Thursday, April 21, 2011

KSL & Reagan Reads

Elisabeth has been participating in the Reagan Reads program at her school. Her goal every month is to be the first one in her class to be part of the 500 Club, which is a group of kids that read 500 minutes every month. Ellie has been a member of the 500 club every month of this school year. They get rewards like free miniture pizzas from Pizza Hut, an ice cream from McDonalds, or a hamburger from Burger King. Her reading abilities have really picked up since January and it has been nice to see the progress she is making!

Yesterday KSL's Chopper 5 paid a visit to Reagan Academy since it is one of the top schools in the state for the number of minutes tracked on KSL's Read Today program. Ellie was chosen by her teacher to be one of the "greeting group" of students that got to go meet the Easter Bunny. She was SO EXCITED to be chosen. At dinner last night we were talking about how her day was at school and she told me all about the helicopter and meeting the Easter Bunny. I told her that when I was in school that I didn't ever get to do anything that cool. Jake piped up and said when he was in elementary school he was able to meet Govenor Bangeter. Ellie was very unimpressed. "Dad, that is no where near as cool as meeting the Easter Bunny!" Apparently meeting a fictional character outranks the leader of a state.

All of that aside, having this visit and seeing herself on tv last night made Ellie even more motivated to keep working on her reading. This is a great program that KSL offers to the kids!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Intermountain Healing Hearts 5K

In January I began my term as the acting treasurer of Intermountain Healing Hearts which is a non-profit organization that supports families with loved ones of congenital heart defects or onset childhood heart disease. We are so excited that this year the organization will be adding a 5k to its list of events. We are working towards raising money for the Heart Camp in August which is a family camp for heart families that is held at Camp Wapiti. If you are a runner and/or knows someone who loves to run - this is for a great cause!

This year I will not personally be running (with a pretty good excuse of being 36 weeks pregnant :), but next year I plan on participating even though I have never been that great of a runner!

Registration can be done through IHH's paypal account. The registration form is as follows:

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Grandma Ellinger's Funeral & Trip to Northern California

Jake's grandmother, Marion Ellinger, passed away on March 18th in Sacramento, CA. We drove to Northern California to hold a memorial service for her with Jake's sisters Kathleen and Kristin. Since it was snowing heavily in the Sierra Nevadas and Donner Pass was closed, we opted to drive to Las Vegas, then over to Bakersfield, and then up to Sacramento. We were fortunate that we were able to stay at Jake's Uncle Tom's home in St. Helena.

We arrived in St. Helena on Sunday evening. The following day we drove to Sacramento to meet Sheena and Maryn at the Nut Tree. We were disappointed that the rides were not open yet for the season, but the kids still had a good time playing with each other on the wooden horses, the teeter-totter, and the merry-go-round. I am so grateful that my kids have cousins so close to their ages that they can play with!

On Tuesday morning we held the memorial service at the LDS branch chapel in St. Helena. What a beautiful spirit we felt. Jake's dad, Bruce, gave a wonderful history on his mother. Kathleen and Sheena sang a duet, Jake gave a talk for the children on what happens to our spirit after we die, I played a piano solo, and Kristin helped the children sing "I Am a Child of God". Libby, Mallory, Elisabeth, Nathan and Maryn sounded WONDERFUL! I think grandma would have been very proud of their little voices that sang with such conviction. Even Nathan tried to sing some of the words and to be somewhat reverent. We also gave a memory of grandma and talked about her for a little while.

I wished that we could have stayed a couple of days to enjoy being together as a family, but alas, with the snow clouds looming we drove home after the luncheon for the funeral. It was much better to drive home on I-80 than the detour we took to get there!

I know that Grandma was not LDS, but her character and convictions in life helped to shape many other's lives. Her choices brought about many grandchildren and great-grandchilren who are pretty special people. We will miss her dearly.