June 12, 2012

Snowflakes on the Ice

 

Snowflakes on the Ice

by Lily Adeline Rockwood

June 1, 2012

As I got on the ice

My skates skittered like mice.

I land on my pants

The way that they dance!

I met this nice girl,

Who taught me to twirl

She has brown curly hair,

It floats through the air.

I try to comprehend

But not to slip or bend.

I imagine snowflakes

Floating above blue lakes–

As I learn to fly

On the ice.

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May 29, 2012

Fathers and Sons Campout With My Dad

Me with my Dad

Last week I went to the Fathers and Sons Campout with my dad.  This year it was at Emma Woods State Beach, in Ventura.  We decided not to cook dinner since my dad can only eat gluten free food.  He’s still new at gluten free food and only has a few things he knows how to make.  Sandwiches is one of them, so we ate sandwiches in the car on the way there.  The sandwiches were good!  We had them on cinnamon bagels, cut in half, with ham and cheese.  We didn’t have yellow cheese, so we split a string cheese into strands and put that on our bagels.  Yum!  I could tell this was going to be a good campout.

When we got there, we quickly set up our tent and then ran to see the campfire.  The campfire wasn’t started yet, so I gathered wood.  Josh Taylor and I used the axe to chop wood.  That was fun, even though I didn’t have my totin’ chip.  If you have your totin’ chip, you can show the police that you can use the axe safely, otherwise, they could arrest you or something, maybe take the axe away from you.  I don’t know though, because it’s brother Barrus’ axe, and he might get mad.  I don’t like it when he gets mad, so I was careful to do it right so no one would ask me about my totin’  chip.  My dad was there, so I wasn’t too worried.

After we got the fire going, I helped brother Anderson take out all the snacks, food and root beer.  I don’t know why they always bring soda to go camping, but that’s what they do every year.  My favorite thing to drink was the coconut pineapple juice that my mom packed for us.  The cranberry juice went down in like two minutes, that’s pretty good stuff.

There were railroad tracks right next to our campsite.  My friends and I stood on them for a while until a train came.  When the train came, we yelled at the people in the train, we said “Hi! How are you?” and then we had to run and jump behind a fence so we wouldn’t get sucked in by the wind.  That was kind of cool. Later I found out that there’s so much wind under the running train that it can suck you under, and you might die.  That’s what my dad told me, but not until later. Also, there was this bridge that was part of the railroad tracks, if you walk on it, it’s scary because there’s no dirt between the rails of the track, just sky.  Also, if a train came while you were on it, you’d die.  Luckily, we didn’t die.

When we came back like an hour later, it was dark.  If you looked up in the sky, there was this one cloud that looked like a surf board.  It was thin, but long.  It was all red and pink.  It was really cool to look at because of the amazing colors.   We didn’t really go near the water because it was all rocky with sticks, no sand, and there was this hobo that lived near the water, and we were afraid he’d start attacking us or something, so we didn’t go there.

We had root beer floats, those were good.  I guess that’s why they brought root beer.  Then, brother Anderson gathered up all the boys and their dads to talk about the priesthood.  He talked about how good it was and how it was a blessing to us.  If you have the priesthood, you can do a lot of things.  It’s kind of hard to understand, but it’s like the power of God.  I thought it would be cool to have, because I’m going to be getting the Aaronic priesthood next year.   My dad has the Aaronic Priesthood AND the Melchizedek Priesthood.  He can give blessings of healing and pass the sacrament, he can do all kinds of stuff.

When we were done learning about the priesthood, we looked at the sky.  Eric Langlois brought a laser pointer and we found out that if you hold the laser pointer at the sky, you can point at the stars.  The laser was Dad’s favorite color, green.  Dad taught me that light goes on forever.  The sun’s light shines and goes out into space, further and further every day.  If you were standing on a planet far away, you’d be able to see the light from our sun, it would look like a star in the sky.  So if you’re on our planet looking at the stars, that’s really someone else’s sun.  That’s pretty amazing.  Also, if you point a laser at a star, you can touch the star with your laser light– it just might take a billion years for the light to get there.  I think it would be really fun to play laser tag with aliens!

I slept outside with Daylin and the Packard boys.  Gabrien and my dad got the tent.  Sleeping outside is the frontier way.  I like that best.

The next morning we had a huge pancake breakfast.  It was really good.  There were mountains of sausage, eggs and pancakes.  I felt sorry for my dad.  He couldn’t have anything with flour in it, and he doesn’t like eggs.  There was one other kid that was also gluten free.  He ate special pancakes, but my dad just had sausage, juice and yogurt.

One of the coolest things that happened at our camp out, was when my dad put some coins on the railroad track and the train ran over them.  They looked like flat, smooshed metal.  I got to hold the smooshed coin, it was cold and smooth.  I couldn’t read any of it, but Dad said it used to say 1996 on it.  We put a rock on the track, and it smooshed the rock too.  Trains are pretty powerful, and my dad is pretty cool.  I didn’t even know you could do stuff like that.

When we were done looking at the coins, we packed up and went home.  It was a pretty good trip.

–Contributed by Angela Rockwood and Ethan Nathaniel Rockwood (age 10)

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.

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL

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

May 13, 2012

Sorrow– A Sonnet

Sorrow

Sonnet by Anna Celinda Rockwood

May 25, 2011

The man, he walked among the free and wild

His thoughts upon the bright and blooming spring

The blues, the reds, the beaming yellow tones

Of flowers at the peak of springtime smells

The man sat waist high in pink and purple

And thought about his long lost love of which

There was no more than dusty skin and bones

Under the hard packed flowering ground

Her death, a stroke, was hard to bear within

And he would always miss her more in spring

When flowers bloomed and birds began to sing

Her voice as soft as spider’s silken thread

Her eyes, ice blue, and brighter than the sun

Her hair, silken soft waves of browning gold

Her face was small and delicate heart shaped

With bloom of pink upon her rosy cheeks

The man, he wept for things long lost in time

And his hands, no fingers to hold, to press

Her hands so white and delicate within

His rough and sturdy, calloused from the plow

His chest with holes of sorrow burned clear through

His heart, so lost, so sad and riddled full

He wept for all the things not said or done,

The thank yous and the loving words to her

The man, his head a painful bleary mess

Got to his weary feet and headed for

Her grave, blue flowers in his trembling hand

The stone, so new and white, stood awaiting.

He gently set the bright blue flowers there

Atop her stern gray stone and turned his back

He walked away without a backward glance

His focus on his future without her.

He thought of plows and crops instead of girls

He dwelt upon his plans for future days

Instead of memories of her and him

He turned his back on love and walked away.

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April 29, 2012

How To Plant A Tree– MHH Day of Service

Planting a tree in Thousand Oaks

Today I learned how to plant a tree.  We helped plant over 120 oak trees in Thousand Oaks as part of Mormon Helping Hands’ Day of Service.  When we arrived at the place where we were supposed to plant trees, one of the city’s groundskeepers was there, teaching everyone how to plant the trees so that they’d live and thrive in this rocky soil.  Oak trees are native to this area, and are used to growing in rocky, tough dirt, but since these trees have been transplanted instead of grown in the spot they’ll stay forever, we have to take extra care.

The first thing we did was dig a hole that is about two feet deep and two feet wide.  That is no easy task in rocky soil.  I pulled rocks out with my shovel that were bigger than my fist!  Thankfully, the city’s groundskeepers had already drilled the holes with a machine, and back-filled them, so the soil and rocks were already loose, and not too difficult to dig out again.

After we dug the hole, we took the tree out of it’s pot and put it in the hole, filling in around the edges with rich, brown soil.   Next comes a very important part, maybe the most important part of all.  These trees are going to be on the city’s water drip system, so if there is a drought, we won’t lose all our hard work.  Nature can afford to lose a few trees here and there, but these trees don’t have established root systems yet.  They need all the water they can get!  So, when we were done filling in the hole, we took the extra dirt and made a “C” shape around the base of the tree so the water from the drip system would hit the little wall of earth around the tree and stay with the tree instead of running down the hill.

After we made a ring around our tree for the water system, we pounded in two stabilizing poles, one on each side of the tree.  Then we tied the tree to the posts.  The posts will ensure that the tree is not toppled over by high Santa Ana winds before the root system has a chance to take root.  We don’t want trees that grow sideways.  We want tall, beautiful oaks!  When the posts were all tied, we hammered nails through the rubber ties into the posts to keep them from slipping.

My little sister, Ava, had the job of hammering nails into the rubber strips.  She is very good with hammers and she hit the nail on the head most of the time.

It was really fun to do this activity with my sisters and friends, working together for a common cause.  I enjoyed it very much and I can’t wait until we do it again!

–Anna Celinda Rockwood (age 15)

April 29, 2012

Mormon Helping Hands– What I Like Best

Me! Planting a Tree!

My favorite part of Mormon Helping Hands is seeing everyone help each other.  Sometimes I hear on the news people fighting, or bad things happening, but on this day, there is no fighting, only helping, and that makes me happy.

I helped two boys take their tree up the hill.  When I asked them if they needed help, the younger one said “No.” but the younger one said, “Yes!” so I helped them get it up to the top of the hill.  We dug a hole and got the tree into the ground.  It was a lot of work, but we were able to do it, just us!  By ourselves!  That was pretty neat.

Later, I helped tie the trees to stakes so they will be steady in the wind until the roots get hold.  We tied each tree between two stakes, and nailed the ties in place, so they wouldn’t slide down and let the tree flounder in the wind.  The trees we planted are all up on a hillside, right in the path of the evening ocean winds.  Tying the stakes to the trees and nailing them in place was a big job, and there were lots of trees that needed to be tied, so I was pretty busy.

I also helped my dad hand out water bottles.  We were able to finish the project within two hours, but we worked hard!  I was very thirsty by the time we were done!  It was a fun day and I am really happy that I came.

–Ava Victoria Rockwood (age 13)

April 29, 2012

Mormon Helping Hands 2012 in Thousand Oaks– My Perspective

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This morning everyone met at the church for Mormon Helping Hands 2012.  Even though it was only 7:00 in the morning, lots of people were there to help.  Mormon Helping Hands is something we do every year in our area.  We get out of our normal routines and go do something for someone else, usually in a big way!

This year we had over 500 volunteers at three locations across the Conejo Valley.  I helped in the Thousand Oaks project.  We planted 120 trees, and it only took two hours!  I was surprised how fast it was.  My whole family went, and a lot of my friends too.  I worked on digging holes.  It was hard work.  I am grateful for the service we were able to give today.  I look forward to our next Mormon Helping Hands Day of Service!

–Lily Adeline Rockwood (age 11)

November 8, 2011

I Wonder When He Comes Again– A Verse For Baby Elizabeth

My brother and his wife recently experienced the death of their precious daughter Elizabeth who was born premature.  My mother wrote and sang this modified version of  “I Wonder When He Comes Again” by Mirla Greenwood Thayne.  She writes:

“When we were preparing for Katie’s and Shaun’s graveside service for baby Elizabeth, I looked and looked for a hymn or primary song that talked about the resurrection of little children.  There are none, except for one hymn on page 299 that came close, but the tune and words were very unsatisfying to me.  So Aunt Janetta suggested that I write a verse to use… which I did.  Its an add-on to verse one of  “I WONDER WHEN HE COMES AGAIN“.

“It was suggested that I put it out there for others to use in similar circumstances.  Here are the words.  We sang them at Elizabeth’s graveside and it was very nice:

I Wonder When He Comes Again– For Baby Elizabeth
I wonder when He come again, will herald angels sing?
Will earth be white with drifted snow, or will the world know spring?
I wonder if one star will shine far brighter than the rest.
Will daylight stay the whole night through?  Will songbirds leave their nests?
I’m sure he’ll call his little ones together round his knee,
Because he said in days gone by, “Suffer them to come to me.”

Our Heav’nly Father knows and sees, the smallest sparrow fall.
His plan is for our happiness; He loves and cares for all.
I know when Jesus comes again, the righteous dead he’ll raise.
With joyful voice the glorious throng will shout and sing his praise.
And children sleeping in the grave will rise to live again,
As parents joyfully embrace their small ones once again.

—Last verse by Denisa Myrick (Elizabeth’s Grandmother)

June 21, 2011

Cloudless

 

Cloudless

By Angela  Rockwood (June 2011)

 

They say ‘As you sow, Shall ye reap’

But here in the middle, we’re faithfully

Praying for rain

Praying for rain

Stuck in the middle

We’re praying for rain.

 

The seeds are gone, the winter’s sure

The sprouts are grown and the summer’s cure

Is praying for rain

Praying for rain

We’re here in the middle

Praying for rain.

 

‘Cause first we sow, and then we reap

And pray these little ones to keep.

Hoping for rain

Watching for rain

Searching my soul as I’m

Waiting for rain.

 

Our faces glisten, as they run

Coursing heavy, wither the sun

Sighing for rain

Crying for rain

Our hearts in the middle

Dying for rain.

 

Scorching in the refiner’s flame

My soul will never be the same

But faithful ever, He’ll sustain

The droplets of gold nearly obtained!

And I know that Heaven knows my name—

 

For as I prayed

 

It rained.

June 17, 2011

Soon Treasure

 

Soon Treasure

by Angela  Rockwood (June  2011)

 

Amongst the Johnny Jump-ups lay,

‘Mid golden purple hue,

The curling heads of two so fair,

Sparkling with the dew.

 

The drops of sun were in their hair,

Two sisters, shining gold—

And shooting through the grass beyond,

Three brothers young and bold.

 

Of tawny shade and brawny bone,

Together off they fly,

And peeking in on sisters, stray

With mischief in supply.

 

First stepping in then racing out,

Hippy-Hoppity-Stop!

Then looking closely at a bug;

Then running scatter shot!

 

The sweaty faces, tumbled knees,

Speak treasures far and near—

Excited yells from lofty knells

Then laughing, reappear.

 

While girly curls they swirly furl

And with the breezes play,

Noses in books, the dreamy looks

Of sisters far away.

 

The last in a tree, how graceful she,

Her secret dreams concealed—

All lost in thought, some lofty plot

Above the lowly field.

 

The trees and boughs are full of plows

Fanciful whingdats too.

Dark brown hair, tucked behind one ear,

Bandana streaked blue-hue.

 

Far giggles float and drift aloud,

While tickling, fill the ear.

The youthful sun of fun begun,

Cherished– all are here.

 

November 8, 2010

Memorization Increases Understanding in Local School Group

by Angela Rockwood November 8, 2010

The brains of local school children have been flexed in the Rockwood Homeschool.  Snatches of poetry, history and prose can be heard on the breeze as classics are committed to memory.

I recently visited the Rockwood classroom and had the opportunity to see the technique in action.  I asked Ava, a student, what sorts of things they were memorizing, she had quite a list:  “The first thing I memorized was the Articles of Faith.  The Articles of Faith are tools to help you with your life.  There are 13 of them, most were pretty easy, but the 13th was the hardest.  I also memorized “The Village Blacksmith” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and the Preamble of the Constitution.”

What can be learned from memorizing the Preamble?  Anna Rockwood, another student had a quick answer.  “I learned the founding principles, the things our Founding Fathers used, and why they wrote the Declaration of Independence.  They wanted to establish justice, make peace, protect their families and help everyone to be free as best they could.  That’s pretty important to understand, the government is not there to boss you.  We need to have a little bit less government bossing us in our country.  It seems like we are getting less and less freedom.”

When asked whether memorization was an effective learning tool,  Gabrien replied, “Yes, because it helps your mind remember things better, even math equations.”  Do you find it difficult to remember so many great works?  Not at all, he says.  “A great way to do it is to use hand motions, that helps me.”

What’s next?  “Hope Is The Thing With Feathers” by Emily Dickenson, and perhaps who knows?  The Gettysburg Address!

November 8, 2010

Hope Is The Thing With Feathers

Hope Is The Thing With Feathers

by Emily Dickenson

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chilliest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

October 23, 2010

My First MHH Service Day!

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Today I woke up at 7:00 and got my working clothes on.  We had to wake up nice and early to go to the Mormon Helping Hands activity.  Mormon Helping hands is where you go and help in the community.  This was my first time going to a MHH activity.  I was really excited to go.  There were lots of people there, and lots of kids! I thought I would be one of the only ones, but the moms and dads brought their kids too.  That was cool.

I got to meet the Mayor of Thousand Oaks, Mayor Gillette, he was there to give us an award for our service and cut the ribbon on our special day of helping.  I got a piece of the ribbon that the Mayor cut for my journal.  I also got to take my picture with him.

When we were done talking to the mayor, we broke into groups and went to different schools to plant trees.  Our group went to Glennwood Elementary School.  We dug holes and planted trees along the front of the school by the street.  I helped dig and was one of the runners getting water and doughnuts and tools to the other workers.  The ground was hard to dig so sometimes the kids helped do other things, like run for supplies.  Makayla’s dad brought a pick, so he could get through the hard ground and rocks whenever we got stuck.  Luckily, the weather was nice and cool, and not too hot.  It actually misted a little bit, but not enough to get us wet.

Tommy and Sam Cooley, Van Bush and my sister Ava did the most digging in our group.  My brothers helped too.   Daylin helped hold up the trees while Ethan and Gabrien filled the dirt back in.  My sister Anna and her friend Chelsea Hackney helped pound in stakes in the ground to keep the trees from falling down.  We all worked together.  It was hard work!

I loved the feeling I had from helping other people today.  I think that’s one of the blessings of serving.  I am proud of all the people that helped.  It was so beautiful when it was all done!

–By Lily Adeline Rockwood, photography by Angela Michelle Myrick Rockwood, Oct 2010