Happy, Happy

Mission Report

The Mission Report is sort of done!! For the record, I don’t recommend anyone do a Minecraft mission project. Mikey disagrees with me, though now that he’s finished(ish), he admits there is a lot he would do differently. It was, for Mikey at least, an enormous amount of work. He never complained, but watching him work for hours and hours when we could have put together a $12 Mission Kit from JoAnn’s or Michaels in a quarter of that time was frustrating. On top of this, he’s been sick for the last week and couldn’t narrate his own video without a coughing fit. I had to do it in the end, not knowing what I was talking about and completely butchering the pronunciation of everything, I’m sure. Not a big deal, but this might be played at Open House. I’m not excited.

I say the mission report is sort of done because our first cut with a camera wouldn’t import into the computer. We had to think on our feet (it was Oh Crap! o’clock by that point) and this is how we set up what is possibly the most ridiculous production ever known to cinema. See above picture. My iPad nestled in my pyrex dish organizer, on a book, then a towel, balanced precariously on my old plant stand, which is on top of our coffee table. The Mister was holding the flashlight so Mikey could read his notes while he simultaneously directed the video by making “Steve” fly around the property. This was before the coughing fits. Just imagine the Mister holding that flashlight over my shoulder for the final cut.

Once we did that we had to figure out what to do with the video. I tried uploading it to Vimeo, but so far nothing. It might be too big? No clue. In a panic, I downloaded an app (Magisto), picked a song from my library, and let the app do its thing. It took our 7:51 minutes of video and condensed it to 2:00 minutes of Tarantino meets Fellini. Really not excited.

Mikey is, and that’s what makes me happy. This project was his idea, he built everything, researched floor plans and aerial views of the property, read countless books (only one cover to cover, and it was very short), searched the internet for images, and even finished his written report a week ahead of schedule. He worked so hard.

Below is the video I emailed his teacher 15 minutes ago, just so he had something to turn in on the due date. Hopefully by Sunday he’ll be able to talk and narrate the original video we took, which the Mister just told me finally imported. We are so not tech people.

EDIT TO ADD: Mikey admitted to me this morning that he is disappointed he can’t turn in the longer version of the video. He also admitted that it bothers him that it’s my voice reading his words. He’s convinced everyone is going to think I did the project. (Sweetheart, no adult in their right mind is going to think a parent spent 37 hours in Minecraft building a mission.) I told him I understood, and that I would see if his teacher would allow him to narrate the longer video over the weekend once he can talk. I did warn him that this Mikey Narrated video would not go towards his grade, and what I emailed last night was it. Now we’re both really not excited! Haha. (What you see below is what we turned in.)

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. Fee says

    That project looks pretty good to me! Lots of work involved obviously! My ds is into Minecraft as well so I’m sure he’d like to do a project like this but like I keep saying to our kids, my parents didn’t have to deal with all the ‘extras’ like we have to nowadays. Now you have to know how to download photos, arrange them and print them out, be a desktop publisher/designer, video producer, music downloader and that’s after having to know how to use a computer in the first place! Long gone are the days where you traced round a picture, cut it out and stuck it down and did some freehand writing to go with it!!

  2. Kathy says

    That video made me tear up ( to be fair, that song always makes me cry, but still…).
    He brought that mission I life! The animals, the grass and flowers, the books and blankets – it was as if the monks would all be walking back in any minute. I’m very impressed. Good job, Mom, Dad and Mikey!

    • says

      Haha! My husband was freaking out a bit (“You chose a song about being tied to a chair and having your hair cut?!”). And then I reminded him that my personal music library was a little low on songs with Old Testament religious imagery in the lyrics.

      • LauraC says

        All I know about that song is Shrek . . . (but I really like it).
        Old Testament religious imagery does exist. Michael Card is one of my favorite songwriters who uses OT/NT books/stories. We played Arise My Love in our wedding. Read Song of Solomon (pretty short) and you’ll find exact verses used. I could go on and on, but I won’t bore you.

  3. Shannon says

    Jules – this is AWESOME! My 9 year old thinks its about the best school project ever and she knows nothing about the Missions. However we now have an idea perking for our Oregon Trail project! Nice job to Mikey.

    • says

      Mikey wants to show off his “real” Minecraft Mission video, and I don’t blame him. He really did work hard! We’ll do that in another post and I’ll have him give tips to kids who want to do projects in Minecraft.

  4. says

    Wow, that is amazing! Congrads to your son and you and dad.
    We just visited the mission in Santa Barbara and it was impressive. Didn’t see any friars but still it is a working mission.
    I think it was worth the effort.
    When we home schooled we did a mission study and I think we bought one of those kits….

  5. Alicia says

    That is impressive! Those mission projects have come a long way since I was a kid, I made a model out of sugar cubes and spray-painted lasagne noodles!

  6. Cassandra says

    Wow! Obviously a lot of work and effort was put into that. Your son is lucky to have supportive parents who helped him through it :)

  7. HeatherL says

    So *that’s* why you were asking if anyone know how to make narrated Minecraft videos! I like your creative set-up with the casserole dish rack. The video is very cool & looks like it took a lot of effort. I would tell Mikey that documentary film makers don’t usually narrate their own work. 😉 Although, I do understand his fears–my mom always had me add “Art help by Dad” on reports that involved drawing. My strengths were more in the gluing together of Popsicle sticks to create Navajo hogans & the re-telling of Encyclopedia Brown mysteries with Little People shoebox dioramas.

  8. LauraC says

    Wow! It renews my desire to learn to Minecraft; I’ve read so much about it and think my 6yo daughter would enjoy building/creating things. What do you think? Is it free or do you have to pay for it? (I only know what I read in TIME a year ago or so . . . )

  9. yj says

    Great job!!! I decided to do something similar-ish for my AP english project (build a website) which took WAY TOO LONG. It might actually still not be finished (a BA, MST, and a JD later).
    He’s going to look back and LOVE that he did this for his project (although he sounds like he loves it right now too).

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