Archive for May 28th, 2012

May 28, 2012

Soldiers and the Airforce Academy in Colorado Springs

 Soldiers with Grandpa’s Rifles

A couple of weeks ago, my family took a trip to Colorado.  While we were there with our grandparents, we went to see the Airforce Academy.  We saw a huge B-52 bomber airplane that could drop twenty bombs at once.  It was really awesome.  After we saw the bomber, we went to the gift shop and looked around a bit.  There were lots of hats and pins with airplanes on them, and next door was a theater.  We saw a video on how to get into the Academy and what kinds of things they do there and why.  It showed basic training, with soldiers crawling through the mud, climbing trees, fences and cliffs.  The training looks really hard, you’d have to be athletic like my brother, Daylin, to be able to get through it.  It was really impressive to see.

After we watched the movie, we left the gift shop and went on a trail that went to the Academy Chapel.  The Chapel has a pointed roof that you can see from my Grandma Rockwood’s house.  It was really neat seeing it up close.  We went inside and saw the stain glass windows.  It had orange and blue and purple stain glass that you don’t see unless you’re standing inside the building.

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The Academy Chapel has room for all religions to go there and worship God the way they feel most comfortable.  There was a room for Catholic services, Jewish services, Protestant services and even Buddhist services.  They had a display of the Torah, behind glass, that was 200 years old!

After we exited the chapel, we saw the Academy school where the officers do all their training.  There were four different fighter jets on the corners of the lawn in the courtyard between the school and the chapel.  The jets were small, the bomber was big.   Both were amazing.

When we got home, my cousin Robyn and I borrowed Grandpa Rockwood’s home made rubber band rifles and old camp tent.  We set up camp in grandma’s front yard, with another camp in the back yard.  Grandpa helped set up the tent for us.  We had a lot of fun hunting and shooting enemy soldiers.  At one camp site we had toy dishes and a tarp up on top of the scrub oak trees in the back yard.  We gathered plants and grasses that we pretended were edible so we could live off the land with our toy dishes.  We pretended we had gotten separated from our troop and had to find our own food to survive.  It was pretty fun.  Robyn was a very good soldier.

We had a fake campfire in each of our campsites.  The tent was our favorite campsite.  The flowers made for good eating.  We used sticks and dried weeds for our fires.  The boys had nerf guns, so they shot us with their bullets.  Robyn and I played soldiers for most of the rest of the week.  It was so totally awesome, it was one of my favorite parts of the week we spent at grandma’s.

I don’t think I’ll be part of the Airforce, but it was sure fun to pretend.

–Contributed by Ava Victoria Rockwood (age 13)

May 28, 2012

America the Beautiful! Visiting Pike’s Peak

Pike’s Peak, CO

The idea of the trip came to us while we were sitting at Grandma Rockwood’s kitchen table.  We were brainstorming, trying to figure out what to do today, when Grandpa sugested we visit Pikes Peak.  Not very many of the kids wanted to go after they heard that it was a two hour trip, but they quickly changed their minds when Grandpa mentioned that there was snow on top.  We (my five siblings and our cousins) made plans about snow-ball fights, snowmen, and other fun activities.  We collected coats, hats, scarves and boots for the people who wanted them, and piled into my mom’s 15 passenger van.  It was very crowded, and we took almost every seat available, squishing and compacting until everyone was in a seat belt.

We made our way to the foot of the mountains, paid for entrance at a booth on the side of the road, and continued on.  After a little while, we could see specks of snow far up on the side of the mountain, and later, closer to us, blanketing the earth beneath the trees.  As we drove, we saw more and more snow on the sides of the road.  It made everyone feel excited.  The younger kids pushed to see out the windows at the glittering masses of clean, white, snow.

Soon we started up an extremely tricky road.  It was very steep with hairpin turns and sheer drops most of the time.  My uncle informed me that this road used to be only gravel, but they had paved it since he last went up.

It took a long time to get to the top, but we made it without any real trouble.  My mother was a little traumatized from driving up the mountain on that steep road, but she felt better after a short nap, although grandpa drove us down when the time came.

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At the top of the mountain is a large monument with the words to the song, “America the Beautiful” written on it.  When we got home, we looked up the history of that song.

In 1893, at the age of thirty-three, Katharine Lee Bates, an English professor at Wellesley College, had taken a train trip to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to teach a short summer school session at Colorado College. Several of the sights on her trip inspired her, and they found their way into her poem, including the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the “White City” with its promise of the future contained within its alabaster buildings; the wheat fields of America’s heartland Kansas, through which her train was riding on July 16; and the majestic view of the Great Plains from high atop Zebulon’s Pikes Peak.

On the pinnacle of that mountain, the words of the poem started to come to her, and she wrote them down upon returning to her hotel room at the original Antlers Hotel. The poem was initially published two years later in The Congregationalist, to commemorate the Fourth of July. It quickly caught the public’s fancy.


O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassion’d stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.
America! America!
God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.
O beautiful for heroes prov’d
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country lov’d,
And mercy more than life.
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine.
O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

It was neat to look at that gorgeous view, and read the words to Katherine Lee Bates’ poem.  We took a few pictures at the top.  It was pretty amazing.  Everyone played in the snow, throwing snowballs, exploring, and running around the top of the mountain.  We’d previously driven from Utah, where the mountains were covered with snow, and from here, we were so high up, we could see the mountains we’d driven through.

Pike’s Peak has a fantastic 360 degree view.  Nothing was taller than we were.

Ava and I explored a little farther than everyone else and found a particularly deep snow drift.  We jumped around in it for a while until it was time to go home.  As we drove down the mountain, I took a nap, exhausted by the high mountain air, jumping in the snow and everything else.  I was glad I’d decided to go on the snow trip to Pike’s Peak and got to play in the snow one last time before summer started.  We live in a beautiful country!

–Contributed by Anna Celinda Rockwood (age 15)

May 28, 2012

Grandma Lillie’s Lace

Lily with Grandma Lillie’s Lace

While we were on our road trip to Colorado, we spent some time at Grandma Rockwood’s house.  I was able to learn from her about Grandma Lillie’s Lace.  My Great-great Grandma Lillie Lang Robison was a tall, thin lady.  She had long, flowing brown hair, and beautiful greenish eyes like my Grandma Rockwood.  She is the grandma I’m named after!  Grandma Lillie was born in Beaver, Utah in 1888, and died in October, 1965.  Grandma Lillie had two children, a son and a daughter.  Her daughter’s name was Birdie Isabella Robison.   For her daughter’s blessing day, Grandma Lillie made her a lace bonnet.  It was made of a tiny crocheted lace pattern that she designed herself.  The edge is especially pretty.  It has my favorite stitch in it, it’s called the “rolled” stitch.

Lace making is a tradition in our family, passed down from Grandma Lillie, to her granddaughter, my grandma Mary Rockwood, and maybe to me!  Lace making today is a rare thing, but in our family it is a tradition on both sides of the family.  On my mom’s side of the family, they also make lace.  Her grandma Celinda Jane Twitchell Olson knitted lace, and passed down her love of lace making to my mother, who also makes lace.  On our trip, Grandma showed my mom how to make the roll stitch, and I got to see.   You use small white thread and a tiny number 10 crochet hook.  You wrap the thread around the crochet hook 16 times and then pull one loop through all 16 loops to make a small roll of stitches.  It’s beautiful.  Some roll stitches are curved around like roly-polie pill bugs, and some are straight like sausage curls.

Replica of Grandma Lillie’s Lace Bonnet

Grandma Lillie made two blessing bonnets, and gave them to her daughter, Birdie, before she died.  Grandma Birdie gave the bonnets to her daughter, Mary Rockwood, my grandma.  Grandma Rockwood took the one she thought was prettiest, and copied it.  She figured out the stitch so she could make more bonnets for her grandchildren.  It took her almost a year to figure out the design.  She has made many of Grandma Lillie’s bonnets over the past few years, and gives them to her children and their children to be blessed in, just like Grandma Birdie was.

My grandma made me a deal.  If I really want a bonnet, she will make me one, but I have to promise to love it and care for it.  I love the roll stitch that grandma makes.  It reminds me of the curls in my hair.  Grandma has curls too.

My mother’s first try making Grandma Lillie’s Lace


My mother is learning to make Grandma Lillie’s Lace for the edge of the altar cloth that she will make and give the temple to celebrate the day I am sealed to my forever family.  Lace making is pretty special to me.  Someday I will learn how to make lace like my Grandma Lillie too!

–Contributed by Lily Adeline Rockwood, age 11

Lily and Grandma Mary Rockwood, learning to make Grandma Lillie’s Lace