Dale had done, but all sat gazing at the handsome singer, for so sweet was his voice and the music that each man sat with bated breath, lest one drop more should come and he should lose it.
“By my faith and my troth,” quoth Robin at last, drawing a deep breath, “lad, thou art—Thou must not leave our company, Allan!  Wilt thou not stay with us here in the sweet green forest?  Truly, I do feel my heart go out toward thee wtih great love.”
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Then Allan took Robin’s hand and kissed it.  “I will stay with thee always, dear master,” said he, “for never have I known such kindness as thou hast shown me this day.”
Then Will Scarlet stretched forth his hand and shook Allan’s in token of fellowship, as did Little John likewise.  And thus the famous Allan a Dale became one of Robin Hood’s band.
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 Friar Tuck
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“But stay, now I bethink me, there is one thing reckoned not upon – the priest.  Truly, those of the cloth do not love me overmuch, and when it comes to doing as I desire in such a matter, they are like as not to prove stiff-necked,” said Robin.
“Nay,” quoth Will Scarlet, laughing, “so far as that goeth, I know of a certain friar that, couldst thou but get on the soft side of him, would do thy business even though Pope Joan herself stood forth to ban him.  He is known as the Curtal Friar of Fountain Abbey, and dwelleth in Fountain Dale.”
“I will seek this same Friar of Fountain Abbey to-morrow day, and I warrant I will get upon the soft side of him, even if I have to drub one soft.”
At this Will Scarlet laughed again.  “Be not too sure of that, good uncle,” quoth he; “nevertheless, from what I know of him, I think this curtal friar will gladly join two such fair lovers, more especially if there be good eating and drinking afoot thereafter.”
Here, with his broad back against the rugged trunk of the willow tree, sat a stour, brawny fellow, but no other man was there.  His cheeks were as red adn shining as a winter crab.  Beneath his bushy black brows danced a pair of little gray eyes that could not stand still for very drollery of humor.  No man could look into his face adn not feel his heartstrings tickled by the merriment of their look. 
“By my faith,” quoth Robin to himself, “I do verily believe that this is the merriest feast, the merriest wight, the merriest place, and the merriest sight in all merry England.  Methought there was another here, but it must have been this holy man talking to himself.”
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So Robin lay watching the Friar, and the Friar, all unkonwing that he was so overlooked, ate his meal placidly.  At last he was done, and took up his flask and began talking to himself as though he were another man, and answering himself as though he were somebody else.
“Wilt thounot take a drink of good Malmsey?  After thee, lad, after thee.  Nay, I beseech thee, sweeten the draught with thy lips (here he passed the flask from his right hand to his left)… ”
All this time merry Robin lay upon the bank and listened, while his stomach so quaked with laughter that he was forced to press his palm across his mouth to keep it from bursting forth; for, truly, he would not have spoiled such a goodly jest for the half of Nottinghamshire. 
(The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, by Howard Pyle)
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Maid Marian
1  A bonny fine maid of a noble degree,
Maid Marian calld by name,
    Did live in the North, of excellent worth,
    For she was a gallant dame.
2  For favour and face, and beauty most rare,
    Queen Hellen shee did excell;
    For Marian then was praisd of all men
    That did in the country dwell.
3  'Twas neither Rosamond nor Jane Shore,
    Whose beauty was clear and bright,
    That could surpass this country lass,
    Beloved of lord and knight.
    4  The Earl of Huntington, nobly born,
      That came of noble blood,
        To Marian went, with a good intent,
      By the name of Robin Hood.
      No. 150From The English and Scottish Popular Ballads
      by Francis James Child, 1888.)
    "Come, fill us some sack!" cried Robin. "Let us e're be merry while we may, for man is but dust, and he hath but a span to live here till the worm getteth him, as our good gossip Swanthold sayeth;
    so let life be merry while it lasts, say I.”

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