Monday, November 29, 2010

The Annual Valkommen Historical Costume Party

On the thirteenth on this month, most of my family (excluding Dad and Joel) went to some dear friends' costume  party. We had a blast!! :)  This is the party Mom and I made my costume for.  Below are some photos:

The Ladies (before Crystal M. arrived). L-R (backrow): Abby, Elisha W., Bethany G., Beth W., Mrs. G., Mrs, W., Aunt Jill. Front row: Hannah G., Deborah W., Mom, Phoebe and yours-truly (Johanna).

Abby, Mrs. W., Beth W. and Phoebe

The young men: Benjamin and Micah W., Caleb, cousin Stefon, Nathaniel W., Aaron G., Stephen and Andrew W. (this was before Josiah M. came).

Andrew W. presents his character: Richard Bong, an American World War II Ace who shot down 40 Japs in his P-38 Lightning.
The Medal of Honor was awarded to him for:
"...Conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty in the Southwest Pacific area from October 10, to November 15, 1944. Though assigned to duty as gunnery instructor and neither required nor expected to perform combat duty, Maj. Bong voluntarily and at his own urgent request engaged in repeated combat missions, including unusually hazardous sorties over Balikpapan, Borneo, and in the Leyte area of the Philippines. His aggressiveness and daring resulted in his shooting down 8 enemy airplanes during this period."

L-R: Andrew and Nathaniel W., Jaden, Caleb and Mom, Micah, Mr. and Benjamin W.
Aunt Jill

Aunt Jill presents her character: Mary Elizabeth Bowser

Three historical characters talking: Mary Elizabeth Bowser (Aunt Jill), Princess Adelina (Johanna), and Phoebe Knapp (Phoebe)

Elizabeth presents her character: Sybil Bingham (a missionary to Hawaii).

I was Sybil Bingham, one of the first missionaries to Hawaii.
She and her husband Hiram Bingham sailed in 1822 to the Hawaiian Islands as part of a group of missionaries. Through very many trials (such as all thirteen persons living in the same room 20 feet square for the first few years )

Sybil and the other missionary wives persevered and did not waver in their commitment to sharing the gospel with these heathen. Immediateley on their arrival the native ladies begged for dresses like those of the missionaries, and so Sybil and her friends set to work and created what we now call the Mumuu.
Sybil felt it her highest goal to give an example of the Christian home and family the pagan Hawaiians. She believed (quote)“that even the most humble details of housework could be transformed into a witness for Christ. Their attention to their children could demonstrate the love that Christ had for the physical and spiritual well-being of all persons.”
Sybil Bingham is an inspiration to me because of her diligence and perseverance on the mission field, but also because she left a living legacy of these qualities in her children.
Her sixth child, Hiram Bingham II was also a missionary to Hawaii, and his son Hiram Bingham III was the man who re-discovered the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu.
Hiram Bingham III had seven sons, one of whom, Hiram Bingham IV, was U.S Vice Consul in France during World War II and rescued 2,000 Jews from the Holocaust by issuing visas and helping refugees escape. He also sheltered jews in his own home and forged identity papers for Jews traveling through Europe. He Married and had 11 children, which shows that Sybil and Hiram Binghams love of children was also passed down!

Beth W., Mrs. G., Abby and Phoebe
Bethany G.

Bethany G. presents her character: Tcernicieru, a Romanian woman who stood fast for the faith even though it meant losing her job and eventually being put in prison after trying to escape Romania.

Caleb presents his character: Colonel William "Bill" Henderson (a WWII soldier).


Cousin Stefon (I just LOVED his outfit)!

Mr. W. presents Deborah's character: Queen Astrid of Belgium.

In the words of her father, Prince Carl of Sweden, Astrid “had a heart of gold … she loved everyone, and everyone loved her". Astrid’s husband, Prince Leopold, was her greatest admirer. They were a very happy, deeply devoted couple.
The young Duchess of Brabant (Queen of Belgium), raised in the simplicity of the Scandinavian courts, joyfully raised her growing family. At a small villa in the palace grounds, Astrid even cooked for her family. She was appreciated very much by the Belgians for her simplicity and naturalness. For instance, she used to stroll her children up and down in the street in their carriages, incurring the criticism of the Belgian court officials, who told her she was breaking protocol by so doing. She only replied: “But I’m just another mother, am I not?” She even went as far as joining the crowds during a military revue in an effort to see her promenading husband at the head of his regiment.
Miss Deborah-- my little friend/sister! :)

Deborah and yours-truly (a queen and a princess)
Elisha presents her character: Joan of England, Queen of Sicily

Elisha dressed as Joan of England, Queen of Sicily.
In an English castle on October 1165, the youngest daughter and eighth child of King Henry II and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine was born, and named Joanna, or Joan. From birth, she was surrounded with chivalry, troubadours, adventure and intrigue. Her father was absent, and she lived with some of her siblings at her mother’s castle in Poitiers. Joan was 8 years old when her 18-year-old brother Henry, encouraged by her mother, led a revolt against his father. However, their attempt ended in failure, and Queen Eleanor was imprisoned in the castle of Winchester.
Despite the family strife, Joan grew up into an attractive, intelligent girl with a fair face and brown hair. When she was 12, her father sent her all the way to Sicily to marry the Sicilian king, William II. Palermo, William's royal city, was a sunny isle in the Mediterranean, and many things were strange and unusual to the girl-queen. However, it was a happy marriage. Joan was a good queen, an able helpmeet to her husband, and popular with the people. The couple's only sorrow was that they had no children.

Joan was only twenty-four when her beloved husband died. At once her life was turned upside down. An Italian prince, Tancred, seized control of Sicily and imprisoned Joan in a palace in Palermo. He denied her the inheritance due her as William's widow and her dowry.
But help was at hand. Joan’s older brother, Richard the Lionhearted, King of England, had just started on the Third Crusade. When he heard of the plight of his beloved sister, he sailed with his whole force to Sicily to rescue her. Tancred refused to release her, and the lionhearted Richard deployed his forces. After several sharp battles, Richard’s stout English knights and men-at-arms defeated Tancred’s forces. He hastily made peace with Richard and released Joan.
During this, Richard’s mother had arrived with his fiancée, Berengaria, and Joan became Berengaria’s companion. But Joan’s adventures were not over. En route to the Holy Land, the ship carrying Berengaria and Joan went aground off the coast of Cyprus, and they were threatened by the island's ruler, Isaac Comnenus. Again, Richard came to the rescue. In a series of rapid sieges, he captured the island and overthrew Comnenus.

Queen Joan of Sicily is inspiring to me because, alone in a strange country as a young bride, she rose above any loneliness to devote herself to loving and serving her husband and her new country. And because, despite fluctuating and precarious circumstances, she always retained a sweet spirit. 

Dear Elisha
Here is Hannah G., presenting her character: Anna Corbell 


  Yours-truly and Stephen

I came as the ancient Princess Adelina of Germany (from 700 A.D.) Here is my script:

"Adelina grew up as a daughter of missionaries from Ireland, around 700 A.D.

Both of Adelina's parents died while she was a young maiden. She was left to the care of friends in what was then called Thuringia, Germany.

Thuringia's original ruler- Herzog Gozbert, who was a Christian- died and left his pagan son, Hedan, to rule.

One day, Hedan was on his way to stop the Christians at the Cenoby Hochhiem, when he came upon a glorious sight indeed. A maiden of almost angelic appearance was bending over a man whose forehead was streaming with blood. Herzog Hedan asked the maiden who she was.

"Adelina, daughter of Iberius, a man of God who is dead," she said. Hedan was looking at her in admiration and astonishment that she was alone in the forest and asked her why she was alone.

"I am not alone. God is with me, in Whose service I came," Adelina responded. Hedan asked who the wounded man was. Adelina went on to explain that the wounded me (whose name was unknown to her) had tried to set fired to one of the Christians cabins so that the whole Cenoby would have been engulfed in flames. Hedan was surprised that Adelina would return good to one who wished to do her evil.

"Why should we hate him who hated us? He hates us because he is a poor heathen, thinking thereby to please his gods. But our God has told us to do good to them which hate us and spitefully use us," Adelina responded.

Hedan later asked Adelina to marry him. Adelina hesitated, for Hedan not a Christian. Hedan threatened that she and the other Christians would be persecuted because she said no. Adelina was reminded of the verse that says, "Greater love hath no man than that he lay down his life for his friend." Adelina then commited herself to be Hedan's faithful wife. Hedan later became a Christian due to Adelina's daily witness.

I admire Adelina for loving and caring for those who persecuted her, witnessing to the lost, and keeping a loving cheerful attitude. That's why I chose to come to this party as Adelina, princess of Thuringia".

Some of the "audience"

Josiah M. presents his character: Sergeant Alvin York
Some of the younger ladies
Enjoying each others company

Benjamin presents his character: Lukas Fuchs (said Foss)
Micah presents his character: Dwight Eisenhower

Micah and Deborah W.

Mom and Mrs. W.

Mom presenting her character: Rose Allen

Mom, yours-truly, Beth, Micah and Deborah W.

Mr. M. presents his character(s): All the everyday, normal Christians who were not portrayed by the rest of us at the party.

Some of the ladies: Mom, Mrs. G., Mrs. W., Bethany and Hannah G., Beth and  Deborah W.

Hanging out before the party

Mr. G. presents his character: George Washington Carver

Mr. G.

Mr. W. and Mr. G.

Mr. W. presents Deborah's character:

Mr. W. presents his character: Hudson Taylor

Mr. W. presents Stephen's character: our dear cousin Andre who recently went to the Navy. How sweet!

Mrs. and Mr. W.

Mrs. W., Beth W. and Phoebe

Mrs. G. presents her character: Elisabeth Elliot

Mrs. W. presents her character: Perpetua

Nathaniel presents his character: Beryl  Newman, who received the Medal of Honor during World War II---

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty on 26 May 1944. Attacking the strongly held German Anzio-Nettuno defense line near Cisterna, Italy, 1st Lt. Newman, in the lead of his platoon, was suddenly fired upon by 2 enemy machineguns located on the crest of a hill about 100 yards to his front. The 4 scouts with him immediately hit the ground, but 1st Lt. Newman remained standing in order to see the enemy positions and his platoon then about 100 yards behind. Locating the enemy nests, 1st Lt. Newman called back to his platoon and ordered 1 squad to advance to him and the other to flank the enemy to the right. Then, still standing upright in the face of the enemy machinegun fire, 1st Lt. Newman opened up with his tommygun on the enemy nests. From this range, his fire was not effective in covering the advance of his squads, and 1 squad was pinned down by the enemy fire. Seeing that his squad was unable to advance, 1st Lt. Newman, in full view of the enemy gunners and in the face of their continuous fire, advanced alone on the enemy nests. He returned their fire with his tommygun and succeeded in wounding a German in each of the nests. The remaining 2 Germans fled from the position into a nearby house. Three more enemy soldiers then came out of the house and ran toward a third machinegun. 1st Lt. Newman, still relentlessly advancing toward them, killed 1 before he reached the gun, the second before he could fire it. The third fled for his life back into the house. Covering his assault by firing into the doors and windows of the house, 1st Lt. Newman, boldly attacking by himself, called for the occupants to surrender to him. Gaining the house, he kicked in the door and went inside. Although armed with rifles and machine pistols, the 11 Germans there, apparently intimidated, surrendered to the lieutenant without further resistance, 1st Lt. Newman, single-handed, had silenced 3 enemy machineguns, wounded 2 Germans, killed 2 more, and took 11 prisoners. This demonstration of sheer courage, bravery, and willingness to close with the enemy even in the face of such heavy odds, instilled into these green troops the confidence of veterans and reflects the highest traditions of the U.S. Armed Forces."
Phoebe presents her character: Phoebe P. Knapp

More shady characters

Stefon presents his character: Nathaniel Bowditch

Sweet Stephen


Miss Linda said...

Oh what fun that must have been!! All the costumes were so wonderful!! I think you are very brave to stand up in front of the others and recite your statements. That is something I would never have the courage to do! Miss Johanna, I loved the gorgeous dress you wore. What is that fabric? It looks fairly thick. Did you use a pattern or did you create the pattern yourself? I absolutely loved the pearls interwoven through your hair. What an elegant touch! I remember reviewing some of the older posts when I first found your family's blog, and saw the post you made about sewing your dress. I immediately recognized the fabric. I sew almost all my own clothes, so I am always very interested in the details about fabric and pattern, and construction details. You did a wonderful job on your lovely dress.

It must have taken quite a while to organize this event. Was this in conjunction with a homeschool history class, or was this something you all did for the pleasure of it?

How very kind you were to share this with your blog fans. This truly brought a smile to my face!

Reading about important historical figures is one thing, but designing and creating costumes and presenting an elaborate presentation like this really brings the characters to life. There is so much inspiration and encouragement to be gained from learning about faithful figures from history. "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein." (Jer. 6:16)

The Kautts said...

Dear Miss Linda,

Thank you again for commenting! :)

Yes, the costume party was SO much fun-- especially since the hosts are very dear friends of ours. :)

I know, I surprised even myself me standing in front of about 30 other people and doing my "speech". *laughs* It was SO funny, because I'm normally get 'stage-fright' if I speak in front of a group of people-- unless it's my close family.

Thank you for the compliments regarding my outfit. Momma and I had SO much fun making it!! :)

I don't know exactly what kind of fabric my dress was made out of. Momma has had that fabric for years. The weight is about the weight of denim. :)

We actually did not host the costume party-- some friends did, but it was ironic that it took place this fall. You see, Momma was having us study medieval history this fall and she said she might make some medieval costumes with us. So, when were invited to the costume party, I said 'a-hah! I can make the medieval costume for it'. So, I guess you can say that it was for school AND for fun!

How could I not share our fun with our blog-readers?! :)

You said, 'Reading about important historical figures is one thing, but designing and creating costumes and presenting an elaborate presentation like this really brings the characters to life. There is so much inspiration and encouragement to be gained from learning about faithful figures from history.' That is exactly why our friends hosted the party! :)


Miss Linda said...

That fabric looked like it might be a heavier weight (like denim). I like working with heavier fabric like that. The lighter weight fabric (for blouses and such) sometimes seems to have a mind of it's own. But that is probably more the fault of my beginner sewing skills. Do you have a serger for preventing ravelling on the edges of the fabric? I don't have a serger but my sewing machine has a "cover stitch" that is sort of like a serger. It prevents ravelling. It looks like that heavy fabric might ravel a bit.

Anyway, what is important is that you had time to spend with your mother working on something special--and it came out so beautifully!! :)

The Kautts said...

Dear Miss Linda,

Yes, the fabric is pretty heavy. But that was nice, because the night of the party, it turned out to be pretty cold outside and I didn't need a jacket.

I know, the light fabric seems to "slip" when sewing on it. It's hard to work with most of the time.

I think we have a serger, but we didn't use it while making me costume. I think that heavier fabric DOES unravel a lot easier than lighter fabric. I don't know why.

Yes, we were both so glad to be able to work together on the costume-- especially since I had never done any large sewing project before that (I had made very small doll dresses).

Oh, I liked the fabric we used too, because even though it was heavier weight, it sort of shimmered because it had a shiny shade of green-- and green matches my eye-color! :)

Have a blessed afternoon,