Sunday, August 11, 2013

China Scrapbook Finally Done!

Finally done with our scrapbook.  Everyone helped to narrate it and while there are many pictures not in this slide show, this is a great representation of our fabulous trip!  It was hard with summer jobs and we missed Megan but I am so glad that we went!  All the sacrifice, saving money and work to get here was worth it!  A once in a lifetime kind of experience.  I'm so glad we shared it together!
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Sunday, August 4, 2013

4th of July and Israelsen Reunion

Dear Megan,

I just got back from the Reunion and I wanted to send you a letter. Its late so I will try to be brief. 

The Reunion was fantastic as usual, however the only ones from our family that could go were Elizabeth and I. Jake and Rachel took all of there time off for the summer to go to china so they couldn't get more time off to go to the Reunion. So Mom stayed to home with Rachel and Jake and Elizabeth and I took off.

Daryl family was in charge this year and they had a Dr. Sues theme. Mandy put together a picture of everyone in the family in a WhoVille type body all holding hands. The picture said "all the Izzy's down in IzzyVille for something like that. Everyone wanted to know how you were doing and they all want you to know that they Love you and pray for you all the time. I believe it to because every prayer that was offered at the reunion they all prayed for you. They all love getting you letters every week and they follow it very closely. Emily starts her mission this week by going to the MTC in Mexico then she heads to Chicago, Spanish speaking. she was worried because she didn't think that she could write letters like you do. That's what she told me anyway. Several of my brothers and sisters commented on your letters, Aunt RuthAnn told me that her sons would only write one or two sentences and they were done.

News from the Reunion: Taylor brought a "new" boyfriend to the reunion. His name is Tanner not Taylor who is scheduled to come home from his mission in a couple of months. I guess this new boy friend is something else if he is replacing the old boyfriend that's still on his mission. ( a little of bit of a scandal  Not really but kind of. You know Taylor, her bestesterest friend). Trevor and his wife are expecting in about 3 weeks ( a boy I think), Mark and Mary are expecting a BOY (after 4 girls) very soon too. Liz just got married about 3 weeks ago to Justin Krough and they seem very happy. They got married in the Nova Scotia Temple. Matt was called to be a Bishop about 3 weeks ago. Mandy and Tyler seem to be coping well after little Marshall death. I talked to Tyler Stout about his sister and how much you enjoyed her in the mission. He said that he talked to his sister about you and how much she liked you also. Elizabeth spent one morning taking care of sammy, Katies baby! (that seemed a little scary but life just keeps moving on)  Eliz was in heaven taking care of all the babies. Camie was there but Justin was on a business trip to China, he has been there for a couple of weeks. Camie is doing so much better after her tubal pregnancy which was very scary.  Valerie stopped by on there way back to Kansas ( they moved there a while ago, not sure if you knew that). Brandon broke his leg several months ago and had to have surgery. He is still limping and trying to get his leg to heal. This has been very hard on him! He has several scares on his leg from the surgery which as pretty nasty. Shawn and Hanna are still living in Grandma and Grandpas basement. Kelly came to the reunion almost the whole time. I think she was trying to put on her best face for this new boy friend of Taylor's but she got a bad headache on Sunday morning and Neal took her home. To bad because I think her favorite part of the reunion is testimony meeting.  Steve was there and he is doing so much better from his cancer. Brittany was there with her little girl, she is recently divorced from Wade. I'm not sure what happened there, but she seems to be coping. Bobbi is planning to go on a mission in the fall. She is just trying to get a job to make enough money to go. 

Most importantly, Grandma and Grandpa said to give you a big hug. So, wrap your arms around yourself and give yourself a big hug from them. They love you so much and are so proud of you. Grandpa says that he has an article that he is going to send to you. Its something about when he was in Belgium, someplace that you will know. He says that he going to have to send it to you over "snail Mail". I also sent around a thing for everyone to write to you so I will send that this week some time.

That was my quick update, Now how are you doing? Did you have a baptism this week? Last week you said that you were close so I'm hoping that it happened or is very close. And it sounded as if your teaching pool is getting very big or bigger. 

At the reunion there was a lot of talk about the new direction of missionary work. Has anything changed for you yet? In such a short time. 

I love you so much, I just want to give you a big hug.

Keep on doing your best and trust in the Lord.



Hi Megan,

How are things going?  I hope you were able to resolve some things with your Dr. and change the meds???  Please let me know.  This week, Rachel and Jake have been working working working!  I have been trying to clean out some drawers and do some technology, reading and catch up.  I am not making much progress.  I drive Rachel (actually I sit in the car and make her drive) to work and then exercise, do some cleaning, take Elizabeth to Mathnasium and swim team, read a little and it is time to pick Rachel up again and make dinner so I just feel like I'm in the car a lot!

Dad and Elizabeth went to the Family Reunion.  They left on Thursday and I haven't heard yet when they are leaving today.  Rachel and I went over to the Ellis's to watch the fireworks after Rachel got off work.  Jake and Luke had a friends BBQ and walked to the Westminster fireworks.  Many cities cancelled their fireworks this year due to fire danger.  Over 500 house burned in CO Springs and several fires are springing up all over the state.  19 Hot Shot Firefighters were killed in AZ last week - crazy how intense the fires have been.  Anyway, the cities didn't shoot them off as high in the air this year but we could see Westminster and Broomfield from their deck.  We liked Broomfield the best, they even spelled out USA in fireworks.  I've never seen that before. On Friday, I went downtown to work with Michelle at the Museum.  We are preparing to do some professional development in Oregon in August.  Her director is trying to put together a job offer for me to join them as well.  It would mean a substantial cut in salary so I don't think I could even consider it especially with you and Jake in school/missions etc. etc. etc.  It would be fun though!! 

Jake took Ciara to the Boulder Dinner Theater last night for her birthday and Rachel got off early because of rain at WW.  I tried to convince her to go to Despicable Me 2 with me but she was to tired.  I will wait and go with you!

This morning I have been busy trying to get together a matching game to teach Families Can Be Together Forever in Primary but I think the older kids will know it so we will spend some time on I Am A Child of God in Chinese.  It takes a lot of time to prepare for 20 minutes of music.....  I also sent out the agenda for a Public Affairs meeting so still trying to do both.  We shall see.

I can't get the Pianostreet people to email me back so Dad and I are going to try to call them this week.  

We tried to get in touch with the Andrews about traveling to the Netherlands but they haven't returned our call - perhaps they are gone for the holiday.  What do you want to do when we come?  We are thinking of making this our 25th wedding anniversary trip too so will come the week before during my spring break (if I can make arrangements for Rachel and Elizabeth).  Viking Cruises is offering a two for one on Rheine and Danube River Cruises if you purchase before the end of July so we are exploring that.  We just want to start making a few plans but want to know what you want to do.  We think with work etc that we can pick you up on April 2 and then plan to fly out on the following Sunday or Monday so that would leave us 5-6 days to explore.  Do you think that is enough or do we need more?  We figure a few days in Belgium/Netherlands and then we are thinking of going over to Germany or Paris and flying out of there.  Any ideas???

I Love You!

June 24, 2013

Top of Mountain at Copper - rode the ski lift up - beautiful!
Hello My Cute Little Megan, I hope you are having a good week! I had a fun but tiring week. I attended TIE Conference in Copper Mountain. We raised money this year and rented a house for the teachers at Hulstrom to stay in. There were only 10 of us but we rented a beautiful house and had a great time attending the conference and brainstorming ways this applies to our school. We think we are going to push a one to one policy at Hulstrom as soon as we can - perhaps getting parents to purchase an iPad or computer for their kids for Christmas.  Speaking of which, we are wondering what you would think of sending Jake with your laptop until you return. He got an iPad but we think that between the two of you coming and going that the technology will be outdated and you will want a new one anyway - we would help you get a new one. How do you feel about that? The technology I was exposed to at this conference is incredible - curriculum is moving ahead and I hope that I can keep pace with all that is happening! There are 3-D printers now that actually print out a plastic model of whatever you want copied. People are printing out chairs and tools to try in plastic before making them out of steel. They are also printing in chocolate, human tissue and plastic - crazy! There are many new things to use in education. I went to one class where they pushed everything out to your iPad - so the teacher controlled what you were looking at and you could take a quiz, read a passage, draw for understanding, take a picture of something and work together all as a class - incredible! I am going to try that! I am going to use infographics as one menu item for kids to create presentations with. Researching is also taking on a whole new look with research built right into your google docs and the citation created instantly. I will have to show you a few things when you return.  I rode my bike with Tara and Christina to the top of Vail pass - 6 miles straight up! Crazy - well I had to walk my bike a little bit. It is 1,000 foot increase in elevation from Copper to the top and it only take 5 mintues to get down - crazy!! I sent you a few pictures from TIE from my phone - hope you got them.  Today was my first day as Primary Chorister - Dad helped me make a punch the primary song board - the kids punch into the cups covered with tissue paper with slips of paper telling kids what song to sing. It was an odd day though- we only had a two hour block because there was a special training from SLC for Mission Presidents and Ward Councils. We tended the boys so that Cory and Heather could go to the meeting. They said it was about more changes in missionary work. Missionaries will be using more technology, answering text messages and staying in the church building so that people can come and take a tour of the building if they want to. Interesting changes. Are you hearing anything about this? Dad is leaving on a business trip to St Louis tomorrow - pray for him to have success - they are having some trouble with the sensors at Hormel and need them all to work so that he can get this sale! Right now we are listening to a huge thunder storm with much lightening and rain - it is kind of fun although the Ellis boys were scared!  I am finally home this week and am going to try to finish our China Slide Show so hopefully you will get to see it next week. Jake and Rachel are back in the work groove! Sean was fired from Northglenn this week - apparently for having a pocket knife n his locker and complaints about a hostile work environment under him. We aren't quite sure what the truth is but the hired Collin or someone like that. Jake is trying to find a day that he can take a drug test so that he can supplement his income with side life-guard jobs. I'm not sure what to think about Northglenn. Rachel is loving Waterworld. Anyway, Sean is going back to Provo to work at the same place he worked before and hopefully to get back on track. His dad told your dad that he kicked him out and that it was time for him to get on with life. Sad..... Well, the lightning is still going on - crazy!  Take Care, start making a list of what you want to do when we come to the Netherlands. Do you know if we have to get a VISA? I am going to start planning!  Love you! Mom Sent from my iPad
Dear Sister Israelsen,   Well, this week has been a little boring. Not much to report.   I guess Shawn Lungren was asked to resign from his Northglenn because several of the workers complanined that he creates a "hostile work environment" and then they found a pocket knife in his locker. So now he as moved out of his parents home and moved back to Provo and is working at guess services or something. I asked his Dad if he was going to chalk up this year to a learning experience.   Mom has been at a tech conference all week up in the mountains. I think she had a blast and got a lot of new ideas for teaching next year. Rachel seems to have a "save" at waterworld about once a day and is very glad that she is not working as a garbage clean up person. Elizabeth started back at Mathnazium this summer this week and she loves it! She has been swimming with the snapper swim team since we got back from China and she has her first swim meet on Saturday. She doesnt really want to swim in the meet but I think it is good for her. So we signed up for her event today online.   This week I was home with the kids while mom was at her conference. Its hard to keep everyone busy and do my work. I am still suffing from a little stomach thing ever since I got back from China. I started taking an antibiotic that i got from the doctor before I left for China which is supposed to help with stomach virus'.    I am traveling to St. Louis tomorrow and ending up in Minnesota to work on my big order some more. We have had some problems but hopefully we are back on the right track. The whole company is working hard to win Hormels business. I hope it works.   This summer I am planning to reread the BOM again. I am really looking forward to teaching it this year. What is your favorite section or chapeters of the BOM? and why. What advice would you give to students learning about the BOM this year? Did you guys play any games that you liked in seminary that I may not know about? I really need to figur out how to  make my class more fun and interesting.   Be faithful and follow the Spirit and the Lord will bless you, hopefully in a way that you can find a perfect potential member.   I love you!!!   Dad