25% off all my novels

All parents are now Home School teachers. Can't get out for a home school materials convention? I was to display at the Fort Wayne convention in May. For your convenience, all my novels are 25% off now until the end of the summer. Go to: www.dorisgainesrapp.com/index.html. Link below.

Tucker McBride

Return to a time when a boy could be a boy, when life was clearer from the top branch of a tree, when a kid could trade anger and disappointment for action and adventure, when the whole neighborhood was his playground, and the sloppy kiss from a dog could make everything right.


Thursday, November 26, 2020

A Black Friday Surprise Makes a Great Gift Project

 I was out of my small picture book, Lincoln's Christmas Mouse. Each year, I put one in each of our Christmas Box ministry shoeboxes. So, I did what Gramma would have done and made something special. I printed the black and white pictures from the original computer document. The small coloring book I created with binder rings fits perfectly into some child's Christmas joy. The few I ordered will be added to the book spinner I have at Whimzy's in Huntington, and will be available on Black Friday, November 27. (Whimzy - 45 Etna Avenue, Huntington, Indiana)


In this unique year, with unique events, you too may need to create a few unique presents for your unique children. You could make your own coloring book for the children in your life. I created several that will also be available on my book spinner at Whimzy's. 

Decide on a theme. You could use the camera in your cell phone and take a series of pictures of your family pet. I printed mine on tag paper. You may choose a heavy weight printer paper. Next, send them to your computer and change them to black and white.   





Fun can be added by converting the pictures into cartoons. There are various apps on line for your use. The photos are best if they are images of people the children know, pets and other animals in their neighborhood, school scenes, or locations around home. 

Collect your images, decide on a cover from those you've selected, create a title, place them two-to-a- page, print all pages, cut the paper in half, punch two holes on the left, then slip the metal binder rings into the holes like I did with the Lincoln's Christmas Mouse Coloring Book example above.

Have fun. Hand crafted gifts are a privilege to receive. You may want to include a fresh, new box of crayons with the book. Nothing is more exciting than a twenty-four box of pristine crayons.

Doris Gaines Rapp
Copyright 2020 Doris Gaines Rapp

Monday, October 26, 2020

A Penny Here, A Penny There

 Have you ever seen someone ride one of these bicycles? 

These bikes were first popular in the 1870s and 1880s. In Tucker McBride's Many Lives, Tucker's friend Freddie rode up to the big white house on the corner on his father's penny-farthing, or high-wheeler bicycle. The penny-farthing was the first machine to be called a bicycle.

The 52, 54, or even 56 inch front wheel made the ride smoother. You were also able to cover a lot of road in a short time. But if you hit a stone or other object, you'd fly head-over-shoelaces forward. The boneshaker was a challenge to get on. How do you think you would get to the seat on the penny-farthing? 

Image you were riding your high-wheeler around your neighborhood. What could you see from up there? What would friends and neighbors say about your bicycle? What would be the most fun about riding a penny-farthing? What if you had to pick up a loaf of bread for Mom; how would you carry it? How would you get off the bicycle? 

If you were a girl in 1870, you would wear a long skirt. If a boy, you're have on knickers. 

 You wouldn't get your pant legs caught in the wooden spokes of the large wheel. What could a girl do to protect her clothing and keep her from falling?

Brainstorm about it. When you brainstorm, you list as many possibilities as you can dream up. There are no wrong ideas. Jot down your answers. Write a short story about them. Or, draw a picture to illustrate your great thoughts. Most of all, have fun.

Doris Gaines Rapp

Copyright 2020 Doris Gaines Rapp, PhD.



Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Cozy Spot

In my novels, Tucker McBride and Tucker McBride's Many Lives, Grandpop sat in his Morris chair everyday, to read the newspaper, listen to the radio, or do his crossword puzzles. Since it could recline, it was perfect for his morning nap. No one in the family raced to see if they could beat him to it. That simply wasn't done. It was Grandpop's chair.

Last week we went to Shipshewana, Indiana. I found this great Mission style chair, like Grandpop's Morris chair, in the Blue Gate Restaurant. 


When I was a child, my cousin's grandfather also had a Morris chair. When I would spend the day with Judi, we would go in the TV room and say "Hi" to Mr. Kress. Although I never sat in one, the old chair, with the vertical slates down the side has several meanings for me.

What kind of furniture reminds you of family or fond memories from the past? Maybe it's a piano, a kitchen table, or a studio couch. Draw a picture of it and write a story that explains why it is special to you. See it in your mind, then simply copy that picture onto paper, and describe a time when the chair had a special use.

Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.

Copyright 2020 Doris Gaines Rapp

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

What Would You Put In It ?

 

Gramma put cookies in a crock like these. She'd cover the cookies with waxed paper before putting on the lid. Also, she had lard stored in one. Lard is fat rendered, or cooked down, from a pig. She used the lard like you would use vegetable oil, butter, or Crisco.

The crocks are called stoneware which is a durable ceramic or pottery fired to a high degree and is water-tight. Grandpop made tops for the crocks out of wood he stored in the upper, "attic" of his workshop. If the crock had an indented ridge, he made the lid to fit inside. If it didn't, he designed the lid to fit over the top and grab the outside edge.

If you had a crock with a lid, what would you store in it? It can be anything, except lard or cookies. Think about something that would fit in the crock that would measure about a ten inches high and about eight inches in diameter (across). It doesn't have to be food. The crock is yours to fill with whatever you want.

Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.

Copyright 2020 Doris Gaines Rapp

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Getting to Know You

So you want to be a TV interviewer and meet people? 

When Tucker and his friends go on their adventure, they meet a very interesting girl. As they walk her home one day, they begin to talk. By the time they get to her house, they've made a really good friend.

People build good friendships by getting to know others. Sharing about yourself and asking about them, is how we develop friendships. Remember, it's a conversation. You both get to talk. And, you share the talk-time. If there are two of you in the conversation, you talk one-half of the time. If three friends are enjoying a chat, your talk-time is one-third of the time. You get the idea. The important thing is, you get to know them while being honest in return.

You know it isn't polite to ask personal questions like --- "How much money does your mother earn?" Or, job-related questions such as --- "Has your dad found out any secrets about his boss?" Remember, if a friend asks you somethings you don't want to talk about, you can politely refuse to answer. Something like, "I'm not ready to talk about that now," is a refusal to speak, without being nasty.

Gramma would warn Tucker about telling people a family secret. There are some things best kept in the family. Like maybe one of your grandparents can't remember things anymore. Or, a parent just got a big raise in pay. Gramma would say, "Now, this stays in the family." Don't worry, those secrets won't keep you from making friends by sharing who you are and getting to know them.

For today's activity, you are going to pretend you're a TV newscaster. You are going to do a parrot-interview with the "new student" at your school. When you ask them a question, they get to ask you a similar one in return, or a different one they can think of. Write down their answers on the blank lines. Remember, you're from WHO-TV Station and the other person is the Interviewee. When you're finished, each of you introduce the person to others using all the information they just told you. The interviewee will have a form also. They too can be a WHO-TV newscaster, answering your questions and asking their own. On their sheet, they will fill out the WHO-TV sections too. You might need a script. Here we go:

WHO-TV:       Tell me when you moved to town.

                        ___________________________________________________________________

Interviewee's Question:

                        ____________________________________________________________________

WHO-TV:       How many brothers and sisters do you have?

                        ____________________________________________________________________

Interviewee's Question:

                        ____________________________________________________________________

WHO-TV:       Do you play a musical instrument? Which one?

                        ____________________________________________________________________

Interviewee's Question:

                        ____________________________________________________________________

WHO-TV:       How about sports? Do you play, watch, or both?

                        ____________________________________________________________________

Interviewee's Question:

                        ____________________________________________________________________

WHO-TV:       If you get to go Trick-or-Treating, what will you wear?

                        ____________________________________________________________________

Interviewee's Question:

                        ____________________________________________________________________

WHO-TV:       What are you thankful for?

                        ____________________________________________________________________

Interviewee's Question:

                        ____________________________________________________________________

WHO-TV:       Some people are afraid of the dark. What are you afraid of?

                        ____________________________________________________________________

Interviewee's Question:

                        ____________________________________________________________________

WHO-TV:       Anything else you want to tell me?

                        ____________________________________________________________________

Interviewee's Question:

                        ____________________________________________________________________

Now, introduce your "new friend" to others. They will introduce you, too.


Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.

Copyright 2020 Doris Gaines Rapp

Also: https://lengthofdaystrilogy.blosgspot.com

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The Many Lives of Tucker McBride

   

Tucker often finds himself in an adventure he didn't plan. In Tucker McBride's Many Lives he and his friends start off on a day of fun and end up some place else entirely. 

Where would you go if you could plan your own adventure trip? Use the internet, library, or AAA information to determine the distance to your location and the time it would take to get there. Get the history, activities, highlights, and fun places to eat in the area. If your trip will require staying in a hotel, find out the cost per night and location.

Maybe you can't go now due to Covid 19, work responsibilities, or lack of money, but planning is a major part of the fun. Take the trip later. Be inquisitive, seek adventure, enjoy life!

Doris Gaines Rapp

Copyright 2020 Doris Gaines Rapp 

Monday, September 21, 2020

Be Strong and Powerful! Build Successful School Habits

ARE YOU READY? School has started for most, either in the classroom, or from remote learning. Whichever, concentration is a must, and concentration begins with proper habits of study.

In Tucker’s day, Gramma would prepare him for class work a few weeks before school started. Tucker came in the house when there was plenty of daylight left, settled down by the Philco radio, and unwound before going to bed - on time, at the same time each school night. That’s necessary to concentration and school success. Sameness is important. We call them habits. Routine, a schedule, habits - different names for the same experience. They make things run more smoothly, more successfully.

Since school has started, you’ll need a “school routine.” School work, regardless of the location, requires habits:

1.       The same study corner of the house

2.       The same hour of day

3.       The same “stage” – no TV, no distractions like games, toys, fudduddles of any kind, no cell phone

4.       You name the things that distract you the most – put them away

Habit building is doing the same thing over and over.  Never practice your routine incorrectly. That means, don’t keep your game device nearby “just this once”; don’t check your messages even if you’re expecting a few lines from Dr. Who. You get the idea.

Building a habit, is deliberately doing what you don’t naturally do. Make a list of the things necessary to help concentration. Cover the topics over which you need control:

I can choose the same Location – it is:

I can choose the same time of day – it is:

I can choose the things I’ll need – they are:

I can choose the things I don’t need – they are:

Habit Building Challenge: Are you strong enough to participate? … To practice your new ability to make wise choices that build habits, try this. During your favorite TV program or frequently played game, stop what you’re doing, go into your bedroom and move a shoe from one side of the room to the other, every day. Why? To prove to yourself that you can choose wisely for yourself – you are in control of you. You are strong! Nothing can interfere with your study or your ability to do what you know is best for you. You hold the power over you. You will feel stronger than you ever have. Put that ability to make wise choices into practice, and build those positive study habits. Purposefully do what you do not naturally do.

Have a great study time. You’re a self-made honor student!

Doris Gaines Rapp

Copyright 2020 Doris Gaines Rapp

A Black Friday Surprise Makes a Great Gift Project

 I was out of my small picture book, Lincoln's Christmas Mouse. Each year, I put one in each of our Christmas Box ministry shoeboxes. So...